Babies are dying because breastfeeding advocates are lying

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The original photo that got me banned from Facebook is here.

Breastfeeding has a death toll.

In itself that’s not surprising because breastfeeding is yet another aspect of reproduction and all animal reproduction, including human reproduction, has very high rates of wastage from miscarriage, death during childbirth and death in the early months of infancy. What’s surprising is that deaths from breastfeeding, which in industrialized countries had been reduced to zero with the advent of infant formula, have begun to rise again.

The scientific literature contains new and disturbing reports of infant deaths due to hypernatremic dehydration as a result of inadequate breast milk consumption, deaths from falling out of mothers’ hospital beds as a result of pressure to room-in to promote breastfeeding, and, most recently, reports of hyponatremia due to dilution of breastmilk with water. It’s only a matter of time before there are illnesses and deaths from contaminated breastmilk bought and traded on the internet.

Why are these babies dying? They’re dying because lactivists are lying, exaggerating the benefits of breastfeeding far, far beyond anything in the scientific literature. And they’re lying about non-existent “risks” of formula to the point that mothers are afraid to use it even when supplementing with formula is a matter of life and death.

The biggest lie and perhaps the one that has done the most damage is the claim that “breastmilk is the perfect food.” To understand why that claim is a lie we need to consider what characteristics a perfect food for infants would have.

Here are the 3 characteristics that a perfect infant food would have:

1. It should contains all the nutrients and other factors that an infant needs.

2. It must be available in sufficient quantity to promote vigorous growth of the infant.

3. The infant must be able to access it easily.

Any food that does not meet ALL THREE criteria cannot, under any circumstances, be a perfect food for that child. Breastmilk may be the perfect food for some infants, but it is highly imperfect for many others.

Lactivists routinely ignore critera 2 and 3, and babies die as a result. They get around the need for an adequate supply of milk with a claim that is manifestly a lie, the claim that all mothers produce enough milk. It’s pretty clear that up to 5% of mothers cannot produce enough breastmilk to fully meet a baby’s needs. That’s hardly surprising since no biological process is guaranteed to work perfectly. If established pregnancies can have a 20% miscarriage rate, and they do, it is hardly surprising that breastfeeding can have a failure rate of only a fraction of that amount.

Lactivists get around the third criterion with another lie, that every baby is capable of efficiently extracting milk from the breast. Some babies just can’t do it for anatomical reasons, because of weak muscle tone, or because they simply never get the hang of it. It is a serious problem that lactivists simply fail to address.

Those are the critical foundational lies that lead to deaths, but the are accompanied by a myriad of other, smaller lies about the benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding does not prevent asthma, allergies, diabetes, obesity or anything beyond mild respiratory and mild gastrointestinal illnesses. Breastfeeding does NOT increase IQ.

The latest lie to enter the lactivist catalog of lies is the claim that breastfeeding is a public health issue. There has never been EVEN ONE STUDY that has demonstrated that breastfeeding benefits public health. The studies that make the claim of public health benefits or healthcare saving are all theoretical and are based on the ASSUMPTION that breastfeeding provides benefits that are in reality unproven.

Why are lactivists lying? Lactivism is a business and breastfeeding is their product. True, lactivism does not yield multimillion dollar profits, but for lactation consultants and lactivism advocacy groups it yield 100% of profits. Consider the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative that credentials hospitals based on whether they meet specific breastfeeding promotion criteria (criteria that ironically have never even been shown to improve breastfeeding rates). The credentialing organization charged more than $10,000 per hospital for the privilege. Extolling and exaggerating the benefits of breastfeeding improve the bottom line.

Lactivists and their organizations are not lying knowingly, of course. Their belief in the benefits of breastfeeding is akin to religious devotion and like religious devotion is not affected by the actual scientific evidence. They believe, they want everyone else to believe, and they will say nearly anything to convince people to believe, that breastfeeding is critical whether it is true or whether they merely believe it is true.

That wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the dead babies. The deaths make a vet big problem indeed. So let’s be very clear on some important facts.

Breastmilk is NOT the perfect food.

In first world countries, the benefits of breastfeeding are TRIVIAL.

And, most importantly, infant formula is LIFE SAVING for many babies.

The truth is that there has never been a single identified infant death from properly prepared infant formula. In contrast there are quite a few babies who have died as a result of exclusive breastfeeding.

Unfortunately, babies will continue dying until breastfeeding advocates stop lying, so they should temper their rhetoric immediately. Otherwise future deaths will rest on them and their irresponsible, damn the consequences, efforts to promote breastfeeding.

 

Addendum: I’ve gotten numerous request for citations to the breastfeeding related deaths so here are several:

Breastfeeding-Associated Hypernatremia: Are We Missing the Diagnosis?

The incidence of breastfeeding-associated hypernatremic dehydration among 3718 consecutive term and near-term hospitalized neonates was 1.9%, occurring for 70 infants…

Conclusion. Hypernatremic dehydration requiring hospitalization is common among breastfed neonates…

Neonatal hypernatremic dehydration associated with breast-feeding malnutrition: a retrospective survey

Hypernatraemic dehydration and breast feeding: a population study

Deaths and near deaths of healthy newborn infants while bed sharing on maternity wards

Although bed sharing with infants is well known to be hazardous, deaths and near deaths of newborn infants while bed sharing in hospitals in the United States have received little attention … These events occurred within the first 24 h of birth during ‘skin-to-skin’ contact between mother and infant, a practice promoted by the ‘Baby Friendly’ (BF) initiative … We report 15 deaths and 3 near deaths of healthy infants occurring during skin-to-skin contact or while bed sharing on maternity wards in the United States. Our findings suggest that such incidents are underreported in the United States and are preventable…

In eight cases, the mother fell asleep while breastfeeding. In four cases, the mother woke up from sleep but believed her infant to be sleeping when an attendant found the infant lifeless. One or more risk factors that are known or suspected (obesity and swaddling) to further increase the risk of bed sharing were present in all cases. These included … maternal sedating drugs in 7 cases; cases excessive of maternal fatigue, either stated or assumed if the event occurred within 24 h of birth in 12 cases; pillows and/or other soft bedding present in 9 cases; obesity in 2 cases; maternal smoking in 2 cases; and infant swaddled in 4 cases.

  • Becca Nova

    I enjoyed your article so much. When I got pregnant I KNEW I wanted to breastfeed. I thought that I would be a FAILURE if I couldn’t do it or even if I supplemented with formula just a little bit. About a week after my son was born, I knew something was wrong, but every book, every lactation consultant (I saw 2 different ones during this time), every blog said that all women are able to produce enough milk. I thought that the more I nursed him, the more milk I would produce.

    My son continued to lose weight until thankfully, a family member suggested supplementing. He gulped his first bottle down!!! He was so hungry. I also started pumping my milk during this time and found out that I produce a measly 16 ounces per day… about 2/3 the amount he should have been getting.

    I don’t think the lactation consultants are lying though… they are just spouting out what they’ve been taught through their certification. I want to counter all of these ignorant lactivists by sharing my story and educating the women who cannot produce enough milk. Supplementing is not a crime!!!!

  • Roadstergal

    Given all of the advances in understanding of NEC and the factors that reduce the risk, I think it’s reasonable that we will have formula within my lifetime that is more reliable than breastmilk at preventing NEC.

    And when that happens, Nikki Lee will be telling women that it’s poison, advising them to avoid it, and cracking their babies’ necks.

    I just randomly had that thought, and got pretty depressed.

  • nikkilee

    Should all formula be banned because of this rare occurrence? Of course not. The companies must be held accountable for safe preparation of their product.

    http://www.lifedaily.com/1-month-old-dies-from-contaminated-baby-formula/

    Same is true for breastfeeding. Rare occurrences drive changes in policy and practice.

    • Nick Sanders

      The article doesn’t say how the contamination happened. Was there a problem during manufacturing and shipping, which would indeed be the liability of the manufacturer, or was the contaminant introduced at a later point, in which case they are not to blame.

      • nikkilee

        The process for making powder can’t be sterile. . . manufacturer’s haven’t figured out that one yet.

        • Nick Sanders

          Boobs can’t be sterile either. At least, not while they are attached to the mother and she is alive.

          • nikkilee

            Yes, you are right. The difference is that thing you all scoff at. . . .human milk can resist germs better, because of that thing folks here say is insignificant.

          • Nick Sanders

            Tell you what, I’ll leave a canister of powdered formula and a glass of breast milk out at room temperature overnight, and we’ll see has more microbial activity in the morning.

            Of course, that wasn’t what I was talking about to begin with. The liquid itself is only part of the picture, the container is the rest. While I don’t know for sure, I doubt many women are scrubbing their nipples down with alcohol wipes before each feed, let alone actually sterilizing them with something truly effective, like boiling water. And then, there are things like mastitis and “strawberry” milk, that lactivists seem to insist you keep right on feeding through.

          • nikkilee

            Fresh breast milk had lower bacterial counts after 10 hours at room temperature than it did when it was freshly pumped. No way would that happen with formula.

            Mastitis is not a contraindication to breastfeeding. The breast tissue is inflamed in mastitis. The milk is not infected.

          • Nick Sanders

            Even if the bacterial claim is true, I’m not talking about comparing before and after bacteria levels in milk; I’m talking about comparing them in milk to the formula powder.

          • Heidi

            Just no. Neither prepared powder formula nor breast milk are to be served after 10 hours at room temperature. Quit peddling this dangerous misinformation! I guarantee in a real life setting, mothers are not pumping with sterile equipment nor sterile breasts. Breast milk, like any other mammal milk, is a good enough medium to grow bacteria in.

          • Nick Sanders

            I’d like to clarify that I was referring to formula that had not been prepared, which is why I kept saying powder.

          • Roadstergal

            There’s a pretty long list of things you shouldn’t put in your child’s mouth after 10 hours at room temperature…!

          • Azuran

            Are you for real? Bacterial infection absolutely IS a possible cause of mastitis.

          • Who?

            Whose room? An eskimo’s?

          • nikkilee
          • Nick Sanders

            Put the goalposts back where you found them.

          • Azuran

            So…..where did you come up with the claim that milk that stayed on a counter 10 hours had less bacteria?
            Because even the CDC says 6-8h according to your link (my government says 4 btw) and says nothing about bacteria at 10 hours.

          • nikkilee

            Public health recommendations are always more conservative than research findings, because public health recommendations aim for minimum standards of safety. Every organization has variations on the guidelines for milk storage, based on what studies they used.

          • Azuran

            So you just pulled out ’10 hours’ out of your ass? Are you actually recommending people use milk that stayed outside for 10 hours?

          • Lilly de Lure

            Indeed, but the research you’ve cited is 30 years old – plenty of time for public health recommendations to catch up with its findings if they were considered convincing, valid or replicable.

          • Who?

            Yes but what public health recommendations are you, personally, relying on when you quote the 10 hour figure?

            Surely you’re not just making that number up to impress the gullible? Or do you dress it up with a healthy helping of ‘use your own best judgment’?

          • nikkilee

            10 hours was one research finding. 3, 4 5, 6 or 8 hours at room temperature are recommendations from different organizations: pump companies, medical organizes, and the CDC.

          • nikkilee

            Barger, J., Bull, P. A comparison of the bacterial composition of breast milk stored at
            room temperature and stored in the refrigerator. International Journal of Childbirth
            Education 1987; 2:29-30.

          • Roadstergal

            The article isn’t available through Pubmed or, as far as my search engine is helping me, online at all. Share the PDF of this exhaustive, convincing study.

          • Azuran

            One study older than I am. Very impressive. We all know that reliably reproducing results isn’t an important part of science. And I’m sure we have made NO scientific advancement in the field of microbiology in the last 30 years.

            I can’t even find the study anywhere. Very convincing indeed.

          • Dr Kitty

            1987!!!
            Ok then.

          • nikkilee

            I learned in graduate school that references older than 5 years weren’t acceptable. Blanket recommendations have holes in them.

            For example, newborn behaviors haven’t changed in thousands of years; a classic study published in 1990 (Righard and Alade) will be as current now as nearly 30 years later. Same with milk spoiling at room temperature.

            Studies about drugs or surgical techniques need to be current, to reflect current knowledge and the state of the art.

          • Dr Kitty

            You know, I looked for the Barger study.
            I found lots of people citing it as a reference for their leaflets on safe breastmilk storage, but even when I went onto the journal in question’s website and attempted to search for it, I couldn’t find either an abstract or a way to pay to access the study.

            If you have it in front of you, could you provide an abstract please?

            If you have a link to the study in full, that would be even better.

          • Dr Kitty

            Oh, but I did discover that neither J Barger not PA Bull are microbiologists, they are lactation specialists.

            So I’d REALLY be interested in reading that paper.

          • nikkilee

            I used to have a paper copy. No idea where it is. The stacks at the Medical Library carry that journal, but only going back to 1990. I will ask my colleagues. It is cited in 23 articles! I also asked ICEA if they had a copy.

          • Who?

            It’s funny.

            I’m running an assessment program at the moment, the basis of which is essentially made up stories, with a bit of contractual heft thrown in for good measure. As I worked throught it and began to understand it, my standard position became ‘written down, preferably in approved meeting minutes or a Council resolution, or it didn’t happen’.

            It’s given me a really good insight into how people, who are often well meaning but also extremely opinionated, can take something perfectly respectable and turn it into nonsense by fetishising it.

            The Barger study may well be another case in point.

            Twenty-three articles in 30 years doesn’t sound like a lot.

          • nikkilee

            I too, am interested in seeing this article. I know one of the authors and will contact her.

          • Azuran

            Wait…….are you saying you’ve never seen it before?

          • nikkilee

            I had a copy. . . it was a long time ago. I just got another copy. It doesn’t say what I was taught it said.

            As Dr. Kitty said, something perfectly respectable was turned into nonsense.

            There is no way to upload a file. Milk from 30 mothers of babies from 2 to 6 months was studied.

            However, “Comparisons of the data were performed with the non-parametric Mann-Whitney statistical method (nonpaired) and the Wilcoxon signed rank test (paired). Bacterial levels of the breast milk stored for 10 hours at room temperature was not significantly different from the bacterial levels of the refrigerated breast milk at ten hours. (p. <.005)

            That is not less than bacterial growth. I was wrong. Thanks for pushing me to discover this.

            The fact that there was no significant difference between refrigerated storage and room temperature is interesting.

            Human milk has been found to kill things such as HIV (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120614182751.htm) and bacteria (http://returntonow.net/2017/02/10/photo-of-breastmilk-killing-bacteria-goes-viral/) points to yet another difference between liquids.

            warmly,

          • Azuran

            FFS there isn’t HIV in formula so there is absolutely 0 need for formula to be able to kill HIV.
            RTF formula doesn’t have bacteria and is sealed. So no need for it to be able to kill bacteria
            Powdered formula is made with boiling water, which kills bacteria, so no need for it to be able to kill bacteria either.
            All of this doesn’t matter one bit if you follow basic formula and breastmilk storage recommendation. Who cares which one has less bacteria at whatever time passed the recommended time?

            And although the risk is low, breastmilk absolutely can transmit HIV.

          • momofone

            “It doesn’t say what I was taught it said.”

            What you were *taught* it said? So you haven’t even read the damn thing yourself?

          • nikkilee

            What would happen if formula was left out at room temperature for 10 hours? Now there’s a study waiting to be done. It does have ingredients to enable the nutrients to last on the shelf for 3 years, but once exposed to the air, what happens?

          • myrewyn

            I’m not sure why we are fixated on the question of leaving milk/formula out at room temperature for hours longer than would be best practice for even adult consumption.

          • Dr Kitty

            Nikkilee- found some studies on breastmilk bacterial contamination for you.

            The Conclusion you claim for the Barger study doesn’t appear to have been replicated.

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11320771/
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/2456737/
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/3900703/

          • nikkilee

            CDC says human milk can be left out at room temperature (up to 77 degrees) for 6-8 hours.

            AAP says the same.

            ABM says 3-4 hours optimal; up to 6-8 hours under very clean conditions.

            Medela says 4-6 hours.

            AAP says that infant formula left out for 1 hour should be thrown away.

            Freshly pumped human milk resists spoiling by inherent mechanisms. Infant formula can’t do that.

          • Azuran

            First: WHY would I leave either formula or breastmilk out for 10 hours.
            Second: Nothing very impressive is going to happen to formula that is left out for 10 hours. Bacteria will grow in it. That’s basically it. The nutrients in it aren’t going to just magically disintegrate because of air.
            And third: You REALLY think that no one tested how long formula can safely be kept at room temperature?

          • Dr Kitty

            Being cited by other people doesn’t tell me anything about methodology, sample size, rigour etc. Wakefield got cited a lot for a while.

            It certainly doesn’t tell me if your claim that after sitting for over 10 hours breastmilk has fewer bacteria is true, has ever been replicated or was a finding that can be attributed to chance.

            Do you even science?

          • nikkilee

            Is science a verb?

          • Heidi

            Where’ve you been? Verbifying is pretty common. So yes, Dr. Kitty just made science a verb.

          • Dr Kitty

            Nikkilee- it’s a pop culture reference.
            There is a meme based on “Do you even lift, bro?”
            http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/bro-do-you-even-science.jpg

            I am indicating, through humour, that you don’t know how citations actually work (i.e to be useful you actually have to be able to use the reference, as well, a reference) nor that you understand how scientific research works (that in order to judge the merit of a paper and the veracity of it’s findings, again, one has to actually be able to read the paper).

          • Azuran

            Actually, there have probably been A LOT of change in the field of microbiology in the last 30 years.
            We likely got way better at culturing and identifying bacteria.

            Also, seems to me like you forgot your initial claim. Your claim wasn’t that milk at 10 hours was safe. It was the milk at 10 hours HAS LESS bacteria than fresh milk.

          • Roadstergal

            Maybe the bacteria outgrow the nutrients and start to necrose at 10hr. :p

          • Mishimoo

            4 hours is what I was taught, but I think it’s gross to leave milk so long. Everything I pumped went straight to the freezer.

          • Azuran

            I wouldn’t drink cow milk that has been outside the fridge for 4 hours, And it’s pasteurized.
            I wouldn’t give breast milk that stayed out for 4 hours to my baby either.

          • Mishimoo

            Exactly! It’s gross

          • Azuran

            So…………. We should leave breast milk on the counter to let the bacteria die? What even is the point of this? You aren’t supposed to give breast milk that stayed 10 hours on a counter to your baby, so what should it matter?
            You can’t even stay constant on whether you think bacteria are are good or a bad thing.
            (Also. source or it didn’t happen)

          • Dr Kitty

            Yes, you can continue to breast feed if you have mastitis.
            Most mastitis is caused by bacterial infection by staph aureus and the bacteria will be present in the milk (along with copious neutrophils attempting to kill the bacteria).but since it is also present on skin anyway, and is killed by digestive acid, it isn’t considered a risk to the baby.

            The milk *is* infected in mastitis- it is why we send it to the lab for culture and sensitivity- it will grow the causative bacteria and make sure the antibiotic is the correct one.

            In mastitis breast milk enters the maternal blood stream and usually causes a fairly horrible immune reaction, with flu like symptoms, fevers and chills. If this doesn’t settle with 24 hours of alternating ice and heat on the breast, massage, frequent feeding or pumping to prevent milk stasis and simple analgesia such as ibuprofen, the advice is to start a 2 week course of high flucloxacillin. Mastitis can lead to sepsis and death if not managed properly.

            You can feed through it, but you shouldn’t *just* feed through it if it continues to get worse.

            Too often “just because you have mastitis doesn’t mean you have to stop breastfeeding” becomes “mastitis is no biggie, just feed more!”.

          • nikkilee

            There are two kinds of mastitis. The “itis” ending means inflammation. The beginning, the first 24 hours is the result of milk stasis. Milk proteins can then leak out into the surrounding tissue with resulting redness, swelling, pain, and heat. Frequent drainage (feeding or pumping) and removing the cause of the milk stasis can usually resolve this in a day. If she still has a fever after 24 hours, then it’s time for a call to provider. In any case, breastfeeding should continue. When the mastitis is bilateral, this is a sign of strep mastitis, and may require hospitalization and IV antibiotics, as this is the mastitis that can lead to death. And, as you say, any untreated mastitis can lead to sepsis and death.

            Mastitis is always a “biggie”. . . it is a symptom of something else that needs resolution. Nipple damage, (allowing entry of bacteria) and oversupply, anemia and too-tight bras are some of those reasons.

          • Dr Kitty

            Babe, do you at all want to take back your erroneous statement that breastmilk from a woman with infective mastitis doesn’t contain bacteria?

            Breast feeding *can* continue, if a woman with mastitis wants to. Many, because they have cracked, bleeding nipples, red, swollen tender breasts and aches, chills and sweats prefer to pump until they feel better.
            Some have co-existing thrush and even pumping is agonisingly painful.
            Some feel crappy on antibiotics and have babies who feel crappy on breastmilk with antibiotics in it and choose to pump and dump and feed formula until the course of medication finishes.
            For some mastitis is the last straw and they prefer to stop BF.
            Some get recurrent mastitis, and while they might still want to BF after the first episode, decide after the fifth that it just isn’t worth it.
            There is no *should*, only what individual women want.

            I’m the care provider who gets called when supportive treatment fails Nikkilee.
            I’m the safety net for when your advice fails.
            And no, not just bilateral or strep mastitis needs hospital admission and IVABx.

            We had two women die of sepsis locally within 48hrs of symptom onset on recent years, both of whom had been advised that mastitis was no big deal by the MW and HV and had been so keen to continue breastfeeding and so sure that antibiotics would damage BF that they delayed seeking treatment. Since then there were massive changes to policies and procedures.

            BF has some risks- if we are talking about saving costs and improving health outcomes for babies we also have to talk about maternal risks of mastitis, breast abscess, milk cysts etc.

            Every women who needs two weeks of oral antifungals and antibiotics needs to be counted in the con column, just like those mythical 3 IQ points and one episode fewer of viral gastroenteritis gets counted in the pro column.

          • nikkilee

            Human milk contains bacteria.

            Fatigue is another reason for mastitis.

            Recurrent mastitis is linked with anemia and with oversupply. With anemia, one’s resistance to infection diminish. With oversupply, more milk is being made than the baby can remove; milk stasis is a set-up for mastitis.

            All the variations in maternal experience are accurate.

            Is mastitis common enough to be termed a risk factor? The WHO says the incidence ranges from a few to 33%.

            Maybe. . .

          • Dr Kitty

            Of all the bacterial mastitis (several, despite our area’s horribly low BF rated) I have treated in the last 3 years none had anaemia.

            Mostly they are just exhausted mums who finally have a baby that sleeps through the night around 3 months, long after BF is well established and they know what they are doing.

            Baby then ravenously feeds the next morning and the combo of cracked and bleeding nipples and milk stasis from a missed night feed is enough to set up the perfect storm for mastitis.

            Since fewer than 10% of my patients feed beyond 6weeks, I only start antibiotics at 24hrs if supportive treatments don’t work and I end up prescribing antibiotics for mastitis maybe twice a month, I’d say 33% is much nearer the mark.

            Again, if BF actually results in high rates of mastitis and subsequent ABx use, the merits of preventing viral gastroenteritis and otitis media might be a wash…

          • Azuran

            up to 33% is not common enough for you? FFS what is wrong with you?
            So, now that you’ve laid out some causes of mastitis, what are you going to do about it? Doesn’t seem to me like there is much that you can due to reduce fatigue, anemia or oversupply.

          • Roadstergal

            I can think of something that would help with fatigue – sharing feeding duties with another member of the family. But that might involve the f-word, and Nikki Lee dun’t swing that way.

          • Azuran

            Of course, but formula apparently isn’t something Nikky Lee knows how to use.

          • Nick Sanders

            Why is containing bacteria ok for breastmilk, but not being sterile something to be held against formula?

          • Dr Kitty

            You know what my YouTube feed shows?
            It shows a hell of a lot of tichel and turban tying videos (
            Wrapunzel).
            Do you know why?

            Because this time last year I found a breast lump.
            I was breastfeeding at the time.
            And while logically I knew it was probably fine, a part of me was still preparing for the worst.

            It took a week from when I first found the lump to an ultrasound, fine needle aspiration and an all-clear with a diagnosis of milk cyst.
            It was not exactly the best week of my life.

            Again- this is a well known, common risk of breast feeding and it is either dismissed as rare, or as no big deal. Neglectingebtureky the stress and anxiety that any woman with a new breast lump will feel.

            I breast fed, I liked breast feeding, I found it easy and I would do it again AND YET it is not perfect, it it. It painless and it has a cost that will sometimes outweigh the benefits.

          • Dr Kitty

            Sorry. Mobile phone predictive text.

          • MaineJen

            ??????Two women DIED of mastitis recently???????

            I didn’t know mastitis was potentially fatal.

            …mother nature really hates women, doesn’t she?

          • Roadstergal

            Mother Nature DGAF about women, one way or another.

            Despite what Nikki Lee is trying to sell.

          • Azuran

            When I was in school, one of my patient was a cat that had bacterial mastitis. Despite every ATB in the world, the infection got so severe her mammary glands started necrosing and she developed septicemia. We had to do a total bilateral mastectomy to save her life.

          • Dr Kitty

            Yes.
            Which is why I find it laughable that 3 IQ points, one episode of otitis media and one episode of viral GE in the pro column seem to outweigh all the FTT, breastmilk jaundice requiring admission for Light therapy or transfusion, hyponatraemic dehydration, mastitis requiring antibiotics, thrush requiring oral antufungals, breast abscesses, milk cysts, DMERD etc.

          • Heidi_storage

            Yikes!! So was I foolish not to seek medical advice when I had mastitis roughly every month and a half, last time around? I just waited it out, and it never lasted more than a day and a half, but maybe I should call my obgyn if I get it again.

            (I was pumping 100 oz per day with my second kid. Gave up at 11 months because it was awful, but I had enough milk to see him almost to the year mark.)

          • Roadstergal

            J Trop Pediatr. 2006 Dec;52(6):399-405. Epub 2006 Sep 27

            ETC: if that’s the study you’re thinking of, it shows the exact opposite of what you think it does. Milk is a robust medium for bacterial growth, and it’s teeming with bacteria after only a few hours at RT. Pathogenic bacteria grow very well in it.

          • nikkilee

            Thanks for the link.
            There are conflicting reports. I wonder, as this study was done in South Africa, if room temperature is different.

            The CDC is specific about is what room temperature.

          • Roadstergal

            “If room temperature is different”

            LOL. Does this really fly with the people you hang out with? Show us the study you’re thinking of. We can’t read your mind (thank god).

          • Azuran

            Boiling water is also extremely effective at getting rid of bacteria.
            Honestly, babies are probably exposed to a LOT less bacteria from a properly prepared bottle of powdered formula than they are sucking on breasts.
            But either way, unless you can come up with some study that says a significant number of bottle fed baby are getting bacterial infection from properly prepared formula, it’s not something anyone need to really be concerned about.

          • Charybdis

            That is incorrect. Milk is milk is milk, no matter the species. ALL are subject to bacterial contamination and overgrowth, a short holding time before spoiling and the potential to transmit diseases. Just because it comes from a woman’s breast, does not immediately elevate it to “better than”, not does it imbue the milk with miraculous, legendary properties.

            It all gets digested in the end anyway. Saliva, enzymes and stomach acid break down/denture and digest the protein, fat and milk solids.

            Other than being species specific, which isn’t as big a deal as you like to think it is, because species will cross nurse, there is no major bonus to breastmilk . There are accounts of mother cats who adopt and nurse a baby squirrel or bunny, a mother dog adopting and nursing a kitten, a goat nursing a calf or foal or providing the milk for bottle feeding.

          • Nick Sanders

            But what about that special, mysterious “thing”?

          • Who?

            nickilee will never tell.

          • MaineJen

            Soooo how long can you keep human milk at room temperature before it spoils?

          • Azuran

            If you leave it out long enough, eventually it will have negative bacteria and starts bending time and space.

    • Azuran

      Indeed, which is exactly what we are trying to do: Inform people on the risks of breastfeeding failure and how to recognize and prevent them. And most lactivists are actively fighting against this.

    • maidmarian555

      Actually, this is a known issue with formula. The best thing you can do to minimise this risk is to use RTF formula in the early weeks/months, ensure good practice when it comes to keeping bottles clean and sterilised and always use boiled water when prepping a bottle. You want to know how many of the midwives and health visitors who CAME TO MY HOUSE checked we were following best practice after we told them we were combo feeding my son? None. Not one of them checked we knew these things or that we were prepping bottles correctly. I can’t tell you how furious I was after I found out about the risk of using powdered formula for a newborn when my son was around 3 months old. Luckily for us, we’d been using RTF formula simply because he was only having one bottle a day and we couldn’t be bothered with the powdered stuff until it became clear to us that the one bottle a day was definitely staying. I find it interesting you imply that the responsibility for ensuring parents know everything they should know about formula should rest with the formula companies (there are prep instructions and safety warnings on every can already). Personally, I think that HCPs have a pivotal role to play here.

      • AnnaPDE

        Um. Not meaning to deny that RTF is more convenient and easier to not contaminate, but RTF doesn’t even exist outside of hospitals in Australia and FF babies here do just fine, even in the tropical parts where mould manages to grow on stainless steel. So maybe that’s something that’s ok to be fairly relaxed about.

        • Azuran

          I think they are severely overeacting about the risks of formula contamination.
          I mean, breast milk isn’t sterile,
          Breasts sure as hell aren’t sterile (And I really doubt anyone is cleaning her nipple with anti-septic soap before and after each feeding)
          Babies put everything in their mouth, especially their hands.
          No one is sterilizing a pacified every single time it drops from a baby’s mouth.

          Yet people are going crazy about potential bacteria in powdered milk and about how you have to STERILIZE every single bottle and nipple after ever single use.

          • nikkilee

            With powder, one must take precautions because powder contains spores of cronobacter, or salmonella or clostridia. Preparing powdered infant formula should be like home canning. This is not true for liquid formulae.

          • Azuran

            Oh I was still told to sterilise everything I used even when using RTF formula.

          • Heidi

            No, *could* contain. One doesn’t have to take special precautions, although I would argue the information should be given and families can do with this information what they want. Next baby, for example, I might prepare this way for the first two months but will probably go back to the Brezza that served us so well. The occurrence is rare (single digits a year, predominantly younger babies who were born preemies and/or low birth weight) and when an occurrence does happen, formula is recalled and many times, if not usually, contamination has been found to occur from an outside source. And no, it’s not like home canning. No need to use pressure nor water over the boiling point. 160 farhenheit will kill potential pathogens without compromising the milk.

        • Charybdis

          Are you serious? (I’m sure you are, I just can’t believe that RTF formula can’t be purchased at the store. That is insane!) RTF is the greatest thing ever. And so convenient, especially when the baby is really new and those 2 oz nursette bottles with nipples you screw on and then toss are the BEST THING EVER! Nothing to prepare or clean up afterwards. Screw on nipple, feed, toss. No fuss, no muss and you are sure the baby is getting fed.

          • AnnaPDE

            Honestly the one part that I hated most about formula prep was getting the temperature right, as Mr Fussy wanted it warm-ish. Warming it in a bottle warmer/warm water bath is just way too slow when you’ve got a hungry baby on your hands, and microwave efficiency varies a bit between amounts, bottle positioning and starting temperature, so it was a bit too much trial and error. Not to mention a husband who was overcomplicating things a bit in an effort to be very helpful.

        • maidmarian555

          I just think that FF parents have a right to know that the risk exists and how to minimise that risk. I don’t think it was ok for my HV to imply that feeding my son even a drop of formula would make him fat and stupid but not mention the importance of preparing a bottle properly. Nikki Lee’s article pissed me off because it ended with “OMG DID YOU KNOW HOW DANGEROUS FORMULA IS??!!” without mentioning that are a number of fairly simple things you can do to ensure that it isn’t dangerous at all. To put it into context, apparently the CDC get 4-6 cases a year like the one in her article reported to them. We’re talking a really, really vanishingly small risk here but it is real and not one of the numerous made-up bullshit ‘risks’ of formula that we get rammed down our throats as part of breastfeeding promotion. The likelihood is that even if you fail to sterilise a bottle, or if the water isn’t quite boiled that this won’t happen to you but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be given information on how to prepare a bottle safely or that if RTF is available that it’s safer. I’m sorry RTF doesn’t exist where you are. That stuff made our lives immeasurably easier in the early days.

          • AnnaPDE

            I absolutely agree, that whole risk thing is totally blown out of proportion AND the simple means to address it aren’t even mentioned. I just wanted to throw in a bit of international “interestingly we’re not dying in droves either” perspective from a first-world country with a famously nanny state approach and a serious fetish for OH&S.

    • Heidi

      I thought you were done here? This post is nearly two years old.

      • Nick Sanders

        The post being ridiculously old has never stopped a nutcase before.

