The breathtaking, unrelenting viciousness of Alpha Parent Allison Dixley’s book Breast Intentions

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You don’t have to be Freud to recognize that someone who dubs herself The Alpha Parent, and doesn’t have her tongue firmly implanted in her cheek, has self-esteem issues. And we’re all quite familiar with the sanctimoniousness of lactivists. But even I have to admit to surprise at the brutal, toxic and abusive nature of Allison Dixley’s new book Breast Intentions; How women sabotage breastfeeding for themselves and others.

I can’t say I wasn’t warned. On her Facebook page, Dixley heralded the publication of the book with this:

Dixley

Forget pussy-footing around “feelings.” Get some of this in your eyeballs. My new book Breast Intentions, available worldwide on Tuesday!”

I bought it, laid my eyeballs on it, and quite honestly was filled with … glee. As so often happens, no one does a better job at destroying the credibility of lactivists and exposing their true agenda than lactivists themselves. Dixley has staked her breasts as the two hills she’s willing to die on and no one could be happier than me.

The publisher, Pinter and Martin, has helpfully posted the full introduction to the book on line, so everyone can understand that Breast Intentions is a cri de coeur, trumpeting Dixley’s conviction that women who don’t breastfeed their infants should be consigned to a living hell of soul sucking guilt. Every page of the book, including the introduction oozes with contempt.

It starts on the very first page, in only the second paragraph:

Many women having babies today were formula-fed as infants. And the world around them is dominated by perceptions of infant feeding that can only be described as regressive: as a species, we have moved from the uncostly, self-regulating and environmentally friendly breast to the unquenchable industrial teat – a capitalist’s dream.

And Dixley knows just whom to blame: mothers!

The argument that individual women aren’t responsible for their failure to breastfeed appears plausible, comprehensible and consistent with the timeless and persistent world-view of women as the weaker sex…

Yet this response to a normal bodily function is needlessly reactive and awkwardly paternal. A blame-free breastfeeding culture infantilises women, framing them not as active agents capable of controlling their destiny and achieving their goals, but as passive wallflowers at the mercy of forces they are powerless to defy.

Dixley comes across like a nightmare version of a mother-in-law. Sure she’s blaming you for your failure as a mother, but it’s for your own good! She’s not going to “infantalize” you by demonstrating any of those sissy virtues like compassion and understanding.

Sociological theories would have us believe the answer lies in factors beyond the mother’s control – fetishism of the breast, formula-company advertising, vague notions of ‘lack of support’ and ‘a disabling social environment’ – in other words, we are led to believe that individual mothers are not responsible for the outcome of their attempts at breastfeeding. This assumption is defeatist and disempowering.

At times, Dixley’s prose reads like parody:

‘Social support’ is the buzzword of this apologetic era and dominates breastfeeding discourse. Yet social support is a broad umbrella term that can be conceptualised in so many different ways that it becomes redundant as a definition. Even so the term persists, hanging around like a fart trapped in an elevator. And, like a fart, the ‘support’ rhetoric functions as a comforting if elusive scapegoat, nifty at deflecting attention from other salient issues …

Dixley makes it clear that she is not one of those wishy-washy lactivists who euphemize their condemnation of women who can’t or won’t breastfeed as “support.” Their support reeks like a fart in an elevator. Dixley believes that what is needed is exhortations laced with casual cruelty, because the goal ought not to be to understand women who can’t or don’t wish to breastfeed, but rather to condemn them in the most vicious possible terms.

Dixley does use humor, though inadvertent:

The philosopher Nietzsche warned that we are most clueless about what is closest to us… Emotions drive our behaviour, yet we have a relatively ignorant understanding of them. If we want more women to choose breastfeeding in the ‘real world’, then we need to understand more about ‘real women’ – that is, women influenced by emotion.

You don’t say, Allison!

Neitzche also said:

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

But introspection is the last thing on Dixley’s mind (obviously!).

