The real reason why lactivists oppose the Similac video

Guilt dollars

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen or heard about the thought provoking Similac video shown below, The Sisterhood of Motherhood:

Lactivists have rushed to point out that the video is a marketing tool.

Duh!

Everything done by industry is a marketing tool. In this case, the video serves the same purpose as those enigmatic Matthew McConaughey car commercials. It’s meant to promote brand awareness.

You might think that lactivists are appalled by the Similac video because it might undermine breastfeeding. That’s part of their ire, but that’s not the main reason. The real reason why lactivists are incensed by the Similac video is because it is meant to reduce the guilt that new mothers suffer.

Isn’t reducing new mothers’ guilt a good thing?

Well, yes, if you care about babies and mothers. But if you care about the breastfeeding industry, it’s bad, bad, bad. Why? Because the breastfeeding industry, from lactation consultants to the folks at the oxymoronically named Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, profits by monetizing guilt. Simply put, assuaging maternal guilt about formula feeding threatens the bottom line.

Consider the fee schedule for Baby Friendly Hospital accreditation. What? You thought the designation was free? Don’t be naive!

BFHI fee schedule

A hospital must pay $11,700 for the designation.

Moreover:

If a facility takes longer than one year in any phase, an additional fee, equal to the fee for that phase, will apply.

If a facility takes less than a year to complete any phase, it may move on to the next phase by submitting the appropriate materials and next phase fee. Phase fees are not pro-rated…

If a facility does not pass its on-site assessment, additional fees will apply for re-assessments.

No refunds will be issued for any fees paid.

And as the BFHI notes:

Fees paid by hospitals and birthing centers seeking the Baby-Friendly designation are the primary source of funding support for Baby-Friendly USA, Inc.

How about lactation consultants?

They charge $120-$300 per HOUR for their services.

Breastfeeding, for those in the industry, is big business and keeping those profits coming means inducing guilt in new mothers and then monetizing that guilt.

Even though the guilt doesn’t mean big bucks for lactivists who aren’t working in the industry, it is still worth its weight in gold. How else can you convey your superiority as a mother except by making other mothers feel guilty that they haven’t met the standards that you have set?

The inimitable Feminist Breeder had this to say:

“Don’t judge moms” is a great message overall, but sleezy when being used specifically to sell a product solely designed to separate you from your own milk.

English to English translation: “Don’t judge moms” is a great message overall, but horrible when it undermines my claims to superiority.

As usual, Suzanne Barston, The Fearless Formula Feeder has her eye on the ball. Writing about critics of the video, she notes:

But, see, you’re proving the point.

You’re proving that the perceived judgment among women isn’t all in our heads; that it isn’t something the formula companies and media have created, but rather capitalized on. Those are two very different animals. Of course formula companies are going to talk about judgment and choice and empowerment and all those other triggering terms in the infant feeding debate. Because it resonates…

Formula companies see the need, because women who formula feed are made to feel ashamed of their choice…

This is where she hits in out of the park:

This isn’t a war, even, because that implies some sort of mutual disagreement. It’s one side bullying another, refusing to hear the other side’s point of view, denying the other side’s right to exist. For that side, the only peaceful resolution involves accepting a totalitarian regime, no middle ground. And since there’s no way to argue against someone when they shut down your right to be heard, it’s a losing battle.

Lactivists opposed the Similac video, not because of who made it, but because it attempts to assuage guilt.

Follow the money. Lactivists monetize guilt; hence their horror when someone tries to alleviate it.

  • nikkilee

    I thought of you all here when I read this:

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      “there is no single decision that impacts infant and mother health more strongly than the decision to breastfeed a baby (or not).”

      Wow, this is not even in the ballpark of reality.

      • Cobalt

        It might be. If breastfeeding is insisted upon, and there is trouble with milk production, extraction, or digestion, the baby WILL suffer. If breastfeeding is insisted upon, and the mother requires incompatible medication, or has a depressive reaction to lactation hormones, or experiences persistent pain or mastitis, they will BOTH suffer.

        The choice to feed formula can prevent suffering, malnourishment, illness, and death. It’s a very important choice to have available. On the other hand, breast milk is only crucial for certain preemies and those with real access problems to formula.

    • Daleth

      Fixed it. 🙂 My comment is “awaiting moderation,” so we’ll see if they let it through…

  • Jose Monyenegro

    Most feminists are Pro-Choice. Of course that doesn’t pertain to how you actually feed the baby. Only whether there is a baby in the first place.

  • brenna

    Except that formula companies were the ones guilting and oppressing mom’s for the past 2 generations. This makes zero sense. Formula companies Make more money than breastfeeding ever will. I hate this commercial and nobody has ever paid me for giving breastfeeding support. Most women volunteer because they really believe in it

  • nikkilee

    Thought you all might enjoying analyzing this meta-analysis. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/79198/1/9789241505307_eng.pdf?ua=1

    • Kq

      *gets popcorn ready*

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Yeah, we are familiar with it. And it says nothing like what you have been claiming.

      The ONLY significant (as in, statistically significant) difference they could identify was a 2 point difference in IQ between breastfed and not-breastfed.

      That’s it.

      That’s what this is all about? 2 points of a poorly defined measure of anything?

      I thought you claimed the effects were HUGE?

      • anh

        And the standard of error on iq tests, I believe, is plus or minus five points, so a two point difference is meaningless

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          The average difference is robust, but for any single person? Means nothing.

        • Sarah

          Why I would have any interest at all in how my children do in historically racist, sexist IQ testing is beyond me anyway.

    • moto_librarian

      Oh nikkilee, perhaps you should try using the search box on this blog. Dr. Amy covered this one: http://www.skepticalob.com/2013/05/world-health-organization-no-long-term-benefits-to-breastfeeding.html

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Actually, nikkilee, why don’t you provide YOUR analysis of it.

      • nikkilee

        Please, please give me a similar analysis for formula. At present, all there seems to be is criticism of any breastfeeding studies. Where are all the studies showing that formula feeding confers health benefts?

        • nikkilee

          To be more specific, studies from impartial sources, such as public health organizations.

          • sdsures

            That’s what the WHO is.

        • Cobalt

          Any study of breastfeeding is also a study of formula. What do you think they are comparing breastmilk to in those studies? Goat milk and gruel?

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Based on the WHO report, we can conclude the following:

          There are no long term drawbacks to formula feeding in most aspects, with the exception that there appears to be about a statistically significant difference of about 2 points in average IQ.

          But here’s the problem: This report from the WHO is NOT a “criticism of any breastfeeding studies.” It is basically a summation of the results of breastfeeding studies! It’s not criticism of the studies, it’s an analysis of them.

          And you don’t like it because it doesn’t say what you want. And you can’t dismiss them because they are biased. So you have nothing.

          Of course, I noticed you never actually provided your own analysis of the report YOU posted.

          • sdsures

            “There are no long term drawbacks to formula feeding in most aspects, with the exception that there appears to be about a statistically significant difference of about 2 points in average IQ.”

            I always feel suspicious about any results that claim to affect IQ in one way or another. From my studies in psychology, we learned that the definition of IQ itself is a popularization that’s nebulous.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            For sure, and remember, that is the one actual statistically significant difference – for something that is completely nebulous…

  • NoLongerCrunching

    I finally watched the video. There are some things about it that I like, specifically the anti-bullying message, but the cynical part of me is uncomfortable with a few aspects. It is a brilliant marketing tactic on behalf of Similac, because they paint the AP moms as the judgey bitches, and the formula feeding moms as only fighting back to defend themselves. Some breastfeeding moms certainly are holier-than-thou, but I and other breastfeeding moms I know have been the victim of the other contingent treating our feeding our babies as gross and inappropriate in public. Similar saw fit to ignore that aspect of judginess, for obvious reasons.

    • OBPI Mama

      I thought it was good at showing judgement from all sides! I guess different eyes view it different. For instance, the formula feeding mom’s first reaction to seeing the breastfeeding moms seemed pretty rude and judgey (calling them the breast police or something like that). Then the Dads were kinda rude to the AP moms (helicopter mom alert!). I thought it was pretty fair all the way around!

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        That was my take, too, that they were all judgmental witches (including the dads)–up to the point the baby was in danger. For the record, I combo-fed for 4 months before going to exclusive FF, so according to nearly everyone, I was Doing It Wrong. :p

    • Paula Cattaneo

      the AP and lactivists moms are judgey bitches most of the time.

      I never se that amount of persecution that they claim to be victims of

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    Nikkilee is absolutely hilarious. Her screen name is “alwaysbest”, but she’s not judgmental. The Spudd couldn’t have done a better job.

    • Cobalt

      She’s all about breastfeeding for SIDS prevention. I wonder if she also advises against cosleeping and for pacifiers?

    • sdsures

      Great article!

    • Who?

      Alwaysbest is not judgmental that is very special…

  • S

    I’m probably the only one who feels this way, but that commercial scared the shit out of me. I know it’s exaggerated, but is that really the way people think?

    • Young CC Prof

      No, not most people.

      A few people, yes, but it is pretty exaggerated.

    • Cobalt

      Like car commercials. 99% of people don’t actually drive like that.

      It does make fun of the uncommonly sanctimonious person who does actually behave that way though, which is where the outrage come from. They don’t want to be called on their behavior.

      • Young CC Prof

        Rather a good litmus test. If it outrages you, it’s about you. If you laugh, or get a little misty, you are in the majority of generally reasonable people, no matter which “camp” you fall into.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Yep. Why be upset? Unless, of course, it hits a little too close to home…?

          • yentavegan

            It did upset me. I am adult enough to own my biases. I won’t discuss the video with friends and family members because then i expose myself as the judgmental sanctimonious i am pretending I am not…

          • Kq

            Can I say this is an incredible and awesome comment? I respect the hell out of you for saying it!

        • S

          If you panic, you need a social anxiety reality check. =) Thanks ladies! (And Bofa.)

        • Bugsy

          Yep. It’s so hard for me to fathom how it would even cause outrage. Beautiful video…

        • yentavegan

          Guilty as charged. This commercial did annoy me. I can’t help it. Some emotions run bone deep.

          • SporkParade

            Annoyance isn’t quite the right word, but the commercial did put me in an obsessive funk for a few hours as I chewed over my baby’s time in the hospital. My conclusion was that the commercial isn’t realistic because lactation Nazis don’t give a damn about the safety of babies.

    • Bugsy

      I agree w/ Cobalt below, not in 99% of cases. Within my parenting friendships, I find that we’re all a wonderfully delightful mix of parenting styles and beliefs. The common thread we share is that we respect each others’ decisions.

      My 1% is a friendship dating back to elementary school. She became a judgmental, sanctimonious lactivist mom after the birth of her child, and the judgment she offered to me increased noticeably following the birth of my child. One conversation would leave me judgmental of every other parenting style, never mind in a funk for weeks completely questioning my own ability to parent.

      So I don’t think the majority are like this, I’m slowly learning to run far and fast from those who exhibit these traits… 🙂

    • Lena

      Honestly, I only ever see this on the internet. But I live mostly among people-of-color and working class families, so…

      • S

        My actual friends don’t act this way, but they also don’t live in my upper middle class Christian suburb. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for three years, and it still feels like a new world to me. (The social phobia is probably also a big part of that.) Growing up, everyone’s mom worked. The only moms that were home during the day were nurses on night shift.

        • guest

          When did all the religious moms become so freaking crunchy? I grew up in the 70s and 80s, and nothing has surprised me more over the past eight or so years. The whole natural parenting movement used to be the domain of people who wanted to be free thinking breakaways, while religious people were kind of pro-establishment. Now, even the young Mormons and Catholics are having homebirths and rejecting vaccines. What the hey?

      • Guesteleh

        I’ve seen it IRL but only among upper middle class crunchy liberals. It’s infuriating because I’m a hard-core lefty. I want to scream, “You’re supposed to be on my side! Be less stupid! Do better!”

      • Kq

        Visit Oregon. You’ll see it IRL… *eyeroll*

        • Bombshellrisa

          Yes! And it’s true for either side. Eastern Oregon is like this, even the small towns.

    • Lauren

      My experience is probably a little different.. I taught at an alternative private school for five years, and I have seen the height of crunchy mom snark face and judging. They live for breast-is-best, 100% organic cotton, all-natural, quinoa, Kombucha, cloth diapers, organic blah blah blah blah blah.
      I wouldn’t say these people were (or are) my friends – well in fact, they aren’t. For the most part, my friends are pretty supportive.

      Family on the other hand…
      Doesn’t seem to matter which side of things you’re on, which way you want to do something, it’s always wrong, or you’re ‘just overreacting’, or my personal favourite, “Well *I* had X kids and *I* never had to do that/worry about that/resort to that”.
      Goodie for you that what you did 20 years ago without the benefit of contemporary studies and medical opinion turned out well for you, even though most of it turned out to be dangerous or just wrong.
      But thanks. I’ll also buy my car seat from a garage sale and make sure it was made in 1979 – cause hey, YOU never had any problems with it! And I’ll make my own homemade formula from evaporated milk! Totally nutritionally fine! Then I’ll put my baby down on her side, in a crib lined with pillows and blankets, complete with a bottle she can’t hold up (but that’s okay, you can just prop it sideways!)
      Yep.
      Love that ‘handed down from the wise sages of the world’ advice – which I didn’t ask for.
      😛

    • OBPI Mama

      In my experience, it is that way with the more “extreme” thinking crowds, but not in the older moms/moms of many/mainstream moms crowds. I was shocked when I put my boys in school and would talk to the moms of other kids there (during sports events or whatever) and they were so “whatever works for you” whereas a lot of people from my other community were so much more “This is how it all should be done!”

  • Dr Kitty

    Let’s actually talk about real world benefits of breast feeding in the developed world.
    Some people enjoy it.
    Some people find it convenient.
    It may lower your risk of certain conditions, but you’re still beholden to your own lifestyle and genetics, and and risk reduction is minimal.
    It may lower your baby’s chance of certain conditions, but again lifestyle, environmental and genetics will have a much greater effect on their risk than infant feeding choice.

    That’s it.
    By the age of five you can’t pick the EBF from the EFF kids.
    Any benefits are minor.

    So BF if you want to, combo feed if you want to, FF if you want to.
    It is one of the less important parenting choices you will make.
    Really- compared to choosing a nanny or daycare, the person or people who will be your child’s care giver(s) and will shape their development and personality, choosing whether or not to BF is nothing!
    Just do what makes the most sense to you, as long as you feed your baby!

    • Bugsy

      “By the age of five you can’t pick the EBF from the EFF kids.”

      Hahaha, I’m pretty sure my completely attachment parent/lactivist friend would disagree with you on that one. They raise such sensitive flowers, after all…

      (I completely agree with you, by the way.)

      • Cobalt

        You can, sometimes, pick out the ones whose parents are completely bonkers, though.

        • Bugsy

          What are you saying about the kindergartener I know who brags about his organic furniture and that he’s allergic to GMOs?? 🙂

          (Bad Bugsy!)

          • Roadstergal

            I’ll go with that. Unlike food, which generally always contains carbon (I’m not counting seasoning), you can actually have inorganic furniture. 🙂

          • sdsures

            *pictures that kid’s younger sibling chewing on the furniture*

        • Dr Kitty

          Oh yes, you can pick out the differently PARENTED children, you cannot pick out the differently FED ones.

          The child who hits and bites whose mother says “we don’t like to use the word no”, the child who looks longingly at the plates of cocktail sausages and cookies at a party, but has to eat their own rice cakes and grapes, the kid who swears like a sailor, the kid who has perfect manners and sends little presents home with their school friends…
          Who knows how they were fed, but you have some idea how they’re being raised.

    • sdsures

      How does breastfeeding lower a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer?

  • yugaya

    Gotta love the obligatory rebuttal attempt: http://www.nikkileehealth.com/evidence-change-beliefs/

    My favourite? The fact that she can’t even bring herself to utter the dreaded F-word and goes to great lengths to avoid using it.

    • Cobalt

      She completely missed the point. Completely shocking, I know.

    • Young CC Prof

      I have to wonder where she works that “hospitals make no provision for breastfeeding ever.” I guess the LC who came to visit me when my son was 90 minutes old was a postoperative hallucination, and the (much more useful) postpartum nurse who actually got him eating didn’t exist either.

      Many of the younger LCs are just inexperienced, but among the older LCs, there are two different sorts. One is practical, happy to help you breastfeed but also quite willing to tell you when it’s not working and advise you on other options. The other group is stuck in 1978, and believes the “war” they won years ago is still just beginning.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Ugh. More mockable idiocy from her that would have been good to know.

        • Cobalt

          Her blog accepts comments. I don’t know what the moderation policy is, but mine’s been up for a good hour and a half.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Sorry, life’s too short to go chasing after idiots just for mocking.

