The last bastion of acceptable bullying? New motherhood.

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We are all anti-bullying now.

We recognize that bullying based on race is wrong; bullying based on religion is wrong; bullying based on gender is wrong; bullying based on sexual orientation is wrong. In fact, there’s only one group that it is still acceptable to bully: new mothers.

And who are the bullies? Lactivists, natural childbirth activists, and the natural parenting industry.

How do these activists and industries bully new mothers? Let me count the ways.

1. Through the perversion of science

From individual lactivists to the so-called Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, from individual birth bloggers to large organizations like Lamaze International and the Childbirth Connection, natural parenting advocates pervert the scientific evidence on breastfeeding and childbirth.

Yes, breastfeeding has real benefits, but those benefits are trivial in industrialized countries. That’s not surprising when you consider that the benefits of breastfeeding evolved in nature, where unsafe water supplies, scarce sources of food, and a myriad of untreatable pathogens pose a constant and massive threat to babies’ lives. In that setting, a safe source of water and nutrients, always available, generally present in adequate amounts, usually pathogen free and tailored to the specific needs of infants is the difference between life and death.

In first world countries, however, where we have safe water supplies, adequate sources of food and treatments for most pathogens, those threats to babies have largely disappeared. Infant formula is an excellent source of infant nutrition, safe, plentiful and convenient. Lactivists have chosen to ignore those changes and instead grossly exaggerate the benefits of breastfeeding, grossly exaggerate the “risks” of formula feeding, and use weak, poorly controlled and conflicting studies to do so. When all else fails, lying about breastfeeding and bonding is employed.

The perversion of science is, if anything, even worse in natural childbirth advocacy. Childbirth with modern obstetrics is actually dramatically safer than natural childbirth. That hasn’t stopped activists from lying about it. There is no lie that is too ridiculous for natural childbirth advocates to swallow: Michel Odent says pain is necessary for bonding; midwives promote “normal” birth as if the process is more important than the outcome; and there is no limit to the nonsense that issues forth from the mouths and pens of natural childbirth advocates (C-sections change DNA??!! C-sections destroy the infant microbiome??!!)

Lactivists and natural childbirth advocates repeatedly pervert science in order to use it as a cudgel with which to beat women who don’t conform to their values.

2. Emotional abuse

Among middle school girls there is probably no insult more devastating than “no one likes you.” That’s why it is wielded so promiscuously among middle school bullies. Among new mothers there is probably no insult more devastating than “your baby hasn’t bonded to you.” That’s why lactivist and natural childbirth bullies wield it so promiscuously among new mothers. There is NO EVIDENCE that bottle fed babies are less bonded to their mothers than breastfed babies; there is NO EVIDENCE that C-section babies are less bonded to their mothers than babies born by vaginal delivery. That hasn’t stopped activists from repeately invoking bonding to force new mothers into compliance with the ethos of the group.

3. Petty humiliations

“You only think you didn’t produce enough milk for your baby.”

“Your C-section was unnecessary.”

“Bottle feeding is so much easier; not suprising that you gave up breastfeeding and used formula instead.”

Or the humble brag version: “I breastfeed because I’m lazy. Who wants to sterilize all those bottles?”

“What a shame that your baby was born drugged because you gave in and got an epidural.”

4. Veneration of the biggest bullies

Many breastfeeding and birth bloggers are queen bees. They have arranged their little kingdoms to seek adulation from the minions. They practice shunning and silencing of those who disagree (through deleting and banning). They constantly emphasize their specialness and the specialness of their followers. They routinely shame those who will not go along.

Don’t believe me? I have two words for you: Alpha Parent.

5. Institutional humiliations

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative has to be the biggest oxymoron in contemporary maternity care. This credentialing initiative isn’t baby friendly and it certainly isn’t mother friendly. It’s bully friendly. It is based on the premise that any woman who doesn’t wholeheartedly embrace breastfeeding must be forced to do so by constant hectoring, shaming, inconvenience (locking up formula), sleep deprivation (mandatory rooming in) and punishment (banning formula gifts).

To my knowledge, neither the component “steps” nor the program itself have ever been shown to increase long term breastfeeding rates. Their only “success” is increasing the number of women who claim they will be breastfeeding when they leave the hospital, not the number who actually do.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Most of what passes for lactivism and natural childbirth advocacy is poorly disguised bullying.

Although we have gone a long way toward reducing bullying based on race, religion, gender and sexual orientation, we have a long, long way to go. The tendency to bully appears to be innate to human beings; therefore, we must always be on guard against it.

Unfortunately, new motherhood appears to be the last bastion of acceptable bullying, where shaming, blaming and humiliating new mothers has been sugar coated as “science” and “education” when it is neither. It’s just old fashioned bullying, and the sooner we acknowledge that, the better.

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  • LJ

    It’s perfectly acceptable to bully nursing mothers, as this article demonstrates.

    • Dr Kitty

      Really?
      I breastfed my kid until she was 14 months old. She never had formula. Not one bottle of it.
      I don’t feel bullied about my choice here, I’m just not getting undeserved praise and validation either.

      She’s five now BTW, if I was still getting hung up about how I fed her rather than being proud of how much she enjoys reading, or how polite she is, or how she’s still working out how to tell knock-knock jokes and cracks me up in the process, there would be a problem.

    • Jocelyn

      Where does this article bully nursing mothers?

    • Trixie

      I’m a 1%-er of the lactation world (EBF each kid til 6 months, let them self-wean at 20 months and 2.5 years, never a single bottle or pacifier, nursed in public wherever I went, was a milk donor, etc.), and I don’t feel bullied. I’ve never felt bullied for those things on this forum.

  • leara

    I find breastfeeding an incredibly UN-bonding experience. I tried it because the midwives bully you if you don’t. It hurt, it was horrible, I dreaded every feed, I felt awful as soon as the baby woke for a feed knowing I’d have to do it again, and then when the baby did actually attach properly, after several screaming horrible attempts, the pain of uterine contractions were horrible. Yes, a “totally bonding” experience that made me just want to go back for more…. Give me formula anytime.

  • Anna T

    “There is NO EVIDENCE that bottle fed babies are less bonded to their mothers than breastfed babies”

    My daughters, aged almost 6 and 4, are – and have always, from the first weeks – been Daddy’s girls. That is despite the fact that they were exclusively breastfed, so Dad was never a source of nourishment when they were young babies. He didn’t feed them, but he did everything else (after he came home from work) – changed them, bathed them, soothed them when they had colics, let them take naps on his chest, played with them and talked to them. Babies aren’t idiots. They don’t just think in terms of food. They understand LOVE, contact, and time spent with them. They bonded wonderfully with their Dad, even though he never gave them food until they started solids. I like to believe that they bonded with me because of much the same reasons, and not just because I was a source of food (actually this thought is denigrating… as in, I’m only worthwhile because I have milk in my breasts?!).

