Why are breastfeeding advocates so mean?

You are a loser

A Breastfeeding-Family-Friendly City designation?

According to the Daily Tar Heel:

Chapel Hill and Carrboro residents will soon see local stores with signs welcoming breastfeeding mothers and information encouraging the practice of breastfeeding.

The towns are set to become two of the first cities in the country to receive the Breastfeeding-Family-Friendly City Designation. “It’s a pilot for the world,” said Miriam Labbok, director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute and UNC professor of maternal and child health.

“There has never been a city that set out to say ‘Hey, we welcome the family.’” Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle announced their support for the Breastfeeding-Family-Friendly City Designation, led by the Carolina Breastfeeding Institute, on Aug. 6. The campaign is in conjunction with the United States Breastfeeding Committee’s National Breastfeeding Month in August.

[pullquote align=”right” color=”#adde25″]It isn’t enough for lactivists to promote breastfeeding; they want to rub formula feeding mothers’ faces in it.[/pullquote]

What does it take to earn the Breastfeeding-Family-Friendly designation?

Providing a welcoming atmosphere for breastfeeding families? Check.

Promoting breastfeeding education? Check.

Humiliating mothers who fomula feed?

Wait, what??!!

I kid you not:

Local groceries also must not promote commercial brand baby formula by preferential placement in the stores or direct advertising.

Labbok, who has been involved in encouraging breastfeeding since the 1980s, said she doesn’t expect all stores to stop selling formula after the launch of the initiative because of the regulations regarding chain grocery stores …

So let’s see if I get this straight: Being friendly to breastfeeding mothers means inconveniencing and humiliating formula feeding mothers?


Because it isn’t enough for lactivists to promote breastfeeding; they want to proclaim their superiority as mothers and then rub formula feeding mothers’ faces in it.

Let’s try a little thought experiment.

Imagine if the “Abstinence Friendly Institute” created a designation for an Abstinence Friendly City, and as part of that designation mandated that condoms, spermicides, and pregnancy tests be hidden from view. Imagine if a professor of abstinence went on record declaring that she doesn’t expect all stores to stop selling contraception and pregnancy tests because of regulations, but wishes she could mandate it.

Most people would be up in arms, as they should be. And I suspect that their anger would not be assuaged by claims that abstinence is safer and healthier than sexual activity, even if that were true.

Why would they be so upset? Because they would recognize such actions as a not so subtle attempts to interfere with a woman’s right to control her own body, and attempts to humiliate women who don’t toe the line.

Similarly, the efforts to hide away or even remove infant formula from stores is also an attempt to interfere with a woman’s right to control her own body and reflects an urge to humiliate women who don’t toe the line.

Who will be hurt by it?

  • Women who can’t breastfeed
  • Women who choose not to breastfeed
  • Poor women who must return to work immediately
  • Victims of sexual abuse who find breastfeeding triggering
  • Adoptive mothers
  • Foster mothers

Why is hurting these women “breastfeeding-friendly”?

It isn’t.

It is, like most supposedly breastfeeding friendly practices, not particularly friendly to breastfeeding, but profoundly friendly to the self-image of lactivists. It isn’t enough for them to breastfeed their own children. Under the guise of promoting infant health, they want to wound anyone who doesn’t mirror their own choices back to them.

And like most purportedly breastfeeding friendly practices, it was created by wealthy, white women and will disproportionately burden poor women and women of color. Who could have seen that coming?

Why are lactivists so mean? Because their self-esteem is bound up in their lactating breasts. It’s apparently not enough to feel superior to formula feeding mothers; the opportunity to rub other mothers’ faces in their supposed inferiority is simply too delicious to pass up.

What should lactivists be doing instead?

First and foremost, they should BACK OFF! The benefits of breastfeeding for term infants in first world countries are trivial. There is absolutely no public health reason to promote breastfeeding so vociferously.

Second, they should take a look in the mirror and they’ll see the woman above, sneering, mean and committed to labeling other mothers as losers. It’s an ugly picture.

Third, they should IMMEDIATELY remove any punitive measures from their breastfeeding promotion efforts. That includes renaming the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative to the Breastfeeding Friendly Hospital Initiative, ending the hiding of formula in hospitals, and stopping the hard sell of breastfeeding within the hospital environment, among other things.

What should the rest of us do?

We should recognize the lactation industry for what it is: an industry committed to increasing profits by increasing market share. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that; it’s capitalism. They have every right to try to increase their profits, but that doesn’t mean that hospitals and public health officials have to help them in what is essentially a business building effort.

We should demand an accounting of return on investment for the tens of millions of dollars already expended to promote breastfeeding. Is there any evidence that lives have been saved? Is there any evidence that money has been saved? If not, we should divert hospital and taxpayer dollars to health initiatives that actually make a difference in health.

Most importantly, we should never give the imprimatur of medicine and public health to efforts to shame other women in order to boost the self-esteem of lactivists.

Lactivists are mean. The rest of us don’t have to be mean, too.

354 Responses to “Why are breastfeeding advocates so mean?”

  1. steph
    September 16, 2015 at 12:26 am #

    I totally agree with you Dr Amy. I feel bad (as I have matured) in realizing how naive I was when cought up in my own nursing grandiose opinion?s. How cruel to even considering removing or making formula hard to get. I almost just posted my btw “I nursed my child for x many years” but it does not matter! I am glad I was always kind to other moms but I did judge in my head.

    I have thankfully grown up 🙂 love your blog.

  2. Erin
    September 14, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

    I have a question(s) as a mom-to-be. I have already been bombarded with breastfeeding propaganda in many different settings through many different mediums in my short 5 months of pregnancy. I don’t feel an overwhelming urge to breastfeed and with a 22 year history of severe anxiety and depression (8 years symptom free – wee!) I am cautious about the pressure I put myself under to fulfill any breastfeeding goals or expectations.

    My question is this – Who exactly benefits monetarily from exclusive breastfeeding?

    “We should recognize the lactation industry for what it is: an industry committed to increasing profits by increasing market share.”

    What exactly increases their profits? Or better yet, how are they increased by breastfeeding mothers?

    I hate getting into the topic with nosy people, but I’ve heard so much rhetoric about the formula industry, the fact that there is a lactation industry is totally overlooked.

    • Who?
      September 16, 2015 at 12:52 am #

      My understanding is that the ‘lactation’ industry, like the ‘homebirth’ industry, is more cottage-y than big corporate. Like everyone with something to sell, it puts a particular slant on the information provided.

      The first tier are those who sell their time and attention to women starting out with breastfeeding, to get them on their way. I understand many of these people are employed by hospitals, so they take a salary for doing that job, which back in the day was done by the nurses or health visitors who cared for mothers and babies after delivery.

      There are also lactation consultants who assist with establishing or maintaining breastfeeding, at an hourly rate. I don’t imagine there are too many who don’t ask for payment until breastfeeding is established and everyone’s happy.

      Then there are all the products, some also out of cottage industry, perhaps available through your lactation consultant, (‘remedies’ and similar) as well as the gear and gadgets sold by corporates, from nursing bras, through shields, pumps, special little bags to keep milk in, and who knows what all else.

      I have no problem with people making a living out of following their passion. Where I get leery is the idea that breastfeeding ‘should’ work; that there are conditions-like tongue tie-that only they can identify and deal with; and that any other baby feeding option is inferior.

      No doubt there are more examples, and a more nuanced way of looking at it, but this is a start on how the lactation ‘industry’ fits together.

      • fiftyfifty1
        September 16, 2015 at 7:57 am #

        The one other example I would add to that are the academics who have made a career of “researching” and promoting breastfeeding. I put researching in quotes because the research they do is such low quality. The breastfeeding literature consists of study after study of “me too” heavily confounded observational studies or fatuous descriptive studies. These academics can be found in many different areas such as anthropology, nursing, public health, pediatrics. It’s easy to fill a resume entirely with this crap.

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  4. Allie P
    September 4, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    Oh, and I BF in public anyway. The only person who has ever said a word about it, in two children and counting now, is the hospital lactation consultant.

  5. Allie P
    September 4, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

    I AM ENRAGED. Speaking as a CURRENTLY LACTATING WOMAN who occasionally gives my baby a bottle, if someone starting hiding my formula or forbidding people who want to give me coupons from giving me coupons, I’d be very upset. Do not hide food things from mothers of babies. SERIOUSLY.

    Btw, baby hasn’t had an ounce of formula since Monday since apparently my breasts are providing just fine, thankyouverymuch, despite everyone’s dire predicitons about supplementation ruining my supply.

  6. Squillo
    September 4, 2015 at 10:38 am #

    I don’t see the problem. Why don’t we just create separate (but equal) spaces for formula-feeding parents? It could be apart from the breastfeeding places, maybe not quite as nice (to discourage formula queens from abusing the availability of formula). You know, a formula ghetto?

    • demodocus
      September 4, 2015 at 11:21 am #

      That’s a high level of sarcasm. I approve 🙂

  7. Jenny_from_da_Bloc
    September 4, 2015 at 8:58 am #

    Completely disgusting! Soon these lactivasts will be saying that formula going on sale once in a blue moon is hurting breastfeeding families. What the heck is a breastfeeding feeding family anyways? Shame, shame, shame on these people and their stupid designations

  8. Sue
    September 4, 2015 at 4:08 am #

    Why do we have to swing from one extreme to the other?

    There are still controversies about women breastfeeding in public – even discretely. At the same time, people will take it upon themselves to admomish bottle-feeding parents.

    Why can’;t we have a “Keep your opinions about other peoples’ parenting choices to yourself-friendly city”?

    • Mattie
      September 4, 2015 at 4:12 am #

      The thing is, there is (or should be) a caveat about harmful parenting choices, activists use that caveat as they believe that things like formula/circumcision/vaccines ARE harmful. Unfortunately instead of just complaining to the authorities (and letting them decide whether the report needs to be acted on or not) they just take the issue into their own hands…their rude, unqualified, ignorant hands.

      • SporkParade
        September 4, 2015 at 6:23 am #

        I may or may not have told the women saying that sleep training causes neurological damage that, if they thought I’m harming my child, they should go ahead and call child protective services…

      • Charybdis
        September 4, 2015 at 8:59 am #

        Slightly OT, but since vaccines were mentioned…I found this on my Facebook feed and thought it was BEAUTIFUL! It even has pictures 😛

        • Bugsy
          September 4, 2015 at 11:28 am #

          Nice. Right now on my birth club there’s a woman who’s opposed to vaccines because she doesn’t know how the toxins might affect her undeveloped fetus (verbatim).

          Here’s the kicker: she has the most blue hair I’ve ever seen. I suppose it’s an all-natural, toxin-free color.

          • Mattie
            September 4, 2015 at 11:55 am #

            Well a lot of the bright dyes are actually “natural” non-permanent vegetable dyes, but I never quite quite know what is or isn’t a toxin to these people, formaldehyde is…but not when it’s in a pear, mercury is but not when it’s in tuna. It’s like playing football with a kid who’s imagining the goal

          • MaineJen
            September 4, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

            Calvinball! Where the rules are made up and the scores don’t matter. 🙂

          • Charybdis
            September 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

            Or “Whose Line is it Anyway”. Where everything is made up and the points don’t matter. =)

          • Bugsy
            September 4, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

            Yeah – after someone mentioned that formaldehyde was in everything, the mom replied “Give me some examples of formaldehyde in food.” They did, to which she then replied “Well, that’s different because you don’t inject it.” Goalposts totally moving.

    • RMY
      September 4, 2015 at 7:24 am #

      I completely agree. I think the word about the right to breastfeed should be spread, but formula shouldn’t be hidden or stigmatized (and research about how to make it better should always be encouraged).

      I really fail to see how feeding choices of infants really needs to be a zero sum game.

      In my family my wife and I are both women and we’ve talked about what conditions we’d want our hypothetical child to be breastfed. If I carried, I wouldn’t want to breastfeed, as my wife would feel insecure about her mother-status and I work outside the home in an office where I am the only woman and I’d feel uncomfortable asking for a room to pump in. Also I like my nipples as they are and don’t have any desire to put a hungry infant on them. Plus, there would be no way for us to get away from having to clean a ton of bottles either way.

      My wife, on the other hand, she would be at home with the infant all day. It’d make sense of her to breastfeed if she carried and it worked out. She really hates doing dishes, so that’d be a win for her.

      But we’re looking at adopting out of foster care now, so it’s all a moot point but I think my family, like most families, actually can see the value of either feeding method depending on their own situation.

      • Amy M
        September 4, 2015 at 7:47 am #

        (just so you know)–cleaning the bottles isn’t that big a deal. You can put them in a dishwasher, if you have one. I have twins, so more bottles than most, but it was fine.

        Get a lot of bottles, and make enough formula for the next 3-4 feedings. Then all you have to do is pour it out, or grab a pre-filled bottle, maybe warm it (microwave, 5-10s, shake well after) if baby won’t take it cold from the fridge and go. Afterwards, if its the middle of the night, toss it in the sink and deal with it in the morning.

        • RMY
          September 4, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

          We don’t have a dishwasher, out more accurately, I am the dishwasher. 🙂

          • Cobalt
            September 5, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

            If your budget supports it, these are really nice for reducing washing. You just have to use a new ring and nipple each feed, the liner is disposable (but I washed and reused them, so that’s an option), so you only really need two “bottles” as you can use the bottle piece over and over. The liners also collapse so there’s not a vacuum fighting the baby nursing and you can get all the air out before feeding, which is nice for some babies. The lids are also really good- never had a leak in the diaper bag!


