Lucy Lactivist explains how to improve vision by locking up glasses

See fingers

Hi, folks! It’s Lucy Lactivist here. I’m a certified lactation consultant, though I prefer to think of myself as “The Breast Whisperer.” I am so skilled I can help any woman to breastfeed … or at least make her feel like its her fault if she can’t. That’s why I’m president of FFFL (Formula Feeding’s For Losers).

I’m branching out these days, and adding certified vision consultant to my list of skills. After all, vision is every bit as natural as breastfeeding, and works right nearly all the time.

Here’s a scary statistic for you: Approximately 30% of Americans are diagnosed as nearsighted and end up wearing glasses or contacts!

Are we really supposed to believe that 1/3 of all people can’t adequately see without vision correction? They didn’t have glasses in nature, folks, and we’re still here, aren’t we? The human race would have died out long ago if that many people really needed glasses.

Think about it: the human eye is perfectly designed to see, just like the human breast is perfectly designed to feed babies. Just as breastmilk is always available in the perfect amount, always at the perfect temperature and always really easy for the baby to get out of the breast, human vision is always available in just the right amount, is always focused in the perfect direction, and never requires squinting.

Some people say that vision corrected by glasses or contacts is just as good as natural vision, but that is absolutely, positively not true. Natural vision contains components that can’t be duplicated in glasses or contacts, which are only artificial attempts to mimic natural vision. Not only that, but glasses and contacts are made of chemicals!!!

Not just chemicals, but toxic chemicals. Did you know that glasses cause obesity, diabetes and cancer? Yes, they do.

For example, the graph below covers the years 1500-2000.

Business graph up

You can see that as the rate of glasses wearing increased dramatically (blue bars), the rate of obesity (blue line) increased dramatically, too. You could draw similar graphs for the relationship between glasses and diabetes and glasses and cancer (except you’d have to make them difference colors). What more proof do you need?

If only people got more support with their vision they wouldn’t need to give up and resort to glasses. Sigh, if only optometrists were more educated about vision. No sooner does a woman complain that she is having difficulty seeing things, then the optometrist immediately gives her a vision test and recommends glasses if the test is abnormal … as if that’s the answer to her problem.

A certified vision consultant such as myself would initially ignore anything a woman has to say about her vision. I never believe women when they claim to assess the functions of their own bodies. Everyone knows that they cannot be trusted to tell the truth; they’re just lazy and prefer to take the easy way out. They don’t realize the extent to which they have been brainwashed by Big Lens.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a radical. I recognize that some women truly have vision problems. For example, if a woman pokes her eye out with a stick I immediately refer her to a hospital that is usually less than 10 minutes a way.

Here’s the way that I recommend that vision complaints be handled:

1. Providers should deny that the woman has any problems with vision. You should encourage her to believe that she could see perfectly if she just tried harder.

2. If a woman insists on an eye chart test and can’t see even the big “E” at the top, you should tell her it’s just a variation of normal.

3. Encourage the woman to work harder at seeing.

4. Before even mentioning the option of vision correction, you should have the woman read and sign a statement acknowledging that natural vision is the gold standard and that glasses or contacts are an inferior method of seeing.

5. Under no circumstances should you ever give a woman glasses or contacts to take home. If they’re in the house, they’ll destroy a woman’s resolve to rely exclusively on natural vision.

6. When women are admitted to the hospital, you should hide their glasses or contacts and make them beg for them before you give them back. Sometimes women just need tough love to rely on natural vision.

7. It’s okay to sell reading glasses in drugstores, but they should be locked up behind the counter and women who want them should be stigmatized by being forced to wait in a separate check-out line.

Let’s face it. Every woman could have perfect vision if she just put the time and effort into it. Eyes are perfectly designed to see and they rarely, if ever, fail to function at the 20/20 level. We could dramatically increase reliance on normal vision if we gave women more support, encouraged them to believe that they can see perfectly even when they can barely see it all, reassure them that we wouldn’t be here if 1/3 of people in nature actually needed vision correction, and make it really difficult and embarrassing for them to use glasses or contacts.

Oh, and everyone should wear T-shirts like the one I’m wearing today. Look, it says, “My eyes can see; what’s your superpower?”

What do you mean you can’t see the writing? Stop squinting and just try harder!

  • Ducky7

    Amy, you are a brilliant communicator!

  • Lynn Ratcliffe

    So ladies, as I have a life I will be leaving you for a little while. However I have enjoyed our “chats”. I hope to speak to you again soon. When I get a moment I will answer all the many questions you have asked me. But i have a family to feed now. TTFN x

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Classic flounce! We weren’t in awe of your “wisdom” so rather than question what you believe you know, you run away..

      • attitude devant

        Notice that it happened when we started inquiring about her credentials…..think she has any?

    • Elizabeth A

      How cute! You think you’re so important that you have to announce your dinner break!

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

        You think you’re so important

        This is exactly it. That explains everything about Lynn.

        • moto_librarian

          “I’ll bet you think this blog is about you, don’t you?”

          Sorry, couldn’t resist.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            So Lynn is James Taylor?

            Or at least that’s claim?

            Isn’t it pretty well-established that Dave Coulier (from Full House) is the guy who Alanis Morrisette thinks Oughta Know? And broke into his house and listened to his Joni Mitchell album?

          • Elizabeth A

            I had no idea!

            (I’m super tired and bored with surgical recovery. Do you have any good dirt on Uncle Jesse?)

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Denver Pyle was awesome as Brisco Darling in the Andy Griffith Show.

            (sorry, that’s the only Uncle Jesse I know)

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

        So did Lynn ever come back after her dinner break?

        • Elizabeth A

          She recovered from her dinner break, but not from the time when I wrote about kangaroo care in the NICU without taking the trouble to sound like I wasn’t reaching for my 10-inch chef’s knife.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Ah yes, also where all those healthy, full term babies are are saved by kangeroo care instead of being sent to the NICU. That was after dinner conversation then?

          • Elizabeth A

            I’m pretty sure it was, but Disqus time stamps are less useful than they could be.

            I’m pretty sure that if the NICU/kangaroo thing had arisen before the dinner announcement, I wouldn’t have been so flippant about dinner, but it’s possible I’m wrong. (I hear my hematocrit is expected to get back to normal in three weeks or so. In the meantime, I am sometimes too dumb to handle the TV Guide crossword.)

          • D/

            That was just reaching for your chef’s knife? I interpreted it more as a (well-deserved) stare down with your weighted machete already shoulder-poised!… lol

        • D/

          I must admit (at least initially) to feeling badly for the “Lynns” that swoop in here. It’s like watching unsuspecting animals trying to cross the interstate. Or n this case …

    • moto_librarian

      Just as well – my bingo card is full.

      ROFL.

      • Bombshellrisa

        Yeah, I think we have filled enough cards to win the rebozo scarf and the knitted placenta hat

    • ngozi

      I guess we’ll all go have a good cry…

  • attitude devant

    Have you looked at Lynn Ratcliffe’s profile on LinkedIn? She’s a ‘breastfeeding support worker’ in the UK. Just what IS a breastfeeding support worker? I don’t know, either. Is that like an IBCLC?

    • Lynn Ratcliffe

      That’s what I do NOW. But I have been many things in my past. Like Amy, I no longer practise my first profession.

    • Bombshellrisa

      http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/training.html
      “Training starts with Breastfeeding Helpers (peer support course), which can stand alone, or may lead to the longer Breastfeeding Matters More course and the opportunity to become a BfN Registered Breastfeeding Supporter.”

      http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/training-for-mothers.html
      “BfN training is open to all women who have breastfed their babies and enables women to gain skills, knowledge and experience to support breastfeeding in their communities. There are two stages of training:”
      It sounds a lot like the breastfeeding version of a CPM

      • Young CC Prof

        Yeah, I think all lactation consultants should be required to serve an internship in a NICU, observing the way real feeding problems are managed, and the occasional dangerous case of breastfeeding failure. How can you possibly be balanced without it?

        • attitude devant

          Notice you have to be an exclusive EBFer for a period of time to qualify.

          • Young CC Prof

            Can you imagine if, say, psychiatric residencies systematically excluded anyone with a personal or family history of mental illness? Or if nursing schools barred anyone who’d ever been hospitalized for more than a day or two? Way to keep empathy out of the community.

          • attitude devant

            My point exactly

          • KarenJJ

            Yeah that seems a lot like someone with perfect hearing telling me how it will be with hearing aids… I’d rather someone that knows the struggles of breastfeeding more intimately then “gosh darn, this was so easy for me, you’re just not doing it right”.

        • Carolyn the Red

          The NICU nurses were great sources of nursing advice (my daughter was admitted for an IV for hypoglycemia that didn’t resolve with formula). They wanted to aim for 50mL in a feeding on her second day of life (we managed about 20mL after nursing, every 3 hours or so).

          The pediatricians seemed to think that she couldn’t wait 72 hours.

    • Bombshellrisa

      http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/pdfs/BFNTrainingLeaflet.pdf
      “Breastfeeding Supporter
      Having completed the Breastfeeding Helper course plus sufficient breastfeeding experience to meet the course requirements, including a period of exclusive breastfeeding, you may apply to continue on to Breastfeeding Supporter training. This is the ‘gold standard’ training required to qualify and register as a Breastfeeding Supporter.
      It involves around 20 sessions, usually one per fortnight. Once qualified, probationary supporters are required to undertake some voluntary supporting work.
      All aspects of training introduced in the Breastfeeding Helpers course are covered in more depth. During the course you will develop a portfolio of assignments as evidence of your developing skills and you complete a personal, reflective diary. The assignments can be completed in a variety of ways to suit your learning needs. All BfN courses are aimed at being accessible to all, including those with special educational needs e.g. dyslexia, or those for whom English is not a first language.
      The Breastfeeding Network also offers training courses to enable its own Registered Breastfeeding Supporters to train as tutors and supervisors.”

      • Lynn Ratcliffe

        I am not trained through the BfN which is a charity.I was trained by WHO-Unicef babyfriendly

        • Bombshellrisa

          How do the prerequisites (such as having to have breastfed your children to qualify for training) and training differ and are the responsibilities the same once you hold that title?

          • Lynn Ratcliffe

            UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative’s course in Breastfeeding Management, “The course (for maternity staff )explores how to support a good start to breastfeeding and encourage the development of a strong mother-baby relationship from pregnancy onwards. The course will also examine the reasons why so many women stop breastfeeding in the early days and weeks after birth in an effort to reduce this drop off. Responding to a baby’s needs for food, comfort and love regardless of feeding method is key to ensuring all babies have the best possible start. Effective communication strategies will be also explored to ensure a more mother-centred approach to care.”

            I am employed to provide support, info & practical help from 48 hours after discharge to 6 weeks postnatal.
            My colleagues and I are part of the Health Visiting team in the community. Most are not medically trained although some have been nurses or midwives.
            Postnatal mums are visited at home by Community Midwives up to 10 days pn, then the Health Visitor takes over the family care until the baby/child starts school.
            We contact the mums by phone & can visit if the mum wants extra help. We help with positioning and attachment problems, support them with any feeding plans if there has been excess weight loss, demonstrate hand expressing etc, and generally “mother the mother & father” as needed. So many new parents live a long way from family support & we try to fill the gap in some small way. Sometimes they just need a shoulder to cry on & a hug, like new mums (& sometimes dads) do, sometimes it’s just a bit of reassurance.
            It’s not about pressurising or lactivism, but really providing support for those who need it. Our philosophy is “every drop (of mum’s milk) counts” so even if a baby is having mostly formula they are still breastfeeding. And this is breastfeeding in its broadest term: expressing also counts. OF course there are some that stop breastfeeding for a number of reasons, & some go through hell & high water to continue. We support them all. They can contact us via mobile phone during our working hours & there is a 24 hour help line on TCU that they can also access.
            We liaise with NICU & support mums from there too.
            So that’s my role, but other places do it differently.