        • Heidi

          I think she must not know how to internet.

    • Heidi

      So do you take any responsibility for this death? Because you should! You know what’s not told to us mothers by health professionals and lactation consultants? We aren’t told how to eliminate the rare risk of contamination. It’s pretty simple too. Boil water, cool to 160 F and then mix. But no we’re only told to fucking breastfeed. But some of us can’t or don’t want to but we’re​n not supported. I went home without anyone even acknowledging I didn’t make enough. I was only allowed to supplement because of low blood sugar. No lactation consultant was there to help me minimize formula feeding risks, just there to teach me the football hold.

      • nikkilee

        It has been paradoxical to be a lactation consultant and to have to be teaching about safe formula preparation and about bottle-feeding. I never had to learn about those things before. (The BFHI includes a section on teaching about formula.)

        • Nick Sanders

          It’s not paradoxical. A teacher needs to be able to instruct people in what they need to learn, not just what the teacher likes.

        • Heidi

          Well, let’s see: plenty of women have lactation fail and have to depend on formula. Teaching women and anyone else involved how to properly and safely feed their baby is not paradoxical. You obviously didn’t bother to seek out the information.

          • maidmarian555

            She’s providing an excellent live example of how these people don’t take any responsibility for the information they give to parents. They won’t warn parents about the risks of breastfeeding as it ‘might scare them’ and they don’t see themselves as responsible for warning about the actual risks (as opposed to the usual bollocks they spout about it causing obesity, diabetes and a drop in IQ points) associated with formula when lactation fails as it’s ‘not their responsibity’. And then suggest parents should go to the formula companies for information, after they’ve been told over and over again that the formula companies are evil and you can’t trust anything they tell you….and then wonder why people think the advice about RTF formula is a marketing gimmick and not actual safety advice.

        • Amazed

          Yes, quite paradoxical indeed. You know what you and your ilk should have done? ACKNOWLEDGED that breastfeeding doesn’t always work, said “If it doesn’t work for you, seek out experts who will teach you how to properly prepare formula,” and have clean hands. Instead, you lie about how many women can’t breastfeed, you lie about the real adverse effects that are possible with formula, you make mothers freak out about things like IQ points and obesity, neglecting basic safety, and then you shrug your shoulders and whine how weird it is to be regarded as an expert in infant FEEDING when you did all you could to equate feeding with breastfeeding.

          Your – general your – ignorance kills.

        • moto_librarian

          Exhibit A for why I have such a low opinion of lactation consultants. Goddess forbid you should learn how to teach about safe formula preparation since it conflicts with your ideology.

        • AnnaPDE

          Oh wow. “I’m a driving instructor, why would I need to know about pedestrians and cyclists and what road rules apply to them? Why would I even talk about that to my students?”
          Facepalm to the max.

        • Daleth

          That’s like saying it’s paradoxical to be a doula and have to learn about supporting women who get a c-section. What use is a doula who only knows about supporting vaginal birth if her client’s labor goes wrong and she needs an emergency c-section?

          There’s no paradox here at all. You have to learn about the various ways of getting a baby born (or fed), not just the one you personally favor.

          • kilda

            well, as I understand it, a doula’s job is to support women. The LC’s job (at least as they appear to see it) is to support breastfeeding. Crucial difference there.

          • Daleth

            a doula’s job is to support women. The LC’s job (at least as they
            appear to see it) is to support breastfeeding. Crucial difference

            Yes, and the thing is, if you’re an LC and you see your job as supporting breastfeeding, then you’re a salesman (or woman), not a healthcare professional. The purpose of healthcare professionals is to help their PATIENTS, not to advocate for a particular treatment.

          • nikkilee

            It was paradoxical to me, having never used a drop of formula in years of breastfeeding, and coming from my breastfeeding militancy at the beginning of my career.

          • momofone

            At the beginning? How would you compare that to now?

          • Roadstergal

            “having never used a drop of formula”

            How on earth does that qualify you as an infant feeding expert? Or to be responsible at all for women for whom breastfeeding might not work out, leaving their children at risk of brain damage or death due to the lack of experience of someone who ‘never used a drop of formula’?

        • Heidi

          http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/micro/PIF_Bottle_en.pdf I’m going to leave this here for you, should you in the future accept that something like 70% of women do ultimately choose to formula feed, whether out of necessity or because of preference or something in between. Even if it’s because they didn’t receive proper support to breastfeed, facts are facts and mothers deserve information about ALL of it.

          • nikkilee

            Yes, you are right. I use excerpts from the CDC version of this in my classes.

        • myrewyn

          If this is true about lactation consultants, then hospitals have NO BUSINESS employing them.

        • Whaaat? You’re literally saying that when a woman comes to you and wants help combo-feeding, you can’t or won’t help her do it? You’re a terrible lactation consultant if that’s the case.

          • nikkilee

            Not at all. I recommended mothers start using formula immediately in several cases this year when their newborns hadn’t gained sufficient weight at the first visit. In one case, mom was fine with that. In the other, the mom was very upset that exclusive breastfeeding wasn’t working for her. In that case, we spent a lot of time discussing what was going on, and encouraging her to supplement her baby while milk supply issues and structural issues were addressed.

          • Azuran

            Maybe she wouldn’t have been so upset about not being able to exclusively breastfeed if the lactation industry hadn’t been telling her that 1 drop of formula would destroy her breastfeeding relationship and sentence her baby to be a stupid, obese, diabetic leukemia stricken baby that will die of SIDS.

          • Dr Kitty

            Several, or two?
            Because it sounds like two.

          • nikkilee

            Two so far this year.

          • So why aren’t you helping people with how to properly prepare formula, then, if you know they might need the help?

          • nikkilee

            Who says I am not?

          • You did. You said you did not do that and didn’t need to know it.

          • nikkilee

            When? I have said that I teach about preparing powdered infant formula safely in my classes.

          • swbarnes2

            Nikki, you are a liar. It does you no good at all to try and pretend that you are an honest person. You just aren’t. You aren’t going to convince anyone otherwise.

          • momofone

            Nikkilee, where I live, we call that talking out of both sides of your mouth.

        • Roadstergal

          “It has been paradoxical to teach a safe driving course and to have to be teaching about seatbelt use.”

          “It has been paradoxical to teach Stranger Danger and to have to still keep an eye on my kid.”

          “It has been paradoxical to teach high-wire acts and to have to teach how those safety harnesses work.”

          Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?

          • Heidi_storage

            Excellent examples, though I might amend the second to “It has been paradoxical to teach Stranger Danger and also teach my children to say hi to people we meet.” In both cases, what seem to be mutually exclusive behaviors are just aspects of a larger goal–“Feeding the baby” for breastfeeding and formula prep, and “Appropriately interacting with strangers” for teaching Stranger Danger and courteous greetings.

        • momofone

          You’ve mentioned being a nurse, and I’m curious reading this comment about whether you see yourself first as a nurse or a lactation consultant.

          • nikkilee

            Interesting question. I never thought about it, although I am grateful for a license that permits me to use hands-on techniques in my work.

          • momofone

            I would think it bears consideration. I’m not a nurse, but I’m fairly certain that there is an expectation that the person who is will work ethically and responsibly within the scope of his or her licensure. I could see how promoting safe and healthy feeding methods would be within that scope, but I don’t see how pushing breastfeeding to the exclusion of formula would be.

          • momofone

            “I am grateful for a license that permits me to use hands-on techniques in my work.”

            What does this even mean?

          • nikkilee

            I have a license to touch; hands-on is part of my scope of practice.

          • momofone

            Hands-on may be, if it is permitted by the touchee, but I’m curious how pushing one kind of feeding fits into the requirements of your licensure as a nurse.

          • nikkilee

            Education is different to pushing. I use hands-on when doing craniosacral therapy. Cue: raucous laughter.

          • momofone

            Education is different. It includes more than one perspective, and you are clearly committed to just one.

          • Azuran

            Don’t worry. I really doubt that anyone’s opinion of you could get lower at this point.

          • nikkilee

            What would you say to the many many people I have helped over the years? When the baby’s torticollis resolved right in front of our eyes after CST? Or when the pelvic pain went away? Or when her supply increased? Or when the cause of her nipple pain was removed and breastfeeding became what she wanted it to be?

          • Azuran

            The same things I would say to people who swear homeopathy cured them.
            Placebo effect it a very powerful thing.

          • nikkilee

            The baby whose torticollis resolved on her mother’s chest during CST had received 2 months of PT plus the mother did the exercises 3 times a day at home every day as prescribed.

            Specific strategies and techniques, that can be replicated, are effective.

            As for placebo effect, that true too for some prescription medications. The placebo effect is a real thing.

            “One problem with the placebo effect is that it can be difficult to distinguish from the actual effects of a real drug during a study. Finding ways to distinguish between the placebo effect and the effect of treatment may help improve the treatment and lower the cost of drug testing. And more study may also lead to ways to use the power of the placebo effect in treating disease.”
            http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/what-is-the-placebo-effect#1

            http://www.livescience.com/42430-placebo-effect-half-of-drug-efficacy.html

          • Azuran

            Controlling for the placebo effect is not hard, you have a placebo control group.

          • Roadstergal

            Of course it’s true for prescription medications. That’s why they have blinded trials against either placebo or standard of care (if equipoise doesn’t allow placebo alone). What people who don’t understand science (like you) don’t get is that medication that works has the placebo effect PLUS the real effect. You give only the former.

          • nikkilee

            “And when the identities of Maxalt tablets and placebo pills were switched, patients reported similar pain relief from placebo pills labeled as Maxalt as from Maxalt tablets labeled as a placebo, according to the study published today (Jan. 8) in the journal Science Translational Medicine.”

          • Charybdis

            I’d have confounded the hell out of that one. Maxalt (and the other triptans) never worked for me.

          • Nick Sanders

            I remember in college I had some free samples of different migraine medications: Imitrex, which my mother uses, Maxalt, and Axert. Imitrex did alright, reduced the pain but didn’t fully get rid of it. Of the other two, one did absolutely nothing, and the other stopped the pain like flipping off a switch once it got absorbed and kicked in.

            I’m kinda sad that I can no longer remember which is which, but it’s rather moot since I rarely get migraines any more.

          • Empliau

            Me neither. My body hates triptans. Sadly, migraines love me and come to visit frequently.

          • Roadstergal

            Damn, woman, you are terrible at citations, and it wastes my time to try to find what paper you’re talking about.

            If you’re going to cite a paper, cite a paper. Don’t quote from a NEWS STORY REFERENCING THE PAPER and not from the paper itself, and then offer a journal with no hint of where the paper is. Hey, did you know that journals publish lots of papers? Not just “here’s the one Nikki Lee is thinking of”?

            That shitty news story I found thanks to your quote didn’t cite the paper, either. Link the _paper_, not the ramblings of some woo-meister. J Trans Med has no articles referencing the trademarked name, and only two papers referencing the generic name, neither of which are Jan 8.
            http://translational-medicine.biomedcentral.com/

            I have a hunch that when I read the paper it will have fuck-all to say about your implied contention that ‘medicine is all just placebo,’ but at least let us look at the damn thing.

          • Azuran

            The same thing i’d say to people who claim homeopathy cured them: the placebo effect is a powefull thing

          • nikkilee

            Can a 3 month old baby have a condition resolved because of the placebo effect? Can animals?

          • Azuran

            Do you really think you have me in a corner there?
            Yes, an animal absolutely can be cured by placebo effect. Placebo trials ARE actually done when testing medication for pets.
            The stress of handling to give medication and the increased attention sick pets or special food you give to give the medication will have a physical effect on the animal.
            And humans are generally the ones needed to evaluate a pet’s response to medication and they do think their pet is getting better simply because they are giving medication.

            I have an owner who’s dog has severe hip dysplasia on his left leg. The dog receives a monthly injection to treat it. The injection is given under the skin, on the upper back. A few months ago, the owner started asking us to give the injection on his affected leg, because he thinks it works better when we do it there. He started asking for this every month, and when he forgets to ‘remind’ us to give it on the leg, he claims it’s less effective.
            But here’s the thing: We have NEVER given the dog his shot on the leg. Even when the owner asks us to do so. The owner seriously feels the medication his more of less effective depending on where he thinks we gave the injection.

          • Box of Salt

            nikkilee “What would you say to the many many people I have helped over the years?”

            Ask someone else to check on them. I doubt anyone is going to tell you to your face that your “treatment” or advice did nothing.

          • nikkilee

            All the people who come to see me have been referred by others, sometimes other mothers, sometimes other healthcare providers.

          • momofone

            I would never go back to a healthcare provider who referred me for such woo, and I would make sure they knew why.

          • Box of Salt

            The referral is irrelevant to whether or not they’re going to be honest to you about it.

            The folks you did not help will end up “lost to follow up” because they’re just not going to come back to you. You as provider will only hear the positive stories, because that’s how human nature works. Unless you do something really harmful, no one wants to be mean to you.

          • Azuran

            refereed by ‘other mothers’ Wow, much impressive.

            Owners I’ve seen often refer their friends to me as well. But that doesn’t mean they are in any way capable to evaluate how good of a vet I really am.
            Generally, when people refer to me it’s mainly because they liked my personality and has very little with my skills.

          • Mishimoo

            I referred my vet based on skills, but I used to work for him and saw him only lose one dog (which had around a 25% chance of surviving the op; definite death without operating). He’s just retired, but the head vet nurse likes the new vets, so I’m still taking my pets to that practice.

          • myrewyn

            Ew. License to touch. I’m uncomfortably reminded of my skeevy pediatrician from when I was a tween. When he noticed my discomfort at undressing he pointed to the wall and told me the certificate hanging there meant he could ask little girls to do anything he wanted. He retired mysteriously a few years later.

          • momofone

            Ugh. So creepy.

          • Roadstergal

            If any OB ever told me that they had a ‘license to touch’, I would get another OB in a hurry. That is some creepy shit.

            Also, you have yet to provide any reasonable evidence that breastfeeding has any measurable health advantages for term infants in the developed world.

          • nikkilee

            The Cochrane Collaborative, the AAP, ACOG, the WHO, NAPNAP, ACFP. . . .these organizations are making it all up???

          • Roadstergal

            They cite a paper on the health advantages the increasingly breastfeed generations in the US have over my almost completely formula-fed generation? Could you link it? Or just tell me what they are. Eg, when smoking rose in the US, lung cancer rose in parallel, offset by a few years, and lung cancer decreased with a similar offset when smoking rates decreased. What’s the health benefit that rose in the US with increasing breastfeeding over the last 40 years?

          • nikkilee

            An excellent question. Thank you.

            Many layers. Here’s one. Smoking increases risk of lung cancer; quit smoking, lung cancer risk goes down. Pretty simple.

            Human health is influenced by many things: infant feeding is only one of them. Today the world is polluted; those chemicals have an impact on our health. Screen time and inactivity have an impact too, as does processed food, and even possibly vaccinations.

            US children have the biggest vaccination schedule in the world, and are also the 33rd sickest in the world when you compare with 179 other countries: “Save the Children, a global nonprofit organization aimed at improving the health of children worldwide, ranked 179 countries based on five indicators: maternal health, children’s well-being, and education, economic, and political status. When taking all of these factors into account, the United States slid to 33rd place worldwide, down two spots in the rankings compared to last year.”

            (Yes I know this is a 2015 report; and that is pretty current because that type of data takes a long time to collect and analyze.)

            If there were just one or two things that had impact on health indicators, then breastfeeding and vaccination should make US children the healthiest, right?

          • MaineJen

            Maternal health, childrens well being, education, economic status, political status. You think, out of that whole, wide-encompassing list, that breastfeeding and vaccination are the biggest problems?

            You actually think we would be better of if we were protected from *fewer* infectious diseases? If women had *fewer* options for feeding their babies?

            You did not answer Roadstergal’s question, by the way. What fantastic health advantages does the current, mostly breastfed generation have over our (born in the 70s) mostly formula-fed generation?

          • Azuran

            You are missing the point, many things have been clearly proven to have an effect: Access to health care, smoking, obesity, education, social status, family income. ETC
            All of those, and many more have very clear effect on the health of population. And this is despite the confounding effect of all the other factors you mentioned.
            Yet, very large variation in breastfeeding rates have not resulted in any measurable effect on human health.
            That means that the effect of breastfeeding is extremely small and practically insignificant in the context of real life.

          • Roadstergal

            Is this a very long way of saying “the rise in breastfeeding in the US from 80% has not resulted in any measurable health benefits, because any possible theoretical benefits don’t exist or are too small to be detected against the other factors”?

            In that case, why give two damns if a woman breastfeeds or not?

          • nikkilee

            No. . . because breastfeeding does matter. You can research the difference in baby brain growth depending on what the infant is fed.

            It is a way of saying outcome measures may or may not be easily to analyze. Smoking outcomes are easy to measure; infant and maternal health outcomes are more complicated because there are more influencing factors.

            Formula feeding is environmentally taxing and non-sustainable. It creates trash, and uses non-renewable resources. What will you all do with that one?

          • swbarnes2

            Nikki, you are still a liar. It really is fundamental to your character.

            http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/03/23/peds.2016-1848

            “After matching and adjustment for multiple testing, only 1 of the 13 outcomes remained statistically significant: children’s hyperactivity (difference score, –0.84; 95% confidence interval, –1.33 to –0.35) at age 3 years for children who were breastfed for at least 6 months. No statistically significant differences were observed postmatching on any outcome at age 5 years.”

            One significant finding out of 26? And it vanished at age 5? It means its a blip, and this study found NOTHING.

            And you have to be a thorough liar to claim you haven’t seen this study, which also studied cognitive ability and found nothing

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4077166/

            But of course, you are a thorough liar.

          • swbarnes2

            Nikki, you are still a liar. It really is fundamental to your character.

            http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/03/23/peds.2016-1848

            “After matching and adjustment for multiple testing, only 1 of the 13 outcomes remained statistically significant: children’s hyperactivity (difference score, –0.84; 95% confidence interval, –1.33 to –0.35) at age 3 years for children who were breastfed for at least 6 months. No statistically significant differences were observed postmatching on any outcome at age 5 years.”

            One significant finding out of 26? And it vanished at age 5? It means its a blip, and this study found NOTHING.

            And you have to be a thorough liar to claim you haven’t seen this study, which also studied cognitive ability and found nothing

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4077166/

            But of course, you are a thorough liar.

          • nikkilee

            Did you read my published comment? Their statistics were presented in a misleading manner.

            Here’s the authors response to my comment:

            “In our sample, 2.5% (n= 249) of babies were still being fully breastfed at interview and 6.1% (n= 603) were being partially breastfed at interview. The graph should be interpreted as 1 representing the percentage of infants breastfed 1 day or more, 2 as 32 days or more, and 3 as 181 days or more.”

          • swbarnes2

            An honest person would explain how what you quoted is at all relevant to the soundness of the conclusion I cited above. But this would not of course be the first time that you show that you literally do not know how to respond to the presentation of facts you do not like, and throw up garbage in a desperate attempt to hide from ithem.

            Remember when someone brought up a paper about breastfeeding, and you stole a rebuttal from another site, pretending that you wrote it? And you were so stupid and uncaring about sticking to the facts, it didn’t bother you that the thing you stole was about a totally different paper?

          • kilda

            >>You can research the difference in baby brain growth depending on what the infant is fed.

            I’m unaware of any study that supports this. If you know of a study that shows differential growth of the infant brain when fed formula vs breastmilk, share it.

            if not, please quit making shit up.

          • nikkilee
          • Roadstergal

            Interesting. The EFF kids were lower birthweight and had moms of lower SES than the EBF kids. Maternal IQ was not measured or corrected for. Paternal SES and IQ were not measured or corrected for. Even with those confounders, look at Figure 3. Is that convincing to you? Even if you believe the line fits with no attention paid to the individual points (lol), the UR and LL plots suggest that formula is better than breast at later time points.

            Hey, do you know how to correct for maternal and paternal SES and IQ? The discordant sibling study! What did that study find, Nikki Lee? Siblings, as close as possible in the real world to each other – one fed formula, one fed breastmilk.

          • nikkilee

            In the discordant sibling study” Results from between-family comparisons suggest that both breastfeeding status and duration are associated with beneficial long-term child outcomes. This trend was evident
            for 10 out of the 11 outcomes examined here.”

            “Maternal health behaviors, such as
            cigarette smoking and timely prenatal care, also adhere to the same patterning across
            subgroups with 30% – 31%”. . . . .maybe some sickness could be attributed to smoking in the home?

            ” Interestingly, a slightly smaller percentage of mothers in the discordant sibling sample(43%) said they drank alcohol while pregnant compared to mothers in the full and sibling sample (49%).” Could alcohol use (not explored) have had any impact?

            Also, the authors in this paper, had to, after 6 months of pursuit, reveal their funding sources. They were obligated to do this as their university is a public one. Interesting that there was industry funding for this project.

            Interesting too that the statistical analysis for the outcomes is very detailed. . .yet breastfeeding is either yes or no. So a baby could have been breastfed for 2 weeks, and subsequent babies not at all. . .

          • Daleth

            In the discordant sibling study” Results from between-family comparisons suggest that both breastfeeding status and duration are associated with beneficial long-term child outcomes…”

            I’m puzzled here, Nikilee, because it looks like you don’t understand what you just read. The italicized bit above, with which you kicked off your post, does NOT in any way support your belief that breastfeeding provides long-term health benefits. Maybe I’m misreading you, but it sounds like you think it does. Nope.

            Here’s what that quote means: “results from between-family comparisons suggest X” means “when you look at kids FROM DIFFERENT FAMILIES, it seems like X is true.”

            The whole point of the discordant siblings study was to eliminate the confounding factors that make between-family comparisons INACCURATE–such as different socioeconomic class, and so forth. They eliminated those confounders by comparing kids raised in THE SAME families.

            As for your question, “Could alcohol use (not explored) have had any impact?”…again, I question whether you understood that study? Because if you did, you would know that the answer to that question is “no.” Here’s why: because they were comparing the children of “mothers in the discordant sibling sample,” so for those children, their mothers’ drinking rate was THE SAME. The fact that women *in some other group* had a 49% drinking rate has no effect on the kids *in the discordant group,* and thus no effect on whether the kids *in the discordant group* were similar to or different from their own siblings.

          • nikkilee

            Right. The mothers served as their own controls. And perhaps the health outcomes of their infants had nothing to do with feeding method?

          • Daleth

            You are really not understanding how this works. The mothers are not serving as their own controls, because it is not the mothers who are the subjects of the study. The children are the subjects.

            The researchers are studying siblings (i.e., children born to and raised by the same parents) in order to eliminate the usual socioeconomic confounders and selection bias that plague breastfeeding studies. In other words, they designed the study to compare siblings who had been feed differently in order to eliminate other variables–the feeding method was the only variable.

            As to your last question (“perhaps the health outcomes of their infants had nothing to do with feeding method”), if the health outcomes had nothing to do with the feeding method, then that means the feeding method did not affect the children’s health. Which, translated into plain English, means that breastfeeding does not make children healthier than formula feeding.

          • kilda

            >>”perhaps the health outcomes of their infants had nothing to do with feeding method”

            yes! It’s almost like feeding formula vs breastmilk doesn’t make or break any outcomes for children. You’re starting to catch on, nikki.

          • Roadstergal

            ” In other words, they designed the study to compare siblings who had been feed differently in order to eliminate other variables–the feeding method was the only variable.”

            To be fair, they didn’t completely eliminate other variables. There is, after all, some reason why they switched. Who knows what it was? Did the economic downturn mean mom had to work to make ends meet – which brings a FF second with a loss of SES? Did mom get a better job with more flexibility, or did dad get a better job with more pay so mom no longer had to work, and so SES went up and in parallel, mom was able to breastfeed? Did one of the children have a health problem from birth that made them unable to BF effectively? In the developed world, you just can’t get around the fact that breastfeeding is positively correlated with SES and negatively correlated with pre-existing health issues. Because the thing about formula is, it works. It’s the ‘rescue.’ It feeds the baby if things go badly with breastfeeding.

            There are certainly health-neutral possibilities – mom did the BF with her first, and for her second, meh, she decides she wants to share feeds and get a little more sleep, or SAH mom did FF with the first but decides to give BF a try with the second, and it goes well. But it’s interesting to note that _some confounders remain that would cast breastmilk in a positive light that has nothing to do with its direct health effects_ – and yet, what was seen was no difference. That’s a powerful message. A message to just not worry about it too much, do what works, and focus on more important things.

          • Roadstergal

            ” And perhaps the health outcomes of their infants had nothing to do with feeding method?”

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDSPwexlyTo

          • nikkilee

            We will not agree on this one study. I think it is poorly done, and know that it was industry funded; you think it is fine.

            Ok.

          • kilda

            of course you do. Because it doesn’t say what you want it to.

          • Daleth

            I’m not sure how you can conclude that a study was “poorly done” when you don’t actually understand how it was done or even what the words written in it mean.

            And I’m not trying to be snarky here at all. It’s just that your posts make it clear you don’t understand the study design and you apparently also don’t understand the implications of between-family comparisons, since you wrote about that bit as if it supported your opinion that breastfeeding makes a difference to children’s health, when it actually doesn’t support that opinion at all.

            Shouldn’t you make sure you understand something before you form an opinion about it?

          • Who?

            But then where would be the time to flog lactivist services and post on the internet?

          • Azuran

            And you accept other breastfeeding studies? That has to be probably one of, if not THE, best study comparing the effect of breastfeeding and formula feeding.
            But it doesn’t support your biases, so of course you refuse to accept it.
            You are just as bad as anti-vaxxers

          • fiftyfifty1

            OK. So you want to argue that the study is poorly done. At this point you have to detail why you think so. What are its methodological or analytical weaknesses and how do they invalidate the study’s findings? Go ahead.

          • nikkilee

            For starters, the statistical analyses of the 11 outcomes is extremely detailed.

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

            There is no discussion at all of exclusivity.

            The discussion about Tables 4 and 5 mention duration in weeks, but nowhere are those data found.

            With the knowledge that the study was funded by industry. . . . .

            If they had spent as much time analyzing exclusivity and duration as they did the outcomes, this could have been an awesome study.

          • momofone

            Every time I read a comment of yours, I am once again thankful that you will never be my nurse. If you can’t explain, or aren’t willing to, why you think it is poorly done, I would never trust you to answer my questions about medical care. You have no credibility.

          • swbarnes2

            She can’t understand. She has a fundamental carelessness about honesty, and a fundamental lack of respect for the truth. She literally can’t understand the difference between saying something that supports a claim, and saying something that doesn’t. She tried to rebut a paper once by stealing a rebuttal written somewhere else about an entirely different paper. It didn’t even occur to her to care. She still doesn’t understand why that was dishonest, she still doesn’t understand why looking like a liar is bad. She fundamentally doesn’t get the concept like normal intelligent people do, and never will.

            She is thoroughly dishonest. Rebutting her is good for other people to read, but it is totally lost on her.

          • Daleth

            Wow. That’s so odd. She sounds broken.

          • Dr Kitty

            But if *any* amount of breastfeeding has real, tangible benefits, those two weeks should translate to a measurable difference, shouldn’t they?

            The kids who got *any* breastmilk should fare better than their siblings who got *none*.

            And yet…no.

          • nikkilee

            No. Breastmilk is not magic fairy dust.

            The medical benefits are dose related.

            However, if I am working with a mother who is able to breastfeed only once or twice a day, I encourage that because breastfeeding is also relationship. That intimate closeness can be special. I learned this from a woman who got pregnant during the data collection phase of her dissertation. As she couldn’t take any leave because her funding wouldn’t cover it, she could breastfeed only twice a day. She loved those two times a day and did that for months. Her choice.

            METHODS: The association between breast-feeding dose and illnesses in the first 6 months of life was analyzed with generalized estimating equations regression for 7092 infants from the National Maternal and Infant Health Survey. Breast-feeding dose (ratio of breast-feedings to other feedings) was categorized as full, most, equal, less, or no breast-feeding.

            RESULTS: Compared with no breast-feeding, full breast-feeding infants had lower odds ratios of diarrhea, cough or wheeze, and vomiting and lower mean ratios of illness months and sick baby medical visits.

            Findings were the same in all socio-economic groups.

            American Journal of Public Health 1999; 89, (1) : 25-30
            Breast-feeding and infant illness: a dose-response relationship?
            J Raisler, C Alexander and P O’Campo

          • Heidi_storage

            I was unable to look up how the authors determined the SES, since it was apparently based on unpublished work (see the reference). Do you know anything about it? How sophisticated are such determinations? For instance, let’s take two families, similar education levels, with a household income of $80,000. In one, this income is derived from both parents, and the children are sent to daycare and formula-fed. In the other household, the mother stays home with the kids and breastfeeds. Without some differentiation between two such cases, couldn’t you be allowing a lot of confounders to remain within your analysis? Or are SES determinations sophisticated enough to sort out such differences?

          • Roadstergal

            “You can research the difference in baby brain growth depending on what the infant is fed.”

            Why, yes, we could research this. Why would we want to, however, as we have seen zero real-world difference on the baby whether it’s breast or formula fed? Again, you have to actually see an effect to investigate how it works, and you’ve shown us no effect at all.

            “Formula feeding is environmentally taxing and non-sustainable. It creates trash, and uses non-renewable resources. What will you all do with that one?”

            Having a baby is environmentally taxing and non-sustainable. It creates trash, and uses non-renewable resources.

            Feeding a mom extra calories to breastfeed is environmentally taxing and non-sustainable. It creates trash, and uses non-renewable resources. In fact, most adult humans in general use more environmentally taxing food than room-temp stable, powdered concentrate. Hell, my otherwise-vegetarian friend craved red meat insatiably when she was pregnant and breastfeeding, and red meat has a very high environmental impact. And since moms aren’t 100% return on investment, like every other living creature, more extra calories have to go into her than come out for the baby. If you add in the paraphernalia, gas used to get to LC visits, herbs and supplements that have to be grown and transported, that a lot of women in the developed world need to use to make BF work with a career, with being older, with having first-world health problems, a can of powdered formula is downright green.

            Even if we were in Nikki Lee fantasy-land where breast milk defies every law of thermodynamics and appears magically from nowhere, you feed the baby breastmilk for an infinitesimal portion of their lives. For the rest of it, they’ll be just as environmentally taxing as the rest of us.

          • nikkilee

            Moms have to be fed no matter what. Moms whose babies are not breastfed are driving to the pediatrician more for sick baby visits. In the old days, before electronic charting, one could compare the thickness of a breastfed baby’s chart with a baby who was not breastfed.

          • Roadstergal

            “Moms whose babies are not breastfed are driving to the pediatrician more for sick baby visits”

            So you’re saying that in the ’70s, babies had more pediatrician visits compared to today? Babies today are getting way more breastmilk, and WAY more babies are getting nothing but breastmilk in the first few months of life. So where’s the data showing that babies today are seeing the doctor less?

            “In the old days, before electronic charting, one could compare the thickness of a breastfed baby’s chart with a baby who was not breastfed.”

            Where’s the paper where this was done?

          • Charybdis

            I call bullshit on this. You can have a healthy baby who is formula fed and a sickly one who is breastfed. And vice versa.
            Anecdata: My cousin’s older son was formula fed and has been pretty healthy. A handful of sick visits to the doctor, in addition to the well baby checks. Her younger son, who was breastfed (she even had to “do things” to boost her supply) has been sick, sick, sick. The flu, strep, tonsillitis and ear infections, with the latter three being on some sort of insane rotation. He had tubes put in his ears last summer and just recently he has had his tonsils and adenoids removed. This past winter she had the younger, breastfed one in to the doctor 3 times in one week.
            Clearly, the younger one had not read the “breastfed babies are healthier” BS or he would have gotten his shit together and beat those infections BEFORE he contracted them.

          • momofone

            Really? My breastfed nephew had 40 (not a typo) sick visits his first year. His mom (and dad) were driving to the pediatrician weekly, sometimes more. Where was the magic?

            Edited to add that not only did he have all those sick visits, but he has life-threatening food allergies, unlike his formula-fed (and sick-less-frequently) siblings.

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            Nonsense. Between myself, my 2 breast-fed sibs, my formula fed husband and our 3 kids, 2 ff and 1 bf, only I was the sick baby. I was also the only preemie.

          • MaineJen

            Come off it, nikki. That’s not even remotely based on fact.

          • Dr Kitty

            Oh honey, no.

            It also discounts a HUGE confounder…
            Parental health beliefs and anxiety.

            There are some parents who will call me if their baby sneezes. I tend to get to know them and their babies well.

            There are parents who call me with “he’s had a fever of 40C for the last 5 days, and is coughing all night and isn’t drinking much, but I don’t want to waste your time” and bring me a dehydrated, hypoxic, septic, floppy toddler.

            I don’t mind seeing well kids 50 times if it means I don’t have to see a really sick kid once.

