The lactivist War on Formula is a war on women

Woman Screaming at Anoher Female on White Background

It’s the third rail of contemporary parenting.

In a society in which intensive mothering (attachment parenting) is the dominant paradigm, though people are willing to acknowledge that idealized representation of perfect motherhood can contribute to postpartum mood disorders, no one dares note that the natural childbirth industry and the lactivism industry are front and center in a campaign to shame and humiliate new mothers.

Case in point, a conference that is going to take place in early March sponsored by BACE, the Boston Association of Childbirth Educators & Nursing Mothers Council. Here’s a portion of the email announcement:

Noble breastfeeding talk

Keynote Speaker Lawrence Noble, MD, FABM, IBCLC is going to speak on What’s Really Wrong with One Bottle: Microbiota & Metabolic Syndrome.

Spoiler alert:

What’s really wrong with one bottle of infant formula? Absolutely NOTHING!! Zip, zero, nada! That’s what the scientific evidence tells us.

So if there’s nothing wrong with one bottle of infant formula, what’s Dr. Noble going to talk about?

Presumably he is going to give the same talk that he gave last May.

He telegraphed his approach with this opening editorial cartoon:

Just one bottle cartoon

He plans to baffle the attendees with bullshit!

See, look at that scary complicated math! How impressive that an important man like Dr. Noble can understand that stuff! It’s too hard for lil ol’ lactation consultants and childbirth educators. They’ll just have to lap up what he says and regurgitate to “counsel” their clients.

But I don’t have to take Dr. Noble’s word as truth. I’ve reviewed all 83 slides in that talk and there is NOT EVEN ONE that shows any evidence that a single bottle of formula causes any impact at all, let alone a harmful impact.

Looking over the slides, filled with cherry picked studies, discredited studies, and other nonsense, I had a sense of deja vu. It took me awhile to recognize why and suddenly I realized what this reminded me of. It reminded me of the pitches by Big Pharma detail men and women; elaborate presentations packed with slides and statistics that ultimately prove nothing but are designed to convince doctors to prescribe the drugs they are selling.

Dr. Noble is not shilling for Big Pharma, but he is promoting an industry, the lactation industry.

The lactation industry arose as women commercialized what they had previously given to each other for free: advice on how to breastfeed. Now the very same hints and tips cost $100/hour or more. Their biggest competition in efforts to profit from breastfeeding is infant formula. That’s why they’ve embarked on a campaign to demonize formula, the truth be damned.

But the War on Formula has other casualties besides formula sales. The War on Formula is a war on women.

In its impact on women’s health, mental health, economic health, and ability to reach their fullest potential, infant formula is akin to the birth control pill.

Just as the Pill allowed women to control their own bodies, effectively separating the decision to have sex from the potentially unwanted children that could result, infant formula has allowed women to control their own bodies, effectively separating the decision to have and nurture children from the potentially unwanted need to stay with them 24/7/365 and therefore forgo income and career. It also has allowed women who cannot trust their own bodies to produce enough breastmilk to nourish their children just as effectively as if they were breastfeeding. Sure, breastfeeding has benefits, but in an industrialized society with clean water, those benefits are trivial.

The lactation industry wants to go beyond a war on women’s income and women’s careers to a war on women themselves, by promoting humiliation and guilt among new mothers. That’s the primary message of Dr. Noble’s talk. There is no harm from one bottle of infant formula. In fact, the scientific evidence strongly indicates that there is no harm from exclusive use of formula. But how deliciously humiliating and guilt producing to emotionally fragile new mothers to pretend that one bottle of formula is harmful! How delightful to pretend that new mothers should be bullied into breastfeeding for the good of their babies (when the people who are really benefiting are the lactation consultants and their industry)!

Imagine if we tried to address smoking related illness by humiliating anyone who ever had ONE cigarette. Imagine if we tried to address obesity by shaming anyone who ever ate even ONCE at McDonald’s. That’s absurd, right? But that’s the equivalent of what the lactation industry is doing.

Make no mistake, I support breastfeeding; I’ve breastfed 4 children and I enjoyed it. But I also used formula, too and that improved the quality of my life and my children’s lives.

The War on Formula is not justified by scientific evidence, merely by the profits of the lactation industry. If that were all there was to it, the lactation industry would be no different than any other industry such as Big Pharma.

But the War on Formula is a war on women. Talks like Dr. Noble’s are just battle orders on how to shame, humiliate and bully women into breastfeeding regardless of whether it is the right choice for them or the right choice for their families.

  • GuestK

    It would be like having a group who tried to vilify anyone who uses canned vegetables, because fresh are ‘superior’.

  • Outi

    This is so true. I live in Finland and all the people in prenatal and postnatal care tell you it’s essential that you breast feed. I breast fed my first for three months and then my milk waned. When my second child was born only a year after my first baby I struggled to breast feed. I saw a LC at the hospital and she gave me some tips, but my milk wasn’t arising. When I got home, I was tired and after two weeks of trying to breast feed and taking care of a toddler, I was exhausted. The constant inquiry whether I was breast feeding or not was preventing me from giving the formula. I became depressed. It wasn’t just the breast feeding, it was a combination of lack of sleep, the loneliness of being home alone with the kids and a lot of other things, but I feel it was the demand to breast feed, that finally broke the camel’s back. One night my man told me it wasn’t necessary and gave our daughter some formula. It was hard, because I felt like everyone was judging me. Like there was a stamp in my forehead, that said “BAD MOTHER”. It took me a year to get over that depression. Now my third is 5 months and I breast fed her for a week before I was hospitalized. In a way it was a relief to be in the hospital, because after that I had a good reason not to breast feed. Rationally I understand it doesn’t matter if you breast feed or not, but after years of listening to that “mother’s milk is the best for the baby” mantra, it’s hard to get over the guilt.

  • A

    “Imagine if we tried to address smoking related illness by humiliating anyone who ever had ONE cigarette. Imagine if we tried to address obesity by shaming anyone who ever ate even ONCE at McDonald’s. That’s absurd, right? But that’s the equivalent of what the lactation industry is doing.”
    In my opinion it’s even worse, since at least smoking and eating tons of junk food are likely to cause problems in the long run… While you can feed a kid formula exclusively until they wean and they still won’t have any problems. Except, of course, in lactivists’ minds.

    • KarenJJ

      Plus an infant needs to eat. If I had the choice between starvation and maccas I’d be ordering a big mac too.

      • fiftyfifty1

        Heck, for me it wouldn’t have to be starvation. I like a nice McDonald’s hamburger now and then. Extra pickle please.

    • Bugsy

      My former friend turned crazy lactivist _does_ shame people who eat at McDonald’s. One of her idiotic husband’s recent posts (before I finally unfriended him) stated “Parents who let their kids eat at McDonald’s are IDIOTS!!!!!!”

      If it’s not one reason, it’s another. I think that people like that always have another tool up their sleeves for shaming other parents.

  • Daleth

    Slightly OT, but I just heard about something that’s the exact opposite of a war on women–it sounds like something pretty much all new moms would really get a lot out of: a “maternity hotel” on hospital premises, that you go to with your baby (and husband if you want, or he can stay home to care for any older siblings) for 2-3 days after being discharged from the hospital. The hotel has on-site medical care, a nursery so moms can rest, consultants and classes on everything (baby care, etc.), and unlike hospitals, it does NOT have people barging in at 4AM to take your blood pressure.

    http://www.israel21c.org/headlines/israeli-maternity-hotels-pamper-new-moms-2/

    This is great! We should have this here!

    • Cobalt

      Yes please!

    • Young CC Prof

      Indeed! Instead of fancy birthing rooms, let’s have a comfy and relaxing postpartum stay instead!

      • SporkParade

        Israel’s public hospitals were forced to close their fancy natural birthing rooms. Part of the drive to eliminate private services in public hospitals.

    • SporkParade

      I was in one! Best decision ever. 🙂

      • Telshe-Stone? Convalescent homes are common in Israel, and not only for new mothers. Israeli apartments are small, older buildings don’t have elevators, and halfway houses are usually subsidized by the health funds, and so are a good solution for someone needing help for a short period.

        • SporkParade

          No, these are actual hotels. They just happen to have daily OB and pediatrician visits, a well baby nursery, and classes in baby care. Also, just to be fair, standard maternity ward accommodations are not as nice in Israel as they are in the US, which is why there is such demand for the hotels.

    • KarenJJ

      http://www.princeofwalesprivatehospital.com.au/index.php/our-services/maternity/

      Some hospitals in Australia you can move out to a fancy hotel instead of staying at the hospital if you want to do so and your obgyn agrees you and bub are fit to do so.

    • Somewhereinthemiddle

      Honestly, I feel like something like this would have given me a *much* better start in motherhood and might have lessened the severity of my post partum depression after my first.

  • Pregnant Guest

    OT, but there’s been so much talk about this lately: My midwife doesn’t want to prescribe anything for my nausea/vomiting because I’m still nursing my 18 month old 3-4 times/day. Appropriate? Or is there something I can take? I’m seriously considering weaning her because the nausea is killing me, but I’d really rather not, still very much enjoying breastfeeding.

    • Guest

      Ondansetron is fine. It is routinely prescribed for morning sickness. And is also given to infants as young as six months.

  • Allie P

    The reason I discovered SkepOB, lo these many years ago, was because of breastfeeding problems. Despite neatly sidestepping the childbirth woo, somehow I fell for the lactation woo. I was terrified to give my baby even a drop of formula, despite her lost weight and persistent jaundice. And then I found SOB and FFF, and what’s more, I found my local LLL. Now, I know not all LLLs are created equal, but mine was filled with just the right breastfeeding advocates to have around, people who want to help you breastfeed if you want to breastfeed, but more than anything want to help you and the baby be healthy and happy. The local leader asked me why I wanted to breastfeed, what my goals are, and then helped me to understand that formula could help me with those goals. So I wanted to give my baby antibodies from my breastmilk? Great. What were “enough” antibodies? Half breastmilk? A quarter? Whatever I wanted, fine, but the important part was that my baby not be hungry. Once I woke up to the fact that breastfeeding my baby was what I decided it was — not what some $100 an hour lactation consultant blaming the advil I’d taken for my pain decided it was — my baby and I successfully breastfed (i.e., combo fed) for 10 months. No “nipple confusion”, no chronic illnesses or gastrointestinal distress or etc.

    This time around I”m going in with my eyes open. I want to breastfeed again, but I know that formula is not “standing in the way” of that. In many ways, it can help, and I will be prepared for it to help this time around. I’m fortunate to live in a country where safe access to clean water and formula is readily available.

    • Young CC Prof

      Well said! I wasn’t able to breastfeed my first, because he was low birth weight and had latch issues. I pumped for a few weeks then quit.

      If I should have another one, I would like to try again. I think this time I will find a knowledgeable, practical and reasonable LC well in advance.

      • Cobalt

        I would encourage giving it a shot, not because of the sparkles, but because it might work out and you might like it. If either of those isn’t true though, don’t be afraid to chuck the whole idea.

    • Allie P

      The consultant said if I gave the baby any formula i might as well give up on breastfeeding, “slippery slope” blah blah blah — looking back, I think it’s the same as the “cascade of interventions” talk NCB advocates push. But the LLL leader was like, “if you want to breastfeed, just do it. If the baby is still hungry, make her a bottle. Do what you want, but don’t let your baby be hungry.” Put like that, it was so simple. It’s not either/or. Sometimes you need assistance, just like I needed assistance with my induction.

      • Meg S

        This. I think if someone would have told me this we *may* have ended up breastfeeding some. Though ours was a latch issue so it would have been up to the kid to latch well. When it was presented as all or nothing (and I was having such huge problems), it was easier for my sanity to just leave the whole thing behind me. It was a good decision in the moment, even though I wish it had been different all around. It’s funny because I wanted and want to breastfeed but the extreme ideology actually “sabotaged” our relationship. It is kinda counterproductive.

      • Jocelyn

        Man, I *wish* someone had told me this, instead of “even one bottle will ruin your baby forever.”

  • Meg S

    I just wanted to say thank you for everyone on this board for commenting back against LZ. I know it’s “just a blog” but tired, hormonal and weepy post-partum moms who google crazy things when their babies aren’t latching or eating well will appreciate it. I was there once and stuff like this and Fearless Formula Feeder helped me so much during our breastfeeding trouble and I did finally wean to formula without fear and with ALL the facts! If we are so blessed with another child I will likely try to breastfeed if the baby’s latch doesn’t cause more pain than labor! However, this time I’ll supplement if needed and know that formula doesn’t really make all that much of a difference in the long run! Thanks again!

    • Amy M

      Ha! she sure told us….:P

  • Dr Kitty

    Argh!
    LZ and people like her make me so ANGRY.
    I breast fed my daughter, I’m probably going to breast fed the current uterine tenant, but only because it was easy, convenient and enjoyable.
    She never had a single bottle of formula. Not one.
    But that was, again, because I found breastfeeding easy and convenient and enjoyable. If it hadn’t been I would have made different choices.

    I look at kids all day, usually sick kids, and I can’t tell how they were fed.
    I look at sick adults all day, and I can’t tell how they were fed.

    Breast feed if you want to, combo feed if you want to, formula feed if you want to- you body, your baby, your choice.

    I won’t judge you, because I trust you to work out what is the best thing to do for you.
    I won’t judge you, because I don’t need to have my own choices mirrored back to me to feel validated.

    Ladies, you do you, and tune out people like LZ, who really, truly don’t care about you and only care about your choice of infant feeding method.

    People like me, and most of the posters here, we care about you, and don’t really care about your choices.

    • Taysha

      Brava. And thank you.

    • momofone

      Amen, Dr Kitty.

      My son had formula when he was born due to medical necessity, and of course I was told how that would totally ruin my ability to nurse (I nursed for a long time). He was given (gasp) a pacifier in the hospital as well; again the dire warnings. I wore myself out–not to mention my husband, who kept the pump parts clean and in rotation, kept me fed and watered, and oh, he stayed home with our son too–and set breastfeeding as the single most important measure of whether I was a good-enough mother. I cried at the thought that after ten months of pumping at work, he might have to get formula because I wasn’t producing with the pump anymore. (My exhausting solution to that? I had my husband bring him to my office twice a day so I could nurse when I would normally have pumped, as if he didn’t have enough to do.) And now I can see that we would all have been so much better off if we had given him a bottle of formula now and then (or whenever we needed to). We are done having babies, and if we had another now, breastfeeding wouldn’t be an option anyway, but if we had done it again, I hope I would use what we learned to be much more relaxed and enjoy it more. For me, that would include not flogging myself at the very thought of formula. And to think of the difference it would have made in my very patient husband’s life!

  • Adelaide

    The debate between breastfeeding and formula feeding always saddens me. It is filled with lies, shame and hate. Nobody wins, it hurts mothers and babies alike.
    The root problem is that the battle to end the shaming is primarily being fought by mothers who need to or choose to formula feed. The best advocates will always be the advocates who breastfeed.
    I’m not a lactation consultant or a medical worker, but I do have a lot of experience breastfeeding. When other women ask me for breastfeeding advice for themselves it is sometimes about solving a very specific problem, but more often than not it is about acknowledging their difficulties and making sure that they know formula is an option. In fact I have found that a lot of women who get to the point of asking for help are really asking for someone to reinforce that it is okay to use formula (whether they choose to use it or not). Even more than that I have seen many cases where a little bit of formula supplementing encourages a long term breast feeding relationship and happy healthy mothers.
    An older acquaintance of mine once lamented to me how her daughter had started supplementing with organic formula when she went back to work. The grandmother was so concerned that her grandbaby just wasn’t getting the best nutrition since her daughter wasn’t pumping. When she reiterated that breast was best I shared that I agreed with her, that breast was best….unless it wasn’t. We spent the next hour talking about the merits of formula as an alternative or a supplement and how she could support her daughters choices.
    The reality is, is that had I fed my babies formula this lady wouldn’t have given me the time of day, but having an experienced breastfeeder validate her daughters choices changed the way she viewed those choices.
    The question to breast feed or formula feed should never be asked as either or, but it should always be answered both and. Every mama and baby has different needs and that is okay. It is the heart of the message I find myself preaching to every woman who asks me for advice. The change has to happen from inside the culture of the natural parenting culture if is going to take hold.

    • Who?

      Thank you for this.

      Again, it’s about people being a little bit kind to and respectful of each other.

  • LZ

    Wow. I cannot believe how ignorant you are. Formula does interfere with the development of the human microbiome and the mother’s milk supply. It can potentially interfere with the infant’s suckle which could jeopardize the infant’s ability to strip milk from the breast and stimulate an adequate supply. Even the AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months. It has been recognized for at least 20 years that the health benefits of breastfeeding are directly related to dose. Especially for those with a history of autoimmune disease, introduction of foreign proteins in formula can trigger an immune response. This post is beyond irresponsible and dangerous in its assertions. War on women? Lactivism? For helping women to do what is best for themselves and their babies? That women have done since the dawn of time? People who spend their time counseling families regarding breastfeeding shouldn’t be paid? Why is that? Were you paid when you worked as an OB? Were you waging a war on women because you didn’t deliver babies for free? What do you think of parents who don’t use car seats for their infants? Are you worried about bullying them into using a car seat? That it might not be right for them so you don’t want them to feel guilty? You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • SporkParade

      Do you have citations for any of your claims about the harms of formula? The AAP recommendation, by the way, is not “exclusive breastfeeding” for six months, but “breast milk or formula only” for six months, i.e. no introducing solids until six months. Also, the WHO reports that there is no evidence for ANY long-term benefits to breastfeeding.
      As for us, 2 oz. of formula a day is the difference between a happy, thriving baby and a baby who sleeps poorly, eats constantly without ever being sated, and grows way too slowly. And, unlike your nonsense about immune response and gut microbiomes, the evidence is really good that perpetual stress and malnutrition does permanent harm to babies.

      • LZ

        This is the craziest stuff I’ve ever come across and led by an OB/GYN no less. She should be so ashamed of herself misleading people like this and should be brought up on charges with her medical board. The AAP has recommended exclusive breastfeeding, no use of formula whenever possible, for the first 6 months, for decades. That’s because there it is well known and accepted that formula feeding puts infants at risk of a long list of diseases throughout their life span. Young infants are designed to nurse very frequently for good reasons – to give them skin to skin contact with their mother for warmth and the tactile stimulation develops their nervous system. An infant’s stomach is small, designed for a steady flow of milk. The undeveloped infant gut is permeable and easily invaded by macromolecules, pathogens and antigens. A steady stream of secretory IgA in the mother’s milk coats the infant’s mucous membranes from mouth all the way through the intestines. Adding formula to the feedings decreases the protection and puts the baby at risk. If one has to use it for legitimate reasons, then one has to do the best one can, but to do it on purpose for no good reason is not very bright, risky behavior. This OB/GYN that you’re following went to medical school and did her residency at a time when the formula companies (ie Pharma) did all the teaching about infant nutrition. The formula companies literally wrote the textbooks and their reps gave the few lectures on infant nutrition, and it was all based on how wonderful and scientific formula is. They were taught not to recommend or even talk about breastfeeding in order not to make mothers feel guilty (which conveniently was a boon to formula sales and the business of pediatrics because pharmaceutically fed infants had need for many more sick office visits). Meanwhile, parents made decisions that affected life long health without the benefit of correct information from their health care providers. It’s a disgrace that Amy Tuteur never educated herself past her early training and harmful bias.

        “AAP Reaffirms Breastfeeding Guidelines

        2/27/2012

        Breastfeeding is a natural and beneficial source of nutrition and provides the healthiest start for an infant. In addition to the nutritional benefits, breastfeeding promotes a unique and emotional connection between mother and baby. In the policy statement, “Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk,” published in the March 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Feb. 27), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about the first six months of a baby’s life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least 12 months of age, and continuation of breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby.

        This recommendation is supported by the health outcomes of exclusively breastfed infants and infants who never or only partially breastfed. Breastfeeding provides a protective effect against respiratory illnesses, ear infections, gastrointestinal diseases, and allergies including asthma, eczema and atopic dermatitis. The rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is reduced by over a third in breastfed babies, and there is a 15 percent to 30 percent reduction in adolescent and adult obesity in breastfed vs. non-breastfed infants. Approximately 75 percent of newborn infants initiate breastfeeding. Hospital routines more and more attempt to accommodate the breastfeeding mother. Pediatricians promote the advantages of breastfeeding to mothers and infants, as well as the health risks of not breastfeeding. As such, choosing to breastfeed should be considered an investment in the short- and long-term health of the infant, rather than a lifestyle choice.”

        – See more at: http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Reaffirms-Breastfeeding-Guidelines.aspx#sthash.fZ2mk8Rx.dpufhttp://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/faqsbreastfeeding.html

        There is no controversy over this. Many decades of rigorous science proves that breastfeeding builds healthier bodies, strong immune systems and healthier, more intelligent brains. If you didn’t have enough milk to exclusively breastfeed, there was something keeping your body from making enough, either the use of a pacifier, or restricted feeds, or the use of bottles, or a weak suck – all would decrease the hormonal stimulation to the mother, would send a clear message to the mother’s body to decrease production. Many times a lactation consultant can pinpoint the problem and make recommendations to get mother and baby back on the right course. Labor and delivery drugs can affect both mother and baby in the beginning.

        • Young CC Prof

          OK, you just actually came out and said that all women can make enough milk, and if they don’t, it’s because they’re doing something wrong.

          I seriously hope you aren’t a lactation consultant. Books hundreds of years old describe low milk supply, and, in some cases babies who died because of it. Can you imagine if an endocrinologist told his hypothyroid patients that they could produce enough hormones if they just tried harder?

          And please do take a lineup of my college students and tell me which ones were formula-fed and which breastfed. Even with access to their full academic records, I have no idea.