          • attitude devant

            Well, honestly, that sounds really nice. It’s a little alarming, however, to hear someone in that role aver, as you do below, that less than 1% of women are unable to BF successfully. I’m just a dumb OB who is very supportive of BFing and even dim little moi knows that 1% number is pulled out of a hat. Frankly, having had my own problems with BFing, I’d be anxious about having someone with your rigid attitudes about pelves and mammaries in my very private business.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            ‘d be anxious about having someone with your rigid attitudes about pelves

            Is that the right plural of pelvis? I never thought pelvises seemed right (I avoided pelvi), but my spellchecker likes it.

          • Roadstergal
          • attitude devant

            It is the plural. ‘Pelvises’ is not incorrect though. You’ll see ‘pelves’ a lot in textbooks.

          • Siri

            Crisis – crises. Analysis – analyses. And you a Dr and a Prof! (Shakes head).

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            -vis is not the same as -sis

            Crisis and analysis do not compare

        • Elizabeth A

          In what way is WHO-UNICEF *not* a charity?

          • Lynn Ratcliffe

            sorry, you’e quite right. BfN is an English charity which is just about breastfeeding.

    • D/

      Nothing like an IBCLC. The WHO Counselor Trainings that I am aware of are anywhere from 10- 40 hours in length.

    • Trixie

      Oooh a CREDENTIAL!

  • ActualPhysicist

    When I was a kid, my mom used to insist that I read without glasses. This was motivated by something the ophthalmologist said about soldiers in Vietnam who lost their glasses in the war and returned to the US with better vision.

    Reading without glasses was much harder than reading with glasses, and it didn’t seem to do much to stop my myopia progressing.

    • attitude devant

      Errr…..if they were in the Army, wouldn’t their vision without glasses be only mildly impaired? Because if your eyesight is really bad, they don’t send you into combat, right? So while that might be true for people with minimal impairment, it wouldn’t be true for the vast majority of glasses wearers.

  • lucy logan

    sadly i personally know a natural health nut that argues that corrected vision causes bad vision and that glasses are a crutch. yep.

  • Cody

    I’ve been reading a lot about theories related to evolution lately. I’m not a scientist but I’m going to do my best to summarize a concept that I find really fascinating, without sounding like too much of a idiot. This is REALLY simplified.

    Humans have evolved along side technology for an extremely long time. We’ve had flint, fire, shelter, knives, spear throwers etc since before we became Homo sapien sapien, as we are now classified. Many people who study the mechanisms of evolution have concluded that this phenomenon has removed much of the pressure from natural selection. This has caused humans to become very weak physically, compared to other animals. My take on breastfeeding (and vision), is that if you are a chipmunk and can’t feed your baby through lactation, your baby will die and you will not pass on any potential genetic mutations that inhibit the ability to breastfeed.

    If you are a human living 1500 years ago and you are having a problem breastfeeding, you supplement with the milk of another human or animal, thereby potentially passing on any genes that might have affected your ability to lactate efficiently and effectively. So while it might be “natural” to breastfeed, it is unnatural for humans to let a baby die because there isn’t enough milk. Nor is it natural to avoid technology that can enhance our lives or the lives of our children.

    I do believe that affective breastfeeding can be optimal for an infant and should be promoted for many reasons, but it is very likely that many women cannot produce optimal levels of breast milk, in the same way that many people need glasses, or are unable to spring into a dead sprint and hunt down a African wildcat and drag it home for dinner, using nothing but a pointy rock (the pointy rock is still unnatural btw, it’s a supplement to our weak human finger nails).

    • lucy logan

      we evolved to be culture making and technology producing individuals and collectively–its part of or species being. that we have such suboptimal pelvises in terms of successful birth (comparatively to other non-bipedal animals) only works as well as it has because we have culture, the essential primordial elements of which are probably assisted child birth and cooked food.

      • Lynn Ratcliffe

        Bollocks! Women have been giving birth successfully for millennia. we do not have suboptimal pelvises. Our pelvises are perfectly designed for our babies to pass through. They enlarge as the ligament losen & as the baby passes over the sacrum, making the space up to 28% bigger, the baby’s skull moulds making the head smaller. But they are suboptimal if a woman is immobile, & confined to a bed as they are designed for us to be mobile & upright.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Wrong! Nothing about human beings is perfectly designed. For example, the miscarriage rate for established pregnancies is 20%. Death is a part of reproduction and no amount of pretending changes that.

          • Lynn Ratcliffe

            Of course death is part of life. But we do not have suboptimal pelvises

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            As I said elsewhere, your personal opinion is worse than useless. Show me the data that demonstrates that the human pelvis is optimal for vaginal delivery.

          • ngozi

            You might be about to flame me, but I am sure that some women’s pelvises ARE optimal for vaginal delivery. But the people who think all pelvises are optimal for vaginal delivery are living in a dream world. A pelvis isn’t going to be optimal for vaginal birth all the time, just like everyone’s eyes, joints, or bladder doesn’t work optimal all the time.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Aside from my comment about “some are optimal” being suboptimal, I do question what makes it “optimal” in the first place, Compare human birth to something like orangutan, and even the most optimal human birth doesn’t compare. But that is a consequence of bipedalism. Human pelvises aren’t “optimized” for giving birth, they are compromised between giving birth and allowing for us to walk upright.

          • Trixie

            My pelvis, I’ve been told, is optimal. Every provider I’ve ever had give me a pelvic exam has remarked, unprovoked, on the marvels of my roomy pelvis. I have a fabulous pelvis. I also had a malpositioned baby who wasn’t going to fit through anyone’s pelvis the way he was stuck, at least not without major damage to both of us. So imagine my surprise when I learned that a roomy pelvis doesn’t guarantee vaginal delivery, either.

          • Lynn Ratcliffe

            Of course Ngozi! But the vast majority of women can give birth to their babies through their amazing pelvises. BUT it depends on whether the pelvis is able to do what it is evolutionarily developed to do for birthing babies; that is to loosen & open ( hence aches and pains in late pregnancy) & at the sacro-iliac joints so that the rhombus of Michaelis(look it up) can move back as the baby’s head passes over it. This can be observed If a woman is able to remain upright & mobile then her pelvis is more likely to work to its optimum. But it all goes “pear-shaped” when women are confined to bed & immobile.

          • Young CC Prof

            Tell me your opinion of the literature linking upright delivery position (such as on a birthing stool) with more severe perineal tearing.

          • Cody

            What literature are you talking about? Point me in the direction please and thank you!

          • ngozi

            Not to try to argue with you, but how can we be sure that a vast majority of women can give birth to their babies through their “amazing” pelvises? It is hard–or impossible to just look at a woman and tell whether she has an “amazing” pelvis. And many conditions that make a c-section necessary don’t have anything to do with the pelvis. By definition, I probably have a great pelvis, but my c-section was done because the placenta was not so amazing (something that seems to happen over and over in my case).

          • AccieCat

            Yep, my pelvis was amazing, the placenta was magnificent, but my Sideways breech (transverse?) baby and my pre-eclampsia with no thinning or signs of labor onset at 3.5 weeks pre-term meant that I failed at the motherhood thing. I have to hand in my ribbon and sign my 11 year old over to CPS, I guess. Does it matter that my amazing pelvis was “advanced maternal age” too? Curse you C-section for saving my and my baby’s life! (insert snark emoticon here)
            For what it’s worth, I did breast feed, and it worked. I was a regular milk cow. Moo. But my optimal SIL with the amazing pelvis who popped-em out easy-peasy desperately wanted to breastfeed but simply couldn’t. No ribbon for her either, huh?

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            But the vast majority of women can give birth to their babies through their amazing pelvises.

            As opposed to a non-amazing pelvis? What animal has that?

            Have you ever seen a whale’s pelvis? That is bloody spectacular!

          • Young CC Prof

            Actually, I find a snake’s pelvis to be underwhelming. Just my opinion, though.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Yeah, well what if being in bed is the only place you want to be giving birth? Plenty of women I saw who birthed at home wanted only to lay in be because they were so uncomfortable.

          • Guestll

            Oh, fuck off. I walked for MILES from 5 cms to 9 cms, 5 hours of walking, rocking, squatting, and it did NOTHING to change the fact that my pelvis is narrow and android, my daughter was OP and eight and a half pounds. All these women in the West, confined by the patriarchy to a bed against their will as they labour — bullshit.

          • KarenJJ

            Same. And now I’m sad that my pelvis isn’t “amazing” but more “stand-offish and uncharismatic”.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            “Brilliant!”
            “Fabulous!”
            “Dynamite!”
            “Explosive!”
            “A Must-See!”

            (had to throw in an Airplane reference)

          • Bombshellrisa

            Have you watched the documentary “A Walk to Beautiful”? It’s very well done and calls attention to obstetrical fistulas. You won’t see women being “confined to bed” and offered epidurals or any other kind of intervention and there are no “drugged up babies” who are offered formula. You will see women whose pelvises were less than amazing and didn’t operate optimally. Some had babies die because of this, all the women suffered the shame of leaking urine or stool or both.

          • Siri

            I only ever wanted to lie in bed during my five labours (including the homebirth and the attempted homebirth). And I’m a UK trained midwife with Mayes on my bookshelf. Labour pain made me feel disempowered, helpless, dependent, vulnerable, rooted to the spot. And I had excellent midwifery support. Go figure.

          • Cody

            Sometimes things go pear-shaped regardless of the movin’ and shakin’. Are you a doula? You’re probably a doula. One day you’re going to be at a beautiful, perfect birth that ends in a code pink.

          • Lynn Ratcliffe

            Amy, you say you are an obstetrician, but I am blown away by your lack of knowledge of physiology. This is not my personal opinion, this is what happens during physiological labour. Perhaps you need to update your text book collection?

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Show me the data that demonstrates that the human pelvis is optimal for vaginal delivery.

            Amy, you say you are an obstetrician, but I am blown away by your lack of knowledge of physiology.

            Actually, notice that Dr Amy actually asked you to show her the data. If you have the knowledge, instead of just insulting her, why don’t you present the information. It seems to me that she is asking to be informed.

            Come on, help her out.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Perhaps you need to update your text book collection?

            Do you have a preferred textbook that she should add to her collection?

          • Lynn Ratcliffe

            The ones I have already mentioned by Uvas-Moberg & Susanne Colson. I would also recommend Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering by Dr Sarah Buckley, Anatomy and Physiology for Midwives ( I know you hate midwives, but this is for UK Degree educated, professionals) by Coad & Dunstall, and why not throw in a Midwifery Text book like Mayes or Miles, again used for UK Degree courses.

          • attitude devant

            Sarah Buckley! (laughs hysterically)

          • Bombshellrisa

            You beat me too it-Sarah Buckley and her children who claim that they remember their umbilical cords being cut!

          • Bombshellrisa

            Lynn-please read through the blog and some older posts. You have claimed Dr Amy needs to observe unmediated babies, hates breastfeeding and hates midwives. If you “educated yourself” and read through all the posts on this blog before jumping in and making statements, you might find well those claims you made to be unfounded and quite the opposite of the truth.
            Side note: if you are in the UK, the midwives have a mandated level of education and training, always university level. In the US, there are two classes of midwives. The ones written about most frequently on this blog are the ones who attend some births, read some books and at most, take a test and get a certificate. They can’t give medication or attend women in hospitals.

          • KarenJJ

            What makes you think that some of us haven’t read some of these books and came to different conclusions?

          • MaineJen

            LOL…you are slaying me. You’re actually arguing that you have more knowledge of physiology than a trained physician? Or even than someone who has taken even one anatomy course? Tell me another one.

          • Mishimoo

            My mother does. She has an android pelvis and my 9lb, 15 oz self could not fit through it. I was so lodged in her suboptimal pelvis that I had a ring around my head for 3 months.