In Breast Intentions you may read things you would prefer not to. Indeed, there is a darker, more malignant side to the breast vs formula debate, particularly concerning women’s relationships with each other. This book exposes the unforgiving and angry constituents of the maternal character, revealing a mother’s capacity to deprave as well as to nurture. In exploring the mechanics involved in deception, guilt, envy, contempt, defensiveness and sabotage, the book penetrates emotions that often feel too ugly or too unacceptable to talk about, particularly in such a feminine domain. Yet this dark and opaque side of motherhood is one we leave untreated at our peril.

I agree, Allison.

Your deception, envy, contempt and defensiveness positively “reek” from every sentence that you write. And believe me when I say that I don’t view YOUR feelings as too ugly or unacceptable to talk about in a feminine domain. Indeed, I believe that the ugly emotions that you display, and the casual cruelty that hides your fundamental insecurity, are precisely what we SHOULD be talking about when we talk about contemporary breastfeeding advocacy.

Let me emphasize that I speak about your viciousness from the perspective of someone who breastfed four children until they weaned themselves, and I enjoyed it. But just because I did it doesn’t make me a better mother than anyone else who loves her children with her whole heart, indeed her entire being, as most women do. And that means it doesn’t make you a better mother, either, no matter how desperately you cling to that fiction.

Breast Intentions is breathtakingly, relentlessly vicious because Allison Dixley is breathtakingly, relentlessly vicious. She is the poster girl for everything that is wrong with professional lactivism, and I couldn’t be more delighted.

This year the holidays came early to The Skeptical OB; I suspect that Breast Intentions is the gift that will keep on giving.

  • Courtney84

    I know I am preaching to the chior over here. BUT, I hate that the assumption is that any woman who isn’t breastfeeding doesn’t wish they were breastfeeding. I soldiered on nursingpart time for 5.5 months. I started combo feeding at 9 weeks. At 6 months, it became apparent my child had FPIES (an allergic condition manifesting with GI symptoms) to corn. Reflecting back, my diet is very high in corn as I have a minor allergy to wheat. We eat a lot of corn tortillas and pasta made from corn. I think it’s likely the ongoing battle of dwindling supply, dropping percentiles, and odd feeding behavior may have been caused by corn in my diet before we knew corn was a problem. I did my best. My child wasn’t growing as he should. We were both miserable. I wanted to breastfeed and it didn’t work out.

    Lastly, I will point out that it doesn’t matter what a woman’s reason for not breastfeeding is. Their is no need to feel shame for whatever feeding choice you make. If your baby is being fed physically and emotionally and has loving parents she will turn out fine.

  • guest
    • Samantha06

      Damn!! And they are all horrible! Sounds like it might be a flop..yay!

    • Young CC Prof

      I’m still waiting for a war in the comments. I love it when comment wars start on Amazon reviews. It’s especially good when no one involved has read the book.

  • Gretta

    Sadly, there will be some poor, new Mom trying her darnedest to do everything every “expert” says so that she can do the best for her child… A new Mom who is going to read that drivel, blame herself, panic, and be miserable….. At the very time she should be happy, rejoicing, and enjoying her baby!!

    I think it’s cruel. As a new Mom, I wish I would have realized that just because someone is the loudest or the most outlandish doesn’t make them right.

  • aurora

    I agree with her partially – but even a broken clock is right twice a day. I made the choice to formula feed. I was not influenced by pretty formula cans or other “booby traps” – I chose to formula feed so that I could get a little of myself back after carrying a baby for 9 months. I take full credit for that decision and own it. Even if breastfeeding had been easy from the first latch I would not have done it. To have people pity me because I was “misinformed” *is* infantilizing, which has happened to me many times during my baby’s first months.

    • Janice

      It’s just as infantilizing to imply that women can’t make an informed decision and still choose formula feeding over nursing. Talk about regressive. This woman is clearly immune to her own logical failings.

  • araikwao

    Somewhat late to the party, here, but what the frick??? Not blaming women for not BFing is infantilising them, but somehow it is empowering and preferred and feminist to be horrible to them? How.does someone get a book contract tonwrite this kind of madness?

    • Carolina

      Self-published? Please be self-published.

