Dr. Becky is a bully

Powers choose not to breastfeed

We are all anti-bullying now.

We recognize that bullying based on race is wrong; bullying based on religion is wrong; bullying based on gender is wrong; bullying based on sexual orientation is wrong. In fact, there’s only one group that it is still acceptable to bully: new mothers.

Dr. Becky: “All I can say is that if I am a breastfeeding bully I am proud of it.”

Dr. Rebecca Powers is one such bully.

The same day I wrote about post about the bullying tactics of the United States Breastfeeding Committee, a lactation consultant alerted me to this post by Dr. Becky from Village Pediatrics and Breastfeeding Medicine in Tennessee:

The full post is here (cached version).

Here are some excerpts”

… 1) It is NOT my stated objective to make everyone happy… 2) This is my practice. It is just me. I don’t play well with others, so I quit and went where I could do things the way I wanted to without having to make what felt like soul withering compromises. I make the rules about where I spend my time and energy. If you don’t like my rules, I am not the pediatrician for you. I will tell you this as gently as I can, but I WILL tell you. And I will not apologize for it. 3) I do not kick people out of this practice because they cannot breastfeed… This practice is made up of women who breastfeed, women who gave it a real, honest try and women who would be breastfeeding if it were a real option for them. If you choose not to breastfeed your baby before you have even tried you don’t get my precious time and energy. Period.

If you choose to lie to yourself by coming into my office and believing I will somehow relax my policies for you and your child, you are wrong. And you will leave crying or disappointed. And this is America, you are welcome to spread your disappointment all over the internet. But, if you think it is going to hurt me, it isn’t. I do what I do and I do it well… I am not Mother Theresa(although I do strive to emulate some of her qualities). When I have chosen not to help you, it is because I firmly believe it is not going to be the best use of my time and resources. Am I going to feel bad about it? Nope (okay, well maybe a little. but I will go to sleep just fine.)

Don’t worry, Dr. Becky, no one is going to confuse you with Mother Theresa. I don’t know much about her but I doubt she set conditions on who was allowed to benefit from her “precious time and energy.”

When someone left a comment on her page about her inappropriate behavior, she wrote a post in response:

Bully proud of it highlighted

… All I can say is that if I am a breastfeeding bully I am proud of it…

Let’s leave aside for the minute the fact that breastfeeding is closely associated with race, class and education level, meaning that Dr. Becky’s bullying is disproportionately felt by women of color, poor women and women who don’t have college degrees. Bullying patients for their personal choices is unethical. First, the burden falls on the child, someone who had no say in the decision at all. Second, refusing to care for a child because his mother didn’t conform to your beliefs about how women should use their body parts is grossly inappropriate.

Refusing to care for children whose mothers choose to bottlefeed is as inappropriate as refusing to care for children whose mother had an abortion. Her baby, her body, her choice!

Dr. Becky is well aware that her behavior is indefensible.

Apparently she complained to Facebook and had them remove a post on The Skeptical OB Facebook page that discussed her behavior. That’s consciousness of guilt.

No doubt she thought that would be the end of it. She doesn’t know me very well, does she?

Instead, I’ve written about her here, a page that gets much more traffic and is beyond the reach of her whining.

I would be surprised if Dr. Becky’s policy is illegal, but, in my view, it is immoral.

Unfortunately, lactivism is a vehicle for socially sanctioned bullying. By gleefully refusing to care for the children of women who don’t breastfeed Dr. Becky demonstrates that she is a bully.

By trying to remove public mention of her bullying, she demonstrates that she wants to be free to continue her contemptuous behavior toward vulnerable women without being held to account.

  • MayonnaiseJane

    “Refusing to care for children whose mothers choose to bottlefeed is as
    inappropriate as refusing to care for children whose mother had an
    abortion. Her baby, her body, her choice!”

    Ok I’m trying not to dredge up old articles by commenting on them, but this one just became SUPER relevant after the recent court ruling that doctors CAN now refuse to treat people who have ever had an abortion. Sick.

    https://mic.com/articles/164234/judge-rules-doctors-can-refuse-trans-patients-and-women-who-have-had-abortions

  • MaineJen

    Wow, what a bitch.

  • Mac Sherbert

    I wonder if she also refuses to see adopted babies or babies in foster care?

    • Angharad

      Only if the parents are sufficiently sad about not breastfeeding.

    • Wombat

      They probably have to make a real, honest, try (as judged by cuckoo clock up there) at inducing lactating, and then the gates are unbarred.

      I don’t know that I’ve ever met a paedatrician I’d care to fight this much. Just how often does she have the issue of the ‘anti-breastfeeders’ (/roll eyes) knocking down her door? Can’t imagine often. This is just self congratulation, closely conflated with self flagellation…

  • Dr Kitty

    OT: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-34963159
    Some movement towards common sense in Northern Irish abortion law.

    Putting it here because I don’t want to risk hijacking James Titcombe’s post.

    • Azuran

      Very small movements…..But it’s good that they are trying to change things.

    • mabelcruet

      But would you trust our numpty politicians to do anything about it? No party wants to go down in history as the ones who made abortion legal-I’m sure they’ll find a way to weasel out of it.

      • Dr Kitty

        I have a feeling that there are going to be some interesting referendum questions added to the ballot for the next assembly elections.

        The only way to prove that there is broad cross community public support for change is to show it. And it gets you out of a bind with the hardcore base, if you can say “we didn’t cave, we had to accept the will of the people”.

    • Sue

      Admirable move in Marriage Equality – consistent with a well-developed sense of judgement.

      • Sue

        Oops – sense of JUSTICE, not judgement!

      • canaduck

        Gay marriage still isn’t legal in Northern Ireland, unfortunately. That was down south in the Republic of Ireland.

  • GiddyUpGo123

    Holy cow! No only is this woman a HUGE biotch but she’s also got a very high opinion of herself doesn’t she?

    “If you choose to lie to yourself by coming into my office and believing I will somehow relax my policies for you and your child, you are wrong. And you will leave crying or disappointed.”

    Nope, lady, I won’t come away crying and disappointed because I’m pretty sure there isn’t anything special about you or your practice. I’m very, very sure I can pretty easily find another pediatrician who is not, in fact, a total biotch.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Heh. I was thinking something like, “Or maybe I’ll leave thinking, ‘whew! dodged the bullet on that one!’ because, thanks to your extreme view and bullying behavior on the issue of breast feeding, I know not to trust you.”

      Is she the only pediatrician in the area or something such that she thinks she can make this sort of demand on her patients and their parents?

      • Roadstergal

        That’s what I worry about. If she’s in a community without enough of a patient base to support more than one pediatrician…

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    I’m wondering how she even knows if a parent is breastfeeding or not. I mean, let’s say I take a 6 month old to see her as a new patient. The baby’s feeding maybe every 4 hours during the day. Does she demand a demo of breastfeeding in the office? Do I need to whip out a boob to prove my worth? Do I need to sign some kind of affidavit that swears that I’m breastfeeding?

    • AllieFoyle

      Or an older child…. do you have to take a polygraph? How long is long enough? How much effort do you have to swear to in order to be worthy?

    • Charybdis

      I was wondering the same thing. Does she demand a demonstration? Oh, and what about CS babies? It’s a wonder she doesn’t discriminate against those as well.

    • Elaine

      Maybe she asks them.
      I think she is probably referring to women who ignore medical consensus (ACOG, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Family Physicians, WHO) and who plan to feed the baby only formula from day one (in the absence of rare medical nececessity)–just because it is “yucky” or might tie her down.. Or who “try” for one or two days and say, “Oh my boobs hurt, I quit” or “Oh, the baby woke up and cried for five minutes, it must mean that I don’t have enough milk” instead of getting real advice from a qualified lactation consultant.

      • yugaya

        ACOG actively supports women who CHOOSE to breastfeed. Full stop. AAP recommends it because it is in public health interest, not because the choice of formula feeding is advised against.. WHO is a global health authority and its recommendations are for minimum resources settings and above – unless you live in the developing world, you should adhere to your local guidelines.

        So, the organisations you cited do not have in their policy statements the insulting lactavist language and attitudes you are displaying towards mothers who choose not the breastfeed (“just because it is “yucky” or might tie her down.. Or who “try” for one or two days and say, “Oh my boobs hurt, I quit” or “Oh, the baby woke up and cried for five minutes, it must mean that I don’t have enough milk”)

        The scary part is that you people do not even begin to realise how scarily misogynistic you are.

        • Amy

          Try HAS to be in quotes because obviously if you didn’t completely rearrange your life for a year, you didn’t really try, right? And your own feelings about something going on with your own body being yucky are invalid because clearly a stranger on the internet knows your own visceral reactions better than you do.

        • Elaine

          Not even close not mothers –here is the actual ACOG statement from their website: Evidence continues to mount regarding the value of breastfeeding for both women and their infants. The College strongly supports breastfeeding and provides resources to help Fellows, other health care professionals caring for women and their infants, hospitals, and employers to support women in choosing to breastfeed their infants.

          Here is the WHO statement from their website: As a global health policy for both developing and developed countries, this review recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months

          Since you didn’t try to dismiss the AAP, perhaps you can encourage people to follow their guidelines.

          As for the excuses for quitting breastfeeding before even leaving the hospital, how is it insulting to quote actual women who were busy complaining to the general public that the pediatrician in the hospital was wrong. These are people who gave up within 24 hours despite pediatrician advice==claimed the pediatrician was a mean bully for pointing out health benefits of breast milk. The FF crowd is very loud and very public–this was not something I asked about,

          • Sue

            “The evidence continues to mount” asserts Elaine.

            ANyone know of any new good quality evidence?

            COchrane review 2012: Exclusive BF for six mths (vs 3 to 4 moths plus combined) reduces GI infection and helps the mother lose weight and avoid ovulating, but HAS NO LONG-TERM IMPACT ON ALLERGIC DISEASE, GROWTH, OBESITY, COGNITIVE ABILITY OR BEHAVIOUR (my emphasis).

            What new evidence are you aware of, Elaine?

          • yugaya

            “here is the actual ACOG statement”

            And like I said:
            1) ACOG supports breastfeeding mothers.
            2) WHO is irrelevant for justifying your privileged choices
            3) AAP policy is nowhere near as condescending, judgmental and insultingly woman-hating as your statements are.

      • PrimaryCareDoc

        This might be one of the more privileged statements I’ve seen here. Do you know how much it costs to see a lactation consultant? It cost me a couple of hundred dollars, out of pocket. It was also basically worthless, as it came down to “pump more and feed more.” Well, I was working full time, so I couldn’t feed more. I tried pumping more, but there are only so many pumping breaks you can take while still trying to hold down a job. So I also rented a hospital grade pump (more $$$$$).

        You know what? I really, really regret all the effort I put into increasing my insufficient supply with my second kid. It was a waste of time, a waste of money, and needless anxiety for me. It was a cause of hunger for my child. I wish I had formula fed from day 1 with him.

        • Elaine

          Really?
          “Under the ACA, lactation services are covered without co-payment. However, you will need to speak with your individual provider

          to understand the effective date with your policy and the specifics of how that benefit will be provided.

          Again, once your provider has implemented changes required through the ACA, lactation services and

          breastpumps are provided without co-payments; however, each provider writes their own policy so it is

          very important to speak with your provider to understand your benefits and coverage”

          Not ideal, but a start. Also, many hospitals here have lactation consultants on staff included as part of the delivery fee. Finally, if a mom can afford the cost of formula for a year, she can afford a “couple of hundred dollars”

          • Nick Sanders

            Finally, if a mom can afford the cost of formula for a year, she can afford a “couple of hundred dollars”

            Bullshit. A cost spread over time is far easier to meet than a lump sum.

          • Bombshellrisa

            No kidding, my husband got sticker shock when the LC sent him down to the baby boutique to go rent me a pump. $100 right then and there, when a can of formula would have cost less than $20 and would have lasted us awhile. He had no choice, I was the mom of a preterm baby who could latch but not suck for very long and I was engorged and crying in the LC’s office.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            Well, I had my kids before the ACA. That being said, just because the ACA will pay for a lactation consultant, it doesn’t mean that they accept insurance. Just like having insurance doesn’t mean you can find s doctor who takes it.

            As for breast pumps, I have no idea what it covers, but somehow I doubt it covers top of the line hospital pumps.

          • Stephanie

            Usually hospital grade pumps are restricted to premies or medically needed babies.

          • Hilary

            And that’s iffy … my insurance refused to cover a hospital grade pump even though my son was premature and in the NICU with medical complications.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            As more of my friends start having kids, I become increasingly convinced that any number of insurance companies need a good, swift kick in the rear.
            Case in point: friend’s insurance company recently denied the standard 20-week anatomy scan (the one where they look for various major defects) because it’s an “unnecessary medical procedure.” They would, however, cover an US to find out if the baby was a boy or girl.
            I’m no medical professional, but it seems to me that the one (“your kid has spinal bifida,” for example, or “your baby will need heart surgery as soon as he’s born”) strike me as rather more important medical information than “congratulations, it’s a boy!” And they usually figure out gender at the anatomy scan anyhow. Of course, this was the same grandfathered plan that wouldn’t cover a breastpump.

          • Hilary

            That’s ridiculous. My c-section was performed because of a birth defect initially found on the routine anatomy scan. If we hadn’t known about it my son would have been born at a hospital without a NICU and probably suffered severe shoulder dystocia. I hope your friend challenged the denial and asked for their reasoning.

          • Bombshellrisa

            “breastpumps are provided without co-payments; however, each provider writes their own policy”
            For some plans, this means preordering the pump with the supply company they contract with, usually a few weeks before the delivery. If you deliver early, you have to rent the pump out of pocket.

          • AllieFoyle

            I had a similar experience. Blood blisters on both breasts before even leaving the hospital, despite it being very pro-BF and having LCs and nurses with breastfeeding expertise on staff. No one had any useful advice at all. One said I should use a nipple shield, another said I shouldn’t. Basically I had to get through about six weeks of painful nursing before it worked out, and I’m not sure it was really worth it because the pain really interfered with my ability to enjoy my baby, and probably contributed to depression, for which I didn’t want to take medication because I was BF. I’m familiar with research on the effects of both BF and maternal depression, and in retrospect, treating depression potentially has a much more profound positive effect on a child than BF.

          • Dr Kitty

            Eh, it hurt for the first six weeks with both my kiddos, despite good latch both times and me knowing what I was doing the second time. I think sometimes it just hurts no matter what you do.
            So, you either figure BF is worth it and push on to see if it gets better, or you figure it isn’t and you don’t, which will vary depending on your circumstances.

          • Megan

            Attempting to breastfeed my first baby cost me nearly $5000 (not including the money I would’ve made had I been working). Formula cost me roughly $1000 the first year.

          • Stephanie

            Really? That 200 an hour or for two 100 dollar one hour visits may be the cost of a couple months worth of generic formula for the baby. I didnt BF by choice and need. I am a rape survivor.. is that good enough for you? I have considered becoming an LC because SAS and CSA have little to no advocacy for them in feeding choices. You know maybe some women who say I dont make enough or it hurt too much, maybe sex abuse/rape survivors who do not want to think about their past trauma. By even asking why a woman’s is not BFng, you could be bringing up memories of it. I should not have to disclose past sexual trauma to a stranger or anyone else to justify my feeding choice .. or to even fly on an airplane asking for mercy in the security check point. Sadly, the latter has become harder to avoid. I and other SAS dont need have to deal with the former.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Many plans are grandfathered in and don’t cover those things. The hospital lactation consultants were the ones who wanted me to practice unsafe cosleeping (prop the baby with pillows under a blanket?!)
            Furthermore, moms in straightened circumstances may well be able to find $15/week for generic formula a lot more easily than they can a one-time payment of $200. Which, incidentally, is lower than I was quoted in my admittedly affluent area. Most here wanted $400/hour.