  • guest

    I’m done. I’m finally done with Kelly Mom. When I was a new mom I felt like they (it?) had some good information on small issues that nursing moms tackle. I even sent friends to the website when they had questions. I liked them on FB awhile back and I’ve gotten more and more disgusted with everything they’ve posted. Well, today I popped onto FB and they had posted this in response to Emily Wax-Thibodeaux’s story. I’m so incredibly angry at their self-righteousness. I don’t know how to link to the FB post, but thankfully quite a few women are expressing outrage. I’m done. Unlike. No more.

    http://www.bestforbabes.org/another-breast-cancer-survivor-on-breastfeeding-bullies/

    • Dr Kitty

      A cancer survivor’s hypothetical idea of her preferred infant feeding options if she ever become pregnant again being used to shame a cancer survivor who actually did have a baby and didn’t want to use a SNS or donor milk to be “expertly guided from grief to alternative feeding method to profound healing and relief”…yuck.

      Emily Wax-Thibodeau just wanted to FF her baby in peace.
      I have no doubt that if she had wanted to use donor milk or an SNS and nipple shields she would have done so.

      By implying (heavily) that the only “correct” option for cancer survivors is to do everything they can to imitate breast feeding, such as by using donor breast milk or by using cumbersome and time consuming methods such as SNS there is a real undercurrent of shaming.

      If you want to use an SNS, knock yourself out.
      If you want to use carefully screened donor milk from a registered milk bank (assuming that there is enough surplus milk to spare for healthy full term infants, and that by using it you will not deprive a sick or premature baby)- go right ahead!
      But to assume that by doing those things you are a better mother…nope.

      • Young CC Prof

        Yeah, I can’t deal with mothers of healthy full-term babies who want donor milk. There isn’t enough donor milk even for all the preemies or babies who have formula allergies. If you want to donate, or work on ways to encourage other women to donate, great. But don’t go taking some of the already inadequate supply for your child who doesn’t actually need it, that’s mind-bogglingly selfish.

        • T.

          Very similar to some brand of anti-vax, isn’t it? “MY child will be protected by the herd! Oh, the other children? F*ck them”
          (Some ADMIT to think like that)

        • Trixie

          This! Save the milk for the kids who actually have a legitimate increased chance of dying without it.

    • Amy M

      Holy shit. I just read the comments, and that is amazing. What a narcissistic small-minded group of jerks. So many decided that Emily W-T was simply not informed of her options before she made her decision to bottle feed formula. One decided that Emily W-T hid her cancer from the nurses/doctors (!) because she was ashamed. So many with the self-righteous: We just think women should be informed about ALL their options! That’s not bullying! That Emily chick was bashing breastfeeding! Omg, she’s a terrible writer!

      It’s people like that, that make me ashamed to be a woman sometimes. Seriously? Who do they think they are fooling? They seem to be doing a good job fooling themselves. I am so sick of the word “bashing” at this point. Those kinds of women always think that making a personal choice that is different than theirs is “bashing.” Bashing and judging—only ok if you breastfeed and toe the NCB party line.

      Then the “We should all support each other!” people chime in. I know I talked about this on a recent thread, and I didn’t do a good job of it, mostly because I’m not entirely clear what “support” means to everyone. Ultimately, I think we should all respect that we are grown women, capable of making choices that suit our needs and the needs of our families, and keep unsolicited advice to ourselves.

      As far as support, I see that as active encouragement or some kind of helpful action, something I might give to a friend who is having difficulty with something. I don’t need to actively encourage all breastfeeding mothers—I respect their choice, and I believe they should be able to nurse whenever and wherever wo/harassment, but they don’t really need anything from me. Likewise, I didn’t need any active encouragement or help with formula feeding my children. However, general support of individuals, as people, who have feelings and needs, is certainly important and is a job of friends and family.

      Anyway, the self-righteous jerks on that kellymom thread don’t want to offer support to anyone, unless it is specifically breastfeeding support. And they ask for support, evidently to them it means constant adulation, from everyone, friends, family and strangers alike.

    • Guesteleh

      Small point to seize on but attention lactivists: YOU CAN DO SKIN-TO-SKIN WHEN YOU BOTTLE FEED. Do you assholes think all mothers prop the bottle? Assholes.

      • Young CC Prof

        Honestly, I still don’t even know how to prop a bottle, though these days he prefers to hold it himself most of the time.

        He had digestive issues as a newborn, holding him and the bottle exactly the right way was critical if I wanted the milk to go in and stay there.

    • Trixie

      But how will her child ever know how to love if he didn’t breast crawl to an SNS?

    • Elizabeth A

      As a breast cancer survivor who breast fed two children before my disease – That article is totally, absolutely infuriating.

      The author is really into the idea that, if she had another baby, she’d do this elaborate thing with an SNS and a nipple shield to approximate breast feeding. Which, okay, fine for her. But if anyone advocated that to me, I think I’d have to leave the room. My reality is that I have no breasts. Pretending that I do doesn’t make me feel better (that’s why I don’t have prosthetics). I need medical professionals to engage with my reality. It usually doesn’t matter that I have no breasts, but when it matters, it matters a lot.

      • jenny

        Your comments on that post were very well thought out.

  • AlysrianXian

    Let’s see…I have 3 kids (soon to be 4). I formula fed all of them. Induced with all of them. Epidural with all of them. Didn’t do “skin to skin” contact with all of them. All of them have their vaccines (/gasp). And…plenty of other no-no’s.

    My first daughter, I was actually in labor for TWO WEEKS (REAL labor) but not dilating nor had my water broken. I was sent home numerous times due to not “progressing”. I eventually had an induction scheduled. My second daughter I was in labor with for 3 days, also sent home until an induction. My son was a riot! He’s the newest, and I was in ACTIVE LABOR for TWO MONTHS! I had pre-eclampsia (undiagnosed) and my body was actively trying to get him out! I told everyone that would listen that I was in labor (and my water DID break), but no one believed me…as I had never had eclampsia before (I was nowhere near a risk factor, nor was I *checked* for it at my routine appointments). I was induced with him, too, but forced to wait until exactly 40 weeks 1 day (Obamacare policy was cited to me). Awesome.

    When I FINALLY got my epidurals, it was HEAVEN! Mind you, I was in active labor prior to being induced and having them break my water for me. It was about time I had some relief! I guess to some natural labor freaks…I put in my quoted “pain” before the actual epidural, or some such nonsense.

    I also had severe SPD and wasn’t walking when pregnant with my son. I didn’t walk for a good 5 months of pregnancy, and was receiving LOADS of comments about being “crippled and bringing a baby into the world!”. Terrible, terrible people.