  • annajrc

    The history has seen plenty of its kind already, yawn.

    • Cobalt

      This gets a lot closer to reality, but still doesn’t account for all the variables that are unknown until a woman actually tries breastfeeding with each child. Some problems are easy to predict, like if there’s a history of breast surgery or hormonal troubles. Other breastfeeding problems are unpredictable, like babies that don’t latch, low breast capacity, inadequate hind milk, or unexplained low supply. They still need to acknowledge that any feeding plan might need modification, and that by changing your feeding plan to using less or no breastmilk isn’t failing, and reasons for not breastfeeding don’t have to be major medical issues.

  • Sarah

    Perhaps we could all decide to spend whatever the purchase price of her book is on formula supplies to donate to local food banks.

    • guestS

      ooooh, if you do, take a photo of it and tag it to her facebook page and twitter account. lol.

  • How is it that Dixley can find a publisher for her brand of psychologically toxic feminism? Does this kind of thing actually sell?

    • And by feminism, I mean “biological essentialism”.

      • guestS

        I don’t know, but she does NOT like capitalism so she must be donating any and all of the profits to charity.

        Feminism and capitalism were obviously formula fed.

    • I expect it will sell quite well, in certain circles. Leboyer, after all, was quite a celebrity, with his speaking tours paid for by his publishing house, until Adrienne Rich showed that the “method” effectively relegated the mother to the sidelines while the good doctor dunked the baby in warm baths to encourage a “gentle transition” to life — all the [considerable] drama was between the doctor and the baby while the mother looked on.
      If Dixley gets a good publicist, she’ll sell.

      • Samantha06

        I had forgotten about the good old Leboyer baths! We did it, though, the doctors didn’t. We had a pan of warm water under the baby warmer, but we only did it at the parent’s request. And not for long either! That fad passed quickly, thank God!

  • Medwife

    She’s shamelessly trying to cash in on the Mommy Wars. I don’t believe for a second this is her actual opinion. It’s crazy.

    • Are you nuts

      I don’t really follow her but anytime I read something of hers, I can’t help but think one of these days she’ll admit she was joking and that her whole brand was intended to be satire.

  • GiddyUpGo123

    I am so lost by this notion that bodies can fail at everything—from eyes that don’t see 20/20 to knees that degrade over time to reproductive systems that fail to support a pregnancy but if it’s your BREASTS, they could not possibly fail for any biological reason, and if you don’t breastfeed it’s because of your own personal choices and nothing more. Why is it that breasts are so goddamned perfect and infallible but every other body part can succumb to forces outside of your control? And if breasts are so magical and perfect, why do so many women die from breast cancer?

    • just me

      Yeah. I guess my infertility was due to my “personality” and “depravity”.

      • Allie

        To suggest otherwise would be to infantilize you ; )

    • Sarah

      Not every other body part. Your vagina, uterus, cervix and placenta are also exempt. They don’t fail either.

  • Stacy48918

    I’m so glad that the meaning I find in my life extends beyond the life-span of my nursing relationship. Seriously, what is this woman gonna do with herself when her reproductive years are over? Find a way to shame me for not doing menopause right I’m sure.

    • Samantha06

      Oh yes! Menopause is a whole ‘nuther animal unto itself! The lactivists of today are the menopausal madwomen of tomorrow!

      • Medwife

        Oh dog help us with Boomers hitting menopause now. It’s bad enough.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Boomers. Think of all they contributed.

          In the 60s who were the hippies? 18 – 22 yos? Boomers.
          In the 70s, who was disco? mid-late 20s? Boomers.
          In the 80s, who were yuppies? mid-late 30s? Boomers.
          In the 90s, who was country line dancing? The same boomers who were discoing in the 70s (It’s the same friggin music even; you could just as well be doing the hustle)
          First president impeached? Boomer.
          Boomers have brought us a lot of crap.

          • Box of Salt

            Bofa “First president impeached? Boomer.”