          • Elizabeth A

            Human pelvises are a series of compromises between the benefits of walking upright and the benefits of having (and having babies with) large skulls. I believe that the human pelvis isn’t necessarily suboptimal – it may be the best compromise that can be achieved between upright walking and having lots of brain space. But birth goes wrong often enough to strongly suggest that our pelvises are not perfect for birth.

          • KarenJJ

            Luckily the real world out there doesn’t just trust the opinion of random blowhards on the internet and people have actually studied and looked into this.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Of course death is part of life. But we do not have suboptimal pelvises

            Um, this is like, really, totally stupid. By what nonsensical definition of “optimal” do you come to that conclusion?

          • Young CC Prof

            Classic misunderstanding of evolution as promulgated by adherents of the naturalist fallacy.

            Evolution doesn’t do perfect except by accident, it does “Good enough, often enough.” In the case of species with few offspring such as ourselves, it does “Usually good enough.”

            Yippee for evolution. When it comes to my family, I’d like a better outcome than usually good enough.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            See my comment below. The human pelvis, even by evolution, is not optimized for giving birth. It is a compromise, between giving birth to a baby with a massive head and walking upright. You want to see a pelvis that is optimal for birth, see a non-human ape.

            So not only is it not a case of evolutionary perfection, evolution requires it NOT to be optimal.

          • Cobalt

            Except the orangutan that had the cesarean delivery. Even apes can “fail” at birth. The bonding and nursing went just fine if I’m remembering correctly.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Yep.

          • Cody

            Yes thank you! I did a project on evolution, birth and head size. Fascinating!

          • Karen in SC

            OT: CC, you may want to take a look at this post on Science Based Medicine. Seems to me like a lot of correlation, with very little in the way of causation explained.
            http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/antibiotics-vs-the-microbiome/#more-32479

          • Young CC Prof

            Yeah, I saw that. I usually love reading Dr. Hall, but this is a bit, um, uncritical. Where’s the bite?

          • auntbea

            Really? Dr. Hall drives me nuts, and not only because she routinely wanders outside of her areas of expertise.

          • mtbakergirl

            I wrote a long comment there that wont post. I usually enjoy SBM but that article reads like something from naturalnews dot com.

          • araikwao

            That was a super-awesome comment, btw. I was too lazy to chime in with a “what she said”-type comment, tho,sorry..

          • KarenJJ

            I think of my family as evolution in action – we have a random genetic mutation that recently was introduced to our immediate gene pool (one of those gatc letters was swapped around in a gene).

            Unfortunately instead of giving us cool Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle style superpowers, it caused one part of our immune system to go overboard and cause chronic inflammation that has done all manner of destructive things to different parts of us.

            Of course, not everyone believes these types of mutations are random. One colleague told me my grandmother probably ate too much yeast..

          • attitude devant

            Bofa, this is not an empirical statement. It is a belief statement.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            I would call it “meaningless tripe” but that is not fair to tripe.

            But it goes right up there with Ina May’s “your body is not a lemon.”

          • attitude devant

            It is in the same class. Hey: want some fun? Lynn’s on LinkedIn and you can read her profile. She’s a
            ‘breastfeeding support worker’ for the NHS in the UK.

          • attitude devant

            she’s also an ‘antenatal practitioner’ whatever that is.

          • auntbea

            Optimally designed to work about 80% of the time!

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            “Optimally designed to work acceptably about 80% of the time!”

            FTFY

          • auntbea

            Well, we certainly wouldn’t want it work better than that. Or else women might get cocky and think they don’t need Lynn to “help” them.

          • Siri

            They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time it works every time.

          • MaineJen

            She means that some babies were just meant to die, Bofa. Duh.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle

            Tell that to the many women who suffer fistulas, obstructed labor, death, and other horrible complications from a baby who could not make it through a woman’s “perfectly designed pelvis.” Yes, most women have physiology that makes it possible to get a baby through their pelvis, but when they can’t and a operative/ surgical option isn’t available, it is disastrous for the mother and the baby. What you are saying is untrue and disrespectful to the women who have lost their lives due to a condition that you claim doesn’t exist.

        • ngozi

          Some pelvises are, not all.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            The problem is, “some pelvises are optimal” is “suboptimal”

        • Karen in SC

          Then why are so many women in the developing world suffering from fistulas and incontinence from obstructed labor?

        • MaineJen

          …are you kidding me with this? Women have been giving birth successfully for millennia? Go back 200 years and look at the maternal and neonatal mortality rates in any country, and tell me that women are perfectly designed to give birth. Sheesh. Most of us have to look back only a few generations in our own families to find mothers who lost children at birth, children who grew up without their mothers, widowers who married a second or even a third time. Even your description of the ‘idealized’ birth sounds painful. Perfectly designed? Do you know the contortions a baby has to go through to get through the birth canal? Childbirth is so painful for most women that the ancients explained it as a punishment from god. I don’t care how mobile or upright you are: it’s hard work. And it always has been.

        • Cody

          Many have also failed :( This is why our heads are actually smaller than those of Neanderthals. Naturally selection has led to smaller head size. I’m so sorry I missed this fight. I’m late to post.

          • Cody

            *natural

        • lucy logan

          compared to non bipedal animals, birthing infants with head to body ratio, there is much much less room for ” variation” in the human pelvis. our species has one of the most dangerous physiologies of birth.

          • lucy logan

            *lower head to body ratio

    • Lynn Ratcliffe

      Less than 1% of women are truly unable to breastfeed. Over 50% of women who stop breastfeeding before 6 weeks regret doing so. What they needed was support. That’s why UNICEF started the Babyfriendly initiative. Look it up.

      • Trixie

        Most women who stop breastfeeding at 6 weeks do so because they have to go back to work.

        • Lynn Ratcliffe

          What a terrible state of affairs. Women in Europe get paid maternity leave ranging from 3 months to a year, & can take longer if they want to on reduced or no pay. Perhaps Amy could put her efforts into supporting new mums by lobbying for better maternity rights for US families.

          • Elizabeth A

            Perhaps Amy could decide for herself what activism she prefers to engage in.

          • ngozi

            She lobbies for newborns to be born as healthy as possible, and for parents to not compromise their child’s health because of a personal need to do performance art. I’d say that is a pretty good cause.

          • Lynn Ratcliffe

            so why is she so anti breastfeeding?

          • attitude devant

            She’s NOT antibreastfeeding. She breastfed her own kids!

          • Lynn Ratcliffe

            Excellent. But she obviously hates people who try to support mothers who struggle.

          • ngozi

            If mothers want that support, that is different. She doesn’t believe in starving a baby in the name of breastfeeding.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle

            That isn’t true either. I can’t speak for Amy and what she does or doesn’t hate. But, what most people argue against here is the emotional manipulation that is used to convince women that they *should* be able to breastfeed, that it is their moral imperative to make to work at all costs, and that they have “given up” if they decide formula is best for their family. I say this as a mother who has breastfed three children for a total of 4 years 10 months and counting, so I don’t have a personal dog in the fight with regards to defending formula feeding parents.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            But she obviously hates people who try to support mothers who struggle.

            Is that what you think you are doing?

          • KarenJJ

            *snort*

          • auntbea

            OBviously.

          • Amazed

            Only those who try to play armchair doctors, ride the high horse by ignorantly advising an obstetrician to go and look at a few babies, lie about the percent of the women unable to breastfeed, and think they’ll impress people by prattling about human biome when they don’t have any education on the subjects of newborns except for their own fanatic cult of “Breastfeed, breastfeed, everyone should breastfeed! Everyone can, and those who claim they can’t are being lied to. I’ll tell you how you were lied to, although I know nothing about you and your circumstances!”. Condemning babies to starvation meanwhile.

          • Bombshellrisa

            The best way to support a woman who is struggling to breastfeed her baby is to acknowledge how hard it can be. Telling a woman who is likely sleep deprived, in pain from just giving birth and feeling like she has bear traps attached to her nipples and frustrated beyond believe that “only 1% of women truly can’t breast feed!” is NOT supporting her.

          • KarenJJ

            Yeah. People like you who try to “support” mothers who struggle – by largely telling people like me that we are doing it wrong, have been taught to do it wrong and that our issues are all in our head. It’s NOTHING about supporting someone like me and ALL about supporting YOUR identity and how you feel “good” by “helping” someone like me. I don’t trust someone like you – you have poor information and are the last type of person I would send a friend was having issues with breastfeeding.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            It’s NOTHING about supporting someone like me and ALL about supporting YOUR identity and how you feel “good” by “helping” someone like me.

            She supports breastfeeding much like the cheerleaders support the football team.

            “You can do it if you try! You can do it, my oh my!”
            “Push it out! Push it out! Push that breast milk way out!”

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            so why is she so anti breastfeeding?

            In order to characterize her as “so anti-breastfeeding” you would need to show that she is anti-breastfeeding at all.

            Can yo do that?

          • Young CC Prof

            And the best lactivist straw man ever comes out: Anyone who claims that the benefits of breastfeeding are sometimes overstated, or tries to talk honestly about the problems, is anti-breastfeeding.

            If I said, “Broccoli is a great food, but it’s easy to overcook and causes gas in some people,” would I be anti-broccoli? Or pro-accuracy?

          • auntbea

            Why do you hate people who are trying to get good nutrition?

          • ngozi

            I think I remember that Dr. Amy breastfed her own children. I think what she is against is shaming women for not breastfeeding or trying to get them to breastfeed by telling them lies. I really don’t think Dr. Amy is against breastfeeding.

          • attitude devant

            Oh, FFS. Who are you to tell her where her advocacy should lie?

          • Lynn Ratcliffe
          • Karen in SC

            Or the LLL or other lactivist groups could. Her main focus is elsewhere.

        • Siri

          In the US – not in the UK. I have only ever known one mother return to work after six weeks, and she was a lawyer with a very lucrative practice. She had nannies, and expressed breastmilk for a year. Repeated the process three years later. Didn’t see her children all that much, but they got lots of breastmilk!

      • Anj Fabian

        When you say “able to breastfeed” do you mean “able to provide all the nourishment that their child needs via breastfeeding”?

        There are women who have zero problems producing all the breast milk that their babies need – if they weren’t intolerant or allergic to it.

        If you mean “capable of producing even the tiniest amount of breast milk”, then that doesn’t work either.

        Women who discover that they have to do all of the work of breastfeeding for babies who won’t get much benefit from it often stop. If the point of BFing is to feed the baby, when the situation is that the baby isn’t being fed – women tend to stop.

        • Young CC Prof

          I was totally able to breastfeed, in that I made great milk. Unfortunately, my baby wasn’t able to suckle.

          After medical interventions saved him from a horrible death by jaundice and dehydration, I pumped enough milk to fill his belly for a few weeks, then quit. Do I regret missing out on breastfeeding? Sometimes. Did I make the wrong choice? Absolutely not.

          • ngozi

            An RN in my son’s NICU said that I made more milk than any woman she had ever seen, and she had been working with babies for over 30 years. I used to pump breastmilk and the nurses used to just literally stare at the bottles I produced. But I could never get breastfeeding fully established with him because he never got his latch right. He was hooked up to so many wires, one even in his navel, that I was afraid we were going to pull one of them out.
            One point I have noticed has been lacking from the lativist crowd is that many women don’t have a lot of support once they get home. They may have a husband that pounds his chest about how important it is to breastfeed his child(ren), but he won’t do laundry or fix a meal so she can take the time to breastfeed. You still have some guys who pout because they aren’t the center of attention all the time anymore!! Sometimes a mother’s immediate families is all for breastfeeding as long as she can still serve them and breastfeed at the same time.

          • Elizabeth A

            Or, hell, sometimes even with family being perfect and charming, the support just doesn’t make the necessary difference.