          • Cobalt

            I’m stuck home avoiding the plague, and it has entertainment and educational value.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Go for it. I do have things I should be doing, and I waste enough time as it is…

          • Samantha06

            I saw that… loved it!

    • Samantha06

      “They will not open themselves to any other possibility but the one that they know to be true, regardless of the evidence. Fascinating.”

      How ironic.. When I read that statement, I was thinking, that’s HER… it’s obvious she was more than disturbed by being challenged and called on her beliefs….

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        She ran into a problem in that, what she was selling, we’ve already heard. Countless times.

        • Samantha06

          Yep.

    • Amy M

      Ugh, I hate how “Formula feeding is perfectly fine” gets warped into “They are against breastfeeding!!!” Does anyone actually hate breastfeeding as a concept? I mean sure, there are plenty of women who hate DOING it, but no one, not even the women who hate committing the act of breastfeeding are on any sort of campaign against it for everyone else. But I guess anyone who refers to breast milk as “mamma milk” would have an immature view of things.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Yeah, I always figure that is a telling attitude. If you aren’t so much in favor of breastfeeding that you aren’t distorting the facts to promote it means that you are anti-breastfeeding, then there is a serious problem in the argument.

      • Guest

        We call it “Boobie-juice” in my house. But we are a bit weird like that.

        For so many of these people, it is all or nothing, with us or against us. I’ve got an infant on the boob right now (let me be sure to add the lovely code ***NAK*** so everyone will know). And FORMULA IS FINE!!! As long as parent and child are happy and healthy, breast or formula or any combination thereof is fine. How is my support of formula or “whatever works for you” a threat to breastfeeding? Nikki, if you want to shame those who use formula, just be upfront about it. But don’t you EVER assume that pro-choice (of feeding style) is the same as anti-breast.

        Let me say again, AA style: I am a breastfeeding mother, and I support a parent’s right to feed their infant in whatever manner they prefer!

        • sdsures

          Reminds me of how some pro-life people assume that being pro-choice is the same thing as being pro-abortion.

        • Elaine

          I sometimes type “nak” when it is the case to provide an excuse for why my posts are so clipped and terse. If I can actually type with both hands, I tend to go on a little more. 😉

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          what does NAK mean?

          • Mom2Many

            Nursing at Keyboard?

    • MLE

      Because “industrial feeding” brings to mind the images she wants to associate with formula – factories pumping out pollution, giant vats of glowing chemicals, and acres of cold, scary metal machines. Contrast that with warm mama milk straight from a soft boob.

      • sdsures

        Oh lord, is she still saying “mamma milk”?

    • Paloma

      I also find very strange that she keeps stating that formula feeding has been the norm in the past. I don’t know about the US, since I don’t live there, but as long as I remember breastfeeding has been the norm in Spain, for my mother’s generation, for my grandmother’s, etc. These people just have a very strange grasp of reality in general…
      She keeps saying that they don’t intend to induce guilt. But in my (very short) experience as a resident, it is heartbreaking to see moms come to the ER crying and stressed because they are not able to breastfeed and they feel like the worst mother in the world (because that is what she has been told over and over again). How can people like her deal with this every single day and not think that they might be pushing too hard?

      • Amy M

        Formula feeding has been the majority in the US, in 40s-70s, possibly before that. Breastfeeding rates started increasing again in the 80s.

    • Amazed

      My favourite has to be her reply on Dr Amy’s scathing comment on her “breast is the baby’s choice”. Cause you know, babies crawl to the breast!

      Babies also crawl to the edge of the bed the moment they learn to roll. Is breaking their heads their choice?

      Anyone who goes over there, feel free to quote me.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        I just pointed out that the LC’s tell women to avoid bottles because of “nipple confusion” since bottles are easier for babies. That would mean that babies prefer bottles!

        • Angharad

          My daughter not only has preferred bottles since day 1, but also the taste of formula. I spent an hour and a half topless with a lactation consultant spraying formula on my nipples in an attempt to entice my one-day-old baby to latch on. It was not my most dignified hour.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I hope you don’t mind that this made me giggle out loud–and oh, man, did I need that tonight! Thanks. 🙂

          • Angharad

            I’m so glad the experience was good for something! In retrospect it was completely laughable.

      • sdsures

        She thinks human babies are kangaroos? That’s the only animal I can think of that crawls toward the teat (i.e. into the pouch).

        • NoLongerCrunching

          A newborn baby actually does have the ability to crawl to the breast. It’s pretty cool. Google “breast crawl.” And of course they will latch right onto a bottle if it touches their face or your nose for that matter lol.

          • sdsures
          • Young CC Prof

            I THOUGHT it was a little odd the way my son would violently shake his head back and forth when something brushed his cheek. He had like rooting reflex times ten, which made it REALLY hard to get him latched.

          • sdsures

            Has it resolved?

          • Young CC Prof

            For some definition of resolved. We wound up bottle feeding him, and like most babies, he eventually outgrew his newborn reflexes.

          • OBPI Mama

            It always strikes me as a bit mean though… that poor baby just went through birth and someone is making it work more and crawl to his/her food source?! Just put the poor baby on the boob already!

          • NoLongerCrunching

            Yeah, it’s just an interesting set of reflexes. Usually the mother helps the baby LOL.

          • Cobalt

            My husband found out about nose latching during a diaper change. Got the little guy all dressed, leaned in for a snuggle and SCHUP! He now has a lot more respect for what I put up with nursing.

      • yugaya

        “As for babies crawling toward the breast, they will also crawl right out the window when they are able to do so. And, given the choice, they will put poison in their mouths if it looks interesting”

        Always best, eh?

  • Dr Kitty

    Nikilee seemed awfully concerned about SIDS.
    What about the very well documented cases of newborns who have died of suffocation in BFI institutions because their exhausted mothers were bed sharing, or fell asleep while feeding them?

    Or, when hospitals tried to reduce the risk of babies getting trapped between bed sides and mattresses, and mandated no bed sides when feeding, the babies who died or suffered head injuries because they fell out of high hospital beds?

    Any deaths directly related to formula in the USA are so rare as to be difficult to quantify, yet there have been several case reports of infant deaths directly related to BFI, and apparently it is still a sought after designation that is worth paying thousands of dollars to obtain.

    We must save babies from the horror of having an IQ 2 points lower, and more one ear infection and episode of D&V….by implementing policies that are known to have directly contributed to the deaths of many infants!

    Nope…I don’t see the logic either.

    • StThomas

      If you look at her site, she offers craniosacral therapy and homoeopathy so litttle evidence of evidence base or logic
      http://www.nikkileehealth.com/holistic-lactation-consultant-breastfeeding-teacher/

      • yugaya

        Parachuters often turn out to be driven to post here by financial motives. Which is good, apparently this blog is cutting into their profit margins and making enough of a difference for them to attempt to do damage control (in most hilarious ways).

        • Cobalt

          Note, she didn’t link here in her “rebuttal”.

          • yugaya

            They (NCB) like to tell everything in their own words so that people can make “properly” informed choices and form “right” objective opinions.

            It’s like they are selling a parody version of what the label says while claiming and believing that it is the real thing. Gobsmackingly brilliant entertainment until you start getting an idea of how dangerous it is.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Whoa, I wish I had known that. Could have gone straight to mocking her about it.

      • yentavegan

        ok. there goes any sympathetic sister vibes I had for her…

  • Haelmoon

    My oldest child needed to have formal testing done for ADHD and fine motor delays. They questioned me about her birth and early development. They weren’t interested in how she delivered, just how stressful the process was (cord prolapse) and any pregnancy complications (IUGR and oligo). They were interested in any neonatal or paediatric problems (NEC, readmission at two years with intubation for RSV). What they didn’t as (or care about) was whether or not she was breastfed. It doesn’t matter, that is the truth of it. She was diagnosed with both and referred on to PT and OT. They didn’t care if she was breastfed either.
    Funny thing is, she was breastfed, for 12 months. It doesn’t make enough difference to matter.

  • Elizabeth.

    Neither of my kids had any formula. The laatest one didn’t ever even get a bottle of pumped milk- when I saw this ad I howled with laughter that set off a coughing fit so bad I had to use my nebulizer.

    I thought it was clever. And cute. And obviously hysterical.

  • Guest

    OT: Has this post been discussed yet? https://midwife101.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/shridams-birth-story/

    I was in tears and just furious by the end. That poor family…

    • Stacy48918

      Yes, it’s up on Hurt by Homebirth as well. It’s an awful story. 🙁

  • Tosca

    I (almost) feel sorry for nikkilee. She’s obviously used to lactivistsplaining to laypeople, and Dunning-Krugered over here to condescend to us as well. Where she was met with real scientists who do MEAN THINGS like ask for evidence and question the methodology of her Studies! And they don’t get deleted and banned!! No wonder she became busy.

    • Kaycee

      Real scientists?Really? You sure don’t act like it. My take is that you are a schoolyard group of hypocritical,hectoring bullies. Nikklee is the only one showing any sort of grace and maturity in this discussion.

      • Poogles

        “Real scientists?Really? You sure don’t act like it.”

        I would guess you don’t personally know any scientists. What you describe as bullying are attempts at scientific discourse and critique (I say “attempts” because people like Nikkilee don’t hold up their end). In science it is expected and encouraged to have your ideas, beliefs and data pulled apart, examined and critiqued. It’s how science works. There’s no time or patience for kid gloves.

        • Kaycee

          I actually do know “real” scientists. I can assure you that while they can vigorously debates issues, they do not act like school yard bullies.

          • Poogles

            “I can assure you that while they can vigorously debates issues, they do not act like school yard bullies.”

            Depends on how you define bullying versus vigorous debate then, I suppose. Personally, I don’t see bullying from the regular commenters, just blunt and vigorous discussion and debate

            Also, remember, not all commenters here are scientists or even in science-related fields (I’m certainly not). And all people, scientist or not, have a limit for bullshit arguments and evasion of questions they can stand before they write off the person supposedly “debating” them – which can sometimes lead to just making fun of what the person is saying instead.

          • Kaycee

            There is big difference between blunt vigorous debate of the issues and engaging in personal contemptuous insults of the debater. That is when it becomes bullying behaviour. It wasn’t Nikkilee engaging in bullying.

          • Who?

            Nikkilee repeated, over and over again, the same wrong things. Yes, wrong. In error. Not correct. She evaded questions and loaded up with non-valid ‘sources’.

            I agree telling Nikkilee she is stupid (or whatever) doesn’t help, though there are times when, objectively, that assessment fits the facts.

            It can also be bullying to hound someone incessantly with things that are bothersome to them or a waste of their time, and this is where Nikkilee’s bullying is identified. Like someone endlessly following you around the supermarket trying to bombard you with crap.

            The issue is that there are many lurkers on this site, who are keen to learn and understand the issues, the better to make decisions. Leaving Nikkilee’s comments without a response is letting those people down. As an auxiliary benefit, getting her to respond further pushes her to be more extreme, thereby making the case she is trying to refute.

          • Kaycee

            I found no error in her information. Because posters here don’t agree with her doesn’t mean she is wrong. There is much about human lactation that the scientists , health professionals and mothers here could learn from posters like her.She wrote that that she was learning from her interactions here..

          • Who?

            However you cut it, superstition aside, it is wrong, based on years of research, to suggest that a full term baby in the first world is worse off if fed with formula. Tiny preemies, or babies where there is not a reliable clean water supply, are a different case.

            You say there is much people don’t know about breast feeding-if that’s so, why do you assume anything ‘new’ that might be discovered will suit your beliefs?

            If it didn’t, would that change your view?

          • Poogles

            “It wasn’t Nikkilee engaging in bullying.”

            Whether or not she was bullying, she wasn’t engaging in blunt vigorous debate, that’s for sure. Passive agressively trying to “enlighten” us, maybe? Unfortunately for her, she is the one not up on or following current research on the topics being discussed.

      • yugaya

        – maturity as in infantilizing the discussion with babyspeak

        – grace of being so “curious” to hear out the stories of women who were bullied and suffered that one does not acknowledge hearing them speak out here at all but instead goes and writes a follow up blog dismissing them as subjective ramblings

        (Disclaimer: nowhere near a scientist here) You are right, the resident scientists will not show anything like that in their comments on this blog.

      • Cobalt

        There is nothing gracious in the implication that formula is only merited when breastfeeding has failed utterly, and only because “the baby has to be fed somehow”.

        To so thoroughly discount both the scientific evidence that says otherwise and the lived experiences of mothers whose families have thrived on formula shows neither grace nor maturity.

        Lactivism forces mothers into corners. Grace and maturity is accepting that mothers may make choices that don’t reflect yours, and not needing to shame them for failing to uphold your own self-inflicted ideals, or try to force them to conform to those ideals.

        • Kaycee

          So anyone who has the temerity to state that formula has deficiencies when compared to the biological norm breastmilk (a fact that even the formula companies acknowledge), is ” shaming” mothers. Right….so infant feeding heath messages are “shaming” according to your logic…exactly the message Abbott wants to spread by producing this cynical and very clever commercial.

          • Who?

            The boring reality is that except for very tiny preemies, it makes no difference what the baby is fed, breast or formual.

            Perhaps whether people feel ‘shamed’ is around the language used by others: early motherhood is a tricky time.

            Nice of you to compliment the ad as ‘very clever’, I agree that’s right. How is it cynical though? It just points out that in the end, the baby is the main thing.

          • Kaycee

            I believe most of the reputable health organizations would disagree with you about there being small differences, even in developed nations. I agree with them . yes I have read the sibling studies.

          • SporkParade

            Nope. The WHO agrees that there are no proven long-term benefits to breastfeeding, and that the supposed long-term benefits are almost certainly due to socio-economic cofounding and not actually related to how the baby was fed.

          • Kaycee

            Citation please.

          • SporkParade
          • Kaycee

            That is Dr Amy’s interpretation of the research. Health organizations world wide, including WHO do not agree that breastfeeding benefits are negible, even in developed countries.

          • SporkParade

            I said, “You can get the link to the original study here.” I did not say, “Read what Dr. Amy has to say.” But I guess ignoring what I wrote spares you from having to actually engage the evidence.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            That is Dr Amy’s interpretation of the research.

            No it’s not. Those are the conclusions of the report. They aren’t Dr Amy’s conclusions, they are the conclusions of the authors who wrote the damn thing.

            Nikkilee posted a link to that paper yesterday, and I looked at it. I went straight to the conclusions section to see what they found out. And what they found out is exactly what was reported in that other blog post.

            Read the report yourself, Kaycee, and then tell us in your own words how Dr Amy’s summary is incorrect. Go for it!

          • Bombshellrisa

            What deficiencies does formula have? I know breastfed babies require vitamin D supplementation while for formula fed babies it’s optional since formula provides it.

          • Kaycee

            Apart from the differences on macronutrients ,formula is deficient in numerous bioactive factors found in human milk. It is fascinating science. Have a search for secretory Ig A, live cells, human milk oligosaccharides, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant factors in human milk. Hale and Hartmann’s Textbook of Human Lactation is recommended for the scientists.
            It is true that human milk is low in Vit D.as sunlight is the natural source of VitD in humans. This is why dark skinned, veiled women and those living in climates with little sunlight often need Vit D supplementation. Their babies may too.

          • Young CC Prof

            The macronutrient balance of formula is identical to breast milk. That’s the whole point of formula, rather than plain cow’s milk, which is not a suitable infant food.

            The IgA and oligosaccharides cannot currently be duplicated, and they are associated with the only two clear medical benefits of breastfeeding: Reduced risk of NEC in preemies and slightly reduced incidence of gastroenteritis and possibly ear infections during the first few months of life in term babies.

            The first benefit is significant, since NEC can require major surgery or cause death, the second is pretty small.

            Unfortunately, not all women produce substantial quantities of the right sort of oligosaccharides in their milk. This may be why breastfeeding only reduces NEC by 25%. And of course many mothers of preemies are not able to produce milk, either due to health problems of their own related to the premature delivery or because they need to pump and tube feed, and not all women respond well to a pump.

          • yugaya

            ” the biological norm ”

            Because insisting on and promoting biodeterminism is oh so feminist.

          • Kaycee

            Perhaps you might be happier with the term “species specific”?

          • yugaya

            Problem with your statement that I quoted is not a matter of linguistics, and on top of of it all you are even wrong – infant formula IS as “species specific” as human breastmilk is.

          • Kaycees

            I think perhaps it is closer to being species specific for cows since most formulas are cow’s milk based.

          • yugaya

            I sincerely hope that you do not feed your cows with foods that are specifically designed and developed for human consumption, regardless of what they are based on.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Geez, where is Mel for a reference about that when we need her?

          • Except that formula has no deficiencies that we have ever been able to measure, so anyone claiming that it does have deficiencies is doing something we laypeople call “lying”, or at the very least “being wrong”.