            Family one will look like they have the sicker kid because they’ll see me 30 times in 3 years, but their kid will be robustly healthy with just a few colds and I get to send them home with reassurance and advice. Meanwhile the family with the kid “who was only sick once” will be the one I actually worry about.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Formula fed babies are more likely to go to daycare. That probably accounts for the difference in sickness.

          • Azuran

            Seriously, I’d say you are grasping at straws, but I think you are WAY passed that.
            Comparing thickness of baby’s chart? What a totally accurate measurement that is.
            Do you have a study that show that baby’s charts are thicker?
            More drives to the pediatrician? I doubt it
            My breastfed brother is the one who had the most hospital appointment, because he was sick all the time.
            I went to the pediatrician twice, for allergy to breastmilk.
            A nurse had to drive home to weight my baby, because I’m breastfeeding her.
            My SIL had to go to the hospital daily for 3 days to weight her baby because she was breastfeeding her.

          • Daleth

            Moms whose babies are not breastfed are driving to the pediatrician more for sick baby visits.

            Funny, my FF twins only had one cold in their first year, and no diarrhea or vomiting.

            And I wonder, if you, NIkilee, actually are seeing EBF moms go to the doctor less, perhaps that’s not because the baby is healthier. Perhaps it’s because mom is very crunchy, so she’s not going for the well-baby visits, not going to get vaccinations, and not going when the baby is sick because instead she”s “treating” the baby with homeopathy or black elderberry tincture or whatever.

            I can tell you my twins went to the doctor at least half a dozen times in their first year–not because they were sick (see above: one cold), but because I followed the recommended well-baby visit and immunization schedule. Their charts, if printed on paper, would probably be thicker than the chart of Crunchy Mom’s baby–but that’s because I showed up on schedule, not because they’re less healthy.

          • Heidi

            My FF baby is 16 months and had his first sick visit yesterday. But I almost feel like I live there since we’ve probably been there more than a dozen times for weight checks or well baby visits.

          • Sarah

            Mothers whose babies are formula fed are needing medical help more, yes. Whether this is because of the formula or because of the things that tend to go along with formula feeding, such as being poor, is the $64,000 question, but leaving that aside for the moment, where’s your evidence that they’re driving? What with them being disproportionately low income and all. Do you not think they might be having to use public transport, or walk?Your privilege is showing.

            And incidentally, I do hope neither you nor any client you’ve ever have driven to consultations.

          • Azuran

            Seriously? Non-sustainable? Well then, better let babies die I guess.
            That is the most stupid argument I ever read. As if those extra 500-800 calories I need to breastfeed (or really, just my normal food) come from 100% sustainable sources that do not create trash, or those additional disposable diapers I use because my breastfeed baby poops ALL THE FREAKING TIME are environnement friendly.

          • maidmarian555

            Oh God don’t mention disposable nappies, she’ll be singing the praises of elimination communication next…..

          • Azuran

            I bet she thinks there is no environmental impact for the treatment of all the additional toilet water.

          • Who?

            Show the research about the brain growth.

            Can you reliably pick the breastfed babies out of a group?

            Or out of a group of adults, pick the breastfed ones?

            Surely if it was so wonderful, that would be easy.

            Humans, living the way we wealthy westerners live at the moment, are generally unsustainable. Feeding a baby a bottle will make not a jot of difference to that, since the alternative is feeding the mother a little more.

            Was it you who thought breastmilk was made out of thin air?

          • Heidi

            Oh, and your bags of organic marshmallows are sustainable?

            Can’t say I believe you about the chart thing either. In my world, breastfed babies get chronic ear infections, hand foot mouth, colds, RSV, etc. Formula feed babies do too but I haven’t noticed a difference at all between the two sets. So there’s my anecdotal evidence! My child had his first sick visit today at 16 months. I must have chosen the good formula!

          • Who?

            Surely ‘a license to ask to touch on each occasion you think it necessar in the course of your scope of practice’?

        • Ken S., As Seen On Watch Lists

          In other words, you’re ignorant about anything beyond the specific fraud you perpetrate on your victims. Your skillset is limited to the scam and only the scam, because you don’t need to know anything about actually helping babies and mothers in order to defraud them and take their money. It’s vermin like you who gladly charge hundreds and thousands of dollars to lead human beings to their graves.

    • moto_librarian

      Maybe you should try engaging on a piece that isn’t almost two years old. Or did you think that we would just let your bullshit slide?

    • Roadstergal

      Hi, Nikkie Lee!

      You’ve had a lot of time to ponder my question. You know, the one where all of the chronic issues that lactivists say that breastfeeding prevents are more common in the more recent, more heavily breast-fed generations vs the very highly formula-fed generation of the ’70s.

      Until you do address that, I don’t give two meconium smears about any hypothetical advantages to breast milk, because they clearly don’t play out in the real world.

      • nikkilee

        Breastfeeding is only one factor of many that have an influence on infant health.

        For infants, the protection from insulin dependent diabetes, leukemia and lymphoma, and SIDS is valuable.

        • Roadstergal

          Ah, so you have data to support your claims? Let’s start with Type I diabetes, since that’s where you started. What is the incidence in my generation vs a more recent, more breastfed generation, in the US?

          • nikkilee

            Trends are going up each year. Does this have to do with more folks with diabetes giving birth than ever before? The over use of antibiotics? The impact of vaccines on the gut microbiome: there is no research that looks at this. There are so many more factors having an influence on humans than there were 30 years ago: for one thing, everything is now polluted. Breastfeeding is clearly not enough by itself to reduce incidence about diabetes.although for mothers, there is a reduced incidence of Type 2.

          • Heidi

            I’ve never come across a study about type 2 diabetes that actually weeded out women who had lactation failure as a reason for not breastfeeding. I’m at increased risk for type 2 diabetes – I had gestational diabetes during pregnancy and both my grandfathers had type 2. Like many GDM women, I was a lactation failure. Women with GDM are more likely to have lactation failure and we are more likely to develop type 2.

          • Azuran

            OMG did you just bring up vaccines? I didn’t think you could get more science illiterate.
            Hey, know what else has never been tested? The effect of kissing your baby on his guts microbiome. We should obviously stop kissing our babies, it might give them type 1 diabetes.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Oh, Lor’. Don’t start that. I once read a particularly asinine article explaining that when breastfeeding moms kiss their babies, their breastmilk magically recognizes the germs on the kid’s skin and creates antibodies against them.

          • Azuran

            If this was even remotely possible, and ignoring the fact that it wouldn’t work since antibodies can’t go on the skin, This would be terrible as it would attack the normal bacterial flora of the baby.

          • Nick Sanders

            How the fuck would a hypodermic injection affect the gut microbiome?

          • Sarah

            Because of placenta. Obv.

          • kilda

            no, it’s because of the evil spirits associated with vaccinations. oops, I mean, toxins.

          • Dr Kitty

            Confounding nikkilee.
            Type 2 DM, PCOS and insulin resistance are associated with reduced milk supply, therefore women with T2DM breastfeed less successfully.
            Correlation, not causation.

          • Roadstergal

            I asked a simple question. I’m waiting for a simple answer. What is all of this increase in breastfeeding giving us? Show us an answer that isn’t ‘too little to measure, if it exists at all.’

          • Dr Kitty

            Gut microbiome…

            I wonder if H.Pylori counts.
            I mean we’ve spent the last 30 years eradicating it with antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors, and all the people who haven’t suffered and died with peptic ulcers are counted as a win.

            Surely if CS causes terrible consequences to the gut microbiome then antacids and antibiotics must be doing much worse things to us all?

          • nikkilee

            There is so much being published on this now. . .I invite you to check out this topic of gut microbiome and health.

          • Roadstergal

            Yes, there’s a lot being published right now, and we discussed at length below how little you understand any of it.

            I’m beginning to think you’re a badly done bot that they’re just trying to get to pass the Turing test.

          • moto_librarian

            Yes, much has been published, but none of it is conclusive.

        • MaineJen

          Again, with the claim that breastfeeding prevents leukemia?

    • Nikalix

      Funny that the only ones who think the baby died from contaminated baby formula are the parents.

      No one else, including everyone who tested the formula and other bottles from the same batch and found nothing, or even the lawyer representing the family, believe the kid died from it.

      http://www.opposingviews.com/i/health/rare-bacteria-kills-baby

      So not only your “rare occurrence” is rare, it did not even occur.

      • nikkilee
        • Nikalix

          No need to tell them anything as your story has nothing to do with contaminated baby formula.

          Either put forth an actual case of contamination or just admit that you are grasping at straws.

        • Heidi

          Foodsafetynews.Com is a bunch of hooey. It’s not too be mistaken for foodsafety.gov where one can find reliable info about real contamination and recalls. I am on the email list and not once have I seen a formula recall. Plenty of salmonella in organic garlic powder and listeria in organic frozen dinners, though!

          • nikkilee

            http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/powdered-infant-formula/en/

            https://www.cdc.gov/features/cronobacter/

            http://www.parenting.com/blogs/show-and-tell/parentingcom/walmart-recalls-enfamil-formula

            http://www.lifedaily.com/1-month-old-dies-from-contaminated-baby-formula/ (Enfamil Gentlease),

            Powdered infant formula has to be prepared carefully, as it can become contaminated in the home. That’s in addition to spores found in it.

            “7 of 9 market purchased powdered infant formula
            samples contained spores of clostridum.”
            Barash, Hsia Arnon J Pediatr 2010;156:402-8

          • Heidi

            You know how you said you weren’t listening to people? You’re doing it again. You already shared the one story that had no facts in it. Parenting magazine isn’t exactly a super scientific source and I’m not even going to click it on it. Mostly because the website has a ton of pop up ads. I already gave you the damn link to the WHO so I don’t need you to reshare it. And if you noticed on that CDC link, it said to sterilize all breastfeeding parts. The last thing said no neurotoxic spores were found and this study was done a decade ago. I would guess there’s a good chance they’ve made progress in making PIF even safer.

            Cleaning bottles with dish detergent and hot water, using clean dry hands when scooping the powder, being sure to keep the container closed otherwise, and using clean tap water and throwing out room temperature bottles before two hours will serve most babies well in the developed world. I’m not against people taking whatever precautions they feel necessary, especially ones with babies that may be very vulnerable. But it’s clear, you just want to prove you’re right.

          • Roadstergal

            *looks up your citation*

            “No neurotoxigenic clostridia were isolated.”

  • nikkilee
    • Nick Sanders
    • Azuran

      If the only complication you want to look at is death, then yea, it’s rare, although it’s 100% preventable. So ANY death due to breastfeeding failure is unacceptable.
      If you look at ALL the possible complications, it’s really obvious that something needs to be done. Virtually everyone knows a baby who had some complication of breastfeeding. Both me and my brother where hospitalized for jaundice at birth.

      I gave birth almost a month ago. The staff was EXTREMELY supportive of breastfeeding, they helped a lot and gave a lot of helpful advice. But, on the second night, my baby was inconsolable. I didn’t have milk yet.
      What kind of advice did you think I got after I spent 1h30 constantly feeding a crying baby?:
      -expressing 0,5ml of colostrum is A LOT
      -Your baby’s stomach is super small, it doesn’t need more than that.
      -The second night is always hard, that’s normal.
      Someone did note that her lips where dry, but they didn’t offer any kind of solution.

      So that’s when I started supplementing, She gulped down 20 ml like a calf and fell asleep. For the next 48h that I spend in the hospital, she would drink around 20ml of formula after every single feed. It took 4 days for my milk to come in, and even after my milk came in, it took another week before I had enough to exclusively breastfeed her.

      And despite the supplementation, when we left the hospital, she had lost 7% of her weight. It’s really not a stretch to imagine that without supplementation, it’s very likely she would have lost over 10% and possibly developed jaundice.

      And yet, the only advice I got on my supplementation was that it wasn’t needed. NO ONE was there to help me to make sure I knew what I was doing. It’s only thanks to the Fed is Best foundation that I was able to recognize that my baby was hungry and that I knew how to properly combo feed her.

      And now I am exclusively breastfeeding, all thanks to fed is best and skepticalOB. Because what they offered me was real information and that’s what support is all about.

    • swbarnes2

      You are a plagerizer which makes you a liar.

  • Laurel Orr

    To say that advocates for nursing are lying??? For what purpose? They’re not getting a commission for each baby that gets fed natures formula! Synthetic formula companies are more likely to try and boost sales by putting BS like this on the Internet for the gullible to eat up and spew at others!

    • swbarnes2

      In a “baby friendly” hospitals, there are strong pressures to not supplement. Better to hustle mother and starving baby out the door, and be able to call them “exclusively breastfeeding”, even if there is every reason to think that baby didn’t get more than drops, then to lower their % of exclusively breastfeeding mothers.

      See the first line under item 6: there are quotas to be reached here. You can’t reach them with a liberal policy of supplementing

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK153487/

      And sure, formula companies are trying to sell product. Medela is also trying to sell pumps and nursing accessories, I bet you aren’t foaming at the mouth about that.

      • Matt S.

        This is the truth. The “quality metrics” are overriding common sense.

      • Dr Kitty

        Amen.

        I said I was in too much pain post #2 CS to be sent home with just paracetamol and diclofenac.

        I left them with 3 options:

        1) send me home “bottle feeding” with opioids, and a formal complaint that I had been forced to stop BF due to inadequate analgesia ( and the understanding that I would BF at home and screw their advice).

        2) send me home BF with opioids and document I was fully aware of the risks.

        3) I refused to leave until my pain was properly controlled with simple analgesia, probably another week or so…

        Three guesses as to what they chose.

        Yeah, I went home with a weeks’ worth of opioids and “EBF” in my file, because I was not there to make friends.

        • AnnaPDE

          They documented the risks? Pretty responsible.
          My hospital just happily gave me the opioids to take home, with the pharmacist making jokes about which one has the highest street value.

    • Amazed

      Go on, go on. Let the world see the mental capacity of lactivists. Such a horrrrrrrrrible thing, synthetic stuff, isn’t it? I feel for you. I fear things that I can’t understand either.

    • Sarah

      That rather depends on whether the advocate for nursing is getting paid for it or not. Some are, some do it for free. The former clearly have a monetary incentive to push a particular view.

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      Synthetic milk is keeping my baby and I alive. Because my particular case of depression includes total repulsion of *anyone* touching my breast and the thought of breastfeeding makes me suicidal.

      Not that you’re likely to believe me, Judgey McJudgypants.Synthetic milk indeed.

    • Roadstergal

      Yes, because before modern formula companies, no babies were fed anything but breast milk.

      Oh, wait, they were, because delayed lactation, maternal death in childbirth, inability to produce sufficient milk, and mom simply not wanting to do it have been happening since recorded history. Kids got cow milk, goat milk, donkey milk, honey, gin, pre-chewed food, etc before modern formula milk was a thing.

      Laurel Orr is just annoyed that modern formula is the safest and healthiest alternative to breastmilk that has ever existed, to the point that the two best-controlled trials of BM vs F have found little to no difference for term infants in the developed world.

  • Charlotte Dugan

    This is the biggest load of bullshit I have seen. Breastmilk is designed for human infants so they can grow and develop.
    Yes some woman can find it hard if she is not given the right advice or support to breastfeed her infant. Breastmilk has so many benefits and trying to say that what science has told as ‘wrong’ and that breastfeeding advocates are lying is the pot calling the kettle black here! You are lying and trying to shame people for breastfeeding.
    Breastmilk is made by humans to feed humans. Formula isn’t sterile and one of the ingredient is cow milk which is meant for cows!
    Yes some women do need to top up on feeds if their supply is a little low or their milk is ‘coming in’ a little late after birth.
    What a shameful and wrong piece of bullshit I have ever read. Go do your research and come back when you’ve learnt a thing or two about breastmilk and breastfeeding.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Pregnancy is designed to give birth to human infants, but 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Why on earth would anyone think that breastfeeding would be perfect? Only someone ignorant of basic human reproductive physiology would make such a nonsensical claim.

      Sorry, the fact that you breastfed doesn’t make you a better mother than anyone else, no matter how desperately you want to believe it.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        The 20% number only includes clinically evident pregnancies. Early miscarriages, i.e. “chemical pregnancies” are much more common. I’ve seen numbers as high as 80%, though that may be an over estimate since I think it comes from fertility clinic data (where women with higher risk of miscarriage are likely to be.)

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Breast milk isn’t sterile, at least not by the time it goes in the baby. Formula may or may not contain cow’s milk. Your research doesn’t seem to have been very effective in providing you with useful and accurate information.

    • Nick Sanders

      Breastmilk is designed

      By whom?

  • deedwan

    Well from the comments I’ve read, no one has brought God into the equation, yet I certainly believe He is the creator and designer of the human body. Obviously if someone is not producing enough breast milk, that is another story, and so then supplementation needs to happen. I think really before getting pregnant and then breastfeeding mom’s ought to look at making sure they are supplementing very carefully…even working with a very knowledgeable naturopath (in an ideal world, right) so that you have optimum nutrients and the most supportive diet.
    There are things to know, books to read, or consultants…I’d rather spend my money that way than on formulas! There is NO WAY if a mother is healthy that breast feeding is not superior to formula. That being said…no one should condemn a mother who can’t go that route.
    So it should be fairly obvious that drugged mothers should be very carefully monitored when breast feeding, so they don’t fall asleep and the baby falls and dies. Come on.

    • corblimeybot

      You’re awful.

      • deedwan

        well, I’m sorry you feel that way. But you are certainly entitled to your opinion. I think disparaging breast feeding which was obviously how we were designed is awful. But a mother who can not go that route should never be made to feel she is less of a mother. There can be exceptions for varying reasons.

        • Who?

          Most of us with a few decades under our belts would like a quiet word with the ‘designer’-I don’t think longevity was part of the specs. We do now have science and medicine to help with looking after our bodies and repairing them when things go wrong. And thank goodness for that.

          No one disparages breastfeeding. The idea that breast is best, and should be the automatic default regardless of all other circumstances, deserves to be disparaged. Feed the baby.

          • deedwan

            Sin is the problem…but no one likes to acknowledge that issue…but that’s for another discussion. And then good for you that you can take pills, I’m glad that’s working for you.

          • deedwan

            And absolutely…feed the baby, that is the priority.

      • Nick Sanders

        That’s putting it mildly.

    • LaMont

      A few things: an individual’s personal faith doesn’t really affect scientific consensus and facts. Invoking god’s hand in creating humanity is victim-blaming at worst, and purely irrelevant at best. If you think the human body is designed in a perfect way (by God), then I do hope you’re consistent with other, non-reproduction items that can go wrong – do you advise only alternative/natural/whatever-you-think-respects-god methods for treating or preventing cancer, infectious disease, etc?

      Spending money on a book to educate yourself is nice, but it won’t feed a baby – formula will.

      Being “drugged” (so… deviating from god’s will?) isn’t the only reason a woman just post-labor might be exhausted to the point of falling asleep while holding a baby.

      • deedwan

        God and science are not against each other. The only reason I can think that a mother’s milk is not totally superior to man made formula is because perhaps the mothers health is not ideal…which is not surprising in an ever increasingly toxic world.
        When I say spending money on a book about breast feeding so that you learn how to optimize breast feeding, to bring in the needed amount of milk, to learn ways to adapt if the baby is struggling etc. As I said, if a person can not go this route then use formula…but there are plenty of people who are willing to learn and not give up at the first challenge or difficulty. There is a lot to learn since women were moved more towards formula, there is not as much passing down of information from generations on the things needed to know to be successful at breast feeding.
        And you read into my comment about a mother being drugged. There was no condemnation about a mom needing some pain relief or whatever but don’t leave her unsupervised with the baby if she could easily drop off and lose control of the baby! That’s not her fault.

        • LaMont

          Yeah, your magical thinking (regardless of your broader religious beliefs or belief in god) is in conflict with science. The world isn’t more toxic now than it has been in the past, we’ve almost eliminated polio and have already eliminated smallpox, just for starters! The world is amazing today! Sanitation and vaccines and antibiotics oh my!

          No one is saying that it is categorically *better* for women to “give up” (judge much? yikes!) on breastfeeding, it’s the “breastmilk is superior” that we take issue with. We don’t want to hate on women trying to breastfeed, but if they do so while risking their children’s deaths, that *is* bad.

          Invoking “design” in the context of a medical discussion is inappropriate. Wildly so. Any doctor telling a patient about “design” should be reprimanded rather severely – religious beliefs should not interact with medical care.

          • deedwan

            Sanitation no doubt was and is a great boon to society and health.
            And I believe we were given an immune system by our Designer. Hence why it’s so helpful to understand how to support and strengthen it. Injecting toxic cocktails isn’t it. There is plenty of evidence that shows that vaccines cause serious injury and death.
            And obviously, (or maybe not, judging the responses on here) no one should starve their baby. So if breastfeeding is just not a possible way to go, once again (and again) I agree that formula is then the way to go.
            Medical care…well, I believe our medical care is great for an emergency. Terrible accident, broken bones, life threatening injuries or needing a few stitches. It’s great for that. And it can be helpful in the interim while a person searches for better alternatives if dealing with a long term illness.
            Obviously some people will just need the drugs because there is so much going on. And thank God they are there when needed. But so much of what people are on medication for can be greatly improved, if not all together resolved by diet and nutrition.

          • momofone

            Are you by chance familiar with Duchenne muscular dystrophy? Basically it affords parents and family the opportunity to watch their sons’ muscles waste away, until they watch them die. I think it qualifies as a “long term illness.” There is no cure, and the treatments available are woefully inadequate. Do tell us what “better alternatives” you would suggest. What foods would you suggest to replace the vanishing dystrophin? And I would love to hear how sin figures into this genetic nightmare, but as you said, that’s probably for another discussion.

          • deedwan

            I have heard of it, and I just had a dear friend die with permanent progressive MS. She did much better eliminating grains and sugars. But not every disease has been unlocked yet, this is why I said thank God that the medications are there when needed. The diseases I was more referring to are diabetes, heart disease, cancers etc.
            And just quickly, sin is the cause for all suffering…whatever it may be. This is a sin sick world. And just to be clear, I’m not blaming the child because we are born with a nature that is bent towards sin since the fall of man.
            But it’s also in ways that may not be as obvious (or maybe it is)…there most definitely are corporations, very powerful corporation or other types of bodies (government and private) that suppress cures. Because they can’t patent it and make obscene profits and corner the market.
            There is quite a history of this happening. People killed, reputations destroyed, lives ruined all because of greed and control.

          • momofone

            Oh please.

          • momofone

            Sin may be what you believe causes suffering, but that is entirely your perspective; it is not fact.

          • deedwan

            Yes, well, that’s because it make absolute sense to me and I haven’t been brain washed by the theory of evolution spoon feeding. Which has a lot of problems…actually atheists require far more faith than I do.
            But…just have to add…prophecy truly is being fulfilled before our very eyes…for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

          • momofone

            That’s one way to look at it.

          • deedwan

            Well, most people have only been taught one way to look at things…and they believe it without ever really testing it to know if it is true.

          • momofone

            That’s exactly the impression I’ve gotten of you.

          • deedwan

            Then I guess that’s because you’ve assumed I’ve always believed the way I do now. I assure you that is not the case. I’ve been on the other side. I’ve learned in reality we have inherited lies. And most people don’t want to see it. They like what is comfortable and familiar…it’s what they trust. But what if the things you have trusted were not true?
            That has happened to me, and I see it with many, many people.

          • guest

            There’s nothing comfortable and familiar about being an atheist in the US.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Why should there be any disease at all if God is such a great designer?

          • Charybdis

            Because of sin! Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden, so therefore all mankind is stained with “Original Sin”. Except Mary, mother of Jesus. We then add our own sin burden to the “Original Sin”. If Adam and Eve had listened, we wouldn’t be in the state we are.

            Of course, being omniscient, you’d have thought God would have seen it coming.

          • guest

            Mmmm, fruit. Give me my sin again!

          • demodocus

            If you eat enough fruit, will it cleanse your colon? ’cause my apple fiend discovered the peaches and I found the unsanctioned remains of 3 of them on the porch. :/
            Oh, the diapers will be fun.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I got some apples the other day, and minimonkey loves them. 3 dirty nappies yesterday 🙁

          • deedwan

            Mary was a sinner just like the rest of us. Only Jesus was without sin. And God already had a plan of salvation in place for that possibility.
            God has never taken away our free choice.

          • Charybdis

            No, Mary was born without Original Sin. She was con eived in the normal way, meaning sex was involved. She did not, by the grace of God, have the “stain” of Original Sin,; this is the Immaculate Conception.

            The Holy Spirit caused Mary to conceive Jesus, this is the Virgin Birth.

            They are not the same thing.

          • deedwan

            Yes, I’m aware this is catholic doctrine…it’s not biblical however.

          • guest

            Jesus was totally a sinner.

          • deedwan

            No, you are getting confused with yourself.

          • guest

            As an atheist, I cannot sin. There is no such thing in my worldview.

          • deedwan

            God does not eradicate the consequences of our choices…imagine a world where there were no consequences for our choices…

          • MaineJen

            I’m sorry. Eliminating grains and sugars made her MS better?

          • Nick Sanders

            So, you believe we have an immune system, at least that’s a start. Next you should learn how it works.

          • deedwan

            I know enough not to poison it with chemicals and synthetic drugs. I’d rather just directly use the plant they are making a synthetic version of…but they can’t patent and control it that way.

          • Nick Sanders

            Vaccines have absolutely nothing to do with synthetic versions of plant chemicals.

          • deedwan

            No, vaccines have other toxic chemicals and unclean ingredients I have no interest in injecting into my body.

          • Nick Sanders

            Oh, how precious.

          • deedwan

            Oh sweetie, I’m sure it’s you that is just precious…

          • Nick Sanders

            Bless your heart.

          • Charybdis

            Maybe Kosher vaccines? Or Halal vaccines?

            What “unclean” ingredients are you referring to?

          • deedwan

            While it’s been…interesting here, dealing with all of you skeptics. I’m out. You choose your way, and I shall choose the way I believe leads to the best health…but making informed decisions and educating myself. Bye now.

          • Nick Sanders

            making informed decisions and educating myself.

            That is an excellent idea. I recommend you start right away, you need to make up for lost time.

          • deedwan

            I never have stopped, and you never have started.

          • guest

            Exactly how many times are you going to tease us with your imminent departure before actually going away?

          • Linden

            If only Ezekiel’s idiot parents trusted their son’s God-given immune system a little less, and vaccinated him.

          • rosewater1

            Gee, and I guess my mother, who’s had a stroke, has other heart issues, a bad knee, vertigo, and other issues, just held the door for everyone else when immune systems were handed out. Or does she just not believe hard enough?

            And before you throw nutrition into the mix, getting her to eat anything is a challenge.

            Guess God put her on the bad list, hmm?

            You have NO idea how entitled and offensive you are. None. Nor do you seem to care.

            And please don’t give me any sympathy or prayers. I’m a Christian, I believe in God. I’ll take it up with him myself. I don’t want your sanctimony.

          • deedwan

            Oh, and I have to disagree with you. We have bees dying (and that’s really not good…because if they go, so do we) because of insecticides used on crops. We have more people than ever, younger than ever with chronic illness, allergies (and I’m talking life threatening allergies). I was a camp nurse and so many of the kids were on medications and had epi pens. That was certainly not the case when I was a kid. The real, natural food isn’t the problem…it’s how it is being treated.
            Fukishima…you might recall. That in and of itself has made the world more toxic…the ocean is dying.
            And we aren’t winning the war on cancer.

          • Charybdis

            But oddly enough, there is new evidence that exclusive breastfeeding causes an increase in allergies, because potential allergens are not being introduced in the 4-6 month range because Exclusive Breastfeeding! Baby doesn’t need anything but the breastmilk for a year! And mom should not be eating any potential allergens because those can get into the breastmilk and cause problems for the baby.

          • deedwan

            Right, but not every mom is aware of the problem with GMO crops and pesticides that get into her system and into her milk. Why are so many becoming so much more allergic…to everything???What has changed? Our food because of how it is farmed is devoid of nutrients, most of us have many deficiencies. Mental health issues have sky rocketed. Why? Did you know that Schizophrenia can be treated with Niacin? B3. In fact, Schizophrenia and Pellegra are both caused by B3 deficiencies.
            Truehope.org is an organization that treats mental health issues with nutrition, because they have discovered many mental health issues are actually symptoms of deficiency (and also sometimes toxicity). Panic attacks, anxiety, depression, bi-polar are being successfully treated with nutrition.
            We are literally starving for nutrients. This is why disease is so rampant now at younger and younger ages…while people pass up real food and buy and give their family food like substances, that come with extensive labels in boxes, bags and cans. Cans can present problems of their own because of the BPA lining used. It’s really sad how many people are still completely unaware of what is going on, and scoff because they have no idea what they don’t know.

          • Empliau

            You have GOT to be kidding. Truehope is the company that the Stephan family – remember Ezekiel, who died as a toddler? his parents were just sentenced? THEY and THEIR products are what you tout?
            Forgive me, I am bloody incoherent. I can barely type. We have a Truehope defender here. DNFTT.

          • Charybdis

            Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The family who tried to cure their toddler son with supplements, herbs and other bullshit while he was dying of meningitis? Meningitis is excruciatingly painful and the fact that they used herbs, horseradish, apple cider vinegar and other useless, worthless “natural remedies” and then blamed the EMT’s who arrived at the very end because they didn’t have “proper equipment”? THOSE PEOPLE???!??!??

            I. Can’t. Even.

          • Empliau

            Yes indeedy. I googled so as to be sure – and it took me a LOOOOONG time to type the above, between the headdesks and the ragestroke. That wasn’t a small earthquake here in SoCal, that was me. Headdesking. I want to use of them, and deedwan, some of the choice things the Scots recently said of Trump ….

          • Charybdis

            Is that what that was? ;P

          • Empliau

            Hulk smash. Wish I knew how to gif.

          • deedwan

            Definitely a needless tragedy. Some people do go too far and don’t know when to get to an ER. But don’t trash the truth because of this couples gross error.

          • swbarnes2

            “Some people” being the naturopaths you all think we should be trusting our health to?

            This is a question from their licensing exam. See the part where it doesn’t say “Send the dangerously sick child to the ER?” But says “Use shaken water to treat a child who can’t breathe”?

            THIS IS THEIR STANDARD OF CARE. This is the standard of care YOU are recommending. FOR CHILDREN.

            http://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/one-question-nplex-exam/
            If this is the exam, how could a properly trained naturopath who trusts their education have done anything differently? If not being able to breathe isn’t an emergency, what is?

          • deedwan

            I never said anything about recommending a naturopath for children, but I’m not against it either. Obviously just like with MDs you need to find out if they are on the same page as you for the needs of your child. MDs have killed plenty of children as well, remember that. But I said for the mother before getting pregnant. Wow. You all want to have me saying things I never said. As for me, if my child were having difficulty breathing, I would not waste any time getting to the ER.

          • swbarnes2

            So naturopathic treatment was good enough for Ezekial, and the posters on this board, but not good enough for YOUR child? You are FINE with the naturopathic standard of treatment for a child who can’t breathe being shaken water?
            I’m not putting anything in your mouth, I am just explaining the ramifactions of your claims. When you say that everyone should go to a naturopath, you are telling people that that standard of care and training is GOOD and desirable.

          • deedwan

            Okay, shall I try again…first of all, I was recommending a naturopath for women who wanted to optimize their health before pregnancy. Why? Because they have education in vitamins, minerals, herbs etc. This is not part of an MDs training. But there are many MDs that have crossed over and are both.
            And please tell me where I said everyone should should see a naturopath. But I do think everyone should take time to really educate themselves on their options.
            And as I said before there are MDs that have killed children and people. So what is your point? These parents failed to grasp how serious this situation was getting and did not act appropriately. I have a lot of faith in natural medicine, but if someone is struggling to breathe, as I said and will repeat, I would waste no time getting to the ER.
            I’m not for advocating that you let anybody else do your thinking for you. Not an MD, and not a Naturopath. Not a pastor nor a priest. I give that example because a lot of people never read the Bible for themselves, but just rely on their pastor and their church for their information. How then do you know if what you are being taught is true? Or if it is just the traditions of your church. I’m just using that as an example, because it’s the same with taking care of your health. Educate yourself, learn what your options are, so you can make an informed decision on how you want to proceed and what is best for your child. That’s what I do.

          • swbarnes2

            The “education” that naturopths have in “herbs” is horseshit. They advocate using homeopathy for a child who can’t breathe, remember? They give herbs to Ezekial. THAT is naturopathic care. Naturopath standard of care, as demonstrated by their test, is NOT to send a child struggling to breathe to the ER, but that IS the standard that you are recommending.
            And no, it’s not just the parents who misunderstood the situation, it was the naturopath, the kind that you think are such great health care providers. Of course the fact that the parents made a living selling horseshit contributed.
            Maybe if they hadn’t fancied themselves “educated” in their own horeshit, they would have gotten medicine for their child.
            If they’d trusted the people who were ACTUALLY educated about medicine, their child would have lived. Instead, they preferred to live in a fantasy world where they were as educated as doctors.