            Wrong, by about a hundred years, give or take thirty.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_of_Andrew_Johnson

            I have no problem with blaming everything else on them – I’m a little to young to be a Boomer. When where you born?

          • Box of Salt

            ^too young.

            And cannot proofread.

          • I, fortunately, am too old to be a Boomer.

          • Samantha06

            Definitely a guilty boomer here! lol! I’m one of the fairly happy, healthy, decent folks who was given the corn-syrup/carnation evaporated milk formula as a baby, lots of meat and potatoes growing up, (especially the meat part, my dad was a butcher, so we got the best!) lots of real butter, white bread, tons of sweets and baked stuff, since my mother cooked and baked constantly, and, the best part…. margarine that was in a bag.. it was white and had a food color “button” you would pop and mix in around to make it look yellow! All that poison and I didn’t turn out too bad!

          • Samantha06

            Hey, whadaya mean, crap! I loved disco music!! It’s legendary! lol!

  • Box of Salt

    “I recommend that you read the book in chronological order”

    She has no respect for her audience.

    • yugaya

      Yup, this type of authoritative preaching is always linear within the narrowest context of its own narrative ( vocab redefinitions included). Besides, everyone who has done their own research knowns that the unicorn ink is only visible when you read it ‘the right way’. :)))

    • but woudln’t it be suobversive to read it from back to front or just to open it on some random site and go from there only to come back to the beginning? And now I am repeating to myself: I will not buy this book. I will not buy this book.

  • KarenJJ

    “The argument that individual women aren’t responsible for their failure to breastfeed appears plausible, comprehensible and consistent with the timeless and persistent world-view of women as the weaker sex…

    Yet this response to a normal bodily function is needlessly reactive and awkwardly paternal. A blame-free breastfeeding culture infantilises women, framing them not as active agents capable of controlling their destiny and achieving their goals, but as passive wallflowers at the mercy of forces they are powerless to defy.”

    So I’m hearing impaired. I had some fun replacing some of these words such as “breastfeed” with “hear”. I get the same ablist bullshit though. And the people doing the infantilising are certainly not the ENT, audiologist and other specialists that help me with my hearing. Same with the compassionate and helpful people around me that adjust their volume and how they say things and how they repeat things so that I can understand their conversation.

  • just me

    As a character on snl a few yeas ago would say, “b$tch, please!”. Wow. I don’t follow her but obv. Bf came easy to her. But seriously?! Yikes. People like her are why some mamas go to extremes like pumping around the clock thru multiple bouts of mastitis, using stranger donated BM etc.

    • Cobalt

      No please. Just a bitch.

  • Sue

    Hopefully, her book will only be read by the ”converted”, and not contribute to hurting anyone else.

  • Sue

    ”Many women having babies today were formula-fed as infants.”

    She is right. Current baby-boomers and cusp-ers have better health, longevity and life opportunities than ever before. Doesn’t seem to have had any long-term impact then, has it?

  • Angharad

    Ironically it was the Alpha Parent who inadvertently led me to Fearless Formula Feeder and the Skeptical OB. When I was pregnant it never occurred to me that breastfeeding (a natural process and way of nurturing babies) could be deeply painful or difficult. I rebelled against the “success stories” on her blog with mothers enduring terrible physical and emotional pain to breastfeed at all costs and searched for further information. I now have a beautiful, thriving, combo fed three month old.

  • mom4474

    My New Year’s resolution two years ago was to stay off of her Facebook page. It was not doing good things for me, especially since I was in the middle of struggling with the same breastfeeding issues with my third that I had with my first two (PCOS and IGT). Her comments, and those of her followers, would cut me to the core at a time in my life when that was the last thing I needed. My youngest is now 2 1/2, and I am well past the formula feeding years, but I have continued to stick with my resolution. Her page contributes absolutely nothing to the world, and I’m sure her book will be no different.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I’m glad you’ve stuck to your pledge. However, I’ve said it before, I have never understood the appeal of following someone who proclaims herself to be a better parent than everyone else in the first place.

      Unless, of course, the idea is that those people ALSO think they are better parents than everyone else and hanging out at TAP puts them in the cool group?