          • RMY
            September 5, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

            Those looks great! I think that was our plan, my wife has a plan for the baby stuff, she was in kinship care for about 12 years and ended up having to help with a lot of her cousins. 🙂

    • Allie P
      September 4, 2015 at 6:58 pm #

      Speaking as someone who both bottle feeds (I JUST discovered ready to feed, oh my sweet, shelf-stable enfamil bottles, where have you been all my life!) *and* breastfeeds in public, I agree. The only wrong way to feed your baby is not.

      • Charybdis
        September 5, 2015 at 9:25 am #

        Right? Ready to feed formula is AWESOME…no mixing necessary so the chance of it being too diluted or too concentrated is practically nil. (I say “practically” because there is always a chance of a manufacturing problem / error, although those are rare). It’s more expensive than the powdered variety, though. But I was TOTALLY willing to pay the difference for the convenience factor at times. We primarily used powdered formula, but I kept some RTF on hand for day trips or for when I had a migraine.

        I wish they could find a way to send RTF formula to developing countries and/or to places after natural disasters so that the water quality issue would not be an issue. Babies would get fed safely so the adults could have one less thong to worry about. But the extra cost size needed for shipping and storing RTF formula is prohibitive, from what little I understand about those things. It would be great if a formula manufacturer would say “Screw the costs, an emergency situation/place with clean, safe water access is not primarily a normal marketing opportunity. Send RTF and take one worry away from those affected!”
        Yes, I still occasionally have my Pollyanna moments.

        • Young CC Prof
          September 5, 2015 at 10:13 am #

          We used powdered, and to make life easier my husband bought a case of little bottles with flip-top lids. I’d then pre-measure an entire package of formula at once. Then, when we went out, I’d just bring baby bottles with water in them and the formula doses.

          However, when baby was 6 months old, we went camping for a week. Then, we used the single-serving ready-to-feed. Cost like $50, but it was worth it not to worry about feeding safety.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            September 5, 2015 at 10:58 am #

            Our older guy would drink anything. Breastmilk, powdered formula, blended, didn’t matter.

            Our second wouldn’t drink anything from a bottle. No breastmilk, no powdered formula. We finally were able to get him to eat the ready to eat similac. So he was going to daycare three days a week, and that is all he would take.

          • LovleAnjel
            September 5, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

            I premeasured water in the bottles, premeasured the powder into a container with flip top compartments, and voila – no matter how I felt or who was doing it, ten seconds to dump, lid and shake the bottle.

          • Cobalt
            September 5, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

            The “snappies” containers I got while one of mine was in the hospital at a few weeks old were perfect for measuring powdered formula servings. Good size, really secure and attached lids, dishwasher and freezer safe. They were originally for pumping and storing breast milk in two ounce increments, but they got repurposed later on. Also great for storing little snacks.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 5, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

            As are the formula dispenser containers you can get. I got one for short trips that had three dividers for pre-measured amounts of formula. Now that DD is a toddler, I use it for snacks: raisins in one divider, goldfish in another, and cheerios in the third combined with a very small opening so that they can’t go anywhere=one of those treat toys cats have, except for toddlers. 😉 Brilliant for doctors’ appointments when you don’t have childcare…

          • Inmara
            September 5, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

            I guess that you used cold water then? It’s amusing how different are formula preparing guidelines in USA and in Europe; Mayo Clinic website says basically “mix with boiled water, warm if your baby likes it” while NHS and basically all instructions on packages are something to the effect of “sterilize the shit out of everything, use fresh boiled water at 70 Celsius, don’t use cooled boiled water, etc.etc.” People still use part hot and part cold water for easier mixing, especially while out of home, but instructions are paranoid nevertheless (I found out explanation that it’s because of rare cases of Enterococcus sakazakii).

        • Cobalt
          September 5, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

          I’d think the costs associated with sending RTF would be balanced out by the extra water and supplies that doesn’t need to be sent with it.

          Sending any formula after a disaster is fraught with issues though, even then lactivists worry about lazy moms giving up on breastfeeding just because formula is so easy and convenient in a disaster zone.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
        September 5, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

        Ready to feed was awesome when we flew from LA to Guam when my daughter was two months old. I put a bunch in my carry on and just opened a bottle and attached a clean nipple. The fourteen hour plane trip was actually not too bad. Though diapering was a challenge

  9. The Computer Ate My Nym
    September 4, 2015 at 3:09 am #

    Know what would be really family friendly and even breast feeding friendly in particular?
    Ensuring that all companies provide maternity leave, with pay, for at least 6 months.
    Making it illegal to fire a woman for having a baby and enforcing that law. Investigate any situation where a woman is fired within a year of becoming pregnant for signs that the firing was related to the pregnancy and strongly penalize the company if the majority of evidence (>50%) says yes.
    Protect breastfeeding in public. Heck, make shirtlessness in public legal for women in any situation that it is allowed for men. It’s a stupid, sexist distinction anyway.
    Increase the minimum wage. Make it possible for women to have families.

    Oh, wait. Those things cost money. Much better to just nag women for not breastfeeding enough.

    • Mattie
      September 4, 2015 at 3:28 am #

      Wait…you don’t have a law about being fired for being pregnant…or you do and it just isn’t enforced?

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        September 4, 2015 at 3:37 am #

        In principle there is such a law. In practice, the only way a company can get penalized under it is if they come out and say, “We’re firing you because you’re pregnant.” If they just happen to suddenly be unable to continue your position just before you go on maternity leave or if your annual evaluation is inexplicably unsatisfactory when you become pregnant, they get away with it. Yes, I’ve seen it happen, in diverse settings from academia to fast food.

      • RMY
        September 4, 2015 at 7:14 am #

        Many states in the US have “at-will” employment, which means as long as they give some reason that’s not “you’re knocked up and we don’t want to deal” they can legally fire you.

      • Amy M
        September 4, 2015 at 7:23 am #

        This happened to a friend of mine. She was a stock trader, and when she got pregnant with her 3rd, it wasn’t long after she was visibly pregnant that they came up with some reason to fire her.

  10. Helena Handbasket
    September 4, 2015 at 1:06 am #

    Oh, come on. Formula not being advertised or promoted in store =/= formula not being available. Absolutely nothing in this press release even remotely suggests that the access of parents to formula will be restricted. Oh how mean, everyone, look! The formula is right here on the shelf where it always was! I can walk right in to any store and buy it just like I always did! Those mean old hateful breast bullies have done it again!

    • Who?
      September 4, 2015 at 2:33 am #

      Around here cigarettes are kept behind the counter and no advertising of tobacco products is allowed.

      Is that because everyone thinks smoking is A Good Thing? No, it’s a way of expressing disapproval of smoking, with its attendant health risks.

      Sounds quite similar to the way formula will be treated in that community. You can certainly find it, but you’ll have to go looking.

      Given that formula is a perfectly healthy and safe choice, it’s a ridiculous rule that shows disrespect for people who choose to use it. It also reflects a level of petty-mindedness that isn’t surprising, exactly, but tells a lot about the preoccupations of the people who dreamt up the rule.

      • Helena Handbasket
        September 4, 2015 at 2:46 am #

        In Australia, formula advertising (for infant formula, not ‘toddler milk’) has been banned for years. Infant formula is freely available on every supermarket , every chemist, most petrol stations even. It’s with the regular baby items. My husband went to the chemist to buy formula and the chemist assistant helped him pick out a tin. Then we rang a breastfeeding helpline where a peer breastfeeding counsellor walked us through how to make up a bottle. Yep, formula use is so marginalised here since advertising was banned.

        • Sue
          September 4, 2015 at 4:16 am #

          The context in Aus is different, “Helena”. We don’t have any direct pharmaceutical advertising either.

          Are you really blind to the harrassment that is visited upon families who choose – for whatever reason – to feed their babies with formula, or are you just pretending for the sake of ideology?

          You don’t appear to be across the evidence for infant feeding in wealthy societies, where having siblings makes more difference to the infection rate than they type of feeding.

        • KarenJJ
          September 4, 2015 at 6:51 am #

          Ever tried getting some formula samples to see if there’s one that works best for you and bub? Ever tried to get information on bottles and expressing when you’ve ticked the “breastfeeding” checkbox upon hospital admission? Ever been harrassed by some busybody about giving your baby a bottle? Why should anyone even care if I’m giving my baby formula or getting formula samples? Why do we even need the stamp on the tin saying “breast is best”?

      • Ellen Mary
        September 4, 2015 at 9:33 am #

        Cigarettes are kept behind the counter to deter theft. If you can see a cigarette display, that is still marketing. It is ridiculous to suggest that it is to deter smoking. Do gas stations want to deter smoking? No, certainly not, but they would never put the cigarettes on the shelf because they are highly sought after, worth $$$ & addictive.

        • Young CC Prof
          September 4, 2015 at 9:59 am #

          To deter theft and to enforce the age restrictions on tobacco purchase.

        • Fallow
          September 4, 2015 at 11:11 am #

          There are warnings all over cigarettes telling people not to use them, because they’re bad for you. Because they ARE bad for you.

          There are warnings on formula, saying you’re a fuck-up for using it. Even though NO ONE is a fuck-up for using it.

          You think there’s nothing screwed up about that?

        • Megan
          September 4, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

          I was under the impression cigarettes were behind the counter to deter their purchase by minors. Isn’t there a law requiring that?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      September 4, 2015 at 3:03 am #

      No? Nothing in this press release even remotely suggests that the promoters at least hope that access will be restricted? How about this statement: “Labbok…said she doesn’t expect all stores to stop selling formula after
      the launch of the initiative because of the regulations regarding chain
      grocery stores …”

      That sure sounds to me like she wants to restrict access to formula. She says, with apparent regret, that she doesn’t expect ALL stores to stop selling formula. Doesn’t that suggest, even a little, that she expects at least some stores to stop selling formula and that she thinks that this is a good thing? Presumably because women with babies who have cancer and are taking chemotherapy have lives that are too easy and need to be harassed more.

      • Helena Handbasket
        September 4, 2015 at 3:21 am #

        Or more likely, the journalist asked her a leading question. She doesn’t expect all stores to stop selling formula. Neither do I, or you. This is totally win win – breastfeeding advocates are happy because formula is no longer marketed in stores, people who need formula are happy because they can still get what they need as easily as the y always could. This is such a hysterical overreaction .

        • MLE
          September 4, 2015 at 3:37 am #

          Yes it does sound like a leading question, which revealed the truth. The only answer is an emphatic NO, formula should ALWAYS be sold in stores. The fact that her mind went to those pesky regulations (whatever she’s talking about) shows her true hopes and intentions.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          September 4, 2015 at 3:44 am #

          What evidence do you have that she was asked a “leading question”? That’s completely your imagination. She clearly stated that she did not expect ALL stores to stop carrying formula, implying that she thought that some would and that she was happy about that. What “leading question” could possibly lead to her making that statement if she only meant that she did not want formula advertised?

          Incidentally, there’s either a dialect issue or a freudian slip in your comment. In my dialect “no longer marketed in stores” would mean “no longer carried in stores”. I’m guessing that you meant or meant to say “no longer advertised” since otherwise your statement is self-contradictory.

        • Sarah
          September 4, 2015 at 3:44 am #

          People who need formula are happy, eh? You’ve asked them, then?

          • Amazed
            September 4, 2015 at 4:05 am #

            Come on Sarah! You know people who need formula ARE happy. I mean, who wouldn’t be, going through an entire store looking for the tiny corner where evil formula was stored? Who wouldn’t be happy to do that on the soundtrack of a child, possibly more, who are either tired or excited and want to take everything on the shelves and then put it in their mouth?

            Meanwhile, breastfeeding mothers should be made happy to be breastfeeding in public. Not in the slightest bit inconvenienced. Not that I don’t think it’s a bad thing but the double standard is glaring.

          • Amy M
            September 4, 2015 at 7:26 am #

            I was pretty happy feeding formula when my children were babies. Well, actually I had PPD, but it had nothing to do with infant feeding. 😉

        • Amazed
          September 4, 2015 at 4:00 am #

          Amazing, isn’t it, how all lactivists who say or write things that are harassing to formula-feeding mothers are always mispresented, or asked a leading questions, or those who exposed them need to “grow up”, ah, Helen? Poor them.

          I’ll say it again: clearly, breastmilk isn’t all that magical since it didn’t do anything to change those women’s genetic stupidity. Always saying the wrong thing and by coincidence, a nasty one. Must be an ailment.

        • SporkParade
          September 4, 2015 at 6:31 am #

          And why do you think banning formula advertising is okay? You really think it is appropriate to deny women access to information they want to make the best food choices for their babies? The only other products that face such advertising restriction are alcohol and tobacco. When formula advertising is banned, the message you are saying is that formula feeders may as well be giving their babies alcohol and tobacco. How is that not shaming behavior? How is that not sexist behavior?

          • Amazed
            September 4, 2015 at 9:05 am #

            As I said, they’ll go after chocolate next. No food full of empty calories has “merited” such treatment, yet the food of useful calories should be equated to alcohol and tobacco?

          • LibrarianSarah
            September 4, 2015 at 9:56 am #

            They can have my chocolate when they PRY IT FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS. YOU HEAR THAT HEALTH SNOBS! COLD DEAD HANDS!

          • KarenJJ
            September 4, 2015 at 10:00 am #

            In Australia you can get a “bounty bag” after your kid is born. It has vouchers and samples in it. I imagine there might once have been formula samples in it. There also used to be a block of cadbury’s chocolate, but apparently giving a new mum a block of chocolate was deemed to be a ‘poor health message’.