            Your family can wait on you hand and foot, and you can still wind up with painful thrush, or bloody blisters on your nipples.

          • ngozi

            Yes, you are right. I have breastfeeding books at home, and some Dr. Sears book that seems to be pro-homebirth. They all seem to assume that every breastfeeding mother has a husband waiting hand and foot on her, only one other child to take care of, and family and friends who are only a call away, if they are not already knocking down your door to bring you casseroles, etc. Some suggest to hire help!! HA! I haven’t read the book in a while, so I might have some of the details mixed up, but the Dr. Sears book suggests that mothers be “Queen for a Month” after they come home. Yeah, you may be able to afford that if you or your spouse has “Dr.” in front of their name…

          • Bombshellrisa

            What really helped me was being able to have my husband help feed the baby this time. I got used to it and being able to alternate nights with him and actually get some sleep and, well, I guess I got all lazy and spoiled.

          • Bombshellrisa

            In the same boat-my little guy just couldn’t latch. I pumped and put him to the breast and we fed him formula. By the he could really nurse, I wasn’t making as much milk and we found that alternating nights and formula feeding worked best for us. I miss nursing him, but formula feeding has worked best. Also I realize that I have many close, snuggly moments with him. He is starting to vocalize, he smiles and laughs and seeing the look on his face when I read to him or introduce a new food (mangos! Thai baby food!) makes my heart melt.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        The 1% figure was made up by lactivists. There is no human function that has only a 1% failure rate. It is absurd to imagine that breastfeeding is nearly perfect when nothing else about human beings is nearly perfect.

        The real rate of partial or complete lactation failure is in the range of 5% or more, with serious cases requiring hospitalization for or even death from neonatal hypernatremia.

        http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Michael_Moritz/publication/249320857_Preventing_breastfeeding-associated_hypernatraemia_an_argument_for_supplemental_feeding/links/0c96051ed9be991d1f000000

      • Elizabeth A

        Where does that 1% number come from, and how was “true inability to breastfeed” determined? I see that phrase kicked around a lot, but I haven’t seen it backed up.

        If I had planned to breastfeed, and had to stop before 6 weeks, I might well be sad, but it’s interesting to me that something like 50% of women don’t feel the same. Did they switch to formula, find it delightfully easy, and never look back? Are they on to something?

        (Elizabeth A, posting as guest because disqus)

        • Lynn Ratcliffe

          actually the numbers that regret stopping before 6 weeks is 90% http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Baby_Friendly/Research/Preventing_disease_saving_resources_policy_doc.pdf. When I wrote the above it was 3am & I was off to bed.

          • Elizabeth A

            Okay, I read the pamphlet you linked, and the only place I find the 90% number you mention is in the “Need for Action” box on the last page, where the executive director (David Bull) begins with “We know that 90% of women who stop breastfeeding in the first six weeks report giving up before they wanted to.”

            I have a few quibbles with the statement.
            1. HOW do we know that? I haven’t seen any backup data.
            2. “Gave up before they wanted to” is not the same as “regret giving up.” I intended to exclusively breast feed my daughter for as long as I exclusively breast fed my son. When things just got to be too much for me at 7 months, I gave up well before I had wanted to, but quickly found that combination feeding made our lives far easier, and had no regrets.

          • Trixie

            It seems like that’s only in the UK, also.

          • Young CC Prof

            Let’s think about it logically. How many women initiate breastfeeding INTENDING to just do it for one month? The first few weeks are the hard part, right? Presumably most women who try to breastfeed are planning or at least hoping to stick with it for several months to a couple of years.

            So yes, it sounds plausible most of the women who stop within the first six weeks did stop before they wanted to. Doesn’t mean they were wrong to stop, that it was some impulsive choice they later regretted, like a drunken kiss. Low supply, other nursing problems, baby got sick, Mom got sick, something interfered.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            I was thinking that, too. The only ones I can imagine who would be planning to breastfeed for only 6 weeks are american women who are planning to go back to work.

          • RebeccainCanada

            Maybe they say they regret stopping because of all the pressure put on women to breastfeed? Maybe because you are made to feel lazy, or that you are made to feel you are somehow endangering your child by feeding them formula?

            http://jhppl.dukejournals.org/content/32/4/595.full.pdf

            Perhaps the mother made a good choice for her situation. But wonders if it was selfish or somehow damaging? Lactivism makes women and children’s needs truly invisible! We aren’t individuals. And if you have seen the number of women I have, with failure to thrive babies but they are ebf’ing, and feeling they are doing because they haven’t supplemented. Or the very exhausted new mother, who does supplement, and it helps her to get some rest and continue breastfeeding. You’d understand, lactivists are completely out of touch, interested in conformity and numbers/stats only.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “You’d understand, lactivists are completely out of touch, interested in conformity and numbers/stats only.”

            Yep. That exactly.

        • fiftyfifty1

          Yeah, that 1% number gets kicked around a lot, but there is nothing to back it. I’ve seen actual medical estimates of the percentage of women that will have insufficient supply that cannot be corrected enough to successfully breastfeed. That alone is 5%. And that number doesn’t take into account other factors such as pain, recurrent mastitis, abnormal sucks, borderline supply, breast reductions etc. The truth is a lot of babies used to die due to failure of lactation (in one form or another). You can see it in other animals as well–ask any farmer or wildlife biologist.

      • KarenJJ

        Got a link as to where that 1% comes from?

        Considering the number of issues women can have – underlying conditions, such as anaemia, PCOS, immune system conditions, chronic illnesses that can all affect breastfeeding along with other issues with medication contraindications, I sincerely doubt all that adds up to be as low as 1%. So yeah, just because I’ve read it and seen it repeated by bunch of people who get paid to “help” mums breastfeed doesn’t mean I’m going to just believe it.

      • anh

        It’s the WHO, not UNICEF,

        More recent studies put lactation failure (primary and secondary) at 15%. Try actually reading instead of toeing the party line mindlessly

        • Lynn Ratcliffe

          WHO-UNICEF babyfriendly initiative

      • Cody

        Thanks Lynn, I teach breastfeeding! I also B-fed two babies for a very, very long time. There, I just whipped out my b*lls. Mighty big huh?

  • Beth S

    Thank you, my vision sucks so badly I can barely see a foot ahead of me without glasses. It’s so bad that if I go too long without them I get a migraine which sucks in and of itself. However I don’t see commercials saying that natural eye sight is best, with formula the very rare commercial you get the “Breast is Best” message which makes me scream like a banshee and cuss at the TV.
    People don’t judge you if you have to wear glasses, contacts, braces, or any other medical appliance, however if you decide to formula feed because it’s best for your family then you’re judged an unfit mother who’s poisoning their child. People don’t tell you that if you’re a natural born woman you can see, however they do tell you if you’re a natural born woman you can breast feed.
    I was even told last night I should take off label Domperidone from Canada to increase my nonexistent milk production in order to breast feed not only my daughter, but the niece and nephew I just took custody of as well.
    Sometimes it feels like I’m supposed to be a cow, and sacrifice my life and sanity to breast feed.

  • Anne

    Thank you —this hits the nail right on the head.

  • Ash

    Today I overheard a woman talking about how she used to work as a HB midwife and was educated in the “european” model.
    you cant say you are educated in the “european” model while saying you have no university degree in midwife training, and your education was following a preceptor.

  • sciencelover

    Ok, I know this is supposed to be satire, but I know people who actually think like this. I know a couple who both desperately need glasses and won’t get them because glasses are “unnatural” and will ruin their natural vision and if they just use enough essential oils they will have 20/20 vision again. And incidentally, yes they did have an unassisted home birth in a tub of water in the backyard a couple of years ago.

  • namaste863

    Or ears! Nature designed ears to work perfectly, so everyone knows that if profoundly Deaf people such as myself tried harder and used positive thinking techniques, we could hear anything! Our non-functional auditory nerves are a variation of normal! Signed languages rather than verbal languages are artificial, and can cause mental retardation and delinquency! DEAF PRIDE

    • MamaBear

      If your child has trouble hearing, you should just tell him to work harder at hearing. If the doctor suggest tubes, you should decline because it’s not natural, and could cause obesity and cancer. If you give in and get the ear tubes it’s your fault because you didn’t trust hearing enough.

  • MaineJen

    You may laugh, but…

    http://products.mercola.com/vision-program/

    Actually, I have to admit I laughed. I couldn’t make it to the end of the web page, to be honest.

    • namaste863

      Oh no, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Please tell me people aren’t wasting their money on this bullshit.

      • MaineJen

        Oooooh yes. It’s a thing. Read Dr Amy’s piece, then go to that website and start reading…it’s eerie.

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

          But…but,.,,but…Joe Mercola is the hero in Woo-land.

          I’m not surprised Mercola would peddle crap like this…you name the crap, he peddles it.

          • Mishimoo

            Including tanning beds for discreet and efficient Vitamin D optimisation!

          • D/

            Reading about this natural vision program was actually my first exposure to Mercola’s Adventure’s in Woo-land. Interestingly, I noticed that while the palming technique he describes didn’t really do much for my eyesight, it did seem to be able to affect my tinnitus. My normal overlap of 5 or so “deafening” tones of screeches, buzzing and ringing that can, at times, drive me to distraction became quite musical and transformed into a repeating chorus of:

            “And the Witch Doctor he told me what to do. He told me … Ooh, eeh, ooh, ah, ah, ting, tang, walla, walla, bing, bang … Ooh, eeh, ooh, ah, ah, ting, tang, walla, walla, bing, bang … Ooh, eeh, ooh, ah, ah, ting, tang, walla, walla, bing, bang … Ooh, eeh, ooh, ah, ah, ting, tang, walla, walla, bing, bang!”

            Disclaimer: I suppose it’s possible that falling asleep earlier during The Rugrats Movie with the grand kid planted some sort of stuck-in-my-head soundtrack rather than this being a strictly Mercola-influenced phenomena ;)

          • ngozi

            ^^^^That is the kind of witch doctor I want to be!!

    • D/

      “Other pitfalls include:

      They are considered unnatural and a non-holistic remedy for your vision health — they send the wrong message to your mind and body.”
      ————————————–

      I would imagine that some of those “wrong” messages sent by unnaturally corrected vision are handy information for your mind and body though. An example,

      “See the pit now? Good, let’s not fall in it!”

      • Cobalt

        Or for school kids:
        “See that basketball flying right at your head? Move it!”

        Getting that information when the object is more than 3 feet away makes gym class a lot more fun.

        • Amy M

          Or even: See what the teacher is writing on the board? You need to know that to function in society.

          • Elizabeth A

            I was badly nearsighted by second grade, but no one realized this fact until April. Since they didn’t realize I couldn’t see a damn thing, they referred me to special ed, where I spent the year gaming the rewards system for toys and candy.

            I did feel rather condemned when the re-testing after I got glasses landed me back in a classroom where you couldn’t trade in correct answers for a candy cane.

          • D/

            For me it was third grade, and the planned “referral” was to detention for cheating. I was in the front row using my well-sighted neighbor to read the weekly test questions from the blackboard which I couldn’t see, and this collaboration was interpreted as if I was getting my answers off his paper (which I also couldn’t see). The helpful “friend” was, in fact cheating from my paper, but I was too blind to recognize that as well. Thankfully my teacher was a thorough interrogator, sorted it all out and sent a note home to be sure I had an eye exam ASAP.

            I couldn’t read a single letter on the chart so getting glasses was literally an eye-opening experience. For weeks I was asking everyone, “Can you see birds?”, “Do you see leaves?”, … It was like getting out of a jail that I never had a clue I was in!

          • me

            My mom tells me the story of the first time she wore her glasses (about age 7) – she could (finally) see that trees has distinct leaves, not just blobs of green, lol. I think you put it perfectly: getting out of a jail you never had a clue you were in.