          • Joy

            Pssst. The world isn’t the USA. I live in the UK. I paid more for LC/tongue tie revisions/more revisions/herbs/pumps than I would have for formula.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            “Pssst. The world isn’t the USA.”
            *dies of shock* Really?!
            Signed: a Yank

          • Joy

            I am also a Yank. I just live overseas. 🙂

          • Sarah

            ‘Finally, if a mom can afford the cost of formula for a year, she can afford a “couple of hundred dollars”

            Please tell me you don’t seriously think that because a woman can afford a few dollars a week for a year, that means she must also have access to a couple of hundred dollars as a one off lump sum? You can’t possibly be that ignorant of the real world, can you?

          • Dr Kitty

            If you can afford to get the bus everyday, surely you can afford the down payment for a car!

            People who live pay check to pay check do *not* just have $200 lying around. If they did, spending it on formula which is guaranteed to feed their child would be a better return on their investment than seeing an LC who *might* be able to help make BF work for them.

            If BF means paying for pumps, bottles, pillows, breast pads, nursing bras, nursing covers, sterilisation equipment and LC fees, plus 500 calories a day extra for mum, well it might be cheaper to buy the bottles and sterilisation equipment and formula.

          • demodocus

            My *father* sent us money so I could buy the bras. He actually managed to tell me in a way that didn’t really embarrass either of us. We couldn’t afford to buy more than one or two, and I need to order mine on-line because no stores around here stock catapult size.

          • Dr Kitty

            I have one properly fitted and quite attractive nursing bra (28H) which cost a small fortune, and several somewhat less well fitted stretchy sports bra type nursing bras, which were cheap.
            Also, reusing nursing bras gem the first time around, even though they have all seen better days and have been vacuum packed in the attic for five years…
            I also bought a second hand Ameda Lactaline double breast pump on eBay, with new milk collecting kits. But that just brought the price down to 50% of new. Of course I could have saved more money by using the second hand collecting kits, but hard pass on that.

            I’m someone who has had relatively little trouble BF, and I still wouldn’t describe it as “cheap and easy”. It’s tiring and hard work and sometimes not much fun at all. Which is why I’m absolutely supportive of combo feeding and FF for whoever wants to use those options.

          • demodocus

            sadly, I’m still wearing my nursing bras, because mine never got smaller after weaning.

          • Sarah

            The costs of breastfeeding are front loaded, no pun intended. But some of these lactivists live on a different planet.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            Yes, you are the best, Elaine, you are great, you have been able to breastfeed so everybody can. It is us, we are weak, we are stupid, we do not know enough.

            You know what? You are just acting stupid. People do have different lives, different people do have different needs. Not every single mom out there can have the time and resources that it takes to breastfeed. And, frankly, some moms do not want to. And THAT IS OK. The baby is not the center of the universe and the best for the baby might be the worst situation ever for the family as a whole. Different families have different needs and different situations. If the baby is fed, warm, clean, safe and receives love and affection, believe me, it is OK. There is people out there that has other kids to care for, people that really need to work in order to feed the child and does not have access to pumping breaks, people that have medical issues that prevent them from breastfeeding, people that simply need to sleep better in order to function next day at work, etc, etc.

            And no, a 4 IQ excess points, one less ear infection in the first year of life, a marginal decrease in the rate of chilhood leukemia that has not been definetely proven and a marginal decrease in the rates of one subtype of breast cancer does not justify the hell that some women are experiencing.

      • demodocus

        :”yucky” could mean “reminds me of what my rapist did but I don’t want to go into that with you” or “makes me want to throw the baby across the room, but I’m ashamed of this feeling and certainly don’t want to tell you about it” or “I’m so revolted, I’d rather eat rotten onions”

      • Amazed

        I think you’re an entitled waste of space.

      • Charybdis

        Perhaps she has tried an LC and tried most of the things suggested and is still has issues. Maybe she realizes that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is not working. I had a hospital grade pump and could not manage to pump more than 1 oz at a time. I also hated nursing with the fiery intensity of a thousand suns. It made my skin crawl and made me detest my baby. Thank the Good Lord he didn’t like sucking for comfort, or I would have gone ballistic. After about a month of trying the breastfeeding thing, I switched to formula and never looked back. It was wonderful. Other people could share in feeding the baby and got their own precious bonding time. The expense of formula feeding was not that bad…glass bottles, silicone nipples and some bottles that had disposable liners that could be used, all of which could be tossed in the dishwasher, and the formula itself was not *that* expensive. I got samples and coupons from the formula folks on a regular basis. If I had tried to stick out the breastfeeding, I would have had the cost of pump rental, extra pump parts, storage bags, nursing bras (and they would have been bras, as my boobs are too big to be contained in a nursing tank), pillow(s), numerous supplements to supposedly help boost supply (tea, cookies, herbs, oatmeal), maybe a couple of bottles for EBM, lanolin or other nipple ointment, nursing pads, all the other accoutremants that come with that “free” choice.

        And I couldn’t get free samples and coupons from breastfeeding.

        • Amazed

          Perhaps Dr Becky feels empowered by making women cry and feel disappointed when she shows her contempt to them. Just like Elaine the Asshole does.

          On the other hand, perhaps Dr Becky thinks her time and energy more precious than the rest of us do because she doesn’t have much to spare, most of it gone into the effort of chewing and moving this extra weight of hers. Perhaps she “tries” lifting weights or just walking around the neighbourhood for three minutes per week and say, “Oh, my breath caught, I’d better go to my office and make extra money by being paid to be a qualified lactation consultant, although technically, I rent this office in my capacity of pediatrician. Anyway, if I can convince mothers that breastfeeding is a cure it all, that means more money to me!”

          Disclaimer: I am saying this as someone who is overweight. But if Elaine can resort to such nasty generalizations in defence of her cult leader, so can I.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            *sigh* You would mention ice cream.
            *wanders off freezer-wards*

          • Amazed

            Ice Cream is my middle name!

            Throw some my way please! In return, I promise that when I next visit Miss Impatience’s confectioner mom, I’ll return the favour with some homemade cake with butter cream and walnuts. Many walnuts. Baked just for me (and you!) by a professional who knows my personal exquisite tastes.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Ooooooh. Cake. Mmmmm.
            I’ll make the coffee!

          • Amazed

            Deal!

          • Bombshellrisa

            Oh great, the power of suggestion.
            Was it you that was obsessing over lasagna? My mom made us lasagne last night and it tasted like the best thing in the world after the talk about it here.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            …I don’t think it was? I did make some a few weeks ago, but I don’t recall talking about it in the combox. That having been said, lasagna is always a good thing!

          • Bombshellrisa

            I can’t remember but lasagne came into conversation and I wanted it since.

          • Who?

            Demodocus I think.

            It’s sooo much too hot here for lasagne at the moment, but it’s a winter staple in this house.

          • demodocus

            Yep, that was me. We don’t have it very often, since we only have 2 adults and a just-turned 2 year old. Mostly, I’m having anti-cravings with this pregnancy, but Indian and Italian are apparently mostly on the okay list. Except sausages.

          • Who?

            We used to make it in a small loaf pan, then moved up and up until making a 10 person one gave us some leftovers, now we’re back to small loaf pan again.

            It’s the circle of lasagne.

          • demodocus

            That’s how I make it when I do, in the littlest casserole dish. We don’t have a microwave, so reheating is a little tricky.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Well, we don’t have ice cream, but we do have cake….

            It’s homemade gluten free cake so that’s practically healthy right? And chocolate has antioxidants so it’s pretty much a vegetable.

            *wanders off fridge-wards*

        • swbarnes2

          A thing about all those herbs and cookies and things…toothpaste has a medicinal use, and it’s really hard to overdose on, but it says right on the tube what the active ingredient is, and how much there is in the tube, to a few decimal points. I don’t think any of those teas have the same labeling, and they are attempting to do much more to the body than toothpaste is.

          • demodocus

            Ugh, our local morning show was discussing a local herbal tea maker and he was bragging about the “health benefits.” He just felt so much better when he was hanging out in the Andes drinking purple corn tisane. *eyeroll*

      • Gatita

        If you believe that women have agency over their own bodies then you have to acknowledge that those are all valid reasons not to breastfeed. You may have contempt for those reasons but the reality is no woman has to justify her choice to you or anyone else. “I don’t want to” is reason enough.

        • Sarah

          I would probably not presume she does believe that…

      • Megan

        I had nothing but struggles my first time breastfeeding and am considering not breastfeeding the baby on the way because I don’t want to miss out on her first weeks by spending them constantly crying and trying to make breastfeeding work again. You can go ahead and judge me but just know that the actual science does not support your contempt for women like me. If judging other women who make different choices than you is what you and Dr. Becky need to feel good about yourselves then I feel sorry for both of you.

        • yentavegan

          I have read in the past the posts of your breastfeeding experience. And I completely and without reservation support your choice to forgo breastfeeding as the main source of nutrition for your next baby. Combo-feed if you feel the urge, bottle feed if you so choose…there is no reason to stress out on meeting some unattainable lactation warrior standard. Your baby will grow strong and healthy either way.

          • Megan

            Thank you.

        • Inmara

          Megan, I really empathize with you and hope you will have the best time with next baby! What *I* plan to do when/if having next one – feed colostrum (because that’s where most of antibodies are), give a try to breastfeeding but at the first hint of baby being hungry start to supplement. Combo feeding gives quite a lot of flexibility – you can soothe baby by nursing when needed, pass some feedings to other people and have a rest, manage intervals between feedings by giving either BM or formula etc. And it’s liberating to know that baby will be fed no matter what, so breastfeeding is not the cause of anxiety and desperation anymore. With your history of previous difficulties you may not want to even try and it’s totally understandable, but for other moms who are considering their options combo feeding could be the best bet.

          Fun fact – now I have a proof in a form of ultrasound report that I don’t have enough glandular tissue; maybe I could have increased supply by rigorously pumping between feedings but it wouldn’t get baby as much food as he’s getting now (and I would be miserable for sure). I should have suspected it from the beginning (knowing my medical history), but when baby was just born he didn’t need that much milk in one feeding so insufficiency was not obvious. At least now I know certainly that combo feeding or EFF are my only options in the future too.

          • Hilary

            I totally agree. Like Megan I had too many difficulties feeding my son with EBF to want to try it again. I was able to breastfeed enough to discover that I did not enjoy exclusive breastfeeding. If I have another one I will try to combo feed from the start … it’s the best of both worlds!

          • Megan

            Actually your plan is my current plan for now. I had a long talk about it with my doc and my husband and we decided that I’ll try but at the first sign of difficulty I will supplement and go to EFF if needed. I may change my mind and EFF after we get home from the hospital but that’s the plan for now.

          • Jocelyn

            I have a question for anyone on this thread who might know: Would feeding colostrum increase engorgement when the milk comes in? Because I plan on fully formula feeding my next baby, but have thought about feeding the colostrum during the first couple days. But I don’t want to increase engorgement. Anyone know?

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I’d be interested in hearing this, too. At the moment, I figure that I can do at least one or two colostrum feedings and then switch without causing much more engorgement than I otherwise would have, so that’s the plan…subject to change, that is, as ever. 😉 (My only really “good” nursing memory is nursing DD right after she was born, while they were still stitching me up, and I’d like to do that next time around if possible.)

          • Joy

            As far as I am aware. The initial milk engorgement is due to hormones. That is why women who don’t bf/give their babies up for adoption still get engorged. It is after the first few weeks that supply is then demand driven.

          • Sarah

            Anecdote only, but I did find the engorgement worse with my first when I did a couple of colostrum feeds then it was with my second when I didn’t do any at all. There were other variables too of course.

          • Megan

            What specifically did the ultrasound report say? I had one when I was in my twenties to check on a lump that showed “irregular glandular tissue” and I’m wondering if that has something to do with my troubles.

          • Megan

            Sorry. I just realized perhaps you don’t want to answer that. But I’d find it helpful if you feel comfortable. I had totally forgotten about that ultrasound because at the time I wasn’t even thinking about children or breastfeeding. But I just realized that if I had an ultrasound telling me I had IGT it would make my decision so much easier and would really take a weight off of my shoulders. Maybe I will ask my doc at my visit next week.

          • Inmara

            Without delving into detailed medical history, ultrasound confirmed that I have very few glandular tissue in one breast. I think you should indeed ask your doc for a referral to ultrasound because “irregular glandular tissue” may as well mean that there are fewer than normally.

          • Megan

            Thank you! I will ask her though I’m not sure about how accurate it would be during pregnancy or if it would be covered by my insurance. I think she may at least have the old records we could scour though. I have been pretty confident I have IGT but no one is willing to give me the diagnosis because last time I also had a really rough delivery and PPH, which they felt could be equally contributing to my past troubles. Thanks again!

        • Kelly

          I have done that with my third child and I have loved being able to enjoy the newborn faze. Normally, I absolutely loath it and can’t wait until they are a year old. This pediatrician can go suck eggs and bark at the moon. The one I have now only asked once and then moved on to her other assessments. I have never had to worry about this one gaining weight, jaundice, or vitamin D.

      • Jocelyn

        Condescending and judgmental – the biggest two words that pop in my head when I read this comment.

        Women do not have to justify to you (or to anyone else) their reasons for choosing not to breastfeed.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        I formula fed from day one, why? because I wanted to. There were other reasons but mostly, formula feeding worked better for myself and my husband. We were both active duty navy and getting ready to move to Guam from California when my daughter was born. Formula feeding let her father enjoy what limited time he had at home.
        This was 21 years ago and even then the nurses and the La Leche lady at the hospital were annoyingly pushy trying to help me breastfeed, which I went along with because I didn’t know how to politely tell them to leave me alone.

        Despite my daughters apparently less than optimal infant nutrition (snark)…she is a smart, community minded, friendly, healthy young adult who is going to college on a scholarship and holding down a job. She also manages to keep her apartment tidy and maintain her car. I put her successes so far in life down to 1) luck 2) having two middle class parents who had time to take her to museums, parks, concerts and the like 3) having parents who had time and money enough to read, color and do crafts with her, the chemistry set and kids microscope probably helped too 4) being an only child.

        Instead of making so many new mothers think the ONLY!!Eleventy!!!MOST Important!! thing they can do for their kids is to breastfeed, why don’t we put some of that funding toward things like Head Start, more enrichment classes available for kids in before and afterschool care, more community centers with free/sponsored classes for kids who what them(our community center/red center has lots of classes available, but many are out of the price range of many working parents). More Arts and Science outreach opportunities in under-served neighborhoods.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Amen! Even better support for “Reading with Rover” type programs (where children who have reading difficulties get time with a dog to read aloud to) is time and money better spent than focusing strictly on breast feeding as the only way for kids to have some imagined advantage.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Our local library has this, and I think it’s nothing short of brilliant. Added bonus: apparently they’re (well-trained, well-behaved, screened) rescue dogs, so the kids get to practice reading to the ultimate non-judgmental audience, and the dogs are all THERE’S A KID TALKING TO ME MY LIFE IS COMPLETE IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO WAG MY TAIL OFF? I THINK I’LL TRY!

          • Bombshellrisa

            The ones in our area are trained through Delta Society, and lots are rescued. I love that they are soaking up the attention from the kids like every word is precious. It’s such a good program for the kids too. Wish it would have been around for me as a kid.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I didn’t need encouragement or help with reading as a kid–I had to be forcibly restrained from taking books to the bathroom with me, lest I sit there and read for an hour–but I appreciate very much having this program in our area. If any of our kiddos have reading issues, I will cheerfully bring ’em to the library to read to the adoring golden-retriever mix with the melting eyes. There’s something completely heartwarming about a kid lying back on a dog and reading away, happy as could be.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Oh yeah! I loved books, my problem was reading out loud. I was raised and eventually (after elementary school) home schooled by a mother who only ever pointed out mistakes made. If I said um or uh even once she would jump all over it. She once counted how many times a minister did this in a sermon and reported it back to him (three times it turns out). I still hate reading out loud, which is a challenge because my son is addicted to books and being read it. My husband is a very strong reader and had been reading out loud to me since our honeymoon and encourages me to read to him. It has helped.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Your comment about your husband reading made me smile. 🙂 When DD was a newborn and I was really struggling, DH did what he could to help–i.e., read me Kipling while I rocked/nursed DD until he’d lose his voice from reading aloud for hours. That was entirely his idea, too, I might add.
            Your homeschooling mom sounds not unlike my homeschooling mom. My sympathies. She didn’t do the “uh” thing, but any grammar mistake, no matter how small, was publicly corrected, to the point that we kids learned to *groans in embarrassment* correct adults’ grammar if it wasn’t perfect.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Oh, what a sweetheart your husband is. That must have been soothing.