          • Amazed
            September 4, 2015 at 10:07 am #

            Re health message… On one of Milk Meg posts on Dr Amy’s Facebook wall, a man has decided to grace us with his wisdom. Formula is a lifesaver but breastmilk is the best, the benefits are well-known and it’s weird that no harder attempts to encourage boobing had been made. Formula-feeders shouldn’t feel ashamed, UNLESS THEY DIDN’T EVEN TRY TO BREASTFEED. Oh, and he’s thanking the milk woman for helping his wife breasfreed.

          • Fallow
            September 4, 2015 at 11:08 am #

            Thank Jesus, someone with a dick is letting us know how our tits should work.

          • Wren
            September 4, 2015 at 10:24 am #

            We can get a bounty bag here in the UK too. I got it at the hospital with my first, but never did get one with my second. I think I could have, but my kids are only 20 months apart. If I remember it had info about formula feeding as well as breastfeeding, but no samples. I think there may have been chocolate, but I’m not a Cadbury’s fan.

        • KarenJJ
          September 4, 2015 at 6:32 am #

          So many excuses for the rubbish that comes from lactivitists regarding formula and formula access. “It was probably a leading question”, “we’re not all like that”, “I’ve never heard anyone in breastfeeding advocacy say anything like that”.

        • Jenny_from_da_Bloc
          September 4, 2015 at 9:00 am #

          Fom her own mouth it seems as though if she could get formula out of stores she would. But you know, regulations.

          • KarenJJ
            September 4, 2015 at 9:25 am #

            She could have said – “yes absolutely formula should be available. bring it on. Anything that makes things better and simpler for families and infants. Heck they should even make it free.”. But no. Some mealy mouthed stuff about how she’d expect it to be in shops, but not advertised and maybe some shops come to decide against stocking formula (why? – wtf?).

          • Jenny_from_da_Bloc
            September 4, 2015 at 9:36 am #

            But breastfeeding milk is free, so why would any mother need formula?! (Sigh…)

          • Daleth
            September 4, 2015 at 9:36 am #

            And but, you know, other people who want different things than she does. (Is that even ALLOWED?)

        • moto_librarian
          September 4, 2015 at 10:16 am #

          It’s not a hysterical overreaction. People are fed up with this bullshit. I’m done having children and my kids are past the age where breastfeeding is an issue, but I vividly remember just how miserable the cult of breastfeeding made me. Now that I know that the benefits of breast milk are miniscule in term infants in developed countries, I feel as though I was betrayed by other women. I will not perpetuate this ugly cycle when we still do not have mandated paid leave for all mothers.

        • Fallow
          September 4, 2015 at 10:44 am #

          Do you live in the area where this is happening? I have for over a decade. This is socioeconomic bullying. This isn’t a fucking “win” for anyone but the richest and whitest women around here.

        • AllieFoyle
          September 4, 2015 at 11:28 am #

          What other kinds of products do we restrict advertising for? What kind of message of message is being sent to parents when we treat the food they are going to feed their babies the same way we treat harmful and addictive substances?

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      September 4, 2015 at 8:30 am #

      How is it advertising or promoting to stick formula next to the diapers–you know, like you put peanut butter next to the jelly? That’s just basic convenience, especially when you’re making a 10 PM grocery run.

      • Ellen Mary
        September 4, 2015 at 9:35 am #

        You don’t understand the ‘retail’ marketing concept if you think that goods are just haphazardly placed on the shelves without a detailed marketing rationale. Brands can & do pay for placement, etc. However, I will say that many if not most stores already restrict formula access, not because of lactivism, but because of perhaps overblown concerns about theft. It is a highly sought after highly priced item. My local grocery in NC had two cameras & a loud beeping noise if anyone dares enter the formula aisle. I’ve been in other stores where they keep it all behind the customer service desk, at least the most popular brands.

        So while the ‘what, retail marketing doesn’t exist, does it?’ rings hollow for me, there is already considerable impediment to accessing formula in stores at least in lower income & rural areas.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          September 4, 2015 at 9:55 am #

          It’s already been pointed out to you on multiple occasions that the formula marketing is brand marketing. Is there any evidence that it influences whether someone chooses to breastfeed or not, as opposed to which brand they choose?

          In fact, current formula marketing includes the message “Breast is best, but IF YOU CHOOSE TO SUPPLEMENT use our brand”

          • Wren
            September 4, 2015 at 10:17 am #

            In the UK they cannot even advertise formula for small infants, just “follow on” formula (6 months plus). In fact, a quick visit to SMA’s site actually required me to click a proceed button after telling me that breastmilk is best. Every can tells you breast is best. Every advert tells you breast is best. Women are still choosing to use formula and frankly I find the requirements to tell people over and over again that breast is best is, at best, patronising. My chocolate bars don’t come with a “fruit and veg are best” label. My wine doesn’t come with a “water is healthier” label.

          • Wren
            September 4, 2015 at 10:20 am #

            Here’s the relevant section of the law: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1995/77/regulation/13/made

          • Mattie
            September 4, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

            I agree with you, although sweets and treats now say that you should ‘enjoy them occasionally” and have links to healthy eating/activity sites , and all alcohol has the drink aware web address on the label…UK is a bit patronising like that

          • Wren
            September 4, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

            The CandyKing pick & mix bags say nothing about enjoying them occasionally. I happen to have 2 in front of me, since my husband took the kids to the cinema recently. It’s surprising I don’t have 3 bags.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          September 5, 2015 at 7:57 am #

          Spent most of my working life in retail, actually. Sure, certain brands will pay for placement on a certain shelf, but what else is going to be on the shelf next to the diapers and wipes? Breastmilk? That seems…unlikely. So the new laws would, what, make sure that formula’s on the top shelf and pushed to the back so that only someone over six feet tall can reach it? :p Locked up so that it’ll take a long time to get it? What’s the POINT of all that–make it as difficult as possible to get?
          If there’s a loss prevention issue at that store, I can totally see having formula near the front, or in a high-traffic aisle where the employees walk through frequently.
          Also, having worked in a retail store that sold formula, I’ll say this: in some areas, theft concerns about formula are quite real. Heck, one BRU I worked at had someone loaded up their shopping cart with $300 breastpumps and just walk out the front door with them. I was devoutly grateful I wasn’t working that day, as I understand the subsequent grilling by the LP higher-up of the staff was quite unpleasant. (To answer a question that may arise: given that the things kept showing up for the next month or two at various stores to be returned for store credit which was then used to purchase video game systems, no, this was not someone trying to make breastfeeding more affordable.) The way we handled it was to a) walk the aisle pretty often, b) have security cams on the formula display, and c) tag the formula containers with some rather hard-to-remove-unless-you-had-the-right-device security sensors. Didn’t work perfectly, but we didn’t have particularly high formula loss in that store, either, and it was a good balance between accessibility for customers and dealing with the store’s LP concerns.

        • Cobalt
          September 5, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

          Formula isn’t an impulse purchase. It’s either a staple, or irrelevant.

    • moto_librarian
      September 4, 2015 at 10:14 am #

      Yup, you guys are a bunch of bullies. If you were truly interested in removing obstacles to breastfeeding, you would quit promoting these meaningless designations and start lobbying for paid maternal leave for ALL women, but particularly for women who work for low wages who often have to go back to work within two weeks of giving birth to jobs that make pumping damn near impossible. That you don’t spend time advocating for that, instead preferring to inflate the benefits of breastfeeding well beyond what the evidence actually demonstrates tell us all that we need to know about your real goal: promoting your sanctimommy status.

      I will also say that as a mother of two boys who both had cow’s milk protein and soy allergies, brand name formulas were my only option. There is no generic alternative to Nutramigen, and it is unbelievably expensive. I understand why it is so expensive because the process to make it is difficult, but why do lactivists begrudge the sales that make it somewhat cheaper to feed my kids? I was “brand loyal” for a very specific reason.

  11. mythsayer
    September 3, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

    I also have to say that I can’t imagine that hiding formula causes more women to breastfeed. There aren’t really women out there who visit a couple stores and then just throw up their hands and say “I guess I’ll have to breastfeed because I can’t find the formula!” I mean…really? Won’t the ones who want to formula feed just…ask where it is?

    • Roadstergal
      September 3, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

      Yeah, but between having to ask for the formula and getting the ‘you’re poisoning your baby’ speech, they’ll feel _really_ bad about it. Which is the goal.

      • mythsayer
        September 3, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

        I have serious doubts that the 17 year old employee they are asking will give that line.

        Unfortunately, others might…and that makes me mad. Because it’s an insult to everyone’s intelligence. As if I’m so stupid I can’t figure out what I should feed my baby. No, I need some other (clearly smarter dumba** b*tch) to explain things to me.

        I live in crunchyland (so cal) actually and I’ve never yet run into anyone obnoxious (I know some homebirthers but they’ve never said anything to me)…but I swear to god, if anyone tried this crap on me, there’d be a throw down in the store.

        My kid is 5, so it’s unlikely I’ll have issues but I’ll stand up for anyone I see it happen to as well.

    • Megan
      September 3, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

      Or go to another store?

      That’s why I don’t understand why, as a business owner you’d want to do this.

      • Sarah
        September 4, 2015 at 3:49 am #

        Well presumably you’d balance it up between potentially alienating formula feeding customers and perhaps having their business go elsewhere, and who you might be able to attract if you have an environment where the demographic most likely to buy formula aren’t present.

        • Sue
          September 4, 2015 at 4:20 am #

          Why not have an “Any type of nutritious baby feeding welcome” sign in the store, and alienate nobody?

        • Megan
          September 4, 2015 at 7:40 am #

          But many women who breastfeed still use some formula. If you’re alienating all parents who use formula in any amount, that’s alienating a lot of customers. The vast majority of babies receive formula at some point in their lives.

          • Sarah
            September 4, 2015 at 9:15 am #

            Sure, of course. So it’s a decision each business will need to make for themselves. Going to depend a huge amount on the demographic.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      September 3, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

      In all seriousness, there will be some who say “I’ve been to two stores and can’t find formula, and I have to catch the next bus to get home in time for the older kids getting back from school/work/whatever, so I guess I can’t buy formula today.”
      Which, in a lactivist’s mind, translates to “In that case, I’ll just start exclusively breastfeeding!” rather than “my baby will go hungry/drink cow’s milk or some other inappropriate food/drink a watered-down version of the last two servings’ worth of formula I have until I can get to the store tomorrow.”

      • mythsayer
        September 3, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

        Those people shouldn’t have children, I’m sorry (EDIT: I changed my perspective below….I was thinking of privileged me doing this…). Because you can’t just NOT buy formula…either you breastfeed enough to feed your baby…or you kinda don’t. If you do BF enough to feed baby, fine…you don’t need formula and are clearly fine with breast feeding. If you’ve been supplementing, you probably already don’t have enough supply to go without.

        So anyone who would just go home without it concerns me greatly…

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          September 3, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

          Well, but when the alternative is having to walk 6 miles to get home while carrying/pushing your baby and a toddler, only to find that your school-age kids got there well before you but now the neighbor’s called CPS because your school-age kids were there alone?
          I’m not sure if you’re in the US or not, but here, public transportation is often truly awful, and of course it places a terrible burden on those least likely to be able to handle it well. We also have a dearth of grocery stores in a lot of poorer urban areas, and those that are there often have extremely high prices compared to others that are further out. When you’re very poor, have little aid, don’t have a car, have to rely on buses with limited and poorly-managed schedules, and don’t have others on whom you can rely for childcare, this sort of situation isn’t in the least impossible to imagine.

          • mythsayer
            September 3, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

            I responded to you again on the original comment. I know what you meant.

            I am in California…the land of NO public transportation. And I have lived in very rural, low income areas. And I agree…this stuff doesn’t promote breastfeeding. It promotes behavior like giving cows milk to an infant, which is bad for the baby.

            And of course you are right…. The baby is already here when this choice is being made so of course no one thinks they’ll have to do something like this. You’re point is good…I was looking at it from the perspective of someone with a car. I can run to 10 stores if I have to… So I think my comment is valid…for someone like me. If I just said “well…guess it’s cows milk tonight”, I’d be super remiss. But I can’t say that’s true for others.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 3, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

            Cool 🙂
            I’ve only been to San Francisco, where I was rather impressed by the public transport, but I admit that SF is hardly representative of the rest of the state. Here in Texas, the bigger cities range from not-bad-at-all public transportation (Houston, Dallas) to “you have seriously GOT to be kidding me” (Fort Worth), and of course, there’s a whole lot of nuthin’ between the bigger cities as far as public transportation or easily walkable distances go.

          • ladyloki
            September 4, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

            Where in California? I have lived in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties and they’ve all had great public transportation even in the so-called ghettos.

        • fiftyfifty1
          September 3, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

          “Those people shouldn’t have children, I’m sorry.”

          That’s a very uncool thing to say. Your privilege is seriously showing.

      • mythsayer
        September 3, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

        And I assume you mean these people will just give regular milk…I understand what you mean. And I’m not trying to be a privileged psycho by my other comment. I just worry that people would have so little care for a baby, even with other kids.

        And yet…therein lies the underlying problem here. That privileged white women’s (like me, but I’m not crazy) would attempt to reduce access to formula for those who need it most.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          September 3, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

          Assuming, of course, that they even have regular milk in the house. Most food banks don’t carry perishable items.
          I’m not in a million years saying that the second option above–giving up and going home until the next day–is good. I’m saying that when you have to balance your own job, your baby and perhaps other kids, dealing with public transportation and the search for affordable food, and then throw in encouraging stores not to carry formula, or make it harder/more time consuming to acquire? It *will* lead to situations like that, where a mom doesn’t have time to go to three or four stores or wait fifteen minutes for someone to unlock a case because she has to catch a bus or she’s going to have to walk for miles, often through really unsafe areas.