          • Durango

            That was exactly how I felt! I could see the leaves! It was thrillingly clear. I had no idea that trees weren’t supposed to be big blobs.

          • ngozi

            My sister talks about when her son first got his glass, and how on the drive home he just gazed out the window with a dumbfounded, wide-eyed expression on his face. She felt she had been robbing him and didn’t realize it.
            My son got glasses and I felt so bad during his eye exam. I had NO IDEA how bad his eyes were!!

          • MaineJen

            I will never forget finally being able to see the individual leaves and branches on the trees. Beautiful!!

        • D/

          I was a card carrying member of the last kid picked for the team. And for good reason …

          If you can’t see the ball, it’s difficult to ever end up with it. If you happen to get it but can’t see the goal, why would you even try to shoot? If you need to unload it but don’t have distinctly different uniform colors, you are as likely to choose an opponent as a teammate. Do that a couple times, and no one is ever going to let you forget it.

          There was no prospect of gym being even remotely fun until a teacher figured out I was blind as a bat when I was nearly nine. Although by then I was the kind of kid that preferred keeping my nose (literally) in a book anyway.

      • MaineJen

        My eyes started sending me the total wrong message at age 9, when I stopped being able to see the blackboard clearly. Glasses: they’re a good thing.

    • Mishimoo

      Neither could I, the eyerolling it induced began to strain my eyes too much.

    • GiddyUpGo123

      “It really is tragic when children are condemned to a lifetime of having to wear glasses.”

      Condemned? Wtf? I wear glasses, and I would not even for a second ever think of myself as being “condemned.” Oh dear, I must roll over and unfold my glasses, and then PUT THEM ON! Why must I bear this great burden for all of my life? And what’s worse, when I am in the sunlight I must switch to prescription sunglasses! Pardon me while I place the back of my hand dramatically on my forehead! Give me a break. “Condemned” is to lose a limb or the ability to walk, and I’ll bet that many people who have those injuries don’t even think of their own lives that way. Frankly, I am grateful for any technology that let’s me watch “Game of Thrones” on HDTV without having to squint.

      • LibrarianSarah

        To be fair, there are plenty of people born without limbs or spend their lives in wheelchairs who don’t see themselves as “condemned.” They make use of accommodations and live their lives as they see fit just like people without disabilities. Our culture really needs to overcome our tendency to see disabilty as tragedy.

        But I agree that talking about having to wear glasses as if you are about to be walking the green mile is ridiculous.

        • GiddyUpGo123

          You’re right, “condemned” is just a bad word all around, and probably should only be used when talking about the actually condemned. Thanks for saying it better than I did.

          • Siri

            The politically correct term is ‘scheduled for termination’. ‘Condemned’ sounds so brutal…

    • MichelleJo

      As Dr Amy has said a few times, it is getting more and more difficult to satirize these people, because there’s always someone out there who actually seriously thinks or does it. Is this guy for real? He hasn’t a clue about the basics of optometry. Nearsightedness is caused by the eye muscles. Who knew? And astigmatism is a condition like presbyopia. I guess if you don’t know you’re a fool, you don’t realize how foolish you look.

  • TsuDhoNimh
  • Sue

    Trust eyes.

    Humans have always been able to see perfectly well before we medicalised eyes….no, wait….

  • KarenJJ

    You guys need to try my all-natural vision cure. Glass is refined silica which in its natural state is just sand. Therefore, you can just ditch the unnatural and refined “glasses” and put sand in your eyes for an all natural vision cure.

    • Petanque

      Would this work homoeopathically if I just use one grain of sand?
      Oh wait, that might make the effect too strong – I don’t want to end up with X-ray vision or anything.

      • Elizabeth A

        One grain of sand would actually be a less strong effect. For x-ray vision, you need to put the grain of sand in 10 ml of water, shake it, dilute the 10 ml of water in a further 100 ml of water, shake it again, and apply two drops to each eye.

    • MaineJen

      My little daughter is so advanced. We went to the beach today, and she spent half the time either sprinkling sand into her hair, leaning over and planting her forehead into the sand, or throwing the sand into the air directly over her head. I was confused at the time, but I now realize she’s just trying to stave off our family’s well-known nearsightedness with the natural silica remedy! I’m so proud that she’s committed to improving her vision the all-natural way!!!1!

  • RKD314

    Well, duh, Dr. Amy. Everyone knows that good vision is a supply and demand process. If you find that you can’t see quite well enough, then you should take a “vision vacation.” Spend all weekend in bed, doing nothing but sleeping, eating, and looking intently at eye charts every hour, at the least! You could even look at eye charts constantly, all day. Some women find that with the right position, they can even look at eye charts while they sleep! It’s natural and so easy, and it’s sure to improve your vision.

    • MLE

      You have my vote for featured comment

  • Renee

    You have to also curse the modern world, for enabling a lifestyle where eyeglasses are necessary! We should pine for simpler times, where we didn’t have cars, street signs, or movies to watch.

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

      Our ancestors never had a need for bifocals.

      I, OTOH, have found that one of the great things about having a camera phone is that I can use it to take pictures of the small print and zoom in on it so I can actually read it.

  • FrequentFlyer

    I was extremely nearsighted even before I developed the condition that led to my legal blindness. I also couldn’t breast feed my two children. Wow, maybe I should just crawl into the wilderness and die.:)

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      That is the implication behind a lot of the lactavist/NCB propaganda. I personally prefer keeping “imperfect” people alive and healthy with “unnatural” interventions, but what do I know?

  • MLE

    zejsy s htrsy [pdyz2 zo shtrr ejp;rjrstyrf;u yjsy vpmysvyd smf h;sddrd str gpt ofopyd/ z;pplomh gptestf yp gohjyomh yjr [pert. 26–d du;r@
    Do not tell me to supplement my comments with corrective lenses! I do just fine without them!

    • ngozi

      Priceless!!

  • Dr Kitty

    I recently had some one who has a baby that has a poor latch and suck and so she is exclusively pumping and he takes 30minutes to finish a 4oz bottle.

    She has older pre-school children, and she is finding it impossible to mother them, between the marathon feeds and marathon nursing sessions.

    I think it is perfectly OK to want to switch to formula so you can spend time with your kids, rather than 24/7 trying to feed your youngest.

    I honestly think that that was all she wanted to hear.
    You have to mother all your kids, not just the new one.

    • Junebug

      OMG this. “You have to mother all your kids, not just the new one.”

      I can think of quite a few AP zealots (note the use of the word zealot, overly defensive folks) that pretty much abandon their husband and kids as soon as the next baby arrives.

    • MLE

      Thank you Dr Kitty. I have only one toddler and I am already stressed about trying to breast feed baby 2 due in January, since the first one was basically attached 24/7. Unless it is possible to run, dive, block, tackle, and nurse at the same time?

      • anion

        The five Ds of breastfeeding: Dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge.

        • Siri

          If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a toddler.

    • KarenJJ

      That’s why any research about “meeting breastfeeding goals” for first time mothers is immediately suspect due to expectations and lack of experience.

      My first time breastfeeding goals: Breastfeed for at least 12 months and exclusively for six months.

      I met neither of those goals (baby number one was wayyyy interested in food at four months so we just started her on solids).

      My second time breastfeeding goal: see how we go for the first week, combo feeding if needed, and if it’s easier then continue on or otherwise switch to formula.

      I met that goal easily :)

      • Dinolindor

        Thank you and Dr. Kitty for posting this. I just had my 2nd baby this past Saturday, and tonight I’ve decided to hell with breastfeeding. It is not worth the pain that I’ve experienced over the past week. I’ve been beating myself up over just *thinking* about ending breastfeeding – even though my plan all along was to switch to formula the moment this experience started resembling my breastfeeding experience with my first (awful damage to nipples and the silly decision to exclusively pump for 3 months and be miserable before ultimately switching to formula). There’s no way I could deal with the pain I’ve been experiencing this past week and care for my older child once my husband returned to work and relatives went back to their far away homes. Now on to enjoy my beautiful little girl, and hopefully the residual and pointless guilt will wash away!

        • FormerPhysicist

          In case it helps against the “societal” crap, I just wanted to say I’m in your corner – you make your own decisions, this is a fine decision and you have no need for guilt.

          Enjoy your little one! And your bigger one!

        • Guesteleh

          Good for you! I hate that women’s pain is dismissed so easily in all these debates.

          • Dinolindor

            Yes! It’s also like the epidural debate. This time I clearly wanted an epidural as soon as possible and had such a relaxed labor instead of thoroughly exhausting myself first. As my husband put it, this was a much more civilized way to give birth.

            And these debates don’t factor in the pain the baby may feel – it’s now clear that something was going on with the transfer process and we were heading down the path of hunger/dehydration for her. Thank goodness we stopped that nonsense early.

        • Dr Kitty

          If the pain is severe enough your cannot effectively parent, that’s a no brainer in my book.

          I have said this before, I had all the usual mild pain and discomfort for the first few weeks, and then breastfeeding for me was EASY. It just was, I didn’t do anything special, and I only kept doing it because it WAS easy (and by that point my kiddo was refusing bottles, so…)

          If BF is literally more trouble than it is worth…I think it is only sensible to call time.

          You should not martyr yourself for your children, and especially not for minor population-based benefits which may mean very little to your particular child.

          • Dinolindor

            Yes, exactly. And intellectually I know this. The combination of official recommendations, extreme peer pressure, sleep deprivation and postpartum hormones are so hard to shake though.

    • Durango

      I just found out that my coworker is getting up every night at 2am to pump because she can’t pump enough during the day to meet her baby’s needs at daycare. The baby is 7 months old and she is so tired at work but plans to do this until the baby is a year old. “Only five more months! I’m in the home stretch! ” This is what the lactivists have created. Madness.

      • Young CC Prof

        I get so angry when I hear stories like that. A child’s infancy is difficult, but it’s also special and precious. If you go missing out on all the best parts because you’re devoting all the energy you have and quite a bit you don’t have to a difficult nursing relationship, you’re never going to get that time back.

  • Guest

    Also, a history of eye surgery is clearly no excuse to need glasses, just as I was told by lactivists that my history of breast surgery (for recurrent painful cysts) was no excuse to be unable to make enough milk and need to bottle feed!

    • Sue

      Healing from the need to wear glasses can, however, occur.

      On the next planned encounter with small print – say, the instructions for an electrical appliance, you throw away your glasses (or,even better, ceremoniously crush them). You try the appliance intuitively. If that doesn’t work, you take the instructions under a bright candle, hold them up to your nose, try two candles.

      If you still can’t read them, or get the appliance started, it’s OK to admit defeat and put your glasses back on. At least you had the healing effect of trying the natural way. Oh, and if you no longer have glasses because you got rid of them (knowing that this positive step would improve the chances of success), we can sell you the services of a reading-wife, who will come over with her own glasses and read the instructions for you. Her ability to operate the appliance, however, is not guaranteed – nor does she have the back-up of an electrician.

  • Trixie
  • Trixie

    Awesome post!
    There probably are more people with vision problems than there were in the distant past, simply because more of us have survived to reproduce. In nature I would’ve starved or been eaten by predators pretty early on, I’d guess.

    • Amy M

      And screen time. I believe that staring at screens a lot can affect vision, though someone correct if that is wrong.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Not necessarily. You might just have been the person who stuck close to the camp and gathered blueberries or made arrowheads while the people with better vision went out and hunted. Most wild animals will stay away from places that smell strongly of humans so you’d’ve had a reasonable chance of not encountering one before you were old enough to reproduce and gathering doesn’t require good distance vision. (Not to mention that good arrow makers are too valuable to let starve.)

      • Trixie

        I can’t focus 6″ in front of my face. No way could I do close work either, can’t see the blueberries until the branches are poking me in the eye. Severe astigmatism. I’d be a charity case.