          • LZ

            Primary lactation failure is rare, just as failure of other organ systems in the young is rare. As far as determining which of your college students were naturally or pharmaceutically fed, you would be able to tell by their medical records and by a laboratory analysis of their gut flora.

            When everything possible is done to support successful lactation and there is still a genuine medical need for supplementation, then the best options should be considered according to the individual need. In centuries past, this was usually done through wet nursing. Today, we have human milk banks which are run with regulations as stringent as blood banks.
            You’re the one blaming the mother for lactation failure. I’m pointing out what is necessary for lactation to succeed. Modern habits and medical interventions often undermine successful lactation. Supplementing with formula without true need is at the top of the list of reasons why lactation fails.

          • Young CC Prof

            Very rare, eh? What do you consider very rare? How commonly does it occur? More or less commonly than infertility, which affects 5-10% of women in their 20s and occurs at a much higher rate after 35?

          • LZ

            Forty years ago there were a couple of infertility centers in the entire country. Now they are everywhere. There are reasons for the massive increase in modern infertility that extend beyond the scope of this discussion. Infertility has nothing to do with lactation failure.
            Here is an article on lactation failure:

            http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/565620_4

            Recognizing and Treating Delayed or Failed Lactogenesis II
            Nancy M. Hurst, RN, DSN, IBCLC
            J Midwifery Womens Health.

          • Young CC Prof

            Forty years ago, there was no such thing as IVF, and people with infertility just didn’t have kids.

            Also, delayed marriage and childbearing.

          • LZ

            No. The infertility rate has definitely skyrocketed in your generation. Back in the day, few people were unable to have kids. Look it up.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Wow, you actually believe that?

          • Guestll

            It hasn’t skyrocketed. It has probably increased, due to an increase in PID, delayed childbearing, and declining sperm counts worldwide, but “massive” and “skyrocketed”, no.

          • Elaine

            And back in the day, if you couldn’t get pregnant the old-fashioned way, you just … didn’t have a baby at all. There wasn’t a treatment for infertility. And being unable to have a kid at all was definitely a thing going way back, from the Bible on–there wouldn’t be so many stories throughout the ages of childless women desperately hoping for children if that wasn’t a fairly common narrative in all cultures throughout time.

          • KarenJJ

            Plus those people with underlying conditions that increase fertility issues that wouldn’t have even made it to adulthood in the past.

          • Young CC Prof

            Please provide a source for this claim, that infertility has “skyrocketed” independently of the age effect. Assume I am too stupid to find it for myself.

          • AllieFoyle

            Right. Everything was perfect in the olden days.

          • momofone

            Ah, the good old days, when a baby who survived childbirth had a pretty good chance of being killed by a now-vaccine-preventable illness.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            Look it up. Ok. Let’s try…the bible. Read the story of Sarah and Hagar. Infertility was so uncommon “back in the day” that literally one of the first chapters of the Book of Genesis deals with infertility.

            I’ll say it again. Lady, you are nuts. Stupid, too.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Don’t forget Hannah-crying and praying for a baby with such intensity that she was accused of being drunk.

          • Cobalt

            50 years ago, there were a couple of television networks broadcasting in color in the entire country. Now they are everywhere.

            Clearly, humans seeing in color has definitely skyrocketed in my generation. Back in the day, few people were able to see colors.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Love it!

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            ” As far as determining which of your college students were naturally or pharmaceutically fed, you would be able to tell by their medical records and by a laboratory analysis of their gut flora.”

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
            Oh, lordy. That was a good one!

            I have access to literally thousands of medical records, and I guarantee you that I can’t tell who was breast fed and who was given formula.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            A study of the gut flora of college students would be very interesting, don’t you think?

          • Guestll

            Man, mine would’ve been Doritos, brewer’s yeast…uh…more brewer’s yeast, maybe some hops…mmm…

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            Pizza. Lots and lots of pizza.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            …and beer…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            My dorm wall was wallpapered with Funyun bags.

          • Nick Sanders

            Mmm… Funyuns.

          • Kq
          • Guestll

            No Funyuns in Canada. Besides, I wouldn’t have corrupted my pristine gut flora with that garbage. Doritos and beer were the keys to the universe of edumacation.

          • yugaya

            Given all the homemade alcohol my generation drank, I’m pretty sure we had no gut flora at all.

          • LZ

            How sad your reply is. Shows the sorry state of medicine.

            Have to go now folks. It’s been real.

          • moto_librarian

            Please stick the flounce.

          • momofone

            Oh no–so soon?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Don’t go, I want to mock you more in front of your face and not just behind your back.

            But I have to ask, what is sad about the reply? You can’t seriously believe that nonsense that YOU wrote, can you? That you could tell a college student was breatfed by looking at their gut flora? That is just too stupid to be serious.

            And if you are serious, I can do that, too. Can you provide any studies of the comparative pathology of gut flora in college students who were and weren’t breastfed? Because you are asserting there is a noticeable difference, it must be because you have justification for claiming it, right?

            Of course, there aren’t. Your comment was nothing but blithering lunacy, and deserved to be laughed at.

          • Guestll

            You didn’t answer my question. I really want to know, since you are so passionate about breastfeeding — what are you doing to help dyads in LDCs who are genuinely harmed by formula-feeding?

            If you choose not to answer, then I will choose to believe that you do nothing. And you will be like every other lactivist I’ve ever met who blathers on about how harmful formula is for babies — you have not one single fuck in your purse to give for babies who actually suffer from formula-feeding.

          • Dr Kitty

            The sorry state of medicine…because gut biopsies, medical records and stool samples actually CAN’T show who was formula fed and who was breastfed?

            Um…all righty then.

            “Empirical evidence doesn’t prove my pet therory! What a sorry state of affairs for empirical evidence!”

          • LZ

            See the Human Microbiome Project.

          • Ma

            Read a lot of h&ps of both adults and kid, literally the only time they mention if someone is formula feed or breast feed is if it is an infant and even then it is only really mentio in conjunction with jaundice or failure to thrive. They stop mention it after that because it doesn’t matter long term. They really only mention it at all because of the calorie source, just like diet type is addressed for adults (renal, diabetic, clears, etc). Basically the medical establishment doesn’t care after a kid is on solids because it doesn’t matte.

            -a pharmacist at a community hospital with a peds wing

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            Oh, please stay and play some more! This has so much potential for fun!!!

            I wanna hear more about all these studies of gut flora and medical records of college students showing the superiority of breast feeding.

          • Bombshellrisa

            So basically she is highlighting what we already know: line up a bunch of adults and you can’t tell by looking which ones were breastfed and which ones were formula fed.

          • LZ

            You can certainly tell by going to the graveyard where a significantly higher percentage of those that died of SIDS were formula fed.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Nice to know that what they say about lactivism and victim shaming is true. Thank you for being a stellar example of Dr Amy’s argument.

          • LZ

            Just the science, unaltered for your comfort.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Here’s a thought:

            Let’s introduce LZ to Alain. They were made for each other!

          • LZ

            You need to lose your license to practice medicine. You are a disgrace.

          • Cobalt
          • yugaya

            Gregg too. And the gun guy. And Rosanna. And Nikki. And Katie.

            Lately, it seems like each post has its own resident nutso who just can’t let go.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Don’t forget Patricia. It wouldn’t be a complete set of nutso without her.

          • momofone

            And was it Ann? She had a lot to say. (Unfortunately it was bullshit, but she had a lot of it.)

          • Bombshellrisa

            You mean Jane? And lest we ever forget: He Who Shall Not Be Named. Also the guy who was posting the same weekend as Patricia and talked about garlic and herbs as effective treatments (he also didn’t believe race and sec played a factor in access to healthcare)

          • momofone

            Maybe I am thinking of Jane. I’ve forgotten Patricia; I’m going to refresh my memory. I do remember him–I couldn’t even tolerate reading his posts; I just stayed away for that.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Patricia was on the thread about medical rape. She wrote a book and is a hypnotist. She has done workshops. Absolutely not informed on the subjects of anatomy, physiology or anything remotely scientific but blared on about all of us being uninformed and uneducated. Same with her friend/sock puppet “AgainstMedicalRape” (who claimed to be a former medical student).

          • Bombshellrisa

            Jane is the NZ midwife who claimed Pacific women don’t feel pain and just “get on with it” when it comes to birth, that support helps take away the pain of labor and a bunch of other nonsense that she eventually went back and erased.

          • Sarah

            Ooh, a racist one. That’s special. I like it when they have their own little quirks.

          • Bombshellrisa

            It’s always a little telling when they are racist. I don’t know if the term Pacific woman is correct, I did read a paper written from the perspective of an NZ midwife who identified as a Pacific woman and wrote about challenges to making sure women from that community get proper care during pregnancy and birth, especially because these women don’t usually speak up when they are uncomfortable or have concerns.

          • Dr Kitty

            Patricia was…special.
            Recovered memories of her own circumcision (that her own mother denies ever happened), a belief that Jews brought the holocaust on themselves because of a cultural acceptance of male circumcision, hardcore NCB and lactivism despite never having been pregnant or raising her own children…really she was just a peach.

          • momofone

            She sounds lovely!

            Isn’t that the way it works–the best parents are the ones who’ve never had children. (I was personally an excellent parent pre-actual parenthood. Since then, we just muddle through.)

          • Bombshellrisa

            It’s like how articulate some birth plans are–as long as they are written before the first contraction hits. If you were to write a birth plan during actual labor, it would probably be one line: get me through this next contraction. Same with parenting, you can say you would do x, y or z but usually when you get to the point where you are parenting, it’s all about just getting through the day.
            Patricia really takes first place for tone deafness and ignorance on every level.

          • Bombshellrisa

            It’s not scientific at all. It goes right with the bullying that goes with lactivism. If all those dumb, brainwashed, lazy bitches had just gotten it together and tried harder and read more, their babies would have lived.
            Right?

          • yugaya

            The science of infant feeding telling from gravestone.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Wow.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            Now you can tell by looking at gravestones who was formula fed and who was breast fed?

            Lady, you’re nuts. But fun! Stick around, it’s good entertainment.

          • Cobalt

            You keep hanging on this AAP and SIDS argument. Yet you ignore the part where the AAP says cosleeping is a risk factor for SIDS.

          • Who?

            Do they put that on gravestones now? You’d think the formula shills would be all over making sure that kind of bad publicity was nipped in the bud!

            I’m now wondering about your boundaries, which seem to be a little disordered.

          • Roadstergal

            Can you tell from the gravestones how many died of SIDS due to lack of pacifier use or due to co-sleeping? Let’s take all of the risk factors into account. Once again, do you promote the use of pacifiers to prevent SIDS? Yes or no?

          • AllieFoyle

            As far as determining which of your college students were naturally or pharmaceutically fed, you would be able to tell by their medical records and by a laboratory analysis of their gut flora

            If you can provide even one serious reference to support this claim I’ll donate all my BigPharma payments to La Leche League.

          • LZ

            Here you go Allie – see the references to this paper:

            http://www.health-e-learning.com/articles/JustOneBottle.pdf

            Excerpt:

            “infant formula should not be given to a breastfed baby before gut closure occurs
            o once dietary supplementation begins, the bacterial profile of breastfed infants resembles that of formula-fed infants in which bifidobacteria are no longer dominant and the development of obligate anaerobic bacterial populations occurs (Mackie, Sghir, Gaskins, 1999)
            o relatively small amounts of formula supplementation of breastfed infants (one supplement per 24 hours) will result in shifts from a breastfed to a formula-fed gut flora pattern (Bullen, Tearle, Stewart, 1977)
            o the introduction of solid food to the breastfed infant causes a major perturbation in the gut ecosystem, with a rapid rise in the number of enterobacteria and enterococci, followed by a progressive colonization by bacteroides, clostridia, and anaerobic streptococci (Stark & Lee, 1982)
            o with the introduction of supplementary formula, the gut flora in a breastfed baby becomes almost indistinguishable from normal adult flora within 24 hours (Gerstley, Howell, Nagel, 1932)
            o if breast milk were again given exclusively, it would take 2-4 weeks for the intestinal environment to return again to a state favoring the grampositive
            flora (Brown & Bosworth, 1922; Gerstley, Howell, Nagel, 1932)”

            AND

            “Human babies are believed to be born with sterile gastro-intestinal tracts19,20 but immediately upon birth colonization of the gut by microbes begins. Mode of birth (vaginal delivery compared to cesarean section) has been shown to be the primary initial influence of the developing infant microbiome21. Additionally, breast-fed vs formula-fed infants have very different trajectories of gut microbiome development22(see below for expansion of this theme). Over the first years of life the gut microbiome is changing and remodeling, ultimately resembling an adult gut microbiome by year 3 19.”

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3564498/

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            Pretty sure Allie asked for a serious reference- not a cherry picked paper from an IBCLC with citations old enough to legally drink. Or old enough to be dead. Seriously? References from 1922 and 1932?

          • LZ

            Who’s cherry picking? There is a whole page of references, many more recent. Age alone does not invalidate research. But if you don’t like that paper (no surprise) take a look at the second one. Is 2013 recent enough for you?

          • LZ

            See what I posted to Dr. Kitty:

            http://www.microbiome-autism.com/

            Dr. Allen-Vercoe, who is a scientist working on The Human Microbiome Project, points out in Presentation 3, that a person’s microbiome is as individual as one’s fingerprint or DNA. What develops in infancy and up to age 3 is what one will have for the rest of one’s life, give or take. That is the current scientific belief.

          • Young CC Prof

            Sheer nonsense. Every course of antibiotics, every change in diet or living arrangements, every significant bout of diarrhea, changes the entire landscape of the gut flora.

            This article shows that a mother’s gut flora changes drastically during pregnancy: http://www.nature.com/nrgastro/journal/v9/n10/pdf/nrgastro.2012.163.pdf

            This one shows how changes in diet and living environment affect the microbiome. http://www.nature.com/nrgastro/journal/v9/n10/pdf/nrgastro.2012.169.pdf

          • Dr Kitty

            Reread your Stark &Lee citation.
            Then read your last line.
            “Over the first years of life the gut biome is changing…resembling an adult microbiome by year 3”.

            NOW tell me how stool samples of college students will differentiate between breast and formula fed individuals.

          • Roadstergal

            I read the same one and saw the same thing. Also, they merely noted that there are differences in the flora between formula and breast-fed infants before that age, which means little in the absence of any long-term difference between the populations (note the outcomes in the paper I cited up above).

          • LZ

            Simple. Because breastfed and formula fed infants develop distinctly different flora in the first 3 years of life that becomes the baseline colonization that, barring significant perturbation, will persist throughout the person’s life.

          • LZ

            For more information, see especially the 3rd presentation by Emma Allen-Vercoe –
            “The Human Gut Microbiota – Forgotten Organ, Important Ally at: 1st International Symposium on the Microbiome in Health and Disease with a Special Focus on Autism”:
            http://www.microbiome-autism.com/

          • Dr Kitty

            You mean the presentation with the slide that says that it doesn’t so matter what species of microbes are present in the gut, so much as how they interact?

            Or the slide that says there is vast variation between individual microbiomes, and we don’t fully understand the implications yet?

            Or the slide that suggested that everything from coeliac disease to autism was caused by a “faulty” microbiome without a single piece of evidence to back up those assertions?

            Find a better citation.
            Like a peer reviewed paper published in a reputable journal.

          • Young CC Prof

            So, precisely what differences would you be looking for? What species, in what concentrations, and what health effects would you expect to result?

          • AllieFoyle

            So…you came up with a lactation consultant handout containing citations from the Charleston era and ”
            The Gut Microbiome: A New Frontier in Autism Research”?
            Is that right?

            And the quotation you chose even suggests that any difference in bacterial colonization changes so that BF and FF infants will have almost indistinguishable flora within days of eating solids. How are we supposed to tell the FF college students again?

            The paper on the microbiome and autism is largely conjecture. It’s even stated in the conclusion that at this point the field is producing more questions than answers.

            You haven’t provided any evidence that differences in intestinal flora in BF and FF infants endure into adulthood or contribute to chronic disease.

            Keeping my PharmaShill $$$.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            An impact factor of 3.054, just on the limit. Very well! But it does not show any long lasting effect…. Sorry!

            You know what has a long lasting effect? Poor nutrition. Starvation does have a long lasting effect. You know what means that primary lactation failure is uncommon? That it affects 5% of women, 1 in every 20. That sounds like a lot to me. Babies need to be fed. Period.

        • moto_librarian

          So primary lactation failure is a myth? I had no drugs during labor – no pitocin, no epidural, not even a heplock – still no milk. Since I had a pph with the birth, I tried nursing after my second was born. Again, no milk.

          • LZ

            I didn’t say it was a myth. I said it was very rare. You’d have to seek professional evaluation to determine what happened in your case.

            But it is unprofessional and irresponsible of you to take your personal anecdote and present it to others as scientific evidence that lactation failure, as you describe it, is common.

          • AllieFoyle

            “to determine what happened in your care”?

            What are you implying here?

          • Young CC Prof

            Obviously, someone must have “sabotaged” your nursing relationship. On purpose. They took that drug that dries up your milk and slipped it into your IV without telling you. Or, by telling you that formula was OK, they caused you to give up too soon. Somehow someone made you fail, it couldn’t possibly have been natural, because that would violate her world view.

          • LZ

            When there is organ failure, there is a reason, a scientific explanation. I can’t tell her what happened. She’d have to talk to a knowledgeable professional to find out why she didn’t have enough milk.

          • KarenJJ

            “When there is organ failure, there is a reason, a scientific explanation”

            You have absolutely no idea on this, do you?

            I had low supply. I had an undiagnosed underlying condition. I asked my specialists whether that could have contributed to my low supply in a general discussion about whether I would breastfeed another baby or not. The reply I got, “we don’t know but that’s a plausible explanation”…

            You seem to think a lot of these issues in very black and white terms. I hope you are not involved in any form of patient care or support for new mums/breastfeeding.

          • moto_librarian

            You’re the one who said that there was always a reason for why a woman couldn’t produce enough milk. I was simply asking you to prove that primary lactation failure never happens. Inflating the miniscule benefits of breastfeeding a term infant in a developed nation is what’s irresponsible.

          • LZ

            Miniscule benefits? Like a 30% less risk of SIDS death for starters? Believe what you want. I’m leaving this discussion.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Didn’t you say that a half hour ago?

          • LZ

            I’ve said it several times because no one here apparently is understanding what the words mean. Now I really do have to go.

          • momofone

            Yes, of course, because you are clearly very busy and just can’t be bothered answering legitimate questions from people who are interested in seeing peer-reviewed studies supporting your assertions.

            Not quite as busy, maybe, when it comes to parachuting in and making sweeping statements for which you have no backup.

          • Guestll

            I believe in confounders, is what I believe in, LZ. Breastfeeding studies are rife with them.

            Got the time to answer the question I’ve now asked you twice?

          • Dr Kitty

            Cite?
            A study that controlled for parental smoking status, age, socioeconomic group, family history of SIDS, co-sleeping, parental educational attainment and parental drug use.

            Major risk factors for SIDS: co sleeping, low socioeconomic group, lack of college education, parental smoking or sedative drug use, teens or young mothers and strong family history of SIDS or sudden cardiac death.

          • LZ

            See Dr.James McKenna, expert on co-sleeping. He’s been around a long time and has many decades of experience. You are completely wrong in your assumption about co sleeping and SIDS. The science does not support your position. But in order not to oversimplify, because there are situations where co-sleeping could be dangerous and parents need to be taught what they are, please see Dr. McKenna. He has several videos on Youtube where he presents the science. Are you a pediatrician? Interesting that your position opposes the AAPs position statement. Are you against vaccination too? Or just the natural immunity conferred through breastfeeding?

          • momofone

            What about you, LZ? Are YOU a pediatrician?

          • Dr Kitty

            Really?
            You have worked in a paediatric ER during a failed resuscitation of an infant that was suffocated in its parent’s bed?
            No?

            Not an assumption about co-sleeping, one of my worst work related memories and I wasn’t even involved in the resuscitation effort.
            So, thanks for dredging up those fun memories.

          • Dr Kitty

            I’m not a paediatrician, I’m a GP with hospital and primary care experience in Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, General Medicince, Cardiology, Geriatrics and Psychiatry. What do you do LZ?

            Oh, and I work in the UK, and our official guidance is that the safest place for a baby to sleep is on its back, in its own bed, from birth, ideally in the parental bedroom for the first six months. This approach is evidence based and is associated with the lowest rate of SIDS.

            To safely co-sleep neither parent should be have drunk alcohol or taken sedative medication. Neither should be overly tired. The baby should not be premature or have IUGR. The mattress should be new and firm. The bed should not be more than six inches off the floor. The bed should not be against a wall. The room should be 16-18C. There should be no pillows, duvets or heavy blankets on the bed.
            That seems like an awful lot of qualifiers to make bed sharing safe, doesn’t it?
            Find me new parents who AREN’T overly tired BTW, or who won’t be after a few nights of sleeping on the floor on a firm mattress without a pillow and covered only by a sheet or light blanket…

          • KarenJJ

            LZ, what’s the AAP position on co-sleeping?

          • LZ
          • LZ
          • Young CC Prof

            You do know that Youtube isn’t part of PubMed, right?

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            What is it with woo-meisters and YouTube?

          • KarenJJ

            Their rigorous peer review, fact checking and stringent acceptance levels?

          • momofone

            Again?

          • LZ

            If primary lactation failure was as common as is promoted on this site, the human race could never have evolved. We would have become extinct long ago.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Having been a regular here for many years, I am going to have to ask, how common do you think this site claims it to be?

            More to the point, how common does it have to be before we stop dismissing it?

            Lots and lots of women on this site have breastfed, to varying degrees. There are those who did for a couple years, there are those who did not at all. But as far as I know, there’s never been a survey to determine how common it is among the women here.