          • Sarah
            September 4, 2015 at 3:46 am #

            That can’t be, because our resident arrogant parachuting lactivists have assured us formula feeders will be happy and still be able to get what they need just as quickly. Also, nobody really lives in the sort of situations you mention. You’re getting hysterical. Poor people are not a thing.

      • sdsures
        September 3, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

        One of the reasons I’m grateful to live withing scootering distance of a Tesco Extra, which, excepting certain holidays, is open 24/7. On those holidays and Sundays, they’re open, but for shorter hours.

        • Sarah
          September 4, 2015 at 3:48 am #

          I stockpile, but of course that relies on having surplus income to be able to do so. Not everyone is as fortunate.

          • sdsures
            September 4, 2015 at 10:06 am #

            *nod* We buy in bulk, in case (for example) I’m too sick to go out on a given day. UHT milk is a wonderful thing!

      • Sue
        September 4, 2015 at 4:18 am #

        Spot on, Keeper. But people with a fiery one-eyed ideology are incapable of seeing the down-side of their plans.

    • momofone
      September 3, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

      Of course not! If they don’t see it, they’ll never think of it!

  12. mythsayer
    September 3, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

    At target, there is a “bottle feeding” section…and a “natural feeding” section. I kid you not.

    • Megan
      September 3, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

      Oh good. Now I know what to avoid. Nature has never been very kind to me…

      • mythsayer
        September 3, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

        I was so angry when I saw that. I should have taken a picture. If formula feeding is “unnatural,” then we are all doomed, because the food the rest of us eat is hardly “natural” in a lot of cases…

        • sdsures
          September 3, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

          I’d go in there with a Sharpie and cross out the “bottle” and “natural” and write in big block letters, “INFANT FEEDING”.

          *evil grin*

    • Roadstergal
      September 3, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

      Ah, yes, the natural feeding of our ancestors, when H Habilis roamed the aisles of Target.

    • sdsures
      September 3, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

      Oh, for the love of… *expletive*

    • demodocus
      September 4, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

      At least they got rid of the “building blocks” and “girls’ building blocks” signs. (*&@#

      • D/
        September 5, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

        Yeah, but then I had a never ending FB feed for a week sounding the alarm on Target’s liberal agenda to “turn all our kids into gays and transgenders” with proclamations to never shop there again … because people I actually know “liked” such crap enough for it to end up in my newsfeed.

        • Cobalt
          September 5, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

          You’d think that if heterosexuality was so fragile, so easily modified, there’d be a lot less of it. Perhaps we “wouldn’t even be here”?

          If all it takes to “turn gay” is a few dolls or pink Legos for boys or a toy car and baggy shorts for girls, it’s a wonder there’s any straight people left.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            September 5, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

            Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. Are these people so insecure in their sexual preferences that they could be swayed so trivially?

            It’s like the moron I encountered on WTE who was afraid that wearing pink would make his son have problems with “gender confusion.” All because he wore pink.

  13. Bugsy
    September 3, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    OT: I’ve been struggling to find a way to get the flu & Tdap shots in my third trimester. Here in BC, the flu shot seems to arrive sometime in October (my OB and the pharmacies I’ve called said it’s at the end of October), and the Tdap is not yet recommended across the board for pregnant women. I’m due at the beginning of November and #1 was early, so I’d rather not wait until late October for the vaccine.

    The flu shot is available just across the border from us, and I’ve found a pharmacy that can administer the Tdap to me as well. However, I’ve in the past had these shots at my doctor’s office.

    Is it safe to have both at the same time in pregnancy? Are there any particular questions I need to ask regarding the particular vaccines I receive? It seems like they use the preservative-free flu shot for pregnant women in Washington, and they’ve confirmed that one is in.

    Thanks. : )

    • Bombshellrisa
      September 3, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

      Hey-had the flu shot and the Tdap, they were a few weeks apart. Only a sore arm to show for it (and two stubborn band aids. Whatever brand they use at the OBs office never comes off). Glad you found a pharmacy that will do those. Not sure if you have a Bartell Drugs across the border from you in WA but they are pretty good and you can usually get in without an appointment.

      • Bugsy
        September 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

        Thanks! Just a bit scared that with it not being done by my OB, I’ll receive a vaccination not allowed for a pregnant woman by accident. Grr….

        • Young CC Prof
          September 3, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

          I got both flu and TDAP vaccines at a pharmacy while pregnant. They weren’t at the same time, but there’s no reason they can’t be done at the same time.

          Pregnant women should get the flu SHOT rather than the nasal spray, and they usually like to give the single-dose thimerosol-free version for pregnant women, more as caution theater than because there’s a real risk.

          • Bugsy
            September 3, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

            Ok, thanks – that matches everything I’ve seen.

            I hate doing this without the support of my OB, but she’s w/ the provincial government in not recommending Tdap right now…and I’m not willing to mess around with either the flu or pertussis. So frustrating.

          • Megan
            September 3, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

            I think you are wise to seek out both. And current recommendations here suggest earlier flu vaccination is fine and provides prog took for pinto a year. And the efficacy and safety of pertussis vaccine during pregnancy to prevent pertussis in infants is also well documented.

          • Megan
            September 3, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

            *protection for up to a year.


          • Bugsy
            September 3, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

            Thanks – the run-around to get these vaccines is frustrating, and even more so when I watch women on my birth board who can easily get them – their docs have recommended them – but are scared of the potential toxins instead. I’d gladly take theirs!

          • Roadstergal
            September 3, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

            Which is ironic, because diphtheria and tetanus are rather famous for making toxins. If they’re scared of toxins, they should be scared of real ones.

          • Sarah
            September 4, 2015 at 3:51 am #

            Diptheria and tetanus are harmless. A bit of coconut oil will sort you right out.

        • fiftyfifty1
          September 3, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

          Don’t be worried about mistakenly receiving a “not allowed” shot. They have never been shown to cause any problem in pregnancy. They are even intentionally given to pregnant women if the risk of the disease is substantial enough (i.e. if there is an epidemic or direct contact).

      • sdsures
        September 3, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

        If you think those band-aids were stubborn, you should see my nasal strips (for preventing snoring). I actually screamed one morning as I was trying to remove one. 🙁

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          September 3, 2015 at 11:42 pm #

          Oh, those are easy to remove! Just have skin so freaking oily that you could probably take care of the US’s energy requirement for a decade or two. Those suckers slid right off by 2 AM when I needed them while pregnant. Grrrrrr.

          • sdsures
            September 4, 2015 at 10:07 am #

            This ultra-sticky kind was a different brand than the one I started with.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 5, 2015 at 8:02 am #

            I’d totally forgotten about those! I ended up switching to them, too. Ah, the joys of late pregnancy…

          • sdsures
            September 5, 2015 at 10:01 am #

            Stuffy nose is a thing in late pregnancy?

          • Fallow
            September 5, 2015 at 10:26 am #

            Rhinitis of pregnancy. I had it bad.

          • sdsures
            September 5, 2015 at 11:01 am #

            Did you find anything that helped? I have chronic bad sinuses because genetics.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 5, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

            As I recall, it has to do with increased fluid retention *everywhere*, including the sinus passages and upper airway. I don’t snore (or at least, DH says I don’t) ordinarily. Last 3 weeks of pregnancy, you could hear me all over the house, and DH and I had to sleep in separate rooms often because it was so bad. I even woke *myself* up snoring several time! The night after DD was born, no snoring.

          • sdsures
            September 7, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

            Oh, joy.

            Wow, things cleared up that fast?

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 7, 2015 at 10:46 pm #

            For me, yes. At the risk of TMI for the rest of this post, bear in mind that I was carrying a *lot* of extra fluid weight–as in, for the first week post-birth I would wake up in sheets and clothes that were literally soaked in sweat, because that’s one way my body could get rid of the excess fluid. I was overweight when I got pregnant, but ate fairly (emphasis on “fairly” 😉 ) well while so, gaining thirty pounds total, the last 15-20 of which showed up in the last 6 weeks–water weight. By a week postpartum, while eating every empty carb that didn’t eat me first, I was half a pound away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I do remember looking in the mirror in the hospital bathroom a couple of days post-baby and thinking “wow, my face looks thinner.”
            I’m not sure if that’s true for all women/pregnancies, but it was for me.

          • FEDUP MD
            September 8, 2015 at 11:32 am #

            Yes, I gained 40 lbs with my first and lost 30 lbs in 6 weeks, 60 lbs with my last and lost 42 lbs in 6 weeks. Lots of night sweats and trips to the bathroom. I had pregnancy rhinitis so bad that even despite nasal steroids, I could not breathe out of my nose at all for the last few weeks of pregnancy for my last one, had to use Afrin off and on at night per my OB to not drop my O2 sats. Went completely away within a week and a half.

      • Kelly
        September 3, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

        I second you on the band aids. I just got my Tdap and it was the hardest thing to get off. My doctor did not have the flu shot and I am not sure if the pharmacies will give it to a pregnant woman. I will get mine as soon as I give birth which at this point should be any day now.

    • demodocus
      September 3, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

      mine were pretty close together.

    • Megan
      September 3, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

      It is safe to get them together, even during pregnancy. I double-checked the CDC’s site just to make sure too.


      • Bugsy
        September 3, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

        Perfect – thanks so much for directing me to that site. (I’d been on it recently but had missed the part about getting both together.) Now to just get past the fear that they’ll inadvertently give me the wrong vaccine…

        • Megan
          September 3, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

          Hey, if you want to drive to Pennsylvania, I’ll administer them. 😉

          • Bugsy
            September 3, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

            Lol…might be a slightly long trip with a pregnancy bladder and an energetic toddler in tow. But thanks!! 🙂

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      September 3, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

      My OB had me get my Tdap at the hospital before I left, and the flu shot (the non-preservative one) a bit before the start of flu season that year.

    • Cobalt
      September 3, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

      If you can time the TDAP for at least three weeks before delivery it gives better protection to the baby, as your body has more time to build a response and get it through the placenta. More than eight weeks and the protection might fade sooner. Anything is better than nothing though, and there is some protection within a week (which is what my early baby ended up getting).

      That was the recommendation I was given, anyway.

    • Bugsy
      September 4, 2015 at 9:05 am #

      Thanks to everyone for the feedback. My husband and I made a run south of the border last night and got our flu & Tdap shots. (Yeah, that made for a fun drive across the border. “Anything to declare?” “Just our flu shots, sir.”) No side effects other than sore arms, and the pharmacist was more than willing to triple-check for me that the shots were the correct ones. 🙂 Thanks again, everyone.

  14. Mariana Baca
    September 3, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    Of course they want to hide the formula in the back of the stores: if lactivists slip up and buy formula, they don’t want anyone *seeing* them do it. Sort of like some people who hide from their neighbors when they buy alcohol.

  15. somethingobscure
    September 3, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    This is getting ridiculous. And I say that while breastfeeding my 4 month old. All this public emphasis on breastfeeding honestly makes me self conscious and uncomfortable. Why do I need to know that the entire city supports my lactating breasts? Why can’t they just mind their own business about what I do with my own body?

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      September 3, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

      Minding one’s own business is rapidly becoming a rare talent, unfortunately.

    • Cobalt
      September 3, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

      I’ve stopped breastfeeding in public because of the way it’s been fetishized by lactivists. I don’t want to be a part of all that, I don’t want the public commenting on my nursing, I don’t want the attention, I don’t want to make a statement with my breasts.

      I just want to feed my kid.

      • Kelly
        September 3, 2015 at 8:25 pm #

        That is so sad because they don’t realize what they are doing to people who are breastfeeding. They don’t think about the unintentional consequences of their actions.

        • Cobalt
          September 3, 2015 at 8:59 pm #

          I’m more angry than sad, and now I have the luxury of a kid old enough for some real solids. So now when we’re all at a restaurant together, he gets french fries.

    • Sarah
      September 4, 2015 at 3:51 am #

      Because you’re a woman. You can’t just use your body as you see fit, it has to be everyone else’s business.

  16. demodocus
    September 3, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

    I may choose to formula feed if the frozen embryo transfer later this month works, despite being the human equivalent of a farmer’s prize cow. ‘Cause I loathe it. I seem to be permanently touched out since the last time I nursed the boy last year. No amount of advertising had anything to do with it, and I’m in fact a little fuzzy about where specifically the formula is in my grocery store (To the left or right of the diapers?) They can, to use a phrase from my adolescence, bite me. What really angers me, though, is the torment my sister would have been in if this was taking place when and where she had a newborn. Stage IV ovarian cancer is not to be fooled around with and you’re going to make the only thing she could reasonably give her only child harder to find while she hobbled on the way home from chemo to pick it up. Sure, Mom and BIL helped, but he’s army and not always present. Mom was nearly as poor as sib was and still had one at home. And sister was lucky compared to some!

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      September 3, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

      I’m so sorry. That sounds like an awful situation.
      I really wish that stories like that could penetrate the thick skulls of the idiots who come up with nonsensical policies like this. I doubt it, though. Grrrrrr.

      • demodocus
        September 3, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

        Thank you. He’s 8 and my sister is still here fighting. She’s one who always seems to be getting either the very best or very worst luck. The odds of getting ovarian cancer at 28? Tiny. The odds of surviving 8 years? also small. It went into remission and came back 2 years ago, but she’s been upgraded to grade III middle of last year. She’ll probably die from trying some insane stunt at 87. Or getting sepsis from a paper cut

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          September 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

          Whoa, good on her! I was afraid to ask, because frankly, when you hear “Stage IV ovarian cancer” you don’t think good things at all. Best of luck to her.

          • demodocus
            September 3, 2015 at 3:53 pm #


        • Mishimoo
          September 3, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

          Oh wow!! Here’s hoping her good luck holds!