          • deedwan

            This is where mainstream medicine *can* have a leg up…which is in getting a diagnosis. Not always though, because western doctors make lots of mistakes as well…and people die. Or people suffer for years because their real illness has been misdiagnosed again and again. It happens.
            Doctors, whether naturopathic or MDs are not God. So errors do happen. Should you choose to dig into it, you would find plenty of people who have had no success with western medicine but then turn to natural medicine and do. And I’m sure there are some that go the other way around as well. It’s good to have options. But the result for that little boy was tragic and very sad, and needless.

          • Who?

            I’m really interested in your caveats. Must supplement, but the right sort, of the right brand. Must not get help, from an actual doctor, until the right time comes, and you’re a fool if you don’t know when that is. Must not eat gmos, must eat this or that. If we did this long enough, there would turn out to be certain foods that are ‘obviously’ right or ‘clearly’ bad.

            So there’s always an out. It’s never that your regime is wrong, it’s that someone did it wrong. Not that it wasn’t explained properly, but someone failed to ‘do their research’.

            Zero responsibility to you If it fails for someone, and all the credit to you if they do happen to improve.

          • deedwan

            I don’t run to a doctor for every little sniffle…do you? Some people do. They get a hangnail and need to make a doctor’s appointment. I have no interest on being on medications because I don’t really trust them, so if it’s something I can manage with diet, lifestyle changes and supplements that’s what I will do. My dog had these episodes where his gut was squealing, literally in the middle of the night, and he was in distress, so I’d run him into the emergency vet and they couldn’t really give me a satisfactory answer…this happened a few times and finally I said, I see a different vet every time because this always happens in the middle of the night, and I want to know what is going on. Finally she said we believe your dog has acid reflux but with out scoping him, which would be very invasive, we don’t know for sure, so just put him on a quarter tablet of prilosec for the rest of his life. No way, that drug has side effects, I immediately researched the problem and grains were the problem, so I made his food for him and then finally grain free options started coming out. Why put him on a drug when I can make changes to improve his health in a better way??? I’m not sure what is so perplexing about this.
            I think avoiding or limiting gmos is a good idea…there is not nearly enough long term evidence to tell us it’s safe. And it’s a pandora’s box that once opened we may never be able get reverse. Making gmo salmon and releasing them into the wild??? Insane in my opinion.
            And yes, since I am spending money on food and supplements I want to know I’m getting the best for my money. Whacky concept for some I guess. This is my health, my body so I want to be sure I’m not putting ineffective or possibly harmful things into it. That’s a real head scratcher isn’t it? smh

          • Linden

            You’re here talking about gmo salmon and dog acid reflux, and touting the worldview of the idiots who killed their child due to hubris and ignorance. You are astoundingly tone deaf and uncaring.

          • guest

            To be fair, it’s hard to be aware of a problem that does not exist. Comsumption of GMO crops pose zero risks to human health. Pesticides are a poison, but it’s the dose that makes it poisonous, and we have strict regulations. Chemophobia doesn’t fly here.

            I am sorry that you have been bamboozled by lies and lunacy. You might have used your faith to do good in this world, but you have been lead too far astray.

          • deedwan

            I haven’t been bamboozled. My mom died from chemo. I was her caregiver and that was the route she wanted to go…and it killed her…painfully.
            Well, I guess all those studies about organ disruption in animals that were tested with GM crops are just lunacy too. Smh. I mean it’s fine to disagree…you all are just so ugly about it.

          • guest

            None of this addresses my comment or proves anything whatsoever. Your mother died. I’m sorry for that. It’s likely her death would have been different, at least, had she refused science-based medical care. But if what you want is a chance at a cure, or the longest extension of life, science-based treatment remains the best and only proven course. As with anything, it doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to every time. But it has a far better track record than alternative medicine.

            You are the one who is ugly here, blaming women’s failure to breastfeed on “sins” they have committed and diet. It doesn’t work like that, but you feel the need to place the blame on them anyway. Pathetic and sick.

          • deedwan

            You are stringing together different responses to different questions and now saying I am blaming women’s failure to breastfeed on sins they have committed. No. Never said that. And as for the bit about diet. Perhaps you failed to catch that most of us have deficiencies. I had increasing anxiety (which I thought due to hormones and “the change”), had horrendous cycles with terrible cramps and vomiting, difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep…I never felt rested, mood swings, blood clots, restless legs and heart arrhythmia. I at times felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I tried hormone creams which helped mildly for a bit, but then stumbled onto Magnesium deficiency….which incidentally helps to regulate hormones. It took several months of taking it and B vitamins (and as I have learned more, I’ve added more) but I don’t have those issues anymore.
            And in everything I’ve read they estimate that 80% of us are magnesium deficient. I realized it can’t just be magnesium either. So I’m not blaming the mothers! Our soil is is deficient. They started raising the alarm bells about that back in the 1930’s saying it was becoming a big problem. Just to give an illustration. If we were to compare the nutrition of a carrot from 200 years ago to a carrot today, it might take 10 carrots or more to compare to the nutrition in one carrot 200 years ago.
            So I’m sorry if you have misunderstood what I was trying to say. I was not blaming the mother for being deficient.

          • momofone

            Please cite your source(s). Credible ones only.

          • guest

            Why would most of us have deficiencies, then that would mean breastmilk also has deficiencies. And that most of us are poorly designed. Great job, god!

          • deedwan

            We have deficiencies because the soil is deficient…it has been over farmed, and they just put more pesticides and chemicals in it to make things grow, but they are not nutrient dense as they should be. The land needs to rest. I never said we were poorly designed. It’s actually a miracle we do as well as we do with all the toxicity and deficiency.

          • guest

            No.

          • Nick Sanders

            With pesticides, it’s not just the dose, we are using them to poison things other than humans, so it’s often possible to find or develop something with targeted toxicity. It will kill the pests, and leave us unharmed.

          • guest

            Yes, that’s true as well.

          • Heidi

            Niacin does not cure schizophrenia. My grandfather ate sardines everyday, a very rich source of niacin, and still suffered!

          • Charybdis

            But it wasn’t Truehope Niacin. That’s the MAGIC niacin.

            *facepalms into headdesk* *Repeatedly*

          • deedwan

            Any Niacin will do as long as it isn’t time released…that is not good.

          • deedwan

            You need proper dosing…if you are interested read the book called Niacin by Dr. Abram Hoffer. It’s very interesting.

          • Heidi

            He has been thoroughly debunked. My grandfather is dead because he was old, despite not megadosing on vitamins!

          • deedwan

            LOL…okay, Heidi…have it your way. Really, it’s no skin off of my nose. Take your drugs, eat your gmos and take your chemo and whatever else you want.

          • Heidi

            It isn’t my way. Scientists tried to repeat the results of the study multiple times and they couldn’t! If niacin worked, then study after study would yield the same result.

            I don’t have cancer, thankfully. What an awful thing to say. I’m also not on any prescription medication, if that was what you were implying, nor do I currently take any drugs (or herbs, supplement or vitamins). Fortunately, I don’t have a need for them currently. I don’t take a figurative crap on those that do need them, though.

          • deedwan

            Right, because they were using a time released niacin. That is mentioned in the book.
            And I’m not trying to down anyone that wants to use those things…just saying everyone here is, as you put it, taking a figurative crap, on a natural approach…so if it suits you and others better then use what works for you. I know people that will eat at McDonalds, drink diet soda, take their Rx, (all of which have chemicals and risks and or (side) effects) but you mention using lavender on a burn and they are like…”I have to ask my doctor”. That’s fine, it’s great that there are option for people who prefer different approaches.

          • deedwan

            And how many people that have healed cancer by diet and nutrition, or people who have overcome depression and other things, people who have reversed Parkinson’s have the people here basically crapped on? What everybody here is doing is saying it’s hooey, lunacy and so on. People who were sent home to die because there was nothing else mainstream medicine could do. Or people with seizures who had such terrible effects from the medications they didn’t know which was worse…the seizures or the drugs, and same for depression…some of the depression meds have made people homicidal and/or suicidal. So while everyone here is saying it can’t be done…people are doing it, have done it, and are now living healthier lives as a result of educating themselves and making big lifestyle changes.
            No one ever said it works for everyone…we aren’t all number 2 pencils, so it takes time to try out and find out what does.

          • Heidi

            As far as I know no one has healed cancer by diet or reversed Parkinson’s. I don’t know anyone who actually knows anyone that has. Sure, I can google it and find websites that claim to sell the cure in their book and/or through their affiliate links but I imagine if I had found a true way to cure a terminal illness I was inflicted with, I would give out my knowledge for free.

            I have witnessed someone not enjoy the side effects of their depression medication and chase down any herb, supplement or vitamin that was supposed to help and then it didn’t. In the end, he realized he was better off with his prescribed anti-depressants. I hope one day science can find a medicine for him that makes him feel at peace and happy.

          • deedwan

            Do you know who Dr. John Grey is…Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? He reversed Parkinson’s in himself. You can watch a video on his site about it. And that’s too bad you don’t know anyone who has healed cancer by diet and nutrition. There are loads of them out there. And you are funny. You I guess would have no problem paying thousands of dollars for the standard medical care (my Mom’s chemo infusions cost in the range of 30K a pop, thankfully she had good insurance) but purchasing a book and learning how to take charge of your own health is just too much for you?
            It cost money to print books, but a lot of them do have free articles on their sites and videos too.

            And I hope that for your friend too…

          • Heidi

            Or no one wanted to give him anymore money for his crappy, sexist drivel and he had to cash in on something else.

            They charge for their e-books, they have affiliate links because in the end, they aren’t giving anything away for free. They aren’t giving it out for free because it doesn’t actually work. They are cons who want to take desperate people’s money. No, I will not give these people money!

          • deedwan

            Wow, well, he wasn’t charging for the video, he just shared his experience and what worked for him. So people could just research on their own about these things. That’s what people generally do who are into natural medicine. They spend time checking into things for themselves to see if it’s the route they want to go. I’m not telling you to give him any money, Heidi, lol. But L-dopa which is the standard treatment for Parkinson’s only works so long, before you have to keep increasing the dosage and then it no longer works at all and you are worse off because of how that drug works it.
            Like I said, you do what you want to do. I’m not here to force or convince you…just answer questions and give a different point of view. Who knew that would be so challenging to people.

          • Heidi

            Yeah, who knew that at a place with Skeptical in the name, we’d be skeptical!

            I just visited his site. Yeah, he ain’t giving away the supposed cure which involves Mars Venus Super Food Shake. And an ad interrupts every few seconds to purchase his e-book! You have been duped.

          • deedwan

            Right because you expected him to be able to outline the whole thing in a short video he was supposed to outline his whole protocol…this is why people write books, so they can go into in depth explanation. Did you hear him mention Marcuna Pirins (not sure of the spelling) that is a natural plant that you can take to stop the tremors. Was just reading about it today. He didn’t charge for that info.
            He also credited other doctors for figuring out supplements you can take so that your brain doesn’t habituate to the L-dopa. Then he explains how it may be possible to decrease the L-dopa and just keep taking the supplements but still have the Parkinson’s under control….and then hopefully not even needing to take the supplements anymore.
            Yeah, he’s really trying to screw you over, Hiedi, you better watch out. He does talk about a good diet to support your body so that hopefully you don’t need all the supplements all the time.
            Then he starts explaining what happens in the brain when you are taking the L-dopa and what happens with the thyroid, but he tells people right there in the video what they can take (although I’m sure it’s not comprehensive, because there is a lot of information and education that goes with it.) I’m 6 minutes into the video and so far he hasn’t mentioned his book. He’s talking about dopamine inhibition…and what other problems arise out of that. Then he discusses going to Mexico for treatments with amino acids, but that the symptoms came back after 3 months. But that it was very expensive. So he wanted to figure out how to get more amino acids into his brain, so he formulated something to do that. Yes, what a terrible person, what a quack! Sheesh…well, be skeptical. I have no problem with that, but at least bother to educate yourself before you disparage people. I’m wondering if you even watched the same video. He’s now talking about Jigsaw (that’s the brand name) B vitamins which are not his…he’s giving options. He’s giving the names of the supplements and the dosages to take…for free. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tibPjgHsFi8

          • Heidi

            Supplements he sells on his site. You support True Hope, the people who killed their own child because of their refusal to get their child vaccinated and then further refused to take him to a real medical doctor. That’s all anyone needs to know about your self-education.

          • deedwan

            Oh, and I also know another person who was having early onset of Parkinson’s and got on a serious diet and supplemental regime and arrested it. His name is Jon Sherman. And he started a website to help people.

          • Charybdis

            GMO’s are tasty. They are also what makes it possible to have more disease-resistant crops which reduce the amount of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides used in agriculture. Hybridization and grafting are also used to help increase crop production and yields.

            A lot of the “natural at all costs” folks don’t seem to realize that their “natural” remedies contain high amounts of the things they bash “science” for. Hormone replacement therapy? Have some Black Cohosh or some soy! It’s natural! Phytoestrogens that are not regulated or standardized, just take them willy-nilly and don’t think about it. It’s natural, and therefore somehow better. Use a bottleful of castor oil to “naturally” induce your labor….you won’t have to have the evil pitocin!

            It is all a load of hooey.

          • MaineJen

            NO. You do NOT get to claim that serious mental illness can be cured by vitamins. You’ve obviously never seen the result of an untreated mental illness, or you wouldn’t be making outrageous claims like that.

          • Empliau

            Well. Truehope claims that their product works to improve (I imagine they are careful about the word cure): ADD/ADHD, autism, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, fatigue, and stress. One product does all that. Amazing that it couldn’t cure Ezekiel …..

          • Nick Sanders

            Wait, are the selling that bread recipe from the Book of Ezekiel? The one intended as a punishment?

            I wonder if they bake it of a fire of human shit, like the Biblical version calls for?

          • deedwan

            I have a friend who’s adult daughter was diagnosed with bi-polar. I had posted some info about True hope and unbeknownst to me they checked it out. She later private messaged me thanking me for posting that because it is helping her daughter.
            And there are many people it has helped. The drugs for these conditions can be very scary indeed. Some people are able to gradually transition off of those drugs and get fully on the supplements.
            Your comment about Ezekiel was uncalled for.

          • Empliau

            Perhaps. I am so angry that those fools let their son die a painful and unnecessary death, that what I mean as mordant irony may be too bitter. I feel nothing but sorrow for the loss of his innocent life. His grandfather founded Truehope, his father worked for it IIRC. And you show up here and say this so-called supplement can cure so many ills. How anyone with a soul and a vestige of sanity can defend these people is simply beyond me. Further, you imply that suffering and illness are some bizarre version of either God’s judgement or bad nutrition. I think you have vexed me beyond the usual parachuting numpty.

          • deedwan

            Do you get as angry about all the vaccine injuries and deaths that happen…or just Ezekiel? Do you get angry about the children who die from prescribed drugs? Or just this situation? How about all the innocent babies torn out of their mother’s wombs?
            These people made a terrible mistake, and they will have to live with that the rest of their lives.
            That you question if I have a soul or vestige of sanity because I know that supplement has helped people it absolutely idiotic. And I can’t help how you nitwits want to twist what I have said, no matter how plainly I’ve tried to state it. Believe what you want…but if you are so vexed deary, perhaps you have a pill in your medicine cabinet that you can take and make it all go away. Idiot.

          • Charybdis

            Your faith in the people who not only market the snake oil, but attempted to use it, along with other useless remedies, to treat a young child with MENINGITIS and wound up killing him as a result is uncalled for.

            If natural is always freaking better than medical science, then why did Ezekiel die? It sure as hell wasn’t because the ambulance didn’t have the “right” supplies. Or is this the corollary to “Babies die in hospitals too”? Something like: “Some people are too far gone for the wonderful, miraculous natural, God-given remedies to help/save”?

          • Linden

            Wait, you are touting the company and mindset that killed a little boy, guaranteed that he was in agony and terror for long long hours before his death, and we’re just supposed to let that slide?? An avoidable death.

            Have you no guilt? Have you no shame?

            My husband suffered from meningitis this year. It was horrifying to see. I had no trouble deciding to call the ambulance, because I’m not an idiot believer in sugar pills and I’m not filled with the monstrous hubris that makes you think you know better than doctors.

          • corblimeybot

            Your comments defending the ideology that killed Ezekiel are uncalled for.

          • deedwan

            For pity sake…don’t believe me, then. Or just perhaps try researching it for yourself. I didn’t say every type but that they were having success with anxiety, depression, bi-polar, panic attacks etc.
            And I never said anything about leaving it untreated.

          • Nick Sanders

            problem with GMO crops and pesticides that get into her system and into her milk

            Citation needed.

            Our food because of how it is farmed is devoid of nutrients

            Citation needed.

            most of us have many deficiencies

            Citation needed.

            Mental health issues have sky rocketed.

            Citation needed.

            Did you know that Schizophrenia can be treated with Niacin? B3. In fact, Schizophrenia and Pellegra are both caused by B3 deficiencies.

            Go fuck yourself, you lying shitweasel.

            Truehope.org is an organization that treats mental health issues with nutrition, because they have discovered many mental health issues are actually symptoms of deficiency (and also sometimes toxicity). Panic attacks, anxiety, depression, bi-polar are being successfully treated with nutrition.

            I wasn’t aware one could have a lithium deficiency.

            And I tired of copying on a tablet, so I’m just gonna say I count 4, maybe 5, more claims needing citations.

          • deedwan

            Look it up for yourself, pal. Choose to know or not…your choice.

          • Nick Sanders

            Burden of proof, “pal”.

          • deedwan

            Yeah, the piranhas here love being skeptical…and I will let them be. The evidence is out there. I’m not jumping through hoops for you people anymore. You don’t want to know that’s your business. I leave you to it.

          • Nick Sanders

            Not my fault you won’t actually defend your claims.

          • deedwan

            If people were actually open to look into these things, I would, but to do so on this thread is a colossal waste of time.

          • Nick Sanders
          • Nick Sanders
          • deedwan
    • Heidi

      So full of crap. I am healthy. Still don’t produce enough breast milk. Therefore breastfeeding is NOT superior to formula because my baby would starve to death.

      Maybe you don’t think you “condemned” anyone, but I feel pretty condemned right now myself. If you weren’t about condemning women, you would have said none of this.

      • deedwan

        Well, I guess only if you are looking to be offended. So many are today…it’s like the new national past time.
        I’m sorry the breast feeding didn’t work out for you.
        And by that criteria (not having adequate supply) then yes, for you formula is the way to go.
        Oh, and there is so much variance on what people consider healthy as well.

        • LaMont

          Ah, yes, one really must be a True Scotsman to be really healthy. I often have those problems.

        • Heidi

          Um, no, I avoid zealous breast-feeding websites at all costs. You came here and went blah, blah, blah. It seems the national pastime is to think you know everything about everything because you did some “research.” I see from your other posts you know the cause of bees declining (and if you really did your research you’d know their population is growing now), all about nutrition, when it’s okay and not okay to breastfeed, how to cure all the mental disease, how to feed the world without any pesticides or GMOs, and all about immunology. I mean, you pretty much know more than anyone! You must be God!

          • deedwan

            Yes, well I never said I was a Ph.D in all these subjects but yes, I do read about them and educate myself. And it seems those who don’t get offended. It happens to be of great interest to me, simply because I know we are fearfully and wonderfully made. No need to be bitter and sarcastic.

          • Heidi

            I’m not being sarcastic. You really think you know a lot more than you do.

            Bitter is not what I am. What a cliche insult!

          • deedwan

            Okay, then I guess that’s just your personality. So be it.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            What criteria do you use to tell you whether a treatment works or not?

          • Who?

            If the person gets better, the treatment has worked.

            If the person doesn’t get better, deedwan knows they described their symptoms wrongly which means through no fault of the ‘prescriber’ the wrong treatment was ‘prescribed’.

            So long as the sick person is accurate and correct in their explanation of their symptoms, the treatment always works. Therefore, if it doesn’t, the patient is in the wrong.

        • Linden

          Yes, how dare we be insulted when our illnesses or the inability of our bodies to work in an optimum fashion are called the wages of sin.
          I have some news for you: you will get old, you will get ill and you will die, just like the rest of us. Pop any supplement you like, irrigate your colon, drink liquefied kale. It is not going to matter. You’re going to end up just like the sinners.

        • corblimeybot

          So you showed up just to say a bunch of self-righteous nasty crap, and now you’re try to wiggle out of responsibility for your actions? You don’t like being called out on being mean to other people, so you’re blaming the people you were mean to?

      • MaineJen

        WHereas I ate McDonalds once a week, and made plenty of breast milk! Go figure. 😉

      • demodocus

        and i’m fat, old, and have a poor diet and insufficient exercize and i make enough milk for twins

        • guest

          I made enough for triplets, and I didn’t exercise (sports injuries + bedrest), ate like crap because I was too hungry to make good choices, and I live in a polluted urban environment. I’m also an atheist, and therefore an affront to god. Rivers of milk.

        • Heidi

          Oh, I’m sure I’m doing something horribly unhealthy according to Doodoowad. I eat wheat, or I’m severely deficient in some vitamin or mineral or I have heavy metal toxicity or there’s round-up pulsing through my veins or I’m taxing my liver because I don’t drink organic green juice or I have chronic Lyme or leaky gut or all of it!

          • demodocus

            Aren’t we all, because the soil is overfarmed or something? Not sure what that one thinks we could do about it, mind

          • Heidi

            She said we’re supposed to quit growing things….so I’m sure she’s doing her part by not eating or even taking supplements or herbs that grew from the ground.

    • moto_librarian

      In an ideal world, naturopaths would be outlawed from masquerading as healthcare providers. You pretty much lost me the second you started spouting off about god though.

      • deedwan

        Well, if you are dialed into the pharmaceutical solutions then I guess you would believe that. I know many who think that way. But the funny thing is that properly prescribed drugs, and properly taken…is one of the top killers. Number 3 or 4.
        As for me, I personally have loved learning how the body systems are supposed to function and how natural medicine supports them for better health…without (side) effects or death. I truly see God’s hand in that He has supplied what we need, if we are willing.

        • Charybdis

          Seriously? Properly prescribed drugs, properly taken is a top cause of death? Riiiiggght.

          • deedwan

            Yes, research it for yourself. And I said probably the 3rd or 4th top cause of death. That and medical accidents.

          • sapphiremind

            You didn’t address the whole “insulin” issue. You think type I diabetics should try kicking the habit?

          • deedwan

            I’m referring to type 2, but there are things to do that can reduce the amount of insulin needed even for type 1

          • sapphiremind

            Oh do share! You invent a new pancreas?

          • deedwan

            Tell me why I should go to the trouble?
            You can search these things yourself.

          • sapphiremind

            Because I’ve never heard of anything that can replace insulin for a type I diabetic that isn’t evil western medicine. (besides prayer that kills children)

          • deedwan

            Is that supposed to be a coherent reply?
            And if you are a type 1 it’s worthwhile to see what
            your options are. I haven’t seen anything that promises to get you off of insulin completely…but just things that can help reduce the amount needed.

          • sapphiremind

            Again, do share this mystical magic secret. The only thing that I’ve ever heard of, beyond prayer (which doesn’t work) is not eating. You see, type I diabetic do not have functioning beta cells to make insulin. Which makes it hard to make insulin.

          • deedwan

            Here is an excerpt…what can it hurt to research and try it out…
            Let’s take a look at the latest preclinical study on the topic, published last month in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology[1]. An active fraction of flaxseed, which researchers named Linun usitassimum active fraction (LU6), was found to generate a wide range of benefits in a type 1 diabetes animal model, including the following:

            Improved glucose utilization in the liver
            Supported normalized glycogenesis (glucose forming activity) in the liver and muscle tissue
            Reduced pancreatic and intestinal glucosidase inhibitory activity, which translates into lower post-meal blood sugar elevations
            Even more remarkable was the observation that this flaxseed compound normalized plasma insulin and C-peptide levels (C peptide is not C-reactive protein, rather it is a direct indicator of how much insulin is being produced by the beta cells in the body. Learn more), an indication that beta cell function was effectively restored. The researchers described the truly amazing results as follows:

            Normalization of plasma insulin and C-peptide levels were observed in diabetic mice, indicating endogenous insulin secretion after the treatment with LU6. The histochemical and immunohistochemical analysis on pancreatic islets suggests the role of LU6 fraction in islet regeneration and insulin secretion as evident in increase functional pancreatic islets producing insulin. Furthermore, significant insulin producing islet formation was also observed in in vitro PANC-1 cells after LU6 treatment, indicating the cellular aggregates to be newly formed islets. This suggests the potential of LU6 fraction in the formation of new islets in vitro, as well as in vivo. Thus, LU6 can be used as a nutraceutical-based first-line treatment for diabetes. [emphasis added]

            Keep in mind that this is not the first time that flaxseed has been found to improve blood sugar disorders. We have a few studies on GreenMedInfo.com already indexed on the topic that you can view here: Flaxseed and Diabetes.

            Furthermore, we have found a broad range of natural substances experimentally confirmed to stimulate beta cell regeneration, 10 of which are listed below:

            Arginine: a 2007 study found that the amino acid L-arginine is capable of stimulating the genesis of beta cells in an animal model of alloxan-induced diabetes.[2]
            Avocado: A 2007 study found that avocado seed extract reduced blood sugar in diabetic rats. Researchers observed a restorative and protective effect on pancreatic islet cells in the treated group.[3]
            Berberine: A 2009 study found that this plant compound, commonly found in herbs such as barberry and goldenseal, induces beta cell regeneration in diabetic rats, which lends explanation for why it has been used for 1400 years in China to treat diabetes.[4]
            Chard: A 2000 study found that chard extract given to diabetic rats stimulates the recovery of injured beta cells.[5]
            Corn Silk: A 2009 study found that corn silk reduces blood sugar and stimulates beta cell regeneration in type 1 diabetic rats.[6]
            Curcumin (from Turmeric): A 2010 study found that curcumin stimulates beta cell regeneration in type 1 diabetic rats.[7] Additionally, a 2008 study found that curcumin preserves pancreatic islet cell survival and transplantation efficiency.[8]
            Genistein (from soy, red clover): A 2010 study found that genistein induces pancreatic beta-cell proliferation through activation of multiple signaling pathways and prevents insulin-deficient diabetes in mice.[9]
            Honey: A 2010 human study found that long-term consumption of honey might have positive effects on the metabolic derangements of type 1 diabetes, including possible beta cell regeneration as indicating by increases in fasting C-peptide levels.[10]
            Nigella Sativa (black seed): A 2003 animal study found that black seed consumption lead to partial regeneration/proliferation of the beta-cells.[11] A 2010 human study also found that the consumption of one gram of black seed a day for up to 12 weeks had a broad range of beneficial effects in diabetics, including increasing beta cell function.[12]
            Stevia: A 2011 human study found that stevia has anti-diabetic properties, including revitalizing damaged beta cells, and compares favorably with the drug glibenclamide but without the adverse effects.[13]

          • sapphiremind

            All of these are *possible*, *potential* therapies that *could* be used in the future. The Stevia stuff is for Type II btw. I could tell even before looking it up (which I did) because it was comparing it to glibenclamide which is a Type II drug. I haven’t yet gone through *all* your studies, but they’re all aimed at type IIs. This may come as a shock, but many type IIs also have essentially “burn out” on their beta cells from going into overdrive to try and keep up with their insulin resistance. It’s not the total autoimmune destruction that people with type I have.

          • sapphiremind

            Holy fuck, diabesity? Really? You called the section on diabetes on the website diabesity? You seem to want to be taken seriously and then do stuff like that – I am confuzzled.

          • Who?

            How is it not all at your fingertips?

            Weren’t you storming off in a huff?

          • sapphiremind

            Oh beeteedubs, I did once have a naturopath decide that he could treat a massive lymphatic malformation with homeopathy and cold water. Of course, he thought the lymphatic malformation was swelling or had something to do with the mother’s diet, no matter how many times I explain how it developed early in gestation and was in no way swelling in the way he thought it was nor could it be reduced by cold compresses.

            Super educated. Totes.

          • deedwan
        • guest

          I truly see god’s hand in the Zika virus, and in brain eating amoebas.

          • deedwan

            Probably manufactured. Seriously, but I know that will be too much for you.

          • guest

            Yeah, manufactured – by god.

          • deedwan
          • Charybdis

            Are you aware that your willful ignorance is appalling?

          • deedwan

            In what way do you believe I am being willfully ignorant?

          • guest

            I am aware that nutjobs think it was, yes.

          • MaineJen

            Oh dude…that is napalm-grade conspiracy theory. You are far, far down the rabbit hole. Yikes.

        • MaineJen

          …I honestly can’t tell if you’re serious, or if you’re having us on.

          I dare you to tell a type 1 diabetic to ditch those pharmaceuticals and try a power cleanse.

        • Nick Sanders

          I’m guessing you aren’t aware that “naturopathic” remedies, and herbal medicine in general, is completely unregulated, and often highly contaminated. There no standardization of the levels of active ingredients, so one bottle might have dangerously high levels of dtimulants or other toxic compounds, while the bottle right next to it is almost barren. And that’s assuming it’s actually what’s on the label, rather than grass or some other herb, or even illegally added prescription drugs.

          http://www.vox.com/a/supplements

          • deedwan

            I am aware that that can be the case. However there are supplement companies out there that are pharmaceutical grade supplements. which means they are tested to ensure they have the right dosages and quality every time. Pure Encapsulations is one such company, and I really benefit from their supplements. I also look for organic and products that have been tested for heavy metals etc.
            Mike Adams from natural news has written about this extensively and has tested many supplements in his lab and has shared the results.
            I wouldn’t be getting my supplements at Wal-mart. I research the companies I deal with to see what their standards are. And I’m sure you are aware that there have been prescription meds that have killed and injured people. And it’s even been discovered that the trials were fudged so they could push through their drugs even though they knew there were serious problems with it. Causing liver failure, or fatal heart attacks etc. And often times they were slow pulling it from the market because it was a cash cow. They make obscene profits on their drugs and vaccines and that is most important to them…not the life changing injuries that happen and the deaths. They are happy to settle out of court because they’ve made so much money.

          • Nick Sanders

            Mike Adams is a charlatan of the worst breed.

            And the profit from vaccines is slim to none, while the benefits are priceless.

          • deedwan

            unsubscribe. Thank you

          • Nick Sanders

            Unsubscribe to what? And are you saying you are or I should?

          • deedwan

            LOL…that is too funny. In the email I received notifying me of your post it seemed to state there was an option to unsubscribe from this thread…It said to reply to the email and unsubscribe…lol, I was not expecting it to post here. And I was referring to myself wanting to unsubscribe.

          • Nick Sanders

            Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

          • Who?

            So God is into supplements but not medicine? And supplement companies (the right ones, of course, the ones you know all about, not the ones ignorant fools buy supplements from) are not motivated by money or profit but by wanting to help others?

            Tell that to the gravestone of Ezekial Stephans. His parents are still flogging their snake oil even after relying on it killed their child.

          • deedwan

            yeah, because MDs never harm or kill anyone right?
            It’s the 4th top leading cause of death.
            I don’t talk to gravestones. And I’m not sure if you are tying to suggest that because it’s a plant derived supplement people should be giving it for free.
            Some drugs cost hundreds of dollars just for the month and are only an option if you can afford it and have the insurance to cover it. Supplements can be expensive too, but putting real, organic whole foods in your body is another type of medicine as well.
            Anyway, I’ve had enough of you scoffers.
            I’m wondering how much time you’ve actually ever spent researching any of it yourself…I’m guessing not 5 minutes. See ya.

          • Who?

            Well you’ve got right the amount of time I’ve spent ‘doing my research’. Good job, I’ll take the credit. That’s how it works, isn’t it?

            Can you stick the flounce?

          • deedwan

            Yeah, I could tell from your replies that was about it…maybe even generous. Well, that’s what passes as well informed these days. Cheerio.

          • Who?

            So that’s a ‘no’.

          • Charybdis

            Deedwan was touting their company, TrueHope, a little further downthread.

          • sapphiremind

            *raises hand and jumps up and down* oo oo me! Pick me! I went into liver failure from a natural medicine! Green tea extract! Not an overdose. Low dose! (quarter to one half dose) Almost died even. It was impressive! I turned colors.

          • Who?

            You must have taken the Wrong One-if only you’d had deedwan to tell you the Right One.

            Because of course that will be the answer-it always is. If nacheral doesn’t work, it’s because your naturopath recommended the wrong one, probably because you, the patient, did something wrong.