            Nor that there needs to be, because you know what? It doesn’t matter. Every single person who did not breastfeed up to your or anyone else’s satisfaction did what they did for a reason, and because they felt that, overall, it was the best for their situation. Unless you know what that reason is, it’s really hard to second guess it. And when you do find out what those reasons are, it’s pretty presumptuous to second guess it.

          • LZ

            As long as people do what they do based on correct information and as long as they get the help that they need.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Exactly.

            So now, which of the folks here who did not breastfeed as long as you think they should have did anything other than that?

          • AllieFoyle

            Don’t know much about evolution, eh?

          • KarenJJ

            LZ, what exactly *is* primary lactation failure? In your own words.

            Because I’d probably agree it is likely rare, but that is not low supply, secondary lactation failure, infant feeding issues, drug contraindications or any of the myriad of issues affecting a new mum’s milk supply.

        • AllieFoyle

          No one here is advocating against breastfeeding. In fact, many of the posters and the author breastfed their own children.

          This post is a reaction to this aggressive ideology that places breastfeeding above all other outcomes and ignores the needs and concerns of real women and families.

        • SporkParade

          Actually, there is significant controversy over this (again, I refer you to the 2013 WHO report which found that all of the purported long-term benefits of breastfeeding were actual due to the fact that wealthier women have more flexibility to breastfeed, and wealth always correlated with better health outcomes).
          My supply is pretty clearly dropping due to hormonal changes several months postpartum. But please, do go on and tell me how my endocrine system being annoying is my fault. Also, pacifiers are protective against SIDS. 🙂

    • KarenJJ

      “You should be ashamed of yourself.”

      Shaming women for having a different opinion is getting old.

      I hope that when you are discussing breastfeeding with new mums that you are not using shame or the concept of being a “good mother” to try and control their behaviour. I hope you can acknowledge that formula has its place as a perfectly good food for infants where a mother needs to use it so that her baby can thrive, or even in cases where the mother wants to use it. I hope you can acknowledge that women have autonomy over how they use their bodies. I hope you can discuss the overall breastfeeding research, including the fact that a lot of it is full of confounding factors, and not just choose the bits your like.

      I sincerely hope though that you are not advising on women about breastfeeding in any professional or personal capacity.

      • LZ

        Of course women have autonomy over their own bodies. But this site is giving blatant misinformation and bias that is dangerous. You know, in a response to someone else below, I stated that this is the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen. Actually, I take that back. There have been mothers protesting like the mothers are here for many decades. The difference here is that the ringleader is an OB/GYN, which, if you knew the science, if you knew the difference between the health outcomes of naturally vs pharmaceutically fed children, you’d be appalled at her too. Formula should be used only when absolutely necessary. Furthermore, most of you do not realize that your biases stem from being raised in a culture where you did not see breastfeeding, where you were shown a lot of bottle feeding including in baby books read to you, so breastfeeding is foreign to you. And it is no mistake, the aggressive marketing to you preparing you to formula feed started at your birth. Understand that formula is a multi, multi billion dollar business. In societies where breastfeeding is the norm and done out in the open, when women give birth there is no decision to be made. They just breastfeed because they know that that’s how babies are fed. Breastfeeding is instinctive for the baby, but is a learned behavior for the mother, so if raised in a culture where breastfeeding is absent, the mother does not know what to do when it is her turn and is anxious about breastfeeding – she is unprepared. Great apes in the wild breastfeed without problems, but those that are raised in zoos, in captivity, without ever seeing another of their kind breastfeed, do not know what to do after they give birth.

        The whole concept of a war on women because people are trying to protect their ability to breastfeed is so bizarre and so twisted. Literally millions of babies in developing countries have died from what was called baby bottle disease knowingly caused by the distribution of formula to mothers after birth while in hospital by Pharma reps dressed up as nurses in the 1970s. Look up the Nestle Boycott. The history is so horrific. Nestle knew full well that these women had no access to clean water or fuel to sterilize bottles and nipples and had no money to buy enough formula, even as their milk dried up from the free samples. So millions of babies died of disease and malnutrition. That is what got the WHO started in clamping down on the illicit marketing of breastmilk substitutes. That’s where the baby friendly hospital initiative came from. There is a long history to this and ironically, it has been called the infant feeding wars. You have no idea of the history. Please see: http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/code_english.pdf

        You are having the wool pulled over your eyes and I hold this doctor who runs this site responsible.

        • Cobalt

          As a woman who has given all of her children as much breastmilk as I could, never saw breastfeeding modelled for me, and is currently nursing an infant, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you you’re full of shit.

          45 years ago, Nestle did a very bad thing. They were caught, punished, and changes were made to better protect women and infants living in poverty in third world countries. There is NO RELEVANCE of that to women in the first world deciding what to feed their babies now, although they may want to boycott the brand.

          Pharmaceutically fed children? Really? Walk down the street and point one out, please.

          • LZ

            Oh no. There’s relevance. Because there is still aggressive marketing to women to try to persuade them not to breastfeed. In fact, trying to trick breastfeeding women into buying formula is an old one. And I think that’s what this site is about. Astroturfing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bYAQ-ZZtEU

          • Young CC Prof

            Attkinsson? The antivaccinationist? That’s the best you can do?

            Is there any evidence that astro-turfing regarding medical matters ever really happens? And people who rely on wikipedia rather than reading the studies themselves deserve whatever they get.

          • LZ

            You are showing yourself to be a troll too (incorrectly calling Atkinson an “antivaccinationist” to try to discredit her message – right out of the troll book of tactics). Is everyone here a “social media specialist”?

          • Nick Sanders

            After your behavior, you’re going to call other people trolls? Really?

          • Montserrat Blanco

            She called me troll. It was really funny!!!!

          • Roadstergal
          • yugaya

            You sure aren’t if you are still stuck on the troll tactics page.

          • Cobalt

            I’ve read hundreds of blog posts on this site. Not one ever made me think or feel like I should buy formula. Some of the comments from lactivist asshats like you have made me want to buy Similac and Ensure by the pallet and put the whole family on formula, though.

            When I’m out in public with the baby, I am sometimes embarrassed to breastfeed. Not because someone might get a glimpse of a nipple (really, my nipples are not that exciting), but because someone might think I’m like you. A breast-obsessed, nosy, petty, judgemental, ignorant bitch.

            You and your ilk give breastfeeding moms a bad name, and I’m sick of it.

          • Guestll

            Nestle and their ilk are still doing a lot of really bad things. I agree with what you’re saying, but the reality is that it’s still happening. But it has nothing to do with formula feeding in developed countries and the conflation that is often made by lactivists is self-serving to the point of making me incoherent with anger.

          • LZ

            How is it self serving to tell the truth about the science?

            Again, from the AAP (caps, my emphasis):

            “This recommendation is supported by the health outcomes of exclusively breastfed infants and infants who never OR ONLY PARTIALLY BREASTFED. Breastfeeding provides a protective effect against respiratory illnesses, ear infections, gastrointestinal diseases, and allergies including asthma, eczema and atopic dermatitis. The rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) IS REDUCED BY OVER A THIRD IN BREASTFED BABIES, and there is a 15 percent to 30 percent reduction in adolescent and adult obesity in breastfed vs. non-breastfed infants. Approximately 75 percent of newborn infants initiate breastfeeding. Hospital routines more and more attempt to accommodate the breastfeeding mother. Pediatricians promote the advantages of breastfeeding to mothers and infants, AS WELL AS THE HEALTH RISKS OF NOT BREASTFEEDING. As such, CHOOSING TO BREASTFEED SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AN INVESTMENT IN THE SHORT- AND LONG-TERM HEALTH OF THE INFANT, RATHER THAN A LIFESTYLE CHOICE.” –

            See more at: http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Reaffirms-Breastfeeding-Guidelines.aspx#sthash.fZ2mk8Rx.dpuf

          • Guestll

            Have you ever heard of a counfounder?

            Tell me, what are you doing to help dyads in LDCs who are actually harmed by formula feeding? Please be specific.

          • Guestll

            *confounder, sorry

          • Young CC Prof

            Have you actually read any of the references for that position statement?

          • moto_librarian

            CHOOSING TO WORK SO MY CHILDREN CAN BE FED, CLOTHED, AND NOT HAVE TO TAKE OUT COLLEGE LOANS IS NOT A LIFESTYLE CHOICE.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Don’t worry, moto, no one in the AAP actually thinks it is.

          • moto_librarian

            Oh, I know, Bofa. I just wanted to show that I too can write in all caps. 11!!1

          • Taysha

            Strike 3. STILL not peer reviewed.

          • KarenJJ

            “How is it self serving to tell the truth about the science?”

            How do you know you’re telling the truth? The AAP is a good general recommendation for paediatricians to recommend on, but they also aren’t silly enough to issue that statement without context and are also responsible infant health care and take those sorts of things into account.

            The rest of what you are saying on here that isn’t part of the AAP recommendation – how do you know it is true? Have you discussed any of it with the doctors that made the AAP recommendation?

        • Young CC Prof

          Wait, so are we being deceived or are we fellow shills? If I’m a shill, I want my money! I’ve got to buy my strong healthy formula-fed toddler new clothes again. The child just will not stop growing!

          • LZ

            I’ll bet you were formula fed too. It shows.

          • Young CC Prof

            Really? I guess my mom lied then. And when I saw her nursing my brother, she was just pretending. And those pictures of me nursing were totally faked. Because normal people pretend to nurse their babies all the time.

          • LZ

            Then you should know, as the AAP states:

            “…choosing to breastfeed should be considered an investment in the short- and long-term health of the infant, rather than a lifestyle choice.”

            – See more at: http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Reaffirms-Breastfeeding-Guidelines.aspx#sthash.fZ2mk8Rx.dpuf

          • Dr Kitty

            Is this like putting a penny under the mattress can be considered a long term investment?

            On a population basis BF in developed countries has small benefits. On an individual basis the benefits of breastfeeding may be outweighed by other factors.

            Breast feeding *might* reduce you child’s risk of getting gastroenteritis and allergies…however if you can’t pump at work and you have to work 13hr shifts six days a week to pay your bills otherwise your house will be re-possessed or your landlord will evict you, formula feeding looks like the better long term investment in your child’s health, doesn’t it?

            Because living in your car or a homeless shelter and breastfeeding is probably worse for you child’s health than living in your own home and formula feeding, no?

          • LZ

            You’re rationalizing. The science is what it is, regardless of your social situation. This is one reason why more than half of children today have at least one chronic illness.

          • Guestll

            That’s going to require a citation. You can’t just drop those little nuggets here and not expect to be required to substantiate.

          • Roadstergal

            Please, tell me about the science. I want to see links to papers showing that breastfeeding decreases chronic illness. Please examine these papers before posting them to be sure they have not fallen into the long-standing trap of ignoring substantial confounders. Also, if you can give a brief description of how your statement is not at odds with the incidence of chronic diseases continuing to rise as breastfeeding rates continue to rise (the rate bottomed out in the mid-70s and has been steeply on the rise since then), that would be nice.

            Here’s a link to a paper showing that when you take confounders out of the equation and look at discordant siblings, the differences go away – no difference in asthma, obesity, parental attachment, BMI:
            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953614000549
            That’s what a study looks like, BTW. Please post any further comments you wish have taken seriously in the form of a study.

          • LZ

            Your question is akin to asking me to explain germ theory to you or the theory of evolution. Seriously, this has been settled long ago. The science is as clear as it can get. Your small group is way off. I’m not going to spend the rest of my day giving you a basic course in something you should already understand and have just as much access to as anyone else.

          • AllieFoyle

            Your question is akin to asking me to explain germ theory to you or the theory of evolution

            You’ve already established that you don’t understand evolution, and frankly I don’t hold out great hopes for germ theory either.

          • Roadstergal

            No, it’s not. Not at all. It’s very simple. You made a claim that chronic illnesses in children today are due to them not being breastfed. Show me a study that takes confounders into account and supports that assertion.

            I submitted for consideration a paper that uses discordant siblings to control for confounders, and shows no differences in many long-term outcomes. If you do not think this is a valid finding, describe the issues with their methodology that invalidates the finding.

          • Who?

            This group is actually pretty mainstream in its views, though not in its makeup.

            It is you and your fellow lactivists, along with the ‘natural birth at all costs’ and ‘some babies aren’t meant to live’ homebirthers who are the outliers. Don’t kid yourself that if you walked down main street and stopped everyone and asked them if they agreed that breastfeeding is the only responsible way to feed a baby, most people would agree.

          • Stacy48918

            And yet you’ve proven in your comments here that you don’t understand evolution. YOU are the one that needs “basic” courses.

          • Nick Sanders

            If we’re a small group, why are you getting so bent out of shape over us?

          • Taysha

            Germ theory – Little germs in soil and air are the underlying cause of disease
            Evolution – species select for the best genetic components that allow them to survive, thus adapting to their environment.

            See, for people who understand, it’s easy to explain. Now it’s your turn.

          • momofone

            Gotta love the classic prancing in and then demanding other people prove the opposite of what you claim, followed by the old favorite “if you don’t know, I’m certainly not telling you!”

          • Who?

            My favourite is when someone makes a blanket statement ‘It never rains in the day time’, then someone says ‘It’s raining right now in the daytime here’, at which point we hear ‘so what, your experience means nothing’.

          • Nick Sanders

            I would love to see some citations on that.

          • Who?

            You wouldn’t. They would be woo laden nonsense that would hurt your eyes and brain.

            Be careful what you ask for!

          • Taysha

            No, that’s most likely the MHCI and II dysphoric presence in the population. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2291482/
            “We corroborate established MHC disease associations and identify
            predisposing variants that previously have not been appreciated.
            Furthermore, we find a number of interesting commonalities and
            differences across diseases that implicate both general and
            disease-specific pathogenetic mechanisms in autoimmunity.”

          • momofone

            Would you mind sharing your source for this?

          • Dr Kitty

            Shenanigans!
            Are you really

            “Half of children today have at least one chronic illness” your insinuation that this is due to formula feeding requires a citation.

            Has it occurred to you that the majority of those chronic illnesses are going to be eczema, asthma and allergic rhinitis?

            That we don’t actually know the prevalence of these conditions 200 years ago, not least because the asthmatics were busy dying from respiratory infections and asthma attacks and the kids with eczema were dying from untreated cellulitis? And that 200 years ago they didn’t have combustion engines or coal burning power stations or petro-chemicals.

            Part of the reason a higher proportion of children now have chronic illnesses is because we’ve got better at keeping them alive. 150 years ago all the type one diabetics and kids with leukaemia died, for a start. Now we have families raising a third generation of diabetics.

            In other words- it’s not the reduction in breastfeeding rates that leads to an increase in chronic illness. Otherwise Scandinavia would have a very different incidence of childhood chronic disease to the UK, wouldn’t it?

          • moto_librarian

            Asthma was still being underdiagnosed 30 years ago! I wasn’t officially diagnosed until I was in my mid-20s, but I definitely had asthma prior to that. I used to cough for weeks after a minor cold, had terrible tightness in my chest, but no wheezing. My life would have been a lot more pleasant had I been diagnosed earlier.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            It happened to me too!

          • KarenJJ

            The reason my child has a chronic condition is because she was diagnosed. The reason why her older relatives weren’t diagnosed with a chronic disease wasn’t because we weren’t displaying symptoms, but because the doctors had no description for it.

          • Mishimoo

            I have 3 chronic illnesses, and not one single drop of formula ever crossed these sweet lips. Do try again.

          • Allie P

            The science is what it is — and that is deeply confounded on social situation. Underpowered BF studies fail to show benefits when corrected for social situation. Also, please cite source as to a) more than half of children (where? what age? which children?) today have at least one “chronic illness” (defined as what?) and b) what nursing rates have to do with that.

          • Vanessa

            Proof of that? My formula fed kids have no issues at all. They are extremely healthy kids.

          • Amy M

            You think its the formula? How do you feel about MSG, GMOs and vaccines?

          • KarenJJ

            And yet kids today are more likely to be breastfed than they were 30-50 years ago. So if breastfeeding is dosage related, what does that say about rates of chronic illness in kids compared to 30-50 years ago? Maybe we need to go back to formula feeding?

          • Taysha

            Ok, second use of this reference. Just because you post it a lot does not make it peer reviewed.

          • Roadstergal

            It’s so strange to think that the idea that there really is no long-term difference, that you could line up a bunch of adults in a row and have no way of knowing which were formula fed and which were breast-fed, no matter how deeply you dug into your colons – it’s strange to see how clearly terrifying that idea is to LZ.

          • Kq

            Wow. You are such a nasty, condescending jerk.

          • Guestll
          • Bugsy

            Very enjoyable clip to this stay-at-home mom!

          • Guestll

            I will allow you to look at my husband, but that is all.

          • Bugsy

            Lol. I think the purple Wiggle is cute, too. He makes watching my son’s DVDs on repeat bearable.

          • Who?

            You should share the name of the brand as a service to the next generation.

          • Guestll

            He’s sleeping and I don’t want to wake him to ask.

          • Taysha

            All hail formula companies.

            Seriously. All the formula feedings.

          • Guestll

            If it’s good enough for Hiddles, it’s good enough for the rest of us.

          • yugaya

            I was formula fed, so fuck you.

          • Who?

            Oh you are a little broken LZ. Don’t stop talking, you are doing a more powerful job of side-lining yourself than anyone who disagrees with you ever could.

            I take it you base your opinions of others on all sorts of factors over which people have no control-race, for instance.

            Or would that be outrageous?

          • yugaya

            “I’ll bet you are a formula feeder.”
            “I’ll bet you were formula fed too.”
            Next up:
            “I’ll bet your grandmother invented formula.” .

          • Who?

            Look your basic words are in line with Lactation Zombie’s position, I think, but you lack the sneering ignorance that sets her posts apart.

          • yugaya

            ahahahaha Lactation Zombie perfect :))))))))))))) She does seem to hang around graveyards too much…

          • Cobalt

            I’ll bet your cord was clamped too early. It shows.

          • Bugsy

            Young CC – can you pretty please send us your son’s old clothes? My EBF-until-2 toddler refuses to grow – his weight issues have caused headaches for his GP, paediatrician and us. I wish I could formula supplement a 28-month-old.

          • moto_librarian

            My 33 month old is still wearing 18 month pants. His waist is tiny. He has finally gotten back on the growth charts at the 5th percentile. It does cause a lot of headaches for parents and pediatricians, doesn’t it?

          • Who?

            My kids were like that too, they are now small average adults, much like their parents.

            They were both on the ninetieth centile for length and well up there for weight when born, clearly much better at being pregnant than nourishing the result.

            Oh and before LZ goes into one, both breastfed. But maybe I did it wrong?

          • moto_librarian

            My older son hovered between the 5th and 10th from birth to age two. Then he suddenly started shooting up in height and is probably in the 70th at age five. His brother started off around the 25th, and then fell completely off his curve when he was around nine months old. He may just end up being little, but we are doing everything we can to fatten him up a bit.

          • Bugsy

            Thanks for the reassurances, everyone. Our little boy is small (23 lbs at 28 months) but energetic and healthy. Nonetheless, our GP referred us to a paediatrician based on it being a “parenting issue.” The only thing the ped could come up with was our son’s anemia due to too much milk.

            Some of the other kids at his preschool are the same size – and my husband and I were both tiny kids – so not sure what gives? I think our GP is just overly anxious.

          • Guestll

            Wow. My 3.5 year old is 28 lbs/39″ and her pediatrician is pretty chill about it. She’s healthy and growing, she’s just thin. All of my family is thin, it’s just genetics. I’m sure your boy is just fine, Bugsy.

          • momofone

            My son was 16 lbs at one year, and I was constantly worried about it, but what he didn’t gain in weight he definitely added in length/height. Our pediatrician was great, and pointed out that his dad is tall and slim. At my request (and probably to get me to leave her alone), she did some labwork to make sure he was getting what he needed, and he was fine. I just needed to chill. Now he’s seven and eats like a horse–a tall, thin horse (just like his dad–go figure).

          • Who?

            I”m sure my kids lived on fresh air and inspiration for ages despite their high energy behaviour and sound sleep. One was a milk addict too. Still is in fact.

            Adolescence toned up their appetites, and socialising with others put some social pressure on to try new things.

            Who knows what the gp has seen or experienced that makes him/her leery about this?

            It’ll work out.

          • Bugsy

            “Who knows what the gp has seen or experienced that makes him/her leery about this?”

            Great point…thanks, Who?

          • moto_librarian

            Mine is almost 25 lbs. he turns 3 in May.

          • Bugsy

            Another petite little guy – yay!

          • Amy M

            Mine just turned 6, I think they are around 35lbs. they are definitely not 40lbs yet.

          • SporkParade

            I hate to say this, but GPs are not always the best professionals to consult when it comes to children’s health. That’s how a friend’s son ended up bringing her son to the ER for pneumonia once.

          • Dr Kitty

            Not always the best, but usually happy to refer to specialists for anything we’re not 100% happy about.

            Parents request specialist referral for reassurance is a totally valid reason for paediatric assessment- I put it on a lot of letters!

            I took my kid to the ER with pneumonia too… when kids get sick they get sick quickly. When I left for work that morning she had all the signs of just having a viral cold…and by 5pm it was all a bit of a disaster with a fever of 104F and hallucinations.

          • SporkParade

            Oof. The case I mentioned was in the Netherlands, where you can’t see a specialist without being referred by your GP (just like you can’t see an OB unless your midwife gives you permission). And the GP refused to give the referral. :/

          • Dr Kitty

            Eh…
            I’m pragmatic with referrals.
            What is the worst that can happen if I refer…nothing wrong with the child, I waste 20 minutes of the specialist’s time, everyone goes home reassured, big deal.

            What is the worst that can happen if I don’t refer…the kid is sick, the parents don’t trust me and it all ends in tears.

            I might refuse to refer worried well adults to specialists, but never kids. You do have to trust parental gut feeling that something is wrong with their child.