    • Bugsy
      September 3, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

      Best wishes w/ your FET later this month.

    • DiomedesV
      September 3, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

      I’m so sorry to hear about your sister.

      People who promote this kind of thing are thinking strictly in utilitarian terms colored by their own rosy view of the world. They simply don’t see or hear the stories of such people as your sister, and if they did, they would shrug and give something like “the ends justify the means.”

      And sometimes that’s true. But in this case, the ends are “meh, meh, and more meh.”

    • Amazed
      September 4, 2015 at 9:23 am #

      That sounds simply awful. I do hope anything goes in the best way possible for your sister.

      • demodocus
        September 4, 2015 at 11:18 am #

        Thank you. She seems to be holding her own for the moment.

  17. Amazed
    September 3, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    OK guys. Now, I’m being serious. Doesn’t this count as discrimination? It’s a clear intention to hamper a certain group of people in their access to certain food.

    • Fallow
      September 3, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

      It ought to be considered discrimination, especially considering that this move is absolutely to masturbate the egos of white, well-off women at the cost of poorer women, and women who aren’t white.

      But North Carolina has gotten away with passing laws to make it much more difficult to vote if you are not already privileged. So I’m sure lacta-racists/lacta-classists can get away with shaming the same general population for how they feed their children.

      • FrequentFlyer
        September 3, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

        Talking about race and discrimination reminded me of something I wondered about but never asked anyone. Several years ago breastfeeding came up in a conversation at work. Someone asked an African-American coworker if she had breasted her children. She seemed offended by the idea. She said “No. My name is ___ not Mammy!” Is this unique to her, or a more wide spread feeling because of the abuses of the past? Are these priveledged white women ignoring not just work related and physical problems others have with breastfeeding, but deep seated negative feelings that won’t go away even if the other problems are addressed?

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          September 3, 2015 at 11:46 pm #

          You know, that’s a very interesting point. I’ve heard that attitude toward breastfeeding from one or two African-American women, but it seemed such a sensitive subject that I thought it best not to inquire further. (I hasten to add that the context was that we were supposed to remind the moms to register for feeding supplies such as bottles, boppy pillows, breastpumps, formula, etc, not that I was telling anyone to breastfeed.) I’d love to know more without being offensive about it, and learn whether it’s a widespread thing or more a Southern thing, as I’ve spent my entire adult life in the south. I just have absolutely no idea how a white person could try to know more about it without being really offensive.

          • Stephanie
            September 4, 2015 at 12:17 am #

            It is a because black women were forced to nurse their masters children. It was often at the expense of their own child, who may have been that white childs sibling. Given the lactavists slavery endorsing mentality, can one blame black women for not wanting to BF. What they see are people telling them they have to do something.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 4, 2015 at 12:36 am #

            Oh, I’m familiar with that rather nasty bit of history. Ugh. What I’m curious about is–since then, they don’t want to breastfeed their own children, either? I’m sure economics played and play a huge part of it; black women are still very underprivileged in this country, and are much more likely to work jobs that won’t be at all understanding about pumping and so on, and that’s been the case ever since they came here, though things have improved some. (When the point from which you can improve is “being owned as a slave and raped by your master and then forced to watch your child starve while its half-sibling drinks its milk,” pretty much anything can be an improvement without being the ideal.)
            Seeing breastfeeding even your own child as a form of slavery as a result of all that history…hmmm. I can see that. I also wonder if it could be a case of the way a person might perceive herself–“I’m economically and personally safe/comfortable enough that I don’t have to breastfeed, I can use formula, and that’s a step up from the way things used to be.”
            As for wealthy white women telling black women how to use their bodies and parent their children? *snorts in disgust* Enough said right there.

          • Stephanie
            September 4, 2015 at 3:47 am #

            Clearly you dont understand why they would not want to BF. It is a remanant of slavery for many. That is why they dont want anything to do with it. It is really none of your business why they or any other woman chooses not to BF.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 4, 2015 at 8:26 am #

            Do you really think I’m out to harass people for not breastfeeding? Quite the opposite. I think you’ll find if you read any of my posts here that I’m just about anything except the resident lactivist.
            You speak in the third person…I assume you yourself aren’t black?
            I don’t think it’s rude to be curious about the social, historical, and cultural reasons that certain things happen or don’t happen in a given group. “Breastfeeding Without BS” did a truly fascinating post a little while ago about why breastfeeding rates are low among Roma and Traveller women. It wasn’t in the least a judgmental piece–it was a “this culture believes X, Y, and Z about women’s bodies, breastfeeding, sexual purity, etc, all of which contribute to why Roma and Traveller women don’t usually breastfeed.” To which my response was, “Oh, wow, that’s fascinating,” not “those silly women ought to breastfeed,” I assure you.
            Learning about other societies, people, history and ideas is the best education for a human being there is. To paraphrase someone in a musical who I’ve quoted here before–“In all my born years I’ve never seen, heard, nor smelt an issue that was so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about.” Me, too. As I explained in my first post on this subject, it’s not exactly appropriate for me to walk up to someone and randomly ask such a question, nor would I ever, but it’s also hardly rude of me to want to learn more about another culture and what makes it “tick” in certain areas.

  18. Amy
    September 3, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    Having access to formula at every stage of pregnancy and my children’s infancies did NOTHING to affect my ability to nurse them. As a mom who breastfed, I’m a little insulted by the idea that formula has to be hidden and inconvenient in order to keep women from using it.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      September 3, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

      Only a little? You’re a nicer person than I.

    • Bugsy
      September 3, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

      I was thinking the same thing…now if only the same were true with chocolate. 🙂

  19. Amazed
    September 3, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

    Beware citizens of Insaland! Start getting off the disgusting thing called “loving chocolate and sugar”. Because, out of love for you, we’ll free you of the burden of responsibility to say no. We know you cannot possibly not buy this poisonous but so nice-looking chocolate and it’s BAD for your health. It’s called tough love.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      September 3, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

      You’ll get my chocolate when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands. And I warn you, I’m armed, and will defend that which is dear to me. 😉

      • Amazed
        September 3, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

        You think you scare me? Haha. I’ll be prepared and experienced. My heart will be made of stone, like the Mistress of the Copper Mountain’s (I got her wrong the first time, she isn’t the Lady of the Malachite Mountain. She does have a dress of various minerals, though), tempered by hearing the tiny pitiful voices of those poor mothers who asked in whisper where formula was. They were misled and misused, and I would have helped them find the One True Way. The breast crawl.

  20. Guest
    September 3, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    It is bad enough that hospitals are guilt tripping women who aren’t able or don’t choose to breastfeed. Now we have entire towns trying to make it shameful to formula feed. Let’s hide the formula as much as possible so women will feel forced to breastfeed. It doesn’t matter if the woman doesn’t produce enough milk or experiences excruciating pain the whole time she is breastfeeding. I experienced both of those issues with my son, and the criticism I received from nurses at the hospital was insane. Even the pediatrician acted like it was a shame because my son would never be as healthy as he could have been. Yet he went almost an entire year without getting sick.

  21. fostermom
    September 3, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    Are you kidding me? I’m a foster mom. I take in newborns straight from the hospital. We cannot give the baby anything but formula by law. This is a law that is the same no matter what county or state you are a foster parent in. I have had enough comments in grocery store lines and out and about when feeding my foster children a bottle. Now foster parents in that area will have their whole city against them. Disgusting.

    • Young CC Prof
      September 3, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

      Wait, foster children exist? Surely a family-friendly town wouldn’t need foster homes. *sarcasm

      • fostermom
        September 3, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

        Looking more into that specific area, it seems to be upper middle class and white. To them, only poor people of color are unfit parents. Jokes on them, because I have fostered babies from families of some of the richest areas of L.A. and a lot of those babies have been white.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      September 3, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

      Right. And foster parents are the ones who are generally willing to deal with an insane amount of crap in order to care for those most in need. So we need to give them still more crap to deal with? What the hell?

  22. Squillo
    September 3, 2015 at 2:21 pm #

    You know what else has positive health benefits for kids? Having parents who earn at least the median in their areas. Let’s try this on for size:

    Chapel Hill and Carrboro residents will soon see local stores with signs welcoming middle-to-upper income mothers and information encouraging the practice of earning at least the median.

    Local groceries also must not promote less-than-ideal family incomes by accepting WIC or advertising lower-cost generics.

    • Fallow
      September 3, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

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  23. Sarah
    September 3, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    I suppose it’s a good way of making sure white, decently off people feel most comfortable in the town. Now you’re not allowed No Blacks signs anymore, you have to have some way to put them off.

    • Squillo
      September 3, 2015 at 2:21 pm #


    • Fallow
      September 3, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

      I’m sure they would deny it, and I’m certain that even detractors of this initiative will say “ah, come on, it’s probably not racist, even if it’s nasty.” Bit you are dead on.

      Chapel Hill and Carrboro are both very white, and there is a lot of privilege going on there. They are nominally and politically liberal, but there is a lot of anti-poor and anti-black sentiment.

      I have no doubt that breastfeeding promotions like this one are used as a class and race marker in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Black women who do breastfeed are undoubtedly thrown under the “one of the good ones” heading.

      That quote about “regulations regarding chain grocery stores” translated in my head as
      “Those conventional grocery stores have to cater to ignorant WIC poors and minorities,
      unfortunately. But we can rise above the hoi polloi, and avoid formula-swillling undesirables by refusing to shop at Food Lion. “

      • fiftyfifty1
        September 3, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

        “Black women who do breastfeed are undoubtedly thrown under the “one of the good ones” heading.”

        Or under the “ethnic people who haven’t lost their primitive wisdom” heading.

        • Fallow
          September 3, 2015 at 7:33 pm #

          Ugh, you’re right. Horrible.

      • FEDUP MD
        September 8, 2015 at 11:38 am #

        I have never in my life seen so many sanctimonious “liberals” who promote their love for black people and the poor, and when actually faced with them (see, next town over, Durham) in truth suggests putting a fence up to keep them out.


  24. September 3, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

    Not really apropos, but my daughter sent me the following message today via WhatsApp: “I never realized what a joy it is when both of one’s kids are out of the house until 4 p.m.” Granddaughter Shir[4 1/2] is in pre-kindergarten with a special afternoon additional program, and Ilan [14 months] has just begun formal daycare after a year with me until 2 p.m. “At last, I can breathe — and go to the toilet when I need to”

    The sheer intensity of raising small children is quite enough stress, IMHO. Being subjected to the endless parenting propaganda is just too much.

    • Gene
      September 3, 2015 at 1:48 pm #


    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      September 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

      “I never realized what a joy it is when both of one’s kids are out of the house until 4 p.m.”

      You probably don’t know the Christmas song “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”

      One of the versus

      A pair of hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots
      Is the wish of Barney and Ben;
      Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk
      Is the hope of Janice and Jen;
      And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.

    • Megan
      September 3, 2015 at 4:40 pm #

      My daughter just recently started daycare and the first day my husband picked her up I got home from work to an empty house (well, except for the dog and cats) and I didn’t know what to do with myself! I changed my clothes in peace and watched a half hour of TV while checking my email! It was really nice!!

  25. Ceridwen
    September 3, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    Here’s the document about the rules for obtaining this designation: https://sph.unc.edu/files/2015/08/labbok_breastfeeding-friendly-city-criteria.pdf

    • Vanessa
      September 3, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

      That is enraging.

    • moto_librarian
      September 3, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

      The more that I think about this, the more angry I feel.

      • Ceridwen
        September 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

        The requirements that all maternity centers be Baby Friendly designated and that women be told about the “risks of unnecessary formula feeding” bother me the most.

        • JJ
          September 3, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

          Yes, I need someone to tell me if my choice was “unnecessary” or not. Maybe it is measured by the amount of martyring and self-loathing.

        • Erin
          September 3, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

          Well that makes it okay then because my son wasn’t “unnecessarily” fed formula. If I’d kept breastfeeding at best I’d have ended up being admitted to a psych ward and at worst I wouldn’t be here to be disgusted at this or to feed him anything at all because I’d be a post-natal suicide statistic.

        • Kelly
          September 3, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

          Sounds like the unnecessary c-sections.

        • Tiffany Aching
          September 4, 2015 at 6:43 am #

          In France the documents about the Baby Friendly certification opposes “maternal breastfeeding” (“allaitement maternel”) and “Artificial feeding” (“alimentation artificielle”). The effect is a bit lost in translation, but no one ever uses the expression “artificial feeding” in real life. It gives the impression that babies who are not breastfed will be given Soylent by a machine.

        • Angharad
          September 5, 2015 at 2:02 am #

          Well, if your baby is well-fed and full of breastmilk, and you still give them formula, that would be unnecessary and I’d imagine you’ll get some spit-up. Somehow I don’t think that’s what they’re talking about.

    • Megan
      September 3, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

      Breastfeeding promotion in the K-12 curriculum? Gotta start ’em young.

      The more I read about this, the more it pisses me off. Like, enough that I wish I lived there so I could raise holy hell about it. If I were a business owner in a town that wasn’t primarily white and privileged like these towns, I’d laugh at this. Why alienate customers? I don’t think this would work outside of tons like Chapel Hill.

  26. The Computer Ate My Nym
    September 3, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

    I breast fed my baby. For more than 2 years. I lived within a mile of at least 10 grocery stores*, all of which carried formula. Never once was I “tempted” to buy formula. I didn’t need it. I had plenty of milk and had no significant problems with feeding. No problems, no “temptation”. If I’d had problems breastfeeding, I would have supplemented. Because I’m not into my kiddo starving.

    *NYC. A square mile’s about 3 or 4 neighborhoods.