          • Madtowngirl

            Having actually worked in the pharmaceutical industry, I can tell you are dead wrong in many of your assumptions about how it works. When trial results are “fudged,” as you refer to it, (we call it scientific misconduct) there are very serious consequences – losing your job, blacklisting from the industry, prison, significant loss of profits/market share, and so on. Not to mention the massive FDA fines, which contrary to popular belief, are no drop in the bucket. One major drug company received $2 billion in fines a few years ago for failure to disclose adverse effects when their reps were marketing to doctors and patients. They had to drop research and production of some promising medicines because of the financial hit, which cost a lot of people their jobs. The far reaching consequences are why companies like the I worked for go to extreme lengths to show accurate documentation. Recalls are not cheap, either, and it’s not just the loss of product we’re talking about here. An extensive amount of time goes into what went wrong.

            Their profits are no more “obscene” than any other industry. A huge amount of money gets poured into development of drugs that never make it to market. Vaccines are not blockbuster drugs – they don’t make huge profits. Furthermore, of course they make profits – no one is going to invest the immense amount of time and money it takes to produce a drug if there isn’t gain in it. I know people with agendas love to portray the industry as an evil monster, but it is no better or worse than any other industry. Remember, the people that work at these places also get sick, just like their friends and families. They don’t want to take anything dangerous, either.

    • demodocus

      God is kind of crap at design or is no one nearsighted where you’re from? At my church, no one from the CNM to the bishop’s mother says boo whether you’re feeding baby formula or breastmilk from the tap.

      • deedwan

        Well, I’m sure He will straighten out your opinion in the future…but good luck with that. And honestly, I really don’t base anything off of what some bishop thinks…most of them have no idea who God is.

        • LaMont

          Ah, so bishops should berate women *more*! Got it! 🙂

          • deedwan

            Bishops should actually read the Bible and learn of who God is and have a personal relationship rather than some man made religion. So I have no idea how you come to the conclusion they should “berate women more”. Idiotic. Bishops are just generally playing at religion.

          • deedwan

            Ah, I see your confusion now…perhaps you failed to notice that I capitalized He as in God…would straighten out demodocus’ opinion that “God is crap at design”…
            I have no idea who the CNM is…and obviously I don’t care about the Bishop’s mother’s opinion on breast feeding, lol

          • Charybdis

            CNM = Certified Nurse Midwife.

          • deedwan

            Thank you.

          • demodocus

            This bishop is a woman. She’s conservative but alright overall. DH is Lutheran, I’m Congregationalist, more or less.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      30% of Americans are nearsighted. How does your insistence that God is an excellent designer cope with that fact, or was he distracted when he was designing eyes?

      • deedwan

        As one who is nearsighted, I can share with you that when I cleansed and took supplements, my vision improved and I needed to get new glasses. Diet is a big problemo…we are behind the curve learning that.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Why should anyone be nearsighted at all if God is such an awesome designer? Why difference would diet make? If God is omniscient shouldn’t he have designed everything to work perfectly regardless of diet?

          • deedwan

            No, because then people could live reckless lives and have no consequences. Sin is part of that problem.
            I mean you could ask the same thing and say why shouldn’t we be able to eat cakes, candy, and ice cream all day every day and not get diabetes, heart disease etc.

          • MaineJen

            I’m curious about what you mean by “sin.” The definition tends to vary by particular type of religion. Are you saying that people get sick because they themselves commit sins? Or just to pay for the general sins of mankind?

          • deedwan

            Sin, biblically speaking is the transgression of the Law. God’s law.
            Death was never supposed to happen. But after sin, Adam and Eve, had to leave the garden so they would not eat from the Tree of Life.
            Before sin happened, there was no death, no disease, no suffering.

          • Nick Sanders

            Adam and Eve never happened.

          • deedwan

            Adam and Eve did…Adam and Steve never did.

          • Linden

            So heterosexual couples are responsible for the fall. Homosexuals weren’t there, and are blameless.
            Maybe we should define marriage as only being between a man and a man, or a woman and a woman then. :-p

          • Mishimoo

            Funny you should say that! I personally find it interesting that when looking at the Greek New Testament and reading the story of Jesus and the Centurion, he uses a term for the person he has come to ask Jesus to heal which translates to male lover (based on context) and Jesus still heals him. In fact, Jesus makes a positive comment on the centurion’s faith. That’s it, that’s all. No “Go away and sin no more” like in so many other stories.

          • MaineJen

            Oh no you did not

          • Nick Sanders

            Hmm, seems this one got lost in the shuffle. I didn’t see it until now.

            Regardless, Genesis is not a literal description of history, and even if it were, it wouldn’t be an argument against homosexuality. Not that that is in any way relevant to this argument.

          • Mishimoo

            Oh, this type usually believe something along the lines of “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” (Numbers 14:18 KJV) but they’re not normally willing to admit it because they’re generally trying to convert people while they’re arguing, and who wants to worship a deity like that? Much easier to try and make people feel uncomfortable about sin instead.

          • Charybdis

            It depends on if you are speaking about the Old Testament Angry Desert God or the New Testament Kinder More Forgiving God.

          • Daleth

            It depends on if you are speaking about the Old Testament Angry Desert God or the New Testament Kinder More Forgiving God.

            In other words, “Original” or “New and Improved”?

          • momofone

            How do you explain the situations that don’t fit your framework? People who do everything “right” and still get sick, or children who inherit or develop godawful diseases? Are they just being reckless during cell division?

          • Empliau

            These religious nutjobs seem never to have read the book of Job.

          • deedwan

            I have read the book of Job. And yes, sometimes we are just tested and tried.

          • swbarnes2

            Of course. And you are telling us that Job’s wives and children failed. You live in a world where your God kills children, and you love him for doing that.

            You make moral people sick.

          • deedwan

            I never claimed that it was the case for every situation, did I? Scripturally speaking there are different examples, which I won’t go into here…mainly because I think it would be a waste of time as no one is really interested.

          • momofone

            And probably because you know you’d be skewered. You make great sweeping claims, but have no credible backup. I believe one of the greatest gifts of God is reason, and I can’t see evidence of it in your comments.

          • BeatriceC

            Like this one?

            http://radiopaedia.org/articles/hereditary-multiple-exostoses

            (This is what my kids have)

          • Who?

            Brace yourself for deedwan to tell you this happened because of your failure to do whatever xyz he/she knows about. Mind you, it will be said more in sadness than in anger, because not everyone has his/her special way of knowing about stuff. Which is of course down to people’s ignorance, which is indeed to be sad about.

            And when he/she finds you were brought up in a god-fearing household, it is with all regret you will be informed that it was the wrong kind of worship being engaged in, again no one’s fault, but, all the same, here is the outcome…if only the god-botherers at your house had known The Truth!!!!

            People like deedwan give religion and quackery a bad name. Considering the history of both religion and quackery, that takes some doing.

            Hope things are on the upswing with you.

          • BeatriceC

            Oh, I’m sure I’m in for a treat. He doesn’t seem to be able to stick the flounce. And things are doing okay. OK has what is hopefully his last court date on Thursday, MK is doing ever so slightly better on the meds they put him on (gained 5 pounds!), and things are going swimmingly with my ex-husband. We are actually talking about flying him out here in August to meet his kids for the first time in 14 years. MrC and I are still having some rocky times, but we are working through it. I don’t expect this to be an easy fix, but with time and effort, we can do it. We’ve come a long way in the last month, and while we still have a long way to go, it looks doable now.

          • Who?

            Glad you are getting some clear air, and the two boys are respectively going in good directions.

            On a less positive note, I’m dying for deedwan’s response to you, which is sure to be both hateful and unhelpful. Soooo predictable.

          • BeatriceC

            It’s good for a game of nutjob bingo, at the very least.

          • Who?

            Silver linings indeed!

          • Linden

            So all ill people are sinners, got it.
            Oh sorry, EVERYONE is a sinner.
            Those stillborn babies, obviously so very sinny…
            My friend who lost her baby, like, the biggest sinner of all.
            How disgusting is your theology?

        • guest

          Bullshit.

          • deedwan

            Really isn’t. I had no idea that would happen. But I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, just that my glasses had become somewhat difficult to see out of…I kept looking for scratches and cleaned them repeatedly to no avail, so went in to have my eyes checked. Was delightfully surprised!

          • guest

            Correlation is not causation, dear.

          • Empliau

            Yeah, I don’t know how old you are, but my eyesight has significantly improved. Nearsighted + presbyopia = better vision, in my case. No cleansing and no supplements. Your anecdote proves nothing.

          • deedwan

            It’s the only thing that changed. Even the doc was surprised. But you are right…it isn’t proof. But it’s not exactly a news flash that vitamins and anti oxidants improve eye health.

          • Empliau

            You didn’t age? The hell with Truehope – if time went by and you didn’t age, YOU have the one true secret! (This is sarcasm, btw.)

          • deedwan

            I will leave you too it. You are enjoying where you are, so I leave you to it.

        • momofone

          I am nearsighted too. I got older, and my vision improved to more normal limits of nearsightedness. I didn’t even have to do a cleanse!

        • Nick Sanders

          Post hoc fallacy. Also, 1 is a useless sample size.

        • Linden

          That’s just utter nonsense. Nearsightedness can appear to improve slightly with age, but as the years roll on, your eyes will have reduced accommodation. You also still need glasses. You obviously didn’t cleanse and supplement enough!

    • guest

      Ha ha ha ha ha!

    • Nick Sanders

      very knowledgeable naturopath

      There’s no such thing.

      As far as God goes, until He consents to empirical testing, He is never going to be a part of medical treatment.

      • deedwan

        Well, I guess you told me, huh.

    • Megan

      This can’t be for real…

    • Madtowngirl

      So God is the designer and creator of the human body, but God is incapable of making sure all women can produce breast milk?

      If God created our brains, which can in turn produce life saving technology and medicine, why should we avoid it and go to a naturopath? I have literally never heard such an argument in all of the sermons I’ve listened to.

    • Heidi_storage

      Look, if we didn’t live in a fallen world, supplementation of any kind wouldn’t be necessary. And the fact is that no one really knows what “optimum nutrients” are–beyond folic acid supplementation for women who are or trying to be pregnant, the evidence doesn’t really show benefit for any given substance. DHA, various vitamins, and herbal remedies have not lived up to their hype. (I won’t include homeopathic “remedies,” because they’re just water or alcohol.)

    • AnnaPDE

      My whispering unicorn ghost has told me that your God is made up. Maybe that’s why I don’t go to naturopaths?

      • deedwan

        If you don’t want to see a naturopath that’s fine, but don’t rule out seeing a good psychiatrist about that whispering unicorn ghost.

        • AnnaPDE

          How dare you blaspheme and sow doubt about my unicorn ghost. It’s obviously real and the source of all knowledge, indeed of the world as such. All the books written by its true believers say so.

          • deedwan

            Christian people by and large have done a tremendous amount of good in the world. You may delight in mocking believers, but they are often the first ones out to give aid to people in third world countries…to help dig wells so they can have clean water, to build schools, to build churches, to build hospitals, to even suffer imprisonment and torture for their beliefs.
            This nation was founded on many of the principles found in the Bible, and have done well governing us and making us one of the greatest and most free nations in the world. But of course there are the people who are under great delusion who want to dismantle it and be a socialist nation like Venezuela or Greece perhaps, or Sweden…now the rape capital of Europe if not the world. People who are so deluded they now believe there are some 60 plus different genders, who want to say it’s awkward and insulting to some to celebrate Mother’s Day so no one should be able too.
            Who literally believe that if they feel like it they can change their gender, despite their biology and have come up with the ludicrous argument that gender is a social construct. A lot of mental illness and delusion out there…and you know what, the Bible said it would happen! Score again for the Bible. It says that because they did not love the truth they will be given over to strong delusion. And that is exactly what we are seeing….but you can keep whispering to your unicorn ghost if you like.

          • Dr Kitty

            “Sweden is the rape capital of the world”

            You do know that their high rate of reported sexual assault is both because Swedish women are prepared to report assault and because of how Sweden reports it, don’t you?

            In, for example, the USA, if a woman is gang-raped at a fraternity (like, this case https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.nj.com/articles/19534779/students_suit_details_horrifying_frat_house_gang_rape_claim.amp) it is reported as a single rape.

            In Sweden, every single rape or sexual assault is recorded separately. If, during a rape, a woman is taped twice by a single assailant, Sweden records both episodes as separate rapes. Multiple assaults by multiple parties- all documented as separate crimes.

            So, in the case I linked to, with five defendants, the USA will record it as one rape. Sweden would have recorded it as at least five.

            In other words, lies, damn lies, and statistics.

            The rest of what you said is frankly not worth responding to, but certain elements of the above line apply.

          • AnnaPDE

            What Christian people do in terms of good and charity has exactly nothing to do with bringing their god-related beliefs into the equation when it comes to medical evaluations. Doing so would show total incompetence — just as you are exhibiting.
            And just while we’re at the topic of your ignorance: The whole point of your nation, and why people went there to found it in the first place, was to be able to practise one’s own religion as they wished instead of getting persecuted for not following their ruler’s beliefs. What you are trying to do is the exact opposite of your country’s founding principles, and it makes the US a worse place for everyone.
            Which is why I’m quite glad to live in a place where religion is actually treated as a private issue — including by the very people who do good things motivated by their beliefs. Your long-discredited claims about “rape capital” and other things notwithstanding (ever heard of improved reporting?). Let’s not even go into your stupid rant bit about not being able to deal with non-binary people’s existence.

            In a nutshell — your ideas and beliefs about a god have no more validity for anyone apart from yourself than my randomly invoked ghost unicorn. In particular, both are completely unsuitable as the basis for policy decisions — and anytime you’re trying to justify anything with “but the Bible says”, you’re sounding exactly like someone referring to their whispering unicorn.

    • yentavegan

      We want so desperately to believe that a loving creator would assure us that we women can produce the bountiful breastmilk our babies need. If only we ate right, lived clean and trusted enough and had faith enough. But we do not live in a world of wishes and dreams. This world is filled with contradictions and heartache. We can fulfil our personal mission while still being consumers of modern medicine and technology.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Well, I also believe that God is the creator and designer of the human body, but I also believe that, along with diabetes/childhood cancer/bad eyesight/deafness/thousands of other bad things, one of the effects of original sin is to cause some women’s bodies to not work as they were designed to…and that’s okay. Those who have bodies who grow and nourish their babies well are in no way superior to those of us whose bodies seem quite determined to kill their kids early on. It’s just what to expect in this world. The point is, as Gandalf said and as my DH points out to me when I start to get depressed over my inability to birth or feed my babies, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” I could, and have, spent weeks and months sobbing because I was convinced that I was worthless as a Catholic mother because my body wouldn’t do What It Was Supposed To (TM). However, I think that a lot more good comes out of my taking a deep breath, admitting that I’m sad about these things, and then feeding my C-section kids a bottle of formula before taking them to the library and the park than crying about what might have been.

      • deedwan

        Absolutely…you have figured out how to adapt.

      • demodocus

        I love that your husband comforts you with the wisdom of Gandolf.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          He’s just plain awesome like that. (And in many other ways, I should add.) 🙂

  • Stephanie

    All the lactation folks I have seen and when I was in the hospital, they taught parents to count wet and dirty diapers and seek medical assistance of they don’t meet the quota.

    Co-sleeping should only be practiced using the Safe Sleep 7. I’ve never seen any issues of mom is breastfeeding on demand, no pillows or blankets near baby, baby is healthy, baby is on his back lightly dressed and not swaddled, mom never smoked, mom is aware – not overly exhausted or on awareness-changing medication and isn’t obese.

    • NoLongerCrunching

      Well if you’ve not seen it, it must not exist.

    • Heidi

      Even if those rules are followed, studies show that infants who bedshare are more likely to breathe in more carbon dioxide. They can overheat still, just from body heat of their parents, but also they can end up breathing in the carbon dioxide a parent is breathing out instead of getting as much oxygen. Of course, it’s safer to bedshare with those rules in place, but it still isn’t safest practice.

  • danmeek

    So the risk of hypernatremia, an easily treated condition, is 2.5 per 10,000 live births in the Oddie (2001) study you cite. Meanwhile, the risk of necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is 7.2 per 10,000 live births (Llanos 2002; Mayaan-Metzger 2004). In both Mayaan-Metzger (2004) and Stout (2008) none of the full-term babies with NEC were exclusively breast-fed, and the same pattern is present in all the pre-term studies. Post-surgical survival rates were around 60-75% in the clinical studies. So from where do you get the idea that breastfeeding is more dangerous than formula feeding in the developed world?

  • Jessica

    This is ridiculous. What are your credentials? You are going to tell me my hospital, pediatrician, OBGYN and lactation consultant are all wrong? You are a dangerous person spreading misinformaton to mothers.

    • Who?

      Highlighting the real things that can go wrong when the act of breastfeeding is prioritised over the act of feeding a baby isn’t ridiculous.

  • diana

    wow Amy you probably feel so bad that you didn’t bf your kids if you have any, this is load of horse shit! shame on you, how much were you payed for this by formula company !

    • Who?

      She did.

      All four.

      Next.

  • E

    Dr. Amy,

    I’ve been curious to know how you feel about breastfeeding while smoking marijuana. This happened last year in my home city not long after I had given birth to my daughter.

    http://www.livescience.com/47373-smoking-marijuana-breastfeeding-risks.html

    The mother had smoked marijuana throughout her pregnancy for anxiety. She gave birth two months pre-mature and insisted on providing pumped breastmilk to her baby now in the NICU, while continuing to smoke marijuana. Since this happened locally for me, it was a hot topic amongst my friends. Most of my friends, educated women in their thirties, argued that the mother had done the right thing. There seems to be a huge defense of both breastfeeding and marijuana use. Both are seen as natural and therefore without harm.

    I am curious as to your thoughts as I’ve heard very little on the topic.

    Thanks.

  • Rosalind Dalefield

    I notice that breastfeeding fanatics use a similar argument to natural childbirth fanatics; that ‘very few’ women are unable to do it. There is a subtle eugenicist tone to that. They appear to think that the babies of women who cannot breastfeed can just die, in the same way that the babies of women who cannot give birth without obstetric assistance can just die. I find that attitude completely repugnant and disgusting.
    Here’s a good one for you Dr. Amy. I was recently told on Facebook that I would not have had a perineal tear with my third child had I not had episiotomies with my first and second. Well, the reason I had to have episiotomies with my first and second was because they were both forceps deliveries. I suppose the person who blamed my vaginal tear on previous episiotomies thought I should have just let the first two babies die or be severely brain-damaged, just so I could avoid a perineal tear with the third!

  • MaryJBullock

    nowRead this skepticalob… Here’s a Blog
    lllllllllllll

  • Daleth

    Babies are also dying because some practitioners–including, apparently, some DOCTORS–are attending extremely dangerous births. Such as this BREECH VBAC, which ended in the death of the baby. Of course, since this guy is a doctor, he’s actually getting some consequences:

    http://health.wusf.usf.edu/post/doc-hailed-vbac-delivery-under-fire

    • Azuran

      I love the part where he blames the mother, saying the baby died because she did not push when he told her to.

      • Daleth

        What a monstrous human being. I’m kind of glad he’s sailing into his disciplinary hearing without a lawyer. He will get what he deserves.

  • Brittney

    Hahaha wow. Paid off by formula pushers? Wow. Done with this site. Good try. I’ve seen the real studies.

    • NoLongerCrunching

      I know this may be hard to believe Brittney, but people who hold a different opinion that you are not always being paid off by industry.

      • Brittney

        Irrelevant. This whole article is opinions. None of it is supported by science at all. Either the author is paid off, or an opinionated yet uneducated internet “troll”

        • NoLongerCrunching

          What in particular do you find not to be factual?

        • Guestll

          She’s not paid off, nor is she uneducated or a troll. Can you elaborate on what you believe is not supported by science?

        • Chi

          She cites the studies she’s using as references at the bottom of the article.

          Yes, they are scientific so may be a bit difficult for the layman to understand. Just because you don’t understand the science doesn’t mean it’s invalid.

          Seems to me the only troll here is you. Dr Amy provided links, you haven’t.

    • momofone

      Would you like to share the “real studies” with us?

    • Monkey Professor for a Head

      I’m going to reiterate what I have already said previously in the comments. What is wrong with acknowledging that there are upsides and downsides to both breastfeeding and formula feeding? What is wrong with acknowledging that breastfeeding is not 100% perfect? What is wrong with acknowledging that the decision on how to feed a baby is not “one size fits all”, and that in certain circumstances formula feeding may in fact be best?

      I’m not anti breastfeeding at all. In fact I’m due to give birth any day now, and I’m hoping to breastfeed. But the growing deification of breastmilk as “liquid gold” and vilification of formula as poison is both untrue and dangerous.

      • Sarah

        It’s because women can’t be trusted to make the correct decision for themselves.

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          Exactly! I think that’s a big part of why there is such fear of saying anything negative about breastfeeding or anything positive about formula feeding. Because we can’t be having women making an informed decision. Paternalism – bad when it’s coming from doctors, but good when it’s coming from lactavists!

          • Sarah

            And midwives.

      • April Wojahn Conley

        Breast milk isn’t one size fits all. Every mothers breastmilk is tailored to fit the needs of the child that they’re feeding. Whether they are sick and need more antibodies to fight off infection or if they need more then your body produces that much more milk. Formula is in fact one size fits all and babies aren’t designed that way.

        • Who?

          Designed? Nice.

          Head over to The simple reason why breastfeeding is never a substitute for vaccination, and prepare to learn!

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Yes, that’s what lactivists say, but there’s really no evidence for that. It’s pure speculation.

    • Renee Martin

      And here we go denying the DEATHS.
      How many deaths are acceptable to push BF?

    • SporkParade

      Formula “pushers”? Because nothing says “I respect other women’s infant feeding choices” like comparing formula to illegal drugs.

    • Sarah

      Psst, wanna score some Aptamil?

    • N

      No Brittney. Dr. Amy is a Lactivist. Or was one.

      “Breast-feeding is not necessarily difficult or inconvenient. After all, until the relatively recent invention of formula, all babies were successfully breast-fed. ”

      http://www.askdramy.com/Chap30.html

      • NoLongerCrunching

        Interesting! Dr Amy, care to comment?

        • N

          Let’s admit, it was a long time ago, she wrote this – 1994 – but could she not change it, as it is not her opinion anymore?

          • Roadstergal

            Not just opinion – data has changed. We’ve got much better data now on how very limited the benefits are in the industrialized world, and certainly speaking for myself, a greater appreciation for the difficulties women have and the toll it can take on them.

            It’s a strength to change your views and opinions in light of new data.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Sure.

          My view of breastfeeding has changed over the past 20 years because of the large amount of scientific research that has been published since then that has failed to demonstrate any benefit.

          • An Actual Attorney

            Still, all babies were successfully breast fed? I’m surprised you wrote that. That’s just bad history, and bad literature too.

          • Michael Clark

            It certainly is via the retrospectoscope!, But I did my med school OB rotation in 1996. and what she said was the party line we were taught at the time. To me, this just gves me confidence that she is promoting science based medicine. In the mind of this physician-scientist, science based medicine is not about trying to prove that what one already does works, but rather abandoning old positions and treatments because of new data. (as an aside, I’m not aware of any alternative / complimentary / whatever one wand to call it medicine that has ever dropped a method or treatment on the basis of experimental evidence).

            So I’m untroubled that Dr. Tuteur was saying the 1994 OB/GYN party line in 1994. and is saying something different 20 years later.

          • Allie

            The big difference between science and pseudoscience is that real scientists are prepared to abandon their existing theories and opinions when evidence shows them to be incorrect.
            Pseudoscience starts out with a pet theory that will never be changed or abandoned and just molds the existing evidence around it, ignoring or contesting the parts that are inconsistent.
            Current breastfeeding advocacy has devolved into pseudoscience: despite convincing evidence to the contrary believers are unwilling to even contemplate the possibility that breast vs bottle may not have any significant impact on long term health in developed countries.
            A standing belief that is held on to despite evidence to the contrary and that no-one is allowed to challenge is called a dogma. Those have no place in science or medicine.

          • Michael Clark

            I could not have said it better myself! The perpetually tentative nature of science and its built-in capacity for error correction are the core of its power. Unfortunately, while they have to take a lot of science classes, it is something a lot of M.D.s and R.N.s don’t really understand. Is the common disconnect between learning things figured out using science (in science classes) vs, understanding how science works (usually by being involved in scientific research).

            As a result, even ostensibly scientific conventional medicine can he stubbornly pseudoscientific at times. In some cases, it hangs on for decades (psychoanalysis / psychodynamics leaps to mind). When a constituency is created, it can be pernicious. To paraphrase Upton Sinclair ‘it is difficult to get one to understand something, when one’s salary is dependent on not understanding it.’ That may well be at play here.

            Granted it is not, my area of expertise, but my reading of the breastfeeding literature is that effects are statistically discernible in several areas, but at least for those most pertinent for developed countries, the effect sizes are very small. And for some, IIRC IQ, are found only in individuals with particular genotypes. So while breastmilk from the breast may be ‘best,’ even formula from a bottle is pretty darn good and nothing to feel bad about, despite the cult of no burden to large, no effect size too small parenting.

            It doesn’t help that neither effect size nor unintended negative consequences have ever stopped medical academies from making recommendations on a variety of topics that are completely ignorant of practical realities. Such as AAP recommending only breastfeeding for a full 6 months. The real world utility of this recommendation illustrated by the fact that IIRC, the number of female pediatricians following it is in the low single digits.

      • Gozi

        That was an interesting read…

      • ProChoiceRN

        Dr. Amy’s number 1 job is to be a troll.

      • ProChoiceRN

        Dr. Amy’s number 1 job is to be a troll. That’s why she’s been uninvited from several blogs. I especially love her old posts about obesity! Those are the best.

      • Ardea

        Your Dr. Amy is not the same person as this one (judging by the picture).

        • N

          Yes it is:

          “Disclaimer: Dr. Amy does not and cannot provide medical advice. Only someone who has examined you and reviewed your medical records can provide advice. Dr. Amy offers explanations and information.

          Dr. Amy Tuteur is an obstetrician-gynecologist. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Tuteur is a former clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. Her book, How Your Baby is Born, an illustrated guide to pregnancy, labor and delivery, was published by Ziff-Davis Press in 1994.”

          http://www.askdramy.com

          • Ardea

            Interesting.

    • sdsures

      “I’ve seen the real studies.”

      Please list them.

    • sdsures

      Still waiting to see those “real studies” that you’ve seen.

  • Ash

    A thought here re: formula supplementation. Why do some people or organizations discourage using a bottle when providing formula supplementation? Bottle makes the most sense to me if there is no other medical contraindication. AFAIK most women who pump milk use a bottle anyways. admittedly i don’t know what percentage of nursing mothers in the USA use a breast pump.

    • yentavegan

      Lactavists advocate that all feedings take place at the breast and therefore supplemental feeds of pumped milk of formula should be fed via a SNS. The idea is to keep the mother’s breasts stimulated to produce milk every time a baby feeds.

      • sdsures

        SNS?

        • Chi

          Supplemental Nursing System. It’s basically a bag that you fill with the supplement (either donated breastmilk or formula) and then hang around your neck. A small tube runs from the bag and the end of it is taped to the nipple.

          So that way when the baby sucks at the breast, they’re still receiving a supplementary feed, but the breasts are also still being stimulated to keep milk supply up.

          It’s claimed that this avoids nipple confusion and I was strongly urged to use one when my daughter was having trouble nursing. I refused, switched to a bottle and we haven’t looked back.

    • NoLongerCrunching

      Because people overinflate the risk of nipple confusion/flow preference. While it can happen, it is very unusual in a baby who is able to successfully latch onto his mother’s nipple. If he is not latching, it is not nipple confusion, it is simply the baby wanted to latch onto a nipple that he is actually able to latch onto, rather than being frustrated with unrewarded efforts.

      Every supplementation method has benefits and drawbacks; there are actually sometimes benefits to using the bottle over other forms of supplementation like cup and SNS (tube at breast). A bottle is simply a tool, which can be used to undermine breastfeeding or support it.

  • SporkParade

    A related article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/02/has-breastfeeding-mania-gone-too-far.html?source=TDB&via=FB_Page. Of course, the local lactation consultant butted in to the discussion to remind us that, while she is totally supportive of formula supplementation, we should remember that supplementing with formula will make our babies unhealthy.

  • itry2brational

    The first 24 hrs after birth are the riskiest time of everyone’s life. What is the relative risk compared to non-bed-sharing maternity wards? How many incidents/accidents resulting in death are there to compare to?

    • Azuran

      Bed sharing has the very real risk of death for a baby. It is a known fact. What kind of risk do you see in ‘not bed sharing’? How does not sharing your bed with your baby cause it’s death?

      • itry2brational

        “Bed sharing has the very real risk of death for a baby. It is a known fact.” <–never denied that.
        "What kind of risk do you see in 'not bed sharing'?"
        Lots…to repeat, its "the riskiest time of everyone's life." You're missing the point and/or don't seem to understand what relative risk means.

        • Azuran

          Relative risk of what? What risk are there to not bed sharing? What kind of death does a ‘not bed-sharing’ baby face that would have been prevented by bed sharing? If you want to compare relative risks, you have to at least be able to name a risk.

          • itry2brational

            Seriously? “What risk are there to not bed sharing?” Every risk that isn’t related to bed sharing. Some are the same.
            All this talk of risk but you cannot quantify it. That makes people think you don’t actually know what it is. The latest guidelines for “Baby Friendly” from the UK states:
            “The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a cot by your bed.”
            Not sleeping in bed next to you.

            http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Baby_Friendly/Infosheets/statement_NICE_guidance_co-sleeping_2014.12.pdf

          • Chi

            To be honest, I’m not sure what you’re trying to argue here.

            Bed sharing IS inherently more risky than any other option, such as a cot in the same room, or in a supervised nursery.

            The author’s point is that “Baby Friendly” hospitals are basically forcing exhausted new mothers to bed share with their infants in order to try and establish the breastfeeding relationship. The idea of course is that with plenty of skin-to-skin time, and ample access to the breast, the child will nurse as much as they want in order to get mother’s milk in.

            But because of this initiative, babies are dying. They fall out of the bed when mum falls asleep from sheer exhaustion and loses her grip on them.

            These deaths could be avoided if we weren’t so obsessed with breastfeeding.

          • Empliau

            Yeats has an exquisitely painful poem, “The Ballad of Moll Magee,” about a working woman so exhausted that she slept deeply and suffocated her infant. She is turned out by her husband and stoned by the local children, but her grief for her child is the part of the poem that has always haunted me. Bed-sharing has dangers. Look up the poem at your own risk – it has never quite left me since I read it.

          • itry2brational

            “babies are dying”
            How many? How many babies have died as a direct result of this particular part of the initiative?

          • Chi

            Did you even READ the whole article? At the bottom she cites her sources. There have been at least 15 deaths and 3 near deaths in USA maternity wards because of this initiative.

            Not a huge number admittedly, but it is when you consider that each and every single one of those deaths could have potentially been avoided if those babies had had their own separate safe spaces to sleep in.

          • rh1985

            Even one is too many when these deaths are easily preventable by having a well baby nursery so that the baby can be safely cared for when the mom needs a few hours of sleep to recover from birth, especially when 1/3rd of moms are recovering from a major surgery! Not having a nursery is patient neglect, baby is a patient and should not be left in an unsafe situation. A few hours of sleep to recover from a physical ordeal is not too much to ask. I would have gotten zero sleep after my CS without a nursery, because I couldn’t fall asleep with my baby in the room. Luckily, there was a nursery, so I went home in much better condition than if I hadn’t gotten sleep which helped me to recover, and I knew my daughter was safely being looked after by a nurse who wasn’t about to pass out from exhaustion.

          • Maya Markova

            Oh yes, they leave the exhausted new mother with stitches and blood loss to care for the baby, and then say that the safest place is a cot. The baby will cry and the mother will take him to her bed, hug him and breastfeed him, and he will most likely calm, because all newborn mammals want to lie next to Mum. But this is dangerous.
            In my country (and, I guess, in others too), the mother is not alone with her baby in the room, there are at least 1-2 other mothers and babies. Even if you try to let the baby cry himself to sleep, you cannot, because he will not allow other babies and mothers to sleep as well. So the mother conforts the baby anyway she can, typically by carrying him around, which is “the best” for her torn tissues, or by taking him to bed.

        • Azuran

          Or maybe you want to compare the risk of killing your baby to the benefits of bed sharing? I’m very curious to hear what could possibly be worth maybe killing my baby.

          • Sarah

            Breastfeeding, obviously.

        • Chi

          You have to admit that sharing a bed in those first 24 hours is MORE risky than anything else, including having the baby in a separate cot in the same room as the mother, or in a supervised nursery setting.

          I think you’ll find that deaths in those two settings are MUCH lower. Simply because the mother has somewhere safe to put the baby while she gets some sleep herself.