            Over the years husband has read me many books, everything from E.L James to Ian Fleming. The first book he ever read to me was “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe”. It was one day into our honeymoon, we had just landed in another country. We were young, jet lagged and had woken up from a nap to see planes crashing into buildings in New York on the news. So he read to me to help calm both of us down.

            I think from reading your comments here that we were raised a great deal alike. I loathed the homeschooling along with everything else. I knew there was a world outside of the small, closed off one my parents were creating and I wanted to be a part of it.

          • Megan

            That reminds me of our honeymoon when hubby read Harry Potter to me. Thanks for reminding me of the nice memory…

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            It’s kind of funny. My DH was also homeschooled, and loved it–but he had a totally different experience from mine: parents who were genuinely involved in his education; being required to participate in various extracurriculars, including with the local school district; and, quite importantly, parents who were very good indeed at helping the kids identify their academic strengths and weaknesses and helping them pick career paths accordingly. As a result, he’s completely pro-homeschool.
            I’m a bit more in the middle: I’ve seen it done very badly indeed (mine is far from being the worst homeschool horror story I’ve encountered), and I think it can be difficult to do well without neglecting kids in a large family. However, the local schools being what they are (either prohibitively expensive or academically dreadful), I’m willing to give it a go with our kids, provided we model more after his parents’ methods than mine. When done well, it can be very good; we’ll see if I’m up for it, and ditto my and the kids’ temperaments.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I agree, when done in a good way, home schooling can be a great option. My bias comes from being “home schooled” with parents who worked and it meant that I became a babysitter for my brothers. They wouldn’t pay for a program or make time to take me to one, so the only textbooks I saw were ones that came from the thrift store or garage sales. It was hard to get caught up academically when I got out on my own.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Oh, I hear ya. I was in a similar position. It started off fairly well academically, but by the time I was 10 or so it had degenerated into their buying me a math textbook each year and yelling at me for not working through it on my own and without help. At the same time, I was taking care of the house and my sisters, plus dealing with a mother who was getting falling-down-drunk most evenings. Insanity at its finest. It took a wonderfully insightful and patient remedial math instructor in college to get me through the equivalent of first-year high school algebra.
            *grimace*
            Famous last words, and all that, but Not Gonna Happen To My Kids.

          • Bombshellrisa

            This is strangely cathartic for me, just knowing that someone knows exactly what I mean. I didn’t have a drunk parent though, I had a mother who didn’t want me to go to school because “boys might like you”. So I babysat my brothers when they got home from school and was a full time babysitter for a family next door. They liked that I was polite and charged $20 a day for caring for two kids plus my parents were next door so they knew I wouldn’t he getting into their liquor cabinet, talking on the phone or having friends over while they were away. It was a pretty lonely life but I did learn a lot about people just trying to get through the day. I know I will not be repeating this with my kids, we do live within the boundaries of a fantastic school district (didn’t know that when we moved here) but if that doesn’t work out, there is a fantastic home program through the school district. I don’t want my kids to have to go through what I did, they deserve better.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Awwwww, I’m glad that helped! FWIW, my mother was similarly-minded about boys. She was more than a little crazy about it. Didn’t help that I developed early and fairly (by her standards) big, so I started wearing crazy-tight sports bras 24/7 by the time I was 14 or so just to get her off my back about the boobs. (I later learned, to my amusement, that that particular line of bras was mostly used by women wanting to pass as men or just eliminate any hint of boobage seen through their clothing.) Even talking and laughing with a boy was immodest and sinful…it was like the crazy aspects of some fundamentalist sects when it came to sex without the over-glorification of the female body’s reproductive capabilities (those were disgusting and shameful, too) that often come along with that. I still remember when I went to college and started wearing normal bras, and had to figure out how to maneuver with boobs when I never really had before. Just walking/wearing certain styles of clothes/etc felt so odd!
            I’ve sometimes wondered if spending several years wearing those things might have adversely affected my ability to nurse, but I’ll probably never know one way or the other.

          • Bombshellrisa

            It has helped, the only people I could see who might be able to understand how messed up it was would be the Duggar girls. Didn’t you want to be a midwife too? I think how I was raised was a huge factor in me wanting to be a midwife.
            I went through a bra less phase after I moved out, along with finally wearing my hair down and not in an old lady bun or French braid anymore. Being able to enjoy looking good and feeling good in my own skin is still very new to me, still working on that one.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Yep! When I was in my late teens, I met an older woman who really mentored me about a lot of stuff, some good, some bad. One of her things was that midwives were *the* way to go, OBs are all horrible, that sort of thing. To be fair (I may have mentioned this here before) it’s probably better from a mental health aspect to hear “your body is amazing and wonderful, can do anything, and was perfectly designed to birth and feed babies” than it is to hear “your body is embarrassing and shameful, as is anything associated with being a woman.” So I got seriously into the midwife thing. Left home, chopped off all my hair (it was waist-length, nearly, but it was only cut by my mom when she got really drunk, so…not a good look, plus I didn’t know how to take care of it), went through a phase wherein purple hair and *really* low-cut shirts seemed like a good idea (yay, boobs!), and then settled down a bit.
            The feeling good in my own skin thing is one I’m still working on, too. Eating better and walking a lot helps me; ditto good makeup, haircuts, perfume, etc.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I fell into midwifery much the same way, albeit from a friend’s mom who was having her fifth child when my friend and I were 16. We took a doula class and after that I wanted to be a midwife. I had never heard anything but negative things about my body, so hearing correct terms used and how amazing it *could* be to support a laboring woman sounded empowering. I also saw midwifery as a way to never have to do any math.
            What helped me feel better about myself (and led to my screen name) was reading “A Bombshell Manual of Style”. Makeup, being able to manage your hair and all that helps so much.

          • demodocus

            My husband and I read aloud too. He reads braille books to me while I sew or knit. and I read print books to him. My best friend and I took turns reading new Harry Potters to him so he wouldn’t have to wait.

          • Dinolindor

            I’d just like to say that this book-reading discussion is about as heart-warming as all of the LM Montgomery Google doodles today. Thank you.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Squee! I hadn’t been on Google yesterday until I saw this comment, and then I pulled it up just to see. How cool is that?!

          • Amazed

            I want to live in your local library.

          • Elizabeth A

            My kids want to live at your local library. With a dog involved, my daughter might see her way clear to admitting she can read.

        • Sarah

          Because that would cost more money than bullshitting and berating about breastfeeding.

      • Sarah

        I’m quite sure she’d hold that type of pig ignorant, condescending attitude so yes, you probably have it spot on there.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Like the qualified lactation consultants who gave me a hard time for following the pediatrician’s advice and giving DD formula via a SNS after she dropped over 10% of her weight? (The pediatrician was still nursing her toddler at the time, so I hardly think she was anti-breastfeeding in any way.)
        Or the qualified lactation consultants who recommended that the best way for me to rest while nursing was to lie in a semi-reclined position with baby propped against me with pillows, with sheets and blankets pulled up entirely over baby to my chin?
        That’s the sort of advice I should be following? Nah, that’s okay. I’m good.

        • Amazed

          Well, KotB, you didn’t manage to make your kid an Angel Baby at the Altar of Breastfeeding when it started turning blue on your breast. Those lovely ladies just gave you another chance to become a mother of a saint!

          What, you didn’t take it? No surprise here. Normal women generally prefer their kids alive, even if devilish sometimes.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            As it happens, she did turn blue once, though at least that happened while I was watching her, thank God, and not while I was dozing with her under the blankets.
            She was about two days old, and I’d spent all afternoon fighting to get her to latch. She wouldn’t stop screaming long enough to latch on–of course, by then I wasn’t able to express any colostrum anymore, so she probably wouldn’t get much even when latched. She finally LUNGED at me and latched on face-down on the boob. I naively thought, “I don’t see how she can breathe there, but I guess she wouldn’t keep nursing if she couldn’t?” (Clearly, I underestimated the silliness of babies.) Thirty seconds or so later, I glanced down and saw that her back was blue, so I hauled her off ASAP. She took a good deep breath, pinked up, and then let out a shriek that could have been heard a block away…apparently, she was furious that I dared unlatch her. Never mind the whole “breathing” thing, mom, where ARE your priorities?!

          • Amazed

            There’s a qualified lactation consultant in the making already! She gets her priorities straight!

            Me, on the other hand… I tried to feed the Intruder a bun as soon as I was told that the poor kid only ate milk. Or only drank milk. Whatever. Vile.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            See, that’s your problem! You should have shared some other milk. Milk the way it’s SUPPOSED to be: frozen, sweetened, and with some delicious flavorings added. 😉

          • Roadstergal

            Fudge boobs with a cherry on top.

          • An Actual Attorney

            I would eat that

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Also, it’s very nice that in your area of the world, women don’t have to worry about earning a living while caring for a small infant and the corresponding problems that nursing a small infant can cause. For much of the world, including the US (six weeks unpaid disability leave…woot?), that is not the case. Methinks that mom being homeless or hungry is a rather more serious problem for a full-term kid in the first world than not breastfeeding.

        • Sarah

          You only think that because you’ve been brainwashed by formula companies though.

        • Melissaxxxx

          Yeah… “Might tie her down” is a huge fucking issue for working mothers. This chick is deluded.

      • Amy

        Or, you know, because they have legitimate sensory or other mental health issues surrounding someone touching their breasts, or they have to work, or the effort-and-pain-to-benefit ratio doesn’t make it worthwhile for their situation……

      • Dr Kitty

        Just… No.

        If the best evidence says exclusive BF gives your child 3 extra IQ points (no difference in the real world), two or three fewer episodes of D&V and URTI (a few Kleenex and maybe a or two off work to look after them) and slightly increased risks of various rare illnesses, who cares if you BF?

        If you made a decision that any gains EBF offers to your child are outweighed by whatever losses it causes you, that is your business.

        Parents make decisions for their children all the time. Sometimes those decisions will not strictly be what is “best”, but instead what is “what works best for us”.

        Unless those decisions are putting kids in harms way, who cares?

        • fiftyfifty1

          “If the best evidence says exclusive BF gives your child 3 extra IQ points (no difference in the real world), two or three fewer episodes of D&V and URTI ”

          And the *best* evidence doesn’t even give that. It gives no difference in IQ and more like 1 fewer episode of D&V.

      • Mac Sherbert

        I don’t see anything wrong with any of the issues you listed. BF is not universally loved by all women. No matter the claims that it’s oh so easy the fact is that BF can be a lot of hard work and if a woman decides that FF is the best option for her and her baby then why does this Dr. or you get to judge?

        • Elaine

          It is a lot. Some may not think following AAP of ACOG recommendations is worth it. But a person who quits before a week is up without a strong medical reasons has not tried. So no, I’m not talking about the cancer survivor with a double mastectomy someone here brought up. And even if you don’t plan to continue, surely breastfeeding during your maternity leave makes sense, with a daily bottle after the first month to ease the transition to bottles when the mother has to return to work.

          • Mac Sherbert

            Just maybe they didn’t want to try. Just not wanting to BF is reason enough to not do it. I’ve BF two kids for various lengths. The last for 18 months. If I have another it is entirely possible I won’t BF at all…..and guess what I don’t care whether you agree or approve of my choices. Dr. Amy has posted many times about the actual benefits of BF. Try reading some of those and the comments.

          • Sue

            Medical organisations have policies to encourage all sorts of good behaviour – exercise, diet, weight control, not smoking, moderate drinking, etc etc

            Which of these other habits should allow a doctor to refuse care – or is it only baby-feeding?

            SHould the addicted smoker be rejected because they “didnt try hard enough”? The obese person who didn;t lose enough weight?

            And yet, habits like smoking and conditions like obesity impact long-term health MUCH more than the type of infant milk.

            Nope – it;s not about medical guidelines, it;s about Mommy Wars.

          • Megan

            “And even if you don’t plan to continue, surely breastfeeding during your maternity leave makes sense,”

            Not everyone gets maternity leave and in the US it’s unpaid for most women so most women take a few weeks at most. My first experience breastfeeding involved pumping every two hours night and day for months because my baby would not latch and I had miserably low supply, most days making 8 oz a day. This time around I will have an 18 month old to care for along with my newborn and I will be doing it by myself on maternity leave since my husband can’t take more than a few days off. Please tell me how pumping every two hours or working to increase a stubbornly low supply while taking care of two under two “makes sense” for me. You can’t see past the privilege of your own situation.

          • Megan

            You know, I just had to add this: Your comment made me really think of what it will likely be like to “try” to breastfeed this baby. And unlike last time, I only get 12 weeks of time off with this baby. I do not want to waste my mat leave crying and fighting with my newborn to breastfeed when that’s the only time I will get uninterrupted with her. I want our time together to be pleasant and not marred by readmission for jaundice, severe weight loss and constant worry. I think this conversation may have finally convinced me how little sense it makes for me to try to breastfeed this baby. Your arrogant judgemental attitude and lack of understanding of the breastfeeding literature has made you into a true lactivists, in other words, someone who drives fence-sitters away from breastfeeding.

            Congratulations. Your appeals were so successful. /sarcasm

          • Michele

            Do you even know what maternity leave looks like for many women in the US? A relative of mine had a baby earlier this year. She only had a week off for the birth before she had to go back to work and high school. So yeah, she quit breastfeeding after a week. Damn straight I support her decision to formula feed without a strong medical reason. Her being able to get her high school diploma will help her child much more than if she had dropped out and breastfed.

      • indigosky

        Wow, you are a Grade-A judgmental biatch. I didn’t ever try breastfeeding. I had already been pregnant for nine months and given birth. God forbid I want a little me time back, or the chance to actually get some sleep so I don’t turn into a zombie. Maybe some of us actually have ambitons other than being Quinoa and Kale’s Mommy.

        I live in the United States, in a firmly middle class family with a six figure income, great healthcare and access to quality education. I am pretty sure that trumps what 6-12 months of a certain type of feeding. Hell, I was formula fed and grew up on crap food because my parents were poor and I still got my Masters by the time I was 22 and was CFO of a 200+ employee company before I hit 30. Guess formula would have given me that Masters before I could drive /sarcasm

      • LibrarianSarah

        Oh fuck you Elaine!

      • DrSelina

        I don’t know why peple are attacking you. I think you raise a valid point.
        I think people word police other pople too much. Dr Becky has an aggressive way of stating her point of view, but I have a feeling this did not occur in a vaccum. I have no idea what prompted this stand, but I FEEL that it is good that she is this blunt about her practice and what she beleives as she is trying to do what she feels is right for her patients. Women who are attacking her, and you are probably dealing with guilt, or disappointment that they did not or could not breastfeed. As a BLACK woman I am disgusted that the privileged would be so bold as to throw the difficulties of my community in breastfeeding into the mix as a way to condemn her. Being Black and poor is not a reason Brown women do not breastfeed, it is largely due to the myths and perceptions in our community, something that is being addressed within our communities by culturally competent (read: brown and Black) care givers. Dr Becky probably provides a lot of pre delivery and post delivery education about breastfeeding which takes a lot of time. I can see where she is coming from. Anyway, thank you, Elaine, for not jumping on the beat up Dr Becky Bandwagon.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Granted, I’m white, but I can’t imagine that poverty doesn’t have anything to do with poor people (disproportionately minorities) not breastfeeding. If your job doesn’t give you pumping breaks (yes, legally, you’re entitled to them, but if asking for one means your hours get cut drastically, you aren’t going to ask), then it will be difficult to maintain a supply when working 8-12 hours at a time. If you’re the only involved parent, then childcare, which might allow you to make a better life for yourself via education and a job/career that allows for such things, is going to be harder to manage. Etc.
          Similarly, in terms of economics, if your insurance doesn’t cover a breastpump (and not all plans do, even now), they’re pretty expensive to someone on a very limited income. If you can’t afford a visit with a lactation consultant ($400/hour in my area), you’re more likely, when breastfeeding is difficult or painful, to spend $15/week on formula–it’s a lot easier to get ahold of $15 than $400 at one time. (Of course lactation help should be less pricey and more widely available, but it isn’t, and the local free peer counselors tend to be pretty wacky at best–craigslist milk, anyone?)
          It also doesn’t help that the LCs in my area are decidedly dismissive of certain local cultural norms. Breastfeeding rates among Latinas are actually rather high here. SOP for a lot of those families is that various female relatives will come help the new mom after she’s had the baby, and part of that help is giving a bottle or two at night until mom’s rested a bit post-delivery and her supply is better established–say, 2-5 days. This works very well long-term (breastfeeding to 18-24 months isn’t at all uncommon locally), but when LCs tell their Latina patients that if they want to breastfeed they mustn’t let anyone help them like that, their patients are more likely to throw in the towel entirely.