    • Gene
      September 3, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

      I can get free formula (perk of the profession). My kids were all breastfed for well over a year each (no plans to stop anytime soon with #3) and never got formula. I was a dairy cow in a past life. Guess I’m just better at resisting all those tempting tempting formula cans than all other week minded wimmin…

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        September 4, 2015 at 12:56 am #

        Moo, sister! I got a can of formula from the hospital when I left. It sat there for two years then I gave it away. I had a couple of hiccups getting started, probably related to dehydration just after giving birth, but once my milk came in it came in good. Formula has little appeal to a woman who is breastfeeding well because it’s more work. A woman who isn’t breastfeeding well needs it, either as supplement or as replacement. So where’s the problem with having it available for sale?

    • demodocus
      September 3, 2015 at 2:08 pm #

      Every baby book I read written since 2000 advocated breastfeeding. I was only tempted when my milk didn’t come in for nearly a week and I didn’t want my baby to go hungry. There was still 1/2 that original can left 6 months later. We are not talking about them pumping baking smells outside to tempt you to the bakery.

    • Monkey Professor for a Head
      September 3, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

      I have an unopened can of formula in my pantry. The day I left hospital after my son was born I sent my husband to buy it just in case. There was no temptation, just peace of mind that if I was struggling in the middle of the night, my son wouldn’t go hungry.

      This just reeks of paternalism. Why not work at making breastfeeding easier rather than focusing so much effort on demonising formula.

      • Are you nuts
        September 3, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

        My baby lost 17% of her body weight by her first ped appointment. The doctor said she needed to eat 2 ounces every 3-4 hours or something like that. So I got to pumping. When I wasn’t even getting an ounce in the middle of the night, I wished like hell I had some formula in my pantry. But thank god for 24 hour grocery stores that carry formula and a husband who was willing to fetch it. I supplemented for a few days, my supply was able to catch up, and we just made it to a year breastfeeding. Screw anyone who makes a woman feel shame for feeding a hungry baby.

    • FEDUP MD
      September 8, 2015 at 11:42 am #

      I breastfed two babies and had at once point close to 2000 ounces in the freezer from pumping. Also had a can of formula sitting in the pantry from the hospital both times. Somehow it never jumped out of there and blocked the milk from coming from my breasts. Amazing.

  27. Squillo
    September 3, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    How about a “parent-friendly” designation that encourages stores to place signs saying: “If you see a parent feeding his or her child, keep your opinions to yourself and get on with your business.”

    • Bugsy
      September 3, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

      Love it, and completely the opposite of the advice given to us by the lactation consultant who ran the breastfeeding class I took when pregnant with #1: “When you see another mom breastfeeding, you should walk over to her and congratulate her.” Ummm, yeah…no.

      • demodocus
        September 3, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

        This drove me nuts. Bugger off people!

      • Sarah
        September 3, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

        Yes. She will definitely be interested in your opinions.

    • Bombshellrisa
      September 3, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

      I would love something “parent friendly” and it would include more than one changing table in the bathroom and a variety of little snacks offered to distract toddlers. It would also include a sign that bars anyone from commenting on any crying/ screaming/meltdowns/tantrums any child has. That, in my opinion, is the most unfriendly part of parenting in public and everyone feels like they have a right to mention something about it.

      • September 3, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

        Israel is very child-friendly, but I’ve got to say that the only place I’ve seen which really is a pleasure to be shopping with children is IKEA. The variety of services, from a giant playroom with staff to babysit, to decent changing and nursing rooms, etc. is a joy. A lot of businesses could learn from them.

        • demodocus
          September 3, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

          Sadly, the nearest IKEA from me is some 300 miles away in the next state. The only one in our state is more like 350 miles away

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          September 3, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

          Playroom…with staff…to babysit…
          Right, that does it. Screw DH’s job, we’re moving to Israel.

          • Mattie
            September 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

            Europe in general, I’m sure the IKEAs in Italy also had supervised play rooms/areas. I used to beg my parents to take me to IKEA just so I could play

          • Wren
            September 3, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

            We’ve got them in the UK too. I love IKEA. Cheap food and free babysitting!

          • Kelly
            September 3, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

            The IKEAs I have been to in the U.S. all have the same thing and it is awesome.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 4, 2015 at 12:19 am #

            How, HOW have I not known this???? Oh frabjous day, calloo, callay!

          • Kelly
            September 4, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

            I am lucky because there is one on the way to my parent’s house. It still takes a lot of planning in order to get in there and have enough time to get through it but most of our stuff is from IKEA or scavenging my parent’s house.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 5, 2015 at 8:01 am #

            Huh! It’s almost like if you make it not just easy, but downright enjoyable for parents to shop at your store, they’re more likely to shop there. Who’da thunk it?

          • Bombshellrisa
            September 4, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

            Don’t forget special “family parking”. Kids eat free Tuesdays, free baby food with purchase of adult meal. Family bathrooms and nursing/changing rooms in the kids section. Those are small things that add up to supporting families in concrete ways.

          • September 4, 2015 at 1:48 am #

            Israel has a number of advantages, sez I, gazing out my front door at my lemon tree while enjoying a platter of luscious summer fruit. But seriously, this is a country where most women work, but the birth rate is high. I’m not saying there couldn’t be a lot of improvement, but you’re not made to feel as if you’re some kind of weirdo for having kids. The level of parent participation in their children’s activities and schooling is very high.

            And birth is free, at any hospital you choose, and that includes C/S [with the exception of the anesthesiologist’s fee]. The government even gives you a small gift of money to help with purchasing baby supplies. The costs of antenatal care are also very low — I’ve never had a patient who did not have full antenatal care while in the US, roughly 60% of my hospital’s patients had only minimal care, often only one clinic visit in order to register.

          • Outi
            September 5, 2015 at 12:40 am #

            Sounds like Finland. We pay for like 30 euros per day for a hospital stay, but nothing more for a birth, even for C/S. We get “maternal package” or monetary gift for the baby and after that child benefit every month until the child is 17. It’s about 100 euros per month. The antenatal care is free, so most of the women choose full care. That includes health center visit once a month in first and second trimesters and once a week during the third, two ultrasounds (one at week 10-13 and one at week 18-20), a test for diabetes and two OB/GYN visits. After the birth there is free OB/GYN visit for the mother to see how she has recovered and to discuss about birth control. Then there’s free health center visits for the baby. For the first one I didn’t even have to take my baby to the health center, the community health nurse came to us. For free, of course.

            Of course there are downsides, like huge taxes, but I can’t think of living somewhere else.

        • Bombshellrisa
          September 3, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

          I agree. The cafe also has an area for people with children, with Mickey Mouse playing on a loop and bibs in case you forget to bring one. Also all the bathroom stalls have one of those child seats on the back of the door so you have a safe place to put your baby while you use the toilet. I used an ergo carrier and it’s really hard to baby wear and use a toilet. Or use a public toilet when you don’t want to put the baby on the floor. That a business understands that part makes it parent friendly without having to label itself

    • attitude devant
      September 3, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

      Hell, I’ll settle for them not putting the candy at child’s-eye level in the checkout line! THAT would be parent friendly!

  28. Alexicographer
    September 3, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    Conversely (to my comments below re: the town), UNC itself has 7 lactation rooms on the main campus, 2 at off-main-campus locations, and 10 in its hospital and/or med/dental/nursing school facilities. These to serve a total of — besides the ~18K u’grads, most of whom probably aren’t nursing (though some probably are), ~11K grad students, ~4K faculty, and ~8K staff. There’s no question space on campus is tight, but besides the paucity of rooms, there’s no consistency in how to access them — some are open, some require a key or a code? See http://womenscenter.unc.edu/lactation-rooms/ , also http://www.uncmedicalcenter.org/uncmc/about/human-resources/employee-benefits/maternity-benefits/employee-lactation-program/ .

    The NC State health plan (UNC employees’ only option) offers “the opportunity to apply up to a 40% discount on the purchase of a breast pump through Edgepark medical supply company.” although the same page that provides this information (http://womenscenter.unc.edu/lactation-resources/) notes that “under the Affordable Care Act, all health insurance plans except ‘grandfathered’ plans must cover breast pumps, either through rental or purchase.” Although it does now offers a high-deductible non-grandfathered plan (likely unappealing to expectant moms for obvious reasons), the traditional SHP in NC is grandfathered.

    So, you know, it’s a snapshot of the the US system in general: Let’s encourage moms to BF, but not by making it easy, or affordable.

    • Gene
      September 3, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

      Duke’s lactation room ( in the hospital) are awful and are inconvenient.

      • Alexicographer
        September 3, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

        I don’t doubt it. I don’t think UNC is unusually bad, more likely typical. But were one going to seek to effect useful change, starting with one’s employer and focusing on being helpful (providing enough rooms, making them accessible) might be a good strategy.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          September 3, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

          Plank out of your own eye before the splinter in someone else’s, and all that?

      • FEDUP MD
        September 3, 2015 at 9:58 pm #

        Cramped and dirty as well.

  29. NoLongerCrunching
    September 3, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    Because breastfeeding is their religion and people who don’t believe their dogma are infidels. You can see every day how fundamentalists treat nonbelievers. If you don’t believe, you go to hell; for a mother, hell is being told that you are hurting your baby.

  30. Vanessa
    September 3, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    This enrages me. How dare they try to shame families who use formula to nourish their babies. What can we do? This lactivism has gone too far.

  31. JJ
    September 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    I am such a silly woman that I will decide to formula feed because I was able to easily find formula at the store and I got a coupon in mail. Please hide formula from my family! If I want to be lazy and formula feed at least make the formula hard to find. Maybe make an obstacle course. Maybe even tax it like cigarettes so I will quit giving in! We are weak and easily persuaded shepple! I need more signs in the neighborhood telling me breast is best. I almost forgot for 5 minutes today.

    I am almost due with my 4th child and have decided to maybe combo feed for 1-2 months and then switch to all formula (or just do all formula from the start, depending on how things go). Though I breastfed my 3 other children, I am a PPD/PPA survivor and decided with my own little lady brain that it would be better to formula feed because breastfeeding contributes to mental illness for me by adding more stress, less rest/sleep, and limits how I can utilize medications if needed. I still have a little anxiety about formula feeding from residual lactivist propaganda in my brain, but I know this is the best choice for me and my family.

    Thank you Dr.Tuteur for sharing evidence-based information and helping me make an informed decision. Mothers matter too and I am looking forward to enjoying my postpartum time with my children because of formula.

  32. Daleth
    September 3, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    What is WRONG with these people? If they can’t promote what they like without telling lies about and insulting the alternative, there is something seriously wrong with them.

  33. Sarah
    September 3, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    OT: I recently found that the WHO recommendation for HIV positive mothers (who have access to ARVs and low viral loads) is still for them to breastfeed, as the benefits still outweigh the risks. This recommendation seems to be solely for developing countries, but I couldn’t find anything about developed countries specifically. Is it logical to assume they also recommend HIV positive mothers who have adequate access to clean water and formula to breastfeed? And are there any studies of these risks and benefits in more developed settings?

    • Young CC Prof
      September 3, 2015 at 11:41 am #

      There’s about a 1% chance of transmission when the mother is on medication that’s working. So yeah, no way.

      • Sarah
        September 3, 2015 at 11:42 am #

        And as risk goes, that risk would increase with each breast feeding session, right? Or is that 1% compounded over a period of time? (I know I’m being an annoying question ninny. I’ve just been really curious about this since I read it.)

        • Young CC Prof
          September 3, 2015 at 11:46 am #

          1% over the year of breastfeeding, I believe.

          • An Actual Attorney
            September 3, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

            Cuba stopped mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis with early screen / treatment, c sections, and formula. Just sayin.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 4, 2015 at 12:14 am #

            Just wanted to say a great big THANK YOU! for sharing that link! It’s exactly what I’ve wanted to find as I consider whether or not to even try breastfeeding again–information without the crazy or the nasty judgment. Many thanks again! 🙂

          • Joy
            September 4, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

            I love that site. Even with all the troubles I had, I found it informative and not crazy. There is too much crazy out there.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 5, 2015 at 7:59 am #

            Oh my gosh, is there ever. It’s so bad that I get anxious and depressed if I even look at a lot of breastfeeding sites, so I stopped. You’d think they’d want to bear this in mind, as I can’t imagine I’m the only one for whom that’s true, but nope.

          • Outi
            September 5, 2015 at 12:12 am #

            C-sections and formula is also recommended in Finland. I know a mother, who ignored the recommendations, breast fed her baby and gave the kid HIV.

          • An Actual Attorney
            September 5, 2015 at 8:45 am #

            That’s tragic.

    • Roadstergal
      September 3, 2015 at 11:44 am #

      Ask Eliza Jane Scovill how well it worked out. I cringe for women who live in a situation where the risk of diarrheal illness is so high that the risk of HIV transmission is the lower priority.

      If the lactivists put half the money and effort into getting clean water to women in developing nations that they put into shaming non-EBFers, the world would be a better place.

  34. Megan
    September 3, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    These people make me so so angry. This is not friendly to anyone. It is disgusting! These people make me want to breastfeed less!! Why would I want to be associated with this kind of breastfeeding community?? They’re a bunch of narcissistic privileged assholes!

  35. Gene
    September 3, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    I lived there for four years and will be visiting friends there next month. And I will be bringing two formerly breastfed kids and one (currently) breastfeeding 10 month old. I’m so liberal I make Pres Obama look like Bobby Jindal or Rick Perry. And with those lovely qualifications, I think that Ms Labock’s goals are the stupidest goddamned thing I’ve heard all year. I’m not surprised this is in Chapel Hill (Northampton, MA or Berkeley are similar in their political views). Family friendly, great. Public breastfeeding, fantastic (it’s already state law, but whatever). Pushing for full pay, months long parental leave, awesome (oh, wait, no mention of that!). Hiding formula?? What the fuck for? It’s not illegal. It’s healthy for babies. The majority of babies use it at some point.