      • mom4474

        Yeah, I don’t know why I would read that crap on her page. I originally discovered her page because of something I read on FFF, and then I started reading it because it would give me crazy stories to tell my husband. Slowly, I started realizing that some of the comments were making me angry, and they were aggravating those feelings of failure that I thought I had moved past. Luckily, I have grown a thick skin over the past 5 years, but I can only imagine how much more those comments would have affected me as a new mother when I was struggling to breastfeed my first. Life is much easier without reading the nonsense put forth by her and her “Mean Girls” fan club.

        • Guest

          I agree. I felt much more as a failure the second time as I had read much more BS of how breastfeeding is perfect.

    • OttawaAlison

      Ironically when she used to visit the FFF page, she acknowledged that IGT does exist, but she also didn’t want the general populace to have access to that information, just lactation professionals. She’s being intentionally obtuse not acknowledging such challenges because she knows damn well they exist.

      • OttawaAlison

        So my photographic memory was slightly off (but not completely) she says in the comments section right here that mainstream bf literature should have info on it, but you don’t want to scare women off from breastfeeding with another challenge (though as someone with IR and IGT I would have appreciated it).

        http://www.fearlessformulafeeder.com/2012/06/fff-friday-didnt-i-have-a-right-to-know-that-i-might-not-be-able-to-breastfeed-and-why/

        Then a month later someone brings up IGT in the comments on her post and she doesn’t reply to it at all. I think the problem is that IGT screws up her dialogue.

        http://www.thealphaparent.com/2012/07/formula-feeding-as-choice.html

        It is hypocritical of her to say “women don’t need information on IGT since it could scare them away from breastfeeding, while in the quotes above that Dr. Amy posted says :

        “The argument that individual women aren’t responsible for their failure to breastfeed appears plausible, comprehensible and consistent with the timeless and persistent world-view of women as the weaker sex…

        Yet this response to a normal bodily function is needlessly reactive and awkwardly paternal. A blame-free breastfeeding culture infantilises women, framing them not as active agents capable of controlling their destiny and achieving their goals, but as passive wallflowers at the mercy of forces they are powerless to defy.”

        So basically, let’s give woman real information except when it conflicts with her agenda since she doesn’t want women to be scared away from breastfeeding.

        • Amy M

          Just like that Pinky lady from yesterday’s thread. Yay propaganda!

      • Young CC Prof

        Those would be the same lactation professionals who don’t understand conditional probability, perhaps?

        As in, only 5% of women truly have IGT, so there’s no way half my clients do. They’ve got to be lying or doing it wrong.

  • AlexisRT

    Well, she’s certainly learned how to switch her style from blogland to academic. What a shame that the basic content is the same, but it’s really quite striking how she dresses it up.

    • yugaya

      When you break it down it’s still nonsense chasing its own tail. It would take more time to mark it, but the strength of her polished-up arguments is the same as if she wrote ‘because I say so’ 100 times and left it at that.

    • Amy M

      Well, I skimmed through and at the end, she sums up with “Whether or not women breastfeed depends on their intentions.” Ok. So we need a whole book for that? That statement is sometimes true…most women who want to breastfeed, do. To make it complete, we could say “Whether or not women breastfeed depends on their intentions, their lactation ability, their babies’ ability to nurse and their life circumstances.” Voila, and so what?

      • AlexisRT

        I daresay that it’s gong to be “women choose not to breastfeed because they’re socially brainwashed into thinking breastfeeding is wrong/difficult/etc.”

        • Amy M

          So you think she is saying “women choose not to BF because they are socially brainwashed etc, but we should blame the women themselves, because at the heart of it, they made the choice?”

          • AlexisRT

            I’m honestly not sure she knows what she’s saying. It’s clear from her blog that she thinks women are just brainwashed or would choose to do the right thing (ie breastfeed). It’s the sheeple argument–it’s not meant to excuse us not breastfeeding, but argue that if we transformed society we’d all magically make the right (to her) choices. She’s trying to shoehorn two different paradigms in, social conditioning and choice.