          • DrSelina

            Which is why I clearly mentioned the positive impact of health workers of color. Doulas of color, LCs of color , midwives and Obs of color have a HUGE impact on breaking down the myths and stereotypes. Also, these same health workers help in ADVOCATING for our sisters in work situations where unscrupulous employers try to shirk the law. In regards to breast pumps, same thing. You would be surprised how successful physician/midwife intervention is when it comes to making insurance companies pay for breastpumps, and not the crappy ones either. Otherwise, I tell my patients to go to Burlington Coat factory to get a pump that is often 80-$100 cheaper than at regular stores.

            I have a lot of patients who are single mothers on WIC or Tanff who are successfully breastfeeding and saving the $15 or more on formula.. Why?? Because I set realistic expectations, combat and break down the myths, and I get the grandmother and partner (if one is around) on board. All of this takes time, the desire to improve the overall health in my community, and cultural competancy. There are midwives of color, Doulas of color, and providers of color all doing this work. Essence Magazine, Ebony Magazine (black publications), Black Women Do Breastfeed on social media are all doing our part to increase breastfeeding rates in the community.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Also, these same health workers help in ADVOCATING for our sisters in work situations where unscrupulous employers try to shirk the law.”

            But KeeperOfTheBooks’ point is that if a woman takes a pumping break she loses money. Women are legally entitled to pumping breaks, but the law says that these breaks are unpaid. It’s not that woman are asking and “unscrupulous employers try to shirk the law”, it’s that women look at the facts: If they take two unpaid 15-20 minute breaks in a day, that’s 30-40 minutes of pay that is lost. The women do the math and formula is cheaper. So they don’t even ask.

            It’s true that formula significantly reduces the rate of eczema, but in well controlled trials it doesn’t do much else of significance. It doesn’t reduce obesity or asthma and it doesn’t raise IQ. A working woman can be making a very smart choice if she chooses formula instead. Especially if she is eligible for WIC.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Not that I disagree with anything you wrote in general, but I was, in fact, mentioning the unscrupulous employers bit.
            While in college, I worked as many as three jobs simultaneously to support myself. One of them was always in retail. I saw not at all infrequently that workers who were classed as part-time (mind you, back then they often worked 32-40 hours/week, the laws just allowed the employers not to offer health insurance unless their hours hit a certain average) were treated particularly badly. Call out sick for a genuine medical complaint? Get your hours cut. Need an accommodation of some sort per a doctor’s note? Get your hours cut. Etc. Management, and I’m sure they weren’t the only ones in retail who’d realized this, knew that you don’t have to pay unemployment if someone quits, so they’d just cut your hours to 4–nope, didn’t leave off a zero, 4–or so per week, and sometimes give you none at all. Oftentimes, it would be 4 hours on a Saturday afternoon, effectively preventing you from getting a second retail job without your quitting your current one. In that scenario, you’re making all of enough to cover transportation and taxes, so you’d quit, and then they wouldn’t have to deal with pumping breaks (or arranging staff coverage for them), or the fact that you needed to run to the bathroom to puke ’cause you were pregnant, or what-have-you, or, of course, unemployment.
            The situation is sickening, disgusting, and totally unethical…but also totally legal, and guaranteed to screw over the person who dared stick out by wanting a pumping break/extra bathroom break due to baby bouncing on a full bladder/a stool to lean on behind the register.
            Your point about breaks being unpaid is one I hadn’t even considered, but of course is dead-on.

          • DrSelina

            SO, nope… The breaks are often taken as part of those already guarenteed by law. The woman pumps during luch, or the 15 min breaks.
            Let me put it to you this way, recently, a study was performed looking at the incidence of nut allergies in “urban” children. Kids who were formula fed were more likely to have severe peanut allergies. The costs of severe peanut allergies in a family on WIC can be staggering.
            Let me put it to you another way…. My Black child will always be seen as second class to your White kid, until she opens her mouth. If I can do ANYTHING to even the playing field at all, including breastfeeding, you better believe, me and every other Black and Brown mama who knows better will do it.

          • Nick Sanders

            Kids who were formula fed were more likely to have severe peanut allergies.

            I’d like to see this study. What was the relative risk increase? What was the absolute risk of allergy if formula feeding?

          • Bombshellrisa

            Soy consumption is not a risk factor for peanut sensitization
            Koplin, Jennifer; Dharmage, Shyamali C; Gurrin, Lyle; Osborne, Nicholas; Tang, Mimi LK; et al. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology121.6 (Jun 2008): 1455-1459.

            Background

            A recent cohort study suggested that intake of soy milk or soy formula was associated with peanut allergy. If this finding is confirmed, it suggests an avenue for modification of diet as a peanut allergy prevention strategy.

            Objective

            To investigate the relationship between soy consumption and peanut sensitization in a prospective cohort study of children.

            Methods

            A total of 620 babies with a family history of allergic disease were recruited. Dietary information was obtained from telephone interviews every 4 weeks from birth until 15 months and then again at 18 months and 2 years. Skin prick tests to peanut, milk, and egg were performed at 6, 12, and 24 months. A wheal size ≥3 mm was considered positive for sensitization.

            Results

            Children whose parents elected to introduce soy formula or soy milk into their children’s diet were more likely to be sensitized to peanuts at 2 years (odds ratio, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.04-3.92;P= .039). However, this relationship was explained by feeding of soy to children who had siblings with milk allergy or were themselves sensitized to milk. After adjusting for these factors, there was no evidence of an association between soy consumption and peanut sensitization (odds ratio, 1.34; 95% CI, 0.64-2.79;P= .434).

            Conclusion

            The association between soy consumption and peanut sensitization is not causal but merely a result of preferential use of soy milk in infants with a personal or family history of cow’s milk allergy. Future studies should take the confounding effects related to dietary modifications by parents into account when investigating the association between diet and childhood allergic diseases.

          • DrSelina

            “Urban” babies are frequently given Similac because Brown and Black people have a high rate of lactose intolerance. Just FYI

          • Bombshellrisa

            I think the study mentioned that, also that it is best to have each child tested to determine that they do in fact have an allergy to cows milk. It was assumed my siblings and I were lactose intolerant simply because we are mixed, but that was back before testing was common.

          • DrSelina

            It still is not common or routinely done

          • fiftyfifty1

            “”Urban” babies are frequently given Similac because Brown and Black people have a high rate of lactose intolerance. ”

            A baby with a lactose intolerance won’t be able to tolerate breastmilk either because the sugar in breastmilk is lactose. Luckily, lactose intolerance is very rare in infants, including “Brown and Black” infants. Human infants are almost always born with the ability to digest lactose, it’s that some groups tend to lose this ability with age, whereas other groups (northern Europeans for example) tend not to.

          • DrSelina

            And yet, most Brown mothers are sent home with Soy containing formula from WIC and all the hospitals I have ever worked in

          • fiftyfifty1

            I have a hard time believing that. The WIC protocol is clear: cow milk based formulas are given first. There needs to be a medical indication to switch to the soy ones. You say you are a doctor, if WIC isn’t following protocol certainly you would be a fine whistle blower, no?

            ETA: although as the research that bombshellrisa links to above shows, soy formula is NOT the cause of nut allergies. It’s confounding.

          • DrSelina

            I can’t help your having a hard time believing anything. Even Dr Amy has spoken about racial bias in healthcare.
            Oh, I have contacted the head of WIC. Several times, about many issues. I suggest you stop while you are ahead with the assuming.
            BTW…You may not be a physician, but trust me, I have the PTSD, board certification and degrees to prove I am a doctor. Not a ND, or faith healer, home birth midwife, etc.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Factors associated with the development of peanut allergy in childhood
            Lack, Gideon, MB, BCh; Fox, Deborah, BA; Northstone, Kate, MSc; Golding, Jean, PhD; Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children Study Team. The New England Journal of Medicine348.11 (Mar 13, 2003): 977-85.

            Background

            The prevalence of peanut allergy appears to have increased in recent decades. Other than a family history of peanut allergy and the presence of atopy, there are no known risk factors.

            Methods

            We used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a geographically defined cohort study of 13,971 preschool children, to identify those with a convincing history of peanut allergy and the subgroup that reacted to a double-blind peanut challenge. We first prospectively collected data on the whole cohort and then collected detailed information retrospectively by interview from the parents of children with peanut reactions and of children from two groups of controls (a random sample from the cohort and a group of children whose mothers had a history of eczema and who had had eczema themselves in the first six months of life).

            Results

            Forty-nine children had a history of peanut allergy; peanut allergy was confirmed by peanut challenge in 23 of 36 children tested. There was no evidence of prenatal sensitization from the maternal diet, and peanut-specific IgE was not detectable in the cord blood. Peanut allergy was independently associated with intake of soy milk or soy formula (odds ratio, 2.6; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.3 to 5.2), rash over joints and skin creases (odds ratio, 2.6; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.4 to 5.0), and oozing, crusted rash (odds ratio, 5.2; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.7 to 10.2). Analysis of interview data showed a significant independent relation of peanut allergy with the use of skin preparations containing peanut oil (odds ratio, 6.8; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.4 to 32.9).

            Conclusions

            Sensitization to peanut protein may occur in children through the application of peanut oil to inflamed skin. The association with soy protein could arise from cross-sensitization through common epitopes. Confirmation of these risk factors in future studies could lead to new strategies to prevent sensitization in infants who are at risk for subsequent peanut allergy.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Analysis of interview data showed a significant independent relation of peanut allergy with the use of skin preparations containing peanut oil (odds ratio, 6.8”

            Now *this* is the sort of finding that is useful to doctors and their patients. There are big cultural differences between the dominant white culture and the African American (and African immigrant) cultures in grooming/bathing practices. When people with white skin get dry skin they typically either do nothing or perhaps use some commercial body lotion. But when African American people get dry skin, it can be visually noticed as “ashy” and a very typical treatment is to *oil* the skin. Baby oil is sometimes used, but so are food-based oils such as peanut oils. I just saw a baby in last week with a horrific full-body hive reaction after the use of sesame oil as a moisturizer. This cultural difference alone may go a long way in explaining the different rates of food allergies and eczema (and maybe even asthma? although asthma has big airborne factors as well) between white children and children of color.

            It’s a hell of a lot more productive (as well as a lot more doable) to focus our efforts on educating our patients that avoiding food-oil based preparations can greatly reduce their babies’ chances of food allergies (odds ratio 6.8!), than it is to nag and nag and shame them into “doing better” by breastfeeding (when half the evidence shows that breastfeeding actually increases nut allergies anyway).

          • Bombshellrisa

            This is especially important because more and more people are using sesame and other oils (almond, hazelnut, ect.) in place of lotions and petroleum jelly. The reasoning is that putting lotions with mineral oil and petroleum jelly on your baby is like “coating them in chemicals and gasoline”. It’s the “all natural” movement again.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Exactly. There are some cultures using them because they are inexpensive, traditional, and seemingly safe (if you can eat them shouldn’t it stand to reason that you can use them on your skin?). Then there are the All Natural privileged types that you describe. Either way, it seems a simple message to get out there: using a food oil on your child’s skin can give your child an allergy to that food.

            Take it or leave it. And you don’t have to demean anybody to do it, or give them some condescending “know better, do better” lecture (ETA: you gotta love Maya Angelou, but if there is any quote that has been taken out of context to bully more people than Eleanor Roosevelt’s “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” quote, than this is it.) Just say “when it comes time to oil your baby’s skin, choose a non-food oil. Baby Oil from the store is a fine choice. If you want something unscented, ask the pharmacist for unscented mineral oil, here I’ll write it as a prescription if you want me to”.

            ETA: it would be nice if we could find out if there are any food oils that aren’t a risk for causing food allergies when used as a skin oil. Many of my African American patients already use olive oil as a remedy for ear wax. If olive oil could be proven to be safe, then that would be a very easy and culturally acceptable recommendation for a skin oil.

          • DrSelina

            What evidence shows this? The last large scale study i read about peanut allergies and breastmilk was performed in Scandanavia in moms who were tasked with eating peanut butter in pregnancy. No increased peanut allergies were noted in the kids.
            This was performed in 2011 or 2012

          • fiftyfifty1

            No, you claimed that you read a recent study of urban children showing that formula fed infants had an increased risk of severe peanut allergies. I mean that one. We are asking for the citation.

            You vaguely quote a lot of research that supposedly supports your ideas, but then can’t seem to come up with it.

          • Megan

            DrSelina mentions a study and when asked for a citation to said study tells us to find it ourselves. You mention a study and she tells you to find the citation for her. Makes sense…. /sarcasm

          • fiftyfifty1

            Oh, was she asking for the peanut oil/skin oil citation? I read it wrong then. I thought my reference was clear because it was a direct copy & paste from the posting directly above it (the abstract that Bombshellrisa so nicely supplied us, Lack et al.)

          • Bombshellrisa

            I don’t think she read either of the studies I posted, which were the only ones I could find mentioning anything to do with formula feeding and peanut allergies. But I don’t understand the argument anyway, because the goal posts have been moved a couple times during the discussion. It doesn’t sound like she had heard of the studies I posted either, she mentioned a Scandinavian one that involved mothers eating peanut butter during pregnancy.

          • Megan

            I think she was asking for the peanut oil citation. Either way, she’s not willing to look any of them up. She’s just so busy!!

          • Nick Sanders

            If you know this much about it, surely it wouldn’t be that hard for you to find it again so you can cite it.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Sorry about the strange replies, the formula in question wasn’t every single type of formula, just soy.

          • Nick Sanders

            I like it, though. Medical science doing what it should. A broad study throws up a flag, “Hey, maybe people exposed to X develop problem A, more study needed.” Then a specific study looks at it and finds “Nope, problem A has high comorbidity with problem B. People with problem B use substance X in place of substance Y, which aggravates problem B, and with our more detailed history, we see that they had problem A before they ever touched substance X.”

            At least, I think that’s what the studies said, if I read them wrong, please correct me.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Kids who were formula fed were more likely to have severe peanut allergies.”

            Citation? Because there are multiple previous studies (including a large one from Australia) that show a *higher* rate of nut allergies in breast fed infants.

            “every other Black and Brown mama who knows better”

            I personally don’t use breast feeding as a litmus test to tell me if a “mama” “knows better”. I find that listening to a mother and providing her non-judgmental practical support to achieve her own goals is a lot more effective in helping her “do better”.

          • Angharad

            My child is Hispanic. She was breastfed UNTIL she developed severe allergies at two months of age. I eventually switched to feeding her formula, because I was afraid to slip up and accidentally transfer allergens to her through my breastmilk. She couldn’t communicate that she didn’t feel good, and I was honestly terrified that her throat would close up and I wouldn’t notice. I know many other mothers of children with allergies, and a huge proportion of them have also said that they stopped breastfeeding after their child developed allergies, for similar reasons. Just as with many other conditions that are correlated with formula feeding, allergies are likely to be a cause, rather than an effect.
            I also seriously resent your implication that I don’t “know better” or that I somehow don’t care about institutional racism, or care about my daughter’s opportunities because I formula fed her.

          • DrSelina

            Resent away if you want. The statement was not directed at you. You tried to breastfeed your child and had to stop. Some of ya’ll just want to be insulted. Girl Bye

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            No, Selina. Some people want proof. They aren’t about to accept what you say simply because you say it. You don’t seem to realize that some of the people you are arguing with are also doctors who aren’t about to take your word for what the scientific evidence shows.