        • ngozi

          Then you would brush up on your singing skills. You’d be surprised how valued that was, even then.

          • deafgimp

            I beat you all. My prescription is like -13 in each eyes. I can’t remember the last time I could focus without eyeglasses. I’m also deaf, no singing here. I’m the one that the Inuits would leave on the ice for polar bears.

          • Dr Kitty

            I’m optimistic that my very good memory and excellent pattern recognition skills would make up for my inability to run and myopia (only-2.00- blurry but workable).

            I think if I sang (or baked) it would guarantee my spot on an ice floe.

            Maybe they’d let me weave baskets or sew moccasins or something.

          • anion

            Wow. You are the first person I have ever met with a script worse than mine. Respect, sister! (or brother!)

          • Trixie

            I do have a good memory and a lovely singing voice! Maybe I’m not dead meat after all!

        • anion

          Me too! My prescription is a -9.75 now. To see clearly without my contacts I have to hold things so close to my face that my eyes cannot focus together.

          • Trixie

            Yeah, I have to close one eye and squint with the other one and then I can read at a distance of 4″ or so.

  • fearlessformulafeeder

    This is spectacular. THANK YOU.

    • Smoochagator

      Haha, just mentioned you in another comment. Love the FFF :-D

  • Are you nuts

    I had my childbirth class and hospital tour this last week. Lots of discussion about initiating breastfeeding and how that works, and zero mentions of formula. I think it’s great that the hospital provides all the “tools” to breastfeed, but leaving formula out of the discussion reminds me a little of abstinence only sex ed. No one ever made a bad decision from having all the correct information.

    • FormerPhysicist

      Brilliant analogy!

    • Amy M

      That is brilliant. Let’s not tell teenagers about sex, so maybe they won’t have it. Let’s not tell new mothers about formula so maybe they won’t use it. Same logic.

      • KarenJJ

        That was definitely the philosophy of the nurses at the hospital and the community health nurses upon discharge. As well as one of the mainstream baby boards. So damn condescending, making me hunt around for information on the net and then completely missing the part about throwing out the leftover milk after an hour.

        • Cobalt

          The lack of basic information on formula really is ridiculous. When my cousin had her first, she had no interest in breastfeeding but no clue about formula. She did get mixing and storage instructions from other formula feeding moms, but still buys the most expensive brand (at least it’s the powdered version now). It wouldn’t matter, but it’s hard for them to afford and she feels like the generic just can’t be the same. Baby has no special feeding needs, she just feels bad.

    • Smoochagator

      This is why I’m so glad there are resources like the Fearless Formula Feeder. I never knew (even after having two kids and bottle feeding them!) that it’s best to use ready-to-feed (rather than powdered) formula for newborns, and a lot of moms don’t know how dangerous it is to dilute formula. Maybe I would have learned those things in the hospital, if I hadn’t started bottle feeding AFTER we were discharged.

      • RKD314

        You’re absolutely right on the diluting formula part. But, the point that using RTF is better is not necessarily true. Unless you have a compelling reason to use RTF, for example, your child is a preemie, or you have been advised by a doctor to do so, or it’s just the only thing your kid will eat, using powdered, generic infant formula is perfectly FINE. All formulas have to meet the same rigorous requirements. You don’t have to buy the most expensive brand or kind. If you live in a place with safe drinking water, you don’t have to boil the water either. I’m not saying this to pick on you. I got into a debate with a lactivist recently, and as always, the old “But formula is so EXPENSIVE” canard got used. When I told her what I pay per week for formula, and that it was cheaper than the time I would spend pumping, her response was, “Well, you must use POWDERED, and GENERIC formula.” Yep. Damn right I do. Because it is perfectly safe.

        • ngozi

          Many families can get free formula through their local WIC program. They would have to go through their state health department. You don’t have to be completely impoverished to get it either.

  • Staceyjw

    Ah, they just needed to put breast milk on their eyes. It cures everything!

    I would also love to see a post about extended BF and dental issues in small kids. While FF babies older than 1, are supposed to be given only water at night, and weaned of the actual bottle, BF all the time is seen as a positive. But B milk is still mostly sugar, it’s not magic! Even so, I am told its fine for kids teeth- even extra healthy- and of course my DDs dental issues have nothing to do with the EBF.
    I have my doubts.

    While sitting with DDs (2.5) dentist, after he completed her oral surgery (8 crowns, 7 cavities, and 3 root canals), I mused how DS 4, has great teeth, even though he chipped a chunk out of the front two. I said that both kids eat the same food, brush teeth. The dentist asked how long I BF DS.
    Um. I didn’t BF DS.
    I realize there are other factors, but BF is the biggest one.

    My kids’ dentist is totally against continued BF after a year, if there are teeth. And night nursing after teeth come in? Forget it. He even sent all the local pediatricians letters about the damage he was seeing, in hopes of having them advise moms about these problems. He said he realizes it’s against other advice to BF forever, but the dental issues are so bad, he thinks it’s worth warning people about. At the very least, learning how to clean them between feeds, ought to be mandatory.

    I am surprised none if our local boobs nuts have picketed his office. (probably because he is doing their kids teeth too…)

    • Amy M

      A little OT, but wasn’t your DD premature? If so, that’s a factor too.

      • Renee

        Yes, she was born at 33W. This is why I said:
        “I realize there are other factors, but BF is the biggest one”.

        Her dentist *still* thinks it’s the constant BF, especially at night, that is the root cause of these problems. The way he explained it is that ANYTHING, other than water, you eat/drink, will create bacteria that breeds for 45 minutes. And no, breast milk is not excluded from this. Usually, brushing 2x a day, plus fluoride, keeps this under control, and keeping from eating/drinking at night is important. But if your kid BF like mine does, all day, and some at night, her teeth are pretty much under constant assault. If you are unlucky, this makes for dental problems.

        Believe me, I tried to blame it on anything, everything, else, because this is MY FAULT. Other factors- She fought me brushing her teeth (I still did it, it was just miserable), and had one tooth that she cracked (obviously that one would get crowned, regardless). I would love to blame anything else.

        • Amy M

          Oh, I was replying to Stacyjw, but you too, I guess. I wasn’t saying anything about breastmilk, just that preemies can have tooth problems. I totally believe you.

          My boys have had some cavity issues, and I would love to believe its because they were a bit early, but its probably that we weren’t as vigilant with dental hygiene as we should have been. The one thing that indicates some genetic component with them is that they both got the cavities in the same places on the same teeth. (they are ID twins) Even the dentist thought that was a little freaky.

          Anyway, I’m sorry you are having such trouble with your daughter’s teeth. I know how frustrating and expensive it can get, as well as the guilt factor. That’s the one thing I feel guilty about, parenting-wise, even though it may not be entirely my (and my husband’s) fault.

          • Renee

            I posted both as Renee and Staceyjw. I was on my iPad when I wrote the one post, but moved to the laptop for the rest of them. Both are signed into different email accounts.

            Sorry for the confusion!

            Dental stuff sucks. DD looked so pitiful with her little lips all swelled up and throat all coarse after the GA.

        • anion

          Hold on. This is not your fault, though, because yes, your dentist told you to stop and yes, you should have listened (I don’t mean that in a judgy way at all), but honestly, I would have been skeptical, too, and figured he was just creating data to fit a theory or those other moms weren’t teaching their kids about brushing or whatever. I would have thought that because there are so, so many warnings about formula or juice at night, but none about breastfeeding, and all of those warnings make it sound like the problem is specifically *formula* or *juice.* I would have assumed that if this was actually a problem I would see it mentioned somewhere else.

          So yes, you can acknowledge that you wish you’d listened, but I don’t think it’s entirely on you.

    • Trixie

      OTOH, my kids were breastfed well into toddlerhood, and their teeth are great. My sister and I were breastfed well into toddlerhood, with great teeth. I believe the key is good oral hygiene. Breast milk alone has been shown not to be harmful to teeth, but breast milk plus food residue is worse than formula for teeth. So although they nursed to sleep at bedtime, their teeth were clean. Also, they got fluoridated water from 6 months.

      • Staceyjw

        And thank you for doing exactly what I just mentioned, by telling me B milk really is no problem for teeth, because it didn’t happen to your kids. I guess you did it right.

        I’m sure my kids dentist is just ignorant, and is no way seeing this specific problem in front of him, on a daily basis (BF is super popular here, seeing toddlers NIP is a daily thing)

        I also had NO idea that bad hygiene would cause bad teeth, or that juice in zippy cups can lead to decay! Now that I have been enlightened, I will run out and buy her a tooth brush right now, and will throw out the mountain dew and candy I give her all day.

        • Trixie

          Where is the actual evidence that, in the presence of good oral hygiene, and fluoridated water, that nursing into toddlerhood is the problem?
          It could just be that the same crunchies who are breastfeeding toddlers are the ones who avoid fluoride and are too “gentle” to enforce brushing and flossing.
          You used an anecdote, I used an anecdote. I wasn’t implying that you don’t practice oral hygiene with your kids.

          • Renee

            I am repeating what her dentist told me, and I do take his knowledge and experience is something I ought to listen too. I am not an expert, nor claim to be.

            I was told by EVERYONE else (laypeople, other health professionals) that BF could NEVER be the problem, that my dentist was just a hater, and ignorant, for telling me in no uncertain terms to QUIT the BF (especially at night). Like an idiot, I listened to them, and ignored him, *because I heard what I wanted to hear*. Both me and DD LOVE BF, of course I didn’t wanna stop!

            I also figured if I did everything right (except cut out the BF! Since that couldn’t be the problem!) her teeth would be fine. I had her on supplementary fluoride, vigorously brushed and flossed (even though I had to sit on her to do it), wiped them off after feeds at night, I didn’t allow ANY juice and almost no unhealthy food, and we went in to the dentist and got fluoride treatment, EVERY 3 MONTHS to try to keep this under control. (You could see the cavities starting before 18mo).

            Now my kid has suffered for MY ignorance. There is a lesson to be learned here. And it is- when the expert tells you to do something related to their actual expertise, you should probably listen to them, over everyone else. I am sure she would have had some dental problems regardless, but no way as extreme as it became.

            I do agree that some of those he kids he sees are those crunchy moms you mentioned, but in my experience, they may eschew fluoride, but they are just as hardcore about brushing/flossing and such as anyone else. Also, these same crunchy moms would also NOT be feeding sugar, juice, using sippy cups with soda, or other bad dental practices.

            The thing they do differently? Breastfeed on demand, day and night, until the kid self weans. This can easily go to 4+ years where I live. Maybe someone will collect the data on this?

          • Trixie

            I posted above, but AAPD says 7 times a day past 12 months is where risk starts. My kids were mostly down to 3 times a day by 15 months. I’m perfectly wiling to believe that excessive night nursing is a factor, but I disagree that weaning at 12 months is necessary.

          • Renee

            I agree that weaning is not needed at 12 mo, if you listen to the same advice you get for FF kids- nothing but water at night, and no bottles in their mouth all day long, plus fluoride and regular brushing.

            But MY kid should have been weaned the INSTANT we started seeing problems. And I didn’t because I thought B milk couldn’t be the problem! Because its great! I just needed to “do everything perfectly”, and when issues happened, of course its because I am a lay, ignorant mom that cannot care for kids teeth, instead of just ignorant about the role of BF.

          • DiomedesV

            How is good oral hygiene consistent with nursing a toddler to sleep?

            Perhaps a significant number of kids can get away with that, but there are undoubtedly kids who are at risk for cavities anyway, and that is going to pose a problem for them, just as having a bottle at night would.

        • http://www.antigonos.blogspot.com/ Antigonos CNM

          If you have a smartphone or iPad, there are apps which feature a talking animal [Ginger the Cat is the one I have] who brushes its teeth for a specified time while music plays, so the child can brush along with the animated cat. We’ve found it a great way to get The Granddaughter to enjoy brushing. There are also kids’ toothbrushes which either light up or play a melody for the necessary time.