    I also bottle prop bottles, never had an issue with SIDS, and let my kids sleep however they WANT to sleep. I check on them, of course, but if they are most comfy sleeping on their tummies…so be it. For my daughters, we were told NOT to allow baby to sleep on their backs…for my son, not on the tummy. Make up your minds already…and if you won’t, then I will do what is best for my kidlet.

    Gee, I’m a terrible parent who never really bonded with their kids and is actively trying to kill them! Riiiiigggghhhhttttt…if only I had time to myself and sometimes my kids actually left me alone. Please. Plenty of ways to bond once you are home doing your own thing. Not like the kid is going to suddenly hate you just because you are feeding them formula or didn’t have enough pain for them.

    I’ve been harassed by ALL of these types of bullies. I live in a small town where the mothers here are all natural childbirth, no vaccines, no formula, etc. I am like Satan to them. We have a BFH here, and I gave birth to my son there…that is a whole ‘nother can of worms. The breastfeeding nazis came out in FULL FORCE on me. In this small town not many people actually do vaccinate, so it’s a closely guarded secret of who does/n’t.

    I also don’t oooh and ahhh over ultrasounds. I could care less until I am actually HOLDING the baby. Until then, parasite who is making my life miserable. Naturally, this changes later when I HAVE the minion…but before then, it’s just another way for nurses/doctors to wonder what is WRONG with me. Nothing, actually. I just don’t get all worked up over a baby that doesn’t exist in my arms, yet.

    Yes, I know, I am destroying my children with my choices. LOLOL

    • Amy M

      Ugh. It’s awful that vaccinating is starting to wander onto the “bad mommy” list. I know its all tongue in cheek, by those of us fed up with the my-way-or-the-highway-crunchy-martyr crowd, but the fact that that even makes the list….

      • AlysrianXian

        It’s on the list here. Nowhere else have I encountered bigots about this. It’s only on the list due to my recent run in with viral meningitis, and people were making a lot of anti-vax comments at the time to me. The others are normal everywhere else, though. I actually am up to date and vaccinated against meningitis, but it didn’t help due to the type of strain (I assume) I contracted. Lots of people judging.

        • Young CC Prof

          The vaccine doesn’t prevent viral meningitis, only bacterial.

          The bacterial kind is actually more dangerous, with something like 10% of patients dying and 30% suffering permanent complications. Most viral meningitis patients recover fine with hospital support.

          • AlysrianXian

            “Most patients completely recover on their own within 7 to 10 days. A hospital stay may be necessary in more severe cases or for people with weak immune systems.” (I was in the hospital almost a full month)

            There is no specific vaccine for viral, but it is recommended to get the OTHER vaccines of diseases that COULD cause viral meningitis. Mostly as a prevention.

            “These include vaccines against measles and mumps (MMR vaccine) and chickenpox (varicella-zoster vaccine). ” (Naturally, everyone in my house has their vaccinations up to date – minus my 3 day old newborn)

            http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/viral.html

            I learned quite a bit about meningitis from my own issues with it. I was originally informed I had bacterial, but after the cultures did/not grow, it was diagnosed as viral.

            I am vaccinated against bacterial, and everything else under the sun I could get vaccinated against (even whooping cough, which there was an outbreak here and my son wound up getting it at 4 months old). Naturally, once people here heard “omg meningitis!!!” it was a hot topic for debate..because you know, my health status is SO their business.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “minus my 3 day old newborn”

            Congrats!!

          • Mishimoo

            Oooh congratulations on the new addition!

      • BriarRose

        It is here in Los Angeles county. Luckily I live in the “ghetto” part (near the port) and it is full of immigrants who feel so blessed they can have their children vaxxed so the rates near us are excellent. White people are idiots (yes, I am white).

        • namaste863

          Not San Pedro, by any chance?

  • Gwen Bazzrea

    There are only two great responses to a tired new mom on FB:
    1- any variation of “wow, that sucks.”
    2- “Why don’t I pick up lunches and come over for a couple of hours so you can sleep and shower. If the munchkin goes to sleep, I might even do the dishes.”
    P.S. after I ran out of Dreft samples, my babies both had their laundry tossed in with everyone else’s.

    • Amy M

      Same here..with the laundry. It didn’t bother them, so why spend the extra money and do separate washes?

      • Cobalt

        I do baby clothes separate because they’re tiny, so it’s easier not to have to pick them out of the bigger kids’ pant legs and whatnot. No special detergent though, not even for my cotton diapers. Why make things more complicated or expensive than necessary?

        • Amy M

          I usually did their clothes separate too, because I have twins and they generate/d enough laundry to fill the machine. πŸ™‚ Not looking forward to when they are a lot bigger and their clothing takes up more room, so there are more loads. Of course by then, I’ll make them do their own laundry.

  • Sara M.

    Thanks so much, this answered a question I had yesterday.

  • Zornorph
  • Mariana Baca

    Am I the only one who feels that the Alpha Parent is a professional troll? I.e. affects the role of the Alpha Parent because she knows it generates hits and revenue (and maybe laughs for her)?

    • Anj Fabian

      Political pundits do it all. the. time.

      It wouldn’t be a surprise to find out that TAP does the same thing.

    • fearlessformulafeeder

      Unfortunately, I think she’s authentic. She has a book coming out from Pinter& Martin basically about how I have single handedly ruined breastfeeding for everybody. πŸ˜‰

      • NoLongerCrunching

        Yeah, I totally remembered that time I was breastfeeding and your page popped up on my computer. My milk supply instantly dried up. πŸ˜›

      • Young CC Prof

        Definitely. If I hadn’t looked at your page, my baby would totally have latched. Several weeks earlier.

      • Just saw the cover art for her new book (is it really just about you? Because…yowza) and I personally think she’s writing a book with a very limited audience. “Breastfeeding success is dependent upon maternal emotion.” Agreed. And your point is? Are you mentioned by name in her book? That can’t feel good but it also has to be somewhat legitimizing to have your book referenced or discussed in another book, no?

        My own book (spring 2015) is the sort that will likely catch the ire of the AP contingent so I can relate to the fact that public critique stings. But it IS sort of legitimizing though right? (Please say yes, selfishly I need to believe the answer is yes πŸ˜‰

        • fearlessformulafeeder

          Well, I don’t know if it’s about me personally (although I assume a lot of it is, because her page basically got popular by her trolling my page for stuff to make mean memes about, and her coining the phrase “Defensive Formula Feeder”) but rather what she sees as the culture I’ve created (along with people like Hanna Rosin) that allows women to talk about breastfeeding failure and why it’s not ok to bully formula feeding moms. That’s the thesis of the book – that talking about formula feeding as ok, and talking about how breastfeeding can be painful or damn near impossible and its ok to quit if you want – if what is ruining breastfeeding for everyone.