          • DrSelina

            With all due respect, I am a doctor also. Ordinarily I would look for the references, but I am a bit busy right now. As I stated initially, my point at even writing anything is to support someone who was being attacked. I am not asking anyone to take my word for anything. I assume, as we are physicians, that others can do a medline search just like me.

          • fiftyfifty1

            ” I am not asking anyone to take my word for anything.”

            Except us…and your patients.

          • DrSelina

            You do yoursef a disservice by assuming.

          • Amazed

            You weren’t busy when you were replying to posts attacking your cherished beliefs. The personal posts. But you’re busy for the citations? Yeah, sure.

            BTW, the “I’m a longtime reader and supporter of this site and you disappoint me so” is an excuse that is as old as earth. A very clumsy tactic to make us feel bad for disappointing a longtime reader like you. Did you really think it was goind to work?

          • Charybdis

            Anecdotal evidence here, but DH is allergic to peanuts. Not epipen allergic, but allergic nonetheless. This raised DS’s chance of having peanut allergies. DS does NOT, I repeat, does NOT have peanut allergies. He was formula fed. So, I FEEL that there is no correlation between formula feeding and peanut allergies, so it must be true.

            More like DS got lucky genetically and did not inherit the peanut allergies, although allergies can develop at any time.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            In low-level retail/customer-service-type jobs, having a doctor or midwife write you a note or call your boss is often the worst possible thing that could happen to you. It makes you stick out, and it means you’re a less effective worker. Retail managers, especially those who’ve been in it for a long time, are exhausted and burned out on humanity. They’ve been working 80-100 hour weeks for possibly decades, with never an excuse accepted for their not showing up, so they’re unlikely to accept many excuses for not showing up from their employees.
            One of my managers was famous for having had two strokes and a heart attack spaced out over about four years at her store. She was neither elderly nor overweight: she was in her early 50s, and quite fit. Someone who’s done that because calling the DM to say “I’m having chest pain and can’t go into work today” is inexcusable probably doesn’t want to hear about two twenty-minute pumping breaks that will need staffing plus an extra room set aside, particularly when hours have been cut yet again.
            Don’t get me wrong: I fully support any woman who wants to breastfeed. If it works out well for her and baby, awesome! Keep it up! However, the realities of our world make that disproportionately difficult for women in poverty to do. Change is being gradually made, but things aren’t where they should be yet, and they won’t be for a long time. Telling a mom who can’t get a pumping break without being fired that she’s a bad mom and her kid doesn’t deserve a pediatrician’s time or attention isn’t helpful to anyone.

          • DrSelina

            I think my 10 years of patients who I have done this for would disagree with you. Especially since this particular doctor came from a retail background and understands how to approach EEOC infractions. Not all docs are me, not all have the same experiences, but there are a lot of us who came from diverse backgrounds who can and do help patients.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            That’s just it. Most of the tactics I listed aren’t technically some sort of infractions. If you’re part-time, you aren’t guaranteed a certain number of hours, so you can be cut to next-to-nothing and management can shrug and say “We just didn’t need the staffing/decided to give Employee X the hours.” And if you leave a job after causing a stink with various commissions or local rights groups…well, no sane manager is going to tell a manager at another store “This person caused us trouble by doing thus-and-such, ” but careful phrasing and tone of voice can convey volumes without being in the least actionable.
            I don’t disagree at all that healthcare workers, regardless of skin tone, can offer patients in this position practical help; it sounds like you probably do good and valuable work. I do disagree with the idea that retail workers on the whole are in a terribly good position to make any sort of stink with management. It rarely ends well, whether in the short- or long-term, for the person involved.

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          Nice. So in your book, if you disagree with someone, it must be because of your own personal failings?

          I have no guilt. I breastfed both kids.

          • DrSelina

            Oversimplification, but ok. Glad you breastfed both kids. Obviously you saw benefit, your beef is what exactly?

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            Why are you glad I breastfed my kids? Why do you care, as long as I fed them?

            My beef is with you saying that anyone who disagrees with Elaine or Dr. Becky is doing so only because they have some personal failing.

          • DrSelina

            Nope, that is not what I am saying at all. My comment is not about people “disagreeing” with Dr Becky, it is about how viciously Elaine was attacked and some possible reasons behind the viciousness. One lady called her a bitch.. Really?? And you want to step to me. How about you word police the chick calling people bitches.
            It seemed you were proud of breastfeeding your kids, I was congratulating you for that. I could really care less about how you fed your kids.

          • Nick Sanders

            She was “viciously” attacked for making some seriously judgmental and insensitive remarks. She was called a bitch for being a stuck-up bitch.

          • DrSelina

            “I think she is probably referring to women who ignore medical consensus (ACOG, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Family Physicians, WHO) and who plan to feed the baby only formula from day one (in the absence of rare medical nececessity)–just because it is “yucky” or might tie her down.. Or who “try” for one or two days and say, “Oh my boobs hurt, I quit” or “Oh, the baby woke up and cried for five minutes, it must mean that I don’t have enough milk” instead of getting real advice from a qualified lactation consultant.”

            Where are the judgemental or insensitive remarks?

            “because it is “yucky” or might tie her down” are common comments I hear from patients who have never seen anyone breastfeed in their family

            “Oh my boobs hurt, I quit” or “Oh, the baby woke up and cried for five minutes, it must mean that I don’t have enough milk” Are also common comments I hear from patients. Some of them even admit that these were excuses and they want to try harder or are more commited the second time around.
            Me thinks YOU are being judgemental. Perhaps we should start to attack you, after all, you are calling people out their names

          • Who?

            The key is ‘just’: if Elaine had said ‘because it’s yucky’ then that’s reporting; adding ‘just’ is the judgmental part. It colours the remarks that follow. I can hear the sneer in ‘…my boobs hurt…’, which wouldn’t be there if she hadn’t put in ‘just’. Perhaps you don’t hear it, which from your perspective would be fair enough.

            Elaine respects breastfeeding, not women. Elaine can toughen up, like she thinks those women’s boobs ‘should’-another judgmental word.

            It sounds like you’re doing great work, even if according to my values pushing breastfeeding at the cost of much else at all is misguided (and fyi I did it twice, in case you assume I’m one of those failures and so discount my point of view).

          • DrSelina

            I do not discount ANYONE’s point of view. I also, contrary to what you have assumed, do NOT push “breastfeeding at the cost of much else at all” I am able to have strong feelings about something but still support my patients in their decisions. I am assuming you are able to do the same, so I do not understand why you do not believe I have the same capacity.

          • Amazed

            Supporting your patients? By defending their bully by looking at the other side while they’re being demeaned and bullied by someone like Elaine?

            Yeah, that convinced me that I’m so wrong and you’re this great physician with a golden, non-judgmental heart.

          • Megan

            You certainly discounted my point of view quickly enough based on things you presumed to know about me. It’s really no skin off my back, but I hope that’s not how you treat your patients who disagree with you.

          • Amazed

            The key is also the choice of words. Or should I say, it’s mainly the choice of words, IMO. Elaine was presumably displaying a situation in a doctor’s office. When discussing things with my GP, I never use words like “yucky” or “boobs”. They’re informal. They cheapen the entire conversation which is supposed to be a serious and personal discussion. Elaine was presenting women who chose not to breastfeed as childish and not serious. Like toddlers who only know “I don’t want to take this pill.” “I don’t want to go to sleep.” “I want to have a beer, just like Daddy.” As well as this “oh” before the whining complaint indicating that the next words are kind of joke and not meant to be taken seriously at all. Implying that a doctor should treat them just like toddlers. And DrSelina refuses or plainly can’t see that, instead playing the brave lioness defending poor Elaine the Bunny.

            No. Just no.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Does a woman’s right to control her own body come out with the placenta?

            If she has a right to control her fertility, a right to choose to continue or end a pregnancy then she certainly has a right to decide whether she will or will not feed her baby with her breasts. Anything else is deeply sexist and retrograde.

            For most of human existence women have been reduced to their uteri, vaginas and breasts. In my view, lactivism is a just a contemporary iteration of the desire to erase women’s needs, and force them back into the home.

          • DrSelina

            And I respect that that is your opinion. To a certain degree I agree. The fact that I do not agree 100% is not a reason to attack me, my professionalism, for you to question my education. I am surprised that you allow people to be so vicious to your other readers. I understand you are not anyone’s mother, but deciding to question my training versus checking the people telling me to “fuck off” or calling people “bitches” is concerning to me.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            If you think this dog-pile of you and Elaine is bad, then I sincerely doubt that you are the long-time reader that you claim to be. This is nothing. This is small potatoes.

            We don’t suffer fools gladly here.

          • Amazed

            Really? You can’t see the judgment? The incensitivity?

            Ever thought about glasses? One day, you’ll kill a patient because with this level of vision impairment, you’re clearly unable to conduct a good examination.

          • DrSelina

            You need to word police yourself

          • Amazed

            You need to stop lying to patients. Get off your high horse.

          • demodocus

            Yes, but I might use “yucky” or some similar adjective to try to explain why I might not bf my second child. I bf’d my first until I was lying on my bed, shuddering, and praying “dear God, don’t let either husband or child ever touch me again.” My child was 11 months old. I can say that here, under a certain level of anonymity, but I still haven’t been able to tell my doctors that the mere thought sends me shuddering. More than a year later, and I still can hardly bear to have my husband touch my chest most of the time. I just hate being touched.
            How does one explain that? Would Dr. Becky or Elaine accept that as a sufficient reason why I might not be able to grit my teeth through my current fetus’ future meals? You would, for which I’m glad. If I’m defensive with Elaine, it’s because she’s given me the impression that she thinks it is *not* a sufficient excuse. I was breastfed and expected to do so myself. I did not expect revulsion that strong.
            Maybe my words come across as mean, and I’m sorry if they do. They are not intended to be. Maybe your patients who consider it yucky because no-one they know ever did it need a little prodding to try it. They might find they like it, as with green eggs and ham. However, if you’ve already tried green eggs and ham, and find you *don’t* like them, then Sam-I-Am needs to mind his own business and not badger you into trying them again 2 years later. His brother shouldn’t badger you either or expect you to go through the whole explanation of how you almost threw up because you found ham so revolting.

          • Megan

            If you are really concerned with Elaine being called a bitch why are you only responding to the rest of us and not that person?

          • DrSelina

            I responded directly to Elaine and then all of you started to attack me. I will not sit anywhere and allow anyone to attack me. I usually like this site because of the often enlightening discourse of educated women. The wanton attacks are beneath all of us.

          • Melissaxxxx

            COULDN’T care less. Ffs.

          • Nick Sanders

            No, it seems pretty clear that “could” is the appropriate word in this instance.

        • Megan

          Actually, I feel far more guilty about not giving my daughter formula in my ridiculous attempts to breastfeed which led to her readmission for jaundice. Really classy attempt at victim-blaming though.

          • DrSelina

            Who’s victim blaming?

            And a victim of what exactly?

          • Megan

            You are:

            “Women who are attacking her, and you are probably dealing with guilt, or disappointment that they did not or could not breastfeed.”

          • DrSelina

            Exactly…”probably” as in there are a lot of reasons, these may be two. Again, who’s victim blaming,and a victim of what exactly.

          • Megan

            As I said above, you are victim blaming. And the victims are mothers who are shamed for choosing not to breastfeed by bullies like Dr. Becky and people who think her behavior is acceptable, like you and Elaine. Would you also think it ok for a pediatrician to refuse to see a child as a patient if their parents chose cry it out to sleep train? That would make about as much sense as what Dr. Becky is doing. She is refusing to care for children because their mothers don’t breastfeed. The child has no control over that and the best science on breastfeeding says it makes little difference anyway. She basically just wants to see patients like her. Not very ethical behavior for a medical professional.

          • DrSelina

            I always find it LAUGHABLE when the privileged, such as yourself (look at TimWise.org for definition of white privilege before you post your huffy reply) want to call yourself a VICTIM and then point the finger at people trying to offer alternative explanations that do not agree with your perspective. Elaine was offering a logical explanation, I was defending Elaine’s right to do so without being called a bitch by people like you. You bully Elaine, then want to call her and I a bully. HAHAHA. Take several seats.
            Dr Becky’s stance is actually VERY ethical.. She is being upfroint with potential patients’ parents and stating her boundaries. This keeps her from treating these patients with a bias that could be harmful. If you got off your high huffy horse, you would see that. The science that YOU want to quote says what you want it to say. The studies I read and presented in residency at the NUMBER 1 NICU in the world in 2010 showed how benefical breastmilk is in premature and severly premature infants. I feel, some of the benefits can be extrapolated to full term babies and to my child. Becky obviously also believes studies that showed benefit and behaves accordingly. You don’t like her stance, fine. I don’t think she gives a flying fig. Have a nice life. In the words of my big sis…Girl, BYE!

          • Who?

            ‘This keeps her from wasting the time of people who do not share her values.’

            Fixed that for you.

            No one argues with the importance of breastmilk for preemies.

            You feel the benefits can be extrapolated, the science indicates that they are not. Your feelings, and what you sell based on them, are entirely your concern.

          • Megan

            You presume to know a lot about a stranger on the internet whom you’ve never met. You know nothing of my color or background. Also, nowhere did I call anyone a bitch, let alone Elaine or you. I simply said that it’s victim blaming to say people feel bullied because of their own failings. The research on the benefits of breastmilk for preterm and term babies is different. It’s disingenuous to pretend they are the same.

          • Megan

            And by the way, Dr. Becky called herself a bully. She is denying medical care to children based on a personal choice their mothers have made. That is the point of the article and perhaps you’d like to actually address that. I also happen to see patients in a rural underserved area who are poor and often do not breastfeed. But instead of kicking people out of my practice who would make decisions that are different than what I would make, I educate them and let them make informed decisions. I’m glad that you are also helping people in your community by educating them and working with their employers to help them breastfeed if that’s what they choose, but that is not what Dr. Becky is doing. Her behavior doesn’t deserve defending in my opinion. As physicians, our job is to educate and help our patients, not dismiss them based on our personal beliefs.

          • Amazed

            You feel some of the benefits could be extrapolated to full term babies? Really?

            Give me a reason why we should trust your “feels”. I, for one, think you must have had them surgically removed if you cannot feel how offensive Elaine of the Many Privileges was.

            I’d rather stuck with evidence. No one ever denied the benefits for preemies. No one ever proved the benefits for full term babies.

            Dr Becky, Elaine and you can fuck off. Carry your privileged sneer elsewhere. Presumably, somewhere where you can snivel over your sad fate of being exposed for what you are. Deleting posts frantically because being held to account for being a bully isn’t nearly as fun as being a proud breastfeeding bully. Just ask Becky the Coward.

            ETA: Oh, I think I just found out why your patients are so miraculously able to breastfeed. It isn’t that you’re so much better than other physicians in helping them, it’s just that you present your “feelings” on the benefits as a fact. As a result, they move heaven and earth to breastfeed.

            Classy.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “ETA: Oh, I think I just found out why your patients are so miraculously able to breastfeed..[…]…As a result, they move heaven and earth to breastfeed.”

            Naw, it’s just that all the ones who can’t or don’t breastfeed end up switching to a less judgmental doctor. I do think DrSelina is right that it is important that our society increase health care professionals of color. That’s why I work as a mentor at many places along the pipeline. But a doctor that looks like you is no guarantee that the relationship with be a good one. A couple of the most judgmental and least understanding providers I know come from the same ethnic backgrounds as the patients they purportedly serve.

          • Who?

            Thanks for saying this.

            It seems patronising beyond belief to suggest that similar skin colour should mean that people understand each other or be a good fit or want to work together. I get that being around people that look like you can be comforting-it’s nice to not stand out, or feel like a target because of something you can’t control-but surely that’s where it ends?

            Dr Selina is selling her beliefs as science to a community that has an affinity with her. Someone did the same thing around here with financial products about a decade ago, a lot of nice people ended up broke and the seller ended up in prison for fraud.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “-but surely that’s where it ends?”