          • Bugsy

            As far as I know, up here in BC, GPs are the only docs we can routinely take our kids to – it’s my understanding they get referred to paediatricians if the issue needs a kid-specific doctor examining it more closely. (If anyone up here knows the system better and can clarify, please do! We’re new transplants to BC.)

            I really miss the system in the states – our son had a paediatrician we trusted and adored.

          • Kelly

            My child was only 24lbs at two years of age. The pediatrician was concerned once because her head was always in the 70th percentile and her weight and length were in the 5th percentile. She has the same build as her father, especially with that huge head.

          • Bugsy

            Wow, that’s Toddler Bugsy to a T. His head is in the 50th percentile, and the ped did comment on how out of proportion she thought it was. Did her weight & height catch up?

          • Kelly

            No and I was a bit wrong with the sizes but I don’t think it matters too much. She is tiny. She was 24lbs at three years. I think she was 22 lbs at two years. My husband’s side of the family is Hispanic and tiny. He is on the shorter side, has a hard time gaining weight (I hate him for this), and has a huge head. She continued to follow along the curve and I explained the size of my husband and she was not concerned any more. I loved her because she listened and never over reacted. My new pediatrician was fine with the weight but was a bit concerned because I had not transferred the records and she could not see if it was normal. My second daughter is the opposite. She takes after my side of the family. She is 21 lbs at a year and just a chunk. It is weird how clearly sometimes you can see where kids within the same family get their genes. Unfortunately, neither have my husbands laid back personality.

          • Bugsy

            Thanks so much for the reassurances, Kelly. My son is very much in line with the size of your daughter (also due to our families’ genetics), and I just wish that our doctors were as okay with it as yours.

            Love the comment regarding their not acquiring your husband’s personality. It’s fascinating – and sometimes frustrating – to see how the genes play out that way, isn’t it?

          • Kelly

            That sucks about your doctor. I thought that by now if you follow the same curve, they were ok with everything.
            Yeah, he likes to throw it back at me when I complain about how annoying they can be. They are my mini-mes and it reminds me of all my bad traits. We hope the next one will be more like him.

          • Guestll

            My 3.5 year old is in the 8th percentile for weight and the 50th for height. She has always been 50th for height and lurks between 5th and 15th for weight. Her favourite food is cucumber and her favourite drink is water. “Want some ice cream?” “No thank you.” Argggh.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Our older guy is about 90%ile in height and 10%ile in weight. I think his BMI is negative. 🙂

            It’s not like he didn’t eat anything, but he wasn’t a huge eater. A ton of fruit. He routinely eats an 8 oz box of raspberries in one sitting (and that’s not cheap). He eats berries galore, and the doctor doesn’t worry.

          • Bugsy

            Lol…isn’t it ironic how we’re trying to convince our kids to eat ice cream and higher calorie foods?

          • Guestll

            Yep. She will eat it, but in small quantities. Grapes? She can eat her body weight in grapes. And watermelon.

          • Mishimoo

            Ours are all small too, but our GP is pretty relaxed about it. He scolded one of the nurses for nagging me about their weight percentile: “Of course they’re small, look at their parents! If they were sick all the time, we’d talk about it. They’re rarely sick, they’re happy, they are fine!”

            Have you asked about using Ensure? We gave it a try with our middle girl, but she could taste it in everything.

          • Bugsy

            I think it was our GP who discouraged us from Ensure, claiming that it was basically all sugar. However, I’m game for whatever would get his weight up a little (just enough to get her off our backs!).

            I was always a petite little kid, and my husband seriously looked about 4 years younger than his classmates throughout his childhood. His adult cousin is small enough that he can ride in our toddler’s car seat, and my son has two cousins who were the same size at his age. One is a 7-yr-old who wears size 3T. Given this, I’d be surprised if he were even average sized.

          • Mishimoo

            Our GP suggested it “if you’re worried and want to try it.” The nutritional breakdown is on the website if you want to have a look, there’s a few different options. They are pretty expensive (here, at least) but it might be worth a shot.

            Oh, I was always thin too and so was my husband, it’s to be expected that our kids would follow us. When I was 17, I was 5’5″ and weighed 99lbs despite eating lots of food. It’s only since having kids that I’ve come up to a normal weight.

          • Young CC Prof

            My husband is 40. He’s 5’5″ and weighs between 105 and 110. I’m astonished by how fast the baby grew, under the circumstances.

          • Dr Kitty

            I have a suggestion- I use it all the time for my older patients at risk of malnutrition, when I don’t want to give them supplements. Especially the ones who mostly live off milky tea and biscuits…

            It is cheap and easy, and particularly good if your kids drink a lot of milk.

            Buy a bottle of skimmed milk powder- just the cheap stuff you mix with water to make milk in a pinch.
            Add 2-4 tablespoons of skimmed milk powder to a pint of whole cream milk.
            Voila, you now have something with all the calories of ensure, that tastes just like milk…

            Get them to drink it as it is, make porridge, put it on cereal, use it to make creamy or cheese sauces, add it to soups, make Icecream or ice pops with it ( just add milkshake mix to taste and freeze it), use it to make their bedtime cocoa or malted milk drink.

          • Dr Kitty

            Cite: http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/pgn-must-cs-ffal-fortifying

            In case you think I came up with this crazy idea of putting milk in milk all by myself.
            It’s part of our regional “Food First” policy to try and get people to avoid disease related malnutrition with diet, rather than unpalatable and expensive supplements.
            You’ll see that the suggested foods for small appetites have a rather… Irish quality (Irish Stew! Barmbrack! fish poached in milk and potatoes!).

          • Mishimoo

            Thank you! It’s something I’d heard of, and thought about trying, but wasn’t sure if it’s a good thing to do or not so I wasn’t willing to suggest it.

          • Guestll

            Oh man, Irish stew, barmbrack, poached fish and potatoes, you just took me back to my dear Irish Nana’s cooking, may she rest in peace. Sooooo good.

          • Bugsy

            Wow, that’s a great suggestion!

            Not to get too far off-topic, but do you happen to have any ideas for iron supplementation for a toddler? They have him on 15 mcg (I think it’s micrograms?) 3x daily, but the stuff tastes like eating a metal bar. We’ve been trying unsuccessfully to hide it in juice, but he’s onto us even with that…

          • Cobalt

            Fortified cereals, whatever kind they’ll eat, including baby cereal. Also spaghetti sauce is good for hiding stuff in.

        • Guestll

          “In societies where breastfeeding is the norm and done out in the open, when women give birth there is no decision to be made. They just breastfeed because they know that that’s how babies are fed.”

          No. They breastfeed because the alternative could sicken or kill their baby. That is not the case in a developed country. And in these awesome societies you speak of, exclusive breastfeeding is not the norm, unfortunately. Too often, water and other foods are introduced far too early. There is no breastfeeding utopia, it’s a myth that privileged women like to throw around to bolster their shoddy claims.

          I breastfed exclusively for 6 months, around a year and a half in total. I was happy to do it and happy to quit. I work for an international NGO with a focus on SSA and I am well aware of the history and current examples of despicable formula marketing tactics in LDCs. I’m not paid by Amy to post here. And I was formula fed, as my mother had no desire to breastfeed.

          You really need to stop conflating breastfeeding in developed country with breastfeeding in LDCs. It does your argument no good at all. If you really cared about these women and babies who are actually harmed by formula in LDCs, you’d focus your time on doing something about that — they’re the ones who suffer. Healthy formula-fed babies in developed countries are not a concern.

          • Dr Kitty

            Not to mention that in LDC, not only is early weaning with solids common, but children being breastfed by women who aren’t their mother is quite common.

            There are documented cases of HIV transmission by wet nursing from HIV positive women who aren’t taking ART.

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC556184/

          • Guestll

            Sure but why worry about stunting, undernutrition, HIV, contaminated water, all of that leading to millions of preventable deaths over the years…let’s worry about formula-fed babies in developed countries. People like me who never had a drop of breastmilk and managed to get two graduate degrees, a career, a family, yadda. Better yet, let’s use what these vulnerable populations often face to bolster our irrational hatred for people in entirely different circumstances who make choices that aren’t in line with our values!

          • momofone

            But think what you could have done if you’d been breastfed!

          • Guestll

            What’s funny is that my 3 elder siblings were. I was a surprise by 9 years and my mother just didn’t want to this time. I am 3″ taller than both of my sisters and the only one of my siblings who doesn’t suffer from any kind of allergies or eczema. However, they are smarter than I am, and fond of pointing it out. Damn you, mother……

        • Maria

          I usually don’t engage with people whose views are so extreme (and believe me, when you have to rely on “Pharma shill” and such, your perspective is indeed extreme), but I just need to let you know that I received zero formula samples. Zero. I was actively encouraged to breastfeed throughout both pregnancies. I was provided help after both births to make sure my babies were doing well with breastfeeding. I did not see a single example of this “aggressive marketing” of formula that you seem to think we weak minded women are bombarded with. When I started supplementing with formula I did so out of concern for my baby and her ability to gain weight. I did it with the full knowledge of my pediatrician and I did it because it is what worked best for me, my baby, and my family. Oh, and I had/have no guilt about it. Sorry to disappoint. My now 3.5 year old is not harmed from having had (gasp) only 9 months of breast milk, and my now 1 year old had 8 months of breast milk. I am a smart woman. I am a strong woman. I would venture to guess that my critical thinking and reasoning skills are above average within our society. I would not base decisions on how to feed my child on advertisements! You need to take a deep breath and calm yourself about how other women feed their babies.

          • Young CC Prof

            I don’t engage with people like this to change their minds. I engage to try to get them to show their hands, that is, reveal just how bizarre and extreme their views are, so that the lurkers can see who is what.

            So far, LZ believes that true lactation failure pretty much never occurs in nature, that infertility was quite rare up until a few years ago, and that the internet is overflowing with shills, like, they’re everywhere, man.

          • Maria

            Exactly. I find LZ’s comments condescending, ill informed, and downright offensive. I just couldn’t let them stand so that others might read them and think she might be on to something.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            But come on, she came out and claimed that you could detect breastfeeding by looking at the gut flora of college students.

            I mean, that is some prime entertainment there.

            And there’s no way you can take anyone who makes claims like that seriously.

          • Who?

            The gut flora thing would be hilarious if it wasn’t so scary. Line up a group of young adults. You can’t tell how they were fed as infants by looking at them, by reviewing their grades, social development, height, speed over 1km or anything else.

            But heck, when we look at their gut flora, we know everything that is important about them.

            How their parents chose to nourish them 20 years ago.

            Even if this were true it is a grotesque way to measure or judge a person.

            By your words, LZ, will you be known.

          • Allie P

            My gut flora in college was 99% ramen-based.

          • AllieFoyle

            And don’t forget–she also claims you can visit graveyards to see whether babies that died of SIDS were FF or BF.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I missed those tidbits of info when we went to visit grandma’s grave last week. It’s the graveyard that all the old families are buried at, and not one of those stones mentioned formula or breastfeeding. Since so many of the graves have been around since before you could just get formula anywhere, I will have to conclude that those babies were breastfed or given milk from a cow or goat.

          • Bugsy

            You sound like an awesome mommy. 🙂

          • Maria

            Aww! Thanks! 🙂

        • Nick Sanders

          “naturally vs pharmaceutically fed children”
          Gee, no bias or slanted presentation there at all.

          • LZ

            It is what it is.

          • Nick Sanders

            Yes. In this case “it” happens to be the appeal to nature fallacy.

          • yugaya

            It’s a well developed and rampantly abundant subtype of “breast fallacy”.

        • Allie P

          I was not raised in a culture where breastfeeding was foreign to me. My mother breastfed. I breastfed. In public, even! I don’t think it’s sparkle rainbow magic. Studies show it is NOT in fact, sparkle rainbow magic. Sure, it’s good — but it’s not good to the exclusion of everything else.

        • KarenJJ

          ” if you knew the difference between the health outcomes of naturally vs pharmaceutically fed children, you’d be appalled at her too.”

          So you are an evangelist to whatever made up stuff you find on the internet. No doctor, not even the ones that wrote the AAP recommendations, would have told you half the things you have written on here.

          Here’s some tips to stop you from being a breastfeeding asshole:

          1. Mind your own business.
          2. Unless baby you suspect baby is being abused, then report to the relevant authorities.

          • Playing Possum

            I like point 2. Mainly because I would like for people like LZ to advertise their insanity by doing incredibly misinformed things like reporting people to child protection for formula feeding. LZ – if you’re so traumatized by the idea of formula feeding, take it to a state or federal authority. If you’re equating formula to Sprite in a baby’s bottle, then, damnit, you have a duty to report it! This internet evangelism is lame. Put some backbone into it. Please. And then please tell us how that works out for you. Or how many times you manage to do it before you get some kind of reprimand and/or fine and/or restraining order and/or flogging in the media as a nutjob.

            The biggest face:palm of all? There has been a GIANT case controlled retrospective study happening for the last, oo, thirty years at least that has failed to pick up any major issues with formula. It’s called the population of the developed world aged thirty and over. The likelihood of Big Pharma, and the entire science industrial complex managing to keep OMG formula deaths a secret for thirty years? Not happening.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            They might report you to CPS for formula feeding your kids, but they do not report you for starving your kids with insufficient breastmilk supply to the point that the child has severe malnutrition. The fact that malnutrition during infancy has demonstrated hughe long term effects on intelligence does not matter at all.

          • momofone

            And not breastfeeding does NOT constitute abuse.

          • KarenJJ

            That’s the point that deep down even lactivists like LZ realise that it sounds nutty in the real world.

            I remember reading a story of someone that was escaping a cult and he had to give a statement to the police. Going through the cult’s beliefs as he gave his statement he found to be a humiliating experience. He had really believed in the cult but trying to convey those beliefs to an outsider he realised just how nuts he sounded.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      Please do post one peer reviewed paper published on a journal with an impact factor higher than 3 that supports each of your claims AND demonstrates that any changes are long lasting, over 1 year of age.

      If you can not find any, I think YOU should be ashamed of yourself.

      • LZ

        It is becoming apparent that this site is either run by or heavily commented on by Pharma employees or both – social media specialists – who troll the net promoting or defending Pharma’s products. Your question is unmistakably characteristic of troll behavior. You can’t be sincere asking such as asinine question.

        • Cobalt

          Asinine? To ask you for evidence in support of your claims?

          • LZ

            How about this – ask Dr. Tuteur who funds this site and who cuts the paychecks of the some of the posters here.

          • LZ

            It seems that what we have here is an unemployed OB/GYN making a little (or a lot of) money on the side promoting formula.

          • moto_librarian

            Being retired is not the same as being unemployed.

          • LZ

            The doctor’s bio at top right states that she left the practice of medicine to raise children.

          • Nick Sanders

            And? That means she’s not on call at a hospital to deliver babies anymore. It doesn’t mean she has no job.

          • LZ

            No, it seems she has a job and this is it.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Seriously, this is the best you have?

          • Nick Sanders

            And you base that assertion on?

          • yugaya

            Nope, it does not say ” employed currently at Skeptical OB blog” and no, I have not seen her monetise on sharing pictures of her children or tips how she raised them, selling T-shirts or retreats. Heck she doesn’t even have a special formula feeding mother non-herbal supplement that will make you mix it three times faster and give you a thigh gap in two weeks time!

          • moto_librarian

            Her kids are all grown now, so I guess now you could say retired.

          • MLE

            How is it that every NCBer either completely misses that blurb or finds something incriminating in it? I have never seen so much controversy over a simple bio.

          • Bombshellrisa

            How does one make money on the side from promoting formula?

          • Mishimoo

            And how can I cash in? I mean, I already tell people it’s more important for the baby to be fed than HOW the baby is fed.

          • AllieFoyle

            Of course. It has to be a BigPharma conspiracy. It’s not possible that there are intelligent people out there who don’t think that breastmilk is the key to the universe.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            I do so love parachuters. LZ- try, “retired OB/GYN” not “unemployed.” Big difference. You also might want to sharpen your investigation skills a bit. If you do, you might find that 1) Dr. Tuteur’s husband is a partner in a major Boston law firm (meaning that she doesn’t really need filthy pharma lucre) and 2) because of point #1, you probably ought to be a little more careful in your accusations, as some of them are bordering on libel.

          • SporkParade

            Is it bordering on libel, though? At least in the US, libel is a mistruth that causes financial harm to the person it is written about. As far as I can tell, the more naturalistic fallacy nutjobs Dr. Amy pisses off, the more attention she gets.

          • KarenJJ

            True, here’s hoping LZ complains far and wide about how meen Dr Amy and her ‘minions’ are.

          • Bombshellrisa

            If that is the definition of libel, the whole tirade Katie MacCall went on was doubly ridiculous, as she is the who wrote about herself on blogs and in crowd funding sites as a felon. We were merely repeating what she wrote about herself.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            Dr. Tuteur please, I have not received my paychecks, I think you should update my address.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            In know that in 2013, I was the most prolific commenter here. You’d think it would be worth something…

            Dr Amy never gave us the stats from 2014

          • Bombshellrisa

            I was second or third place, where is MY share of the gold/money/free formula?

          • Montserrat Blanco

            You mean you did not get any paycheck?????? I can’t believe it!

          • Amazed

            What’s going on? I go away for a week, and paychecks are already being redistributed?

            Who was the thief who got mine? (As I stood before my door at 11.45 p.m. unable to enter because broken lock. I barely managed to pay the locksmith – and now there’s no check? WHAT?)

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Not even a plaque. Nor even a certificate of merit.

          • momofone

            Dr. Tuteur, please consider this my formal request to be added to your payroll. I’d like a bonus too, if you–I mean Big Paranoia–can swing it.

          • Guestll

            We’ve moved on from paycheques to direct deposit, we’re conscious of our paper trail and besides, who likes driving to the bank?

            Young CC Prof coordinates payroll, she’s good with the numbers and all. Reach out to her if you’d like to sign up for the SOB Shill program, it paid for my new furnace this winter, thanks Amy!!1!

          • Dr Kitty

            Dr Amy is even organised enough to send payment in the currency of our choice for international posters!

            Personally, I enjoy my quarterly delivery of 1/2 ounce Krugerrands!

          • Montserrat Blanco

            OT: how are you? Still dealing with sickness?

          • Dr Kitty

            Yeah, but it’s getting better. All day and all night nausea still, but vomiting down to once or twice a day. Not ketotic, weight stable.
            Winning thanks to ALL the drugs!

          • Montserrat Blanco

            I am glad to hear that.

            Drugs that were tested in third world countries like… I don’t know, any EU member?

            (Just to clarify, yes, it is a joke and I do live in one EU country).

          • Dr Kitty

            Yeah, I hear Big Pharma is taking full advantage of high rates of unemployment in Greece and Spain to test all the drugs that the third world won’t touch!
            I kid.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            Yes they are!

            Please stop, I can not laugh too much next to my sleeping baby! (In his own crib inside our bedroom, I follow the AAP recommendations)

          • Mishimoo

            Huzzah for an improvement! I hope it keeps getting better for you (and soon!).

          • Guestll

            Do you have Dramamine suppositories over there? I said this to you in a previous post, but they surpassed even Zofran in stopping the breakthrough pukes.

          • Dr Kitty

            No we don’t have them. I’m coping ok.
            Eating random things ( duck pancakes, burritos, Nandos extra hot peri-peri chicken) helped, because I lost my appetite for bland things and kept puking them up anyway, so I figured I’d just go with the cravings. This baby seems to want fresh fruit and spicy junk food.

          • Taysha

            I ate nothing but broccoli, pork dumplings with spicy soy sauce and tabasco for months. Damned tenants.

          • JJ

            I am so thankful for takeout!

          • Allie P

            I totally eat random things, too. I never know what’s going to trigger it. Zofran is NOT getting the job done this time around, and making me feel like crap besides.

          • JJ

            I am so sorry. Pregnancy sickness is horrid. I feel like I could have many more babies if it did not exist or there was some sort of real cure for it.

          • JJ

            That is interesting. The only things I can really taste are fruit and spicy food (like Thai). I take unisom/b6 combo which helps but I have a constant strange smell in my nose and dread eating. I also fall asleep all the time. I am done with pregnancy after this. I cannot do this again. I am actually trying to hire someone to help with my other children until I get better because I am so out of it.

            I am glad drugs are helping DrKitty!

          • Who?

            Sorry to hear all that. Hope you find a nice babysitter very soon.

          • Bombshellrisa

            You just took me back to being pregnant with my son. Green apples and frozen pizza with crushed red peppers. Oddly enough, everything that was usually spicy enough was not when I was pregnant with him. Spicy teriyaki, spicy beef and my homemade wasabi chili garlic sesame green beans.
            I am glad things are coming along.

          • yugaya

            Ok guys, I love you and all but you really need to start sharing the profits with us “third world” enthusiasts. :)))

          • Cobalt

            Does Poland even have currency? I thought they were still trading in antler tips or seashells or shiny rocks.

          • yugaya

            There’s money exchanging hands only when Big Pharma pays off the village doctors for turning a blind eye on experimenting on locals. Otherwise, I think they are the same as the rest of our “third world” EU bunch, we all grow our own vegetables and internet and swap crops with neighbours.

          • Guestll

            oh snap!!

          • Amazed

            Not Poland but another third world enthusiast here! Today, I got a scare with my cousin. She went to the cardiac unit to be examined and ended up with a pacemaker. I had no antler tips, so I had to pay the doctors in the old-fashioned way – with sex. Here, women aren’t allowed to carry money – err, seashells – about their person, so…

          • Who?

            I have seen no profits, and certainly not in a currency of my choice. Ah well, perhaps I haven’t been around long enough.

          • Allie P

            Yeah, where are my paychecks! I’ve been commenting here for 4 years!