          She is seriously screwed up in the head. At first it was validating/flattering, but now, considering she has like 10 times the amount of followers I do on Facebook, it’s just sad. It’s sad to me that so many people enjoy hearing her bully a segment of the population that just wants to be heard and find a wee bit of validation/support in a parenting community that is turning more heartless and limiting by the hour.

  • mostlyclueless

    #1 is how I got sucked into learning more and more about NCB. As a scientist their ability to use science to promote a specific agenda (breast is best!), but reject science when it doesn’t suit that agenda (no vaccines for us!) irritates me in a very particular manner. When doctors agree with them (skin to skin!) then their judgment is held up as the highest endorsement; when doctors disagree with them (have your baby in a hospital) then they’re money-hungry villains who are just trying to make tee time. This weird cognitive dissonance they have is what keeps me coming back, like they should be able to be persuaded to see reason by using evidence since they seem to love evidence so much — but now a whole cottage industry of pseudo-evidence that’s cherry-picked and warped from real evidence (eg evidencebasedbirth, kellymom) has sprung up and it’s hard to help them distinguish between real evidence and quasi-evidence.

    • Young CC Prof

      And the anti-induction nonsense. Almost every single woman who fights induction to 42+ thinks she’s doing the right thing for her baby, because there’s just so much convincing, scientific-sounding evidence that suggests it is.

      • fiftyfifty1

        I’m not sure that the main motivator behind refusing induction is (misguided) concern for the baby. For many, it is because their goal is an epidural-free birth and they have been told that induced births are so much more painful. A pain med free birth wins you a gold medal in NCB land.

        • Young CC Prof

          Oh, some of the 39-week brigade are now advancing the theory that longer is better. With no upper limit. Despite mountains of clear evidence that, while 39-40 is slightly better than 37-38, all baby outcomes drop past 40.

          • Cobalt

            That’s insane. And as someone who has had drug-free births, smaller (sooner) is better. Keeping baby in long enough to pack on two or three more pounds means that there is more baby to deliver. If you’re trying to manipulate your pregnancy with the goal of birth without painkillers (which is WRONG-the goal should be a healthy baby), you want to go into labor while the head and shoulders still fit through the pelvis easily.

          • MJ

            Hell yes. 41w induction with 9’7″ baby vs. 40w induction with 9 pound baby vs. 37+2 induction with 8 pound baby? I know what I’ll take, thank you very much.

          • Therese

            They will let you have a 37 week induction for a big baby?? I didn’t think you could get an induction under 39 weeks anymore without the most dire of reasons.

          • MJ

            No, wasn’t because he was big. I had SROM at 37 weeks. Same with my 40 weeker. First one was post-dates induction. Seems I just don’t go into labour on my own. Given that I also experience dmer when breastfeeding my wife suggested (and I concur) that I might have ‘something screwy with my oxytocin’. Thank god for pitocin, I say.

            But still, all things being equal the smaller baby made for an easier labour.

          • MJ

            *midwife not ‘wife’. I know some women with excellent wives, but I am not lucky enough to be among them (my husband does what he can).

          • Leslie

            Yes, if you have gestational diabetes (as I did with all 3 pregnancies) that can only be controlled with multiple insulin shots per day. The risk of big baby/shoulder distocia (sp?) was significant enough that I was induced at 38 + 0 for each. My second was 9.5 lbs at 38 weeks — he’s still the tallest kid in his kindergarten class — can you imagine what a disaster it would have been if they’d waited until 39 or 40 weeks?

            By the time I had my third, the hospital where my OB practices had gone BFHI. (Ugh!) My OB had to go before some hospital committee for my 38 + 0 induction, but he took that fight on (without blinking) and won. Thanks to his courage fighting for my early induction, my third delivery was utterly uneventful (two pushes!), and one day later I took home my beautiful, healthy baby girl to meet her two older brothers.

            My friends all want young, warm-and-fuzzy, female OBs, but my OB — an older, white male who’s as boring and traditional as they come — was (and is) PHENOMENAL..

          • MJ

            I had GD with my first as well, but I think they waited until 41w because it was reasonably mild and diet controlled. Someone in my family also had GD and experienced a shoulder dystocia with her 10 lb + baby. It was resolved quickly and without any ramifications for mum or baby because of the multitudes of expert staff who swarmed into the room and knew exactly what to do. They had to work so vigorously that they offered my relative counselling afterwards in case she was traumatised. She wasn’t, but her husband still turns white when he talks about that day years later. That’s why it grieves me so much so hear stories about babies lost to SD at homebirth. It’s brutal and it doesn’t have to happen.

        • Therese

          Except they also think epidurals drug the baby, so even the desire to avoid epidurals may be motivated for concern for the baby.

    • guest

      You are so right! They only see what they want to see. And what really bothers me about Rebecca Dekker and evidencebasedbirth is not only the fact that she is an RN spreading inaccurate information, (as an RN myself this is just unethical) but that she is a CARDIAC nurse! I can’t even imagine myself setting up a web-site called “evidence based cardiology” and spouting off about a specialty I have absolutely NO experience in!

  • Sara Lucy

    The bonding thing is outrageous. In child advocacy, it is understood that kids can, and very often do, bond to really crappy caregivers– people who are truly abusive and neglectful. That’s what makes it so hard to intervene on behalf of the child’s safety, because it can be almost as harmful to break the bond with a caregiver as to leave the kid in a chaotic environment.

    To say that your baby can’t bond with you because you didn’t breastfeed or had a c-section is just beyond clueless. The people who say this can’t possibly understand what bonding between a child and a caregiver actually looks like.

    • Liz Leyden

      What about bonding with Dad or Grandma? They’re not going to give birth to or breastfeed the child.

  • Pilo

    A large hospital system in my state is being, well, bullied, by the state’s health department into being designated as “Baby Friendly.” The hospitals have avoided this designation in the past, seeing it as unnecessary. However, intense pressure from the health department combined with an increasing number of patients who specifically ask why the hospitals are not “Baby Friendly” is leading them to head that way. Argh! What can I do?

    • Roadstergal

      Some marketing guru needs to come up with a ‘Family Friendly’ designation for hospitals that don’t want to kowtow to this crap.

      • fearlessformulafeeder
        • Rose

          You’ve never really put it out there except that single post. I wonder how much momentum it would gain if it got the same amount of exposure as I support you. I think the time is right for taking on BFHI.
          Criticism is starting to appear in mainstream media, the first lawsuits of moms who woke up to dead babies are happening, …..

    • moto_librarian

      Start asking the health department to show some evidence that baby friendly has any actual benefits. They need to start feeling the pressure on this.