            Well I do think the benefit of a diverse medical workforce is much bigger than just patient comfort. It seems to me that ethical blindspots and violations can’t help but flourish in situations where the doctors are all of one privileged group and the patients of another less privileged one. Not to mention all the important cultural differences that you aren’t born knowing. Any cultural competence skills I do have are thanks only to my colleagues and patients educating me. How should I have known how to care for 4b hair, take care of an infibulated vulva, or what foods must traditionally be avoided postpartum in various groups? They teach some of it in medical school, but they can’t teach it all. And although many of us white docs have the best of intentions, there has of yet never been a successful “white-privilegectomy” performed.

          • DrSelina

            Again, I direct you to Tim Wise

          • DrSelina

            I suggest you read Tim Wise

          • Who?

            I did. In my entirely amateur view, Tim confounds whiteness with wealth, secure family environments, and education; white people enjoy all those things to a greater extent than others do. The interesting issue is picking all that apart. Tim is himself a member of a super-privileged subset, being male; and he grew up in a time of unprecedented wealth and security for his tribe.

            There are lots of interesting ways to think about diversity, communication and society. Tim’s isn’t the most interesting, from my perspective, but others who have way more knowledge than I do disagree.

          • Mishimoo

            It’s amazing to think it’s been a decade already, and people are still recovering from it! (If it’s the one I’m thinking of)

          • DrSelina

            Again, presumptive… My patients who do not breastfeed are equally supported. See I am an adult and a professional. I can feel very strongly about breastfeeding and support my patients who do not.
            But I guess being a physician who looks like me provides me with the prospective to understand how judgemental people can be and how unfair that is, which helps my patients to feel supported no matter what. I will not attack you, although I really want to, because it only takes me down to your level.

          • Who?

            Yes that’s it-you are an adult and a professional. Dr Becky is not, by that definition.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “But I guess being a physician who looks like me provides me with the prospective to understand how judgemental people can be and how unfair that is, which helps my patients to feel supported no matter what.”

            So your patients don’t mind being judged and dumped on by you because they know that you’ve been judged and dumped on yourself. I’ll have to take your word on that.

          • Who?

            So much more succinct than the response I was going to make.

          • Sue

            “I can feel very strongly about breastfeeding and support my patients who do not.”

            EXACTLY. That’s the whole point of this discussion. This pediatrician does not separate her feelings from her professional practice. That’s the problem.

          • DrSelina

            Ok..You ended this post with “Classy” after cursing at me. Not the most intelligent of arguments. I don’t delete posts. I have a backbone and stand by what I type.
            PS. I do not present my FEELINGS on the benefits of the fact. You have never been on my office, don’t presume. I provide my patients with ACOG info on breastfeeding, answer questions, cheer them on, and tell them the truth…BREASTFEEDING SUCKS! Especially the first week. It is hard, time consuming, but worth it. But, I have wasted enough time on you and your venom. Take a seat.

          • fiftyfifty1

            How about you leave off of tone trolling long enough to get us some of those citations you promised us?

          • DrSelina

            How about you leave off the word policing and insulting people you do not know and look for them yourself. I am looking for plane tickets.

          • Amazed

            You don’t delete posts? No problem! Dr Becky will teach you! She’s so ethical, you’d LOVE to be taught by her, right?

            I’ve never been to your office, to my great relief (and yours as well, I assure you.). I just have to take you by what you write here. This far, you haven’t come across looking too good.

            Tell me, which way would you have it? You want to be taken as one of us, with no more responsibility in your words than your regular poster. But you also want us to submit to your authority as a doctor which would generally give that additional weight to anything you write. I can say you want it both ways, but it isn’t the way it works.

            Funny enough, we don’t have this problem with most of the doctors writing here. Perhaps because their stance is the ethical one? Breastfeeding is worth it? That’s just your “feeling” alone. Studies don’t confirm it. You’re lying to patients, unless you tell them that the “worth” might be in their heads but not the scientific evidence. Why do I have the feeling that you don’t present it this way?

            Liar. You harm your patients and you’re so blinded by your personal fee-fees that you actually think you’re helping them by being their cheerleader.

          • Nick Sanders

            but worth it

            Maybe. Maybe not. It’s really not your call to make for someone else.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            You think her stance is ethical? I wonder what the AAP would think, since they don’t even recommend refusing patients who refuse vaccines (which actually do have evidence for reducing mortality in the USA, unlike breastfeeding full term babies).

            Are you really a doctor?

            I mean, I take care of a lot of people that have values and actions that I don’t agree with. I’ve taken care of neo-Nazis. Rampant mysogynists. Smokers. Active drug users. Drug seekers. The ethical thing is to treat people in need. We ALL have biases that affect our ability to give care to people. ALL of us. This important thing is to, to the best of your ability, work through them and treat people as individuals who need your help. Not to slam the door in their face because you don’t agree with their choices and actions.

          • DrSelina

            WOW! SO, because I think that it is ethical for a physician to acknowledge their bias an make sure patients are not in some way harmed by that bias by her clearly articulating it makes me not a physician. Interesting.
            Yes. I am a physician, residency trained, and board certified. Usually I LOVE this site. Not loving the rampant attacking of those who dare to not totally agree with Amy on all topics.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “I think that it is ethical for a physician to acknowledge their bias an make sure patients are not in some way harmed by that bias”

            No, this is not enough. Ethics requires us physicians to do more. We need to strive to address and root out our biases so we can treat all patients effectively. And we need to support our “hunches” with good science.

            “Not loving the rampant attacking of those who dare to not totally agree with Amy on all topics.”

            No, I think what you are not loving is the fact that we aren’t agreeing with YOU, and that your weak arguments and unsupported mentions of articles you think you remember reading are not winning us over.

          • Who?

            I’m not a doctor but could care less about what the doctor I’m seeing thinks about any topic, so long as they provide the standard of care required by their profession.

            If Dr Becky is so judgmental about a child who is, to her way of thinking, a victim of incompetent or negligent parenting, is her head really in the right space to be a doctor?

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            I have no problem with a physician acknowledging her bias. I have s problem with her refusing care because of her bias.

          • Nick Sanders

            Please tell me this is not how you act on the job. Because if you’re going to bring your work experience into this, you really should show at least an ounce of professionalism.

          • yugaya

            Yeah the idiolect does not fit with the ethics of a medicalal professional at all. But Dr Becky is a doctor too, so I guess there have to be those few rare ugly exceptions to every rule.

          • DrSelina

            You first. After all, you are the person calling women “bitches”

          • Nick Sanders

            I’m also not a doctor speaking of potential patients. And if you would rather I use a more gender neutral term, I can go with “assholes”, “jackasses”, or “shithead”. Do you have a preference?

          • fiftyfifty1

            It should be asshole, because the other 2 don’t have enough meanness in them. And this doc is being really mean to new mothers.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I do love the term “asshat”.

          • Nick Sanders

            Thought about making that the third one, but I had two “ass” words already, and I wanted to mix it up at least a little.

          • Who?

            Style is so important…

          • Bombshellrisa

            Variety is important. Also, as noted by fifty fifty, a term that conveys the appropriate level of meanness is important.

          • Guest

            ” I feel, some of the benefits can be extrapolated to full term babies and to my child.” Did you present your “feeling” as evidence based material to your NUMBER 1 NICU in the world?

          • DrSelina

            Nope, I sure didn’t. Nice try at the snark

          • Sue

            Well, what a useful contribution.

            If your underprivileged Sistas are not breastfeeding, for a multitude of sociocultural reasons, how will Becky’s attitude help them?

          • DrSelina

            Your contribution is equally not useful.
            Becky’s attitude and TRANSPARENCY benefits my Sisters (you REALLY need to reference Tim Wise’s site), because at least they know to steer clear before getting into a situation where their provider will treat them ineffectively due to her bias. Too bad we can’t get all providers with obvious racial bias to be so transparent. Outcomes in women of color may actually improve…

          • Sue

            So her stance benefits people by warning them that she is intolerant of them?

            Do you think that is reasonable public behaviour from a specialist medical practitioner?

            (Apologies if my terminology didn’t translate well – the context appears to be different where I live. I mean no offense.)

          • fiftyfifty1

            “If your underprivileged Sistas ”

            Hey, what’s up with using the word “Sistas”? Unless that’s an actual quote from DrSelina, that’s not cool.

          • Charybdis

            In premature and severely premature infants, yes, breastmilk is immensely helpful in preventing NEC, but not all breastmilk helps. I believe there is ongoing research into what exactly the factor/s are that help with NEC. But we are not talking about the premature/severely premature babies, who would still be in the NICU instead of Dr. Becky’s practice. The truth is that in first world countries with ready access to clean water, the difference in formula fed babies and breastfed babies is negligible.
            Now, there can be pockets of poverty or other areas where access to clean, safe water is lacking; so I understand that breastfeeding might be preferable to formula in that case, but on the whole, it doesn’t matter how the baby is fed. It really doesn’t. But, as you said in your post, you (general you) FEEL that the benefits for preemies getting breastmilk can be extrapolated to full term babies, then feed your baby that way if it is easy for you. Or even if it is hard for you, if you FEEL the preemie benefits are the same as/ extend to full term babies. The operative term here is FEEL. People can read the same information and come to different conclusions based on their education, life experiences, history, etc. Doesn’t make one ABSOLUTELY RIGHT and the other ABSOLUTELY WRONG.
            Personally, I find this doctor’s attitude reprehensible, as she does not appear to even try to understand even allow others to have an opinion that differs from hers. But, I don’t have to choose her as a medical provider. And if she is ballsy/brash enough to state that those who don’t breastfeed don’t deserve her precious time and energy and that she does not feel bad about stating that fact, then she should not mind people saying that she can go f*ck herself gently with a chainsaw.

          • Nick Sanders

            probably
            [prob-uh-blee]
            adverb

            1.
            in all likelihood; very likely

            http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/probably?s=t

            probably
            adverb prob·a·bly ˈprä-bə-blē, ˈprä(b)-blē
            : very likely : almost certainly

            Full Definition of PROBABLY

            : insofar as seems reasonably true, factual, or to be expected : without much doubt

            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/probably

            probably
            Syllabification: prob·a·bly

            Pronunciation: /ˈpräbəblē/ /ˈpräblē/
            Definition of probably in English:
            adverb

            [SENTENCE ADVERB]
            Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell:

            http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/probably

        • Who?

          I agree it is good that Dr Becky is open about her views. For those who are not so doctrinaire, it saves the inconvenience of going to a medical professional and finding the professional response expected is replaced with personal prejudice.

          Someone as forthright as Dr Becky surely doesn’t mind forthrightness in others.

        • Nick Sanders

          Women who are attacking her, and you are probably dealing with guilt, or disappointment that they did not or could not breastfeed.

          Or they’re incensed at being judged inferior for not conforming to other people’s expectations and tired of putting up with preachy bullcrap.

          • DrSelina

            Probably

          • Nick Sanders

            Are you saying I’m probably right, or using the wish-washy excuse that you prefaced your asinine statement with “probably” so you’re off the hook if you offensive and wrong?

      • Wombat

        Why can’t this “follow recommendations full stop! Only a legitimate, proven, medical exception is permitted!” attitude apply to vaccinations instead…

        Oh right, their body, their children, their choice (even though vaccines, and not breastfeeding, are actually other people’s children too). Wait……..

    • Bombshellrisa

      The medical assistant at the first clinic we took our son to always wanted me to nurse him when they were giving him shots. I refused, because I didn’t want to do that. I was so happy when the doctor we were seeing switched offices, after that nobody expected me to nurse him while he got shots.

  • Amazed

    Is she a lactation consultant, BTW? I think someone mentioned that she was. On the page she took down, IIRC. If so, her attitude becomes more understandable, although more despicable as well. She uses her specialty as a pediatrician to make money as a lactation consultant as well.

    • Stephanie

      That is exactly what she does. She says on her website she is a board certified LC.

  • Megan

    I’d be curious to what her definition of a “real, honest try” at breastfeeding means. If I tried for 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, does that “count?” If I pumped but didn’t do herbals or illegally-sourced domperidone, does that “count?” The whole thing just reminds me of a high school clique, kind of like “Mean Girls.” Did I do enough to impress the clique’s leader?

    • Who?

      The fog of self congratulation in the waiting room would be a sight to see. The group of parents who would bother even ‘trying’ to convince her to take their children on would be a group I’d rather avoid, though individuals might be otherwise perfectly pleasant.

    • AirPlant

      I thought about it for a few months before rejecting the idea? Was that enough of a try?

    • Sue

      Her website says she has IBCLC.

  • Adelaide GP

    I have had to “sack” patients in the past but this was only in circumstances where the therapeutic relationship had irretrievably broken down (eg threatening or abusive behaviour from the patient or discovery of drug seeking from multiple practices etc). I can’t imagine “sacking” a patient for their Mum not breast feeding them. ( even if my focus was on lactation as a special interest). A special interest is just that, an interest, and if you call yourself a general paediatrician you need to offer services across the board to patients from all walks of life and views and habits. It seems kind of unprofessional to exclude a large group based on their parents feeding choice ( even if it is your special interest). At the end of the day it is her perogative how she wants to practise but she might find herself losing patients who find her views unacceptable that would otherwise be great patients. Not really the best business model!

  • Michelle

    I don’t know, if the point of this post is that bullying is wrong, I think you’re being kinda hypocritical. There’s a lot of bullying homebirth advocates on this blog. I’m not trying to defend the homebirth advocates, but you can’t say you’re not a bully, can you? I also disagree with your statement that new mothers are the only people that it’s still socially acceptable to bully. Bullying fat people is pretty socially acceptable. And, in some cases, bullying people for their religious beliefs (I think I remember you bullying young-earth creationists a while back? I could be remembering wrong).

    • Nick Sanders

      There’s a lot of bullying homebirth advocates on this blog. I’m not trying to defend the homebirth advocates, but you can’t say you’re not a bully, can you?

      I see this complaint as no different than those people who say things like, “You claim to be tolerant, but you are so intolerant of intolerance! You’re a hypocrite.”

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Besides, the whole “bullying” thing is too often used as a way to shut down discussion. Notice that in this post, Dr Becky CLAIMS to be a bully, so it’s not an accusation (that does not apply to all posts, but this one for sure).

        But let’s consider the “bullying homebirth advocates” that goes on here. First, in order to bully someone, don’t you have to engage them directly? So posts here that refer to someone someplace else aren’t really bullying, are they? Now if Dr Amy went out and engaged them there, that could be bullying, but it’s not here.

        Of course, there is engagement of visitors who come here, and it’s not always nice. But is it bullying? They come here to address Dr Amy (and us). Very often with the intent of picking a fight. In that case, piling on isn’t bullying. Moreover, there is an issue of power. OK, Dr Amy in posts has power, but commenters most certainly do not.

        As a victim of a bully when I was young, this doesn’t look like it to me.

        • sdsures

          Me neither, and I was also bullied as a kid (made me more stubborn, thank you, whoever you are).

          I see the word bullying used too often these days, and to my mind it is most often associated with an adult unable to wear big-girl panties.

          • Michelle

            So, do you agree that Dr Becky is a bully, or do you think Dr Amy just needs to put on her big-girl panties? I don’t see much difference between Dr Becky’s attitude and Dr Amy’s attitude, except that Dr Amy’s convictions are backed by science and Dr Becky’s aren’t (or not much?). I think that we excuse Dr Amy’s bullying because we agree with her message. And I think we bully the trolls in the comments here, but I think trolls dig being bullied, so whether or not that is unethical is questionable.

          • Who?

            Well Dr Becky is dealing with actual people and patients, and Dr T is speaking theoretically or hypothetically, since she has no patients here or anywhere, so there’s that.

            I don’t feel that it’s bullying to disagree with someone who comes into your space talking nonsense. I’m certainly not averse to doing that in real life, in more or less strong terms, and I do it here also.

          • AllieFoyle

            Dr. Becky calls herself a bully.

            Also, it’s important to think about roles here. Dr. Amy is an internet personality. Her voice is one of many that new mothers may be exposed to. Dr. Becky, on the other hand, is a health care provider, which means she is charged with a higher level of responsibility toward people seeking her help, and her treatment of them must rise to a certain level of respect, dignity, and beneficence. It is a more formalized, but also personal and intimate relationship. Actively rejecting someone (and her child, who is actually the patient) as a patient on the basis of choices she doesn’t approve of seems potentially more harmful than an opinion someone expresses on a website.