    Hell, if you want to improve health in children by making something illegal, try banning Bojangels and sweet tea (locals will understand). If you want to promote breastfeeding, start advocating for extended parental leave at full pay (and good luck with that).

    Sorry for the swearing, but anytime I invoke RP or BJ, I get a wee bit irrational.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      September 3, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

      And see, I’m a pro-life, pro-gun compassionate-conservative-with-a-dash-of-libertartian (long, complicated story)…and I agree with everything you wrote. Which right there should give the morons who came up with this idea some notion of just how out-there stupid it is, but probably won’t.

    • Fallow
      September 3, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

      Please don’t take the Bojangles. I need that stuff.

      • Alexicographer
        September 3, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

        There is no Bojangles in Chapel Hill or Carrboro, I recommend you head to Durham, Pittsboro, or Hillsborough.

  36. Alexicographer
    September 3, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    I live in these towns.

    As I recall (it’s been almost a decade, haven’t checked), when I was buying formula here, the grocery stores keep it up by the front, similar to the cigarettes — because (I believe) it is a high-theft item. I can’t remember if the drug stores did. We have no “big box stores” (Walmart, etc.) in town. The only big “discount” store, Roses, which was located in the local mall, got closed down (by mall management — raised the rent) a couple of years ago. Perhaps not coincidentally, it was the only store in the local mall that attracted other-than-affluent shoppers. There is one Dollar General store in Carrboro, and to my knowledge, no others (no Family Dollars, Roses, Walmarts, etc.) anywhere within the limits of either town.

    • Amy M
      September 3, 2015 at 11:35 am #

      Some of the stores by me (Central MA) have the formula up front like the cigarettes, but it is definitely because of theft issues.

      I wonder where these people expect the formula to be? Usually, its in the baby aisle along with diapers, wipes, baby food, etc. There’s the “locked up like tobacco products” option. Maybe the household goods/automotive aisle? I would guess that one is the least visited aisle in the store. Or maybe in the stock room and an employee would have to go get it every time someone wanted to buy it.

      • Alexicographer
        September 3, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

        I know, it’s odd. I mean, I get that it’s symbolic (the expressed objection to “preferential placement,” and I’m no expert on grocery marketing, but I think preferential basically = a display in the walk-through area (e.g. to get to the produce) or the ends of the aisles. And I don’t think I’ve EVER seen formula placed there — which makes sense. Can I, a middle-aged woman with school-aged kids, be enticed to think, “Oh, look — Ritz crackers on sale, I’ll buy two boxes!” or can our large college student population be lured into buying more soda, chips, or packaged spaghetti products? Sure. But formula? Either you want/need to buy it, or you don’t — I cannot imagine (particularly given its $$$ cost) that where it’s located in the store would affect that, I really can’t.

        • Cobalt
          September 3, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

          True. Formula isn’t an impulse purchase. It’s either a staple, or irrelevant.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks
        September 3, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

        While in college, I worked at BRU, and yes, formula was definitely a high-loss item. Which is sad on so very many levels, but I can quite see having it at least in a high-traffic area, or within sight of an employee.

        • Ash
          September 3, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

          Some stores have the formula cabinet locked and you have to ask an employee fto open it (for loss prevention, not “baby friendly”

        • Sarah
          September 3, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

          Yeah, it is quite stealable. Fairly small size, fairly easy to resell.

  37. MLE
    September 3, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    As someone who can and did breast feed and was lucky enough to have the perfect circumstances to do so, this makes me so angry I could cry. If it was difficult for me under the best of circumstances and I still felt inadequate in the eyes of lactivists, I cannot imagine how hard it must be for women who have even slightly less accommodating jobs/circumstances than I did. This is extreme and purposeful cruelty. Just admit what you’re doing so we can combat it head on instead of dressing it up as “helping.” Helping like a kick in the teeth.

  38. Cobalt
    September 3, 2015 at 11:20 am #

    I love the idea of family friendly towns. Sidewalks, off street bike paths, stroller access (good for others with mobility issues as well), affordable and plentiful quality daycare, frequent parks and playgrounds, sponsored children’s events, solid public transit options (good for everyone, really), convenient grocery stores…

    But none of that “promotes” breastfeeding by making formula feeding unnecessarily difficult, so I guess they aren’t interested.

    • Roadstergal
      September 3, 2015 at 11:24 am #

      As you note, so many things that would _actually_ benefit families with babies would benefit non-families or non-baby families, and things that would _actually_ help BF moms would help all moms. It’s almost like the true measure of a good initiative is to look at it and say, “Does this cause Unexpected Help or Unexpected Harm to other groups?”

      Of course, harm to non-EBF moms (as hiding the formula hurts the combo feeders, too) with no real benefit to EBF moms is a feature, not a bug. It’s just so disgusting that they _get away_ with calling it Family-Friendly, Baby-Friendly, etc.

    • Amazed
      September 3, 2015 at 11:29 am #

      When a friend’s baby was born, she was living in a neighbourhood that had just one (1, no mistake) garden. The garden of the local hospital. We pushed the stroller around and when we wanted to sit down, we occupied one of the benches before the blocks of flat. This toddler-preschooler-student had nowhere to play home, except for… well, home.

      I happen to think that a park with a playground would have been very child-friendly. Now I understand it was no formula that was the way. Silly me.

    • Alexicographer
      September 3, 2015 at 11:37 am #

      In fairness — for the record — these are “family friendly” towns. Certainly they could improve, but they have sidewalks, on- and off-street bike paths, plentiful free kid-friendly tax-payer supported (as well as other, private business-supported) kid-friendly programming, lots of parks with nice playgrounds, two good town pools that are both very family friendly and affordable, though not free. The public school system is among the best in the state (admittedly a low bar, with the state government doing its best to destroy both our K-12 and higher education systems, at the moment), and there is a public transit system (bus system) that is free to the ridership.

      Plenty of great child care, too, though not so much in the “affordable” category. We’re not a cheap place to live.

      • Mattie
        September 3, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

        OT but just interested for study abroad purposes, I’m looking at UNC Chapel Hill, is there an ice rink close(ish) do you know?

        • JRH
          September 3, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

          I went to grad school at UNC and loved it. I think the closest ice rink is in Cary, SW of Raleigh (about a 30 minute drive away.)

          • Alexicographer
            September 3, 2015 at 10:12 pm #

            There’s also a rink in Hillsborough (~20 minutes by car) and now one in Durham during the winter at the American Tobacco complex (a rebuild, now a pedestrian retail/office zone, quite nice). The Durham one’s probably possible to access via bus from Chapel Hill (not entirely easily), the Hillsborough one’s probably not.

            We’re not very good on winter sports in these parts.

          • Mattie
            September 4, 2015 at 3:16 am #

            Thank you 🙂

  39. Amazed
    September 3, 2015 at 11:20 am #

    They aren’t misguided but well-intentioned. Those things don’t WANT breasfeeding to become a 100% implemented choice. Because if it is, who are they going to lord it over? But this kind of cruelty is particularly repellent. It can actually lead not only to mental suffering but very physical one. It can lead to babies STARVING.

    Fucking milking cows don’t want everyone to become a milking cow. Because then, they’ll lose the special status milking motherhood entails.

    P.P. I am not talking about breastfeeders and breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has nothing to do with milking motherhood.

    • Cobalt
      September 3, 2015 at 11:36 am #

      This association is probably not your intent, but it keeps popping up for me. “Milking cow” is a term frequently applied to the star of actual lactation pornography (yes, it exists- humans can fetishize ANYTHING). The other common term is “hucow”.

      Search “breastfeeding” in the Amazon Bookstore if you really want to know how popular this particular fetish is. Just not while you’re at work.

      • Amazed
        September 3, 2015 at 11:39 am #

        I work at home… right now trying to latch onto any excuse not to work. Latch excellent, by the way… but no, I don’t think I want to know what they mean.

        It’s just that a milking cow is a synonym for a woman with great supply and Meg did call herself Milk Meg, so the association was ready for me to use. I freely admit that my assessment of their character might have played quite the part in it, though.

        • Cobalt
          September 3, 2015 at 11:44 am #

          Considering how some lactivists exploit and monetize their breasts and lactational ability, it’s not entirely inappropriate. It’s just an additional possible meaning.

          At least the porn stars are honest.

    • Fallow
      September 3, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

      Who are they going to lord it over if they get 100% breastfeeding in Chapel Hill? Durham. They’d love even more reason to lord it over the population of Durham, which is poorer and far less white. That’s your answer.

      And make no mistake, I am not talking about sports or school rivalries. I am talking pure racism and classism.

  40. lawyer jane
    September 3, 2015 at 11:18 am #

    I found another article by this Labbok person where she claims that formula kills babies, and that breastfeeding is the way to reduce infant mortality rates among African Americans. Completely disgusting and opportunistic! It has to take a LOT of fetishizing breastfeeding to focus in on that as the way to reduce infant mortality disparaties, when it is well established that premature birth is the #1 cause of the disparity. E.g., http://sm.stanford.edu/archive/stanmed/2013fall/article2.html.

    I would laugh except for that it is so insulting, privileged, and clueless to imply that African American mothers just need to breastfeed to solve this problem.

    • Roadstergal
      September 3, 2015 at 11:20 am #

      That’s just what working African American mothers need. More barriers to getting the formula they need in a very time-crunched day.

      • September 3, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

        Or helping them keep the low-paying jobs too many are locked into. I’d like to see a supermarket cashier in a busy store slip off for a prolonged feeding or pumping session several times a day. Most checkout girls seem to have to eat and drink at their cash registers. If they tried to get BF breaks, the owners would say, “Find another job”.

        • Roadstergal
          September 3, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

          Exactly – most low-income women are formula feeding because _they need to work_, and most service industry jobs, breaks to pump are a major no-no. Just the mental image of a woman struggling mightily to make ends meet and to give her kid some kind of decent life, and all of these privileged harpies are swarming over her telling her how she’s harming her child and should – what, quit her job to BF? It’s so ridiculous, and makes me so MAD. Formula is a perfectly good way to feed a baby, and how _dare_ these women lie about it. I feel like my Letter To The NC Lactivists would consist of “Fuck you, you fucking fucks.”

    • Anne Catherine
      September 3, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

      The sad thing is that she is an MD, and a professor. She’s also the director of the this Carolina Breastfeeding Institute (which is part of the Gillings School of Public health, which is part of UNC).

      She’s not just some random lactivist with a blog–She’s paid a lot to do this kind of stuff!!!

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      September 3, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

      Ohhhh yeah, a friend posted this on FB recently. I managed–barely–not to go into a frothing rage, mostly because it wouldn’t change anything.
      Sure, breastmilk does awesome things for premature babies. Here’s a radical idea, though: how about advocating for conditions in which AA moms are able to, should they wish, pump for or nurse their preemies without worrying about how it’ll affect their ability to have a job? Or even better, advocate for better medical care for low-income moms?
      Oh, sorry, not shaming enough. My mistake. Also, while I’m not African-American so could be wrong about this, it certainly seems to me that having a bunch of out-of-touch, privileged white women telling lower-income black women how to live/run/manage their lives and families is mind-bogglingly obnoxious. It reminds me of novels set in the early part of the 20th century in which privileged white women go tell immigrant women how to run/clean their homes and manage their kids, but haven’t the faintest idea about the many difficulties that the poorer women have (unsafe streets, no place for kids to play outside, minimal support system, little money for cleaning supplies, etc) that the wealthier types take entirely for granted.

  41. Amy M
    September 3, 2015 at 11:18 am #

    “There has never been a city that set out to say ‘Hey, we welcome the family.’”

    This particular quote stood out to me, not only because its wrong, but also because discrimination has often reared its ugly head. What if it said “Hey, we welcome the WHITE family?” Or “Hey, we welcome the RICH family?” All this is, is “Hey, we welcome the BREASTFEEDING family.” Are they going to ask infant feeding method on the mortgage application? Are the schools going to be segregated by how the kids were fed as babies?

    Cities show that families are welcome by having good schools, nice parks and museums, sports programs for kids, libraries, sidewalks and things like that. If these cities really think that families will consider living there solely on the “breastfeeding friendly” policy, they are sadly mistaken.

  42. September 3, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    Frankly, if I lived in such a place, I’d organize boycotts and do my grocery shopping online — and make sure the store owners knew it.

    • Megan
      September 3, 2015 at 11:24 am #

      As would I. And I’d write nasty letters to the local newspaper.

  43. lawyer jane
    September 3, 2015 at 10:53 am #

    I wonder what “regulations regarding chain grocery stores” she’s alluding too. I don’t think there is any regulation that requries chain grocery stores to sell formula (although I expect they’d have the good sense not to take it off their shelves!). Maybe she is talking about stores that sell formula under WIC programs. That would be crazy if she is implying that WIC should stop allowing formula sales at grocery stores!

    • Sarah
      September 3, 2015 at 11:10 am #

      Maybe it’s a reference to regulations within the stores themselves? If higher up the corporate chain dictates what should be sold and where (which is often the case), they’re not going to be quick to fall in line with these types of ordinances (if they ever do).

      • lawyer jane
        September 3, 2015 at 11:25 am #

        I did a little more research, and I’m pretty sure she’s referring to WIC. Stores must go through an approval process to be qualified to accept WIC, and they are required to stock the WIC approved formula brand. So grocery stores are not obligated to sell formula, but if they want to participate in WIC, they have to. And I assume that they cannot hide the formula either!