          • Amy M

            That’s really confusing. So some women ARE socially conditioned, but its still their fault because they should have known better?

            Ugh, now who is infantilizing women? Evidently only the women who make the RIGHT choice are given credit for having autonomy and a sound mind.

        • yugaya

          Not only that, she argues that women who can’t breastfeed have somehow caused it by making socially conditioned, unconscious choices. She argues along the lines of …”you wore a skirt too short and that is why you got raped”, and adds that you ought to be ripped apart because you wore that skirt for all the wrong reasons to begin with.

    • Box of Salt

      Style?

      Anyone else besides me think she pretty much just doesn’t have any? Academic? It’s technobabble, without the the “techno.” String together a bunch of multisyllabic words and hope other people think I sound smart.

      Her writing reminds me of Jacob Crosby’s — and that’s not in a good way. Nothing either one of them has written makes me want to read any more of it.

      • Bombshellrisa

        Not unlike Melissa Cheyney

        • Box of Salt

          Bombshellrisa,
          that had crossed my mind. And all these years I thought it was we scientists who did not know how to write well (I have used papers from my own field as sleep aids).

    • Guest

      Blogging doesn’t make money!

  • Kq

    My jaw actually dropped.

    Shit like this is why I stopped even trying to be friends with most of my former social group.

  • Guesteleh

    I was about to say that I’ve never seen a photo of this crazy bitch but her publisher has one on its site: http://www.pinterandmartin.com/allison-dixley.html
    So I guess she is real. I was convinced that she was going to show up for a book signing and pull off her face Mission Impossible-style and it would turn out to be a man or someone wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.

    • Votre

      JUst took a look at her photo. “Bottle Blond” in every sense of the word isn’t she?

      • Allie P

        Hey! We bottle blondes would not like to be painted with the same dye brush.

      • Who?

        Oh so the picture at the top of the post isn’t her….my mistake!

      • V

        Can we keep the criticism and focus on her terrible character/ideas and not her appearance?

        • Votre

          Just trying to inject a little lightness. Apologies it didn’t work for you V. I’ll try to be ever so much more careful going forward.

          P.S. I’m a “bottle blond” – and proud of it too! – if it makes any difference.

          Later!

    • Samantha06

      “A former nursery nurse, Allison has two first class degrees in Early Childhood Studies and Law”
      Two “first class degrees”? Whatever that means.. And a former nursery nurse? Ugh! I’m sure she was a real “compassionate” nursery nurse too… especially towards breast-feeding moms having issues.. *shudder*

      • Bombshellrisa

        “First-class honours
        First-class honours, referred to as a “first”, is the highest honours classification and indicates high academic achievement.

        In 2010 and 2011, the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) reported that approximately 15% of all degree candidates graduated with first-class honours.[5][13] The percentages of graduates achieving a first vary greatly by university and course studied.[14] For example, students of law are least likely to gain a first, whereas students of mathematical sciences are most likely to gain a first.[6] In 2006–2007 and 2010–2011, 5.8% and 8.1% of law students gained a first, respectively; however, in those years, 28.9% and 30.0% of mathematics students gained a first, respectively.[6]”
        It’s British
        Also “nursery nurse” according to the NHS website is like a child care provider
        “Nursery nurses provide care for children up to the age of five years. They work primarily with young patients, although some are employed in nurseries looking after children of NHS staff. Nursery assistants will work alongside and usually under the supervision of qualified nursery nurses. They will often work alongside hospital play staff.

        The work of nursery nurses typically includes the following:

        providing physical, emotional and spiritual care to children
        coordinating play for children in a range of settings
        supporting carers in the parenting of their children
        developing play as a means of communicating information to children, to distract them during unpleasant procedures and to maintain their stage of development during illness or stress
        maintaining the environment in a child friendly manner
        maintaining toys and play equipment
        finding ways to stimulate children particularly those with special and sensory needs
        attending meetings
        working with members of multidisciplinary agencies within and outside of the NHS organisation they are working for.