          • Kq

            I’ve got you beat, I’ve been here since 2009.

            http://img.pandawhale.com/post-39688-show-me-the-money-gif-Imgur-Je-TyRn.gif

          • KarenJJ

            Wow. There’s paychecks?

            I admit I am actually in collaboration with big pharma for a project right now. Perhaps I should bail out of the conversation quietly 🙂 or at least wait until I get paid 😉 You never know when big pharma is looking at your blog post comments.

          • LZ

            I previously posted this link to the AAP Statement on Breastfeeding where they state:

            “Breastfeeding provides a protective effect against respiratory illnesses, ear infections, gastrointestinal diseases, and allergies including asthma, eczema and atopic dermatitis. The rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is reduced by over a third in breastfed babies, and there is a 15 percent to 30 percent reduction in adolescent and adult obesity in breastfed vs. non-breastfed infants”

            http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Reaffirms-Breastfeeding-Guidelines.aspx

            If you want further evidence either look it up yourself or contact the AAP for the enormous body of research that supports their statement.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            Please provide real citations. You might learn a couple of things on the way. What is your scientific background? What is your training and expertise in statistics?

          • Kaycee

            Perhaps you should be asking this question of the AAP and every other health organisation globally.?

          • Taysha

            Aaaactually there is a link between breastfeeding and developing asthma. http://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1164/rccm.200610-1507OC

            Chew on that.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            It is a stupid question because there are no papers with the characteristics I asked for. They do not exist.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Meanwhile it makes me wonder what LZ’s stake in this is? Just a concerned citizen or someone who stands to profit from women choosing breastfeeding.

          • Roadstergal

            Really. Maybe all of her insufferable self-assuredness could be assigned to Dunning-Krueger, but the profit motive certainly would fit right in with her illogical demonization of formula and inability to critically evaluate evidence.

        • moto_librarian

          LOL. I wish I was paid by big pharma. I’m just a research librarian who reads this blog in part because it provides me with perfect examples of false reasoning to share with students when I teach them about how to critically evaluate information. Many of the other commenters on here are doctors, nurses, midwives, and even an IBCLC or two.

          • LZ

            Yeah, well, you need to do some deeper critical evaluation. That you teach is frightening.

          • moto_librarian

            Says the person who can’t cite a single peer-reviewed study…

          • momofone

            I’d be very interested in hearing what your background in “critical thinking” is.

          • Guest

            Says the person who can’t cite a single peer-reviewed study.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            I would love being paid by Big Pharma for blog comments. My life would be SO much easier. Think about it, no more waking up early, no more on calls during Christmas, no more worrying about my patients at 3 am… Total bliss.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            I know. Me too.

        • Montserrat Blanco

          I am a doctor. I treat my patients with the same level of evidence that I am asking you. In fact, more than I ask you for. I do not use anything that has not been published on a journal with less than 8 of impact factor.

          I live on a rented house and usually shop at a discount supermarket. If that looks like being paid by Big Pharma…

          I am an actual person signing with my real name, not like you. But whenever I make a claim I am able to provide real citations.

        • Taysha

          Not a pharma shill. Broke. Your inability to science does not make us the bad guys.

          Again, peer review or it didn’t happen.

          • Bombshellrisa

            She did suggest going to the graveyard to see all the gravestones of the babies who died of SIDS after being fed formula.

          • Guestll

            She what??

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Amazingly, Risa has related it correctly. That’s exactly what she said.

          • Guestll

            I found it. Unbelievable.

          • yugaya

            If any of you regulars are indeed Big Pharma online marketing department, I’m available and broke too. 😀

          • Amy M

            I work for big Pharma, but R&D, not marketing. R&D for drugs for multiple sclerosis, so nothing to do with formula either. And most of the stuff I work on doesn’t even get to market, so I can’t really shill it. But y’all can call me a big Pharma shill if you want to. 🙂

          • MLE

            Yeah but that one project you’re working on a single aspect of now, which will be on the market in 2025, by which time you’ll have changed roles/advanced etc…..you’re sending subliminal messages to us sheep now so we’ll be primed to buy it in droves aren’t you? Well we’re on to you lady, and it ain’t going to work!

          • Montserrat Blanco

            I always wonder why those people so agaisnt Big Pharma are not agaisnt organic food supermarkets. You can live all your life without any drugs. It was demonstrated through literally thousands of years, but you can not live without food. Somehow it is OK to get money for food but not for something so silly as drugs…

        • Who?

          Well you are certainly a glowing endorsement of the opinions and values of Big Tinfoil.

          Keep at it.

        • Cobalt

          It is becoming apparent that you are a Big Boob (consortium of LCs, postpartum doulas, pump manufacturers, specialized breastfeeding supplement, clothing, and accessory makers) employee- social media specialist – who trolls the net promoting or defending Big Boob’s products. Your question is unmistakably characteristic of troll behavior. You can’t be sincere in asking such an asinine question.

          • Who?

            If Lactation Zombie is a social media specialist I’m a rampant anti-vaccinationist and woo-meister.

            No specialist would be as sloppy and overbearing so early on, nor would they do something that would bring so much traffic to the opposition’s site.

            I know I shouldn’t let her drag me down to her level with the name calling, it’s just funny, that is, I find it funny.

          • Stacy48918

            Personally I always get a kick out of non-regulars that want to parachute in and tell us all how wrong we are…then accuse US of being trolls. Surrrrrrrrre….

        • SporkParade

          Man, I wish I was a shill for Big Pharma. Do you have any clue how expensive prescription hypoallergenic formula is?

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        Question for Montserrat Blanco: Also didn’t the breastfeeding studies that supposedly said breastfed babies had less obesity, more intelligence, etc fail to correct for confounders , like for instance the fact that people who can afford to exclusively breastfeed, take maternity leave or be SAHMs also tend to be more wealthy, more white, more able to have access to enrichment programs, etc. Wasn’t there a sibling study that show no or only miniscule differences between the formula and breastfed babies in terms of IQ, allergies, number of gastrointestinal upsets and ear infection?
        Also, in reply to LZ: So I should have been guilted because I did not chose to breastfeed and because I chose to go back to work(ok technically the Navy would have come and got me if I did not go back…). Because I was not doing the best for my daughter? Funny we bonded just fine over bottles and storytime and walks to the park to fly kites, trips to the museums on free admission days, learning to swim at the base pool. Finger and toe painting on the apartment patio.
        Somehow she is a healthy, happy 20 and going to school studying engineering, on a full scholarship…how did formula hurt her again?
        Also mild banks are reserved for preemies. And I think anyone who takes unscreened donated milk is playing Russion roulette with their baby’s health

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          Found something about the study:
          http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/sibbreast.htm
          “Demographic differences across families that can bias studies in favor of breast-feeding include parental race, age, marital status, family income, insurance coverage, the mother’s education and employment, and whether a woman smokes or drinks during pregnancy.
          “When we get more advantaged moms selecting into breast-feeding and we know those traits also will affect the health outcomes, it’s not clear what’s affecting an outcome like obesity – is it breast-feeding itself or those other background characteristics?”

          “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.”

        • Montserrat Blanco

          Mmmmm …..yes! But, come on, don’t tell LZ! I was having fun! Maybe she can find the critical review of the papers herself!

          Well, probably not, she has not posted a single paper citation and limits herself to the AAP link over and over again.

        • MLE

          Sounds like she never made it to Mars and doesn’t have any bridges named after her, so you’re an abject failure. I wonder what would happen in this ideal world where every kid is exceptional because breast feeding is mandatory? Who would the lactivists shit on then?

          • yugaya

            Those not breastfeeding hard enough.

          • Bugsy

            Yep. Or those who don’t force the kid to continue it until he/she is in grade school.

          • MLE

            Awesome. And if you’re not breast feeding your own baby, you’d better be breast feeding someone else’s, or at the very least hand expressing!

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            Oh NOes! I haz a sad! Oh wait, I don’t. And hey she might make it Mars and have a bridge on Mars named after her! Honestly I’m just glad she made it this far with out either of us losing it. I thought she might permanently damage her eyeballs with the eyerolls when she was 14. Its funny how as she gets older, I get smarter (according to her).

  • Farm Girl

    The one bottle of formula a day kept my son out of hospital, free of jaundice and kept me sane when it took 8 days for my milk to come in. And no, what I was producing was NOT enough. This was a big boy with a big appetite. Now he’s exclusively breastfed but those couple of bottles of formula were a godsend.

  • Lisa C

    This is a little random and
    off topic but I thought about when I saw a commercial for bladder leakage pads.
    Over and over you hear things like “breastfeeding is natural”,
    “you just have to try harder”, or “don’t pysch yourself out and
    the milk will come”. Why don’t we say this to people who have
    trouble emptying their bladder or don’t make enough tears? Maybe people
    who have Type 1 diabetes just need to try harder and their pancreas will start working
    correctly.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      Because breasts are the only organs in the human body that always work perfectly! Nobody never ever had a problem with supply! If they do not produce enough milk it is your fault!!!!!!

      I hate the way people that were just lucky tells the rest of the world that something that did not work is their fault.

    • Meg S

      This bothers me to no end! I wanted to nurse, personal choice, but my son had a terrible latch with tongue tie. I mean holes in my nipples from 4 days on because he was so desperate to eat but couldn’t transfer milk well. Even after correction on day 9 (He went undiagnosed for a while) his latch was TERRIBLE and after a round of mastitis even my crunchy midwife was suggesting bottle feeding. However, I hated pumping so weaned him to formula at 6 weeks in thanks largely to my husband telling me this, “We didn’t go through all we went through to have a baby JUST to breastfeed. I want you to enjoy him.” Changed my perspective!

      I had a medication free birth and everything! No midwife, lactation consultant, ENT, pediatrician could help his latch. It was just bad and he was not getting better. I seriously want people in the crunchy group to go through this because it is life changing when you just can’t fix a problem!

      We conceived via IVF so maybe I had an easier time accepting that “natural” things don’t always work. No one seems to care that we used “artificial” conception but science milk is viewed as so inferior… I don’t understand how we can appreciate one and not the other. I mean, can’t we enjoy scientific advancement so I don’t have to suffer through sucked off nipple to try and keep my baby alive (my healthy 9 lb baby weighed only 8 lbs at one week…). I can’t imagine a mom in “magical Africa” wanting to breastfeed a poorly latching baby if she had a good alternative with clean water! Oh wait, it is only a Western problem where babies don’t latch!

      • Young CC Prof

        Remember, formula was not invented to earn a profit for Nestle Corp. It was invented by doctors who were tired of seeing babies suffer and die for lack of breast milk, either due to starvation or due to impure or nutritionally inappropriate replacement foods. Those doctors weren’t even selling the stuff, they published the recipe and expected infant carers to cook it up themselves.

        As soon as the technology existed to determine the chemical composition of human milk, people did it. And as technology advanced, the formula got closer and closer. By about 100 years ago, they had formulas good enough that bottle-fed babies were just as likely to survive as long as the recipe and sterilization were done properly. Most baby boomers were raised on formula, and they turned out fine. And what we have now is even better than what they used in the 50s and 60s.

        • LZ

          That is a bunch of lies and garbage. There is no doubt this site is an astroturf. At the turn of the 20th century, infants who were artificially fed had a mortality rate 7 times higher than their breastfed counterparts. I posted the AAP statement from 2012 that says (among other things): “The rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is reduced by over a third in breastfed babies”

          – See more at: http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Reaffirms-Breastfeeding-Guidelines.aspx#sthash.fZ2mk8Rx.dpuf

          Young community college professor, are you unable to read? Or do you have problems with comprehension? Or is it that you are being paid to support a point of view that is not backed by science?

          • Young CC Prof

            Cow’s milk and sugar formula was invented in 1915, not 1900. And not everyone was able to do it correctly.

          • Roadstergal

            The AAP also notes that pacifiers substantially reduce the incidence of SIDS. Do you promote their use with as much fervor?

        • Meg S

          Thank God for those doctors. As a nurse myself, I do not believe the lies that all doctors are in the pocket of Nestle and Big Pharma. I just know too many who work too hard and care too much…

      • LZ

        “science milk is viewed as so inferior.”

        Because it is. I am glad that you all survived and that the formula was available to help. It is a shame that your baby’s tongue tie was not detected on his first assessment at birth which would have avoided a lot of the trauma that you all went through. It certainly wasn’t your fault and you did the best that you could. Even though you had to resort to formula for this baby, I hope that you will breastfeed any future babies, now that you know how important it is to have a knowledgeable and conscientious team assisting you. And I hope too that when you baby grows up that you will teach him that breastfeeding will be best for his babies. Because it is.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          “All else equal, breast is best. But all else is never equal.”

        • Meg S

          The simple answer is, in real life, things don’t work “naturally” all the time, the fact you can’t acknowledge this makes me wonder if you are indeed real. Formula is a godsend to many in the developed world. I did mention his tongue tie was fixed by a doctor IN REAL LIFE. Even so, a midwife and a few LCs couldn’t make the boy latch correctly. He was even reevaluated for a second opinion. There is no one to blame. Not me, not them (who are certainly extreme and who I probably wouldn’t return to) and definitely not the baby. Just like there is no one to blame for our infertility. Have you ever suffered? Have you ever needed “unnatural” assistance. As another comment stated, perhaps you should focus those in underdeveloped nations where women suffer and babies die. I went through such grief when my baby couldn’t latch and eat and can’t even imagine having no safe alternative.
          As an aside, I will let my son and his wife decide how to feed their children. What proof is there that one is better than the other in the developed world? I was formula fed and my sister was bf. No difference in outcome. It is so so dependent on the environment in which they are born and are raised. If he lives in Africa or Haiti, I will advise them to consider breastfeeding.

        • momofone

          I’m going with the same far-out idea Meg S has; I’m going to stay out of my son’s decisions about what and how to feed his children. Since he’ll be, you know, an adult and all.

          • Meg S

            An adult? You mean he has to grow up? I can’t follow him around 24/7? I can’t wear him constantly? He will make decisions independent of me?
            I think our nursing problems drew me out of the NCB circles though I was never all that entrenched since I stick up for vaccinating. Talk about being ostracized! The breastfeeding thing was just the final eye opener…

          • momofone

            Perish the thought about independent decisions!

            (And working with university students, I’m fairly sure some of them were worn, or at least followed around, until their parents dropped them off. It’s amazing how many parents call to see which department is in charge of wake-up calls and making sure Junior gets to class on time.)

      • Nick Sanders

        “Science milk” I love this. When you call it that, I want a huge glass of it.

        • Meg S

          Got it from Pediatric Insider… 😉

          • Roadstergal

            That was a great column!

  • Petanque

    I’d like to add how proud I am of my sister-in law who has chosen (with plenty of healthcare support) to continue the medications she needs to maintain her mental health, and fully formula-feed her new baby.
    It has been a difficult decision process for her with moments of self-doubt induced by random judgemental people, but her partner (my brother) will do all he can to support her in whatever she chooses.

  • SporkParade

    Maybe I’ve just missed it, but it would be awesome to have a post dedicated to the harm done to babies by lactivism and formula demonization beyond all the babies who’ve been killed by the BFHI. I mean, lactation Nazis obviously don’t give a damn about women, so why would appeals to feminism speak to them?

    • Amy M

      I take it you mean babies who were accidentally starved to the point of harm, or who were killed by suffocation in the hospital bed when the exhausted mom accidentally fell asleep on them? Dr. Amy has talked about the latter group before, there have been papers done about that. Would that French baby that died because its vegan parents wouldn’t feed it anything but breast milk count, or would that be just a neglect case from parents with questionable sanity?

      • SporkParade

        I’m thinking more the former – babies who were starved or dehydrated or jaundiced. It’s scary how often you can read women saying to ignore the doctor’s instructions to supplement because the baby is still hitting developmental milestones or because breastfed babies grow more slowly than formula-fed babies.

        • KarenJJ

          One thing I absolutely detest about the lactivism movement is how it undermines the relationship between the paediatrician and the parents and that parents can feel the need to ‘protect’ their babies from ‘formula pushing’ paediatricians. Lactivists have absolutely zero responsibility for your kids health and can get away with saying anything they like about a paed’s advice.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            It’s a lot like the NCB movement in that respect. If you spend any time on NCB pages, you’ll see over and over again OBs held up as the big, evil boogeymen who want nothing more than to cut you open, hurt you and your baby, and make a fat wad of cash in the process. I’m sure there are bad OBs out there, just as there are bad people in any profession, but it’s ridiculous to cast them all in that light. Plus, setting up that adversarial relationship from the start means that your pregnancy and birth are going to be harder and more stressful because you’re effectively giving someone whose motives you believe to be totally unethical control over you when you’re very vulnerable. The mentality is completely nuts.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            It seems to me, though, that the main difference between lactovists and NCB pushers is that many if not most of the lactovists telling you to ignore your doctor are nurse LCs who are working in hospitals.

            I wonder what the hospital would think if it learned that nurses were telling the patients to ignore the doctor’s recommendations? I would (like to) think that hospital nurses telling patients to ignore doctor’s orders would not be working in hospitals much longer if the hospital found out. Or if they weren’t, the pediatrician would refuse to work there. I know I would.

            The NCBers setting up the adversarial relationship with OBs are not working in hospitals.

          • Roadstergal

            “The NCBers setting up the adversarial relationship with OBs are not working in hospitals.”

            What about midwives in the UK? Not all of them, but I’ve certainly come across tales of them encouraging women to be wary of mean Obs and their knives.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I though UK midwives collaborated?

          • Roadstergal

            I thought so, too, and I’m just wondering what the balance really is. I hadn’t heard about oppositional midwives until I saw that Dara O’Briain sketch (Dr Bear), and I’ve heard some things since then, all anecdotal.

          • Young CC Prof

            Exactly! You’ve GOT to start from a place where you believe the obstetrician’s goal is your health and the baby’s health. If you think your obstetrician is not trustworthy, well, they are human and some are not so great, so do find a different one. If you think most obstetricians are not trustworthy, then you’re going to have a problem.

          • anh

            I’ve been wondering how many of the pediatricians who are villified for being “unsupportive” of breast feeding are simply legitimately concered over a baby’s weight gain or legitimately concerned over the mother. I had a real come to Jesus session with my daughter’s pediatric nurse practioner who was also an IBCLC when my daughter was about 6 weeks old where she said “ANH, every single time I see you are in tears, you’re distraught. and I don’t care if they pull my LC card. Formula is great! babies thrive! I have no idea which of my older patients were breast fed!” In my mind, she was being insanely wonderfully compassionate. To a rabid lactivist, she was sabotoging my attempts to breast feed (despite the fact that at 6 weeks my daughter was not up to birth weight)
            I feel like the expectations for a doc to be truly supportive of breast feeding would entail them being negligent. No ped in their right mind is going to be ok with an underfed baby with a mom not makng enough milk. no ped in their right mind is going to advocate a mom go out and find donor milk from an unscreened source.
            It’s just shitt they get painted as villains for legitimately caring about their patients

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I’ve been wondering how many of the pediatricians who are villified for being “unsupportive” of breast feeding are simply legitimately concerned over a baby’s weight gain or legitimately concerned over the mother.

            Serious question here: WHY ELSE do you think they are doing it?

            Do you think there are those who are illegitimately concerned over baby mother health?

          • anh

            Fair point. But if there are peds out there like Sears who are so anti science, I’m sure there are a few quacks out there who think bm is inferior or that nursing past a year is perverse. Outliers for sure, but they probably exist.

            But yeah, overwhelming majority are just practicing good medicine.

            In one of my moms groups a woman described how she nurses her toddler upwards of 12 times a night. She’s so used to being women up by screaming she basically can’t fall asleep anymore. She went to her doc to get endocrine levels checked, which were fine. She was so angry at her doctor for telling she she needed to nightwean STAT, and said she was unsupportive of breastfeeding. I very gently told her doc didn’t give a fig about nursing because she was so concerned about her, and how this situation could literally kill her. It was chilling. Those conditions could be tried as war crimes (yes, hyperbole, but 18 months of 20 minute sleep increments sounds beyond horrific)

          • LZ

            They are unsupportive of breastfeeding because they were trained by Pharma reps who paid off their medical schools and residency programs. They don’t know any better. And since they do not have the knowledge to understand and assist lactation, they get nervous and prescribe formula to make sure babies get enough nutrition, which interferes with lactation, so the parents are stuck with formula bills. That is the payoff for the investment Pharma made during their education. And the investment continues to pay off with every patient they mishandle throughout their career.

          • jhr

            Whatever happened to you to evoke such a hideous mistrust of doctors? Certainly there are some who are medically incompetent, some who lack strong inter-personal skills, and even some who may be cruel or unstable, just as there are in every profession, let alone in every neighborhood.
            I agree with you that the prime directive for a pediatrician is the life of their patient, the baby. If their breast-fed patient not not gaining weight appropriately, or there is clear “failure to thrive,” a solution in the first world is baby formula.
            Furthermore, your assumption that pediatricians are in the pocket of “Big Pharma”: What do you know about pediatric training in the last 25 years?

          • Maria

            Um. You keep citing the AAP as proof that breast milk is superior to formula, and yet you think pediatricians are Pharma shills who don’t have a brain in their heads capable of treating their patients correctly. Cognitive dissonance anyone?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I know. Our pediatrician was a Fellow of the AAP. He didn’t have any problems with us using formula in our situation.

            That’s because he, unlike mindless dolts who do nothing but parrot AAP general recommendations, realize that the AAP recommendations are generalized for the population and mean little in any individual situation.

          • LZ

            This will be my last post, because I really do have to go. But I’ll tell you that wihin the AAP there has been a group of dedicated physicians who pushed back against Pharma to protect breastfeeding at least as far back as the 1980s, and that’s where the breastfeeding standards came from – from these doctors who banded together to make it happen. Experts like Ruth Lawrence, Alan Cunningham and others whose names escape me at the moment. Lawrence, an OB/GYN from Rochester, NY, wrote, _Breastfeeding, A Guide for the Medical Profession_. Originally published in 1980, it was the first medical text about human lactation. Prior to that publication, there was no authoritative medical reference for physicians to learn about lactation. They learned nothing in medical school about breast function which probably explains the ignorance of this site.
            Good bye now.