          • nomofear

            First do no harm – and the science shows that breast vs. bottle, in the developed world, makes no difference for the child.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            So, do you agree that Dr Becky is a bully, or do you think Dr Amy just needs to put on her big-girl panties?

            1) Becky calls herself the bully, not Dr Amy.
            2) Dr Amy is not the “victim” of her bullying, it’s women who are trying to take care of their baby in the best way they can.

            So your question is a total strawman.

          • yugaya

            Wow, hypocrite much?

            Here, let me break it down to you:

            Dr Tuteur would be same kind of unethical bully as dr Powers is if she had refused to treat women who had an elective CS or MRCS based on her personal belief that vaginal birth is always better and more beneficial than a CS and that every woman must “give it an honest try”.

            No, dr Tuteur was not an unethical bully when she practiced medicine, and she runs this blog adhering to same ethical principles – everyone is welcome to post and only dangerous doxxers or hate speech are removed.

          • sdsures

            It depends on whose views you are going to allow to change your thinking or behviour, and how you feel about that process if it occurs.

          • Amy

            But Dr. Amy isn’t refusing to care for patients. She isn’t going after people for making legitimate decisions about their bodies. She doesn’t even go after women who refuse epidurals (I was one), breastfeed into toddlerhood (I was one), practice attachment parenting (I was one and pretty sure she was one herself!), or even who give birth at home when they do so knowing that there is a highly elevated risk of death and when they don’t LIE to other women about the risks. She takes people to task for spreading misinformation. Adults who should know better. I wouldn’t call that bullying.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Me neither, and I was also bullied as a kid (made me more stubborn, thank you, whoever you are).

            Not me. I was powerless against him. I was a 5 ft skinny kid. He was 6-2 and huge. He could do what he wanted, and what he wanted to do was to humiliate me.

          • demodocus

            Sometimes I think “bullying” underestimates the harassment that some kids endure. My brother had to go to the hospital one time because of his bullies.

          • sdsures

            Agreed, and I also think that the word and concept is overused. People don’t always get what they want, and as adults, they should not be entitled to referring to that as “bullying” when they have the psychological capacity to advocate for themselves. It reeks of painting oneself as the “princess” or the “victim” in situations that do not warrant it.

        • Amy

          I was bullied a LOT as a kid. Non-athletic child of teachers, the new kid in a rich town where teachers were “poor,” kid who hit puberty well within normal range but ahead of the average skinny blonde kid in my town full of rich athletes. It was pervasive, it was most of the day every day in school, and many of my middle school teachers looked the other way or were bullies of a sort themselves.

          An opinionated blog supported by research, authored by a blogger who yes, DOES comment on relevant content elsewhere, does not even come CLOSE to bullying. An angry tone, yes. Strong language, yes. But she doesn’t even reference private material as many of her detractors claim– everything she quotes is POSTED ON THE INTERNET. If you’re under the age of sixty in 2015 and you don’t know that stuff you post on the internet isn’t private, you probably shouldn’t be posting on the internet.

    • Amy

      Stating someone or something is scientifically incorrect isn’t bullying. Young earth creationists are welcome to their religious beliefs, but the minute they attempt to mandate their promotion in public school classrooms I and every pro-science person I know are going to fight back.

      Similarly, calling people out for promoting dangerous practices isn’t bullying. It’s not bullying to call people out for advocating anti-vaccination, it’s not bullying to call people out for advocating not using a carseat, it’s not bullying to call people out for promoting home birth at all costs when women’s and babies lives are at risk.

    • Amazed

      Bullying homebirth advocates? I’d hate to see I’ve lost my time with a real bully. Perhaps you can show me the message stating that Dr Amy refusing to take care of homebirth advocates who are in need of her provider services? Provider, I say. Just like poor bullied Dr Becky. Not pecky little things like trying to save babies and mothers from dying or a lifetime of disabilities by being the voice of reason in the vast internet space.

      Hint: you can’t. Reference: the right corner up of this very blog.

    • Roadstergal

      “There’s a lot of bullying homebirth advocates on this blog.”

      Key difference – when a homebirth disaster gone wrong goes to OBs/CNMs, they don’t say “you don’t get my precious time and energy. Period.” They work hard to save the life of the baby and the mom.

      Another key difference. Homebirth substantially increases the risk of severe injury and death to babies. Non-EBF doesn’t.

      I wonder if Dr Becky refuses to see patients with Vitamin D deficiency or jaundice from mom’s insistence on EBF…

  • Lena

    Well, actually, Mother Teresa was a turd of a human being who fetishized pain for the people she “helped,” to the point of denying medical treatment to people with treatable illnesses and letting them suffer and die so they could be closer to god. All the well coming to the US for the best medicine had to offer when she was sick. So this woman does, in fact, have a lot in common with Teresa.

    • Amy

      A turd? Not to hundreds of millions of Catholics like myself.

      • Stephanie

        Anyone who would deny people pain meds or medical treatment to allow them to suffer is a turd. I am a former Catholic who is now a devout Baptist. She did not have compassion for those who are truly suffering. Read the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.

      • Lena

        Calling a catholic a turd is automatically offensive to you? So the facts about her actions don’t matter to you at all? Gotcha.

        I shudder to think about how you feel about insults to pedophilic priests.

      • Amy

        Just FTR, this is NOT me. I’m an EX Catholic and left precisely because of the type of attitude Mother Teresa and others like her conveyed every day.

      • Amy

        She was pretty open about allowing her patients to suffer in pain because she thought it would bring them closer to God. That is reprehensible.

  • Anna

    The lady thinks much of herself. I doubt it that her threshold is covered with miserable women down on the knees begging for her to spend some of “her precious time and effort”. Not only does she behave like a bully, she behaves like an absolute attention-whore, you know, the type that would post almost anything on Facebook just to get comments and feedback. No wonder she couldn’t work in a team, it is an extremely irritating type of person, self-righteous, narcisstic and absolutely sociopathic. Does she have any patients at all? Who in their right mind would go to such a Dr?

  • staceyjw

    I am glad she has made this out in the open, so no FF moms are shamed by her. I don’t know if making BF a benchmark is all that smart though, I EBF my DD for 3.5 years, but I am pretty sure we would not get along.

    Dr Becky- You’re part of the problem! In fact, you are a perfect example of the problem we have of shaming moms today. Please don’t think you are helping anything, you are just a mean lady that has a problem understanding the literature on BF.

  • Tosca

    On the plus side, at least she is open about her beliefs, which makes her easy to avoid. Less bad than those who claim to “support” breastfeeding, then gaslight new mothers into second-guessing their feeding choices.

    • Sue

      It makes no sense, though. She should be there for the welfare of children. If she finds an illness in a child that is a result of poor feeding practices, she can counsel the mother. If not, the feeding method is irrelevant.

  • Froggggggg

    Wow. It’s a bit like religious doctors who refuse to prescribe contraceptives, or doctors who simply don’t “believe” that certain illnesses/medical conditions exist, even though there’s plenty of research that proves it beyond all doubt. I can’t think of too many other professions where a few black sheep get to hang on to their personal beliefs in this manner and let them influence their work without repercussions.

  • Amazed

    OT: a few hours ago, I came back from visiting Miss Impatience. Remember her? She was the baby who tried to escape a month before her time and kept trying each time her mom tried to do a monumental change, like rising from the bed to go to the bathroom and so. Then, she decided that All The Cool Babies Boot Planned C-sections and booted her… err, roommate? Anyway, the uterine tenant of the woman who, about a week earlier, had been in the same room with her mom for monitored bedrest. This baby got booted because Miss Impatience decided that Evil Placenta was The Obstacle, so, apparently, it needed to be removed. Placental abruption ensued, hence the very emergent emergency C-section.

    Per now, Miss Impatience is Miss Very Patience. All smiles and giggles. All patience for her mom to get the hint that she needed to give Missy some food. Unfortunately, the breast content is not nearly enough, so Missy gets supplemented. She’s long and chubby, she follows things with her eyes, she tries to eat my hair, she gets to sleep when she’s expected to and wakes up giggling. No colics. No need to be constantly held but boy, isn she furious when nursing becomes harder! Then, she gets downright militant, twisting and waving arms and legs, and generally making things hard for her mom who she’s already pinned as the culprit who DELAYS EASY FEEDING! She’s quite the sight, all red-faced anger until she’s given the magical formula.

    Would Dr Becky deign to accept her in her practice? Because her mom breastfeeds but never went to acceptable enough (aka crazy enough) lenghts to increase her supply. She even eats cake (thank God, because she’s a confectioner and I was afraid I’d lose her until she weaned. The cake of today was marvelous, mmm!) because “she gets so little milk, the cake cannot harm her at all!” Would this be a black mark against her breastfeeding grade?

    By the way, even she said something like, “Well, that shows one should never make plans for the unpredictable. Now I have a child and I still don’t know what giving birth feels like.” At which I looked at her and said, “Hope I get invited for her first extraction day.” She laughed and admitted it was stupid. Who the hell sets women to such expectations?

    Mind you, she knows how lucky she was. The baby of one of the women who were with her for monitored bedrest didn’t make it. At the end, on top of whatever problems sent her there, the amniotic fluid went too low. I don’t know what killed this baby. Time for Brooke to turn up and claim victoriously that babies do die in hospitals as well. Sadly, they do.

  • KarenJJ

    What is incredibly frustrating is that all the supposed health issues that breastfeeding is meant to “prevent” could actually be a cause for breastfeeding not working. A family history of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, auto immunity/auto inflammatory, asthma and allergies or other chronic diseases or obesity that an occasional study throws up a correlation with.

    So you’re bullying people for something that many can’t actually change anyway and probably caused the very issues . Like bullying someone for a disability or chronic illness. We just don’t know enough about the reasons for breastfeeding failure or breastfeeding choices because nobody actually listens to why people make these choices. We only get “benefits of breastfeeding” research as though we need more reasons to justify a personal choice and what I think of as a right for mothers to choose.

    She also gives herself an out by saying that they must’ve tried or have a very good reason, but she’s a doctor of the kids, not the parent so it’s none of her business what those reasons are.

    • Jennifer R.

      She does not reject patients for whom breastfeeding isn’t working, she turns down ones who never wanted to breastfeed – because she is a breastfeeding doctor. It’s a little like a man seeing a gynecologist. Makes no sense.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        She’s a pediatrician, not a breastfeeding doctor (there is no such thing). She is also a bully. She recognizes that her position is indefensible; that’s why she took down her own page. If she were really as proud of being a bully as she said, she would have proudly kept it up and not delete people who disagreed with her.

        • sdsures

          Does she refuse to see patients who are lactose-intolerant and therefore require special formula?

          • Sarah

            We all know which ethnic group they’re least likely to be from, one assumes…

          • Jennifer R.

            Given where it is, non-whites have far more problems than finding a doctor in that area. Problems like staying alive…

          • Nick Sanders

            The south is racist, not Nazi Germany.

          • Jennifer R.

            Yeah, right, tell that to my African American classmates from Tennessee.

          • Nick Sanders

            I’m also from Tennessee. It’s bad, but it’s not “run for your lives, no time for doctors” bad.

          • Jennifer R.

            In the larger and medium cities, yes, it’s fairly safe, but not in the rural areas and small towns isolated from the cities like this one. Elizabethon itself is 91% white, but if you go outside the city limits, the numbers are even more skewed (95% for the county as a whole). Think about why that might be the case.

          • Stephanie

            I live in Bristol. I have family in the rural areas. They are bigots sadly, hence I have nothing to do with them. However, none of them would ever shoot or be violent. Most of the bigots around here prefer to keep to themselves. My GP is black btw. I dont much care for him though… not because of skin colour. It is because he is a bully like Dr. Becky in alot of ways.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I am not white and didn’t find Tennessee to be bad at all. (I found Iowa and Minnesota to be much worse for me)

          • Stephanie

            Are you from that area ?

          • Sarah

            Stop trying to minimise this discriminatory behaviour.

          • Stacy48918

            Seriously???

        • Jennifer R.

          Why do you think there is no such thing as a specialist in breastfeeding medicine? Is it not worthy of its own specialty, given how many women are affected by breastfeeding issues? We have specialties for all our other organs, why not this one?

          • yugaya

            *breastfeeding medicine*

          • Who?

            If breastfeeding is so natural and simple, why is there even a need for a specialist?

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Does she restrict her practice to only children who are currently being breastfed? She doesn’t. She’s a pediatrician with extra training in breastfeeding. Are you having trouble understanding the definition of pediatrician?

          • Sarah

            Exactly. Jennifer is trying very hard to defend her, but failing.

          • AllieFoyle

            She makes it clear on her website that she only accepts patients who make choices of which she approves– including breastfeeding, but also immunizing and not smoking. It doesn’t seem to be the case that her patients are restricted to her area of practice, as would be the case for specialists. I mean, a neurologist hardly needs to say “If you don’t have neurological problems then sorry, you don’t get my precious time, blah blah blah”, right?

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I’m a little confused by what a breast feeding specialist MD would do that would be covered by a lactation consultant. There’s tongue tie repairs I guess, although that’s usually covered by ENT. I guess they could prescribe domperidone, but since she’s meant to be the child’s doctor not the mothers, that seems rather dodgy.

          • Stephanie

            I live in this area and while she may be get backlash. We are not all gun toting hillbillies who will shoot a person over something like this. She may get run out of town on a rail… but she brought that upon herself.

          • Amy

            What exactly would a “breastfeeding specialist” do? I encountered extreme difficulty nursing my first, far more than most, and worked through it because, and I really need to emphasize this for you, *it meant a lot to me personally.* I had inverted nipples. Worked through it by pumping exclusively with a hospital grade pump for close to eight weeks, then nursed with a shield until my daughter hit six months and her mouth got big enough not to need it. Went on to nurse until she was three, even though I went back to work at 9 weeks postpartum. Dealt with countless “lactivitst” claiming that I wasn’t “really” breastfeeding when I was pumping exclusively.

            From what I’ve seen, breastfeeding difficulties fall into a limited number of categories: tongue tie, inverted/flat nipples, IGT, other supply issues, overactive letdown, poor latch leading to pain, and contraindicated medications. And the lactivist/”breastfeeding specialist” responses to those are similarly limited. Clip the tongue tie, nipple shield (or worse, talk about how shields are evil and blame the mother for not trying harder), SNS and donor milk for IGT and other supply issues, fenugreek/oatmeal/magic sparkles for supply issues, pre-pumping for overactive letdown, blaming the mother for poor latch. For contraindicated medications there are often recommendations to switch to a possibly less effective medication or just go without– who cares about the mother as her own person, after all?!? Supply issues are often also “solved” with more skin-to-skin contact and a “nursing vacation” recommended.

            So how does any of this add up to a separate specialty that doctors can get certified in and market themselves as? With the breadth in patient age that most pediatricians see, how would this even be worth their “precious time”?

            Simply put, it doesn’t deserve its own medical specialty because in developed nations, it’s not a legitimate medical problem. The solution to extreme difficulties with breastfeeding is to use formula. Women shouldn’t see that as a failure any more than women who wear glasses/contacts see their eyes as failures, or people who take triptans to cope with migraines see their heads as failures.

            Also, just as a courtesy: on this blog, if you’re going to claim something is “scientifically proven,” you’re going to be asked to back that claim up.

      • llie

        She’s a pediatrician. That means a doctor for kids, not breasts.
        Could you please explain how refusing care to certain groups of children based on a characteristic over which the child has no control and which doesn’t pose any danger to others is ethical?

        What comes first for this doc is her breastfeeding ideology, not what is best for children and certainly not what is best for the mothers.

        Or would you care to explain how a baby is helped by pushing its mother into severe postpartum depression over whether or not she breastfeeds?

        • Jennifer R.

          I live in a different area now, but I am from Tennessee, and I know based on what my friends have experienced there that finding a doctor who actually knows about breastfeeding issues is like finding a needle in a haystack – heck, even in the Pacific Northwest it’s a 4 week wait to see our only specialist. Limited resources need to be reserved for those who need them, so it’s completely understandable that she would choose to restrict her clientele to those who actually need her very rare set of skills.