        • Samantha06

          OK. I remember when my brother went to University in Canada in the ’70s, they had a three year and a four year bachelor’s degree. The four year was the Honor’s program, but don’t think they have the three year program anymore.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Of course, such things mean little to someone like me (and many of us who post here), who has a PhD and does things like, confers “First-Class Honours” on students that I think are worthy.

          Tossing degrees and academic honours goes as far as your audience is impressed by them.

          She might as well claim she is also a member of Mensa, to complete the laugh for us all.

          • Some of you have read my posts for some years now, and are acquainted with my opinions, so I am proud to state that I [1]graduated from high school, [2] graduated from a three-year diploma hospital nursing program leading to certification as a registered nurse in New York state, Washington, DC, the UK and Israel, [3] graduated from an approved midwifery program in the UK leading to certification as an SCM [British equivalent of CNM] in the UK and Israel [CNM]. [Edited to add that I’m a certified Lamaze instructor ]

            That’s it for education. Add to that, I’ve worked in all branches of maternity care, including NICU, lactation consultant, fertility treatment, high risk pregnancy, [as well as straightforward midwifery] since 1967 to 2012, in three countries, and given birth three times and raised three healthy, happy and successful children, and grandmother to two. I can’t begin to compare with the academic credentials of Dixley or Cheney. I must be an idiot.

        • Kq

          Spiritual care? Is this in catholic hospitals?

        • AlexisRT

          That definition is NHS specific. In the wider context “nursery nurse” is what the US would simply call an ECE/preschool teacher. It’s not a nurse in the hospital sense of the term. Americans use the term “teacher” more broadly.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Thanks-I don’t know much about that term at all.

  • Ottawa Alison

    Just because I am sure she will look at this post and the comments, Allison – I shall be donating extra formula to the food bank this Christmas in honour or your book!

  • Sani

    I am so glad lactivists like Allison are getting more of a public forum. She’s doing us such a great service: no rational, unprejudiced person can read this book and not be alienated.
    Breastfeeding and its promotion have become a pseudo-religion, with all the trappings of one (dogma, absolute belief in religious tenets despite clear factual evidence to the contrary, punishment of heretics and apostates,… ). Lactivists use science when it fits their preconceived ideas, but ignore the mounting pile of good-quality evidence to the contrary.
    The lactivist dogma that breastfeeding in developed nations influences long-term individual and public health in any meaningful way is eroding fast. The pressure to breastfeed has become so omnipresent that mothers are starting to rise up against it. People are demanding scientific evidence to support the inhumane way new moms are treated by healthcare providers in the name of breastfeeding promotion. As that evidence fails to materialise, the lactivist movement loses ground and they know it, so they become ever more hysterical and extreme.
    I’m quite confident that by the time my little girl has babies of her own, our age of lacto-extremism will be nothing but an embarrassing memory.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I find it interesting that the Onion, which is satirical yes, but very liberal and pretty crunchy (started in Madison, IIRC, but it is also very popular in Boulder, I can attest) has been mocking the lactivists. I mean, it’s got ads for all the woo in the world, but content-wise, it pulls no punches on the lactivists (and the anti-vaxxers)

    • Samantha06

      And hopefully homebirth will follow in lactivism’s wake…

    • Sue

      Her behaviour can be summarised as ”kicking own-goals”

  • yentavegan

    Ms. Dixley’s liberal use of the “f” bomb really negates the attempt to appear professional.

  • Allie P

    “I read this so you don’t have to.”

  • Sullivan ThePoop

    I wonder what made her feel so inferior and angry

    • Who?

      That’s what’s really interesting here, I agree. Feeling good about yourself by trying to create mini-me’s, and marginalising everyone else, is not the behaviour of a confident person.

  • If I don’t buy her book, and use the money saved to buy formula, how many cans can I buy?

    She is really one tragic woman, to be so monomaniacal.

    • I do like the idea of buying formula up to the suggested retail price of her book and donating it. I haven’t bought formula since I drank it myself (breastfed to a year, then I turned out to have a milk allergy) but I might just do that.