            All else being equal, breastmilk is a teensy bit better than formula in the developed world where clean water is accessible. All else is never equal, though, so however baby gets fed is fine. What matters is baby gets fed and mother is happy, healthy, and getting somewhere approaching enough sleep and self-care.

  • Kq

    I’m angry that once again the conversation has been hijacked by a NCB parachuter, effectively rendering any actual discussion moot. She’s a handy object example of exactly what this post is about, but those of us trying to talk about what it’s like to be bullied by these people get drowned out by the same damn bullies.

    • Young CC Prof

      Nurser-splaining.

      • Cobalt

        Mam(mary)splaining

        • Samantha06

          Boob-splainin’..

          • yugaya

            craplainin’

          • Samantha06

            crock-of-shit-splainin’…

    • Who?

      I don’t think you’re drowned out. As with our gun-mad friend on one of the other posts, it’s really useful to hear them talk, and for a non-scientist like me, really interesting to hear what scientists and doctors say about specific things, particularly statistics which I also can’t interpret on my own.

      It’s also an interesting experience to be on the receiving end of a taste of the ‘bullying’-I don’t get much of it in real life, it’s quite instructive to understand how it makes you feel. It has actually made me far less patient with the ‘all natural’ crowd than I used to be-how dare they impugn others’ values?

      • Kq

        Maybe it’s personal this time. I made a pretty heartfelt post – I mean, I talk about being rejected and mean-girled. But I’m only just starting to talk about the extent it hurt my whole family.

        • Cobalt

          I heard you.

        • yugaya

          There is an insulting level of ignorance in her “reply” to comments she got here. With these people, they always have a handy quote that illustrates just how superior their online conduct is, how they braved to bear the burden of enlightening the damned, how it was always some sort of social experiment… And she managed to be equally insulting even in the sentence that is supposed to show how she has genuine interest in hearing stories of women like yourself who were bullied and shamed and suffered real pain because of their dogma.

          ” I am curious about the stories of those that are so insistent that this change to promote public health are shaming and bullying.”

          See? Shame on you for “insisting” that something that serves (her) greater good to you is shaming and bullying. Freebie is the implied “it’s all in your head” message too and that the shaming and bullying was not real, merely a subjective impression.

          You are a strong woman who is more than capable of dealing with this kind of abusive patronizing, but that does not change the fact that she ought to have acknowledges these stories she received in the comments, stories she is so “curious” to hear, with common decency empathy. But no, people like her can’t muster even that little sympathy for people who do not believe in their ideology. Kudos to you for sharing, know there are many of us who heard it loud and clear and know how hard it is to speak about these things.

          • Samantha06

            You have pegged her perfectly. I found her incredibly patronizing to the point of feeling angry!

    • rational adult

      I just noticed your avatar picture. Very awesome!

      • Kq

        Thanks!

        • yentavegan

          I love Penn and Teller too.

          • Stacy48918

            Have you seen their recent vaccination video? Awesomeness.

          • yentavegan

            YES!

          • Young CC Prof

            Actually, that one’s been around for a few years. But still awesome.

  • mostlyclueless

    Once again you hit the nail on the head. The only people who object to the Similac ad seem to be the mothers who are afraid their superiority as breastfeeders is threatened — an inevitable outcome if it ever becomes generally accepted that formula feeding moms are not actually worse parents or worse people.

    • Adjective

      I EBF both my kids. They never had a single ounce of formula, I just never needed to use it. I loved this commercial! It shows just how ridiculous the “mommy wars” are.

      • mostlyclueless

        Yep. I’m breastfeeding my toddler as I (awkwardly) type this. I think breastfeeding is great — formula feeding is great too. Feeding your kids is great. Not feeding them…not so great. I don’t ascribe any moral superiority to breastfeeding and not coincidentally (I think) I also liked the ad.

  • Hovawart

    One can only imagine the thousands of times this guy has “guilted” his patients by providing sound medical advice. Or wait–maybe he never provides sound medical advice! That would explain why he doesn’t want anyone else to, either.

    • moto_librarian

      Um, who are you talking to?

      • Gozi

        I thought I was the only one confused. I feel better now.

        • Roadstergal

          I’m wondering if the poster has really poor reading comprehension and thinks Dr T is a ‘he’? My best guess…

          • LibrarianSarah

            Oh silly Roadstergal! Women can’t be doctors.

          • Roadstergal

            Especially not ObGs. They’re all men who like to strap women to tables.

  • nikkilee

    Dear ladies: I am leaving now. I’ve spent as much time here today as I can and still get work done. I am grateful for all your comments because you remind me of important things. See you again sometime. . . .warmly, NikkiLee

    • fiftyfifty1

      Aren’t you going to say goodbye to Bofa too?

      • Bombshellrisa

        As long as she doesn’t call him a lioness like some people did in parting. That one still makes me chuckle.

        • fiftyfifty1

          Bofa, our favorite little lioness!!! Fiesty little thing!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Chris: Because tonight… I am a hunter.
            Hunting for words.
            Roxanne: Am I your prey?
            Chris: Yes… but not a defenceless one.
            Not a rabbit.
            You are a lioness.

            Roxanne ain’t got nothing on me. Nor does Darryl Hannah.

          • Roadstergal

            Best movie update of a classical play ever.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I wish I could do the alien feet sound on the computer. My wife and I still do that all the time

          • Roadstergal

            They want to have SEX with them!

          • Siri

            I just lurve his soft, strokeable mane. Rrrrrroooooaaarrrrrr.

          • Siri

            His? Her?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            “I like the Zable on the Table
            And the Ghair under the Chair
            But that Bofa on the Sofa,
            Well I wish he wasn’t there”

            Yep, definitely a he.

          • Amazed

            I never knew where your nickname originated from.

            That must have just sent me crashing a year behind in my PCM studying.

          • Medwife

            What? I thought it was “acts as if he doesn’t care”! I’ve read the damn book aloud more times than I want to think about, so I’m pretty sure I’m right.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Wager? Oh forget it, you lose

            Let this be a lesson to you. NEVER question my Dr Seuss quoting. It is a PCM quality with which a medwife will NEVER be able to compete.

            PS Shit, just look at my icon, it’s on there!

          • Michele

            Huh. Just checked my 2 year old’s copy

          • S

            Neat! Which one’s newer? Or were they printed different places? Mine just says copyright 1974 (“wish he wasn’t there”).

          • Michele

            I’ll have to check the date when I get home, but ours is an abridged version (small board book). Maybe that’s why?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Oh, the board book is completely abridged. Certainly not canonical.

          • Michele

            Ha! Well that’s a shame, I liked the idea of the Bofa on the Sofa having a “I give no fucks” attitude about lactivist criticism.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I like being the one that we wish he wasn’t there myself…

          • Amazed

            Don’t you mean PURRRR…

          • Siri

            I stand purrected. Roarfully sorry.

    • Gozi

      Why even write this?

      • Who?

        Modified flounce with half-pike.

      • Samantha06

        It’s the passive-aggressive version of F- you. I used to work in a small southern hospital and there was a woman who, when she got angry, would resort to this sugary-sweet tone and call you “precious.” Of course, she was really calling you a bitch…

        • Stacy48918

          “Bless your heart….”

          *gag*

          • Samantha06

            Hahaha! Yes!!!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Well bless your heart…

        • Gozi

          I live in the south. You couldn’t be more right.

          • Samantha06

            I lived there for over 30 years and I consider myself a southerner.. I miss it terribly and would like to go back maybe in retirement.. it’s so true though, passive-aggressiveness seems to be quite prevalent there! I asked a psychiatrist about that once, and she said it was because many southern women were forced to be completely submissive as children and that’s how they learned to express anger..

    • rational adult

      I am so glad I found this website during this pregnancy. nikkilees are unchecked in their nonsense all over the internets and really made me feel like a shitty mom with my bf-ing difficulties after my son was born. I like it here.

    • fiftyfifty1

      ” I’ve spent as much time here today as I can and still get work done. ”

      The NCBs and lactivists who post here are always so busy. So terribly, terribly busy! They lead busy, important lives, I’m sure.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        But they have to be sure to tell us they are leaving.

        • Bombshellrisa

          It isn’t a flounce unless it’s announced.

    • yugaya

      You remind me of each and every condescending, sanctimonious, passive-aggressive bully out there that makes me regret and feel guilty that I was in position to be able to chose to breastfeed my own children.

      • Cobalt

        Seriously. When I hear these people talk, I want to buy pallet loads of Ensure and put the whole family on formula.

        • yugaya

          I want to raid hospitals for unnecessary surgeries, I hear they are literally giving you one or two as soon as you walk through the doors..

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Interesting. After telling us about how she can’t spend any more time here, she sits down and writes a “rebuttal” post on her blog.

      Nope, can’t waste any more time talking to us. She has to waste time writing her own version without having to answer any of those pesky questions.

    • Amazed

      Dear nikkilee, since you’re feeling so warmly toward us and seem to have a little free time right now, why don’t you come back here to continue our very interesting discussion about your peculiar priorities and amazing skills at teaching new mothers juggling so very expertly?

  • Daleth

    We’ve all seen the new, and actually VALID, research about breastfeeding vs. formula, haven’t we? The study that, unlike previous studies, actually corrected for socioeconomic differences by comparing breastfed kids to their formula-fed siblings, instead of comparing suburban white and Asian kids whose moms have awesome maternity leave to inner city non-white kids whose moms have crappy or no maternity leave? Links:

    “Is breastfeeding really better?” (Answer: probably not)
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/is-breast-feeding-really-better/

    “Sibling Study Finds No Long-Term Breastfeeding Benefits For Kids”
    http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/02/sibling-study-finds-no-long-term-breastfeeding-benefits-for-kids

    “New Study Confirms It: Breast-Feeding Benefits Have Been Drastically Overstated”
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/02/27/breast_feeding_study_benefits_of_breast_over_bottle_have_been_exaggerated.html

    • nikkilee

      This study had an incredible statistical analysis of something like 11 outcome measures. The one major flaw is that the cohort of babies were from the late 70s-early 80s, when breastfeeding wasn’t actively promoted. Breastfeeding wasn’t defined in this study so a mother who had breastfed for 3 days or a few weeks was considered to have breastfed. As the benefits of breastfeeding are dose-related, and babies weren’t ever identified as exclusively breastfed and duration wasn’t described, the findings don’t stand up.

      • Stacy48918

        ” the benefits of breastfeeding are dose-related”
        Citation?

        • Amy M

          Yeah, I’d like to see the dose-response study on breast milk. Even a retro one could be done, if each group was chosen based on duration of exclusive breastfeeding. Better if it is like the study above and discordant sibs can be included too—formula fed vs. sibs BF’d for 2wks, 2mos, 6mos, 1yr, 2yrs. Check all the same outcomes, maybe include some that weren’t in that (above) study, see if there are any differences.

          • nikkilee

            That would be an AWESOME study to do.

          • fiftyfifty1

            What if a discordant sibs study showed no difference in outcomes? Then would you recommend formula and breast feeding equally?

          • Cobalt

            Kindergarten entrance surveys, with tracking to keep sibling group correlations. Run it for 5 years

        • nikkilee

          “The following sections summarize and update the AHRQ meta-analyses and provide an expanded analysis regarding health outcomes. Table 2summarizes the dose-response relationship between the duration of breastfeeding and its protective effect.”

          http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/e827.full

          Here’s a classic study talking about the relationship between dose and benefits:

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1508518/pdf/amjph00001-0027.pdf

        • guestS

          I know! And the other criticism that breastfeeding wasn’t promoted in the 80s, which I strongly suspect it was anyway, but, how would whether or not something is promoted change the health outcomes measured?

          • nikkilee

            In the 80s, thirty years ago, there wasn’t the emphasis on exclusivity that there is now. Best outcomes come from best practices; best practices derive from clinical observation and experience.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            This doesn’t makes sense.

            Are you seriously claiming that “some formula, some breast milk” is worse than “all formula, no breastmilk”? Because that is what would have to be the case to come up with the results that there is little difference overall. If there is a benefit to lots of breastmilk/little formula like you claim (the dose response) then there must be a bad effect of less breastmilk/more formula, when compared to no breastmilk/all formula.

            Is that your claim? That mixing breastfeeding and formula is worse than plain formula?

          • nikkilee

            No.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            So then how do you explain the resutls, in conjunction with your “dose” claim?

          • Neya

            Practices of people of a single population (white women), i.e., not the same as nearly 30% of the US female population.

          • Siri

            Except that sometimes, crap outcomes come from best practices. And sometimes, best outcomes come from crap practices. And most of the time, ok to good outcomes come from ok practices. Like you said, no guarantees.

          • yugaya

            “Best outcomes come from best practices; best practices derive from clinical observation and experience.”

            I think they learn these things by heart, I honestly do.

          • Sarah

            It absolutely was promoted in the 80s, as my mother who gave birth then has told me. Just not as much as now.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Wait a minute!

          If the “benefits of breastfeeding are dose-related” why is there such a crazy push about “exclusive breastfeeding” through X months? Why is someone who gave formula to a newborn considered to have failed, even if they breastfeed exclusively after that?

          If there is a dose-related response, why does it matter if breastfeeding is exclusive or not?

          • nikkilee

            Two things are being mixed up here. The world-wide evidence recommends nothing but mamma-milk for about 6 months, with the gradual introduction of iron-rich solid foods around that time, and breastfeeding to continue for at least a year or as long as mother and baby find the relationship mutually rewarding.

            Dose means that if you look at a continuum, babies that never got any mamma milk will have a better chance of being sick (NOT a guarantee, remember!), than a baby that got some mamma milk. The baby that got nothing but mamma milk for 6 months, and then continued to get mamma milk for at least a year or more will have the lowest risk of sickness of all babies. Remember that research is NOT a club, and that it can’t be used to point a finger at anyone. It is looking at populations.

            Dose is also cumulative for a mother. For example, a mother who breastfed 3 kids for 6 months each is considered to have breastfed for a lifetime total of 18 months and has a reduced risk of lots of chronic conditions. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812877/)

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            The world-wide evidence recommends nothing but mamma-milk for about 6 months,

            But what is the basis for that?

            NOTHING

            It’s made up. It probably is a darn good idea in countries where things like clean water can be questionable, but that means nothing in first world nations.

          • Guestll

            It isn’t made up, but the research isn’t all that robust. http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2001/WHO_NHD_01.08.pdf?ua=1 And yes, it is a darn good idea in developing countries.

          • nikkilee

            It is not made up. Go do the research yourself. The internet is open to all.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            What is the basis for exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months in first world countries? Give me an executive summary?

            Let me guess: microbiome?

          • Bombshellrisa

            Badges on MDC-I want them platinum boobies!

          • nikkilee

            Interesting that you bring that up. What does formula do for a healthy microbiome?

          • Young CC Prof

            Answer: Microbiome is a moving target, and by the time children are predominantly eating solid food, there’s no difference.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Makes it different, yeah, but does it make it unhealthy?

            No evidence of that.

          • Kq

            “No YOU go prove my unsubstantiated claim!”

            BINGO! I GOT BINGO!

          • Sarah

            How dare you. The WHO would never make anything up, especially not where mothers and their bodies are concerned.

          • Roadstergal

            And why isn’t the lactivist crowd working to ensure that women in developing nations have access to clean water, rather than endlessly pushing recommendations based on the lack of it to women who have it? I thought they were all about What’s Best For Moms And Kids. Clean water seems really dizam high up that list, and there are efforts going on right now that these people could chip some money and effort towards.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            And why isn’t the lactivist crowd working to ensure that women in
            developing nations have access to clean water, rather than endlessly
            pushing recommendations based on the lack of it to women who have it?

            But see, that would actually require a real effort and resources. It’s so much easier to sit at your computer and make snide remarks about women who are formula feeding, and it makes them feel superior.

          • Neya

            You must clarify the following, the white non-hispanic mother who has “breastfed for a lifetime total of 18 months and has a reduced risk of lots of chronic conditions.”

          • nikkilee

            Does not matter about ethnicity. The greater a mother’s lifetime cumulative breastfeeding, the lower her risk of things mention in the article I cited above.

          • Young CC Prof

            Actually, ethnicity does matter. Breastfeeding appears to increase the risk of osteoporosis and of triple-negative breast cancer in Hispanic women.

            The studies done in the 90’s (when breastfeeding for health was first fashionable) included very few women of Hispanic origin.