  • Zoey

    My experience with being a new mother trying to navigate the complex social world of real life and online parenting groups is that it’s been less overt bullying, and more behind the scenes social exclusion. It’s all about specific social signifiers like an amber necklace, a certain baby carrier, breastfeeding without a cover, etc. that identify you as a certain “type” of parent. Without these, you may find yourself sitting alone or excluded from the groups of parents at your baby group. Then, even if you do look like “one of them,” there are still things you can’t say, otherwise you risk being shunned again. For example, sleep training, formula feeding, or how you loved your epidural. It’s remarkably complex, and a lot to try to figure out in a post-partum haze of sleep deprivation. The peer pressure to conform reminds me a lot of high school. Turns out I’m as unpopular now as I was then.

    • Karen in SC

      Well, I like you already!

    • theadequatemother

      You can come sit with me. Since we will be the group of parents (see, inclusive!) who are doing what works the “best” for our families we will have lots of mental energy left over to talk about things other than how difficult breast feeding/ cosleeping/ baby wearing/ preparing all baby solids from our own gardens from organic non-GMO seeds is. Like…oh I dunno…movies, current events, travel, our careers, celebrity gossip, etc etc.

      • Amazed

        You remind me of the friend I mentioned in a post below. She never made any mama friends through the newborn stage of either of her three kids. Only after her children started interacting. She enjoyed being a mother and she said it was overall easy for her – but it had its “aww, shit” moments and she generally avoided talking about it. She wanted a leave! As she said, “I live it. I don’t want to TALK about it!”

        She usually took me or other childless friends for the walks in the park. My, did we attract some notice! Two or three women with only one carrier between them!

        • Elizabeth A

          When my son was small, it was generally believed in the neighborhood that he was the son of my husband, and our roommate. I have no idea why they thought I lived in the house.

          Since then, due to changes in work and roommates, the prevailing belief is that the kids are mine and the nanny’s. We get lots of invites to GLBT Families gatherings when we’re out together. To counterbalance this, for the benefit of the nanny’s romantic life, DD has taken to explaining his relationship to her, in a classic “Have you met Ted?” wingman fashion. “This is Andy. He’s not my mommy or my daddy, but he lives with us. He goes to grad school! You two can be friends now.”

      • Elizabeth A

        In support of this idea, I will be live tweeting throughout the next episode of Sleepy Hollow, Monday, 9 p.m. EST. Topics are expected to include Crane’s CPR lessons, Katrina’s wardrobe, and how many of my children are in bed. @TeamCrankypants.

        • Amy M

          Can we do Walking Dead? I don’t watch Sleepy Hollow. (Crane’s a hottie though)

          • Elizabeth A

            Sounds like a project for someone with expanded cable. You volunteering?

          • Amy M

            I don’t tweet though…I just wanted to be included. ;(

    • Bugsy

      Oh gosh, the darn amber necklace…

      One of my criteria for mommy friendships now is someone with whom I can commiserate about the challenges of parenthood. I want mommy friends who care about the struggles I face, who can laugh at the silliness with me, and who have faced or are facing similar struggles themselves.

      If they’re going to spew condescending “there, there” pats on the back while offering unsolicited (usually AP-related) advice, I’m keeping my distance. I frankly found that some of the new mommy groups were the worst for the social exclusion…finding other like-minded toddler mommies has seemed to be a touch easier.

      Theadequatemother: your table sounds delightful. Count me in.

    • Dr Kitty

      In terms of parenting, my elective prelabour CS might as well be a scarlet letter.

      My friend had to tell her child the truth about Santa because he had nightmares and panic attacks about the idea of a strange man in the house. Things got worse when the teacher explained to his class that Christmas was the celebration of the birth of the baby Jesus, child then explained that his parents told him baby Jesus wasn’t real because they are Atheists, and that Santa isn’t real either but is another story parents tell children to make them feel better.
      She wasn’t the most popular parent on the block.

  • Amy M

    The only point I would argue (and its nitpicky) is the most insulting, emotionally hurtful thing that can be said to a new mother. I think it is: You are a bad mother. Of course, its not said directly as often. More often its phrased like:

    Doing x, y,z is lazy and/or selfish.

    Suggesting that the baby won’t bond is a variation, but I don’t think its tossed around as much as “selfish” and “lazy.” The baby not bonding is more of an outcome of being a selfish, lazy, bad mother, along with the baby being sickly, stupid and fat.

  • Helen
    • mollyb

      That is one gray/blue baby in that waterbirth. Is that normal?

      • nervoussubject

        A variation of it. /s

        • Roadstergal

          Someone here once suggested a Grey Waterbirth Babies Tumblr…

          • Smoochagator

            Oh God. I mean, I get it, but oh God. The fact that there is a plethora of images of gray waterbirth babies on the net to fill a tumblr feed is what makes this idea so horrid.

          • Roadstergal

            And that people think these pictures are awesome and not ‘holy shit, we dodged a bullet…’ The picture in the linked article is far from the most frighteningly grey picture that’s been referenced on this site.

            It really makes me wonder about long-term outcomes.

        • Liz Leyden

          I didn’t have a water birth, and my daughter was born blue. Perhaps I should post it on Facebook.

      • Young CC Prof

        A brief unscientific survey of water birth pictures on the Internet concludes that too darned many waterbirth babies look awful. Not “kinda blue.” Kinda blue is normal for a baby who was born a couple minutes ago. Blue all over, white, grey, etc.

        And yes, the worst part is that no one in the room appears to realize that the baby doesn’t look healthy.

        • guest

          I’ve seen a fair number of babies born blue, but pink up within a few minutes, if they are crying and vigorous with good tone. The pale, gray ones are the ones that really scare me.

        • MJ

          My third baby was born blue. My hospital midwives noticed, checked everything they needed to check while he was on my chest, and were able to tell me confidently just why he was fine and how they knew it (heart rate, respiration, sound, movement, colour of his gums). They weren’t assuming or ignoring anything. They didn’t completely ‘trust birth’, and that’s just the way I liked it.
          Oh, and by way of follow up, baby pinked up nicely in his own sweet time (and turned three last week!)

      • Bugsy

        A google search of blue water birth babies brought me to this (graphic and disturbing) video. The poor dolphin.

        http://www.pinterest.com/pin/110971578292838393/

      • theadequatemother

        I dunno…sure baby is blue but he or she is also “making a face” which would be two points for reflex irritability plus it seems to be moving/ flexing it’s arm. That’s not a floppy unreactive baby and will prob be just fine after the first breath. Colour isn’t everything.

    • Amy M

      Hahaha! I only read a few comments, but all the ones I read all responded with: So don’t use FB,a private entity which can make whatever rules they want, start your own website if you want to post your pictures, and stop making everything into a feminist issue (as in FB having an anti-nudity rule is not a feminist issue.)