          • Maria

            Look, I think you have taken a legitimate belief that breastfeeding is best and run to the wacky side with it. Is it so out there to think, yes, all things being equal, breastfeeding is best, but that it doesn’t mean that formula feeding is therefore bad? Breastfeeding is awesome (except when it isn’t), but so is formula! Perhaps it is that (most of the time) breastfeeding is just a shade awesomer? I mean this in the context of living in a wealthy country with clean water and access to quality, regulated formula. It isn’t as black and white as you seem to think. “Best” doesn’t mean the alternatives are bad. The alternatives are excellent and in some cases actually do end up being “best” for a woman, baby, family.

            Oh, and I am just going to say that your view of pediatricians (and I assume pretty much all doctors) is highly offensive and prejudiced. Your lack of understanding of what goes into their training and the fact that you can’t see that they are people, just like you, who care about their patients says way more about you than them.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            “Best” doesn’t mean the alternatives are bad. The alternatives are excellent and in some cases actually do end up being “best” for a woman, baby, family.

            Here’s a way to think about that “best is breast” mantra.

            Suppose I had two dice, one was numbered 1-6, just like normal. The other one was numbered 1,3,3,5,6,7

            Now, if I rolled the two dice and said, the winner is the one that comes out with the higher number, which die is better? Well, it is clearly the second. For one, the upside is higher, and while the downside is as low, there aren’t any twos and the 4 is massively improved to 7.

            So if I asked you, you would say that the second die is better than the first, and this is born out, because it does have more winning combinations. In fact, for every 36 times you roll the dice, the second die wins 19 times, the first die wins 12 times and 5 times they tie.

            Clearly, the second die is best on the whole. More often than not, the second die wins.

            However, if you look at the individual rolls, I just told you that the first die is better 12 out of 36 times, and 5 out of 36 times there is no difference.

            That’s breastfeeding vs formula. OK, breastfeeding is, overall, a winner. You can even say, more often than not, it’s better. But that doesn’t mean it’s best in every situation. There are a lot of situations where formula is better. Not as many as there are with breastfeeding, maybe, but still a lot.

            So when the AAP says, “Breast is best,” it doesn’t mean that it is better in every situation. Each situation has to be evaluated on it’s individual merits.

            (you might change the distribution how you want)

        • Young CC Prof

          And some of what they say is true, just to make it easier for the crazy parts to get in. No, a 6-hour-old baby does not need 2 ounces of milk at a time, a teaspoon or two will do it. By 3-4 days old, he really does.) Yes, there are normal variations in growth. There are also abnormal variations, and you should really trust the pediatrician on that, rather than the lactation consultant.

  • Amy

    I actually never used formula, and the online crunchy crowd gave me crap anyway. My crime was having really inverted nipples with my first– I pumped exclusively until she was capable of latching on with a nipple shield, thereby hitting two of three strikes (bottles and shields, OH NOES!!!).

    Then they turned around and starting using my “nursing story” as “proof” that any woman with inverted nipples could nurse successfully for an extended period of time, because, after all, I had. Never mind that I had a super-duper supportive family, excellent health insurance that fully covered a year’s rental of a hospital-grade pump, and was blessed with abundant milk supply. Oh, and I *wanted* to nurse. The only thing that mattered was the difficult circumstances that I’d overcome could now be used to shame other women.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Ugh. That’s just…it’s so twisted and dysfunctional. I’m sorry.

    • Dr Kitty

      Yeah, I went to university with a guy who ran marathons and went to the North Pole and rowed for the university. He also happened to be blind ( and is now paralysed after an accident, he’s an amazing motivational speaker).

      Somehow I am able to restrain myself from telling random blind people that if they just pulled themselves together they too could run marathons in the Gobi desert and trek to the North Pole.

      Using your story in that way is exactly the same type of thing, and it isn’t nice.

    • MegaMechaMeg

      God, people are just the worst. It just blows my mind that a group of people supposedly so dedicated to all natural flowers and unicorn farts can be so closed minded and cruel.

  • Rosehill

    I formula fed from the very beginning. The thought of breastfeeding made my skin crawl, so it simply was not an option. I was polite with the first nurse who tried to force the issue of bf, but when they sicced the LC on me because I would not comply, I turned into a hissing, spitting demon. She got out of the room, never heard anything more about my feeding choices. I know some women feel vulnerable after birth, I was ready to chew nails and spit tacks. No idea why, but it sure shut up the whole bf’ing nonsense in a hurry.

    • sarah

      It shut them up because you were CONFIDENT and KNEW what you wanted. It’s not fun to harass someone about breastfeeding when they’re going to turn round and laugh or tell you to f off. They’re much more interested in harassing women who are feeling guilty or who are weak/vulnerable.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        They’re much more interested in harassing women who are feeling guilty or who are weak/vulnerable.

        Which really demonstrates how it is about BULLYING more than anything else.

  • CharlotteB

    Thank you for this–I really needed it today.

    One thing I’ve never understood about some of this–donor milk is always held up as being preferable to formula. But, lactivists are always talking about how YOUR milk is perfect for YOUR baby because of the antibodies. For example, I have a dog, and I’m sure (? maybe?) that my breastmilk antibodies (or magical sprinkles or whatever is supposed to be in there) reflect that. Let’s say I use donor milk from somebody without a dog and the accompanying antibodies. Isn’t that “bad” for my kid, since he’d be missing that? I guess I’m wondering–how do those supposed immune benefits work when baby is getting human milk from somebody other than mom?

    [Additionally, thank you for writing your blog. It’s been an oasis of sanity. I found it about a year ago, while I was pregnant, and freaking out that having a hospital birth meant that I was “doomed” to a C-section and a sub-optimal relationship with my son. This blog, and the commenters, provided a far, far better preparation for labor, birth, and breastfeeding than the $250 woo-tastic “natural” birth class I took. I also saved money by not hiring a doula. So thank you all!]

    • Elizabeth A

      There’s no research concerning donor milk for healthy, full-term infants, and no indication that donor milk is preferable to formula for those children. There are plenty of woo-types who say it is. I am, needless to say, not one of them.

      I had massive oversupply when I was pumping breastmilk, and wound up with a lot of extra milk that I donated informally. When I stopped pumping, I knew how to find donor milk, but I felt that formula was a better choice for my family.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I am not an expert on this nor have I read any papers regarding this. My son’s neonatologist explained that they did not use donor milk because of that. The milk banks have the milk pasteurized so all the bacteria and antibodies are lost and there was no scientific evidence it worked better than formula. They did want my milk because as I was spending time with my son at the NICU I would produce antibodies agaisnt those bacteria they had at the NICU and it was a good thing.

      • Elaine

        I thought that breast milk was supposed to be better than formula for preemies in terms of reducing the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, since it’s easier on their stomachs. I have talked to a handful of people who have tried to get informal donor milk on the grounds that it’s easier on their babies’ stomachs and causes less spitting up and other such symptoms. In both the cases I can think of the babies had been somewhat premature, but idk if there is a link. I am not an expert either. I suppose hypothetically if I had a small baby who seemed to do really well on breast milk but had substantial tummy issues with formula, and I couldn’t produce enough breastmilk, I might look into milk donation, but I’m an overproducer and donated myself so this isn’t something I’ve spent much time thinking could happen.

        • Amy M

          *not a doctor or expert* I remember reading or hearing that some women have certain qualities in their milk (this is genetic not something they could eat to get) that protect against NEC, but not all women do? So if it was known that a woman’s milk had this quality, maybe her milk would be sought after for preemies? What I don’t remember was a) what it was and b) if it could be destroyed by pasteurization. And of course, I could be remembering this completely wrong.

          • Young CC Prof

            Human milk oligosaccharides, a type of carbohydrate. I don’t think pasteurization destroys that, since you need to actually bake or fry things to break down starches.

            I wonder how efficient it would be to test potential milk donors for quantity of HMO.

          • Roadstergal

            At the talk I went to, the dude was recommending exactly that (testing the milk for HMO), and that’s what he did in his study. It seems to me that finding a way to synthesize it (he did identify one in particular, IIRC) and putting it in formula would be a way to make sure that preemies get it, if mom doesn’t have it (or is having problems with supply, or doesn’t want to pump, or whatever). That might end up being cheaper than testing…

          • Young CC Prof

            If it could be synthesized at a reasonable cost (and when I say reasonable, I mean compared to the cost of milk banking or treating NEC) that would be a great thing.

          • Roadstergal

            Absolutely. It’d probably be most easily made in a biofactory of some sort – a cell line that makes the right one in the right form. Like insulin and monoclonal antibodies now.

          • Young CC Prof

            It’s is a carbohydrate, right, not a protein? so you might not even need that.

            Actually, I have no idea how carbs are synthesized. I’m not sure I’ve ever even heard of someone trying to synthesize useful quantities of a specific carbohydrate.

        • Amy M

          https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=iZo7AQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA49&dq=preemies+NEC+breastmilk&ots=AR0whdefvI&sig=OmhrVw6PcOeKA16c9o5PH_BZdK4#v=onepage&q=preemies%20NEC%20breastmilk&f=false

          That’s pretty interesting. They are saying there is a decrease in NEC and other infections in preemies, but mother’s milk is preferable to donor, and there’s no benefit of donor milk for healthy term infants.

          • LZ

            I remember reading this article when it came out, so FYI, here’s the link and an exerpt:

            “The Houston pediatric hospital is asking nursing mothers in the area to donate their excess milk, which has proved life-saving for prematurely born babies whose mothers are unable to produce enough to meet the infant’s needs.

            “The evidence is overwhelming that these critically ill preemies do best on mother’s milk, the reason we only feed breast milk in our neonatal intensive care unit,” said Nancy Hurst, a Texas Children’s nurse and director of the new donor milk program. “Ideally, they get their own mother’s milk, but donor milk is the next best thing.”

            Around the nation, the use of donor breast milk has grown dramatically in recent years. The nation’s nonprofit donor milk banks last year processed and dispensed 1.8 million ounces, up from about 325,000 in 1999. The increased demand has caused the banks to issue urgent appeals for donors.”

            http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Texas-Children-s-wants-donated-breast-milk-to-2132524.php

        • Amy M

          It was oligosaccharides—here’s some abstracts, might have time later to find whole texts, have to go work now:

          http://glycob.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/9/1147.short

          http://www.pnas.org/content/108/Supplement_1/4653.short

          http://gut.bmj.com/content/61/10/1417.short

        • Montserrat Blanco

          My son’s neonatologist said that yes NEC was lower on BF preterm babies but there was no apparent benefit of donor milk over preterm special formula. As I said, I am not an expert, nor have I read scientific papers about it myself. I am just repeating her words.

  • fiftyfifty1

    “Imagine if we tried to address smoking related illness by humiliating anyone who ever had ONE cigarette. Imagine if we tried to address obesity by shaming anyone who ever ate even ONCE at McDonald’s. That’s absurd, right? But that’s the equivalent of what the lactation industry is doing.”

    Except that it’s even dumber than that. Frequent smoking and eating nothing other than McDonald’s wouldn’t be healthy, but choosing to exclusively formula feed it perfectly healthy. A better analogy would be if we were shaming people for eating non-organic even ONCE or drinking water from the tap rather than bottled water even ONCE. Organic produce and bottled water perhaps have some benefits, but they are trivial in the developed world.

  • Lauren

    I love these posts about lactivism and exclusive breast feeding – they reaffirm my decision to exclusively formula feed.
    My only sad spot is that there always seems to be only two types of Formula Moms: those who can’t produce enough milk/have difficulty coping with BFing, or the mom who wants to be able to have her own life/sanity and do a mix of BFing and FFing.
    What about me? I am choosing not to breastfeed because I just don’t want to. That’s it. I decided that a year ago, before we lost two babies and all the other crap about cancer and radiation (for my husband) came to a head.
    So sure, I could say now, legitimately, “we’re going to formula feed because breastfeeding difficulties is just one heartache that we can actually avoid, among an onslaught of heartaches we can’t”. But the truth is, I just don’t want to.
    Do moms like me count too??

    • demodocus’ spouse

      Of course! I might do the same if I ever get pregnant again

    • Maria

      Yep. You definitely count! And I think it is great when women can say “I just don’t want to.” and not feel the slightest twinge of guilt. I had an epidural during my first birth because I just didn’t want to deal with the pain. No apologies, no “I tried, but I just couldn’t take it” mea culpas, no guilt. It is the same with how we choose to feed our babies. Our choices are ours alone and any judgement or pity or whatever that may come our way is more reflective of the other person and not us.

      This is a good read: http://www.fearlessformulafeeder.com/2015/02/fff-friday-the-best-choice-for-us-was-actually-formula/

      • fiftyfifty1

        “Our choices are ours alone and any judgement or pity or whatever that may come our way is more reflective of the other person and not us”

        That’s it exactly. Any lactivism that gets directed at you isn’t about you (and it sure the heck isn’t about your baby). It’s about the lactivist and the ego boost s/he gets.

    • Young CC Prof

      And that is a perfectly good reason.

      I don’t like the fact that formula-feeding moms are made to feel like they NEED reasons. The best reason to breastfeed is because you want to, and if you really don’t, enough said!

      • JJ

        I hate that women feel they need reasons to bottle feed. I remember during pregnancy strangers asking me if I was going to breastfeed. I planned on it, but was I going to get lectured by some lady at the mall if I said no? I don’t ask people what they are going to eat the rest of the week and then demand an explanation if I don’t think that is best.

      • Elaine

        This is true.

        But I think the other problem here is the support for breastfeeding mothers and what it is grounded in. All legal support that is given for breastfeeding, be it pumping breaks must be allowed at work, pumps and lactation consultants covered on insurance, etc. etc. is done so because of the premise that breastfeeding is better for babies, not because of the premise that parents should get to choose how their baby is fed. So you have the lactivists waving the “breastmilk is healthier than formula” flag out of necessity to get pump breaks at work. And then it ends up spilling over into criticizing moms who feed formula, which is really ridiculous. But if breastmilk and formula are acknowledged to be equally healthy, employers would feel justified telling employees they can’t take pump breaks because formula is equally good and they should just feed formula. And then it blows up into a whole big thing of “Well, I choose to do X or Y with my kids and my employer doesn’t have to do anything either way about that, so why should pumping moms get supported” and it all gets to be a royal mess. I don’t honestly see a good way out. Lack of support for breastfeeding OR formula feeding is a war on women. And society is still pretty darn sexist in a lot of ways.

        • KarenJJ

          “”Well, I choose to do X or Y with my kids and my employer doesn’t have to do anything either way about that, so why should pumping moms get supported” and it all gets to be a royal mess. I don’t honestly see a good way out. Lack of support for breastfeeding OR formula feeding is a war on women. And society is still pretty darn sexist in a lot of ways.”

          I agree with this. I do feel that breastfeeding needs to be protected as a right. I don’t think we should be lying about the benefits of breastfeeding, but I do believe that rights of parents to choose to be a hands on carer for an infant, including breastfeeding, needs to be protected.

    • Kelly

      Yes, I have the ability to produce like a freakin cow but I am now pregnant with my third and we are starting out with formula. I just don’t want to do it and I don’t care what anyone has to say.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      Yes you count too. I didn’t want to breastfeed so I didn’t. I was lucky enough to afford the canned premixed ready to feed formula at the Navy Exchange. I am happy to report my daughter is a healthy(well mostly,she has a cold at the moment) engineering student. We have an awesome relationship but full disclosure the teen years are sometimes awful. And bonus points, when your kid whips their head around to look at everything else in the room, they aren’t yanking you boob off!

      I am very sorry about your husbands illness and the lose of your babies. I miscarried twice before my daughter and while it is nowhere near what you have had to go through I would like to say I do understand somewhat. Do what works for you. Your body,your decision.

      • Elaine

        I have a coworker who chose formula from the beginning because she didn’t want to have to deal with pumping at work (no lie, pumping in our job is kind of a nightmare). She said people gave her garbage about how her baby wouldn’t be as healthy or as smart, etc. and her response was along the lines of “I was formula fed, I’m hardly ever sick, and I have a doctorate so I think I’m smart enough”.

    • Amy M

      Of course. To be honest, though I technically attempted to combo feed, via pumping, it was clear after one month it was not going to work. I switched to all formula then, and never felt an iota of regret because it just wasn’t that important to me. I suppose if I had really wanted to, I could have kept going, and possibly managed to get more breastmilk into my boys, or simply given them the meager amount I was getting at the time, but there it is–I DIDN’T really want to, so I brought that pump back to the hospital wo/a backward glance. The lactivist brigade has a hard time believing that someone wouldn’t WANT to breastfeed, because in their tiny world, that’s akin to saying “I don’t care about my child.” But in the real world, mothers count as people with their own needs too, and really its nobody else’s business how a baby is fed, as long as its being fed appropriately.

    • rational adult

      Not wanting to breastfeed is a valid and wonderful reason to not breastfeed! You are right that this is missing from the online conversation.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      You bet you do. 🙂 Good on ya for figuring out what works best for you and yours.

    • Elizabeth A

      You absolutely count too.

    • Allie

      Trust me, you’re not missing anything. I did it and it was fine for us – it has its benefits and drawbacks, the chief benefit for me being I never had to deal with a lot of mixing and boiling and washing of bottles and formula. But it can be hard at times and it ain’t no mystical, magical montage of loving gazes and misty eyes. At bottom, it’s a bodily function, no more, no less. A pretty cool trick, when it works, but not the end-all and be-all of motherhood. Not even close.

      • Amy M

        I never boiled the bottles, or the water. Maybe I was supposed to, but no one ever mentioned that. I used clean water, our tap water is very good. And we washed the bottles with hot soapy water, either in the dishwasher or by hand. And we followed the rules about not leaving formula sitting on the counter for hours, but mostly it was just mixing up the formula and washing the bottles. Annoying, but not a super-big deal. We had a system worked out so no one was mixing formula or washing bottles at 3am.

    • KarenJJ

      I loved bottle feeding my babies – I could look at their faces and cuddle them (my eldest was stuck behind my boob so much as an infant..). Breastfeeding was a bit of a logistical nightmare, the main advantage being that it was easier to do one handed so I could use the laptop more simply.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Teehee! That was one of the few things I enjoyed about it. I’m a gamer; one of my methods for staying sane with a newborn was getting online and killing/crafting things, depending on my mood. I loved that if DD woke up unexpectedly early and hungry, I could set her on the boppy, hike up my shirt, and finish a mission. No doubt at least three hardcore attachment parents’ heads exploded reading that. Ask me how much I care. 😉

    • FormerPhysicist

      Good for you. I exclusively breast-fed, and looking back, it was way too long and I regret it. I regret how it strained my marriage, I regret how it set up our parenting arrangement (mom HAS to be there) and I regret what it did do my kids sleep and teeth.

      Hear that lactivists?! I regret exclusively breast-feeding.

    • That One There

      Funny, when I was a combo-feeding mom, all I could find were people who thought breastfeeding was gross and people who bottle- or combo-fed because they couldn’t produce enough. I never found any others like me who combo fed because it was just easier. But yes, there are plenty who don’t want to BF and never try, and you all count. Baby is fed and healthy? Done.

  • JJ

    That “just one bottle” idea really freaked me out. I really felt like I would be ruining all my hard work if I gave a bottle to go to the dentist or have a break. The only reason that I even considered having one last baby is that I figured out the lactivism was extremist B.S. I cannot go through exclusive breastfeeding again.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      This, x10. I felt very similarly about the “just one bottle” idea, with some pretty bad health effects for me because I wouldn’t leave DD with my DH and a bottle or two so that I could go see a doctor.

      • JJ

        That is just not humane. I am sorry you were effected the same way.

  • There is little more disheartening than the barriers between women and good information – on infant feeding, on pregnancy, on childbirth, on mental health. It is 2015, and its easier to find a lactation consultant, a doula, and an under-qualified midwife than it is to find a compassionate OBGYN willing to perform a maternal request cesarean, or information from public health bodies on how to safely prepare infant formula. At least the tide seems to have turned on the vaccination “debate” although it took a measles outbreak for that to happen.

    • Daleth

      Seriously! I had enough trouble persuading my MFM team to let me have a c-section when I was carrying mono-di twins! (That’s identicals who share a placenta–they face even more risks from vaginal birth than fraternals or ID’s who each have their own placenta.) I had to ask several times and come in with a stack of printed-out studies before they stopped patronizing me.

      Several times I’ve thanked my babies for deciding to be twins, since it means I got my CS without *too* much hassle and also means that for any future singletons, if we have any, I can get a CS without a fight!

    • Dr Kitty

      Re: preparing formula.
      Every pregnant woman in Northern Ireland gets a copy of “The Pregnancy Book” which has a chapter on infant feeding.
      While having a very definite pro-breastfeeding stance, the pages on how to prepare, store and sterilise formula are very helpful, and not judgemental.

      If you’re looking for something to share with FF parents, this might be a good resource.

      http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/sites/default/files/Chapter%209%20Feeding%20your%20baby.pdf

  • Sue

    The reality of infant bowel flora? It’s a moving feast (so to speak) until toddlers are fully established on solids.

    There – you can cancel that guy’s whole speech now.

    • Medwife

      My kid was breastfed but handfuls of EVERYTHING (non food items mostly) went into his mouth, all the time. I recall the first time at the beach, he pooped sand that night! They think his microbiome was pure and holy, or would have been more tainted if he’d had formula? Please.

  • Kazia

    After years of back pain, muscle soreness and sometimes spasms, I decided to begin the process of getting a breast reduction. They’re so heavy I sometimes have trouble breathing, I can’t sit up straight, and I sometimes don’t sleep because of the pain. I’m 21.