  • me

    Devil’s advocate time – Is it fair to compare “proper” formula feeding (using clean water, having access to refrigeration, not watering down bottles, etc) to IMproper bfing (refusing to supplement even when doctors are urging you to, continuing to attempt exclusive bfing in spite of baby losing more than 10% of birth weight, despite baby failing to gain appropriately, and/or despite diagnosis of FTT, refusing to at least supplement when signs of dehydration are present, etc)?

    Improper bfing can kill, just as improper ffing can kill. But that’s pretty obvious – if baby isn’t being adequately and properly fed, he is at great risk. Seems you are comparing apples and oranges here.

    • NoLongerCrunching

      The problem, though, is that health care providers are sometimes complicit in letting babies get too close to the edge of starvation before recommending formula supplements. The owner of the FB page https://www.facebook.com/insufficientbreastfeedingdangers describes her pediatrician letting her infant get to 15% weight loss before intervening. Horrifyingly, this is not a rare scenario.

      • Guestll

        This is a really good point and I’m glad you’ve framed it as HCPs and not just lactaloons. I’ve written before that our own former GP, NP, and Very Famous Breastfeeding Doctor let my daughter fall into borderline-FTT (from the 80th percentile) before intervening with…Domperidone, which I took for (wait for it) 14 months.

        Despite bedsharing, despite nursing on cue, despite carrying my daughter in a sling for a good part of her waking hours, despite EBF, despite no pacifiers, despite despite despite…my cycle announced its return at 12 weeks PP and stayed regular from there on out. Perfect latch, great little feeder, no mechanical issues, sufficient breast tissue – I made milk, just not enough after my periods returned. And I had 3 well respected HCPs who did jack shit until my daughter was miserable.

      • me

        Yikes. I guess I’m operating on the assumption (and yes, I know what happens when one assumes, lol) that the babies in question are being seen by sane HCPs. I can understand a new mother being sucked in by lactavists overblown claims. But a pediatrician ignoring a HUGE danger sign (10% loss) and letting that go on until 15% is just horrifying. Where is the safety net? LCs differ dramatically (I think) depending on their training, expertise, and their own philosophy (how into the “woo” they personally happen to be). But Dr’s (and nurse’s) training and regulation is more standardized (at least I always thought it was…). I mean, ultimately it is up to the parents (the doc can recommend all he/she wants, but only mom and/or dad can ultimately decide when to supplement; at least until the child is hospitalized 🙁 for dehydration). But for a doctor to fail to urge parents to supplement – strenuously, and while outlining exactly what the consequences are – when a baby is obviously in trouble…. hard to wrap my mind around that one….

        • Guestll

          It’s not really matter of sanity, it’s a matter of ideology. It’s everywhere – it’s no longer just on the fringe, it’s infiltrated the mainstream. Breast is best, end of. Are there pediatricians, GPs, NPs, who reject this or individualize care to their patients for whom BF isn’t working or desired? Absolutely. But the breast is best – often at all costs – mindset has crept into standards of care, supported by research that is often full of confounders yet loudly trumpeted regardless.

          Domperidone prescriptions are handed out like candy where I live. Know how many doctors and nurses I saw (for a variety of things) during the 14 months it was prescribed to me? At least half a dozen. Know how many of them said, “hmmm…” One, and that’s my daughter’s current pediatrician. Know how many times formula supplementation was suggested? One, again, my daughter’s current pediatrician.

          • Daleth

            Domperidone can kill you by causing cardiac arrythmias. That’s why the FDA banned it here (in the US). I looked into it when my babies were tiny because I wasn’t making enough milk, and there are actually American women who leap through all kinds of completely illegal hoops to get domperidone here, but I figured my babies were better off with formula and a living mother than with breast milk and a mother dead from cardiac arrythmia. Or to put it another way, the risk (however small) that domperidone would kill me hardly seemed worth the purported benefit to be achieved from EBF.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I’ve seen this on the local LLL page. It’s completely insane. “Hey fellow mamas, I’m going to mail-order what purports to be a medication my doctor refuses to prescribe for me! Sure, it’s from a random “pharmacy” in Eastern Europe/China/Canada/whatever, but Breast Is Best! Do you have any suggestions?”
            I suspect if I replied, “Yes. Two. First, don’t be a freaking idiot. Second, give your kid a damn bottle.” I’d be banned from the page.
            *facepalm*

          • Charybdis

            How much do you want to bet that she is one who religiously avoided things like tuna, caffeine and Tylenol while pregnant and will restrict her diet and medication because she is BFing?? I truly don’t understand that thought process, if you want to call it that. How can you be so damn cautious while pregnant, but after the baby is born and you become a milk factory, it is suddenly okay, nay admirable, to take umpteen supplements sourced from God knows where to try to increase your milk production? Is there some magic milk filter in your breasts that selectively removes all the herbal, natural, woo-based production uppers, but lets things like alcohol and antidepressants through? There seems to be a huge disconnect there.

          • Daleth

            If I weren’t an ethical person, I could start a “pharmacy” in my garage and sell crap online for lots of $$. And I’m not even in China–I literally don’t even have ACCESS to all the health-compromising or life-threatening industrial chemicals that some of those folks online do.

          • Gozi

            Let me know when your business is up and running. ..

          • Sarah

            Yes, I’d like to invest in that bad boy. It sounds like a licence to print money!

          • Gozi

            And sell reefer, HARF!!

          • Daleth

            You wanna invest?

          • amazonmom

            Vanuatu is the favorite source for Domperidone for the LC crew where I am.

        • Maria

          Another problem is when a baby has lost 10%+ in weight and the doctor DOES urge supplementation. Some moms then go on their baby board or Facebook and say the doc is trying to sabotage their breastfeeding efforts and they get pats on the back because pediatricians “don’t know anything about breastfeeding” or “exclusively breastfed babies often lose more weight” and it is okay to ignore the doctor’s advice.

    • fiftyfifty1

      Definitions of improper breastfeeding vary. Ask a pediatrician and you will be urged to supplement when needed. Ask a lactivist and you will be told to hold off and ignore what the pediatrician says. And even hospital-based IBCLCs sometimes (often?) fall into the second group. Thus, the recent LC pushes to ignore the 10% guideline by using the lie that babies born to mothers with IVs have birth weights that are falsely inflated. Thus the Baby Friendly Initiative push to measure and reward rates of exclusive breastfeeding at discharge from the hospital where a history of getting any formula, even if clearly indicated, disqualifies a baby from being called exclusively breastfed.

  • JJ

    Here is a mother and baby who lost their life: “Mother Who Vanished With Her Newborn Baby Told to Stop Taking Medication While Breastfeeding” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11544251/Mother-who-vanished-with-her-newborn-baby-was-told-to-stop-taking-medication-while-breastfeeding.html

    • Josie

      I remember that. I seriously can’t believe that the hospital staff didn’t immediately put her back on her medication once that baby was born given her mental illness. The obsession with breastfeeding is turning into a cult like following only it’s NHS staff who are like cult members.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        The most ridiculous part of that whole story was that the medication she was on IS SAFE FOR BREASTFEEDING MOMS.
        Mind you, given her mental health history I’m not sure that exclusive BFing would have been a great fit for this mom, anyway. Being able to have someone else handle the stress of nighttime feeds, for example, might have massively reduced the likelihood that she’d end up with either a worsening of her condition or PPD or both. But hey, we’ll never know, will we? Because a collective of idiots (all of whom should have had their licenses yanked and been charged with, at a minimum, whatever the equivalent is there of negligent homicide) decided that nothing mattered except that this mom breastfeed her kid, possible consequences be damned, and couldn’t even be bothered to spend 45 seconds checking to see if she could breastfeed while on that medication. *snarl*

        • Sarah

          Gross negligence manslaughter I should think, I’m not a criminal lawyer though.

  • itry2brational

    What we can conclude from your references on HD: nearly *all* babies who are/were breastfeeding/breastfed (even exclusively) are living and thriving compared to the very few who suffer(ed) from “moderate” hypernatremia dehydration caused by a lack of milk. That in at least one source the causes in nearly every case could have been identified early on and likely remedied and it wasn’t even remotely “lying lactivists”. And, there were no deaths.

    • NoLongerCrunching

      >”Nearly” all babies…
      >”Very few” who suffered…
      >”Moderate” dehydration…
      >”No deaths”…
      >”nearly” every case…
      >”likely” remedied…

      Is that really the way you want to approach babies’ lives, itry2brational? “Nearly all” babies are fine? Babies deserve better than a “close enough” approach to their well-being. Babies can be fully breastfed even if temporary supplementation for medical reasons BEFORE they are at the brink of death. Name one risk of a few days of supplementation that comes anywhere near the risk of starvation-related complications.

      • itry2brational

        “Nearly all” babies are fine? Babies deserve better than a “close enough” approach to their well-being.”
        That’s pretty dishonest. You’re using quotations for “close enough” when we both know I never said that. Its intellectually dishonest to twist “nearly all” into being “close enough” as well.
        I recognize that its not possible to save every newborn <24hrs old from an accident like their mother falling asleep. It would be UNreasonable and indeed false to say "all".
        Also, "nearly all" is merely a representation of the data in Amy's own reference, it wasn't my "approach" to "babies' lives". That's pretty dishonest as well.

        • NoLongerCrunching

          Ok, I retract my quotes from “close enough.” Only the other 6 phrases are direct quotations. Why is it not possible to save every newborn <24 h from their mother falling asleep? I I coslept with all of my kids, but no one thankfully threw us into it from Day 1. I learned how to do it safely at my own pace.

        • rh1985

          You can reduce the chances by offering well baby nursery care at hospitals so mothers who feel they physically cannot stay awake any longer can have their baby safely cared for. Unfortunately, the BFHI is pushing to get rid of nurseries and for exclusive BF at any cost. In a study on hospital bed sharing deaths, one of the babies died after the mother begged the nurse to watch the baby because she didn’t think she could stay awake. Nurse refused, mother passed out, baby suffocated. A helpless newborn should not be left alone with a patient who is physically incapable of caring for it because she is so exhausted she cannot force herself to stay awake.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Absolutely everything you just said. This crap is dangerous and needs to stop.

          • Maya Markova

            Quite the same case in my country: an exhausted new mother fell asleep while breastfeeding and suffocated the baby with her breast. I’ve often fallen asleep while breastfeeding, and that often holding the baby in my bed, we just were lucky.

  • Emmy-Lou

    Firstly, formula can be watered down more easily than breast milk, and there is more reason to do so – it costs money to formula feed. Breast feeding is free. Nowhere is the advice to water down breastmilk so I can’t even see how that is related. If you don’t use a car seat properly babies will die, should we stop using them too? We shouldn’t stop using breast milk because some people are foolish with it.
    Secondly, babies falling out of bed due to breastfeeding!? That is down to not safe co-sleeping and can happen to anyone formula feeding as easily as anyone breastfeeding. Again, not a direct consequence of breast feeding. It neglects to mention the reduction in SIDS for breastfed babies. It even states that in these cases, obesity and sedation are a factor and yet is only breastfeeding she is blaming.
    Thirdly, if you would trust buying breast milk off of a stranger rather than using a milk bank, that is a matter of judgement and again not directly because of breastfeeding – but rather because of some nasty person tampering with it. I always see opened cans of formula for sale when only one bottle has been made from it, this could have just as easily be tampered with. If you prepared formula incorrectly and watered it down it would be just as dangerous, so again kind of an invalid argument.
    Finally, mild gastrointestinal problems. Given that modern medicine and research supports that fact that the gut is our second brain you may not want jeopardise it’s well being. It is where our immune system lies and many types of chronic illness stem from problems in the GI tract.
    There is also the ethical issue enslaving another species and constantly impregnating them so that we can steal their milk and use it for own young. Along with the environment problems that keeping that many cows in regards to how much grain and water they use.
    The only real issue here is when a woman doesn’t have enough breast tissue to breastfeed, in which case anyone in their right mind would advise to formula feed/use donor milk along side breastfeeding. Another reason to publicise and discuss breastfeeding so a woman would recognise this problem and not seek help. We have one of the poorest breastfeeding rates in the world, are we so biologically different to women in countries like Norway where breastfeeding is so successful? I’m guessing not, just so many women *think* they are unable to breastfeed yet all the comments I read about why someones has stopped could easily have been sorted if they had been given the correct advice and support. Yes there are genuinely women who are unable to breastfeed, yes we should support these women, of course there should be NO shaming of women unable to breastfeed BUT of course we should be aiming to improve breastfeeding rates for the sake of our children given its PROVEN benefits.

    • JJ

      “Yes there are genuinely women who are unable to breastfeed, yes we should support these women, of course there should be NO shaming of women unable to breastfeed BUT of course we should be aiming to improve breastfeeding rates for the sake of our children given its PROVEN benefits.”

      Do you think women who can breastfeed but choose not to should be shamed?

      • Fallow

        She put “PROVEN” in all caps, rather than “proven*” with an asterix ,and a footnote explaining those benefits have never been shown to be very substantial in full-term, healthy babies. This is not a reasonable, well-balanced person we’re dealing with here.

        I think we can assume that Emmy-Lou loves the idea of shaming women, who don’t act like she wants them to act. She wouldn’t be making histrionic comments about this subject, if it were otherwise. There isn’t anything in this post that should be considered that controversial, but ole Emmy-Lou flew into a tizzy at the mere idea that breastfeeding can be harmful. She’s clearly religiously committed to breastfeeding. And ideologues aren’t noted for their tolerance of dissent.

        • Emmy-Lou

          Not at all, it must be heartbreaking to not be able to breastfeed if you want to and I think that people forget that 2% of people who are unable to breastfeed is still an awful lot of people given the population of our country. I think it is awful they should feel any sort of blame. I do not believe in shaming anybody whether they choose to formula feed or not, I have no idea about their life or why they’ve made the choices they’ve made. I will not however sit back and not make comment on an article demonising breastfeeding and breastfeeders (they get enough of that when they have to sit with blankets over there babies head or sit and feed in a public toilet or are called ‘a pedo’ for feeding a toddler) I think all mums should stop shaming each other. I have been a victim of negativity over my feeding choice and had many comments/looks etc from friends and even family about my choice to breastfeeding a toddler and it’s not nice. But I stand by my grievance with this piece that comparing watered down breast milk to formula is not an accurate test, the same as it wouldn’t be if I wrote an article about the dangers of watered down formula and compared it to successful breastfeeding. Also that the issue of babies in bed is really not to do with breastfeeding but rather hospital procedure that needs to be examined. Also obesity and sedation played a part so could of happened to any mummy sitting spending cuddle time with their baby. I think implying that you may kill your baby by breastfeeding them as you’ll be tired and drop them out of bed is irresponsible. I thought it was an irresponsible article given the current rates of breastfeeding. I don’t disagree with the points the author is making in regards to breastmilk should not be watered down and that there is a danger leaving a newborn with tired mum, but better measures should be in place with hospitals rather than blaming breastfeeding. I think she could have highlighted these points without such a demonising and aggressive article. I wasn’t in a tizzy that breastfeeding some babies can be harmful, I’m grateful that there is a life saving option for babies that cannot breastfeed. I was in a ‘tizzy’ because the title and language used towards breastfeeders and blaming them for killing babies is not ok. Regardless for your reasons for watering down breastmilk….no one can MAKE you do it, no where recommends it and I don’t think blaming other people for people who choose to do that is right. I do think we need to be able to talk about breastfeeding and benefits without it being considered to be a judgement on parents who choose a different route. People have a right to be educated on breastfeeding so that they can make an informed choice on the method they wish to choose.

          • Chi

            The thing is, those hospital procedures WOULDN’T be like that if there wasn’t this obsession with ‘Breast is Best’.

            This obsession with exclusive breastfeeding has lead to the baby friendly hospital initiative, which is why babies are dying from bed-sharing. Breastfeeding is to blame. And there’s no way to deny that. Try as you might.

            And being ‘educated’ about breastfeeding does NOT guarantee a successful breastfeeding relationship. I went to an antenatal class, I had THREE different lactation consultants and I STILL was unable to breastfeed.

            So no, it’s not education. It’s luck. If you’re lucky both you and your baby will get the hang of things and be able to breastfeed. But if one or the other simply doesn’t get it, there’s nothing you can do.

            And we shouldn’t put this pressure on new mums, it’s not fair to expect them to be nursing 1 hour out of every 2 for those first few weeks. Combo feeding can actually help extend the breastfeeding relationship by taking some of the pressure off mum, letting someone else take a feed so she can unwind and relax.

            So maybe some more education on the benefits of combo feeding would be beneficial.

            Because I’m sorry, but as long as lactivists continue to demonize formula, babies are going to keep dying from improper breastfeeding.

          • Linden

            Why *must* it be heartbreaking to not be able to breastfeed?

      • Josie

        “Do you think women who can breastfeed but choose not to should be shamed?”

        I’d love to hear from women who didn’t want to.

        I have so much sympathy for women who tried to and couldn’t but I’d like to hear from women who just didn’t want to FOR WHATEVER REASON.

        What were the hospital staff, especially midwives, like? Do they really “force” it on women or if you said no once did they back off?

        I’ve read so many articles where women just couldn’t do it and the staff just were not very understanding.

        • Guestll

          I gave birth at a BFHI. The woman who shared my room didn’t want to breastfeed. She’d just delivered her 3rd child, a few hours after I’d had my daughter. My roommate brought her own formula and bottles etc. with her to the hospital. No nurse or LC expressed disapproval to her, or tried to convince her to nurse. She didn’t want to breastfeed this time and that was that. And she delivered with midwives, same RM clinic I’d used.

          My mother gave birth in the 60s and early 70s and never breastfed, she didn’t want to either. Nobody said jack to her, but it was a different time and place then.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          This is similar to what you’re asking for, so I’ll toss it out there.
          A couple of years ago, a friend of mine had a baby in a BFHI. Said friend had breastfed her first baby, and planned on doing so with the second. However, her milk always takes a relatively long time to come in–think about 5-7 days. As a result, her first baby got jaundiced and spent a couple of days in the hospital getting de-jaundiced with the help of formula. When baby #2 started showing some uncomfortably-high bilirubin levels in the hospital, the pediatrician told her to put kiddo to the breast, and then offer her a bottle afterwards to a) stimulate mom’s breasts and b) get some food into the kid to clear that bilirubin out. No problem, said my friend, and called the nurse to her room to request a bottle of formula.
          Even though the KID’S PEDIATRICIAN had told my friend to give the kid a bottle, the nurse refused to give my friend one because “we don’t allow bottles here, this is a breastfeeding hospital.” My friend pointed out again that the ped had said to give the kid a bottle, and the nurse again refused. Friend said, “Fine,” turned to her husband, and told him to go to the store and get a couple of bottles and some formula. The nurse said she wouldn’t allow that, either.
          My friend had to request (and get) an early discharge along with her kid and leave in order to feed the kid a freaking bottle of formula. After a few hours to get the discharge paperwork done, they left. At the doctor’s, the baby was discovered to be sufficiently jaundiced that she was admitted (to a different hospital, needless to say) to go under lights. This could well have been avoided if the mom had been allowed to just follow the doctor’s freaking orders. The doctor was fifty shades of PO’d about the situation, and did call the hospital to raise Cain, but while my friend’s complaint is probably not common, I doubt she’s the only person who’s been caught in this insane idealism.

          • rh1985

            What the hell? I would have threatened lawsuit if they refused to allow me to use formula

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            My friend is, if anything, too nice. She also grew up deep in the homeschool stuff, so she still has an undercurrent of worry that defying an authority figure like that will result in their calling CPS on her or something. Not going to happen, of course, even in the most out-of-control CPS caseworker circumstance (“Hello? I want to report a mom who’s trying to follow the pediatrician’s orders to feed her kid. Hello? Hello?”), but it’s hard to break out of that mindset.
            Me, I’m not quite so nice. I almost hope they try that on me with the next kid. *grins evilly* My FIL is a lawyer a) with slightly less than no tolerance for stupidity and b) who has a large family of very successful kids, most of whom were formula fed. Methinks he’d enjoy that phone call very much indeed.

          • Gozi

            How could she not allow the husband to get formula? How did she plan to prevent that from happening?

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I believe the implication was that the baby was a patient, and would therefore only be allowed to eat what she, as the patient’s nurse, would approve.

        • Sarah

          Here I am. In the UK, formula feeding by choice, no reason to think I wouldn’t have been physically able to breastfeed exclusively if I’d wanted to. Milk came in, lots of family help available if needed, no family history of any supply issues, blood loss normal.

          First time, I wanted to try breastfeeding to see what it was like, and was given help to latch as per my request. I decided after a couple of feeds that the possibility of benefits that were imperceptible on an individual level weren’t going to be worth the discomfort or being solely responsible for night feeds. I think the midwife might have tried to talk me out of formula briefly, but I insisted. A couple of days later, I spoke to a health visitor whilst at home, and mentioned one of the reasons I didn’t want to do it was because I didn’t want to be responsible for all feeds. She said I’d been responsible for all feeds while the baby was in the womb. I was too tired to explain why there was a distinction.

          Second time round, I didn’t make a decision beforehand but planned to just do whatever I felt like doing. I did argue with the midwife at the antenatal appointment where they do the breast is best spiel, and pointed out some of the outright falsehoods in the leaflet she gave me. She accepted it and said it was tough sometimes to stay on top of the literature, and sometimes things the NHS printed were obsolete by the time they were issued. I think I was more familiar with the research than she was. I had an emergency section in the end, and didn’t breastfeed at all. No medical professional said anything. They still haven’t. Baby and I were separated for about the first eighteen hours, both needed to be on our respective wards, and they asked if I wanted to give her formula and whether I wanted it to be in a bottle or a cup (cup would be advised if I wanted to breastfeed). I was impressed with the level of respect they showed for my choice. In this instance, we were both quite unwell initially so I think they knew they had bigger fish to fry than whether I was breastfeeding.

          • Guestll

            She said you’d been responsible for all feeds in the womb? I guess that absolves anyone else of having to do with the health or safety of your child once earthside! It’s all on you, Mama. Namaste.

          • Sarah

            A nice way to look at it! I think she thought she was empowering me or something, as my milk was in at that point and in theory I might have restarted breastfeeding. It didn’t work. I had had more than enough engagement with the things that make me a woman that week.

        • JJ

          My step-sister said she felt a lot of pressure to breastfeed at our local hospital. She would ask for a bottle and they would tell her she “should at least try breastfeeding”. She would just repeat that she needed a bottle and then they would go get one. She was not going to be swayed into BFing again. She breastfed her first baby for a bit out of guilt and then bottle-fed the next three from birth.
          The hospital has also become more “baby friendly” since her first and ended the nursery which means that her mother had to sleep at the hospital with her so she could get help after giving birth. I am having my baby there and I am not happy about that. I am fortunate that my husband will be able to spend the night but how about a little consideration for the recovering patient!

        • mythsayer

          I know someone who didn’t want to. She was a victim of sexual assault and she just didn’t want to.

        • Linden

          While chatting with my hairdresser a few years back, she casually mentioned that breastfeeding felt “unnatural” to her, so she stopped.

          Did I castigate her about her choice? Did I quiz her about whether she tried this or that method to control her distaste? No. Because I’m not rude and I’m not judgmental. It matters not a whit to me whether she tried for one day, or she tried for a month, or not at all.

          There is an exact parallel between not wanting to breastfeed and not wanting to have sex, say. If that person doesn’t want to, it is reason enough. It is their body.

          And you don’t really sound like you want to hear from women who didn’t want to. Sounds like you’d have little sympathy for *them*.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            It sounds so wrong, but one of the oh-so-many reasons I stopped was that, at the risk of being graphic, it was sexually arousing, something I found incredibly wrong since it was my kid that was making me feel that way. It wasn’t the nursing per se, and it CERTAINLY wasn’t the kid, it was, well, that there was a mouth doing *ahem* something on a certain rather sensitive area of my body. I distracted myself as much as I could, and yeah, the fact that it was often very painful helped with that distraction, but it was psychologically really disturbing for me.

        • Charybdis

          I was willing to try and I did while I was in the hospital. Discovered then that I *HATED * it. Hated the feeling, hated the time involved, hated the fact that I was the only one who could feed the baby, hated having a boob ornament on all the time and I REALLY HATED pumping. I never had good let down, so I switched to formula, got some stress relief, became happier and DS became happier as well. Switching was a no-brainer for us.

      • Emmy-Lou

        No I don’t believe in shaming women who CHOOSE to formula feed as there all sorts of reasons i.e.)careers and returning to work, lack of supportive network of family and friends, sexualisation of breasts, self esteem issues, medical conditions, mental health issues, previous sexual abuse victims etc the list goes on. No one has lived anyone else’s life. But I do think as a society as a whole we need to look at why our rates are so low as nation compared to that of others. But no, I don’t think on an individual basis anyone should be judged for however they choose to feed their babies.

    • moto_librarian

      Here’s a clue for you: What are the maternity leave policies like in Norway? What are they like in the United States?

      Women have agency over their own bodies. Not wanting to breastfeed is reason enough.

    • Guestll

      Open cans of formula for sale? Where?

      • moto_librarian

        Yeah, I’m calling bullshit on that one.

        • Guestll

          I was going to go with “the gut is our second brain” but thought I’d start with an easier one first.

        • just me

          Craigslist

          • Guestll

            Open cans? I know Craigslist functions as a sales conduit for formula, but what I’ve seen is unopened cans for sale. Though I imagine there’s a market for open cans.

          • emmy-Lou

            On local selling pages on FB I see it regularly. Sometimes not selling, sometimes giving but lots of it.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Way to miss the point, Emmy-Lou!

      The point is that babies are dying because lactivists like you are lying (or just profoundly ignorant) about infant formula.

      The gut is not the second brain (although maybe it is for you). The latest information about the gut suggests that neurotransmitters that are known for being active in the brain may be active in the gut. That’s hardly surprising since there are nerves in the gut that are directly controlled by the brain.

      There has never been any demonstrated benefit in any public health parameter from improving breastfeeding rates. Breastfeeding rates fluctuated wildly in the 1900’s and that had NO impact on infant mortality, lifespan or IQ.

      Lactivists need to stop lying about the “benefits” of breastfeeding and that includes you.

      • just me

        Could it not be, though, that conditions were such back then that the benefits weren’t captured due to some overwhelming factors such as no antibiotics or vaccinations? And maybe 1900 era studies weren’t that robust?

        • Roadstergal

          By ‘the 1900s,” she’s referring to the century. BF was at an all-time low in the 70s, and has increased since then – it’s still going up and I think it’s in the 80% range in the US now? And many public health measures have had the same trend – down for a lot of things, up for a few others – as BF declined, then came back up, showing that the overall population effect just isn’t there.

          • just me

            Fair enough. I misinterpreted what she meant

      • itry2brational

        “Lactivists need to stop lying about the “benefits” of breastfeeding and that includes you.”
        The hypocrisy of this is astounding. Cutters need to stop lying about the “benefits” of circumcision and that includes you, Amy.

        “There has never been any demonstrated benefit in any public health parameter from improving breastfeeding rates. Breastfeeding rates fluctuated wildly in the 1900’s and that had NO impact on infant mortality, lifespan or IQ.”
        There has never been any demonstrated benefit in any public health parameter from improving circumcision rates. Circumcision rates have fluctuated wildly and have been very high and are generally high in the US and that had NO impact on HIV or STD transmission rates, lowered UTI rates or reduced rates of penile cancer. A trifecta of fail.

        • Amy M

          Look, we now know your stance on circumcision, but its completely irrelevant to today’s topic of discussion. There’s a circumcision post a few days back, if you want to talk about that.

          • Roadstergal

            Come on, Amy, we all know that there are penis-friendly hospitals where women are presented with all of the information on the benefits of circumcision and strongly encouraged by all staff during their entire stay to have their baby circumcised…

            (Parallel fail.)

          • itry2brational

            Its relevant because its exposes the author’s inconsistency. Here’s another for you and readers: Amy’s first source for HD stated a rate of 1.9% for “moderate” HD and “No deaths”. The AAP’s Special Report on circ listed several sources for complications from circ and they averaged 2-5%. If 1.9% is “common” enough to be an issue worthy of her alarmist title and opening sentence then 2-5% is a “common” occurrence for complications from circ.

      • Valerie

        “Right here in the gut, that’s where the truth comes from ladies and gentlemen, the gut. Do you know that you have more nerve endings in your stomach that in your head? Look it up. Now, somebody’s gonna say I did look that up and it’s wrong. Well mister, that’s because you looked it up in a book. Next time, try looking it up in your gut. I did, and my gut tells me that’s how our nervous system works. ” -Stephen Colbert

    • Sarah

      Regarding the purchase of breast milk, you’re kidding yourself if you think all women who want to obtain milk from banks are able to do so. And when they buy it online and it’s contaminated, this isn’t because of nasty people tampering with it. It’s because of the donor having a condition that can be transmitted through breastmilk, such as HIV or hepatitis.

      Additionally, you mention that there should be no shaming of women unable to breastfeed. You don’t mention those who could but choose not to. Can you confirm that you don’t think they should be shamed either? I think we would all find clarification of your position on voluntary formula feeding useful.

      Lastly, I wonder how formula can be watered down more easily than breastmilk? I admit I’ve not tried watering down either, but would have thought adding water was a matter of equal simplicity in either case…

      • Toni

        I’d like to address your last question – formula (unless you are using the costly RTF type) MUST be mixed with water in order to prepare it for the infant. Improper mixing (essentially getting the ration of powder/concentrate to water wrong) can happen every time a bottle is mixed, even if the caregiver is not intending to water down the formula. With bfing any watering down would have to be deliberate (since pumped milk is obviously “RTF”). Purely theoretical (and who knows what the impact of one or two improperly prepared bottles are – seems like real harm comes into play only when all/the majority of the bottles are watered down), but yes, when you factor in “human error” seems like formula lends itself to improper preparation better than breastmilk does. JMO.

        • Sarah

          Thank you for your response, but she was pretty obviously not talking about accidental watering down. Hence her mention of there being a cost incentive to water down formula.

        • Montserrat Blanco

          Yes, that is true. But let’s see what happens when you water down formula…

          If you do it once (accidentally) nothing happens. The baby is getting a little bit more water, in itself not a bad thing, and that is all. That feeding has lower calories but assuming you just forgot one or two formula measurements, easily less than 5% of the total daily intake… No big deal.

          If you do it regularly the baby is getting more water than needed. The consequence is that the baby will not gain enough weight. Just like when it does not have enough breast milk… Very few babies have their bottles watered down in industrialized countries. I paid 5 euros a couple of days ago for a can of formula that will get me through three or four days… Much less of what I am paying for my own food. Admittedly it was a promotion but 10 euros is pretty normal here and that formula is perfectly safe for newborn babies. 10 euros every four days… Much less of what I am paying for my own food.

          • Guestll

            “Very few babies have their bottles watered down in industrialized countries” – Sadly it’s not terribly uncommon in low-income communities within North America. Google “formula stretching”, it’s quite depressing and doesn’t just happen in developing countries.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            I live and have worked all my life in Europe. My knowledge about the USA situation is therefore limited. I can tell you about the situation on a few european countries and my personal experience. In Spain I have never ever heard of a baby admitted to hospital because of watered down formula. Not in my university lessons, not during my pediatrics training,not during my two months at an NICU with my son.

            I can tell you a pubmed search of : hospital admissions formula infants retrieved no data regarding hospital admissions for formula fed infants secondary to formula being watered down.

            Here it costs 10 euros a formula can for an infant. You can get it cheaper. My eight month old son will get through 8 cans a month (roughly). 80 euros for a month’s feeding. I spend much more than that on my own food. If you are not able to provide that we do have help available with government money and some charities that will be happy to help. In some european countries you get some money just for being a mother in that country. We have a lot of mechanisms in place in order to avoid infant malnutrition. It sounds strange for me thinking about having a child and not being able to get 100 euros a month to feed it. Mínimum wage+ government money would cover that easily.

            I can see it being different in other places but it really sounds strange to me

          • Sarah

            Yes, unfortunately I too am aware of many examples of this in the low income area I’m from. It is happening, it is happening more, it is happening too often. That, and feeding infants formula that has been prepared several hours before because you can’t afford to throw it away, and introducing cow’s milk as the main drink too early. Poverty is leading many people not to formula feed properly.

      • Megan

        And notice Emmy Lou doesn’t think those of us unable to breastfeed are “really” unable to do so. We just need “more support:”

        ” I’m guessing not, just so many women *think* they are unable to breastfeed yet all the comments I read about why someones has stopped could easily have been sorted if they had been given the correct advice and support”

        And apparently exclusive formula feeding is never ok:

        “The only real issue here is when a woman doesn’t have enough breast tissue to breastfeed, in which case anyone in their right mind would advise to formula feed/use donor milk along side breastfeeding. ”

        So basically women with IGT are given permission to supplement by Emmy Lou but women with IGT don’t really exist since all women she’s talked to have problems that are easily sorted with support. Sure. Tell that to my breasts, my 4 lactation consultants and my tongue-tied baby. Meanwhile, I’ll go mix up a bottle of formula for my baby who is finally thriving now that I’ve basically switched to formula.