      I don’t understand why these birth junkies are so obsessed with “getting the message out” and “changing the way we think about birth.” Can’t they just obsess to themselves? Can’t they see that most (Western) women are pretty happy with their current views and experiences of birth? Obviously they can’t see that, or they would stop posting silly article that all say the same thing all over the internet.

      • Melissa

        Because for them birth is a performance and all performers need an audience.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Yes, more whining from Milli Hill.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        My comment on The Guardian Piece:

        “Thanks, Milli Hill, for demonstrating that the philosophy of natural childbirth is not a feminist issue, but rather a philosophy of privileged Western, white, relatively well off women who think that the worst thing that can happen to them is that Facebook is interfering with their freedom of expression.

        Childbirth is, indeed, a feminist issue, and we should all be working to end maternal mortality, prematurity, neonatal death, obstetric fistula, lack of access to birth control, and the shackling of women prisoners in labor, among other issues that violate the rights of women and limit their ability to pursue their own happiness.

        Sorry, Milli Hill, but in a list of the top 10 feminist reproductive issues, the removal from Facebook of photos depicting naked natural childbirth advocates giving birth ranks approximately 29th.”

  • Aethelrod

    Yes, this. I had people bullying me before my twins were born because I failed to enthusiastically endorse natural childbirth and attachment parenting values to strangers (I favored noncommittal responses to people who had no business asking about my plans for birth or breastfeeding).

    I got a lot of pressure to “not allow” doctors to perform a c-section on my for any reason. I didn’t fall for it, because even my midwives were clear that twin births are more likely to need intervention (I had awesome midwives who insisted on a hospital birth for twins). But, because of the anti-intervention crowd I never got information to prepare me for the emergency c-section I eventually had. I was unprepared and didn’t know what I could and couldn’t ask for (such as whether skin-to-skin would be possible while being stitched up, whether the curtain could be lowered to allow me to see their birth, whether I could (or needed) to request the babies be placed in a shared incubator, or at least in incubators next to each other. Insisting on one way of birth made information on other options scarce. I don’t regret my c-section, but I do regret not having a say in our care afterwards.

    • Bugsy

      Kudos to you for even acknowledging that you don’t completely endorse attachment parenting. I find myself struggling to do the same. Even though we can trust ourselves and our parenting decisions, there is such a stigma around not embracing attachment parenting as the end-all be-all way to be the perfect parent.

    • Guest

      Yes – same thing happens with bottlefeeding: the focus on breastfeeding makes it next to impossible to find useful information about how much formula to give your child.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        As shared on another thread–this experience was mine, too.

    • MJ

      I remember being at a party with a friend who had given birth to twins earlier that year. Some wide-eyed ingenue asked breathlessly “did you have them naturally?”
      My friend looked at her, eyebrows raised “hell, no!”. And that was the end of that. Could have hugged her.

      • Therese

        Usually when people ask if you had your twins naturally, they are referring to whether you used fertility treatments or not.

        • MJ

          True – but in context it was clear that this was a question about the birth of the babies.

      • Amy M

        Haha! I tell people (who ask) that my twins’ birth was pretty unnatural, with all the pitocin and epidural and vacuum and whatnot.
        I’ve never actually gotten the “Are they natural?” question so many multiples parents seem to get. What’s weird is my boys are identical, and most people can’t tell them apart, at least at first (They don’t dress alike), and the 2 questions we get most often, about equally are: 1)Are they twins? and 2)How can you tell them apart?

        Which is way better than all those people with b/g twins who get “Are they identical?”

        • Haelmoon

          I get asked about my little two being twins – they are 15 months apart, but the younger girl is as big as her bother. There are a lot of twins in our town, so frequently in swimming or dance classes, there are other sets of twins.
          It got funny when my son (no six) started to answer “yes, we are twins”. It turns out he thought twins were bothers and sisters who loved to spend time together, so he assumed they met the criteria.

          • Young CC Prof

            Aw, that’s sweet.

  • Kq

    This.

  • guest

    New motherhood not the last bastion of acceptable bullying. It’s still acceptable to bully obese people too, unfortunately.

    • just me

      Muslims too…

    • Are you nuts

      Exactly what I was coming here to say. Totally acceptable in our culture to exclude and mock people who are “overweight.”

  • BriarRose

    You rock, Dr Amy! Luckily I was very “educated” from your blog before I gave birth in August and was able to tell all those bully to STFU. It was amazing what people thought was acceptable to say to be because I gave birth in a hospital, got an epidural and that I formula feed. Not to mention sleeping in her own crib from the day she came home from the hospital. They can kiss my rear end as even though my husband and I split all baby tasks equally, it is Mommy who can always calm our daughter down no matter what. Sounds pretty bonded to me.

    • guest

      Not only what they think but that they think it’s “OK” for them to grace you with their superior opinions and advice! Good for you for standing up to them!

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

        My niece has a new baby, and has a lot of posts on facebook about how she doesn’t sleep much. Of course, there can be reasons for it and all, and she’s talked to the doctor about it, and has doctor suggestions, and when she says something on facebook about how “we had a rough night last night, she wouldn’t sleep more than 1 hr straight; I’m pretty exhausted” there are a lot of responses of “hang in there! It will get better when she gets older” (I mean, she is like 2 mos old right now) but there is inevitably someone who has to chime in with “Maybe it’s reflux; you should try a probiotic”

        She is always polite, and responds with “She has been taking probiotic since she was born” (she had some early antibiotics for a complication so was put on probiotic from the beginning), but seriously, she didn’t ask for anyone’s advice, and, if these people had actually inquired, they would know that she has talked to the doctor about the possibility, and is doing probiotic just in case. Clearly, what she is doing is venting, and just wants a sympathetic ear.

        Someday, I might respond to her response with, “Hey, maybe you should take her off the probioitic (now that her antibiotic treatments are done). Seems it can’t be any worse.”

        But again, she didn’t ask for my advice, so I just give her encouragement and wish her well.

        • Amazed

          You should try… What on earth? Is this medical advice on the freaking internet?

          Now, don’t get me wrong. A few times, I happened to ask, Could he have this or that, when friends were complaining of the hardships they were experiencing with their babies. But that’s the perks: those were RL friends, in RL conversations, they knew it was genuine interest in their kids’ wellbeing and they knew I was asking a question, not dispersing sage advice.

          Come to think of it, a recent visit showed me just how little I know of a friend’s child feeding’s life. We were sitting in her kitchen and she asked, “Would you have some Tia Maria?” I said yes and since that’s a favourite drink of ours, I asked whether she would have one, as well. It suddenly dawned on me that I had no idea whether she was breastfeeding or formula feeding her ten month old. I took care not to overstay and she preferred it if I came over more often but for two or three hours at most, so I usually left around the time the kid was fed. After all, I was a distraction, from his PoV.