          • nikkilee

            “Breastfeeding

            Most studies suggest that breastfeeding for a year or more slightly reduces a woman’s overall risk of breast cancer.The protective effect may be greater for basal-like breast cancers. Longer duration is associated with greater risk reduction. In a review of 47 studies in 30 countries, the risk of breast cancer
            was reduced by 4.3% for every 12 months of breastfeeding. One possible explanation for this effect may be that breastfeeding inhibits menstruation, thus reducing the lifetime number of menstrual cycles. Another possible explanation relates to structural
            changes that occur in the breast following lactation and weaning.” http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@research/documents/document/acspc-042725.pdf

          • moto_librarian

            I thought that reduction in cancer risked only occurred if you gave birth in your early 20s? Didn’t we have a discussion about this not too long ago?

          • Young CC Prof

            Teen birth reduces breast cancer risk a whole lot more than nursing babies in your 30s. Funny, no one ever promotes that for cancer prevention…

          • Neya

            The report you cited above bases its claim that lactating reduces the risk of breast cancer on the following paper: Faupel-Badge et al. Natl Cancer Inst. Feb 6, 2013; 105(3): 166–174. Remodeling, Lactation, and Breast Cancer Risk: Summary of a National Cancer Institute–Sponsored Workshop. The treatment of different populations is rather minimalistic, namely limited to African American women. There is no mention of ~15% of the American women, who happen to be hispanic. Yet, there is an admission, the correlation between breast feeding is less pronounced in white non-hispanic women than in african american women. So, ethnicity does play a role.

          • moto_librarian

            You know what seems to cause sickness in all infants, regardless of how they are fed? Daycare.

          • nikkilee

            Yes that is true. For one thing, about 15-20% of SIDS occurs in daycare. However, babies that get mamma milk while in daycare have a lower risk of infectious disease.

          • Daleth

            Again… citation please?

          • moto_librarian

            There is a large campaign for safe sleep in daycares right now because it is thought that many providers were still putting babies on their stomach to sleep. I’m not sure how SIDS fits into our current discussion.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Ditto for having a big family with lots of cousins the same age whole all use the same babysitter (Grandma and Grandpa)

          • Dr Kitty

            In my experience, you do not get to choose how many respiratory viruses your child is exposed to.

            You just get to pick whether they are exposed to them pre-school at daycare, or when they start going to school.

            The bonus of exposing pre-school kids at day care, they’re pretty much bullet proof by the time they get to school, and so they don’t miss important learning days due to coughs and colds.

            If your two year old is home sick, it’s bad. If your five year old is home sick the week they learn the letters E, T and N, it is worse.

          • guestS

            You don’t even get that choice really if you have one already at school/daycare and a younger baby at home!

          • Dr Kitty

            At least I know when #2 arrives I don’t have to worry about #1 giving chickenpox, scarlet fever, slapped cheek or hand, foot and mouth to the baby, because we’ve already BTDT.
            #2 will just have to get infected in daycare.

            Advantage of spacing kids out a bit – less chance of older sib infecting newborn with one of the common childhood viral infections.

          • Mishimoo

            The day I woke up in labour with the youngest, our older two woke up with tonsillitis (1 viral, 1 bacterial). So I booked their doctors appointments, packed their bags, and had them dropped off to their nan’s at the last minute with strict written instructions and a bottle of nurofen. They came home a day after the baby and weren’t allowed to kiss him until they weren’t contagious (which was hard), and had to wash their hands lots. Thankfully, he managed to avoid getting sick.

          • Young CC Prof

            Yeah, initially I was hoping to keep my baby out of daycare for at least a year avoid germs, but the nanny thing didn’t work out, he LOVES his school, and his body is coping with colds just fine. It’s building up his immune system.

            Now, if he was wheezing all the time, or getting exposed to nastier stuff, I’d have something else to say.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            We DID keep our older son out of daycare for the first year. 14 mos, in fact.

            And then when he started daycare? He got sick pretty much every week for the first 3 months. It was to the point where I was telling people that just looking at the door of the daycare gives him a fever.

          • Sarah

            My offspring recently started 2 mornings a week of nursery and we’ve not yet had the constantly sick phase. But that may be because we’ve gone to a huge number of playgroups during her first two and a half years, and she’s used them to do nice things like eat other children’s snot. So she’s already been quite extensively exposed.

          • Amy M

            My boys started daycare at 3mos old, and from 6mos-2.5yrs, were sick fairly frequently (mostly colds, but they did get RSV and swine flu. Goddam swine flu vaccine arrived literally days after they were exposed–they got the shot, and next day were sick. Talk about bad timing.).

            But after that–they weren’t. This past September, they started K, in a new school with a new population of children. Yep, they’ve pretty much had the sniffles since September. But, nothing serious–just minor colds. I expect next year will be easier.

          • Siri

            And which mothers will find it easiest to EBF for a long time? The ones who don’t have to return to work early and send their babies to daycare.

          • wookie130

            Oh, you’re not kidding! This is absolutely true!

          • moto_librarian

            It does get better, but yes, the first year is sheer hell.

          • Kq

            We are all adults here. How about you cut the cutesy baby talk and use real words? Mamma milk. Oh whatever.

          • Adjective

            “Mama milk”, that’s how I explain to my 2-year-old why the baby can’t drink milk from his cup.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Nothing says “hard hitting scientific analysis” like baby talk.

          • lawyer jane

            Oh god. PLEASE STOP WITH THE MAMMA MILK. And do you really think your folk statistics mean anything? If there are benefits to breastfeeding, they are small. Weighed against the reasons women have for NOT breastfeeding, they are of insignificant weight.

            There’s just something creepy about your obsession with “mamma milk” that I can only conclude is rooted in some kind of need to enforce rigid standards on women and mother that gratify your own ideology … or conversely, it’s because you feel massively disempowered as a woman, and the notion of magical “mamma milk” is the only way you can regain your power.

            Otherwise, you’d be equally adamant about other aspects of child health,such as obesity and access to fresh food and exercise and quality prenatal care. But none of those things involve sparkly magic Mamma Milk, so they are less compelling!

          • sdsures

            Formula has iron added to it, so the baby gets all the nutrients it needs.

          • MLE

            It’s breast milk! Infants are infantalizing enough as it is!

          • Elisa

            I’m so profoundly squicked out by “mamma milk” that I give up on the rest of your argument. Who the hell talks like that?

          • KarenJJ

            Women who want to make sure other women are kept in their place and don’t go around getting too big for their boots….

          • Siri

            I read that as ‘too big for their boobs’.

          • yugaya

            “mamma-milk”

            Darling, sweetheart, bless your heart, please, don’t do that. Honey, my dear child, it’s insulting in this day and age to use babyspeak when addressing an audience that consists in largest part of adult women. Victorian times is where such mindset belongs, not in 2015.

          • Amazed

            Kids, kids, playtime is over. Now, we’ll go inside where we’ll put our pretty lil clothes on and wait for mammas to come and take us home to feed us some delicious mamma milk. Any questions? Yes? Well, that’s what we’re doing anyway.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            Jesus. “Mamma Milk?” Why do lactivists need to talk like they’re speaking to children?

            We are grown women (and some men) on this site. Please speak to us like grown-ups and use your grown-up words.

      • Cobalt

        You are so busted:

        http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/sibbreast.htm
        This is a more detailed analysis of the study. It includes such gems as

        “nationally representative sample of young men and women who were between ages 14 and 22 in 1979, as well as results from NLSY surveys between 1986 and 2010 of children born to women in the 1979 cohort. The children were between ages 4 and 14 during the time period studied.”

        So, not late 70’s to early 80’s.

        “Colen analyzed three samples: 8,237 children, 7,319 siblings and 1,773 “discordant” sibling pairs, or children from 665 surveyed families in which at least one child was breast-fed and at least one other child was bottle-fed. The children who were differently fed in the same family represented about 25 percent of the siblings in the data.For each sample, the researchers sought answers to two basic questions: Was at least one child breast-fed and, if so, what was the duration of breast-feeding?”

        So yes, duration was measured.

        I do see your reason to want to discard this study though:

        “When the sample was restricted to siblings who were differently fed within the same families, however, scores reflecting breast-feeding’s positive effects on 10 of the 11 indicators of child health and well-being were closer to zero and not statistically significant – meaning any differences could have occurred by chance alone.

        The outlying outcome in this study was asthma; in all samples, children who were breast-fed were at higher risk for asthma”

        And:
        “If breast-feeding doesn’t have the impact that we think it will have on long-term childhood outcomes, then even though it is very important in the short-term we really need to focus on other things.”

        • nikkilee

          From the actual study: “We rely on two independent variables to capture infant feeding practices. Breastfeeding status (yes/no) was coded as 0 if the mother did not breastfeed and 1 if she breastfed him/her for any length of time. Breastfeeding duration (in weeks) was based on a question that asked how many weeks old the child was when the NLSY mother quit breastfeeding altogether.” There is WAY more to breastfeeding definition and outcomes than Yes or No.

          http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953614000549

          this is the heading for Table 3.

          Unadjusted means and (sample sizes) for select child wellbeing outcomes by breastfeeding status

          (yes/no), 1986–2010: All NLSY Children and sibling subsamples: there is no mention in the study of numbers of exclusively breastfed children, or of duration. Table 3 only looks at Breastfed or Not Breastfed.

          Another concern about this study was identified by Dr. Alison Steube, an OB/GYN:

          ” Other issues, such as birth order, age difference between siblings, and changes in parental employment, education and marital status might also affect why a mother breastfed one child and formula fed another. These issues are not explored in any way by this paper, and cannot be “adjusted away,” any more than the differences between families could be adjusted away by prior observational studies. Something was different at the time of that child’s birth that affected the way he or she was fed, destroying the possibility of parallel universes.”

          • Young CC Prof

            Except, most of those differences would probably favor the breast fed child. The only difference that might favor the formula fed child would be that, if the mother was working during his infancy, family income would be higher.

          • guest

            If breast feeding was that SUPERIOR then even partially breast fed children or EBF for shorter duration will show a significant difference!

          • yugaya

            Aww, but we are not interested in WHY the mother breastfed one child or did not feed the other ,we are interested in whether there is any substantial improvement in the long term outcomes of the breastfed children.

            Newsflash: there isn’t, and the recommendation is that we all ” really need to focus on other things.” IOW, you’re out of job Nikki unless you put even more effort into gas lighting and that is why peer pressure levels maintained by bullying mothers who do not exclusively breastfeed are so crucial for the profits of natural is best industry you work for.

          • NoLongerCrunching

            Nikki, I have a question for you. I have asked myself this. What if there were iron clad evidence that breastfeeding barely made a difference in a mother’s or child’s health? Say, one extra ear infection or 1% less risk of breast cancer? What if there were a health benefit discovered to formula over breastmilk? What if anything would you do differently?

            Personally, I would still breastfeed my kids and help others to breastfeed if they want to. I figured out that it is kind of a religious belief for me. I don’t really care what the evidence is.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        Nikilee, there’s message here for you. You can trust your LC colleagues to correctly interpret the research. YOU need to read the studies. YOU need to learn to analyze them. They don’t show what you think they show or what you want them to show. Your beliefs about the benefits of breastfeeding aren’t based on science; they’re based on propaganda.

        • nikkilee

          Amy Tuteur: the citations are there, from the research itself, not an analysis. Read them yourself.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Earth to Nikkilee: I have read them. YOU are the one who hasn’t read them and lacks the understanding of basic statistics in order to interpret them … and it’s glaringly obvious. You are making a fool of yourself.

          • nikkilee

            Nice try.

      • guestS

        That is a precious little bit of analysis there! 😀 One of the many reasons I struggle to call lactation consultancy a ‘profession’.

      • Bombshellrisa

        Babies born in the late 70’s and early 80’s–so my husband and I and our siblings and all our friends. If we all lined up, could you pick out which ones of us were EBF (some for 15 months), combo fed or formula fed?

        • nikkilee

          Remember that research looks at individuals, not populations.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I said pick us out individually and used the sample group you mentioned above.

          • nikkilee

            Not possible.

          • Young CC Prof

            In fact, you need truly enormous sample sizes to see any difference at all, don’t you? Know what that usually means? Differences are trivial.

          • Amazed

            Unlike, say, AFE. You don’t need any overly big size to find out that the thing is extremely dangerous. That’s EXACTLY because it’s extremely dangerous. And unlike breastfeeding in the first world countries (or actually, in any place you can rely on good water and sanitation), its impact is huge enough without OBs hammering how huge it is. They don’t need to. It’s self-evident. Either you live or not – and there’s always the chance that you won’t. Quite different to breastfeeding in… I said it above.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Exactly. There are real women being bullied by LC’s, strangers, family and friends to breastfeed. Women are being made to feel that somehow they are choosing a lazier way to parent, a more convenient way to parent or whatever condescending phrase works and that they are depriving their child of real benefits. And for what? You can’t pick out the kids who were fed a certain way a couple years later and certainly not when they reach adulthood. If the benefits are so small, why make such a fuss about one facet of parenting? It’s the other, bigger choices that make your child into who they will be.

          • Guest

            YES! So sick of women (mothers) being guilted by officious idiots who make their living out of scaring people into choices they aren’t comfortable making or that are actually worse for them in the long run. I BF exclusively for 13 months and by the 6 month mark I was quite sick of it. My son was OBSESSED with boob and just wanted it all day long, wouldn’t even take a dummy, wouldn’t take a bottle or any formula even after trying 10 different brands and spending hundreds on different bottles. He had weight gain problems but wouldn’t take anything else, the only alternative was to hospitalise and starve him of breastmilk until he finally cracked and took formula, which I couldn’t do so I had to demand breastfeed him until he took more solids (around 10 months old), it was EXHAUSTING and my supply was so fragile that even a 20 minute walk and it was gone. I don’t regret it because I love him so much but for all the pain and depression it put me and my husband through I should have listened to the lovely little midwife who told me ‘if they aren’t introduced to a bottle before six weeks sometimes they will never take it and you might be stuck’. Now I am preggers with number two and YOU BET I’ll be introducing a bottle of formula as soon as I’m discharged from hospital even though I plan to breastfeed for at least 6 months.

          • Dr Kitty

            And is then extrapolated to apply to populations, so that, for example “breast is best” or “cumulative breastfeeding of 18months with reduce your risk of lots of chronic conditions”.

          • Siri

            Here’s a challenge Nikki: of my 5 children, one was exclusively breastfed until they self-weaned, and the others were breastfed for three, two, two and two months respectively. Which one would you say is the high-flying actuary? Which one is the Masters student of Marine Biology? Which one is a maths undergraduate? Which one is an A*-grade high school student, and which one is a tall, gifted primary school pupil? (Hint: none of them is ever ill).

      • Lauren

        which study are you refuting? There are three listed.

    • Lauren

      I had read two of those (the last two) but missed one, thanks!

  • Dr Kitty

    I EBF my daughter for over a year.
    I spend a lot of my time with new mothers telling them that it is perfectly fine to combo feed, or give up breast feeding, because either they or their baby is miserable.
    That’s generally not what they expect me to say, which makes me sad.

    The lady who suddenly lost her husband weeks after her baby was born and whose milk supply dried up almost overnight from grief and stress needed to be told that formula was OK, that her body was telling her that breastfeeding was too much of a drain on her system. That she should give the baby formula and perhaps allow other family to feed the baby so she could rest or spend time with her other kids.

    She did not need to be told that she should pump continuously, and that if she failed to breast feed her baby, she’d be failing as a mother (helpful advice from online nursing support group). Failing as a mother would have been pumping empty breasts to try to feed a newborn, while ignoring your older children who have just lost their father.

    People need to engage their brains and see the big picture sometimes.

    • nikkilee

      I completely agree. The statistics have nothing to do with this mother and baby in front of me; the challenge is to find out to fit breastfeeding into her life. Like the mother who got pregnant during data collection for her doctorate. As she had received funding from an outside agency, she couldn’t take any maternity leave. She breastfed twice a day and her baby got formula all the other times because she had to finish her PhD before the funding went away. This worked for her.

      • Cobalt

        No. The challenge is to find a way to feed the baby in a way that is nutritious, affordable, and sustainable.

        Not to try to shoehorn in breastfeeding somehow.

        • Amazed

          Actually, I think we might be unfair to LC consultants. They are LC consultants, after all, not FC (Feeding Consultants). Their job is to push lactation and breastfeeding. Actually feeding the baby clearly isn’t the first priority in their field and it’s reflected even in their very credentials.

          • Bystander

            That’s the fatal mistake. Their remit is dangerously narrow. It SHOULD be Feeding Consultant: the baby fed in a manner that works for both it and the mother (and the wider family too — women don’t sit with that one child with no further responsibilities like a horse in a field). Whatever that looks like and as those needs change.

      • Amazed

        The challenge is to find out how to fit breastfeeding into her life?

        I don’t actually need to read anything else you wrote to know that you’re crazy dangerous. Ah the challenge! Fitting breastfeeding in! I am immediately reminded of a juggler who fits more crystal glasses into his routines. Of course, glasses aren’t tiny little bodies that are alive and would like to stay alive. If they break, no one is going to shed a tear over them.