    With the size and type of reduction I’m having, I won’t be able to breastfeed. And I don’t feel guilty any more. I can’t be a good mother if I can’t pick up my children, or even get out of bed because my back hurts so badly.

    Reading your article on the (very much overstated) benefits of breastfeeding made me realize I don’t have to put my life on hold for a child I may not have for 10+ years. I will finally be free of the pain that has plagued me since me teens. I’m literally counting down the days.

    My kid(s) will be fine on formula. And I will be able to get down on the floor and play with them, push them on a swing and go on nature hikes. THAT will make me a good mom, not feeding them with my breasts.

    • demodocus’ spouse

      My mother could never afford the surgery, but she would have completely understood. She was nervous about suffocating us, she got so large with pregnancy. When you start at DDDD… (She combo fed)

      • Kazia

        I’m currently a 30L (US)/30HH (UK). Considering I’m a size 4/6 everywhere else, it’s ridiculous. My insurance is covering the surgery. I’d never be able to pay for it otherwise.

        • nomofear

          I have a dear friend with the same issue who can’t afford the surgery yet, but refused to consider breastfeeding because of it. I sent her a link and apologized to her for ever even asking about it in the first place after I read stuff here. Not my business what the next gal wants to do, but especially tough on someone like her with issues like that!

        • demodocus’ spouse

          Ugh! *hugs* And my pregnancy/bf’ing F/Gs seemed bad enough! Hope the surgery goes well and you heal up quickly!

        • Kelly

          Me too. I grew exponentially when I got pregnant and never went down. I am afraid that if I get the reduction before I am done having kids that they will grow again.

          • Kazia

            some women grow, some don’t. It’s a risk I’m willing to take because kids are so far off for me, but others aren’t. I think if you want more kids in the next 2-3 years, then it’s best to wait. 5 years? More? Then maybe it’s worth getting it done now.

            Either way I’d schedule a consult with a plastic surgeon. They would have the best advice for you. Mine was quite reluctant initially due to my age, but he realized I need it for health reasons.

          • Kelly

            I would probably do it right away too but I was only a D before I had kids but grew to a G while pregnant. I probably would not be a good candidate for it at the time. I did make my husband promise before we got married that he would get me a reduction after I had all the kids because my Mom is also big but not even close to how big I am.

          • Kazia

            It’s a long process. I’d already been to physical therapy and prescribed muscle relaxants when I requested a consult with a plastic surgeon. From the time I asked for the consult to my surgery, more than 6 months would have passed. If I hadn’t already had PT and medication, I could see it taking at least a year.

          • Mishimoo

            Seconding the hope that everything goes well and that you heal up quickly. Your poor back!

          • Kelly

            Thanks, I have been wondering about that and meaning to ask my Dr. about starting the process so that the insurance can’t tell me no. The place I get my bras from also said that they have given records of people’s sizes to insurance companies to help with the process. After this baby, I think I will start to try.

          • Linden

            I went from a DD to a G. Please tell me they get smaller when you stop BF, please.

          • Mishimoo

            Mine went from a B to between F&G (I lived in nursing tanks), they’re back down to a D, still perky, and I hope they stay at the D when I’ve lost the last of the babyweight, but I doubt it.

          • Young CC Prof

            I went from C/D to F in the first two weeks after implantation. (I am not exaggerating, I was in the bra store days after I got a positive test, trying on nursing bras with my totally flat belly.) I then went to G around month 4, and hit H at maximum engorgement.

            A year after I quit, with a few pounds lost, I’ve gone back down to F, but no farther.

          • Kelly

            They went down to an F. It sucks. After stopping the first time, I kept waiting for them to go down more. After two months, I realized it was not going to happen. I finally went to the specialty store to get the right size bra and then I cried a few times. I have a lot of stretchy maternity shirts in my regular wardrobe because they are the only ones that fit at my shoulders and over my chest.

    • Sue

      A friend of mine endured her very heavy breasts, fearing that surgery would affect her ability to BF. When the time came, she was unable to feed anyway, despite the large breasts. Works both ways.

    • Another amazingly supportive community is the Fearless Formula Feeder – check it out, if and when the time comes. Wishing you the best of health!

    • FrequentFlyer

      I hope your surgery goes well and you have any easy recovery. I also had my breast reduction before I got married and had children. It was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I also think that having an active, pain free mother benefited my children more than my breast milk would have.

      • Kazia

        Thank you! I’m staying with my mom for a while so she’ll take care of me.

        • Daleth

          Best of luck to you! This sounds like absolutely the right decision for you. If you’re in pain now, imagine what it would be like during pregnancy. I went from a D-cup to a G–I was buying bras every month towards the end there. So glad you will be spared the much more difficult version (since you’re starting out bigger) of that experience!

          • Dr Kitty

            I’m a 28F, who went to a 28H and then to a “ummmm, just find me a bra that covers the boobs” during pregnancy and breastfeeding. They don’t cause me any inconvenience or pain though, so I’m keeping them as is for the time being.

            If your breasts are unmanageable and causing you pain now, you do not want to find out what pregnancy will do to them.

          • Kazia

            If they didn’t cause me so much grief, I’d keep them! They are very nice boobs.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I always think if my child is going to thank me for something. I do not think he will thank me for breastfeeding. But I am pretty sure he will want a healthy mom that is able to play with him and be with him. If I would be in pain, he would be with someone else because I could not hold him due to the pain, etc, I am sure he would hate that situation. Do not waste a second worrying about breastfeeding. Your kids will love you regardless of that. They will love to have a healthy and present mother though.

      • Amy M

        Mine get excited and tend to thank me if I take them to McDonald’s. Kids don’t thank their parents for healthy choices, at least not while they are kids.

        • Montserrat Blanco

          I was talking about the long run. Mine is not happy when he gets his vaccines, but he still gets them. He is too young to eat his greens but I will do my best.I do not know anybody angry with their mothers about being bottlefed but I do know people angry with their mothers for handing them to someone else as infants. And I do not know anybody that línea to have a sick mother.

          • Roadstergal

            Honestly, the greens bothered me more than the vaccines. I can barely remember getting my shots – no big deal – but I can sure remember being forced to eat my broccoli! And now I’m a vegetarian and love the greens, so go figure…

          • Amy M

            I know, I was kidding. 🙂

      • anh

        I have a 22 year old male coworker who works with me and we’ve become the most unlikely close friends. He is the absolute best listener I have ever met and we have amazing conversations about his tours in afghanistan and my experiences being a mother (not comparing the two, just demonstrating the diversity of our conversations)
        I was talking to him about the problems with breast feeding research (cofounding factors…sample size…blah blah) and how ultimately there wasn’t much difference, and pointed out how I was breast fed but I’m sick all the damn time. He was like “hmmm, you know. I have no idea if I was breast fed….no wait! I’m almost certain I was.” I looked at him strangely and said “Weren’t you adopted?” and he said “yeah…OH! nope, nope I was not” and it was uproariously funny. (fyi, he’s much smarter than me and healthy as a horse)

  • I feel like some of the people demonizing formula do so to put further emphasis on motherhood. It’s all about giving birth, empowering women through being ~so brave~ through a ~natural labor~ and breastfeeding, things that only a biological mother can do.

    Lately more and more people are taking in stepchildren, adopting, and choosing for dad to be the stay-at-home caregiver. How’s a girl to feel important during such an inclusive time if not by constantly bragging about her bodily functions and how special they make them?

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I think they do not have a life outside motherhood. I can’t get that the most important thing in their lives is how they gave birth or fed their kids. My son (my son!) could not care less about that. He cares a lot about how many hours I hold him, how many hours I play with him, how much do we walk together, and if I dress him through the head or not (for him passing a jumper over his head is a nightmare). How he was born? No issues with it. Bottle? Great! My husband could not care less about how we feed our son. He is happy with the CS though, he loves having a neurologically normal son. He cares about our relationship, about how well we are living together, etc, etc. Feeding? Not a second.The rest of the family is happy with that too. The rest of the world? Nobody gives a damm.

      With those people I wonder how void is the rest of their lives that they can only brag about that.

      • Sue

        “I think they do not have a life outside motherhood.”

        That’s one aspect, but I suspect there is also another cohort: those women who are high achievers in other parts of their lives, and are suffering the self-judgment (caused by the judgment of others) that they are TOO dedicated to their professional lives, and have to prove themselves as mothers.

        This group really suffers – they are used to being able to achieve whatever they set their minds to in the world of work, but are prone to depression when the unpredictable life of a new baby arrives.

        (Sound familiar, anyone?)

        • Who?

          Oh yeah. Readjusting those expectations and creating some realistic ones took years for me.

          • JJ

            Me too. I felt like especially since I am a SAHM then I need to be doing everything possible to make sure that me staying home is a good trade off.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Sounds familiar to me. Honestly, one of the biggest adjustments about being a SAHM was that even though I was working crazy hours and harder than I ever did in my life (and that’s saying something–I routinely worked 30-50 hours/week while going to school full time), I was never finished with my work, I never completed a project, and I wasn’t getting a paycheck that reflected all the “overtime,” plus I couldn’t simply put X amount of effort in in order to get Y (very good) result.
          For example, I could do a lot of common-sense things when teaching DD to sleep through the night: I could feed her at certain times, swaddle her, use white noise, make sure the crib sheet was flannel so the coolness of a regular sheet wouldn’t wake her up, whatever–and she still might wake up 4x/night, and there wasn’t anything I could do about that except take care of her. Yet in the workplace, that kind of effort and preparation would have been rewarded by the result I was wanting, a commendation from management, and, long-term, the possibility of a promotion–never mind those glorious overtime checks!
          Don’t get me wrong, my being a SAHM is the right choice for our family right now, but it did take a lot of adjustment.

          • KarenJJ

            I really struggled with that too. My husband and I lamented that babies should come with level indicators and warning lights. My husband and I really had to let go of the idea that xxx would always produce outcome yyy. Performing well in the role (according to the external standards I was measuring against – like breastfeeding, sleep expectations, milestones etc) really didn’t seem to generate the outcomes I was expecting. Breastfeeding was “failing”, day sleeps were “catnaps”, milestones were not met in a timely and logical way (my eldest didn’t crawl until after she walked).

            It was a completely new and bewildering experience for me and my husband. I found I got on a LOT better when I ignored the vast majority of advice coming from ‘parenting experts’ including the Maternal and Children’s Health Nurses my state was providing for free. Instead of trying to pat my upset and wide awake child to make it through another ‘sleep cycle’, I just got her up. Pumping dropped off to once in the evening when my husband was home because I found myself in floods of tears along with my baby because I never had time to cuddle and play with her.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I’ve mentioned here before that when I was pumping, I’d pump with DD asleep on the boppy next to me. If she woke up, she’d sob hysterically ’cause I wasn’t holding her, and I’d cry along with her because I had to pump and couldn’t pick her up. I am never, EVER going to do that again, to me or a baby.
            Honestly, what helped me the most regarding expectations and “what on earth does this kid want?!” was putting her on a loose eat/play/sleep schedule. With that, I could make an (often reasonably accurate) guess as to what she wanted when she was crying: oh, it’s been two and a half hours since she ate? She’s probably hungry. Hasn’t slept for a couple of hours? Probably tired. Etc. Before that, I would just frantically try to assuage a miserable, screaming baby, and half the time end up in tears myself. It didn’t work all the time by any stretch, but it did make a definite and positive difference.

          • KarenJJ

            I did mine as Sleep, play, feed. Mine liked feeding to sleep. But yeah – very similar philosophy in the end.

            ” I am never, EVER going to do that again, to me or a baby.”

            Hear! Hear! The down side of pumping is baby gets less attention. I’d LOVE to hear a LC state that once pumping gets intrusive into mum and bub’s time together it should stop.

          • KarenJJ

            Actually even if it’s overly intrusive on mum’s time. I wish I’d ditched the pump earlier and taken a walk on my own instead. We lived near an awesome park and I loved walking on my own through it.

          • Wren

            I bought into the whole exclusive breastfeeding until at least 2 thing with my first. Unfortunately, he was born with a tongue tie with an unusual presentation (not the normal heart shape) that went undiagnosed. Breastfeeding went ok mainly because my supply was huge, making his job more about swallowing fast enough rather than actually getting the milk out. I could pump 4 oz in under 5 minutes with a manual pump after I had fed him when he was tiny. Then he hit 9 months and we both got hand, foot and mouth. My supply dropped as I was ill and it hurt to drink. He then refused to nurse thanks to the blisters in his mouth. I started pumping round the clock with a very active (and walking!) 9 month old plus a husband who worked very long hours, meaning child care fell almost entirely to me during the week. I just could not pump enough sticking to times he was asleep and it really virtually impossible to pump while chasing after a toddler. I had to break down and use formula, and I cried while I bought it.

            I feel so foolish for being so caught up in those beliefs that I really did come close to neglecting him in order to provide pumped milk. Formula suited him fine and made life much easier. I continued to pump a couple of times a day (mainly nap time and nighttime) until he hit 12 months, but I didn’t even have to do that I now realise.

            I went on to breastfeed my second child until she was nearly 3, but that worked for both of us and I knew I could stop earlier if I wanted to.

      • Spot on.

    • Elaine

      Well, as a full-time working mom with a SAH spouse, I wish I got more time at home with my kids than what I do, and the fact that I’m doing something that my husband can’t, something that the baby really enjoys, is nice. Thus I’m willing to endure a certain amount of irritation to keep on breastfeeding. But there are limits; adding a pumping session at work was not realistic and I had zero interest in adding a pumping session at home. Luckily, I always produced plenty without doing these things.

      • That’s cool, though. Being jazzed about being able to do that is fine, but it’s all these people have and all they think others should have as well.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        I’m curious; if you don’t mind answering, could you explain how you continued to produce plenty while working, and how your baby did with you away, if you were breastfeeding? I am NOT asking this as an attack! I’m asking ’cause I’d like to try breastfeeding next time around, but I’m worried that I’ll literally never get any time alone (you know, go out to lunch, get a latte, do a bit of shopping, etc) if I’m breastfeeding because baby will be hungry and I’ll be too uncomfortable. I’m probably overlooking something obvious here…*looks embarrassed*

        • Elaine

          I pumped at work. If I went out without the baby I would pump either before I left or after I got back if need be. I was lucky enough to have plenty of supply so that the baby would nurse off one side and then I could pump the other, and then I’d be ready to go and could be pretty comfortable for a few hours. If I was gone 2-3 hours or less typically I could time it so baby wouldn’t eat while I was out.

          You basically pump to replace whatever feedings you are missing, so that your body gets the message that milk was consumed and it should continue to produce more. Then the next time you are out, the baby can drink the milk pumped the previous time, or you can freeze it for later.

          This isn’t to say we didn’t occasionally have incidents where it was a little rough (one time I went out when my daughter was about 2 months old, she wouldn’t take a bottle and screamed the whole time; one time we went to a wedding and were gone for hours and my parents were stuffing milk into our son the whole time and he didn’t want to nurse when I got back with giant full boobs). But for the most part it worked pretty well.

        • Elaine

          I think also, even if you don’t have tons of supply, can’t get much pumping at home after a feeding, and don’t want to pump while, say, at Starbucks (because who would)… if you’re not gone a really long time, baby might not even eat while you’re out. Or, if you miss an occasional feeding and they get a bottle of formula, it won’t necessarily affect your supply in the long run. (It could in some cases, but I think for a lot of people missing an occasional feeding is not necessarily a big deal.)

        • Cobalt

          Missing one or two feedings a week (and I mean completely skipping them-no make up pumping) won’t hurt a normal supply once it’s well established, and after you start feeding solids and getting longer naps this gets even easier. A few things to remember, assuming you have average boobs and an average baby:

          One feed does not make or break your lactation glands. They won’t forget the baby in a day. It takes a few days to modify an established supply (upwards or downwards).

          Introduce the bottle fairly early and use it regularly enough that your baby is comfortable with it. Nipple confusion is crap. Nipple preference is real.

          There is a personal natural minimum you can produce before drying up and also a natural maximum. Your normal nursing schedule can be anywhere in between, whether you’re only breastfeeding from 6pm to 6am or every 6 hours round the clock, with all other feeds being formula. Your combo fed 3 month old might have a similar nursing schedule to a toddler, and that’s ok.

          Once you get beyond the initial engorgement phase and lactation shifts from purely hormone driven to supply and demand driven, your boobs will get much softer and easier to deal with. Leaking generally slows and sometimes stops, and being late for a feed isn’t so unpleasant.

          If your supply is unusually low or fragile, you have less flexibility to miss feeds without make up pumping. Only you can decide if that’s worthwhile.

  • rational adult

    Also, after a lot of breastfeeding difficulty and crying and feeling worthless last time around, I am resolved to enjoy the option of formula with my second child. That means if breastfeeding happens, my husband will still be able to take shifts feeding our daughter formula. And if breastfeeding is difficult, no big deal, we will just use formula! I feel ****so**** much better and calmer about welcoming a second child now that I’ve accepted formula as a wonderful option.

    • I’m glad to hear that, congratulations. 🙂

    • momofone

      I placed so much importance on breastfeeding my son that I increased my husband’s and my stress levels incredibly (and now I know, unnecessarily). I worked myself into seeing it as the single most important gauge of how good a mother I was. I wish I had been able to relax more and worry less–and give him a bottle when I/we needed to. He would have been fine (and his dad and I would have been much better-rested!).

      Enjoy your new baby! 🙂

      • rational adult

        Yes looking back I am sad to think about how much stress I caused myself. I thought I was a failure of a mother and a woman. I really don’t want to go there ever again.

        So in June when my post partum hormones of lunacy kick in I will need all of you to remind me of what I typed here!

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          In all seriousness, print out this comment, this post, and a summary of the BF/FF comparison study, and stick it somewhere where you’ll see it in June. Or hand it to someone close to you with common sense and ask them to hand it to you gently but firmly if they see you getting so stressed over it again.

          • rational adult

            Great idea!

        • momofone

          I don’t know if this is true for you, but what I’ve realized as my son has grown is that at that time, breastfeeding was the only context I could see for our relationship. I couldn’t see that there would be so much more to come. It was a sweet, special, very small part of a huge, wonderful, challenging much bigger picture, but at the time it seemed to be everything I would ever be as a mother.

    • KarenJJ

      My first was combo fed and pumping took a toll as well as the stress trying to breastfeed. Second was formula fed. It was a revelation as to how much simpler formula feeding is on anyone that is struggling with breastfeeding.

      The most annoying thing I find now is if I ever discuss breastfeeding difficulties it’s met with comments like, “well, you did SO well and should be proud of your efforts”, because I’m not proud of it at all. It’s like being proud going without anti-depressant medication when you are feeling miserable and making your family feel miserable too.

  • rational adult

    I love this post. I live in the Boston area and am not pleased that this is the crap that the LCs in my area are learning about in keynote speeches.

    • rational adult

      In fact one of the speakers at this conference is an LC I received counseling from at free monthly meetings! For the record she was knowledgable about combination feeding and totally supportive of my choice to stop pumping.

      • Poogles

        “For the record she was knowledgable about combination feeding and totally supportive of my choice to stop pumping. ”

        Let’s hope this garbage hasn’t changed her approach to mothers who combo feed etc.

  • Cobalt

    “In its impact on women’s health, mental health, economic health, and ability to reach their fullest potential, infant formula is akin to the birth control pill.”

    This is an excellent point.

    • Yes, brilliantly said.

  • just me

    I like the cartoon though.

  • Trixie

    I do think that the professionalization of lactation counseling could be a good thing — and is a necessary void to fill — in the context of infant feeding specialists who are preferably also nurses. My mom was a La Leche League leader years ago, and she did a great job with the info and skill set she had, but really, they were just going on stuff they’d read or heard from other people, and not really any actual research. She thinks that more research and science are the way forward, and that LLL leaders shouldn’t be handing out anything but the most basic breastfeeding advice anymore.

    • Young CC Prof

      Definitely! There are a lot of questions about breastfeeding that are unanswered, and right now people are handing out guess answers that work for some folks but not others.

      Unfortunately, some of the research is being done from an ideological perspective, rather than a scientific one, which makes it less constructive.

      For example, early temporary supplementation for a dyad that’s struggling. What are the signs that it is needed? How early should it be provided? How much? Is it better to use a bottle, or try a syringe or SNS? (Is it worth the extra trouble of trying to clean an SNS, which is difficult?) Should supplementation be provided at every feeding? Before nursing, or after? How will a mother know when it’s safe to discontinue supplementing?

      Nursing mothers and neonatal care professionals need these answers, but we aren’t getting them. Instead, we’re getting more of the unsupported opinion that any supplementation is harmful.

      The new Newborn Weight Tool curves look helpful, though.

      • KarenJJ

        That was the sort of information I was struggling with as a new mum. I remember tearily trying to breastfeed in the middle of the night a few days after birth and asking the nurse whether it was normal for a newborn to feed for an hour and a half and fall asleep for 20 minutes and then feed for another hour and a half replied. The nurse replied that it was normal for an infant to feed for an hour and sleep for an hour. I replied with “did you even HEAR what I said? I said feed for an hour and a half and sleep for twenty minutes? How is that “feed for an hour and sleep for an hour”?”

        Once you started moving outside the norm nobody seemed to say anything like it was abnormal. It was like breastfeeding no-man’s land.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Honestly, I don’t think that there is a safe way to clean an SNS tube sufficiently, though I could be wrong. It’s so tiny that only a little drop of fluid can get out at a time, so you can’t run a lot of hot water/soap through it. You can’t put some sort of cleaning chemical through it for obvious reasons. You can’t boil it because the stuff it’s made of (sort of a soft, sticky rubbery business) will then meld together, not letting fluid get through. Stupidest damn idea I ever heard of: a baby feeding tool designed to, basically, harbor bacteria and yeast and anything else that likes a nice, narrow, pooling sort of place full of protein and sugar and fat and little direct light and that can’t be cleaned properly.