          Turned out the favourite drink was forfeit. She was breastfeeding.

        • me

          IDK. You post on FB about how exhausted you are and, yeah, you have opened the door for advice. Most people want to be helpful and sympathize with the sleep deprivation of having a new baby, so, yeah, if you’re complaining on FB you are soliciting advice. Especially if the complaint is a common theme in many of your posts.

          People just want to help, you can’t call them busybodies if you were blabbing about your problems on FB. If you don’t want comments/suggestions, don’t post it in the first place. Or, state that you are simply venting and are not looking for advice. Then if anyone offers advice in spite of that, well, that makes them an ass.

          • Smoochagator

            This is why I am very, VERY selective about how much bitching I do on the FaceSpace.

        • Smoochagator

          Everyone always has something to say, and the vast majority of them are well-intentioned but clueless. My kids don’t walk until they’re nearly two. It happened with my first, and his pediatrician was unconcerned, and here we are with the second, and though the pediatrician continues to be unconcerned, on the recommendation of our physical therapist, my daughter will see an orthopedist to rule out any underlying issues (though she is making progress in therapy). Over and over again, I hear, “Maybe you just hold her too much,” or my favorite so far, “I couldn’t afford fancy swings and such for my kids so they all walked early.” Le sigh. Okay, I’ll check in with my pediatrician and orthopedist about how I may have stunted my child for life by holding her too much or using a fancy swing that, you know, THOUSANDS of other parents (with normally developing children) have used. It can’t possibly be genetic (my father didn’t walk until he was two). No! It’s all mommy’s fault for being too clingy and spoiling her babies.

          • AlysrianXian

            Oh man…my oldest didn’t walk until she was 2, as well. Her father had the same issue and didn’t walk until he was 3! Eek! I had everyone and everybody telling what I should/n’t do to get her walking. At one point, some random doctor (first time ever seeing this one) told me that she thought my daughter was autistic because she wasn’t walking yet. Seriously.

            My other daughter walked around a year, and my son is already walking at 9 months. I think it might help having siblings walking and teaching them, though.

            Just ignore them and do your own thing (it didn’t help that my oldest was the first grandbaby/baby in the family so everyone suddenly had an opinion about everything). Make sure your kidlet is healthy (and loved) and that’s all that really matters. Ignore the annoying ones, that’s what I do.

        • Smoochagator

          Also, I have a friend whose daughter is maybe six months older than mine and her baby was often sleeping for just one hour stretches at night, whereas my kids usually sleep through the night early and only wake a lot when ill or teething. I don’t think this has anything to do with my skills as a parent, it’s just the luck of the draw, so I tried not to offer advice. I just thought as I read her status updates, “Geez, that really sucks.” And often commented as such. I think parents who are struggling usually just want to hear someone else say, “Man, it’s hard, huh? Hang in there!” When we need advice, we ask for it, we talk to professionals, we consult our “Baby Whisperer (or whoever)” books, etc. But sometimes, in the end, the answers aren’t so easy and we just want someone to see our struggle and encourage us to hang on.

        • Are you nuts

          When she does sleep through the night in a month or two and posts a jubilant message about it, she needs to be ready for, “babies shouldn’t sleep through the night so young…” Eg if you really love your child you sleep next to them and let them nurse every hour or so all night long. I’ve seen that one play out in Facebook comments.

          • Elizabeth A

            Just tell her not to make that post. Good baby sleep is fragile. It breaks if you mention it. (This was my real experience. I offer it in the hopes that it helps.)

          • Amy M

            Back when my boys were in that stage, I had a LiveJournal, so it was just close friends. I invented a game called Sleep: Babies vs. Parents, which had each side getting points depending on how much sleep my husband and I got, and why/how often the babies woke up. I put the rules on my LJ, for my friends to laugh at, which they did. I’m sure it would offend many mothers on FB today. Sadly, I don’t remember any of the rules…

          • Young CC Prof

            That sounds like a really fun game.

          • Amy M

            I was so, so exhausted.

  • Bugsy

    “Michel Odent says pain is necessary for bonding.”

    He’s probably the same type of *caring, empathetic* person who would say that my endometriosis-related menstrual pain is a sign of my femininity, and thus something I should embrace and welcome. Ha. Debilitating cramps on a monthly basis – who on earth wants that?

    Given the option for an epidural during labor, I would have been crazy not to take it. It allowed me to completely disassociate my son’s birth from the menstrual pain I am unable to escape. (If they start offering epidurals for menstrual cramps, sign me up!)

    • Mishimoo

      One of my friends is waiting for a pelvic pain appointment which is ages away and quite fairly complained on FB about how laying in bed in so much pain that she daren’t move is frustrating. I wanted to slap the person that responded with “Think happy thoughts!”

      • AlysrianXian

        I had severe SPD (aka severe pelvic girdle pain), too. I was in a wheelchair for about 5 months with my latest kidlet’s pregnancy. Oh, it was BAD. I had a LOT of people trying to act like I was exaggerating or that it was all in my head. Right. Uh huh. I really could NOT walk. (My hip went out on Halloween Night, go figure. I was afterwards to keep my walking to a min., which helped.)

        You should tell her to try to keep her knees together when getting off the bed (I had my husband carry me into the tub or off the bed/couch). Use a pillow, not too soft, not too squishy, in between her legs while laying down (or under her knees). There is also a belt she can try and some stretches that my physical therapist gave me to do. Some women swear by osteopaths (or w/e they are), and that one method…forgot the name.

        I personally tried all of the above, AND was taking high doses of hydrocodone, but nothing worked and it just kept getting worse and worse.

        The only thing that really helped me was the couch and lots of hot baths. My husband would also wiggle my hips to try to get my hips back into alignment and sometimes it would work. Otherwise, TOO MUCH PAIN. (My hip was actually dislocated by about 4 inches by the time I gave birth and my hip line looked like this: / but not as extreme. )

        Have your friend look into symphysis pubis dysfunction. I think it was 1 in 7 women get it during pregnancy, and a 1% of all women pregnant are wheelchair bound. Another 1% of the wheelchair bounds have lasting issues AFTER labor. My facts might be wrong.

        There is really nothing that can be done for severe SPD though. All doctors will usually brush you off or tell you to just have the kid and “everything will be fine”.

        Also, as told by my doctor again recently…once you have SPD, you will most likely get it again in future pregnancies (I have it again) and sooner. My OB told me that I got it sooner and more extreme this time, because well…I had had it before.

        PS. During labor, I laid on my side and tied a ribbon around my knees so my hips wouldn’t spread too far during my epidurals. It hurts worse to give birth when dealing with SPD, too. Even with my amazing epidural, I still felt immense pain in my hip while pushing – even though it was only 3 pushes – I felt like I was ripping my hip apart for good.