        Stop juggling with tiny little lives and mothers’ health, you lunatic. Because at the time you realize that fitting isn’t going to happen, someone might get very, very sick or even die thanks to your obsession.

      • Dr Kitty

        She had to see an expensive professional LC to tell her to feed the baby when she got up in the morning, when she got home from work ( i.e. When the hungry baby was in the same room as her) and to send formula to daycare?

        REALLY?

        Or was it that she was freaking out that she couldn’t EBF and needed someone to tell her that combo feeding was perfectly acceptable and logistically possible, because the entire message from the lactivism community to new mothers is that unless you feed or pump around the clock your supply will dry up, so combo feeding will sabotage your BF?

        • nikkilee

          She received expert consultation to support what was possible for her to do. She couldn’t pump or breastfeed any more than that. This is what worked for her, her baby and her life. Not up to anyone else to judge.

          • Siri

            So which particular bit required expert consultation?

          • yugaya

            Do you realise the implied judgement and hypocrisy behind the effort to “find out to fit breastfeeding into her life” instead of finding out how to help her feed her child in for her individually most optimal way? Of course you don’t.

    • Siri

      I saw a lovely, lovely mum recently who has been EBFing for three months, and who told me she was feeling exhausted and depleted. I talked about ways of making sure she got more rest, sleep and leisure, and she then very tentatively hinted that she would like to stop breastfeeding. That was my cue, NOT to persuade or cajole her to keep going, but to tell her a) breastfeeding is not a moral imperative, b) she has done a fantastic job feeding her baby, and will continue to do so regardless of feeding method, and c) how to introduce formula in a way and at a pace that suits her and baby girl.

      I did so in the knowledge that our BFI-obsessed feeding co-ordinator would have a fit if she heard me…..

      • Mac Sherbert

        I found relief BF by just replacing one feed a day. It was amazing how it freed me up and it didn’t impact any other feeding sessions. I played around with it and found it took missing the same feed 3-4 times in a row to mess up my supply (but they only for that feed). I also found I could slowly over time bring my milk back up if I wanted to stop giving a bottle for a particular feed. Women’s bodies are amazing and weird all the same time.

        • Cobalt

          I’m having that now with the introduction of solids. After about a week the boobs dropped that feed from the schedule and started filling later for the next one. Our overall nursing time throughout the day went up by an average of half and hour though. I’d like a good LC to explain the mechanics of that change, just because I’m curious.

  • moto_librarian

    Not all lactation consultants are lactivists. I know several who are working hard to make their profession better (and that use sliding scale fees). The problem is that those who truly advocate for supporting whatever a mother’s individual feeding goals are (be they exclusive breast feeding, combo feeding, or, gasp, formula!) face a ton of backlash from their colleagues. The LC I saw after my first child was born very nearly soured me on the entire profession. I also know damned well that what I went through was not rare, and while I am sympathetic to the IBCLCs and LCs that really want to help mothers rather than push an ideology, the profession has a long way to go.

    • Young CC Prof

      Precisely. There are some really good ones out there, including the one in my son’s NICU. There are also many ideological ones, and it’s hard to just go and find a good one. That’s a problem with the profession as a whole.

      • nikkilee

        That’s true of all professionals. Some lawyers are great, others are crooks. Some physicians are awesome, and others are deadly. Some car mechanics are magicians, and others are rip-offs. The trick is to find the ones that respect and support you while giving best care.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Actually, there is a huge difference between things like bad LCs and bad physicians.

          When other doctors find out about bad physicians, they try to prevent them from practiced. Pull their license. Lawyers get disbarred. Not by the law, but by other lawyers.

          When you get bad LCs, what do other LCs do? Instead of joining the criticism and using their positions to get rid of them, they circle the wagons and protect them, usually with the “we aren’t all like that” defense.

          Come on, nikki, if you agree that these are bad LCs, you should join us in trying to get rid of them. They are giving your profession a bad name!

          Of course the problem is, you are one of them. Hard to criticize someone for doing what you do yourself.

          • Young CC Prof

            It’s a bit more serious even than defending the “bad ones.” Many new LCs are explicitly being trained with nonsense like 10% weight loss in newborns is normal and typical, or low supply is extremely rare, or low supply is caused by epidurals, or breastfeeding while HIV+ is a great idea.

          • nikkilee

            The 7- 10% figure comes from what pediatrics and OB/Gyns say is the normal range of weight loss after birth. I think one should look at the baby, and there are at least 3 other studies that suggest the amount of IV fluid that is given to a laboring woman artificially inflates the newborn’s birth weight. When the risks of dying from being fed formula are greater in some parts of the world than dying from HIV, the WHO suggests that breastfeeding may be the best option. As for milk production, that is an enormous topic. Yes there are mothers who lack sufficient glandular tissue, mothers who have endocrine issues and a host of other reasons that milk production can be impaired. One reason, out of many, that production can be delayed or impaired is hospital practices. It is a big topic.

          • Young CC Prof

            http://www.newbornweight.org studied many many breast fed newborns, and established that 10% weight loss is a reasonable cutoff for concern. NEWT can also be used to identify problematic weight loss just a day or two after birth.

          • moto_librarian

            I want to know what “hospital practices” delay or impair milk production. That sounds like pure bullshit to me.

          • Siri

            1. Epidurals
            2. Caesarean sections
            3. Lack of delayed cord clamping
            4. Episiotomies

            …got bingo yet?

          • Cobalt

            Hatting! Don’t forget the evil hormone-disruptive cute little hats!

          • Siri

            Durrrr…how could I have missed that one?? *surrenders licence*.

          • Samantha06

            Just stepping through the hospital doors sets a woman up for delayed milk production. Her body just “knows” it’s not in an optimal environment, you know, like a home birth, so those milk producing glands just seize up and quit working. And hospital air is so toxic, it inhibits milk production by 50%!! At least that’s what some LC told me…..

          • Michele

            Thank goodness I had hospital births then 😉 My boobs are over enthusiastic enough as it is. If they’d been homebirths I’d never get these things under control. Of course, the minor complications with #1’s birth probably would have killed or severely injured him and severely injured me if we’d been at home, so milk production would have been the least of our worries.

          • Samantha06

            I guess you were one of those lucky ones whose breast milk production wasn’t affected by the evil hospital.. and really now, we all know that hospitals and doctors make-up all those so-called complications…. 😉

          • guest

            Boobs can magically save severely injured newborns.

          • Sarah

            The WHO does indeed suggest that breastfeeding with HIV is a safer option than formula in some countries, yes, and that’s correct where there is no safe water supply. But the fact is, these are not areas where many LCs are practicing. So you’re being a touch disingenuous. If a woman is in a country and society where she has access to an LC, breastfeeding is not likely to be the safer option for her if she’s HIV positive.

          • just me

            So the risk is NOT dying from formula. The risk is dying from unsafe water. If you are really concerned with babies dying I suggest you support http://www.waterforpeople.org.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            But we’re not talking about “some parts of the world” and we already know that results from “some parts of the world” can’t be extrapolated to first world countries. Nice try.

          • lawyer jane

            Yes but YOU ARE NOT A PEDIATRICIAN. You have NO training to “look at the baby” and diagnose whether they have lost too much or too little weight and whether they should be supplemented. The only proper answer is to defer to the pediatrician (who should have seen the baby the day after discharge), NOT to try to put doubt in the mother’s head by saying “Oh, your baby just gained extra weight from your IV.” (My LC tried to tell me that, but thankfully I had already seen the ped before her and started supplementing with formula.)

          • fiftyfifty1

            “and there are at least 3 other studies that suggest the amount of IV fluid that is given to a laboring woman artificially inflates the newborn’s birth weight”
            And then these small observational reports were followed up by a larger *randomized controlled* trial of fluids that showed that fluids did NOT inflate birth weight….wonder why lactation consultants ignore that study? Because it doesn’t fit their agenda. Cherry picking, especially when it involves picking weaker smaller studies, is a sure sign of pseudoscience.

          • yugaya

            ” risks of dying from being fed formula”

            Is that like a real risk where you live and comparable to the same risk in the developing world, or are you just being a cultural bigot by using the suffering in developing world to promote your own developed world agenda?

          • NoLongerCrunching

            No. Both the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and La Leche League say 4-7% is normal. Going over 7%, with other signs of inadequate intake (diapers, baby’s energy levels, mom’s perception of breast fullness) is extremely problematic. You run the risk of the baby getting into trouble and (b) the mom’s supply being permanently compromised by her lethargic baby not emptying her breasts sufficiently. Not to mention the stress on both mother and baby of insufficient feedings.

            As for the allegedly inflated birth weight, if that is even true (just a theory at this point), it’s pretty easy to differentiate between a baby who has lost 10% and is fine against the odds, and one that is not doing well. Treating a 10% weight loss as in the normal range is unethical, IMO.

          • nikkilee

            I was quoting the AAP and ACOG for the 7-10%. I agree that it is easy to differentiate between a baby who has lost 10% and is fine as opposed to one who is not fine. Unfortunately, not all clinicians agree.

          • nikkilee

            Actually, it is very very difficult to pull a license from a bad physician, as physicians will support each other. It takes many many complaints and reports to state agencies, and lots of time.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            It’s difficult to pull of license, but NOT because their colleagues are supporting them. It is often their colleagues who reported the in the first place and initiated the proceedings to remove their license. It is difficult because they hire lawyers to defend them, which makes the process prolonged and expensive. See Dr. Robert Biter, for example.

          • Samantha06

            I bet you support CPMs too..

        • moto_librarian

          So you are in favor of mandatory licensing for IBCLCs? If not, you are definitely part of the problem.

          • nikkilee

            I do favor licensing, as lactation consulting is every bit as complicated as family therapy, and the impacts are huge. One has to have a good foundation to deal with a mother, a baby, and a breast within the context of the family, genetics, what happened in the hospital, and society. There does need to be a registered lactation consultant, just as there are registered nurses and registered dietitians.

          • moto_librarian

            Really? You think “lactation consulting is every bit as complicated as family therapy.” GMAFB.

          • Amazed

            Every bit as complicated as family therapy? Of course it is! Breastfeeding industry makes it so. If mothers are told the truth – there are benefits to breastfeeding, they are minimal, your child won’t end up fat, sick, and unbonded – well, what will breastfeeding industry live on then? What LC are going to do for living or making some additional money? It’s in this industry’s interest to make lactation consulting as complicated as possible.

          • moto_librarian

            And don’t forget, “the impacts are huge.” I just cannot wrap my head around this level of ego.

          • yugaya

            HUGE! So huge they are statistically insignificant.

          • Amazed

            Well, they are huge. A baby who’s readmitted to the hospital thanks to a LC pushing a breast that didn’t know it wasn’t best is a huge impact for a postpartum mother.

          • Samantha06

            “lactation consulting is every bit as complicated as family therapy, and the impacts are huge.”

            Really? How is that? I’ve been helping women feed their babies for years, both breast and bottle. It’s only as “complex” as the LC makes it out to be. And, the supposed “complexity” of breast feeding seems to be directly related to how brainwashed the victim, er woman is into believing that her baby’s health and well-being hinges solely on whether or not she breast feeds. You’re pretty disgraceful for someone who is supposed to be helping mothers. And the term “mamma milk” is demeaning. Your true colors are showing.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Well gosh, if it’s that complicated…if lactating is as difficult and hard to fix as having a family dynamics problem or psychological problem, why do it? You yourself said that in a family line-up you can’t pick out the breastfed sibs from the formula fed ones. Why spend my energy on this and not something else?

          • momofone

            Really? I’m fascinated by your take on this, since I actually DO family therapy. The impact of breastfeeding or not is in no way comparable to the impact of long-lasting destructive dynamics within a family, and your assertion otherwise further hurts your already-aching credibility.

        • just me

          I’m a lawyer and husband is a mechanic. I see your point but the bad apples are few.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Not all lactation consultants are lactivists.

      Bofa’s Law.

      • moto_librarian

        Yup, I know Bofa. And that’s the reason why the profession as a whole is a problem for many of us.

        • Guesteleh

          I have trouble calling it a profession when none of the advice they give is evidence-based and there isn’t any solid research on the most common causes of lactation failure, risk factors for breastfeeding issues (real risk factors, not “interventions”), and treatments for breastfeeding issues. It’s all word of mouth and “because we said so” and “everyone knows that…”

    • Michele

      Having to hunt to find the good ones is one reason I was glad a relative with a new baby called me when she was having trouble feeding her son after they got home from the hospital. Baby was jaundiced in the hospital, they’d been home for a day with no dirty diapers and not enough wets. My advice to her was to take the formula sample she’d gotten in the mail and give that to him. Her milk came in a couple days later and she hasn’t needed formula since. But I could see a lactivist LC telling her to just keep trying to nurse and then baby having to go back to the hospital. You don’t necessarily have time to hunt for a good one.

      • Young CC Prof

        Yup, a 3-4 day old breastfed baby with signs of lactation failure needs correct help immediately. If the first LC tells you the wrong thing, you don’t have time to look for another one. (Also, you’re probably too tired to have any idea whether what the LC said makes any sense or not.)

        • Who?

          How would you, as a non-medical/pregnancy person, know crap advice when you heard it though? That was me with first child, and I had no extended family around and no friends with babies.

          Lucky all went well for us, but it wouldn’t have occurred to me to question the advice of someone from the doctor’s surgery or hospital, which is where our midwife was based.

          We shot out of hospital really fast-well within 24 hours-so I didn’t even have different advice from different nurses to think about, and no idea what was acceptable or a sign of serious illness.

          Scary thought.

          • SporkParade

            That was my problem. It was pretty clear that the nurses in the hospital were willing to take big risks with my baby’s hydration (and conceal the bad results) in order to be able to say that I was breastfeeding. The nurses were pretty clearly under orders not to do anything that would encourage a mother to introduce formula, and I was too exhausted from giving birth to fight with them.

      • Cobalt

        Newborn feeding problems can become a life threatening crisis too fast to tolerate crap advice.

      • Mac Sherbert

        My milk came in at 5 days with both my babies. My second baby was sleepy and wouldn’t feed. By day three in the hospital she was losing weight fast and the LC I saw in the hospital had me feed a little formula to get things going. She said once babies get in the habit of not eating…sometimes they just don’t eat. She said we needed to fill her tummy and wake her up. It worked and we breastfeed for over a year. So not all LCs are against formula. The problem was that I could tell she felt I was going to argue with her about the formula.

    • just me

      I was fortunate to get a good one with kid number one. Actually helped. Wasn’t judgmental or telling me formula was bad or anything.

    • Trixie

      I had really good experiences with mine each time.

    • Julia

      I had a great LC too. She said that baby needs to be fed first and foremost, and that formula is just fine. With that she relieved so much of my new mommy guilt – I am still grateful to her.

  • annoyed

    Trust me IBCLCs are NOT getting rich on breastfeeding mother’s who need our help. Most of us are lucky to make enough for grocery money! Our jobs are to help Mothers reach their breastfeeding goals how ever that shapes up. Exclusive, pump and bottle feed, half breastfeed/half formula…what ever her choices are. Yes, with out any doubt – breast is best. You can not argue that point. Human milk for humwn babies is far better than processed milk from another species. It is people like you Dr. Amy that continues to put walls between mothers and their choices. Those of us in the trenches don’t! Enjoy your money Dr.Amy cause that is clearly all you care about!

    • sdsures

      Dr Amy doesn’t make money off this site. The Feminist Breeder is the one who makes money off of her own site.

      • Hannah

        Isn’t hers the one you have to actually pay a subscription just to read? Yeesh.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Human milk for humwn babies is far better than processed milk from another species

      Evidence? Especially for the “far better” part.

      • Gozi

        Evidence? They don’t need evidence. They know every female on earth and know her medical history, lifestyle, etc. HARF!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          God made boobs for breastfeeding. What other evidence do you need?

    • Stacy48918

      Dr. Amy puts up walls? I’m sorry, but did you not just write:
      ” Yes, with out any doubt – breast is best. You can not argue that
      point. Human milk for humwn babies is far better than processed milk
      from another species.”

      So when my daughter was starving, I made a decision to feed her that was less than the “best”?

      Go away. YOU are putting up walls, and profiting from it.

      • sdsures

        I’ll never forget the Fearless Formula Feeder’s post, maybe it was a guest post, about a mom whose baby actually SHRANK and grew extra hair to keep itself warm…all because the breastmilk lacked something that the mom was unaware of. She almost killed her first child by EBFing. Dad caught the mistake when the second child started to shrink, and both eventually recovered, being formula-fed.

        • Stacy48918

          My daughter weighed 6.8 pounds at birth, 8.5 pounds at 6 weeks and *7.5* pounds at 4 months. It was horrifying.