        • NoLongerCrunching

          Also, there is currently no diagnostic test for IGT. Therefore anyone who probably has it may be treated with suspicion by lactivists.

        • Emmy-Lou

          I meant the only real issue out of the ones listed in the articlei.e.) babies falling out of bed because the mother was sedated and comparing safe formula techniques to unsafe breastfeeding techniques whic is a flawed argument. Not that that is the only reason someone would be able to breastfeed as there are many reasons. I stand by my statement that I don’t think 98% of British women are unable to where is the rest of the world is. I do think with more trained professional and support the number would definitely increase in successful breastfeeding.

          • Sarah

            Do you have evidence that 98% of the rest of the world is able to do so? I’d be interested to see it, if so. Global breastfeeding rates certainly aren’t at 98%. At any point, let alone after six months.

          • Chi

            I sincerely doubt it’s that high globally. Since even Dr Amy says that 5% of women fail to produce enough milk for whatever reason. Then there’s the babies who, despite mummy having a good supply just DON’T get the hang of it. Plus the ones suffering from complications like lip tie, tongue tie etc.

            The ONLY good thing one of my lactation consultants told me was that in higher mammals like humans and other primates, breastfeeding is NOT instinctual, We have to LEARN how to do it, both mother and baby. And if one fails to learn, despite
            every possible attempt to teach?

            Why are we judging/punishing mothers for that? Surely a healthy infant thriving on formula is better than a dead one because they failed to thrive on exclusive breast milk?

          • NoLongerCrunching

            Right. Good support involves teaching, not pressuring or judging. Even if a mother has to combination feed, her daughters will see her breastfeed and learn from that which will help her breastfeed, possibly exclusively. .

          • mythsayer

            I never made enough milk and I tried soooo hard. I had “support.” Even after my daughter caught chicken pox at 12 weeks and refused to take a bottle for 2 weeks did I make enough. She spent 2 weeks attached to me. If I was ever going to make enough, it would have been then. So no. Not everyone needs more support.

          • demodocus

            I wasn’t sedated. I was so loopy with exhaustion that I probably wouldn’t have noticed if *I* rolled out of bed.

          • Megan

            Regardless of how you feel about other women’s reasons for not breastfeeding, perhaps you can clarify why it’s any of your business how another mom feeds her baby.

      • Emmy-Lou

        Yes but you don’t have to start by expressing it first you just pour it out the tin which is why I used the term ‘easier’ the actual adding of the water is the same. No I don’t think women who can’t breastfeed should be shamed, that would be rediculous. No I don’t think women who choose to not breastfeed to be shamed either at all- as our society and culture has influenced that decision. Our way of life, with boobs being high sexualised, more women having careers than previously all play a part. However, I’m vegan and do not use milk products myself because I think how we treat other creatures on this earth (i.e. putting live chicks in grinders if they are male and yes this does actually happen) is highly unethical, so I do not think that as a society our choice to use formula as ‘the norm’ as is in this country is a good one either. That doesn’t mean I place any blame on individual people though.

        • Sarah

          Your explanation for why you think it’s easier to water down formula is rather garbled. Could you clarify?

          Additionally, I note you’re in the UK. That means you really, really have no excuse at all for your milk bank comment earlier. You must know they barely exist in the UK, and that the small amout of safely screened donor milk available needs to be saved for premature babies for whom it might actually be a matter of life and death?

        • Gozi

          I wish some people would get their panties in a wad about how some BLACK PEOPLE in this country are treated as much as they do about how ANIMALS are treated. Sorry if that seems harsh, but I can’t help it.

          • Sarah

            It doesn’t at all. There are far, far too many people, almost all white (as am I) who care more about cows than they do about their fellow humans.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Indeed. I don’t know what the milk bank situation in the UK is, but in my area of the US, screened milk from a milk bank runs between $4 and $5 per OUNCE. That’s (per Google currency converter ;)) about 2.61-3.21 Brit pounds per ounce. I don’t know about you, but I certainly can’t afford that, and the overwhelming majority of people can’t, either. Insurance will often contribute to the cost of donated milk for a preemie baby, but not a full-term baby and not for preemies once they reach full-term status (ie, after three months for a baby born at 28 weeks).
        Another issue with purchasing breastmilk online is that, despite the genuinely best efforts of the seller, it can get contaminated through the packaging process, through a non-sterile (aren’t they all?) breast pump, and by being sent via less-than-perfect shipping methods. Babies who get sick from gastrointestinal infections get much sicker much faster than adults because of their smaller size and less-developed immune systems. It’s a terrible risk if you have the option of using clean water and formula to prepare bottles instead.

    • Josie

      Emmy-Lou.

      Yes there is some cruelty in the way animals are treated and while I certainly don’t condone this, it’s not formula fed babies who are the only humans who consume milk. Millions of people use and eat dairy, so even if every woman can (and they can’t) and wants to (and some just don’t…who are we to judge?) breastfeed it won’ t stop the production of milk.

      Better to make the public aware of cruelty to farm animals and enact legislation to prevent it. I don’t think promoting breastfeeding is going to stop cruelty to animals.

      If we were all formula fed and most babies were since the 1950’s, well at least in my country, we have turned out very healthy haven’t we? Quality of life and longevity are on the rise so all I’m saying is that if there was a problem with formula surely we would be aware of it by now?

      Maybe I’m missing something but I think that Dr. Amy is making the point that it’s not just breastfeeding alone that is causing the deaths but that they are happening in hospitals to perfectly healthy babies. There is simply no excuse for this.

      Hospital policy “Skin-to-skin”which is enforced by hospital staff, mostly midwives are insisting on putting babies in exhausted, sore, hormonal women arms and then leaving them to breastfeed instead of letting women rest and simply placing the baby in a cot/crib beside them. What’s the harm in the latter? We were probably placed in a nursery at night in the hospital for a few night and again we turned out alright.

      It’s also assuming that every woman wants to breastfeed which they don’t. In fact I’m going to guess that some of these women may not have wanted to breastfeed but felt “obliged” to because of the “health benefits” or were simply forced into it by aggressive hospital staff.

      • Emmy-Lou

        Pretty healthy aren’t we? Um no, the National Health Service is unable to cope. Chronic disease is reaching levels it never has before. Yes longevity has increased due to advances in medicine and clean water and sanitation. So we should make no attempt to be healthy then, take no personal responsibility? Just keep pumping ourselves full of drugs?
        Yes, it won’t stop milk production unless we all go vegan, but that doesn’t make it right. By that standard, why do anything unless we can do it totally. Very foolish attitude.
        As for ‘We turned out alright’ Seriously what kind of argument is that!? We’ve always done it that way is probably one of the most dangerous phrases! We progress as humans, we research, we learn. Shall we just do things as they’ve always been done? Slavery, women unable to vote etc, things change and for good reason.
        Of course there is no excuse for healthy babies in hospital dying but that has nothing to do with the fact that they are breast fed as obesity and sedation were also at play and could easily have happened to a baby that wasn’t being breastfed. This is such a bias article that compares safe formula feeding techniques to unsafe breastfeeding techniques so has no scientific foundation at all. Formula feeding can be just as dangerous if done incorrectly.
        This article just goes to scare anyone to death who is trying to breastfeed and now we may even lose the 2% of women who do successfully feed til 6 months. Totally irresponsible article (like many of her tweets and posts) She could easily have done a factual post about the women who don’t have enough breast tissue to breastfeed and warning of the signs etc.

        • Chi

          The point she is making is the reason babies are falling out of beds is because they are put in there with the intention of just letting them lie there and nurse and nurse and nurse in order to force mummy’s milk to come in. And of course the mother is completely exhausted/medicated so if they fall asleep, they’re not going to be able to catch the baby if it falls.

          Yes it COULD happen with a formula fed baby, but is less likely to. Why?

          Well for starters a LOT of these so-called baby friendly hospitals refuse to allow new mothers to use formula. Then there’s the fact that formula fed babies feed for less time so there’s no NEED for them to be in the bed, and are more likely to have their own cot, either in a nursery or beside the mother’s bed.

          The point is, this shouldn’t be happening. Babies shouldn’t have to starve while they wait for a mother’s milk to come in. Or even when it does.

          And for what? This misguided ideal that breast milk is the be all and end all? Yes it has benefits, but not enough to be worth a mother making herself crazy because her infant is failing to thrive.

          • Sarah

            Yes. And also, exhausted mothers putting babies in their beds so they can get a bit of sleep is not something that would be happening if we still had well baby nurseries available at every hospital. But ‘encouraged’ (read mandatory) rooming in is part of the Baby Friendly Hospital initiative, which as we all know is actually an attempt to encourage more breastfeeding. Ergo, these deaths are associated with breastfeeding and breastfeeding promotion and would be even if the babies concerned were formula fed.

        • Roadstergal

          “Chronic disease is reaching levels it never has before.”

          As is breastfeeding. In the US, it’s at the highest levels it’s been since the statistic has been formally tracked! Chronic disease and breastfeeding have both been steadily on the rise since the ’70s. Clearly, breastfeeding is the problem, and should be stopped at all costs.
          #LactivistLogic

        • Josie

          As usual you completely miss any point being made.

          Dr. Amy’s article is NOT anti-breastfeeding, she is against the utter stupidity of leaving a baby alone and in the arms of an exhausted and medicated mother who is too tired to hold their baby. Put the baby in a crib instead on being so obsessed with breastfeeding that they are endangering a baby’s life.

          “Yes, it won’t stop milk production unless we all go vegan, but that doesn’t make it right. By that standard, why do anything unless we can do it totally. Very foolish attitude.”

          What are you talking about?
          You said that there was a lot of cruelty in the dairy industry, you were the one who brought it up as if formula was the only reason that cows were milked. I merely pointed out that even if every woman breastfed, we would still need dairy farms!

          I am the one being more logical than you by saying we should have legislation to protect animal rights and prevent cruelty. It is you who are so pro-breastfeeding you want every woman to “do it totally”. It is you who has the foolish attitude.

          • gyest

            And it’s not like soy formula doesn’t exist, sheesh.

        • Azuran

          What do chronic health problems have to do with any of this? That has nothing to do with breastfeeding.
          We have never been healthier. More people life with disease because
          1: We got better at identifying those disease.
          2: We got better at managing them, helping people live longer with their disease.
          3: We live longer, therefore have more time to develop those disease.

        • moto_librarian

          We haven’t done nearly enough to protect the environment. Air pollution is rampant, and that is a major contributor to chronic diseases like asthma and heart disease.

    • fiftyfifty1

      “Given that modern medicine and research supports that fact that the gut is our second brain …”
      Jeez, and all this time I thought the dick was man’s second brain…

      • Josie

        True.

        Also women don’t have brains. That’s why we can’t read studies and make up our own minds on breastfeeding.

        We need to be pushed into doing it in hospitals.

      • Sarah

        The dick is man’s first brain.

    • fiftyfifty1

      “Firstly, formula can be watered down more easily than breast milk, and there is more reason to do so – it costs money to formula feed.”
      I would argue that there is more reason to water down breastmilk. Pumped breastmilk fetches a high price per ounce, so watering it down will get you $$$. Also who is more likely to feel a desperate need to make a bottle stretch, a woman who formula feeds and can always just make more, or a woman struggling to pump enough for her infant while at work and who has been led to believe that even a small amount of formula will ruin everything?

      • Emmy-Lou

        I would argue that there are just as many people in poverty (especially the last five years) that are more likely to water down formula which they can’t afford. But anyway, we won’t know which of us is right or wrong. The point is that has little to do whether breastfeeding is good or not and more to do with whether breastfeeding correctly. I could write just as damaging article on formula if I was using incorrect formula feeding methods. You are comparing safe formula techniques to unsafe breastfeeding techniques so the argument doesn’t hold up.

        • Sarah

          That’s most probably true in the UK, since women in poverty are considerably more likely to be using formula rather than breastfeeding. The numbers of poor women with any breastmilk at all to water down is not particularly high.

          The flipside to this, of course, is that improper formula usage due to poverty, which you have just admitted is common, is part of the reason why formula fed babies as a group do worse. And it’s not something that can be controlled for because parents, understandably, do not necessarily share that information with healthcare professionals.

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          I think the most important thing to take away from this article is that breastfeeding is not perfect. Both breastfeeding and formula feeding have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best method of feeding depends on multiple factors. To pretend otherwise is dangerous.

        • fiftyfifty1

          No, I’m a practical type. I have no interest in how well breastfeeding or formula feeding perform under ideal conditions. What is important is how breastfeeding and formula feeding perform under today’s real life conditions for real women and their babies. Here in the United States, the majority of people formula feed in a manner that is healthy and safe. Likewise with breastfeeding.

          Formula feeding has not changed lately, at least in my area. WIC does a terrific job of getting people with low income the formula they need. In contrast, in the last 5 years I have seen more crazy rhetoric about breastfeeding. Because of this dangerous ideology I am seeing more breastfeeding practices such as unsafe bed sharing, refusing to supplement even with dehydration or failure to thrive, mothers ruining their mental health due to breastfeeding pressure, unscreened breastmilk for sale. Breastfeeding is getting LESS safe. Most women still breastfeed safely, but a significant proportion do not.

    • Maya Markova

      Breastfeeding is NOT free. When my children were babies, I was in a dire financial situation and so was perfectly well aware how much formula and food costed. To have some lactation at all, I needed a lot of high-quality food which was a strain on our family budget. When I switched to formula feeding, I could eat what was normal for myself – actually, even less – and I had a net financial gain.
      P.S. I am not against breastfeeding – despite my less-than-successful experience, I think it is great. But I don’t like when breastfeeding is recommended with claims that are simply not true, such as that it is free or less costly than formula feeding. I think that this can be true only on a farm where the family produces its food, provided that the mother’s time is given no value.

      • Sarah

        Absolutely. Lactivists entirely fail to take into account associated costs such as breast pads, a pump, nursing bras and any extra food the lactating mother may feel is necessary. Of course, it’s perfectly possible to breastfeed without needing any of this. That happens. But it’s also possible to breastfeed and spend more on the accoutrements than one would on formula.

        Also worth pointing out that costs associated with breastfeeding are generally front loaded (no pun intended). You’ll probably need breast pads at first but not after several months, for example. And front loaded costs make things less accessible for poor people. The predictable, easily budgeted for costs of formula are often easier to accommodate on a tight budget than breastfeeding requiring initial investment, even if it eventually ends up costing less overall (which it may not).

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          And of course you have to factor in the mothers time, and the impact that breastfeeding has on her ability to work. Many women do not have the option to stay home and breastfeed, they need to work in order to put a roof over their child’s head (or even just need to work to maintain their own sanity). Perhaps in an ideal world a woman should be able to pump at work, but in reality not all jobs are conducive to pumping (and even if it’s legally protected in theory, not all women have the necessary job security to allow them to take regular breaks to pump).

          • Sarah

            Nah, the mother’s time is worthless, remember?

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Sure, open cans of formula for sale on Craigslist is a problem…but so is breastmilk for sale on CL and other sites. The open can of formula *might* be safe. The bags of pumped milk from a stranger *might* be safe. Either are too much of a risk for me to take, though.

    • Gozi

      If you are participating in the WIC program formula is free

    • FigaroPho

      Yes, women in America are very different from women in Norway. America has far higher poverty rates, especially for women with children. America provides very little stable, competent health care and social support to poor women. There is far less income equality and lower mandated maternity leave time. There is also far more genetic and racial diversity and, given how virulent racism still is in the US, being a minority woman is a significant risk factor for poverty and poor health care access. All of these factors are why breastfeeding rates are so much lower and infant mortality so much higher. Breastfeeding rates and infant mortality in America are far closer to Norway’s rates if you only count upper middle class white women in America, basically the same demographics as Norway.

  • carr528

    My third son never figured out breastfeeding. He had a latch that would make an LC swoon, but that was as much as he had figured out. He’d stay happily latched on for a good ten minutes or so (probably happily sucking on his tongue). Thankfully, I was experienced and knew what to look and listen for when a baby is BFing, so I knew right away there was a problem. If he’d been my first, and I’d been deep in the woo, he’d probably would have ended up dehydrated before I noticed anything. I had bought a pump before he was born, so I could pump at work, so I just started pumping (cause it was free). I thought about contacting the LC at my hospital, but then he was diagnosed with craniosynostosis at 1 month. That kind of blew my worries about BFing out of the water. I pumped until he had his surgery at four months, then happily went to formula. Some babies just don’t get how to feed, and I’m so glad I live in the developed world where I have other choices besides just letting the baby starve (and pray it gets better).

  • Gozi

    What always bothered me about breastfeeding books is the author(s) of these books always seem to write as if every woman only has one child. They also seem to assume that all mothers have an army of friends and family ready to wait on them hand foot while the mother recovers and breastfeeds. These situations didn’t fit my life at all, and I found little to no resources to fit my large family with little to no help with the basics around the house.

    Of course breastfeeding is going to work better if a mother can dedicate herself to it fully for months on end without a job, childcare, or household chores getting in the way.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      THIS!
      I got into a bit of an argument online recently with a mom of a large family. She insisted that nearly everyone can nurse, and the way to ensure that you can is to spend the first few weeks lying in bed/on the sofa and nursing almost nonstop. Sounds awesome, said I, but while it’s great that she can go and stay at her daughters’ houses when they have a baby so that that can work, most of us aren’t in that position, especially with more than one kid in the picture. I have few female relatives, and most of them are busy with their own careers, jobs, and schools around the country. (I say that not at all bitterly; I certainly don’t expect them to drop everything and take care of my house and kids for a couple of weeks every time I give birth!) That sort of scenario isn’t really feasible for the majority of women, and it’s not fair to imply that you somehow have your priorities wrong if you want your older kids to be able to spend time with you/eat something besides pizza and cereal in that timeframe.

      • Gozi

        I once only had ONE DAY of help after I came home from the hospital after that I was on my own except for my first grade son. I remember my legs getting hot while trying to cook. It is a wonder I never ended up back in the hospital.

        • Maya Markova

          And when there are adult family members at home eager to help the new mother, their help often is to remind her politely what more chores she has to do.

          • Gozi

            How completely terrible. I have heard of a woman’s family coming after baby comes home only to expect her to get up and cook for them. Some people don’t seem to understand what helping is. I have heard that many couples ask their family to stay away during that time.

          • Daleth

            I saw a great piece of advice for new parents–can’t remember where I saw it–that I took to heart: “Never have a houseguest who is more high maintenance than your baby.”

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I think it’s partly a societal thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of most of the things that happened as a result of the rise of feminism, but one of the things that I think got lost in a lot of areas was knowing how to take care of people who are ill/sick, and we may need to relearn that as a society. Feminism and being a capable caretaker aren’t mutually exclusive! If I have a friend who just had a baby, my instinct is to cook a few meals that can be frozen/reheated, make a batch of brownies, call before heading over there, and when I get there ask if she wants me to clean a bathroom, mop the kitchen floor, take the older kids to the park for an hour, or whatever. To me, that’s just what you do.
            However, after I got married, I moved away from my friends to live with DH, so I wasn’t surrounded by the friends for whom I did that when I had DD. His friends, while nice people, don’t even have a concept of behaving like that. Their idea of helping post-baby was to come over, spend a couple of minutes admiring the baby, and the rest of the time lying on the couch while I dealt with a shrieking baby and made dinner for them simultaneously. *twitch* Fortunately, I’ve since grown more of a backbone. That ain’t happening next time around.

          • Gozi

            I am not sure if that happened because of feminism, but society did/has become more “me” centered it seems.

          • Amazed

            I wonder what happened to the ask your friend what she wants kind of thing. I really doubt anyone would want to wait on their helping friends hand and foot. But if you’re really close, your friends should be able to tell you what they need without feeling bad about it. I mean, I have cooked and cleaned for friends with babies. I have also laid on the couch with a baby on my chest for an hour or so giggling and letting him taste the new sweets (my painted nails which were clearly supposed to taste different because each one was different) because I turned out to be the only other person than mom, dad and grandma who was not scared of doing it wrong and somehow breaking the baby AND was not a teen, like big sister who got bored after a while. This experience taught me something about mom’s need to stay at the terrace on her own sipping water. Her baby, her needs. What’s so hard to understand?

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Been there, done that, got the “I didn’t murder those family members but no jury of my peers would have convicted me if I did” medal to prove it. Grrrr.

      • Toni

        Seems to me if the only way to “make it work” is to lay around in bed nursing 24/7, then it’s probably NOT working so great!

        FWIW – I’m expecting baby #4 and have little to no help (my family is over 1500 miles away, my ILs are a couple hours away, but not very involved, most of my friends and neighbors, you know, work during the day, so they just aren’t available all the time. My husband works full time, has a commute to deal with, travels quite extensively, and is a reservist (so is not home one weekend a month, two weeks a year, and is occasionally TDY or deployed). And, yeah, I have managed to nurse my first 3, and intend to nurse #4, no pblm. Without the house falling apart or the older kids being neglected (and definitely NOT subsisting on pizza and/or cereal! lol). But that has to do with two things – I’m a SAHM who has the time to take care of things and I was blessed with a plentiful supply, and now have the experience to make bfing pretty damn easy (you know you’re a veteran lactator when you can cut the three year old’s meat without breaking latch). I never had to lay about for weeks on end to make it happen. If that had been the case, I would have likely supplemented or switched altogether, especially with babies #2 and 3.

        I will say now that I have an 8 year old to help out, I may very well give this baby the occasional bottle of (gasp) formula – I never before had anyone present to give the baby a bottle, so bottle feeding wouldn’t have benefited me. Now? That’s not the case anymore…

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          It sounds like you and your kids figured out nursing pretty well…yay for you all! And I do mean that sincerely; I know it’s awesome when it works out well. 🙂
          I’m not sure what all the issues were with my and DD’s attempts, and no LC could give me a solid explanation, but one of the things about bottle-feeding DD was that it was so much shorter than nursing her. A nursing session would typically last 60-75 minutes and occur every couple of hours. I could give her a bottle in ten minutes, snuggle as long as she and I were interested in snuggling, and then get on with the things I needed to do…plus a bottle meant she wouldn’t be hungry for a couple of hours afterwards. Also, I could only nurse sitting down because I’d have to fight her for several minutes and use both hands to get her to latch on and stay latched. If I moved, she’d unlatch. Hell, if I took too deep a breath, she’d unlatch. So even though I was a SAHM to only one, nursing was a really bad fit for the two of us in a lot of ways. With future babies, it might work out better, and if so, great! If not, then I’ll switch faster because there’ll be a toddler in the house, and the kind of setup DD and I had would *not* work well with a toddler.

          • Toni

            Yikes. Yeah… I’m almost embarrassed at how easily it came to me and my kiddos. They were all pretty down-to-business nursers, finishing up in 20-30 minutes, and usually drifting off to sleep for the next couple hours. And typically once I got the baby latched on I could get up and walk around and tend to other things without breaking latch (tho that “skill” wasn’t perfected until baby #3 lol).

            Had I been dealing with what you are describing…. yeah I doubt I would have nursed very long, if at all!

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Eh, no reason to be embarrassed that it worked well for you, any more than there is for me to feel badly that it didn’t for me. *shrug* Me, I chalk it up as “mother nature doesn’t really give a crap about any of us individually, and yay for living at a time when that matters less and less.”
            That’s a pretty cool skill, if I do say so myself. I know other moms who can seemingly nurse while doing anything, and I’m genuinely impressed by how well they do it.

      • mythsayer

        We did that! Not on purpose. My daughter BF for 2 weeks straight when she had chicken pox at 12 weeks. Nearly always attached to me. Still never made enough.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Ugh, that poor baby, and poor you! Chicken pox is horrible.

    • guest

      Ha. All the books I read seemed to assume after my babies were born I’d have a stream of friends visiting and setting up meal trains. I got bupkis in the way of meals from friends. Some things are great ideas, but real life doesn’t guarantee that everyone gets the same treatment.

  • Amy

    I don’t think ALL lactivists lie over money. Mainly because they’re not all making money off breastfeeding. I think there’s a huge portion of breastfeeding sanctimommies who lie about breastfeeding being perfect to make themselves feel superior. They make nursing and AP practices in general such a big part of their identity that they have to justify it to themselves in absence of any real accomplishments.

    • Megan

      I think they also lie because breastfeeding is hard work and if you find that all that hard work was for very little benefit then you could wind up resentful and angry. I may be way off base but just a thought…

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    I’ve been temporarily banned from Facebook for the photo of a lactating breast. I’m appealing the ban.

    • Cobalt

      I thought Facebook already went through all that. Maybe there has to be a baby in the picture too. I know they let topless pics with one fully exposed and one feeding breast stay up.

    • Gozi

      What? Why? Did I miss something? Sorry, I have been extremely busy for the last six months or so

    • SporkParade

      Am I a bad person if I find that hilarious?

      • NoLongerCrunching

        Me too! Let’s call the lactivist hoards to support Dr Amy with a nurse-in at her house!

        • SporkParade

          I sort of assumed that Dr. Amy was reported by the lactivist horde….

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Facebook didn’t say that the image had been reported, merely that it violated their standards.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          What did Dr. Amy ever do to deserve that?!

  • yentavegan

    In my limited experience, the negative outcome from immersing a mother in a lactavist’s influence is the lousy way she feels about herself if she can not breastfeed. I do a lot of damage control as a peer volunteer helping mothers not to despair or think less of themselves due to breastfeeding failures. I end up letting the new mothers know that she can still be an awesome cool hip mom without breastfeeding. And that their babies will still be healthy smart and love them.

  • Sue

    OT: I am at a talk at a medico-legal conference entitled “Should we obtain informed consent for vaginal delivery?”

    Outlines the physical and mental (acute and long-term) complications of vag8nal birth. What is “informed consent” for vaginal birth? Fascinating concept.

    • I’m really not sure, it’s a fascinating thought.

      Personally, I feel that all labor and birth options should be made clear during the pregnancy then again at admittance to a facility. If everything goes as it should without the need for interventions seen in vaginal birth (what one might require consent to do), then it will happen regardless of consent being given; baby is already on its way.

      • CharlotteB

        One slight quibble–for some women, when they show up in labor, it’s way too late for that conversation. I mean, had the nurses been required to tell me a bunch of stuff, well, it would have been pointless as I could barely sign my name on the “consent to care” form, and my husband had to sign some other paperwork for me.

        Like, had they said “do you want a cervical check/heplock/EFM? Risks blah blah blah” I probably would have said something like “you are the nurse!! Do whatever!”

        • Roadstergal

          I’m guessing this is intended to be a conversation for early in pregnancy, when looking ahead and discussing options like CS vs VB vs induction, etc?

          I think it’s a dandy idea. Just because VB is the thing that can happen if you just sit around and do nothing, doesn’t mean women don’t deserve informed consent about the various negative outcomes and the rough probabilities accompanying them.

        • Right!

    • CharlotteB

      Oh this makes me so happy to hear! There are risks to vaginal delivery, and women ought to be informed of them. I’d have a loved a handout that had information about typical issues for c-section and vaginal birth (actual issues–not BS like “bonding is impaired” for c-section), something about the risks of pushing too long, risks of going post-dates, etc.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      Would have appreciated information personally. Two tears many stitches. Precipitous delivery of a large baby (9 lbs baby 6.5 hers labor…I am about 5 feet tall…) serious fetal distress requiring NICU team. Could not sit stand walk or poop comfortably for weeks. Currently have stress incontinence issues. But delivering vaginally is soooo much better than Section….NOT. Given a choice i would have preferred a prelabor Section due to my daughters size

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Yeeeowch! I can only imagine. 🙁

    • FormerPhysicist

      It actually makes me crazy that any time you (I?) sign a medical consent form for a procedure it is all and only about the risks of that procedure. Not even a checkbox for “My physician has discussed the risks of not having this procedure with me.” Usually, those risks are father out (years?), but not for c/s vs. vaginal birth.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      That is a *really* interesting idea.

    • Daleth

      Damned right, doctors and midwives should have to obtain informed consent for that. I actually asked one of my docs about that when I was campaigning my MFM team for an elective c-section. (They spent my entire pregnancy waving the vaginal birth pom-poms, despite the fact I was expecting twins and Baby B was breech at nearly every ultrasound, but I wasn’t having any of it.) The doctor said, in a tone of voice that suggested he thought that was a good point or good idea, that no, they didn’t have to discuss the risks of vaginal birth. They absolutely should. I was probably 4 months pregnant before I ever even heard of shoulder dystocia or knew what a 4th-degree tear was, and I found that out here and elsewhere on the web, not from my doctor.

    • Michael Clark

      My wife bitterly complains every time she sneezes about how no one mentioned word one about stress incontinence as a long term complication (just over 7 years now!) of vaginal birth.

  • itry2brational

    “All readmissions to hospital in the first month of life during 1998 from a population of 32 015 live births were reviewed. Eight of 907 readmissions met the case definition, giving an incidence of at least 2.5 per 10 000 live births.
    The eight cases are compared with the 65 cases published in the literature since 1979.” -Oddie et al

    2.5 in 10k is “Common”? 65 cases from ’79-’98 is “common”?

    So far you haven’t shown a single death caused by “lactivist lies” or even a single death from exclusive breast-feeding.

  • itry2brational

    “The British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital is a tertiary care referral
    centre in which approximately 30 000 patients are seen in the
    emergency department each year. The Vancouver Breastfeeding
    Centre is a community clinic for lactation and breast-feeding-related
    problems; it counsels approximately 800 new patients each year. All
    neonates seen at these 2 centres from 1991 to 1994 who were less
    than 28 days of age and with serum sodium concentrations exceeding
    145 mmol/L were identified through a computer search” -Livingstone et al

    19 cases in tens of thousands. “Common”? You know all 19 women/cases were misled by “lactivists”? No deaths. “Breastfeeding has a death toll.”?

  • itry2brational

    1.9% is “common”? “..Infants had hypernatremia of moderate severity …These infants were born primarily to primiparous women (87%) who were discharged within 48 hours after birth (90%). There were no deaths.” -Moritz
    “Babies are dying because breastfeeding advocates are lying”?

  • itry2brational

    “there are quite a few babies who have died as a result of exclusive breastfeeding”
    How many?

  • just me

    What about the meta-analysis study that came out today showing something like a 19% decrease in leukemia for 6 mo breastfed kids? I’m all for not shaming those who can’t BF but that seems pretty compelling. Peer reviewed journal, etc.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Several different people have already debunked it.

    • Maya Markova

      This is bullshit. Leukemia is due to mutations. To say that breastfeeding lowers the risk of it is the same as to say that breastfeeding lowers the risk of thalassemia or Down syndrome. Your chromosomes don’t care how you are fed, as long as you don’t ingest a mutagen (which isn’t in formula).
      I personally hate such bullshit studies. They are product of either lactivist agenda or the urge of some people to make an easy PhD. Similar “studies” in peer-reviewed journals, but about insulin-dependent diabetes, made me fear formula so much that I let my firstborn malnourished for 2-3 weeks. Beware peer-reviewed journals, they sometimes publish crap! The infamous Wakefield et al. study that MMR allegedly causes autism was published in the Lancet. It was soon debunked of course, but because of it Europe is still endemic for measles.

      • just me

        Why is it bullshit? Have you read the actual meta study and the studies it refers to?

        Do you really think an article in an esteemed peer reviewed journal is the daily of a lactivists agenda or a grad student?

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Vioxx was supported by articles in esteemed peer reviewed journals, too. Just because something is published doesn’t mean it’s true.

          • just me

            And my understanding if I recall correctly was that the drug was deemed safe based on animal studies and then of course bc those often don’t translate to humans it caused probs.

            Regardless, dr A you seem to dispute any notion of BF benefits, without citing to scientific proof the studies are wrong, similar to anti vaxxers. I’m tiring of this since a lot of what you post IS based on science.

        • Maya Markova

          If some esteemed peer-reviewed journal publishes a meta-study that some children with retinoblastoma have it because they have not been breastfed, would you advise me to read that so-called study? Maybe I will, when I have some time to waste.
          Peer-reviewed journals are not the Gospel. Much of what is written in them leaves no trace, and another quite large part is specifically refuted. My routine work is to collect data published by other people in peer-reviewed journals, to explain why their results were wrong and my results contradicting theirs are right, and to try and publish my own manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal. One of my articles (titled “Reconstruction and explanation of early artifactual microscopic observations of sperm tail”) is specifically devoted to a mistake of other researchers, who were far better researches than me in every respect.

        • Maya Markova

          If an esteemed peer reviewed journal publishes a meta-study claiming that retinoblastoma is caused by formula feeding, would you again send me to read it and to waste my time?
          And if the claim is that cyanide is good for cancer patients? (For the record, peer-reviewed journals were publishing such crap in the mid-20th century.)
          Peer-reviewed studies are not Gospel. Part of my routine work is to collect other people’s results published in such journals, to explain why these results were wrong and my own results contradicting them are right, and to publish my work in a peer-reviewed journal.