        • Amy M

          You have to hook up the syringe full of warm water and shoot the water through that way. Even that will not get it all the way clean, but that was the best we could do.

        • rational adult

          The SNS must be helpful for someone but I have yet to meet her.

    • Bugsy

      “that LLL leaders shouldn’t be handing out anything but the most basic breastfeeding advice anymore.”

      I personally know a whopping 1 LLL leader. From my experience with her “advice,” I don’t believe she should be offering any parenting advice to anyone…including that of breastfeeding. Like you said, the information she had was very much info passed down from other (lactivist) moms instead of being based in actual studies. I found that one of the biggest offenders of this was the LLL bible, “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.”

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Getting rid of that piece of *expletive* *expletive*, along with all the rest of my NCB/BFing books, was one of the more healing things I did a few months after DD was born.

      • Amy

        All I remember of that book was how terrible a mother I was (am) for having the temerity to go back to work.

        Also, how working wasn’t as much of a financial benefit as it seemed, because my salary and benefits didn’t cover the costs of an expensive wardrobe that the book assumed I would need for work (because we all know SAHMs live in yoga pants, right?), eating out every day (because nobody who works brown bags it), having a second car (because SAHMs don’t need their own cars, ever), and lord knows what else.

        • Amy M

          Where do they think all the working mothers work? We’re not all CEOs at Yahoo or whatever. Way to ignore all the cashiers, teachers, nurses, factory workers and all the other workers that the above doesn’t apply to, which, with the possible exception of a 2nd car, is probably the majority.

          • Amy

            No kidding. I teach high school, so while I have to look professional, I don’t need to wear business attire. I spend, MAYBE, a hundred bucks a year on average for new clothes. Some seasons I don’t buy anything new. Not because we’re broke or I’m trying to sacrifice; I like to spend my money on books and eating at nice restaurants.

            I think they have it in their heads that “working mom” means a cold, shallow corporate type who doesn’t really love her children, thinks money is the most important thing, you get the idea.

            It’s not saving money if you were never planning on spending the money in the first place.

          • MLE

            Know what costs me money? Buying clothes that I can get my boob out of easily so I can pump at work in the minimum amount of time with the minimum amount of exposure.

          • Amy M

            I work in a lab, wear jeans every day, and bring my lunch. We do have a 2nd car because we live in the suburbs and husband and I don’t work anywhere near each other or on the same schedule.

        • Bugsy

          Ugh…I’m so sorry you felt that guilt. If it’s any consolation, I finally discarded my copy a few months ago. I’m a huge fan of donating anything I can…but shredded the entire book page by page. I don’t want other moms reading that guilt-inducing advice. Ever.

    • nomofear

      Agreed. The problem is that they often don’t know anything but the most basic advice, yet they aren’t even aware of what they’re missing. For instance, my first daughter was gaining weight like a champ and appeared to be latching well on strictly breastmilk, so everyone thought all was well, even as I was saying it clearly wasn’t, since I had had mastitis twice in the first six weeks, and my nipples never healed, and she was taking an hour plus at a sitting to eat. Something wasn’t right! I felt so vindicated when I met with a LC attached to her pediatrician’s office who saw my nipples and said WHOA that’s at eight weeks? And you’ve had mastitis twice?!?! The first thing she checked my daughter for was a chew reflex, and it turned out that she had close to none. A little series of physical therapy exercises from a children’s occupational therapist and she was all fixed up – but that taught me that it’s totally hit or miss with LCs. I happened on one that had 25+ years of experience and knowledge. Professionalization of the field would, theoretically, bring everyone up to the same knowledge base.

      • KarenJJ

        Professionalisation would also mean more knowledge like you had above and less crap like Dr Amy is writing about.

        • KarenJJ

          And by “would”, I mean “should”…

  • Jessica

    I’ve shared many times how difficult breastfeeding was for my son and me in the beginning. We were discharged from the hospital on a Saturday night and nursing wasn’t going well, but the hospital experience was awful and exhausting. I was sent home with a small bottle of donor milk, a SNS, a kit for my breast pump, and instructions to see the pediatrician on Monday for a weight check. Baby didn’t nurse or eat well at all, so on Monday the pediatrician gave us a can of formula and said nipple confusion was a myth. The little guy wasn’t nursing well, and the first few attempts at the bottle didn’t go well, either, until we realized on Tuesday he couldn’t get milk out of the nipple. My husband poked a hole in the nipple, suddenly formula came out, and that kid ate the whole bottle. And dammit if that four day old baby didn’t look BLISSED OUT.

    By then my milk was coming in, and within a day I was pumping enough to feed him breastmilk exclusively. It took us FOUR WEEKS to get breastfeeding established enough that he took all of his feedings at the breast. I went on to nurse him until he was 19 months old. I enjoyed it immensely. The two or three bottles of formula he got at less than a week old don’t seem to have made a difference, although he’s not quite three so maybe it’s too soon to tell. What was the alternative? Try to save his gut bacteria at the expense of his brain?

    • No, but I expect that there’s a subconscious need for women to be ashamed enough to defend themselves about it. If women aren’t reiterating that it was a physical problem keeping them from breastfeeding, that’s a chink in her armor that these people absolutely hone in on.

      Not that you’re being defensive, but I believe that’s what their reasoning is.

      • Are you nuts

        You’re so right. Before I had kids, one of my friends who was a new mom told me “I was planning to exclusively breastfeed, but I’ve had to use a little bit of formula.” I thought it was so odd at the time that she felt the need to tell me about her feeding plans, but now I totally get it. If you don’t EBF, you’re expected to deliver a thesis to explain why.

        • anotheramy

          Yep, and if the reason why is low milk supply, many women won’t believe you or will say if only you did ____, you could EBF, because according to them low milk supply is never caused by a woman’s biology; only by not trying hard enough and giving a bottle too early.

          • Daleth

            You know what, even if it is caused by not trying hard enough, so the hell what?

            That is what I want to say to the guilt trippers.

            In my case it probably was caused by not trying hard enough (though maybe not entirely, since one boob always produced much less than the other). And here’s why I didn’t try hard enough:

            – Because I was hospitalized for nine days with post-surgical complications so bad that for several days I couldn’t get out of bed myself or walk across my tiny hospital room, making it impossible to wash the stupid pump equipment after each use;

            – My babies were in the NICU and my options were either (a) pump or (b) touch and hold them (similarly, my husband’s options were either (a) wash the pump equipment for me in my hospital room or (b) go to the NICU and be with our babies)… oh, and the NICU docs told me to pump and bring the babies milk *even though I was on Vicodin and Lasix,* which seemed INSANE to me (those drugs do get into breast milk, and why would you give preemies with respiratory issues a respiratory depressant like Vicodin, and why would you give any newborn a diuretic?!?!). I found myself not trusting the NICU docs on that, and just couldn’t summon much motivation to spend time pumping until I was off those drugs.

            – And when we got home it turned out that PREEMIE TWINS are a LOT OF WORK and there is not enough time in the day to BF what little I could, pump every three hours to increase supply, feed one of them (while husband fed the other), eat and, on rare occasions, sleep.

          • Amy M

            Yeah, I valued sleeping over pumping for sure. If that equals not trying hard enough, well, just call me Lazy Lucy. Better than Hallucinating-From-Sleep-Deprivation-Lucy.

          • Daleth

            Seriously!

    • Are you nuts

      Same thing happened to me! I had to supplement for a couple days because poor thing lost 18% of her birth weight (YIKES!!!). 6 months later and she’s still nursing. But she can’t do calculus or speak Latin, so maybe the formula ruined her after all.

      • Sue

        My daughter couldn’t do calculus or speak Latin when she was exclusively breast fed, but, a number of years after the introduction of formula, she is on the way to calculus and already excelling in Latin!

        ALso, her speech and general development definitely improved after each vaccination.

      • Allie

        LOL, remedial Latin at 6 months… the horror! I supplemented for a few days because our LO was slightly jaundiced and we didn’t want that to escalate to a need for treatment. No Latin or calculus yet, but she can count to 10 like a champ ; )

    • Sue

      That gut bacteria thing is a myth anyway. It’s been shown that an infant’s gut flora isnt stable until they are fully established on a solid diet.

      • KarenJJ

        Plus, the parenting, birth and breastfeeding ideologues are certain that having a different gut flora is detrimental to the formula fed baby and not the breastfeeding baby. It could be the other way around. It’s like epigenetic changes – who knows if they’re a good thing or not? Only those with an ideology to push apparently.

        • Young CC Prof

          The state of the science is:

          You need bacteria in your gut. Some species are common among reasonably healthy people, and are believed to be beneficial. Other species are known to be harmful.

          Changes in gut flora are possibly associated with a range of health conditions, but we aren’t entirely sure how.

    • Amy

      Of course those bottles made a difference– in a GOOD way. Imagine how much more awful it would have been if he’d continued to not eat while your milk wasn’t yet in. Imagine how frustrated and upset you would have been, how he might have starved.

  • mostlyclueless

    You may be more versed in this topic (formula and the microbiome) than I am but I have read some of the literature and come to a different conclusion.

    I don’t think it’s accurate to say that there is no evidence that formula alters the microbiome (compared to breastmilk). I think the incorrect conclusion is that formula alters the microbiome in a way that is (1.) long-lasting and (2.) harmful.

    Everything alters the microbiome. What you eat, where you live, your genetic makeup, and most dramatically (to my knowledge), antibiotic use.

    So a bottle of formula may indeed alter the microbiome, but no more than any of these other factors. Although I am not an expert, my understanding is that formula simply introduces bacteria that tend to be associated with a more mature gut — the microbiome that the baby would have had as soon as solids (or grubby drooly baby toys) were introduced to the infant’s mouth.

    I know with these people (NCB) if you give them an inch they take a mile, but I see no harm in agreeing that formula changes the microbiome — as much as eating any food does.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I don’t think it’s accurate to say that there is no evidence that formula alters the microbiome (compared to breastmilk). I think the incorrect conclusion is that formula alters the microbiome in a way that is (1.) long-lasting and (2.) harmful.

      I don’t disagree, but I think it’s disingenuous. EVERYTHING affects the “microbiome”. Shoot, if you listen to LCs, recall how breastmilk changes with changes in needs and mother’s diet, then that also affects the biome. Therefore, day to day and even feeding to feeding changes “alter” the microbiome.

      That’s not in question. The question is, does it matter?

      • mostlyclueless

        Yes — we are making the same point.

        • Roadstergal

          I think the issue is that when what is said is ‘x alters y,’ the implication is that x alters y more than the natural variation of y. If I were testing a drug, and the drug made y bounce all over the place, and placebo made y bounce all over the place to the same extent, my conclusion would be ‘drug has no discernible effect on y.’

          • mostlyclueless

            Well, it’s enough of an effect to come out in an ANOVA/t-test, if that’s what you mean.

          • Roadstergal

            Could you post the references? I want to see if I remember them correctly (I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed some, too), and I’m too lazy to re-look-up…

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Kind of, but my point was more that your objection is kind of disingenuous. That the microbiome is affected goes without saying. The only real question is whether it matters.

          • mostlyclueless

            Well, that was the exact point I was making, so I guess I apologize if that was somehow unclear.

    • yugaya

      There’s a very dangerous subgroup of the microbiome advocates, those who spread nonsense how it is so sacred that its purity should be kept as long as possible. Exclusive breastfeeding as in nothing except breastmilk for a year or longer. Besides the obvious and immediate general wellbeing and health concerns, that kind of extended direct physical dependance on the mother as the only source of life ( food) to me sounds awfully dangerous in psychological terms. At the time when the children are physically ready and able to start measuring the world with their own feet these mothers are insisting on establishing the notion that safe is only when the child is within a feeding distance of the mother superior.

      • Amy M

        I suppose those exclusively breastfed children never eat anything off the floor, or taste the sandbox sand, or put any object they can hold into their mouths either. Their moms must muzzle them when it isn’t feeding time.

        • rational adult

          Even then they could lick the muzzle and poof! Altered microbiome!

        • An Actual Attorney

          At about 1.5, An Actual Kid dropped some mac and cheese on the public sidewalk. He then picked it up and ate it. Wonder what that did to his microbiome.

    • AnnaC

      The breast/nipple is not sterile, either so there will be bacteria on the mother’s skin that are different from those in the milk

      • Sue

        Not to mention all the other things that go in their mouths – including their own fingers, and their parents and sibling’ fingers. Their whole world is non-sterile.

    • Amy M

      Also, along with this theme, is that (and here I am guessing) people who live in similar environments and eat similar food (so household members, maybe other people in the same town) are probably likely to have similar microbiomes. So, even discordant siblings (one formula fed, one exclusively breastfed), raised in the same house, probably have more similar microbiomes than an exclusively breastfed baby from California and an exclusively breastfed baby from China.

    • Sue

      “mostlyclueless” – my reading of Amy’s article is that she IS saying that formula doesn’t alter the microbiome any more than all the myriad of other things that do.

      In other words, there is no “standard” baby microbiome.

  • FrequentFlyer

    My two formula fed c-section boys do very well in math. All of that math and science from the beginning of their lives must have been good for them.

  • Young CC Prof

    Wait, so that cartoon says baby bottles have equations in them? So if I give my baby a bottle, he’ll learn math?

    • guest

      Babies that get formula will understand that formula!

    • Roadstergal

      Being a baby of the mid-70s, I would guess that I got some formula, and I’m a math minor. It’s true, formula makes you good at math.

    • Cobalt

      Homeopathic advanced math degree.

      • Cobalt

        I will now have to wear this shirt when breastfeeding so my child does not fall behind his chemically engineered peers.

        • Young CC Prof

          Perhaps reading math and science while breastfeeding or immediately before breastfeeding would suffice.

          • Amy

            My kids both got to attend calculus lectures, delivered by me, in utero. So how come only one of them’s ahead of schedule on math?

          • Amy M

            You weren’t speaking loud enough.

          • Young CC Prof

            Should have used belly headphones.

        • Bugsy

          “Chemically engineered peers”

          Love it!

        • Linden

          I will put in a request to Mr Linden for my birthday. I want that shirt!

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Suh-weeeeeet! We’re planning on homeschooling, and I’ve already informed DH that if he wants us to homeschool, he’ll bloody well be doing the math (or hiring a tutor for it) after about seventh grade. You mean I can skip all the nuisance of teaching the kids math if I also skip the misery of breastfeeding? AWESOME! Sign me up!

    • Liz Leyden

      Isn’t early exposure to math a good thing?

    • Amy M

      Mine like math, one in particular has–no joke–taken “math breaks.” He was playing with his brother, and stopped to do a few addition problems in a workbook, then went back to playing. Now I see, he must have been reading the sides of the bottles when they were babies.

      • Young CC Prof

        The die has the numbers 1 through 8.

        2, 3, 5 and 7 are prime numbers, that’s 4 out of 8.

        So, a 50% chance.

        • Young CC Prof

          I have no idea why this posted. I apologize for non sequitor.

          • Amy M

            Oh thanks for the explanation, I was thinking it was some complex math problem which I should be able to understand because I was formula fed, but just couldn’t figure out.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I am trying to figure out where you got a solid with 8 equal sides.

          • Young CC Prof

            An octahedron, a platonic solid. They come in 4-sided, 6-sided, 8-sided, 12-sided and 20-sided versions.

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

            That was supposed to be a response to a student’s question, how it got posted here, I don’t know.

          • SporkParade

            Is that why roleplaying dice come in 4, 6, 8, 12 and 20 sided versions? (There is also a D100, but they are incredibly impractical to use.)

          • Young CC Prof

            Yes. A fair die needs equal sides and equal angles, and you can only produce a perfectly regular solid in those sizes. (There’s also a d10, which is symmetric in some planes but not all planes.)

          • Nick Sanders

            If you aren’t worried about microscopic accuracy, any gaming store, and many comic book stores will have plenty.

      • Wren

        My oldest does math for fun too.

        He is the only one of my two who had any formula and he is ahead of his sister in math. Of course, he’s also nearly 2 years older than she is.

        I tended to read while breastfeeding. Maybe that’s why my girl (only breastmilk directly from the tap as she refused all bottles) is more into writing stories while the combo fed boy loves math.

      • Who?

        Now I see it all. My son never had a bottle, and has a lukewarm relationship with maths. My daughter had a bottle to go to bed every night, and she’s studying engineering, loves maths and thinks being indifferent to maths is a matter of having an attitude about it. I think we may have cracked how to get more students into maths-bottlefeeding, or at least supplementing!

    • An Actual Attorney
      • Michele

        We have that book!

  • Stacy48918

    Ellen Mary in 3, 2, 1….

    • MegaMechaMeg

      sigh. I will start the popcorn. I think I still have some from yesterday.

      • Kq
        • Ellen Mary

          I wasn’t planning to comment here. Being told that by Breastfeeding & caring for my children I am doing something other than ‘reaching my full potential’ actually, really made me profoundly f***ing depressed today, cue the shaming for that in 3, 2, 1. #SoSecondWave. It is inconceivable that BF is a totally legit and valid use of my potential . . . To me it is just another form of shaming, not a departure from shaming.

          • Taysha

            Being told I was selfish and a bad mother that shouldn’t have had children in the first place for going back to work at 12 weeks to support my family made me feel about the same way. Also how my kids were going to get fat and sick and stupid because i wasn’t home to breastfeed them.

          • Ellen Mary

            FWIW I don’t believe any of that and I am sorry anyone ever said it to you. Any pressure I have experienced to stay in the home has been counterproductive even as I stay there. However, I will not ever frame it as anything other than an achievement for myself, because it wasn’t easy or necessarily even in my nature but it was valuable, just as valuable as the labor of someone in the childcare field. And feeding my children was just as valuable as someone who feeds others professionally.

          • Taysha

            Thing is, Ellen Mary, my children won’t remember breastfeeding. Hell, I don’t remember breastfeeding. The most I remember right now is how very sick I am of Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
            My kids are not worse off for whatever formula they received and I will never tell a struggling mother that she’s a bad one for not wanting/being able to breastfeed. LCs will. Lactivists will. And I will make sure they swallow those words back every time they try to shame a mother into doing something that is not good or right for her.

          • Ellen Mary

            Just because my children don’t remember Breastfeeding doesn’t make my labor not valuable or make my effort fall short of my full potential. My children happen to actually remember it because it is a big part of our family life.

            I think it is the holy grail for any one of us to be able to equally value both choices. I would never tell a mother she is a bad mother for choosing formula, but I won’t be told I am an irrelevant or non-achieving woman for spending my time breastfeeding and doing caregiving in the home.

          • Young CC Prof

            Look, I understand that being a stay-at-home mom can be stressful. I get that you question yourself.

            I don’t get why you need to hear lies about the value of breastfeeding to validate your choices. They are already valid. If breastfeeding was enjoyable for you and your child, it was time well spent. If your baby’s smile made it worth getting up in the morning, it was all worth it. And if your children are now growing up to realize their potential, in an environment of stability and support, you’ve done as well as any parent and better than many.

            Does it really have to be more complicated than that?

          • Stacy48918

            “I won’t be told I am an irrelevant or non-achieving woman for spending my time breastfeeding and doing caregiving in the home.”

            Quote?

          • Mariana Baca

            So, I’m going to use a running analogy because that is what I’m prone to do. Look, running a marathon is an acheivement. It builds strength of character and whatnot, and is definitely hard. Much harder than running a bunch of races of shorter distances regularly. But, it is not more valuable to your health to run marathons. For many it is counterproductive and bad for their health to run such long distances (bad knees, etc), and some cannot biologically do it.

            It is good to exercise and whatever it takes to keep a person healthy is good. No one comprehensive exercise routine is inherently good or superior or bad. Some are harder than others. Some cannot be done by some people or are not convenient for different lifestyles. Nobody is worse at exercising because they didn’t run a marathon (or even, necessarily, a worse athlete — a gold medal sprinter is likely not running marathons).

            Running a marathon might be a personal accomplishment in perseverance and willpower, it is a huge investment of time to train, but it is not necessary or valuable for your health moreso than other balanced exercise and your body won’t thank you afterwards. Telling all runners that the ideal is to run a marathon to be in good health is ridiculous.

            What is valuable is that you are exercising, and that you are dedicating your time to building a healthy lifestyle — that is infinitely valuable regardless of how your got that done. But not the particular exercise you did — that might be a great personal acomplishment, but “valuable” is questionable unless you mean valuable to your self-esteem. Time spent exercising is valuable to your health.

            subsitute “baby’s health” for “your health” and “breastfeeding” for running and “exclusively” for “marathon training” and “other good exercise” for “formula”.

          • Nick Sanders

            Pretty sure no one said any of that.

          • Kq

            You really came away with that? This post, and every other one about lactivism, have underlined repeatedly the need for ACCURATE information about breastfeeding. For support for ALL feeding choices INCLUDING breastfeeding. Written by a woman who BREASTFED HER FOUR CHILDREN.

            Maybe, Ellen Mary, THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO NEED SUPPORT WHO AREN’T YOU. And your incessant whining about how we’re all anti breastfeeding, meen terrible bullies because we don’t pat your head and tell you you’re the specialist special ever is getting damned old.

            Oh, and I breastfed my son effortlessly for 11 months, lest you want to howl about how anti-breastfeeding I am.

            I’ve been bullied by the ncb crowd.

            The things you whine about – the things people actually say, not your creatively defensive reinterpretations – are not bullying.

          • MLE

            Ellen Mary, I am breast feeding RIGHT NOW and have Never, Not Once felt anything but support for my choices from the readers here, nor have I ever felt that breastfeeding is devalued. You have an astounding ability to relate these arguments to your own choices, which also explains you utter dearth of empathy for women making choices you personally would not make.