          I have enough guilt OF MY OWN for not seeing what was happening earlier. I don’t need some idiot lactation consultant parachuting in to parrot “breast is best, breast is best!” Polly wanna cracker?

          • Bugsy

            Yep, my 2-year-old pretty much stopped growing from 6-18 mo. Coupled with an absolutely idiotic GP, I lived blissfully off the idea that his weight was fine, that because he was still drinking a heck of a lot of my milk there could be no problems.

            Fast forward a year. My kid is in the 0% for height and weight. He still prefers (now cow’s) milk to foods, is quite anemic and is on heavy iron supplements to try to get his iron levels normal and his weight up.

            But what could be wrong? After all, I followed all of the lactivist models for extended breastfeeding (until 2). He’s supposed to be healthy and perfect.

            Thanks for nothing, extended breast feeding. Thanks for everything, a new GP and paediatrician who finally have helped talk sense into me.

          • Siri

            You obviously didn’t do delayed cord clamping….

            (Joke! Bad joke!)

          • Bugsy

            Lol! We had a choice between donating my son’s cord blood and delayed cord clamping. We felt strongly that donating the blood was in everyone’s best interest.

        • Hannah

          Holy crap. That’s what happens to severely anorexic people when they start hitting the ‘get help or death is imminent’ stage. I am SO SO glad I found this site before having kids!

    • Neya

      I loved my lactation consultant… So helpful in denying me a breast shield. In the end, I got one from amazon and continued to try breastfeeding a baby who was clearly reacting poorly to breast milk. Thankfully, I decided to use a university library to read real research instead of lactivism drivel.

      • MegaMechaMeg

        Honestly, what is the deal with the hate on nipple shield? I have crazy inverted nipples and I can promise anyone who asks that the only way I will be able to breastfeed is with the plastic boob hats, at least at the start. I mean, I’m sorry my anatomy isn’t more conducive to a romantic ideal of boob plus baby but still! If it allows women who want to breastfeed to do so sucessfully what is the problem?

        • Neya

          Exactly my thoughts!

          • MegaMechaMeg

            It feels like classic goal post shifting.
            First you are not a good enough mom if you formula feed. Then you are not good enough if you pump and use bottles. Then you aren’t good enough if you use a device to assist the process like a shield, and then you are not good enough if you wean before whatever arbitrary age they set. Honestly at this point I don’t even want to attempt breastfeeding because even if I go through the bullshit of getting it to work there is still going to be someone telling me that I am doing it wrong. Might as well just go straight to formula and have one less problem to deal with.

          • Cobalt

            Don’t let them take the option from you. See how things go, and consider trying breastfeeding with absolute permission to stop if it’s not what you want. You might like it. We hear a lot of the horror stories here, but sometimes breastfeeding really is nice.

          • MegaMechaMeg

            We will see how it goes. I am hesitant to put too much effort into the endeavor just because I work full time and most of my friends lost their supply when they returned from maternity leave.
            Also from what I have read breastfeeding with inverted nipples is painful even when it works, and I see no reason to power through nervy excruciating pain only to have my supply quit on me when I return to my job.
            I will probably give it a shot, because why not, but I have no hopes of long term success. Probably not the best way to go into it, but I am hoping with low expectations I will not end up in a post partum emotional death spiral. Having a baby is hard enough without having to fight a biological process that is beyond your control and post partum depression scares the shit out of me.

          • Amy M

            If you are high risk for PPD, don’t wait–at the first sign, get thee to a doctor and get whatever help you need.

            I went into parenthood thinking–eh, I’ll give bfing a shot, but they’re going to have some formula, so I don’t really care if it doesn’t work out. I did end up with PPD later on, but it was sleep-dep related, not feeding. So, yeah, going in with no (or low) expectations is probably best.

          • MegaMechaMeg

            I have seen enough of post partum to know that you do not screw around. With my mental health history I am probably going to need to get antidepressants going as soon as possible, but my mother tells me that she didn’t have issue so maybe there is hope 🙂 Either way I am going to have to be gentle with myself which is probably the best thing any new parent can do for themselves.
            And babies are a couple years off for me. I just slake my baby fever by reading this blog 🙂

          • Amy M

            Awesome. As I mentioned, I had PPD and I waited far too long to get help. Luckily, it never got really severe, but I didn’t have to live in a grey fog for 18mos and I hate to see anyone else go through that. So now, I risk sounding like a total broken record-nudge, and try to remind people that its ok to get help if its needed. I suspected I had PPD when it started, but my OB told me I didn’t, and I regret that I didn’t seek a 2nd opinion.

          • MegaMechaMeg

            I feel like when a pregnant or recently pregnant woman says that she is feeling depressed, the one and only appropriate reaction is to get her the happy pills ASAP. That is one of those situations where there is a huge consiquence for failure. Hell, my GP practically shoots them at me with a nerf gun every time I show up.

          • Michele

            When you’re ready for babies – if you start experiencing mental health issues during pregnancy, you don’t necessarily have to wait until after the birth to start antidepressants. It’s made a world of difference for me with baby #2 compared to the PPD I had with #1.

          • guest

            I formula fed my first and turned out fine so I was fine with the idea of mix feeding the 2nd but I wasn’t ready for failing to BF at all. I had to formula feed again and I had depression because of that. Thanks to google it led me to Dr.Amy.

          • Cobalt

            I think that really is the best way to go into though. Don’t be afraid to try it, and don’t be afraid to stop trying if it’s not the better choice for your situation.

            No guilt, no shame, no moral imperative. Just seeing what your options are, and choosing what you think will work out the best.

          • Neya

            I couldn’t agree more… Towards the end of my breast feeding experience, I started to be rude and telling people to mind their own business.

          • MLE

            Yes, yes, yes! I finally found a way to breast feed successfully, and now you tell me it’s not legitimate because there’s a piece of plastic between us? I guess I was a virgin for a lot longer than I thought since condoms were involved!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Hey, good on ya for using condoms…

          • Elaine

            I thought the reason to avoid the shield was because it can theoretically hurt breastfeeding in the long run. OTOH, if the baby won’t latch without it, then breastfeeding isn’t going anywhere anyway, so what have you got to lose?

            It turned out I have flat nipples and getting breastfeeding started with my first baby was more painful than it would have been otherwise. In hindsight I might have been a person who’d have benefited from a shield. I’m glad I didn’t end up with one though, since I am super disorganized and don’t need one more thing to lose/forget.

          • Poogles

            “I thought the reason to avoid the shield was because it can theoretically hurt breastfeeding in the long run. ”

            My understanding is that supply issues were a real problem with the old-school nipple sheilds, because they were much harder and not very flexible, making it difficult for the baby to get milk out of the breast. Nowadays, however, they make very flexible, soft nipple shields in multiple sizes and it really isn’t an issue.

            Basically, it’s like when the NCB/HB folks try to scare women away from the hospital by bringing up routine enemas and shaving – it just no longer applies.

        • Samantha06

          Exactly. Nipple shields are wonderful for women with inverted nipples, and tiny, preemie babies can’t nurse without them. It’s just more of the natural BS cult mentality.

        • Mishimoo

          I was a young mum, and I will always be grateful to my friend’s mum for sharing breastfeeding tips including “Don’t let anyone talk you out of nipple shields! I didn’t know I had inverted nipples until the nurse told me and it would have been hellish trying to manage without them. Oh, and don’t bother with that 10 minutes each side crap, you’ll just be uncomfortable and the baby will be hungry. Feed them until they’re falling off, and there’s no shame in giving formula. Babies need to eat.”

        • Michele

          Upvoting for “plastic boob hats”

        • NoLongerCrunching

          Beats the hell out of me. Whatever works is my motto.

    • junebug

      Yeah like my milk that had 10 calories per ounce and was starving my kid. I could argue plenty over which was hands down best. You are exactly what is wrong with lactivists.

    • Gozi

      What? The only thing I have known Dr. Amy to be against is shaming women for not breastfeeding. She doesn’t support inflating the benefits of breastfeeding to convince women to breastfeed. I guess you don’t know she breastfed her children.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        The only thing I have known Dr. Amy to be against is shaming women for not breastfeeding. She doesn’t support inflating the benefits of breastfeeding to convince women to breastfeed.

        And this is what they call “putting up walls”

    • yugaya

      “Most of us are lucky to make enough for grocery money!”

      Which begs the question what’s in it for you? Too many examples of abuse of power of authority in your industry makes for a damning indictment as to why you are really in the natural childbirth line of work.

  • nikkilee

    If a mother chooses to breastfeed she will receive more attention in hospitals than will a mother who chooses to bottle-feed formula. This stinks. ALL new mothers need practical advice and encouragement. Hospital practice is fueling this polarized view of mothering as manifested through the infant feeding choice. That has to change.

    • Stacy48918

      YOU are fueling this polarized view of mothering.

    • Neya

      You are the polarizing one…

    • Stacy48918

      And we were replying to you below. You’re welcome to answer our questions there rather than continuing to top-post as a means of avoiding those questions.

    • moto_librarian

      Yeah? Then let’s get rid of this bullshit BFHI designation.

    • Cobalt

      I wonder where the hospitals got the idea they need to focus so much on breastfeeding?

      • nikkilee

        For the same reasons that the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Academy of Family Practice Physicians ,the American Nurses Association,the World Health Organization, the American Public Health Association, the American Dental Association, and every single other health organization in this country recommend breastfeeding.

        • Cobalt

          Recommend, or shove down the throat? There’s a difference there.

          • nikkilee

            Why would every single health organization in the world recommend breastfeeding?

          • Cobalt

            Because its a good way to feed a baby. Breastmilk is nutritious and digestible.

            In the third world, it’s the best way, so global health advisors (WHO, etc.) strongly recommend it if at all possible, and for the greatest duration possible.

            The situation in well developed countries in very different. Many health organizations suffer from the same lack of perspective you display…situations are almost never perfectly equal, but their recommendations are based on that assumption.

            And none of them recommend against modern formula.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            This is complete bullshit.

            No one disagrees with the sentiment, “All else equal, breast is best.” NO ONE.

            However, what is questioned is
            1) What are the extents of the benefit? and
            2) How to apply that at the individual level?

            You were the one who says that you can’t apply the population information to individuals. And yet, here you are trying to insist that because it is best for the population, that it must apply to every single person.

            You’ve heard many anecdotes from people who explained to you that breast was NOT best for them, in their situation, for a myriad of reasons. Now, ask the AAP or the WHO, do they think those people should have breast fed instead? Hmmm?

            Our pediatrician was a FAAP and recommended breastfeeding. They had stickers in the exam rooms that said, “Breastfeeding welcome here” and all the materials they had recommended breastfeeding. And you know what he said when we asked him about supplementing with formula when the kids went to daycare? He gave us some suggestions on how to make it work better. Because he knew that, for us, in that circumstance, supplementing with formula was best.

            Now, what are you going to say? That he didn’t support breastfeeding? No, I told you, he recommended it. However, that doesn’t mean that he browbeat it into us that we had to do whatever we can to do it. Because he knows, all else being equal, breast is best, but all else is never equal, and you have to base it on the individual circumstances.

            So take your “recommend breastfeeding” straw man bullshit and shove it.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Because of the endless marketing and propaganda from the breastfeeding industry.

            All things being equal, breast feeding has TRIVIAL advantages in developed countries, related to the IgA antibodies that affect the gut and respiratory tract leading to fewer colds and respiratory illnesses in the first year. That it!

  • nikkilee

    Research does not apply to individuals. There are people that live to be 100 who smoke tobacco and drink alcohol every day; yet that is not recommended for everybody. Research applies to populations. We wear seatbelts because it increases our chances of surviving a car crash; and they are not a guarantee. Breastfeeding is nature’s seatbelt; it only increases the chances of a healthier life for mama and baby, and is no guarantee. Can’t say the same for infant formula. However, I forgot this is a site that glorifies confirmation bias.

    • Stacy48918

      Ah, so you prefer individual STORIES over scientific DATA. Got it.

      • Cobalt

        Here’s a story: my older boy couldn’t digest breastmilk. Similac Alimentum saved his life. My milk was killing him.

        Here’s another: I had to work when my younger daughter was an infant, and couldn’t pump. Wal-Mart generic formula meant I didn’t have to choose between starving her or feeding her gruel during the day or all of us being homeless and hungry.

        One more: I had emergency surgery when my littlest was one week old. HOSPITAL FREEBIES meant he had safe, nutritious food while I was in the hospital.

        • Stacy48918

          But along with those stories we have research that shows that the “benefits” of breastfeeding are trivial at best in industrialized nations with access to clean water, medical care, etc. Especially within families. No one looking at my 2 children could say which was EBF and which formula fed.

          • Cobalt

            You’re right about the science. Even if your reason for formula feeding is “that’s just my preference”, you’re still making an excellent feeding choice and providing totally appropriate nutrition.

          • Kelly

            Yes, I have pumped for my first and second child and it was miserable. I am now pregnant with my third and have already decided to go to formula. I am so excited to actually enjoy the first two weeks instead of miserably trying to breastfeed. This website has given me the confidence once again to switch to formula without the worry of screwing up my kids. I will now have the opportunity to screw them up in other ways.

          • nikkilee

            True about your children. Wrong about the benefits of breastfeeding. Those apply no matter where a child is born. http://archive.ahrq.gov/downloads/pub/evidence/pdf/brfout/brfout.pdf

          • Young CC Prof

            The better controlled the study, the smaller the benefit. Non-randomized studies cannot and will never yield useful information about the benefits of breastfeeding, since maternal or infant health problems often necessitate a change in feeding method rather than the other way around.

          • DaisyGrrl

            While the reviewers found associations between formula feeding and certain illnesses, they cautioned in their conclusion that the correlations are not sufficiently robust for a finding of causation. The research done since that review has failed to find a sufficient link between formula feeding and asthma, diabetes, and allergies.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Pro tip: READ what you cite before you cite it.

            The authors of the ARHQ report acknowledge right at the outstart of their report, in the abstract:

            “A history of breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of many diseases in infants and mothers from developed countries. Because almost all the data in this review were gathered from observational studies, one should not infer causality based on these findings…”

            The authors could not have made it plainer. No one should use their study or the data in their study to claim that breastfeeding causes the improved outcomes they discuss in the report.

            Oops!!

      • Mac Sherbert

        Here’s another story. I was starving as an infant. Thanks to formulas I lived and now have a family. I rather enjoy living despite any health problems I may have suffered or will suffer.
        As for my kids. One was formula and on was BF. That’s what worked for us. Formula feed kid is super smart (as in at least 2 grade level above his peers) and is never sick. Second bf baby sick all the stinking time.

        • guest

          And about the claimed long life time benefits according to our medical history me (formula fed) and my EBF friend (we are less than month apart) I am 100% sure she will pick her as formula fed (she is suffering of chronic ear problem – chronic gastroenteritis – high blood cholesterol) and we are still few months shy to 30.

    • Cobalt

      Formula saves lives and improves outcomes. Breast is not always best.

      • sdsures

        It really bothers me how in the UK, they’re STILL pushing the “Breast is Best” spiel. 🙁

      • nikkilee

        Breast is not always possible or desired. That is different.

        • Cobalt

          No, it’s not different. You’re thinking of the impossible situation in which the costs of breastfeeding and formula feeding are the same, and then breastfeeding would “win” because it’s “better”.

          Life does not work like that.

      • Elaine

        Breast is “best” if all things are equal, but frequently they aren’t.

        • Cobalt

          Situations are almost never equal. That’s why lactivists have to artificially raise the cost of formula by applying guilt and shame. Breastfeeding becomes “better” because if you do it, you don’t have to pay the “shame price”.

          The baby doesn’t benefit from the guilt, and the baby is kinda THE WHOLE POINT.

      • nikkilee

        Why all the anger and skepticism? How does anyone disagreeing with what you did make your choice devalued? What does anyone else’s opinion matter?

        • Michele

          > What does anyone else’s opinion matter?
          It matters when opinions are used to shame and bully others who have different opinions.

          • nikkilee

            Who here is being shamed and bullied?

          • Stacy48918

            Every single one of us that chose our child’s health over a ridiculous ideal of “breast is best”.

          • nikkilee

            Babies have to be fed if breastfeeding isn’t working.

          • Young CC Prof

            Formula is OK to keep babies alive if there’s no other way, but of course it’s necessary to freak out if anyone ever says that formula feeding is OK, or breastfeeding isn’t all that important in the long run. Good to know.

          • Siri

            I regard formula in much the same way I do cannibalism – a last resort, marginally better than death by starvation, and best not mentioned in polite society.

          • Neya

            How about the entirely feminist perspective of “my body, my choice” applied to feeding of babies? How about being honest and saying that “breast is slightly better” and really in the long run other choices are more important?