        • araikwao

          That might be relevant if Mishimoo’s friend is pregnant, but unfortunately there are a heap of other causes of pelvic pain in the non-pregnant woman..I totally identify with you on the SPD,though. I had in my second (&probably last) pregnancy, and was limping quite badly at 28 weeks, but was able to get a brace from an outpost orthotist I know and it saved my function! Instant relief. It was pretty heavy-duty, not like the Tubigrip that a PT would give. Delivery sucked though – like I needed another source of pain :/

          • AlysrianXian

            SPD can occur in people who aren’t pregnant (and in serious cases requires surgery to correct). The main cause of it is having too much of a hormone called relaxin.

            Any type of pelvic pain is just…ouch! I really feel for anyone who has any type of it.

      • Bugsy

        Gotta love it. As if she hadn’t tried that before. I’m sorry for your friend’s pain – that can’t be very enjoyable at all.

      • Amy M

        Lie back and think of England?

  • OttawaAlison

    Before I had my eldest I actually put the cleaning bottles as one of my reasons that I wanted to breastfeed (among many other reasons). Of course having breast hypoplasia (unbeknownst to me at the time, I just thought I was small chested – oh wait that was all in my head right πŸ˜‰ ). Then once I needed to clean bottles I discovered a secret – it’s not hard.

    • Smoochagator

      I greatly prefer washing bottles to sitting with a hungry newborn attached to my breast for hours at a time, waiting for my body to figure out that it’s supposed to make something to satisfy that baby’s hunger.

      • KarenJJ

        Exactly. It’s why all my weighing up of breast vs bottle feeding and learning the benefits of breastfeeding prior to having my kid was completely useless. It wasn’t my decision. My baby was hungry and needed feeding. One method wasn’t working too well and the other method worked much better. It wasn’t like I was trying to pick between a red or blue jumper to keep the cold at bay, it was like finding one jumper fell apart when I tried to put it on and the other was snug and warm.

    • just me

      Hated washing bottles too. But (cough) we never sterilized. Isn’t that only for preemies? Or newborns (our babies didn’t use bottles til they were a few mo old as it turns out–nothing meant here)?

      But yeah. I’m grateful for my parent and me classes, but they pushed baby wearing. Finally I was like I don’t want a moby, leave me alone! (Seemed really complicated, just yards and yards of fabric, didn’t seem safe. Tried a sling a few times with #1 but she didn’t care much for it. Neck/back problems precluded use with the 2nd. Used a bjorn for convenience a few times.)

      • Leslie

        I have three kids — all were full-term, all were formula-fed, and all are thriving. Never — NEVER — did anyone in my house intentionally sterilize a bottle. I mean, if I had breastfed, do you think my nipples would have been sterile?

        And, as for washing those bottles, yeah, well, we put them all in the dishwasher, just like all our other dishes, glasses, and other food-serving items. (Come to think of it, that probably sterilized them…) I know, I’m a slacker.

        Did I mention my three kids are all thriving?

        • LovleAnjel

          Many washers have a “sanitize” setting that will effectively sterilize bottles.

          • OttawaAlison

            Ya, I insisted my newest dishwasher had a sanitize mode!

        • Cobalt

          That’s how I handle bottles, they’re just dishes for the baby, they get washed with the other dishes. I’ve also wondered about the clean breastfeeding nipples thing. A bottle gets washed each use, my boobs get washed once a day at MOST, which is like every ten feedings. Bras less often. It works out fine, but I wonder about the mechanism.

          • Amazed

            There’s this running joke… With your first child, you sterilize everything. With the second, you rinse. If the third introduces solids to him/herself by eating from the dog’s bowl – well, it’s the dog’s problem!

          • Mishimoo

            What joke? You mean I’m supposed to stop him? πŸ˜‰

            (every time that he escapes outside, he’s straight into their biscuits or standing in their water bowl. He’s not amused when I rescue him and ‘steal’ his food)

          • Amazed

            Is he trying to find himself a new mommy? That was what my brother tried to do after the one he had deprived him of his favourite entertainment of the day – decorating the walls with the contents of his potty.

            My mom’s reaction? “Go to the window, there’s a line of mommies outside, all waiting for you!”

            But back to your question… Yes, you ARE supposed to stop him. You don’t want to starve your dogs, do you? DO YOU?

          • Mishimoo

            It would appear that they’re practising their sharing – he gives them his food, he goes and grabs some of theirs.

          • Amazed

            I’ve seen such a thing. The kid was about five. Old enough to be left to play by himself and with the dog. When we went into the room, we found them sharing an ice cream.

            Ah, sweet brotherhood.

      • Elizabeth A

        Never sterilized a bottle. Not even for the preemie.

        I have microwave sterilized pumping equipment, but usually I felt it was sufficient to just wash it.

    • ersmom

      Bad mom here – I just threw everything into the dishwasher. Had enough bottles to go about 2 days.

      We would mix up a day’s worth of formula every night in a pitcher and just pour it into bottles as needed. Never warmed it up.

      My youngest is now 10. Obviously they suffered terribly.

    • guest

      I had low supply issues. With baby one I never had milk in only engorgement. The 2nd time my milk came in but never got more than 40 ml from both even with herbs and medications. I was convinced with what LC claim that there’s is no relation between size and supply. I don’t change my bras during pregnancy “size A” ! How did they diagnose you with hypoplasia?

      • Young CC Prof

        I suspect, though I don’t know for sure, that while there isn’t a relationship between size and supply, there is a relationship between growth during pregnancy and supply. I’d love to see some data.

        • guest

          Now I suspect too. LC keep repeating that most women don’t have real supply problems and never go into details of the real problems which will help women recognize them when they do. Oh wait we are just imagining that we have issues. All of what we get is JUDGING and JUDGING.

  • OttawaAlison

    It’s not just women, there are males like Dr. Odent and Dr. Newman who make inflammatory statements to women and both yield tons of influence among the birth and lactation communities.

    • Carolyn the Red

      The Newman clinic is local to me. Most of the local moms seem to revere him, with a few saying they diagnose everyone with something, lip and tongue ties that need treating, domperidone for everyone…

      I have absolutely no desire to go there for help.

      • Young CC Prof

        So, just like the overall LC profession: Nursing problems exist. Certain treatments that may be helpful for certain dyads exist. Evidence showing when do to what does not exist.

      • Anj Fabian

        ” they diagnose everyone with something”

        That’s usually a sign of a quack.

        • Elaine

          Well, to be fair, probably most people who go there do actually have some problem. They wouldn’t be looking for lactation help if they were doing fine at it.

  • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

    Last heading should be Institutional humiliations

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Thanks!

      • NoLongerCrunching

        Should it be two words for you: Alpha Parent?

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Yes, you’re right!