        I’m guessing that all major grocery chains become WIC qualified, because they might face some kind of discrimination claims if they didn’t, and it seems like really bad business not to. Grocery businesses are very low margin, so they could hardly afford to lose this business en masse … especially infant formula which, ironically, has an inflated price because of WIC. http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kent/The%20High%20Price%20of%20Infant%20Formula%20in%20the%20US.pdf

        • Sarah
          September 3, 2015 at 11:26 am #

          Oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for finding that!

          • lawyer jane
            September 3, 2015 at 11:29 am #

            Amazing all the research you can do when you’re procrastinating on your actual work 🙂

  44. moto_librarian
    September 3, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    This enrages me! The only reason that this campaign exists is so that a certain subset of upper middle-class white women can cast their smug superiority over those of us who can’t or don’t want to breastfeed. If they really gave a shit about improving breastfeeding rates, they would be advocating for paid maternal leave, particularly for low-wage workers who often have to return to work within two weeks of giving birth. Since their agenda is really about proving how much better they are at mothering than the rest of us, they focus on campaigns that aim to harass and shame formula feeding mothers.

    • KarenJJ
      September 3, 2015 at 10:53 am #

      But bullying other women is so much easier than advocating regulatory change that gives women more options.

  45. KarenJJ
    September 3, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    Why must a mother’s choice be “managed” by these sorts of restrictive policies? Why do women inflict this sort of paternalism on other women? They could have made a town/city more breastfeeding friendly without the need to hide formula away.

    • Roadstergal
      September 3, 2015 at 10:53 am #

      Or, you know, make the town more feeding-friendly. With, I dunno, designated benches for infant feeding at city parks, recommendations to local businesses to provide room and seating for feeding mums and pumping rooms for lactating employees, that sort of thing.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        September 3, 2015 at 10:56 am #

        Because that would actually require people doing something, and that is too much work. It’s easier to take things away than to make things available.

      • Anne Catherine
        September 3, 2015 at 11:02 am #

        But remember, it’s a “Breastfeeding Friendly..”. designation. It seems as though they don’t want the babies who are “artificially fed” to be there.

        They want to stop the sale of formula, but if has to be available, a pamphlet on the benefits (which probably are overstated) should be next to it……

        • Roadstergal
          September 3, 2015 at 11:14 am #

          Exactly. If they really wanted to be breastfeeding friendly, they could enact policies that helped breastfeeding moms and are either neutral to or also supportive of formula moms. As Dr T notes, this is purely about making BF moms feel better by harming formula moms.

        • Houston Mom
          September 3, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

          If I were a formula purchasing mom there I’d be happy to take their pamphlets. Might even take more than one, maybe all of them. Every time I went shopping. I’d probably ask my husband to grab them when he stopped in for something. Wouldn’t want to forget how schlubby a mother I was for feeding my kid.

      • Young CC Prof
        September 3, 2015 at 11:07 am #

        Changing tables! More changing tables!

        • Cobalt
          September 3, 2015 at 11:09 am #

          A million times yes!

          And the trash can being within reach of the changing table…as fun as diaper chucking can be, public restrooms are not the place for it.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 3, 2015 at 11:15 am #

            I recently stopped at a rest stop with DD and saw the most brilliant changing table setup. Changing table, complete with hook for purse/diaper bag, and a paper towel dispenser plus a hand sanitizer dispenser within reach of each changing table. And yes, a trash can right there. All very clean and well-maintained–there was even a bathroom attendant who was cleaning stalls as soon as people used them! Remind me to write a note to the owners and tell them just how genius that was.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          September 3, 2015 at 11:12 am #

          *snort* Reminds me of a church I know of. One mom I knew of who attended it noticed that there wasn’t a changing table in the women’s room. Since she (reasonably) didn’t want to have to either take the newborn to the 130+-degree (Arizona) car to change him, or change him on the pew or on the floor of the women’s room (ew), she went to the priest and offered to purchase a changing table and wipeable pad and donate it to the church. You’d think that the only reasonable response would be “Awesome, thanks!”, right?
          Nope. In his words, “If you put a changing table there, it’ll just encourage the babies to poop during Mass.”
          Yes, because babies are notorious for holding it until a more opportune moment. *facepalm*
          To be fair, I’ve never seen anything that idiotic at any other church, but it certainly made me roll my eyes. Hard.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            September 3, 2015 at 11:18 am #

            At which point, I’m doing it in the pew.

            You try to be reasonable, but the response is unreasonable, why care any more?

            And if he complains, tell him he’s lucky you’re not changing him on the altar.

          • Roadstergal
            September 3, 2015 at 11:19 am #

            I was just thinking about the altar. That’s a nice flat surface at about the right height?

            The phrase “poop during Mass” is making me giggle.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 3, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

            When a much younger baby, DD had a near-demonic ability to produce various…*ahem*…emissions during the more silent times at Mass. They were the sort of noises guaranteed to make the pews around us erupt into half-stifled snorts of laughter while I turned beet red and tried to decide whether or not to murder my husband for trying to high-five the baby for, and I quote, “perfect timing.”

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 3, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

            Eh, wouldn’t do that last–reverence, and all that–but if it were me in that situation, I’d totally change Junior in the pew. And if anyone commented on it, say sweetly, “You know, you’ve got a great point. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had a changing table somewhere? Why don’t you ask Father about it?”

          • Amy M
            September 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

            Poo in the pew. Pew!

          • Sarah
            September 3, 2015 at 11:25 am #

            Oh goodness, that’s funny and sad and ridiculous all at once!

            Although, I’ve heard a lot of people say that poop is “concentrated sin coming out the back of you.” What better place to expel that sort of thing than at church?

          • demodocus
            September 3, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

            Considering the amount of poop newborns generate, that’s kind of disturbing, lol

          • Dr Kitty
            September 3, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

            My friend was telling me that she was at mass with one of our mutual friends.
            Friend was breast feeding her infant in the crying chapel.
            Mutual friend is potty training her toddler.
            So toddler was sitting on the potty in the crying chapel during mass!
            Priest was not amused.

          • demodocus
            September 3, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

            My pastor discussed putting up the changing table with the 3 of us when we had our mini baby-boom a year and a half ago. We ended up not bothering, mostly because the bathrooms in question are the size of a postage stamp, and it’s okay if we change the boys pretty much anywhere reasonable. There is one set up in the nursery in the basement. Pastor’s been there herself many moons ago and she’s a wee bit liberal.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            September 3, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

            Sounds like a smart and reasonable pastor!

          • demodocus
            September 3, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

            And very into social justice. But then, she was in the peace corps before she entered seminary, and set up a soup kitchen and pantry at our itty bitty church.

        • Megan
          September 3, 2015 at 11:25 am #

          Yes!!! I can’t tell you how many “family” restaurants I’ve been to without changing tables!

        • Michele
          September 3, 2015 at 11:28 am #

          In the women’s room AND the men’s room!

          • Megan
            September 3, 2015 at 4:46 pm #

            Yes!!! This too!! My husband always complains about this. My favorite is the family restroom which is large enough for everyone, has a changing area and can be used by either parent or both. Especially nice for parents with multiple kids in tow! I don’t see them often but I always feel compelled to thank management when I do!

          • Kelly
            September 3, 2015 at 8:49 pm #

            Yes, I am thinking about switching my prescriptions to the Target that has this. It makes my life so much easier and I can send my husband in there without a thought of how disgusting the men’s bathroom is or if they have a place to change a diaper.

  46. Anj Fabian
    September 3, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    This is a concept that’s ripe for lampooning:

    We don’t want impressionable parents to be able to easily see a nutritious food that is highly recommended for babies.

    But we’ll make sure the beer, the candy, the salty greasy snack foods, the empty calorie sodas are right there as you walk in or by the check out.

    Hide the nutritious food created specifically for babies and instead set out tempting low nutrition, high calorie foods for families.

    That way they can spend the money on poor quality food for themselves instead of high quality food for their baby.

    • Anj Fabian
      September 3, 2015 at 10:54 am #

      Going with that general thought, they should have designated nursing areas that are well lit, comfortable and easily accessible. Why not make them into a window display? Some attractive, comfortable chairs, soft, indirect light and some signs advertising your current sales!

      (If google is going to create a self driving car that plays ads at you, the sky is the limit!)

      • KarenJJ
        September 3, 2015 at 10:55 am #

        Maybe like designated smoking areas, they can have designated formula feeding areas out of sight and put “no bottle” signs around elsewhere such that breastfeeding mothers aren’t tempted to bottle feed their infants by seeing happy and healthy formula fed infants.

  47. Lauren
    September 3, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    You missed ‘same-sex male parents’ under who this hurts — gay couples matter too!

    • Lauren
      September 3, 2015 at 10:46 am #

      and single fathers!

      • KG
        September 3, 2015 at 11:11 am #

        No, no, no, no, no. Same sex male parents and single fathers should be buying donor breastmilk, not formula.. The cost at $4/oz is worth it! (please note my sarcasm.)

        • Sarah
          September 3, 2015 at 11:14 am #

          The extra money is for the extra bits mixed in like cow’s milk and pathogens!

          • Roadstergal
            September 3, 2015 at 11:15 am #

            It might come with drugs, too, as laignappe.

        • Lauren
          September 3, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

          Damn, I forgot! What was I thinking? 😉

  48. Bugsy
    September 3, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    It’s just so amazing to me that policies that harm families have instead gotten twisted up under the guise of “family-friendly” policies.

    • FrequentFlyer
      September 3, 2015 at 11:30 am #

      I guess they are friendly to those who need to feel superior to others. How can they be superior unless someone else is inferior?

  49. KarenJJ
    September 3, 2015 at 10:39 am #

    So demonising formula within the hospital context is not enough and now we must take on our cities and towns as well?

  50. Young CC Prof
    September 3, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    Pop quiz: What happens when you make formula harder to buy? Hint: It’s not just more breastfeeding!

    Answer: Babies, at least those in the most disadvantaged families, get less formula. They may be weaned to regular cow’s milk before age 1, which isn’t recommended. They may get too much cereal and veggies. (While veggies are nutritious, they’re low in the calories and fat that babies need.) They may even get formula that’s too diluted, which is terrible.

    • Ash
      September 3, 2015 at 10:52 am #

      Tons of stuff like broth, honey, beer, wine, animal milk,and gruel was fed to babies. Let’s go back to that rather than ruining the gut with formula! Or wouldn’t it be great to cut WIC benefits to women who aren’t lactating? Yes, what a great incentive!

      • SporkParade
        September 3, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

        They already have. If you tell WIC that you want coupons for formula, they’re required to give you a spiel telling you that you are ruining your baby and they’re going to reduce your food budget.

        • Fallow
          September 3, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

          Can confirm. My baby was on WIC for her first year. The social worker was as nice as possible, but she seemed like she was required to tell us we were screwing up by combo-feeding.

          The front desk ladies who printed the coupons were super nice, though.

        • Outi
          September 4, 2015 at 11:50 pm #

          REALLY?! Once again I thank my lucky stars I live in Finland. No one has given me the spiel after getting home from the hospital and the social services give everyone the same amount of money for the baby, breast fed or not. Not that I have needed it, but my friend has and she said they calculate the amount it was needed to feed the baby the same way whether she was breast feeding or not.

    • Gene
      September 3, 2015 at 11:49 am #

      Have you ever seen a baby having seizures from drinking diluted formula? I have. They don’t stop seizing until their sodium levels go back to normal. NOT a fun thing. That’s why I support WIC. I want HEALTHY babies who are thriving and growing well. Those babies are going to grow up to be our future firefighters, teachers, doctors, etc. Status Epilepticus (nonstop seizures) can cause permanent brain damage or death. Not conducive to smart healthy adults.

  51. Sarah
    September 3, 2015 at 10:11 am #

    Why don’t we see these kinds of policies in other areas of public health? Why don’t they put white rice behind a counter while displaying brown rice prominently on aisles? Why don’t the same people advocate to put candy behind glass like expensive electronics? I don’t think they should do this, of course, but it would make more sense as certain types of food have a sometimes significant and measurable impact on health; long term breastfeeding impacts, on the other hand, are spurious at best.

    • Young CC Prof
      September 3, 2015 at 10:16 am #

      Some of the things folks are proposing to “fight” formula are more extreme than what we’re doing to try to reduce smoking, for example, judging doctors and hospitals based on the personal choices their patients make.

      • Kelly
        September 3, 2015 at 10:45 am #

        The sad thing about it is that formula is a necessity. Smoking is not. If we hide all the formula, you are hurting the baby and the family. If you hide all the cigarettes, it is just a major inconvenience for those who smoke. I would be pissed off if they did that in my city and I have the means to buy formula over the internet or go to the next town over to buy it. It is not fair to those who do not have the means to do that. Lets make it even harder for those who are poor to feed their babies nutritional food.

        • Young CC Prof
          September 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

          Exactly. Also, current smokers could potentially quit, and many of them are trying. Making cigarettes less visible in stores might actually help quitters.

          A mother who’s been formula feeding for 3 months is not going to wake up and say, “You know what? I think we should switch to breastfeeding.” That isn’t how it works.

          • Roadstergal
            September 3, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

            Oh, and also, smoking is quite bad for you and those around you, and formula isn’t…

          • Angharad
            September 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

            But… but relactation!!

          • Kelly
            September 3, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

            Exactly and like what was said above, it is not an impulse buy. If I lived in the town and they hid the formula, I would ask someone to find where it was so that I could feed my baby. I would also tell everyone else who formula fed where it was. This whole thing is ridiculous and making mothers sound like they can’t make rational decisions.

          • demodocus
            September 3, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

            Hey, all babies quit eventually, what’s the problem? /sarcasm

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