  • KeeperOfTheBooks

    I look back on my hospital stay when I had DD and am honestly horrified by some of the stuff the LCs did. I think the most insane moment of the whole business was when I reported that I was exhausted and DD wasn’t latching on very well, but was shrieking hysterically a lot of the time. This was about 24 hours after she was born. The LC had me lie semi-reclined on the bed, and then surrounded me with soft pillows. She then stripped DD down to a diaper, lay her down sort of snuggled between me and one of the pillows so that she was positioned in a football hold…and then pulled the sheet and blanket up over my chest and over DD, telling me to just rest and nurse all afternoon like that. She indicated that since DD would be in a warm, dark, soft place, she’d be happier/more comfortable/able to focus better on nursing.
    I remember thinking vaguely that this was probably a really bad idea, but I was so exhausted from not sleeping much the night before the C-section, not sleeping much that first night after the CS, and being on narcotics that I kept dozing off. I was absolutely furious that someone popped into the room every ten or fifteen minutes for one damn thing or another and thereby waking me up, but that might have saved DD’s life, given that she was positioned like that against an overweight, exhausted, and inexperienced mom.
    (I maintain to this day that there’s no excuse, however, for having a tech come in to get my and DD’s vitals ten minutes apart at various times throughout the stay. How bloody difficult would it have been to take both our temperatures during the same room entry? And why isn’t there such a thing as a do not disturb sign for hospital rooms if a patient wants to sleep? I mean, sure, if you need to check my IV or whatever, go for it, but can’t housekeeping’s second visit du jour, the patient satisfaction specialist, et all wait an hour or two while I get a nap?)

    • Ash

      Any hospital safety officer would be horrified by a staff member positioning a baby like this.

      Yeah, minimizing patient sleep interruptions are something that hospitals are working on (or if they aren’t they should) as it’s recognized as a real problem for healing.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Next time around, I’ll know better and do better. 😉 Didn’t even know then that there was such a thing as a hospital safety officer. Mwahahahaha! *cackles evilly*

      • guest

        Ha ha ha. I had an overnight stay for pre-e testing, and couldn’t sleep AT ALL because the damned machines never shut up. Apparently my pinky fingers and pulse-ox monitors speak different languages. It was continuously going off, and it’s not like any nurse even noticed or cared. They wanted me to stay in the hospital on bed rest, and I was like, eff you. If I’m going to be on BED rest, I’m going to be on it somewhere where I can sleep.

  • Add to it maternal mortality for those for whom breastfeeding result or aggravates severe post-partum depression.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      This times about seventy-five billion, give or take a zero or three. 😉 I sometimes wonder if I’m the only person who found breastfeeding to be insanely stressful and a PPD trigger, and not especially pleasant most of the time. This is about the only place on the Internet I’ve ever been where it’s okay to admit that.

      • I have a friend who said that she enjoyed it, but also stayed off antidepressants while nursing (even though she didn’t really have to) and it triggered very severe PPD.

        • Tiffany Aching

          OT, but what’s the recommandation about anti-depressants and breastfeeding ? I read contradictory things.

          • yentavegan

            I recommend a mother safe guard her own health first and foremost. If the baby’s doctor and the mother’s doctor are in agreement on breastfeeding while continuing medications than I am on board. I have never and will never suggest a mother stop taking her prescribed medications in order to breastfeed. What good is an unhealthy mother to a needful infant?

          • just me

            Many are fine, including Zoloft lexapro and Paxil.

          • Tiffany Aching

            Thank you very much. I find it difficult to get accurrate information about pregnancy and breastfeeding on antidepressants. People also tend to be very judgemental about it, which makes it hard to ask for information.

          • Am not a medical professional, so I can’t speak to that. The PDR and other Big Pharma Shill sources I checked said it was okay. Her doctor said it was up to her.

      • Chi

        You’re not the only person. My midwife had to make my husband go and get a tin of formula for my baby when she was 6 weeks old because she had lost too much weight, was constantly hungry, not sleeping and I was at the end of my rope and she could tell.

        When my daughter fell asleep after that first bottle of formula, she stayed asleep for three hours, the longest stretch she’d ever done.

        And I wound up sobbing my heart out in the bathtub about what a failure I was as a mother because I was failing at breastfeeding.

        Formula saved both of us. She thrived on it and I was able to pull myself back from the abyss of PPD because all of a sudden all the pressure was off and my husband could be much more involved in everything, meaning I could get more rest and “me time” which I sorely needed for my sanity.

        So no, I think it is a severe PPD trigger when breastfeeding isn’t the beautiful, miraculous experience that lactivists promise it will be.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Indeed. I’m at the point where I will give breastfeeding a try with the next, but by “try” I mean “until PPD shows up/until kiddo is having a hard time latching or gaining weight or whatever/until it has become unpleasant for either of us,” and then we’re going to bottles. Barring a preemie, I’ll never pump again. I will not take bizarre herbal cocktails to try to get my milk in or supply up. And I will not compromise my mental health or my family’s well-being by spending an hour+ out of every two nursing (as I did with DD) while the house goes to ruins around me, the toddler is alternating between hysterics and nonstop mischief, and DH is wondering for the second week in a row if he’ll ever eat a dinner that isn’t comprised of cold cereal.

    • Froggggggg

      Yes, I was about to say the same thing.

      It’s probably a number that can never be truly determined.

    • Ashley Harvey

      I usually never comment on articles but I had to share my story. In 2011 I had my son Julian..wanted a natural delivery and ended up with a c section. Then on top of that breastfeeding was extremely painful and I secretly hated it. I literally dreaded each feeding. Julian began to lose alot of weight in the hospital so we decided to supplement with formula. I felt like a failure as a mother. saw 3 different lactation consultants, his latch was perfect, was told I just have sensitive breath and nipples..was told the pain would go away but it never did. I remember describing to my mother the feeding Julian felt like he was sucking tiny pieces of glass shards from my nipples. I was eventually diagnosed with PPD. At the time I was deep into “woo” and I felt that if I stopped breastfeeding it would make me a horrible mom, I thought that formula was toxic, I thought that I was being selfish and lazy and had to fight through the pain. When Julian was 3 months old I stopped breastfeeding cold turkey. I was depressed, In pain and worn out. It was a really dark time for me. Once I stopped breastfeeding alot of my happiness began to come back.

      Now here I am pregnant wit baby number 2. 32 weeks pregnant and I have decided that if breastfeeding doesn’t work out I’ll be giving my baby formula right away. already bought a formula maker. every baby is different so I know that this may be a completely different experience and it may not be painful so I’m open to trying it out (I’m cheap lol and if I can breastfeed it would be better for me financially) but if it’s still excruciatingly painful I will be done with it and will probably never try again with future kids. Happy mom, happy baby. There is no way I am going to torture myself again. My now 3 year old is a big healthy toddler who was mostly formula fed. He’s super smart and awesome. From doing research and finding websites like these I’m glad I know the truth about formula and breastfeeding. I’m happy now that I can make any choice I want that’s best for me and my baby.

  • dbistola

    Dr. Amy-could you point me to which scientific literature brings up these troubling trends?
    There is a woman on Slate I was writing with who called it “hyperbole” when I told her that some babies are in danger of starvation and brain damage due their mothers continuing to nurse despite huge obstacles. She said my response was a bunch of “what ifs” and wanted concrete examples.

    I only told her to ask a pediatrician, and that most mothers care enough to drop the nursing if they see their child not thriving.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      I added citations to the post.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Thank you so much for adding the citations. 🙂 I’ll be bookmarking this page for future reference.

    • I’m not sure that they “care enough to drop the nursing” — it’s that they realize that it’s not a health hazard to combo-feed if it’s needed.

    • Joy_F

      There is nothing wrong with supplementing with formula either. My son was born in a Japanese hospital and it was perfectly normal to “top kids off” with formula to guard against malnurishment. The nurses seemed amused by the “western” idea of needing exclusive breastfeeding and assured me that babies were smart enough to get food however it was offered. (Nipple confusion was a strange concept that they said probably didn’t exist).

      It turned out I hated breastfeeding, but being able to alternate with bottle made it bearable. Upon coming back to the US and finding a completely different set of rules, I contacted some friends back in Japan and asked why they do it that way. Turns out – the fear is of malnourishment, and they want to make certain the baby is well fed by always offering both in case the newborn has a problem of some sort. As a side note – those babies are usually fat, but that doesn’t continue beyond the baby stage.

  • Amy M

    It’s so sad that some babies died because of a crazy message that their poor parents took as gospel truth. I would hope that this sort of thing would be a wake-up call to lactivists—odds are it will be to some. But there are always those so far to one side they can’t be reached, and they’ll come up with some other reason those babies died. In their heads, breastmilk is always lifesaving and beneficial, so there’s no way that it could be associated with babies’ deaths.

    And as Dr. Amy said, no one has died from properly prepared formula, despite the insane suggestions that hundreds or thousands of babies (in developed countries) die because they are formula fed. That’s ridiculous—where are all their graves? It was my understanding that the biggest killers of babies are prematurity, congenital disorders and accidents. Formula does not make the list, as long as there is clean water and the formula is properly prepared.

  • Spamamander

    #3 hits home for me. When daughter #2 was born, because of her Down syndrome, she had weak muscle tone and could not get a good latch, especially on my rather ample and full breasts. I tried pumping and feeding but on top of all the stress and PPD it just wasn’t an option anymore after we got home from the hospital. But hey let’s just pretend breastfeeding is always perfect.

    • Gatita

      My son had a bad latch that was totally missed by the lactation consultant. He was diagnosed with apraxia at 18 months and had to get OT to learn to eat solid food. Some kids just can’t extract milk from the breast.

      • Jessica

        Based on my pump output at the beginning of the work week vs. the end, I always figured my son was not the most efficient nurser. He was four weeks old before he could nurse exclusively at the breast without needing supplementation. There was one bottle he never figured out as a newborn – we had to chuck them because he couldn’t extract the milk. He was always on the lower end of the height and weight charts (as I had been as an infant, so it didn’t seem odd, and also his head was in the 90th percentile). Somewhere in the second year of life he hit a growth spurt and is now above average height and nearly average weight (same huge head).

        But he is lagging on his speech – nearly three and still uses a lot of jargon and approximations and drops the beginning and endings of a lot of words. I wonder whether there is an oral motor issue that affected his ability to nurse as an infant and is now affecting his speech development.

        • Gatita

          It might be worth it to have your kid evaluated or at least teach him baby signs. My kid didn’t begin to really speak until he was 3.5 and the Signing Time videos were a godsend for us. My kid had 100 signs when he could barely speak five words.

  • Stephanie

    Thank you for this. I’m in the 5% who cannot make enough milk to sustain a baby. I made no milk or colostrum for 5 days then a few, tiny drops of milk came out. I didn’t think it was fair to starve my baby because my body didn’t know what to do. Even the lactation consultant at the hospital had to reluctantly admit that my baby needed formula to survive. I was able to nurse for a few weeks with each child but, without being able to supplement with formula, my babies would have died. If you can do it and want to do it, breastfeeding can be great, but it should not be forced and it sure as hell should not be the reason any child suffers or dies.

    • Gozi

      I am a mother who makes copious amounts of milk. I am quite the human milk cow. The was a NICU nurse who said I made more milk than anyone she had seen in 30 years. My problem was getting my babies to latch on properly. Fortunately no one gave me problems about pumping. While in the NICU, my son was hooked to several wires and I Vs, including a line in his navel that scared me to death. I didn’t think I should upset that wire for the sake of trying to achieve a good latch.

  • amazonmom

    I’ve been a NICU nurse for 12 years. I had never actually seen a baby with seizures due to hypoglycemia before this year. Now I’ve had 3 patients with seizures due to hypoglycemia just this year. The hospital went to a no supplementation policy for breastfed babies and the results are pretty terrible. Poor latch, no supply? Just stick your head in the sand until NICU has to do test after test to rule out all the potential causes of that seizure…

    • Zornorph

      It could be lupus?
      Oh, forget it, it’s never lupus!

      • Empliau

        Sarcoidosis.

        • Dr. W

          TB

          • Azuran

            It’s autism

  • tanou

    What about the 4000 babies a day who died because they are formula feed.

    During ww2, Healthy perfect babit’s was found.in concentration camp with starving breastfeeding mums.

    Ans there is a very good reason why there.is less iron in breasrmilk. Bacteria grow in iron, it’s a defence mechanism for baby

    But what the point to put link ppl have there mind up

    • CharlotteB

      I looked up that 4000 babies/year statistic, and near as I can tell, those deaths are not solely because of formula–they are because of inadequate feeding, whether that was poor breastfeeding practices, watered-down formula, or other foods. I’d venture to guess that most of those babies would have lived if they’d had adequate amounts of properly prepared formula made with clean water.

      If you’re a mother in the developing world, feeding your baby is a whole different ballgame than those of us lucky enough to have children in the developed world. So, while I understand that formula marketing has been problematic in the past, that’s not the whole story.

    • Monkey Professor for a Head

      What about adopting a nuanced individualised approach? Breastfeeding certainly has its advantages, but there are downsides too. Deifying breastmilk as liquid gold and vilifying formula as poison can and has cause harm.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      There’s no evidence that ANY babies have died in the US because they are formula fed. If you read the paper that makes that claim you will find that the author acknowledges that these are assumptions that are only true IF the benefits she claims for breastfeeding are causal. The author presented NO actual deaths.

      To my knowledge, no one can point to even a single baby who died as a result of formula feeding.

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      There were very few healthy perfect babies found in concentration camps. Most of those were from Hungarian Jews who were not transported to concentration camps until 1945 so the mothers were not starving and the war was almost over.
      Nice of you to misuse the holocaust like all people trying to sell some lie though.

      • rh1985

        Exactly. Very few babies survived in concentration camps. Pregnant women were killed on arrival and if they managed to hide the pregnancy the baby was killed at birth. I read about the seven babies born near the end of the war in a transport camp. They lived but not because breast milk is amazing, but because the Nazis knew the war was already over and for some reason allowed them to live despite orders to send them on to a death camp – whether because transportation was being bombed or because they hoped for better treatment when captured by the Allies if they could show that they let the mothers and babies live. One of them hemorrhaged at birth and survived but was unable to breastfeed the baby due to no supply so the other women took turns nursing that baby. They were just lucky, in the right place at the right time.

        • SporkParade

          There was actually an OB in Auschwitz who would perform abortions on women who got pregnant, usually because they were being raped as sex slaves by the Nazis and they would have been killed once the pregnancy was revealed.

        • Guestll

          Kaufering wasn’t a transport camp. There were 11 Kaufering subcamps at Dauchau, with terrible mortality rates (over half of the 30,000 imprisoned perished.) The 7 mothers at Kaufering I landed there in late 1944 and delivered between December 1944 and February 1945. The 7 were part of the Schwander Kommando and forced to work long hours in the laundry. They were delivered by a fellow prisoner – a Hungarian Jew gynecologist named Vadasz with no clean water or instruments.

          The babies definitely survived until liberation because of breastmilk, and the reason the 7 weren’t sent to Auschwitz as planned is likely due to the fact that the Russians had just bombed it. There was an order discovered much later, dated March 1945, which ordered the women and babies to Bergen-Belsen for extermination. It was never acted upon, likely because the SS had bigger worries at that juncture.

    • just me

      Bacteria grow in iron????

      • tanou

        Why not use iron supplements as a protective measure for every baby?

        The iron in breastmilk is bound to proteins which make it available to the baby only, thus preventing potentially harmful bacteria (like E.coli, Salmonella, Clostridium, Bacteroides, Escherichia, Staphylococcus) from using it. These two specialized proteins in breastmilk (lactoferrin and transferrin) pick up and bind iron from baby’s intestinal tract. By binding this iron, they

        stop harmful bacteria from multiplying by depriving them of the iron they need to live and grow, and
        ensure that baby (not the bacteria) gets the available iron.
        The introduction of iron supplements and iron-fortified foods, particularly during the first six months, reduces the efficiency of baby’s iron absorption. As long as your baby is exclusively breastfed (and receiving no iron supplements or iron-fortified foods), the specialized proteins in breastmilk ensure that baby gets the available iron (instead of “bad” bacteria and such). Iron supplements and iron in other foods is available on a first come, first served basis, and there is a regular “free-for-all” in the baby’s gut over it. The “bad” bacteria thrive on the free iron in the gut. In addition, iron supplements can overwhelm the iron-binding abilities of the proteins in breastmilk, thus making some of the iron from breastmilk (which was previously available to baby only) available to bacteria, also. The result: baby tends to get a lower percentage of the available iron.

        Supplemental iron (particularly when administered in solution or as a separate supplement rather than incorporated into a meal) can interfere with zinc absorption. In addition, iron supplements and iron-fortified foods can sometimes cause digestive upsets in babies.

        A recent study (Dewey 2002) found that routine iron supplementation of breastfed babies with normal hemoglobin levels may present risks to the infant, including slower growth (length and head circumference) and increased risk of diarrhea.

        A recent review article on iron (Griffin and Abrams, 2001) indicates that if your baby is basically healthy, iron deficiency in the absence of anemia should not have developmental consequences.

        • fiftyfifty1

          The take away from the Dewey study is that breastmilk is not a “perfect food” because if it were there wouldn’t have been any exclusively breastfed infants with iron-deficiency anemia to study, and yet there were.

        • just me

          I was commenting on how it was phrased. Eg more accurate to say certain bacteria require iron to grow vs ” grow in iron”

        • guest

          Thank goodness for iron supplements slowing head circumference growth, then, because my 99th percentile iron-supplemented preemie’s heads probably would have burst if they had gotten any bigger. LOL.

          They’re two now, and we’ve still never had a single bout of diarrhea.

    • Cobalt

      4,000 babies a day? That’s more than a third of all babies born in the US. More if you exclude those getting only breastmilk.

      That’s 1.75 % of all babies born in the world not exclusively breastfed at 5 months.

      Are you really claiming modern, properly prepared formula kills AT MINIMUM nearly 2% of babies exposed to it? And lactivists are the only ones to have noticed?

      • Sarah

        Probably. My experience with lactivists is that they’re not so good at interrogating figures. They just hear something that sounds pro breastfeeding and swallow it. Hence the whole global average age of weaning is four years old thing.

    • Tiffany Aching

      Healthy babies in concentration camps ? Fuck, that’s a horrible insult to the women who were put in the terrible position to have to feed (and hide) a baby in those inhumane circumstances. The ones who survived did so only because of incredible gestures of unselfishness and solidarity, such as other prisoners giving up some of their much-needed food to give it to the mother (or the baby, after the food had been chewed), or stealing food from the kitchen, risking (and sometimes losing) their lives in the process. You obviously have NO IDEA what life in concentration camps was like.
      The fact that some (very few) babies survived in concentration camps is due to sheer luck and the heroism of some women, not breastfeeding.

      • Guestll

        Actually, some babies did survive in part due to breastfeeding. However, even that wasn’t perfect, since some of the mothers acted as wet nurses for others.

        • Tiffany Aching

          The breastfeeding part isn’t the reason they survived. The reason they survived is that breastfeeding was made possible by the sacrifice of other women, and food supplementation (and, even more importantly, the fact that they were born shortly before the camp liberation).
          Anyway using these stories to promote exclusive breastfeeding and shame women who don’t is beyond indecency.

          • Guestll

            They did survived because of breastfeeding. Had they not been breastfed, they would have died. There was nothing else to feed.

            I love when it’s Breastfeeding Day on the Skeptical OB…

          • Tiffany Aching

            I think that you don’t get my point. Of course the reason they survived is because they had something to eat. The real reason they were able to eat was not, however, the niceness of nature who gives every woman the magical power to breastfeed, it was the unbelievable courage and kindness of the women who risked their lives to gather enough food for the breastfeeding women. Their survival is a miracle of humanity, not nature.

          • Guestll

            I get your point. What I also get is your unwillingness to acknowledge the fact that breastfeeding (at least in the case of the Kaufering 7) is what made survival directly possible.

          • Tiffany Aching

            If they had survived because some Polish nurse had, for instance, sneaked formula inside the camp, would you say they survived because of formula ? No, and you would be right : they survived because people sacrificed themselves to provide them with food, no matter in what form it came.

          • Guestll

            Yes, I would say they survived because of formula. I would say that the survival of 7 healthy babies at Kaufering I would be remarkable, irrespective of how they were fed. I would say it was remarkable if they were delivered unassisted, by a midwife, or by a gynecologist. The fact that new life emerged from desperation — I would call that remarkable no matter how or why it happened.

          • Tiffany Aching

            Well you would obviously confuse the means with the cause.

          • Maya Markova

            Throughout human evolution and history, babies survived because of successful breastfeeding, and some died because of breastfeeding failure (for different reasons). After all, breastfeeding is one of the diagnostic trait of mammals, and has given their name. None of this is a reason to argue against supplementation or exclusive formula feeding in 1st World countries today, as you are doing.

          • Guestll

            “None of this is a reason to argue against supplementation or exclusive formula feeding in 1st World countries today, as you are doing.”

            I am categorically NOT arguing against either. I’ve been posting here for 4 years. My own daughter was eventually supplemented due to my own crappy supply. I would NEVER argue against supplementation or exclusive formula feeding when safe and desired.

            Whenever this topic comes up at SOB, some people appear to lose their ability for nuance and even rational thought. It’s like they’re so against the cult of breastfeeding that they can’t see that breastfeeding, in and of itself, when it works for all involved, can be a good thing.

        • Azuran

          Those baby were healthy enough because they were fed, that’s all there is to it. Not because breastmilk is magic.
          If they had access to well prepared formula, they would have been just as ‘healthy’.

          • Guestll

            Straw man.

    • Guestll

      If you are referring to the 7 “Kaufering babies” found at Dachau with their mothers upon liberation, yes, they were healthy and perfect as a result of exclusive breastfeeding, despite the terrible conditions they endured.

      What you haven’t mentioned is that two of the seven mothers acted as wet nurses, to supplement the supply of the mothers who were unable to produce breastmilk in sufficient quantities. That’s a critical piece of information.

      https://bfmed.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/presidents-corner-breastfeeding-mitigates-a-disaster/

      • Tiffany Aching

        The article you’re linking to has some incredibly biased conclusions. Of course breastfed babies will have a greater survival rates when there is nothing else to eat. Of course formula isn’t recommended when clean water isn’t easily available. It absolutely doesn’t mean that breastfeeding is intrinsically best, it just means that it is a better solution in some circumstances, while formula feeding would be better in others.

        • Guestll

          Tiffany, you’re working really hard to misconstrue. I linked the article because it specifically addresses the fact that two of the seven mothers acted as wet nurses — “tanou” is asserting that babies were healthy despite starving Mums – I am pointing out the fact that he/she failed to mention that a few of the mothers had insufficient milk or were incapable of nursing — ergo, all was not perfect.

  • CharlotteB

    Is #1 even true? My peditrician recommended vitamin D, and I know there’s concern about iron intake for babies after 6 months, since breastmilk doesn’t have a lot of that, either.

    Plus, I’d imagine that not all women produce milk of equal quality. I’d expect variation, but nobody talks about that. There are those who say mom should be cautious with her own diet to help make sure that her milk is nutritious, but others say that the milk will be fine without any special nutritional effort. I’m guessing that, like everything else, that would vary woman-to-woman.

    • Sarah

      Not to mention some babies are sensitive to some things in their mother’s diets. I’ve heard of people having to cut things like dairy out of their diets so their babies could breastfeed comfortably.

      • CharlotteB

        Oh yeah, that too! I’ve read about women who end up eating only 4 or 5 foods. That doesn’t seem healthy for mom, much less baby.

        The worst was reading about somebody who’s baby needed to be on a very specialized formula, but it was suggested that mom drink the formula and continue to nurse. That just boggles my mind.

        • FrequentFlyer

          Ugh! One of my nephews was on a special formula. I don’t remember the name, but I do remember my husband said it looked like 50 weight motor oil. It smelled bad too. There is no way SIL could’ve gotten that down. Nephew seamed to love it though. He didn’t know any better.

          • Spamamander

            At that age they don’t care, lol. I had to withhold feeding my son for like 12 hours at 5 weeks so he could get a GI study done- he sucked down that barium in a bottle like nobody’s business. I had to drink the flavored barium crap twice for CT scans and I can’t imagine. Uggh.

        • Sarah

          Deranged.

      • guest

        And though very rare, some babies are allergic to breast milk, and not even cutting things out of mom’s diet will help. It happened to a friend of mine. I see red when lactivists deny that this is possible. It’s rare, but it IS real.

        • Cobalt

          I had on of those. He couldn’t digest my milk, and as he got older we discovered a list of food allergies. Specialized formula saved his life.

        • Rita Rippetoe

          I knew of a woman whose baby was allergic to every kind of milk and to soy. He survived on a special formula made from finely ground meat. Allergies are weird and counter intuitive, i.e. of a ‘how did Nature come up with That’ kind. After all there are women whose reproductive tracts destroy their husband’s sperm

      • Inmara

        As far as I read in forums and hear from acquaintances, its very common that mothers have to severely cut their diets to accommodate baby’s allergies or intolerances (cow milk protein being one of bigger culprits). My SIL sustained on buckwheat for a few months and said that it was the worst experience in postpartum period. Well, if I’ll get to that situation I guess I’ll be tempted to switch to formula, really.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      No, it’s not true, but that’s a more nuanced discussion and I wanted to leave that for another time.

      • CharlotteB

        I heard a radio report about a breast pump hackathon, and the prize winning design was a breast pump that also analyzed and logged data about the milk, including, as I recall, amount pumped and information about fat content.

        While I’m not a huge fan of the breas tpump (I feel like it’s become yet another tool to oppress women–now it’s “easy” to still give your baby breastmilk when you’re away! No excuses!) I thought that design had some real potential for breaking down some of the BS about milk production and content.

        They also said breastpumps were a booming industry. I’ve now begun to think of “Big Breast Pump” as an industry unto itself, apart from lactivism.

        • fiftyfifty1

          I have always wondered about the milk fat % variation issue. I don’t know that it has ever been studied in humans. But we know that it varies quite a bit from cow to cow, so why not in humans too.

    • fiftyfifty1

      Yes, breastmilk lacks vitamin D, K and iron.

    • Maya Markova

      The mother needs enough liquids and protein in her diet (more animal products than usual – meat, milk products etc.). This strained our budget when I was breastfeeding.
      I guess vegan mothers assemble some protein-rich diet including legumes, but their babies will need more supplements.

      • NoLongerCrunching

        Moms can get what they need from, vitamins, a peanut butter or cheese sandwich and water. I’m not suggesting you didn’t do what was best for your own situation, I just don’t want mothers to think they need to have a perfect I had to make high-quality milk. After all, the formula made from cows milk comes from cows that are fed as cheaply as possible.

        • Maya Markova

          I have no idea what the quality of milk is, I am talking about quantity.

        • Maya Markova

          I was talking about quantity, not quality. I don’t know what’s in my breastmilk in any case, but when I couldn’t eat enough protein, my baby was getting hungry earlier. The same with other women I know about. And it makes sense: you cannot expect the protein quantity suited for you alone to supply well you plus a baby.

          • NoLongerCrunching

            I believe you, but I would say that that is not typical. Human milk is relatively low in protein. And I am not saying that to convince mothers that they are wrong; I am a firm believer her into mother knowing her body and her baby the best. I just want to reassure other mothers that their diet usually a very low impact on the quality and quantity of their milk.

  • Monkey Professor for a Head

    The other issue I see cropping up (at least online) is people claiming they don’t need to vaccinate as breastmilk will protect their babies. *sigh*

    • Sarah

      Or that they can use breastmilk for everything from cradle cap to pink eye. “Just squirt some breastmilk on it” was suggested to me in a mommy group I was part of any time I asked for advice on any common baby ailment. (I, of course, asked my children’s pediatrician for all of the really important things.)

      • Daleth

        “Just squirt something that bacteria love to eat on it.” Yes. That makes sense…

      • Amy M

        I asked the Pediatric Insider about this (specifically about eyes), and he wrote a very nice post about how there’s really no point to putting breastmilk in the eyes of babies that have clogged tear ducts or goopies from a cold. And if the baby has a real bacterial conjunctivitis, it needs antibiotics.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          *grins* Totally off-topic, but I hadn’t thought about DD’s blocked tear duct for a long time.
          She was born with one tear duct blocked; it resolved on its own after a few weeks. She has loathed having her face washed ever since she was born, so you can imagine how much she appreciated having her eye wiped off a few times a day with a warm wet washcloth.
          One time she woke up shrieking in the middle of the night and would. not. chill. out. for love or money. Took me a good hour to figure out (what can I say? New mom sleep deprivation is so very awesome.) that she was shrieking bloody murder because the snot that had accumulated during the night had glued her eye shut, and all the crying about it was only making it worse. I wiped off her face, she howled about the injustice of having her face washed until she realized she could see again, I offered her food, and she inhaled it (probably worked up an appetite throwing that fit) and went to sleep.
          Babies. As cute as they are, well, *dumb*.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      As I understand it, this is (sort of) true…in that mom will pass on certain immunities for about 6 months. After that, not so much.

      • SuperGDZ

        No it is not true. The immunities passed on by the mother are passed on before the baby is born, not by way of breastmilk.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          You know, I was quite sure you were wrong about this, so I did a bit of research. Heh. My mistake, and I learned something today. Thanks.

          • SuperGDZ

            It’s a huge bugbear of mine. A friend of mine is married to a woman who is a huge fan of all things AP related and also happens to be a medical doctor and she is constantly telling people that immunity is passed through breastmilk. I hear the same a lot from nurses and midwives, and virtually any web page that discusses breastfeeding – even the non-lactivist ones – will make the same claim. I hardly ever see it contradicted.

      • Azuran

        Actually,it’s a misconstruction and oversimplification of the truth.

        immunity is passed both before birth and through the colostrum. The % immunity given from each varies from species to species.
        For
        the first 24-48h after birth, the newborn’s gut have the capacity to
        absorb immunoglobulins in the colostrum, which is responsible for the
        passive immunity.
        In baby humans, most of it is transferred before birth, so colostrol transfer is no that important.
        After
        24-48h the baby will lose the ability to absorb the immunoglobulins in
        the colostrum. However, breastmilk still contains another kind of
        immunoglobulin that is not absorbed by the newborn, but will act locally
        in it’s gut and help the immune system of the baby. This might be one
        of the reason why breastfed babies have slightly fewer GI problems than
        formula fed babies.

        The immunity transferred before birth will last a few months, regardless of how you feed your baby.
        But it’s not magical, it can only protect the baby against diseases the mother is immunized against and it’s job is the give the baby’s immune system a head start. It’s not 100% effective.
        It
        can, however, lower a baby’s response to a vaccine, which is one of
        the reason why we wait a few months for some vaccines and give many
        doses.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          That last paragraph is extremely interesting to me; thanks! I had wondered why we wait as long as we do for some childhood vaccines. When DD was born, DH would go to Africa from time to time for business trips, and while he was (of course) vaccinated against measles, I was still concerned that he could bring it back and give it to DD, no vaccine being 100% effective and all that. DD’s pediatrician explained some of what you posted as why we don’t vaccinate babies younger than 12 months for MMR, but not in as great detail. I seem to recall her mentioning that they also give the MMR and boosters at certain ages because that’s when the kids’ bodies respond to them best, or some such…? It’s a been a while. DH, of course, didn’t bring back measles, and DD’s fully up to date on her vax schedule, but I found the whole business intriguing but also a bit worrying.

        • Roadstergal

          The antibodies passed on by breastmilk are IgA, probably the ones responsible for the one objective positive that has held for BF when you control properly – a small decrease in minor GI aliments. The most effective antibodies (speaking in very generic terms here) are IgG, which can be transferred through the placenta pre-birth – but long-term immunity is conferred by creating memory cells, which the kid has to do on its own. Vaccines are a great way to do that.

        • Sarah

          Great summary.

    • Josie

      There is an excellent article explaining this here:

      I would advise bookmarking, printing and sharing this link with everyone.

      http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2006/03/tales_from_the_nursery.html

      Basically monkey and human babies are born with immunities that are passed from the mother through the placenta except for sIgA in colostrum which LINES the small intestine and helps prevent against disease. Other mammals are not but in the 1st few hours they need their mothers colostrum which contains antibodies which these young mammals DO absorb.

      BUT human (!) babies did thrive on formula in the West so I’m not sure even colostrum is necessary. I can’t imagine nurses and doctors continuing to feed babies formula if they kept vomiting and getting diarrhoea. How negligent would that be?

      But I do think that lying about all the supposed benefits of breastfeeding just to force and guilt women into breastfeeding IS negligent.