          • Stacy48918

            Babies have to be fed. Period.

          • yugaya

            She doesn’t get it that THAT should be the definition of her scope of practice.

          • Cobalt

            No. Babies have to be fed. The best choice for any given situation will be nutritionally sound, affordable, and sustainable.

          • yugaya

            Also women who breastfed and are not claiming their medals for something that in developed world is a matter of individual choice and carries no real long term health benefits that would make it a choice that is superior in any way.

        • Cobalt

          To me, it doesn’t. My oldest was born 13 years ago, and I have the benefit of the perspective of time.

          But the negativity, the lies, the pressure to conform, the guilt tripping…that hurts other moms. Moms that don’t have support, accurate information, or a decade of experience. And I care about them, and their babies, too. I want free choice based on actual realities to be available for all.

          Just because my husband isn’t violent doesn’t mean domestic violence is something I should ignore. Just because my belly is full doesn’t mean I shouldn’t bother donating to the food bank. Just because breastfeeding comes easy for me doesn’t mean I can’t help a friend that’s struggling with it give herself permission to stop.

          • nikkilee

            Absolutely!! I’ve used lots of infant formula in my practice, and have always supported the mothering relationship above the infant choice.

        • Stacy48918

          Because you are doing more than “disagreeing”. You are shaming. “Breast is best”. Turning how women feed their children into a moral imperative.

          • nikkilee

            I don’t see how I am doing that. I do see that citing evidence makes some people feel bad. Not my intention; in fact, the farthest thing from it. My challenge is that breastfeeding has never been part of the healthcare system in this country. Healthcare professionals never learned anything about it; hospitals made no provision for it. Now, that is changing. Change is unwelcome, and can make people feel things they don’t want to feel.

          • Stacy48918

            How are you doing it?
            “Fine to choose formula, as long as you know it’s not the best and you are harming your baby and yourself.”
            Not an exact quote but covers the general sentiment.

          • Cobalt

            We don’t feel bad, we know better.

            We know your evidence is crap.
            We know what the studies actually show.
            We know what and why the recommendations are
            We know formula is no big deal
            We know your lactivism is irrelevant to infant health

            But we are angry. Angry on behalf of the families that have been hurt by lactivism. Time and relationships and mental health and infant health and maternal health that have been sacrificed for a lie.

            “Breast is best”? Bullshit.

          • Neya

            Citing evidence is not what makes some people in this blog feel bad. Your tone of superiority is what rubs people here the wrong way. And, since we are in the subject of evidence, where is the evidence that breast feeding is healthier for all population of lactating mothers?

          • Siri

            Passive aggression! Just as good as regular aggression, with half the calories.

        • Cobalt

          And really “why skepticism?”.

          If you’re not a skeptic, I have bridge for sale. And some extra breastmilk, good for everything. It’s QUANTUM, $5 per ounce.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Why all the anger and skepticism, Nikkilee? How does this video affirming that the way a mother feeds her baby is her business and hers alone devalue breastfeeding? Why do you think your opinion should matter to anyone but yourself?

          You’re proving my point, Nikkilee. The real reason lactivists oppose this video is because it attempts to assuage guilt, and you like guilt. That’s how you earn your money or your sense of superiority

        • Maria

          Nikkilee – When you have a couple of hours to spare, I urge you to go read The Fearless Formula Feeder. Read at least 15 entries before you even attempt to comment. Just read with your ears, heart, and mind open to what the women on that blog are saying. I would be interested to hear from you when you have done that to see if you might possibly feel that a change in tone is really all that people are asking for from their LCs. As one of the recent posts stated, “Breast or bottle, FED is best.”

          • Cobalt

            Especially the Friday posts. I tend to cry reading those.

        • Siri

          Oh please, spare us the ‘you’re obviously very angry and bitter’ card. I beg of you; don’t sink to that level.

        • yugaya

          “disagreeing with what you did make your choice”

          You can’t move past yourself, so you assume we all can’t either. I breastfed my kids you twat and I still can call bullshit on what you are selling to ALL women while disrespecting their individual circumstances and choices.

    • Neya

      How is breast feeding healthier for all populations of mothers?

    • fiftyfifty1

      Seatbelts are a poorly chosen analogy. Seatbelts make the difference between life and death in a crash. Breastmilk doesn’t save lives compared to formula feeding in the developed world. Most people wear seltbelts but few ever truly use them (i.e. get in a crash where they come into play). But infant food, whether breastmilk or formula, is used daily. You have to use it one way or the other, so your choice needs to work well for you in your circumstances.

      The choice of breast vs. formula is more like the choice of what car to buy. All modern cars have to meet safety standards. Beyond that what car you buy depends on a lot of things: what you can afford, projected repair costs, what your family fits into, where your family has to drive, what car you like etc. I personally drive a Subaru Outback and it’s been a great car for me, and I recommend them highly. But it’s not the right car for everyone. Likewise, between my 2 kids I lactated for over 5 years. It worked out for my family, but it’s not for everyone.

    • Kq

      What a crock of reeking bullshit. Do you read any of the replies you’ve gotten??

    • Julia

      I’m confused by your statement that “research does not apply to individuals”. Research gives statistical odds for a certain outcome (life expectancy for smokers, benefits of breastfeeding, what have you). You could use these odds to guide lifestyle decisions, like, wearing a seat belt. So it does apply to individuals, no? Do you think research applies only to individuals if it gives a guarantee? That’s an odd notion.

  • Amy

    Oh God, The Feminist Breeder….Unfortunately the only way she can make money is via mommy wars so of course she doesn’t like it. I love how she acts like everything she says is in the best interest of moms…regardless of what moms want or what is *actually* good for them and their baby. Separating me from my milk is what kept my daughter alive.

    • Sarah

      Gina, of course, lacks the self awareness to realise that the behaviour of her and others like her has just gifted Similac the material for what’s likely to be a highly sucessful campaign. If she doesn’t want them to be able to make adverts like that, she could help by shutting her mouth. As she will insist on talking, that message is going to continue to resonate.

  • nikkilee

    Everyone needs to mother in their own best way. Fine to choose formula, as long as one knows the potential impact on maternal and infant health before making the choice. Industry does not want the public to know the truth, whether it be about GM airbags and ignition switches (GM knew about the problems for years and didn’t do anything until enough people died) or risks of tobacco use (ditto) or risks of not breastfeeding (industry still working to suppress the truth) . This ad skips over an essential part of public health, and that is informed choice. Guilt as a way of framing the infant feeding discussion is another industry strategy that started at least 2 generations ago. As for money making, the formula industry made $3 BILLION in North America in 2010; this figure comes from the Global Infant Foods and Baby Formula Marketing Report, their own publication. That is so much more money than is any accreditation process. As for accreditation, every accrediting agency charges. Joint Commission charges for their hospital accreditation process (http://www.jointcommission.org/about/JointCommissionFaqs.aspx?CategoryId=14#81). Every agency charges for accreditation; Baby Friendly is no different and no one is getting rich on accreditation fees.

    • Stacy48918

      Oh really. Since you want to compare to GM – care to give us the death count for formula?

      Way to continue to guilt mothers. YOU are part of the problem.

      Want to know the impact formula made on my infant’s health? Oh yea, it SAVED HER LIFE. Buzz off.

      • demodocus’ spouse

        Saved my nephew’s and my sister’s too. Ovarian cancer cannot be hoped into remission so you can bf

        • Sarah

          It can if you eat enough kale.

          • demodocus’ spouse

            My eating kale saved them! Hooray!

          • Mac Sherbert

            Oh, and just the other I read a post somewhere that claimed some other green veggie (spinach or broccoli) had more nutrients than kale. I wish could remember where I read that.

      • Smokiechick
        • Stacy48918

          So 2 babies a year, WORLDWIDE.

          Rather a minute risk compared to my child’s near starvation when *I* was feeding her.

          • Smokiechick

            You asked. I didn’t realize it was rhetorical.

          • Stacy48918

            It wasn’t….

    • demodocus’ spouse

      formula is way more regulated in the US than autos are. There are lots of potential negative impacts to breast feeding too. Unless a year of maternal pain are okay, so long as the baby gets his mother’s milk.

      • nikkilee

        http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm048694.htm “FDA does not approve infant formulas before they can be marketed. However, all formulas marketed in the United States must meet federal nutrient requirements, which are not changed by the new rule. Infant formula manufacturers are required to register with FDA and provide the agency with a notification prior to marketing a new formula.”

      • Mac Sherbert

        It’s an apples and oranges debate. Cars do not equal food. In fact I’m pretty sure they are both regulated by different agencies.

        • demodocus’ spouse

          Eh, you’re right. Arguments about various non-food companies getting away with hiding faulty products for years are *not* the same as formula companies not putting “may make your kid fat and stupid” (which ain’t exactly proven) on their labels. Lung cancer is proven to be highly correlated to smoking. The advantages of bfing are quite small if you have access to clean water and unexpired formula

          • Stacy48918

            Actually, in some cases I think it’s an apt comparison. GM knew that their cars killed, what – 13 people over a decade or something? And the US CONGRESS came down on their heads.

            How many babies have homebirth midwives killed?

          • Mac Sherbert

            Maybe so, but snake oil salesmen (and corrupt businesses) have been around since the beginning of time. I’ve always assumed that’s why the FDA was created (sorry not a historian). It’s seems to me a good comparison might be to look at how supplements are regulated vs. formula. You have many who call fowl on formula, but will take any supplement out there that is way less regulated that formula.

          • Young CC Prof

            Infant probiotics! (At least one caused serious infections.) Homeopathic teething remedies! Herbal heaven-knows-what to increase milk supply!

          • Mac Sherbert

            The other thing to me is that formula is specifically for babies. Society has a low tolerance for things that kill babies. It makes me think how airbags killed kids and that got a lot of attention. Now there are warnings all over your car and newer cars even have sensors to detect child passengers so the air bag will not deploy. In short, if infant formula was causing death or serious problems in large numbers of infants I don’t think society would let it go…Where as adults killed in a crash..well that happens and until it really dawned on people in the GM case that the cars really were defective there was not an outcry.

          • Roadstergal

            Created due to an elixir of sulfa suspended in a glycol base that was highly toxic and killed a few hundred children. It turned out that the company was guilty only of not properly listing the ingredients, and paid a nominal fine. People wanted a government agency that had the power to enforce safety standards.

            And yes, the state of supplement un-regulation in the US is horrendous. As YCCP mentions below.

    • Young CC Prof

      Welcome, proof-by-example!

    • Mac Sherbert

      So essentially everyone needs to mother “in their own best way.” Just know that if you choose formula you are clearly not informed. Nice.

    • Neya

      My son cannot digest proteins. Formula keeps him alive and healthy. Enough with the guilt trip and the insinuation that feeding a child formula is synonym with ignorance!

    • Stacy48918

      So you oppose formula and vaccination. Any other life-saving medical advances you think we should do away with?

      Stop guilting mothers.

    • Neya

      From the immunocompromised community, my thanks for keeping my son from going to the library, to the playground, and even to birthday parties for fear of exposing him to unvaccinated children. Much appreciated!

    • Cobalt

      How much profit did Medela make last year? Lasinoh? Lamaze? Milk Nursingwear?

    • moto_librarian

      You know what would be great? If breastfeeding advocates could stop hyping supposed benefits of breastfeeding that have no actual evidence to back them up. Pointing out that the literature regarding breastfeeding is weak and riddled with confounders does not equal suppression.

    • Kelly

      How much does the car seat industry make? I am sure they make quite the profit with the new rules to keep your kid in a car seat longer and new car seats to keep kids facing backwards longer as well. I really don’t care how much profit the car seat industry or the formula companies make as long as I can keep my children safe and fed. Your point is moot.

    • Karen in SC

      Since you brought up GM, I’d like to point out that the CEO was called before Congress for 13 deaths over a decade.
      MANA’s support of NO regulation of lay midwives and CPMs led to around 35 preventable deaths in FIVE years. I have yet to see Cheney get called before Congress though I have written my congressmen and will write again.
      How many babies per year die from lack of nutrition – when the mother doesn’t recognize the signs of not having enough breast milk. I wonder if the total would be more or less than 13 in a decade.
      As for the formula industry — you seem to be ignoring the societal changes that led to women working outside the home AND desiring full careers and all that entails.

      • Amazed

        35 preventable deaths that we KNOW about, Karen. My money is that there are a lot more that are hushed and glossed over.

        • Young CC Prof

          Gavin Michael isn’t in that data set, after all, his mother transferred care before the onset of labor. (4,000 women in the MANA study transferred care prior to the onset of labor, and we have no idea what happened to them, why they transferred, or how many were transferred too late.)

          Neither is Abel Adams, who survived his midwife’s incompetence but suffered a serious brain injury. (Injuries were not recorded.)

          There were only 17,000 births in the database, only a fraction of planned home births during that time period. The others, who knows?

          • Amazed

            Or Sam who survived his birth and neonatal period and later died of brain damage.

            That makes 37 deaths. At least 37. I leave to homebirth advocates to do the calculation and comparison to the GM deaths. I am not holding my breath on the explanation I’m already anticipating: it won’t be a valid comparison because there were 10 years before all the 13 GM deaths happened. After all, that’s something akin to what Jamie of the Grounded Parents stated trying to undermine a certain analysis I’m sure you remember.

    • Siri

      No, Nikki – fine to choose formula FULL STOP. No qualifier needed.

    • fiftyfifty1

      At least the Joint Commission does something useful.

    • FormerPhysicist

      It’s fine to choose breastfeeding, as long as one knows the potential impact on maternal and infant health before making the choice.

      Hint: The potential impacts aren’t all positive.

    • Samantha06

      “Everyone needs to mother in their own best way. Fine to choose formula, as long as one knows the potential impact on maternal and infant health before making the choice.”

      Hmm, potential impact on maternal and infant health.. hmm.. let’s see… a happy, healthy baby gaining weight, a mother getting a decent night’s sleep and actually feeling physically able to care for her child.. sounds like a win for formula!!

      • fiftyfifty1

        No kidding! Better source of Vitamin D and K, less anemia, less jaundice, less rehospitalization for newborn dehydration, no lactational mastitis for mother, better career prospects for mother leading to less poverty and the improved health outcomes that go along with that. And according to the sib study, less asthma! And according to the randomized Belarus study, less obesity!

        (Now you might think I’m coming down on breastfeeding, but I’m not. Everyone needs to mother in their own best way. Fine to choose breastmilk, as long as one knows the potential impact on maternal and infant health before making the choice.)

        • Samantha06

          “(Now you might think I’m coming down on breastfeeding, but I’m not. Everyone needs to mother in their own best way. Fine to choose breastmilk, as long as one knows the potential impact on maternal and infant health before making the choice.)”

          Ha! Exactly… interesting that you have NONE of the issues with formula that you have with breastfeeding and some clear advantages!

    • OBPI Mama

      EVERYONE in the U.S. gets “breast is best” shoved down their throats… everyone. At hospitals, at prenatals, at pediatricians, at health depts./wic appts, ads, etc… If there is a “conspiracy” it’s from breastfeeding associations! I actually laughed at “suppressing the truth”. The only coaxing I’ve ever felt is from breastfeeding advocates/literature.
      The infant impact of formula for my children has been LIFE! As a woman with hypoplasia/IGT, I starved my firstborn to losing over 1lb and becoming lethargic his first week of life because EVERYONE knows that if you just nurse enough your milk will come in. And the money I spent on all the pumps, teas/tinctures/meds/herbs, etc could have bought me at least 24 cans of formula, but I tried everything because of guilt (which turns out, I didn’t need to feel at all!).

    • yugaya

      “Fine to choose formula, as long as one knows the potential impact on maternal and infant health before making the choice”

      Heh, the religious cult crew that camps on my street corner words their pick up line almost the same – “It is fine to chose not to believe as long as you are aware of the dangers to your body and soul and the well-being of your children before you make that choice”

  • Bugsy

    I just watched the video for the first time and have a few comments. Yep, I’m totally living in the bubble that is being a stay-at-home mom to a toddler.

    1) Irrespective of the corporate sponsorship, it’s an absolutely wonderful video. We are all moms (and dads). Shouldn’t that be all that matters? We all ultimately want what’s best for our kids.

    2) The mommy wars that it highlights unfortunately are quite accurate…but not every parent ascribes to them. Since my Attachment Parent, lactivist friend and I have gone our separate ways, I’ve found that the idea of the mommy wars is generally as pervasive as the company we keep.

    Accept ideologies that judge, criticize and condemn every other parenting style (or befriend those whose lives become consumed by these ideologies), and it’s easy to think that all new parents are equally as judgmental and critical as those around you. They’re not. The friends I’ve made in my AP-parent friend’s absence are wonderfully caring, supportive and open. None of us give a damn whether the others breastfeed, cloth diaper, or work outside the home. They are irrelevant to true friendship, and to respecting the amazing journey that all of us are on as parents.