          We learned the hard way with our son [#1 child] about the effect the bedtime bottle in bed could have on teeth. After that debacle, we instituted morning and evening toothbrushing as early as was feasible.

    • Trixie

      The AADP says breast milk itself isn’t a cause of caries, but that breastfeeding more than 7 times a day after 12 months is associated with increased risk. http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/P_ECCClassifications.pdf&cd=2&ved=0CCAQFjAB&usg=AFQjCNGvDxX7MAeZlgMh3Kf9QSXCSa__Vw&sig2=HFHTzleSQ1k9Gyas7vGSzw

      • Renee

        No one is separating the b milk from actual BF when they say BF is safe for teeth. No one says “B milk is fine, just don’t BF a lot” (if its fine, why can’t I do it all day?)

        My point is that most people do NOT know this info, not laypeople, not BF advocates, nor other health professionals. The general idea is that “B milk is so great, and can never cause any harm” and that is bullshit. If you dare mention it, you are shot down pretty hard. Hell, even YOU jumped on the”you are just doing it wrong, MY kid is fine!” bandwagon! And I know you are not that type.

        B milk is not magic. Slathering your teeth with ANYTHING other than water, all day and night, is going to cause problems. I am sure it’s no worse than any other drink if its 2-3 times a day, and you brush, but many EBF babies take little drinks all day long, and some at night too.

        I just want this to be understood, so no other mom says “If I just do it right, my kid won’t end up with dental issues severe enough to warrant surgery.

        I mean, FFS, 8 CROWNS, 7 CAVITIES, and 3 ROOT CANALS at not even 2.5yrs old. Ugh.

        • anion

          Poor baby! And poor you!

          Like I said above, it never even occurred to me that this could be a problem. I’ve just told my husband your story and he immediately made the connection, too, between our youngest’s 17 months of all-night breastfeeding and her cavities vs. our oldest’s only-water-at-night and her cavity-free teeth. And he also not only had never heard of this but honestly believed that since it was breastmilk it wasn’t an issue (we both thought the more watery consistency combined with all those antibodies and the fact that it’s, well, not man-made [no pun intended] meant no dental problems).

          • Amy M

            Lots of lactose in breastmilk though…sugar is sugar to the bacteria that make holes in the teeth.

          • Staceyjw aka Renee

            My point exactly. Sugar is sugar, there is no way it’s good for teeth to have it all over them.

            I am sure b milk doesn’t cause cavities on it own, just like any other food doesn’t. It’s the act of BF, and the frequency, that does it. The lactivists just take the “B milk doesn’t cause caries” and leave off the rest!

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Lots of lactose in breastmilk though…sugar is sugar to the bacteria that make holes in the teeth.”

            Actually, there is good evidence that lactose is less cariogenic than other sugars. Mouth bacteria do seem to have their preferences.

          • Box of Salt

            “Mouth bacteria do seem to have their preferences”

            References? I am curious.

            Saliva does break down dissarccharides in the mouth, and half of lactose is glucose, just as in sucrose. But I find it totally plausible that the the mouth bacteria aren’t working on the galactose half of lactose (in sucrose the other half is fructose).

            Stereochemistry matters.
            (For those who don’t know organic chemistry: I’m talking about the shape of the molecule).

        • FormerPhysicist

          Mine all had dental problems from night feeding on demand (lots of little sips), and I weaned earlier with each successive kid because of it. Nothing like your problems, though bad enough. 1st had 5 cavities, of which one abscessed at 3 yrs old. We removed the tooth and got a space retainer instead of a root canal.

        • KarenJJ

          Not to take away from this point I hope, but also kids can have bad teeth if they have a lot of fevers or if mum has an illness during pregnancy. I had periodic fever syndrome that was unmedicated through both of my pregnancies and both kids have patchy enamel and have needed to get their molars capped at around 3yo due to cavities starting to form.

          My eldest was dreadful with needing milk before bed in a bottle and then a sippy cup and would fall asleep sipping. I was much more careful with my second who didn’t feed to sleep and was fine at giving up his bottle at 12 months and he still needed caps due to also having patchy enamel.

    • anion

      OMG! I never knew this! I’ve never even heard a rumbling about it. I honestly never even thought of it; I really thought that because it was breastmilk (she nursed all night) the warnings about sleep with a bottle etc. didn’t apply.

      I wonder if it explains why my eldest has always had perfect teeth while my youngest had quite a few cavities in her baby teeth.

      • anion

        Duh, I mean, it probably explains why my eldest etc.; I originally started to write a different sentence and forgot to go back and fix it.

      • fiftyfifty1

        “I wonder if it explains why my eldest has always had perfect teeth while my youngest had quite a few cavities in her baby teeth”

        Could be, but you also have to take enamel hardness into account. Baby teeth are always softer than adult teeth, and baby teeth vary a lot in hardness from person to person (much more than adult teeth do). This was illustrated best to me by a family of patients of mine where one fraternal twin had zero cavities in his baby teeth and the other needed multiple teeth capped before he was 3. Both were breastfed exclusively, did not do frequent feedings at night, and were fed the same solids diet starting at 6 months. Both are getting their adult teeth now and doing fine.

    • DiomedesV

      I’m really sorry this happened to you and your daughter. It sounds truly awful. I hope she feels better soon.

  • Amy M

    I never noticed the odd hypocrisy Lucy Lactivist pointed out: it’s all “Trust Your Body” and “You Know Your Body Best”, until breastfeeding is involved, and then its “Oh No, You Are Completely Mistaken, That Never Happens. To Anyone. You Are Totally Making It Up To Get Out Of Breastfeeding So You Can Be A Lazy, Unfit Mother. I Know, Because I Am A Lactivist.”

    • D/

      I consider myself mostly defective- with I uncorrected vision I can count fingers at slightly over a foot and am so hard of hearing that if asked an early morning question before donning all the required corrective appliances I’m like wait, wait let me get my glasses on so I can “hear” you. I have always said if I were an Eskimo I’d definitely lose my igloo and wouldn’t recognize the hungry polar bear until after he took his first bite.

      I have comforted myself though in the fact that I was able to successfully breastfeed my children long-term with no complications except those related to full-time employment.

      But wait, at least half of my daughters suffer from insufficient glandular tissue and have at most 30% of full production which certainly reflects poorly on me. You’d think, especially as a lactation consultant, that my body would just inherently know how to create milk-making offspring.

      Final assessment … Yep, my body is definitely a lemon.

      • Amy M

        Ha! I need my glasses to “hear” also. (not really, but sounds do seem more clear when I am wearing them.) I’ve got -8, -8.5, so not as bad as some, but pretty bad. Ditching the glasses would be impossible. One friend of mine, who didn’t realize how bad my vision is, suggested I could drive wo/glasses if I had to. He wears glasses too, but clearly has better vision, or he would understand what a disastrous suggestion that is.

        • Cobalt

          I’d hit a tree before getting down my driveway, assuming I could find the car and someone handed me the key. The world is safe from my uncorrected driving. It’s irritating when people disregard the need for glasses, I’m not wearing them for fun!

        • AccieCat

          I’m not certain I could tell the driveway from the grass! Especially at the height of summer and if there hasn’t been rain for a while. Wait a minute, I couldn’t even successfully get the car into reverse, I can’t read the gearshift or gear indicator on the dash. Well, If I can get close enough to the keyhole I’ll be able to let myself back in the house and call it a day.

  • Mac Sherbert

    Dear Lucy Lactivist, I’ve recently discovered that the tubes used to collect breast milk from the medela pump I used in the hospital will hold exactly enough formula to made an eight oz. bottle. My six year old (who only had liquid gold for a few weeks) has found a use for the tubes as well. They look just like lab tubes and he can store all of his crazy concoctions and cures he’s created in them!

  • Roadstergal

    Make sure to stamp all glasses frames with the note, “Uncorrected vision is best.”

    • Amy M

      And hold “See-ins.” We have to promote the normalization of normal vision. If a woman sees other women wearing glasses, she’s just going to think its ok. But it isn’t. Artificially corrected vision is inferior to perfect natural vision, and women need to know all the benefits of natural vision and the risks of having their sight corrected. Did you know that people who wear glasses have a 100% chance of death?

      At least the popular media is helping our Natural Vision cause. All the women in movies and tv who wear glasses are portrayed as ugly, nerdy and friendless. AS THEY SHOULD BE. It is only when the leading lady removes her glasses, that she becomes beautiful and gets her man. Clearly the women in the movies are following the natural vision guidelines, because they have no trouble seeing without their glasses when they take them off. None of them ever run into walls, or drive cars off bridges. This message needs to be amped up—maybe some commercials on tv, a poster campaign and a fund-raising raffle for tickets to a water park as the prize.

  • ngozi

    I really should not have read this while trying to eat raw carrots. OH WAIT!! Carrots! Aren’t those good for your eyes!?! This means I’ll NEVER need glasses. Yay me!!

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

      Remember that episode of Gilligan’s Island when Mary Ann ate the carrots grown from radioactive seeds and then could see ships that were so far away that they were below the horizon?

      Problem solved!

      • ngozi

        I must get some of those…

  • momofone

    I am proof that this is true. I have always been profoundly nearsighted. Over the past year, though, I am finding that I see better at times without my glasses. Some people might say that it has to do with my age (early forties) and the natural changes that occur in vision (my eye doctor is one of those, but I think he may be an unbeliever), but me? I say it’s because I’ve finally decided to trust sight.

    • Amy M

      Oh wow, me too! I mean, I still can’t see wo/my glasses, but they spontaneously improved a whole diopter recently. We are heading towards progressives is what it means.

  • Guest

    That graph is a thing of beauty.

  • Adelaide GP

    Lol, love the graph. Even Blind Freddy would be convinced by that robust evidence!!

    • Amy M

      It’s just like the one that shows that Global Warming is caused by the decrease in pirates. :)

      • Nadia

        Which is totally true. RAMEN!

    • Sue

      Oh, wait….contact lenses and AUTISM.

  • Cobalt

    I actually had #6 happen to me, in a way. I went into labor wearing contact lenses, and had to remove them at the hospital “just in case emergency surgery was needed”. My uncorrected vision is well past legally blind, I have trouble finding the vision chart, much less the big E at the top. No one could find my glasses at home, so I delivered in an incomprehensible blur. It was really scary to be so helpless, but the birth went by the book and the baby was just fine.

    Now I carry backup glasses with me everywhere starting at 32 weeks. Just in case.

    • KarenJJ

      I wear hearing aids and am very, very nervous about having them out while in hospital – I don’t have back up pairs (because they cost several thousand dollars each). So far I’ve been OK – kept them in all through the c-sections and for surgery that has required general anaesthetic I’ve woken up in recovery with them beside my pillow. The worst issue I’ve had was trying to have a shower after bub had been born and not being able to wedge the hospital bassinet close enough so that I can see it while I shower in case baby wakes up.

    • Smoochagator

      My first birth was a home-to-hospital transfer. I didn’t have my contacts in because I had slept in early labor and by the time we left for the hospital everything was so crazy that I didn’t think to ask anyone to grab my purse, let alone my glasses (and I didn’t have a hospital bag packed because, you know, trust birth). So after I delivered my son, the midwife was like, “Want to cut the cord?” Um, no, I’m afraid I’ll cut the wrong thing because everything is a blur!

    • Redroamer

      It might depend on what hospital you deliver at or what type of lenses you wear. With my first I had to have my lenses out (I’m also well past legally blind without them). With my second, the (different) hospital had no problem with me wearing them during the c-section since they’re the kind that are designed to be left in up to 30 days.

      • Cobalt

        It was definitely hospital related, the next kid was born at a different hospital and they didn’t care at all, just made sure it was noted.