    3) The reference to sisterhood and mommy hood at the end of the video was quite interesting, particularly with there being dads in the video. Was it intentionally designed to exclude them and focus on mommy hood? I feel like it must have been intentional, but am not sure for what purpose.

    Great video, thanks for posting it.

    • Elaine

      I watched the video with my husband, who is a SAHD, and that was the first thing we noticed… dads are in the video, but left out of the final message. OTOH, there’s a reason nobody talks about the “daddy wars”. It seems like men don’t get sucked into this most of the time, and it’s probably partly because men aren’t culturally trained to derive a lot of their own self-image from their parenting, and partly because a lot of the choices aren’t ultimately theirs. A woman chooses how and where to give birth, her husband doesn’t. She chooses whether or not to breastfeed; he gives the baby a bottle with something determined by his wife in it. Sure he has a role to play and a voice in the discussions, but ultimately it is down to the wife/mom’s choice. When you take the heat off those two choices, it drains a lot of heat from the parenting debates.

  • Dr Kitty

    I was listening to a programme on BBC radio 4 yesterday.
    Ireland is one of the world’s top 10 dairy exporters and Irish milk makes about 15% of the world’s infant formula.
    When dairy prices are such that a bottle of mineral water can be cheaper than a bottle of milk in a supermarket, infant formula is one area where dairy farmers can potentially grow their income.
    The interesting thing is that is makes much more financial sense to make the formula in the country that produces the milk- so Ireland also has at least 3 major formula construction plants. The programme was very clear that standards of hygiene and auditing were very, very strict, and that the safety and reliability of the Irish manufacturing process was a big draw for overseas buyers, in particular the Chinese buyers.

    It was a very even handed programme- saying that while breast milk is ideal, some infants will always need to use formula and that it should be as safe as possible.
    Growing the market for Irish-made formula, if it is used as a replacement for gruel, rice or other inappropriate or unsafe infant feeds, is not unethical.

    • Young CC Prof

      That’s precisely what I thought when I heard about the growing demand for imported formula in China. If it’s replacing untrustworthy formula of Chinese manufacture, plain milk, or traditional infant gruel, made from unfortified rice flour, this is going to make the babies MORE healthy. A lot of traditional societies introduce solids very very early, and it tends to be stuff like plain porridge.

      • Dr Kitty

        If you’re only going to have one baby, and breastfeeding isn’t your chosen feeding method, you want the safest, healthiest formula you can get.

        Ireland currently has manufacturing plants owned by Danone (Aptamil, Cow&Gate), Nestle (SMA) and Abbott (Similac).
        The Chinese buyers REALLY like the wholesome image of Irish cows grazing in green fields, which are at most 200 miles from the formula factory.

  • SporkParade

    Of course lactivists resort to bullying. When you identify your job as promoting/supporting breastfeeding, you’ve just said you value an abstract noun over actual people. Lactivists get so upset about formula freebies for supposedly discouraging women from breastfeeding, but they don’t give a darn about all the mean-spirited messages women who give even just the occasional bottle are bombarded with, including warning messages on formula packaging.

    • Lauren

      there are warning messages on formula? I haven’t noticed that in Canada!

  • anh

    Is there actual evidence that formula freebies, advertising, whatever really does dissuade women who want to breast feed from doing so? Lactivist insist this is true, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the actual data that allegedly proves this

    • Amy M

      I think there was a study that showed that women LEAVING THE HOSPITAL were more likely to be using formula if they were given samples, however, this says nothing about breastfeeding rates in the weeks following that. I may be mis-remembering, but I think the study only looked at the rates of breastfeeding in the hospital and upon leaving.

  • I think they’re really just upset because ultimately a formula company has taken the “moral highroad”, and that has got to be a bit of a punch in the gut– the mere idea that breastfeeding is not the be all and end all of parenting….

    • MLE

      Oh you’re so right. The idea that a *poison* company would behave in a way other than utterly chastened, apologetic, and subservient to the almighty breast has got to rankle them!

    • Bugsy

      Yes! It directly contradicts their self-image of being on the moral high ground.

  • just me

    Ok made me cry too. If I had seen the commercial before reading this post I wouldn’t have known it was a formula commercial til the end. So it’s not like Similac was heavily pushing the stuff. Pretty funny up until the end.

    • Lauren

      I didn’t realize it was an ad AT ALL given the way it was shared on Facebook “You have to watch this parenting video – so amazing!”
      If it weren’t for the word “Similac” at the end.. I still wouldn’t know it was an ad. (actually my hubby watched it and then said, “What’s Similac?”, haha)
      I think it’s an amazing, wonderful ad. And Breast-is-Best types could take a page out of their book.

  • MS

    Don’t overlook the emphasis on the parenting labels. “Working Moms,” “Crunchy Granola Moms,” “SAH Dads,” all of these terms define the parents and their choices, not the child. A key part of lactivism is the bragging rights, the labels you earn for yourself that eventually define your identity. Its not until the actual welfare of a child is at risk that all the parents forget about hyping up their own perceived accomplishments and remember that parenting is about children, not promoting themselves. THAT is the dangerous message for people whose identities are defined by their parenting choices.

    • Lauren

      You are so right.

  • Pregnant Guest

    That ad made me bawl my eyes out. I may be hormonal, but It’s beautiful!

    • Mishimoo

      It made one of my happily childfree friends cry too, so you’re not alone. It was perfect, I love it so much!

      • Childfree runners or grandparents doing tai chi in the same park would have also run after the stroller, since we’re all humans who want to support and care for members of our own species.

  • Gozi

    How could anyone oppose this ad? I THOUGHT IT WAS GREAT! ! It is about time someone said this. This is the greatest ad ever. I wish I could tell Similac that.

  • namaste863

    What I want to know is why do so many women put up with this? Maybe after these people are told “It’s none of your business, and I’m through being polite, so you can fuck right off!” a few times, they’ll get the point.

    • Lauren

      I have said this a few times – it usually ends with a line in the sand, and ‘you’re not my friend anymore’.
      Part of you is sad to lose a friend over something so trivial, but a bigger part of you knows that this wasn’t a good friend to begin with, to have made such a big deal out of something so trivial.

      …..haven’t said it to strangers (yet) though. I’m Canadian.. we don’t usually do that. The ‘evil eye across the room’ is our MO. Maybe after baby is born it’ll be more of an issue…hey, push me enough and I may just squirt some formula in your smug face… 🙂

      • Amy M

        Keep an extra bottle full of lemonade on hand for that purpose….

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Part of you is sad to lose a friend over something so trivial, but a bigger part of you knows that this wasn’t a good friend to begin with, to have made such a big deal out of something so trivial.

        Life is too short to put up with assholes.

        And you can quote me on that.

        • Bugsy

          Love it.

      • Bugsy

        Yes. My lactivist friend & I went separate ways after a 25-year friendship. I had grown tired of her constant criticisms and judgments, and finally stood up for my own beliefs. Poof went the friendship.

        You’re 100% correct that it sucks to lose a friendship over something so idiotic, but it helps realizing that the friendship really had run its own course, anyway. A friendship based solely on the extent to which one can provide validation for another’s increasingly extreme & critical/judgmental beliefs isn’t much of a friendship.

        Still, you miss the old friend.

    • Kq

      Once upon a time I had a circle of very close friends. They supported my husband and me through the loss of our first baby (24 weeks gestation). They were at our wedding two weeks later, when we had his funeral as part of the ceremony. They were there all the time for me, were the safe harbor we trusted completely.

      A year later, our living son was born. But I chose a hospital birth. I posted pro hospital and anti lying midwife stuff on my Facebook, although I openly and vocally supported their choices to homebirth/attachment parent/ebf. Didn’t matter – I didn’t agree 100% with their all-natural-all-the-time ways. Slowly and deliberately they began to isolate and reject me, until I was a social pariah treated with disgust and disdain, deliberately kept out of all conversation about pregnancy, babies and motherhood.

      I was a stay at home mother, almost totally isolated. The rejection by my entire support network devastated me. It almost ruined my marriage (they were also my husband’s dear friends). It wrecked the first THREE YEARS of mothering my only child. I was deeply depressed, and additionally guilty for “ruining” my husband’s friendships. He and I struggled to get past it – we were angry with each other as well as angry at them. I can’t put words to how much it hurt.

      Finally, after years, we are past it. I struggle making friends because I don’t trust people – I still have the handful of (mostly not local) friends who stayed true. My husband and I forgave each other – and admitted neither of us had done anything wrong in the first place. And I was finally able to fully enjoy mothering my son.

      Why do women put up with the judging? Because to so much as disagree can be a crime so great you find yourself alone, afraid and almost too depressed to function.

  • Bazzethound

    I enjoyed the fact that ALL the parents were ignoring the actual danger to a child while arguing over the perceived danger the otherwise thinking parents were inflicting on their babies.

  • Cobalt

    I really liked most of the video, because it was really hilarious. I would prefer a different ending though. We don’t (or shouldn’t) need to be faced with impending tragedy to “get over it”.

    If I was the producer, I would have cut to the kids all a few years later (preschool graduation maybe?), and demonstrated how much weight these early decisions don’t have long term. And maybe had some of the parents change sides, chill out with subsequent children, make friends across ideological lines, etc.

    • Samantha06

      I thought it was hilarious too! I thought the ending was thought-provoking though. I think sometimes it takes tragedy to “wake people up.” And I think it showed how, (like home birthing) the baby gets pushed to the side in favor of the process and trying to prove a point. I like your ending idea too. Maybe have them watch the kids at their graduation ceremonies trying to figure out which kid was breast-fed and which was bottle-fed.

    • Who?

      I like the ending just how it was, though for me it would have been more powerful without the little signs, but they needed the slogan to hook their brand to.

      It actually reminded me a bit of the end of Mean Girls (spoiler alert, in case you’ve been on Mars) where Regina’s bus accident was the catalyst for a lot of positive change.

      Perhaps they’ll make a follow up at kindy, with the ‘old’ kindy mums and their new babies providing some sage advice, or maybe just strategic eyerolling, at the new mums on the way to the park.

      • rational adult

        I could picture a version with preschool aged kids. They could all go off and play together while the parents bicker, because what 4 year old cares if her friend was cloth diapered or breastfed or whatnot?

        • sdsures

          It also reminded me of the opening scene in “Ghostbusters 2” when Sigourney Weaver is chasing after Oscar’s pram.

    • Bugsy

      I’d be curious as to which of the children aren’t allowed to befriend those across ideological lines. That was one of the issues I saw with my lactivist friend – the children & activities with whom her preschooler could interact were very closely monitored. No ideological differences were allowed.

      • Stacy48918

        That was/still is my hubby’s MO. Trying to isolate our kids from anyone with different views.

        • Bugsy

          Eeck. I’m sorry.

        • sdsures

          I’m sorry.

      • Cobalt

        I see the one kid walking up to the sandbox:

        “You have to give me the toy! I was dolphin assisted!”

        Other kid:

        “What’s a dolphin?”

        First kid:

        “I have no idea.”

        • sdsures

          LOL! BTW, we haven’t heard back from that couple who wanted a dolphin-assisted birth.

  • Young CC Prof

    Remember: Breastfeeding is just that important. It’s more important that the sisterhood of motherhood. It’s more important than mothers’ mental health, more important than whether your baby is thriving and gaining correctly, more important than your family’s financial stability.

    It’s so important, it’s worth lying about.

    • Gretta

      Wish I could give more likes.

  • CrownedMedwife

    Oh Dr. Amy, we’ve been getting spoiled by these two posts per day lately. No sooner do I formulate a response on a prior post, there’s another that comes along. Your work is never done and thank you for the work you do.
    PS LOVED the video.
    Sincerely,
    An apologetic, accidental and reformed former lactivist.

  • Lauren

    Due in May, boy! and we are absolute on that we are exclusively formula feeding. We have our reasons – just one of which is that then Dad, Grandma, Aunt, etc. can all have opportunities to bond with our baby – but we don’t feel compelled to share them with the judgmental ‘breast is best’ types.
    I LOVE that commercial – not just because it’s hilarious (because hello, it is) but because it gives the impression of hope. In the end, all mothers and fathers come together amicably. While I am not ashamed of our choice to EFF, I am concerned about the constant opposition we may or may not face. This commercial gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, other moms will smile and compliment me on my beautiful boy and leave it at that.

    • rational adult

      I liked the ad too. The only thing I objected to was the bottle feeding mom clique squirting their bottles everywhere. Formula is expensive! Don’t waste it! Dare I say… It’s liquid gold?

      • Cobalt

        I know Alimentum kept us in the poorhouse for a while. Kept the kid alive and growing though, so there’s that.

        • Lauren

          hahahaha yes, I thought that as well …”Where are they buying their formula they can afford to waste it like that???”
          🙂

          People constantly make a sour face and say “but breast feeding is FREE! What about the cost of formula??”
          Well it’s not always about the money. We have a lot at stake that makes the financial investment well worth it – even if it does land us in the poor house.
          (see above)

          • Cobalt

            Breastmilk might be free, but getting it, and enough of it, into the baby might not be. And if your baby can’t digest it, it may as well be orange juice for all the good it will do them.

          • Amy M

            Well, I had to go back to work, so breastfeeding exclusively wasn’t even an option—but let’s say I wanted to and was able to. I’d need a pump and storage supplies and bottles in that case, at the very least. And I work at a job that would allow me to pump wo/losing pay, but not everyone is so lucky. There’s an example, for those touting breastfeeding as free, to show how it isn’t necessarily free.

        • Amy M

          Yes, we bought the formula in bulk from BJs, but even still formula feeding twins wasn’t cheap. And we started with a brand name, and I was afraid to change to generic, not because I thought it was bad, but because I was afraid the brand change might upset their stomachs or later on, that they might refuse it if it tasted different. Probably should have tried it anyway, but we didn’t and sucked it up and bought the brand name the whole year. That first shopping trip when we didn’t need to buy formula was amazing!

      • sdsures

        I was thinking it was weird of them to be spraying the bottles, too.

    • Amy M

      Well, I would smile and compliment you on your baby….I never cared how others fed their babies. I only care that others vaccinate their babies. (sorry, still mad about that Disneyland measles thing)

      • Lauren

        ha! SAME HERE!!
        🙂

    • Elizabeth A

      Congratulations on your pregnancy!

      Can I just take a minute, though, to side eye the idea that the only way to bond with a baby is to feed the baby? I mean, I side-eye the whole bonding idea in general: no one ever defines bonding, so you can never be sure it’s occurred, so it’s a potentially infinite source of parental anxiety. Emotional connections are hugely important, but there are millions of ways to form and express them. You’re entire family is going to love your baby, but I don’t know what moment is going to make each of you fall, and no one else does either.

      • Lauren

        No no, you are absolutely right. There is no one way to bond with baby! 🙂
        It’s just the easiest reason to put out when we get the snark face. 😉
        The other complication here is that hubby will have just finished his radiation for brain cancer when baby arrives.. so he’ll be immuno-suppressed for a good while thereafter.
        Add the anxiety of him catching the sniffles from some idiot and it mutating to pnuemonia or something… we just don’t need to added stress of breast feeding. I want to be able to take meds to clear up any illness I might get quickly, so I won’t have to be quarantined from hubby too long – can’t really do that and breastfeed. Plus, we will have well-scrubbed and sanitized helpers with us (family) to help with housework, food preparation, etc. It’s just that much easier to say “we need sleep desperately” or “he’s too weak to do anything today, I need to stay with him, can you take the baby?” and then have formula on the go for whomever steps up to help out.

        But hell, I’m sure the lactivists would scoff and say we’re making excuses and not trying hard enough. “Trust your body!” PFFT.
        I’m sure they’d also think we could will away brain cancer with happy thoughts and knitting.
        And maybe some green tea.
        😛

        • fiftyfifty1

          Good luck with the brain cancer. I hope the treatment goes very very well for him. My SIL has brain CA and has just finished her first year (surgery, radiation, chemo) and it has gone better than expected. A good friend of my husband’s as well. He has finished Tx for his first relapse and is back to work and has bounced back better than he had expected. Wishing the best for all of you!

        • demodocus’ spouse

          Congratulations on the baby and good luck with the cancer. My parents were in a similar situation a 35 years ago. Its tough, but friends and family can be priceless. 🙂 (Dad, btw, has been cancer free for over 3 decades; may your DH have similar success)

  • KeeperOfTheBooks

    I LOVED that video. It warmed my heart, too, that I and two or three other mom friends of mine independently shared it on Facebook. I FF. They BF. None of us cares what the others do so long as it works for them and works for baby, because that’s what’s important. Radical, I know…