        That first hospital was really unpleasant overall. The birth itself was really uncomplicated medically, but there were lots of protocols that seemed really excessive, and no exceptions or explanations.

        My next birth at a different hospital was more normal.

  • PrimaryCareDoc
    • Smoochagator

      Much like the people who say that you can “heal” dental cavities with diet.

      • Staceyjw

        There are entire groups of parents doing this to their kids. They also use pastes, and other crap, in order to avoid evil fillings/flouride (which is totally natural, but anyway).

        Well, they DO avoid fillings! The kid either ends up always miserable, or with a mouth full of crowns and fake teeth, because the damage is way beyond a mere filling bybthe time they give up.

        And tell them breast milk can destroy your kids teeth just like bottles at night or mountain dew? They defend it to the death, even when every kid had dental issues.

        • Cobalt

          I find the anti-flouride movement to be especially irritating, mostly when they get the public water utility to stop fluoridation. If you want to do some random ineffective crap and call it cavity prevention, fine. But the whole community shouldn’t suffer for it. Public health policy should be based on actual science, not alt-quack.

          And any food left in the mouth overnight will contribute to a cavity forming environment.

        • Who?

          My friend’s dad was a dentist, and when he sold his practice the family went from him to the new guy.

          We were overseas when my kids were born, and so went to the new guy for their first checkups. My first mistake was assuming there was a ‘standard of care’ in dentistry that all qualified dentists worked to. My second mistake was not realising that a dentist who didn’t approve of, recommend or use fluoride was a major problem who should be run away from real fast.

          So anyway, my first child now aged 22 has no fillings and his only major interaction with a dentist has been an emergency wisdom tooth removal in the chair. The second child, now 20, has many tiny shallow fillings, all of which could have been avoided by the early (and entirely mainstream) application of fissure seals. She has a couple of bigger fillings too. She finally got the fissure seals after all the resulting problems were sorted out in her mid teens by the new dentist before the braces went on.

          Looking back on it I should have run away when he told me to take both my skinny, high energy children off gluten and dairy as it didn’t agree with them. I told him if I wanted nutrition advice I’d go to a dietician (who in this country are actually accredited professionals). He used to drone on to me about various things I would now identify as woo, but I never listened.

          I wish I’d been less on auto pilot about his practices in relation to the kids-looking back I feel like an idiot, but then if number 2 had the same experience as number 1 I never would have learnt about the difference fissure seals and fluoride might have made to her. I tend to trust the professionals we go to-occasionally that leads to trouble, as in this case.

    • Amy M

      “The most prevalent of all visual defects, myopia (commonly known
      as nearsightedness) is almost invariably an acquired condition. The
      cause is often thought to be emotional, and usually is the result of
      strain.”
      Did they really think myopia was caused by emotional stress in 1983 (when the article was written)? Or just the loons who wrote the article? 1983 is when I first got glasses, and it didn’t surprise anyone, because my mom also got glasses around that age. I know studying genetics was in its infancy, but even then, people were aware of heritable traits. Gregor Mendel figured that one out.

      The guy also suggests meditating to cure vision problems. Meditating is all well and good, but the patronizing attitude of “Just relax! You are too stressed and that’s why you can’t see!” is obnoxious, as well as ridiculous. As someone who also struggled with infertility, I can say that “Just relax” is terrible advice for curing any medical problems.

      • FormerPhysicist

        Heck, it doesn’t even work if your problem is anxiety and stress. Because, you know, it’s totally helpful for someone to say “just relax”. No one has ever thought they could de-stress by relaxing.

      • Trixie

        I got my first glasses around 1983 and I’m pretty sure they didn’t think that.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        I’m pretty sure it was just that loon. I have seen a claim from about that time that reading really might contribute to nearsightedness in a minor way, emphasis on the “minor”. The theory was that exposure to black/white small figures might overuse one part of the eye more than the rest and lead to lens distortion. IIRC. I’ve never seen any follow up on that claim, so I presume it didn’t hold up.

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

        I know John Allan Paulos went after the “cuppers” in his book “Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science” written in the 50s, so idea that poor vision was something mental or emotional was considering fallacy back then.

      • Dr Kitty

        Srsly it’s almost like these people don’t understand the physics of lenses.
        If your eyeball is too wide or too narrow proportional to your lens you can’t focus properly on your retina and you end up needing glasses.

        • Amy M

          I think DON’T understand the physics of lenses. You got it in one.

    • DiomedesV

      Aside from the illogic of valuing “natural” eyesight so highly…. who the heck has time for that? Do some exercises everyday that may or may not work and never be sure that they will work, or get a pair of glasses and never think about it again?

    • Mishimoo

      The first optometrist I went to (’98) sent me home with bifocals and exercises to fix my myopia, with the instruction to avoid wearing them as much as possible so that my natural sight would return. The ones I’ve been to since I became an adult and was able to choose my own doctors were astounded by how bad the first one was.

  • KarenJJ

    Love this post :)

  • guesting

    HILARIOUS. I almost spit out my coffee on many lines.

  • Durango

    Sadly, this is true of all the fat-shamers as well.

  • Smoochagator

    This is now my favorite post ever. I am profoundly nearsighted and have worn corrective lenses since I was in six years old, and over the past thirty years I have always been so grateful to live in a time in history when I don’t have to suffer because of my almost-blindness; I can still read and drive and draw and paint and watch movies! And the technology has advanced so much in the past three decades that wearing corrective lenses, once extremely expensive and unfashionable, is now barely inconvenient for the vast majority of people who have sight issues.

    But when I was unable to breastfeed or realized that I will likely need to be on an SSRI for the rest of my life to manage the anxiety I get from OCD, I felt like a failure. Because my body and mind weren’t doing what they were “naturally” supposed to do. It never occurred to me to punish myself for being near-sighted, why did I waste any time feeling guilty or inferior for taking Paxil or buying baby formula.

    Thanks, Dr. Amy (and Lucy Lactivist) – you made my day!

    • Wishful

      I know this isn’t the point of your post but it sparked a question for me. How did you come to terms with having OCD and needing an SSRI? I have finally contacted a doctor with my struggle and when I googled (yes I know… Google U grad degrees are not stellar) SSRI meds…lets just say scared witless only begins to cover it. I now have meds I am terrified to take.

      • Smoochagator

        The difference in my quality of life on & off meds is so drastic that I can’t argue with the fact that I need them, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a good long pity party about being “broken!” Honestly, I haven’t done enough Googling to be scared of SSRIs, but I do know that (as with any medication) there are side effects and potentional risks. Add to this that everyone responds to different medication differently. I am currently on Lexapro (because Paxil is considered unsafe in pregnancy) and though it works for me, years ago it caused some pretty nasty side effects for my husband. So proceed with caution, but not fear… I recommend that you try your meds out and if you have any adverse reactions, especially psychologically, call your doctor immediately to get help switching to something else. If at all possible, have a psychiatrist manage your meds rather than a family doctor, because you want someone who really has a good understanding of this class of drugs. You don’t have to do talk therapy is you want to, though your psych may want to know a bit more about your background and psychological struggles than your primary care physician. And be sure to check with your doctor about any potential interactions with other drugs you take (even over-the-counter stuff). Once you see how you fare on your meds (and you may have to try several to find one that’s really good for you) you may wonder why you ever resisted trying them in the first place! I have found that I am my absolute best when I’m on medication – not a different person, but the best version of myself. It doesn’t alter my personality but helps me cope with the negatives of life and my own bad attitudes. I’m a better employee, wife, friend, and mom, and I like my life – even when circumstances are bad, life itself feels good. So taking that little pill every day is totally worth it. I hope you find the same to be true.

        • JRH

          Ditto all of this! I resisted taking anti-depressants for a very long time and now I wish I hadn’t and started taking them as soon as my doctor suggested it. I’m the same person just a less overwhelmed, sad, irritable version of myself. I have had some weird dreams though.

          • Smoochagator

            The weird dreams is one of my favorite parts of taking an SSRI. They are off the chain, LOL.

          • Roadstergal

            Oh gawd, I had the strangest, most vivid dreams when I first went on SSRIs…

            I was so glad I had a good relationship with a psychiatrist, because after trying the SSRIs after an initial diagnosis of depression, he re-diagnosed me with PTSD and got me on olanzapine instead, and it was miraculous. It was an adjunct to Working Through Things, but it was _so_ helpful. I was very lucky to have both access to medication and access to therapy with a professional who knew what he was doing.

          • Amy M

            Ha! I was taking amytriptyline at one point, for migraines. The dreams were crazy—I would get up a few seconds before I woke up and “see” things that weren’t there. I realized it was the medication, and wasn’t worried, but its weird when you see your parents, who live 4 states away, show up in your bedroom, just as you are getting up in the morning.

        • Renee

          In general, if you need them, the trade off between potential side effects and benefits will be heavily weighted towards TOTALLY WORTH IT.

          I would really not worry about it. Quit with the Google. Follow your docs instructions, and if you have issues, call in ASAP. You will be fine.

      • DiomedesV

        I agree with Smoochagater, but also emphasize the importance of pursuing treatment with a psychiatrist, if possible. Family doctors are really not well equipped to deal with the nitty-gritty of psychopharmacology. Also, drug therapy + talk therapy is better than either alone.

      • Mel

        Life with depression or anxiety or OCD or any other mental illness without treatment is terrifying – and very bad for your health.

        I’ve been on and off (but mostly on) SSRIs since I was 19 and been seeing a counselor as well.

        In the earliest stages of reaching acceptance, I reminded myself of a basic biological truth. If my thyroid didn’t work correctly, I would spend my life on a replacement hormone – and no one would judge me for it. If my pancreas didn’t work correctly, I would spend my life on a series of drugs – and no one would judge me for it. If my heart didn’t work correctly, I would spend my life on a series of drugs – and no one would judge me for it. Therefore: If my brain doesn’t work correctly, I will need to spend my life on a series of drugs – and no one has the right to judge me for it (nor should I judge myself)

      • DiomedesV

        Also, life with depression/anxiety etc is not great for your kids, either. I don’t know if you have any. The evidence is pretty strong that depressed mothers struggle to care for their kids and also that the kids struggle as well. I have personally experienced that from the kid side as well, and it is one of primary reasons I stay engaged with my doctor.

        • Amy M

          I had some PPD, started about 6mos after the birth of my children, but I didn’t get any help until they were about 19mos. Wicked stupid of me, but I did ask my OB, at that 6mo mark, if I could have PPD, and she said she didn’t think so. So I took her at her world. She also said if I felt worse, I should go back to her, but it was a gradual decline, and she’d already told me I was fine so…..

          Anyway, welbutrin saved the day, but it took a few months to really kick in. I still take it, though I am not depressed, because I don’t want to become depressed again. Eventually, I’ll get off it, and I’ll recognize the symptoms of depression, if I ever need to go back on. I was a less-than-stellar wife and mother and I still regret that I let it go on so long.

      • Guesteleh

        A site that I think is pretty useful is Crazy Meds http://www.crazymeds.us/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage. It’s managed by a layperson but the info is sound and it’s also well written and funny.

        Since we’re on this topic, have any of you tried a short course of xanax or other antianxiety meds? What were your experiences? I’m on nortryptiline for my migraines and it’s also helped with my anxiety but I had a recent change in my life that’s brought on panic attacks. It’s bad enough that I’m thinking I may need meds to get me over the hump.

      • Kesiana

        I’m not ashamed to say I take meds for anxiety and ADD, and while I did have some very minor side effects, they all went away in time. (Sadly, this included the side effects I considered a BONUS!)

        What’s really important is having a doctor that actually listens to you. At first, I didn’t, and that was a problem… however, I eventually worked up the nerve to fire him, and found someone who did listen.

        Important lesson to learn, I think: in medical situations where no one’s life is at stake (literally or not), doctors are the experts on health, but not the experts on YOU.