          Postpartum depression is a biological and medical condition, which can be treated with the right medication and therapy. Blaming being unable to see this particular doctor for it is completely ludicrous. Show me the studies to prove that PPD is caused by people saying not bothering to breastfeed is wrong.

          • yugaya

            “Postpartum depression is a biological and medical condition, which can be treated with the right medication and therapy.”

            And a special spot in PPD hall of shame is reserved for all the breastfeeding bullies and breastfeeding bullying that leaves new moms feeling like they have failed their children if/when they give their child perfectly safe formula.

          • Jennifer R.

            Not sure what this even means. If it has to do with breastfeeding/not breastfeeding or “bullies,” why is it that cis men (and not just trans men) can get it, too?

            http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/04/16/when-dad-has-postpartum-depression/

          • Chi

            It means women who struggle to breastfeed are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression because of the obscene pressure put on them because of this whole ‘breast is best’ mentality.

            If they cannot, for WHATEVER reason, successfully breastfeed, they feel as though they are a failure and postpartum depression is usually soon to follow.

            Because that’s the backhanded slap to the whole ‘breast is best’ movement. They’re basically telling new mums that the ONLY thing that matters is feeding babies breast milk.

            Nipples hurting? Cracked and bleeding? Slap on some lanolin and carry on!

            Starting to resent your baby for how much they feed and how long they seem to be hanging on your breasts? Tough luck, you signed up for this when you got pregnant!

            Haven’t slept? Want daddy to be able to give a bottle so you can catch a nap? Nope, formula is poison.

            This attitude is SO damaging, because it’s saying that women’s needs no longer matter. And many women suffer mental health problems as a result.

            Sure, dads can experience it too. Becoming a parent is a HUGE change for everyone involved. But it’s definitely more prevalent in new mums.

          • yugaya

            Did I say that it only has to do with breastfeeding or breastfeeding bullies? No. So to return the passive-aggressive favour – not sure why you are “pretending” that is what I said.

            http://www.unicef.org.uk/BabyFriendly/News-and-Research/Research/Mental-health/Breastfeeding-and-Postpartum-Depression/

          • Sarah

            The argument about her needing to restrict her clientele to those needing her niche skills would work if she were solely a ‘breastfeeding doctor’. But she’s a paediatrician. She doesn’t say anything about only seeing young children either, therefore I conclude that she will provide her services to those past breastfeeding age too. Bottom line, she isn’t actually restricting her clientele to those who need her rare set of skills.

          • Stacy48918

            Exactly. If she would accept an 8 year old new patient whose parents have no intention of additional children, then she’s perfectly capable of caring for non-breastfeeding children. The air up on her horse might be a bit too thin to allow that depth of thought though.

          • Sarah

            Ultimately, she is evidently ok with certain types of non-breastfeeding children. If it were so important that her services be provided to otherwise underserved breastfeeding dyads, she’d be restricting herself entirely to them. She’s not.

          • Nick Sanders

            “Not bothering”? Day-um, the judgement coming off of you…

      • yugaya

        “She does not reject patients for whom breastfeeding isn’t working, she turns down ones who never wanted to breastfeed.”

        Yeah, she only rejects those who haven’t tried hard enough and will still see “women who gave it a real, honest try”.

        Sort of like if dr Tuteur had while she was an obstetrician refused to see women who have had a non-emergent CS because they did not give *a real, honest try* to vaginal birth.

        • KarenJJ

          As someone who had “breastfeeding failure” I feel like I know exactly how a mother under her “care” as a lactation consultant would be feeling as she treads that weary and depressing path of “trying hard enough” for someone like Dr Becky. It’s awful treatment of a fellow human being and new mother, and the strategies many lactation consultants undermine the instincts of a new mother to feed their baby.

          If the assistance of a physical therapist to someone with mobility issues was handled along the same lines as the assistance that new mothers with breastfeeding issues have, we’d see more clearly exactly why a lot of this “breastfeeding support” from many IBLC is complete rubbish. But because it’s women, new mothers and women’s boobs we put up with it for some reason..

      • Sue

        Jennifer R. – there is no such thing as a “a breastfeeding doctor with training in the combination of issues involving both breastfeeding parent and child”.

        SHe is trained in conventional pediatrics.

        She may have done training in breastfeeding coaching – but IBCLC is not a medical qualification.

        A child seeing a pediatrician is nothing like a man seeing a gynecologist. Nothing at all.

      • Stephanie

        Jennifer if you know history.. this area was mostly pro Union. My fathers family is from Washington County, Va.. they are racist bigots in many ways. My ancestors from there fought for the Union 🙂 My mum side of the family, who is from SC fought for the Confederacy. They are the enlightened and tolerant ones.

      • Sarah

        It has been pointed out to you several times now that this attempted defence of her does not work, because she evidently also takes patients who are not being breastfed. We know this because she mentions allowing children whose mothers have what she considers to be an acceptable reason.

      • Amy

        She is a pediatrician and markets herself as such. Pediatricians see children FAR beyond the age that even the WHO recommends as the upper limit for weaning.

        My children, for example, are seven and nine. I would have passed her “test” for breastfeeding since not only did I work through all kinds of difficulties with my older child, but I nursed each of my kids past the age of three on demand, nursed through pregnancy with my second, and tandem nursed for almost a year. However, neither one is still nursing. By your logic, if my family moved to Tennessee we wouldn’t be appropriate patients for Dr. Becky because she’s a “breastfeeding doctor.” Do you see how ridiculous your defense is? If breastfeeding is such an important quality in her patients then my seeing her after my kids wean would be, in your words, “like a man seeing a gynecologist.”

  • 1234yes

    What a peach. She should try going on a diet, her puffy ham-face is obviously a sign of poor nutritional choices and lack of effort. There, doesn’t feel very good, now does it, doctor?

    I would love to know her work history. She sounds like a doctor who has probably gotten das-booted from everywhere she’s worked due to her abrasive, abusive personality and has been forced by circumstance to practice solo. Won’t be too successful in the long run, methinks.

    • Linden

      Criticise her odious attitude, and quit the body policing.

      • guest

        I think the point was that Dr. Becky is engaging in body policing but probably wouldn’t like to be the target of it herself.

        • Linden

          I get it. It would be better worded differently though. Why detract from the message?

          • sdsures

            Not always. You’re responding and engaged in the discussion, aren’t you?

          • Linden

            As a criticism tactic, I find “lets insult her looks!” To be a tad less compelling than all the other arguments here. But by all means, carry on if you think otherwise. I won’t carry on engaging with this particular branch.

          • sdsures

            You’re not insulting her looks. You engaged in a short conversation with me.

          • AllieFoyle

            I think it is a good analogy, but yeah, no need for things like “ham-face” in the discussion.

      • Amy

        Body policing… Yawn… The sanctimony!!

        • Linden

          yes, very sanctimonious to point out that, “yeah, well you’re fat!” Is not the best worded argument in the world.

  • Sue

    I guess she’s not on-call for emergencies.

  • Otterdance

    There comes a time when I really wish I could pop out of a computer screen and tell one of these idiots, “Put. The. Shovel. Down.”

  • Sue

    ” I am not Mother Theresa(although I do strive to emulate some of her qualities)”

    Interesting comment. I don’t think it;s a secret that Mother Teresa was a bit of a bully herself, and certainly dogmatic.

  • Who?

    Another occasion where someone is making it very clear that they are a person to avoid. What else is she judgy about I wonder?

    Being proud of being a bully is not a good look.

    • demodocus

      reminds me of a certain political candidate I’ve been hearing about lately. never a good thing in one’s pediatrician

  • Hilary

    “This practice is made up of women who breastfeed, women who gave it a
    real, honest try and women who would be breastfeeding if it were a real
    option for them.”

    As a woman who put more than enough effort into breastfeeding (with mixed results) to win the lactivists’ “you gave it a good try” pity award, I LOATHE this attitude. I have gotten it in real life and there is no way I would put up with it in a medical practice. Sorry, but I’m burning the invitation to your simplistic, narrow-minded club.

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      I wonder if there is any place in her practice for fathers.

      • Dr Kitty

        I’m guessing she doesn’t think she would be a good fit for people (gay, straight or single) who opt to become parents through gestational surrogacy either.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Also parents who take in foster children. They deserve quality care too.

          • RMY

            Well, she doesn’t take TennCare, and I’m guessing that’s the state health plan that foster kids automatically get.

          • Sarah

            No they don’t, not if they’re poor.

          • Melissaxxxx

            Those kids probably dodged a bullet, somehow don’t feel that someone this judgey who crows about their “precious time” is actually providing quality care at all

          • Bombshellrisa

            I just know how hard it can be to find providers who take the state’s plan for foster children. Our area had so many families that foster and before last year, the closest pediatrician that took the plan provided for those kids was 30 minutes away. Thank goodness that the doctor available here now is fantastic.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Well, if they *really* loved their babies, they (male and female alike) would induce lactation for those babies. Because if you just try hard enough, that always works!
          /sarcasm tag, ‘cos this being the internet, someone might take that seriously. (Unfortunately, I have no doubt that there are at least a few people out there who think exactly that.)

        • Zornorph

          I am sure I would have never gone to this ugly skank’s practice.

      • Hilary

        They have the “no breasts” excuse, I guess (they would be breastfeeding if it were a real option for them). The point is, one shouldn’t have to have an excuse.

        • Sarah

          No breasts is no excuse, silly. They still have armpits.

    • Megan

      I totally agree. I pumped for my daughter for 7 months and did everything possible that BF. I’d never take my child to this woman.

  • Stephanie

    The sad thing is she has 3 daughters.. what if they decide they dont want to BF? What if they cant? Is she going to disown them and their children because they dont conform to her choice?

  • Amazed

    Running away and hiding? What? Not so proud to be a victim of a no nonsense bully, ah, Dr Becky?

    Each time I hear things like “Let drunkards pay for their own cirrhosis treatment, their own fertility treatment (those sluts who ruined their fertility by being too promiscuous and falling upon the WRONG partners and now want US to pay for their in vitro attempts), etc.”, I say, “Right. Let’s have diabetics pay for their own treatment when they have consumed too many sweets, lung cancer patients because when they have beenn smoking too much, me paying for my own treatment of a head injury had I not switched to lighter coffee when I started falling from my chair overdoing it… and of course, then WE’re gonna pay to the private investigators who should dig this dirt out.” Silences people up pretty fast.

    I’d be careful if I were you, Dr Becky. With this extra weight of yours, I’d be mindful of the possibility of a GP, for one, deciding that I am not worth their precious time if I cannot make the effort to keep myself in shape.

    • Who?

      I did wonder about that myself; to paraphrase:

      ‘ If you choose not to maintain a healthy weight before you have even tried you don’t get my precious time and energy. Period.’

      She’d be fine with that, I’m sure.

  • Box of Salt

    “Breastfeeding Medicine” ?
    Does she kick the patients out of her practice once they become pre-teens? One hopes that by then they are no longer breastfed.

    • Bombshellrisa

      Even five and six year olds need a doctor, weaned as they may be

      • Hilary

        You weaned your five year old?? You must hate children or something.

        • Bugsy

          Lmao.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Oh much worse, my 22 month old has been weaned awhile. I should be locked up for child endangerment/neglect/abuse.

        • Melissaxxxx

          Working-adult led weaning only

        • Amy

          There is an IBCLC out of New Jersey who CLAIMS to be a feminist who breastfed her own kid until he was past 8. Apparently she berates moms who don’t breastfeed as long as she does and has been on Facebook saying that any woman who’s not prepared to completely subjugate herself to the service of her child, and specifically breastfeeding her child, has no business becoming a mother. Some feminist.

  • Cartman36

    Does she have a big problem with formula feeders storming her office demanding to be seen?

    If my pediatrician had acted this way (inside of being the supportive wonderful provider he is) I simply would have found a new provider.

  • RMY

    Is medicine to her a hobby? I mean the way she writes about it sounds like how a running group may operate (you can only join our group if you’re available during these times and have these goals).

  • Kq

    While I agree with this post and am sickened by this bully, I think it’s a disingenuous overstatement that new mothers are the only acceptable target of bullying. What about the overweight? The mentally ill? Muslims?

    • Bombshellrisa

      I think that anyone saying they were proud of being a bully about those things would zero support and might even not have a business anymore.

      • Jennifer R.

        You’re kidding, right? Maybe in the big cities, but there are plenty who bully (and kill) Muslims, people of color, etc. and get even more business for it. Maybe you don’t know that even though Paula Deene is no longer a Food Network star, she is still supported by many and her restaurants are still doing well.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Paula Deen is a bully? If she publicly said she is proud if being a bully then I will stop eating her food.

          • Jennifer R.
          • Amy

            She makes no apologies for using the N word and having planned a party with all African-American waitstaff and an antebellum south theme. She’s a pretty vile person and there are loads of other cooks with rich butter-laden recipes whose food you can enjoy.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I really don’t know who she is. I just have a blueberry pie recipe of hers that I use a lot.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            The woman seems like a bit of a fool, but I don’t really see how using her recipes will support her silliness unless you’re buying her books brand-new. I guess the way I see it is that she’s an artist/scientist, food sort of bridging both of those worlds.
            There are plenty of less-than-savory scientists out there who have made important discoveries, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to refuse to use their knowledge, or that even using it means I support them. Look at the unethical scientists involved in human radiation experiments here in the US: just because someone benefits from the information they discovered doesn’t mean that they think that having pregnant women chug radioactive cocktails unaware was a good idea. Likewise, I expect that, say, Caravaggio probably had some decidedly distasteful views in the light of the 21st century, but I’ll still heartily enjoy his paintings.
            Of course, Paula Deen’s not the culinary equivalent of either Caravaggio or some of the Manhattan Project minds, but I think the principle applies. To each her own, of course.

      • Amy

        Unfortunately, in many parts of the country, you’re dead wrong. Just this week there was a bakery in Ohio whose offensive door sign proudly claiming to be politically incorrect went viral, and their Facebook page was flooded with supportive comments of the “it’s about time” variety.

        • Bombshellrisa

          If we reworded the proud to be a bully speech line from Dr Becky and a business said “if we are bullying Syrian refugees, then we are proud to be bullies” or said “if we after bullying Muslims, we are proud to be bullies” that is more what I meant since that is what Kq had mentioned.

  • Nick Sanders

    I happened to see that post she’s complaining about. I tried to click Like, but it got deleted before I could do so. If you want to show your support, because the message was from a woman who ran a PPD support group telling Dr. Becky how people like her contribute to severe depression, the author’s facebook page is:

    https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.yaredchenault

  • Dr Kitty

    Well, Dr Becky should look at it this way, her future patient list is highly likely to only consist of breast feeding families.
    It might be a smaller list than she wants , and those breast feeding families might have other views that she has to waste her precious time and energy on (anti-vax, co-sleeping, unschooling etc) instead, but hey, at least everyone who chooses her as a Dr will be under no illusions about where they stand.

    • Stephanie

      She is adamant about vaccinating. That is one thing I am in full agreement with her about.

      • Kq

        “Broken Clocks are right twice a day” – ironically, the only accurate and useful thing my ex and former cult leader ever said.

      • Medwife

        So she’ll take care only of militantly breastfeeding families, but requires them to vaccinate on schedule? There’s a business plan that can’t lose.

    • ElaineF

      Yeah, that’s kind of what I was thinking. The militant lacto-jerks will flock to her, all others will run.

      (I am NOT the Elaine who commented with all the judgmental garbage above! I have commented on this page before from time to time using just my first name. I don’t know if she has.)

  • Sara N.

    Oh my, it has been a long time since someone else’s opinions about breastfeeding provoked any reaction other than an eye roll & finger swipe. This woman’s comments are vile and harmful. After my journey of “do absolutely anything, and I mean anything” it takes to breastfeed with “support” from people like her led me to a suicidal breakdown, it was my son’s amazing pediatrician (who had clearly seen other mothers in my boat and had said from day one that FF was just as good as BF) who saved my life with her care and compassion. Meanwhile, the team of LCs who finally realized my breasts would not make milk after all did a 180 and suddenly said formula was okay. Why is formula suddenly okay only if you attempt BF first? Either formula is ok or it isn’t. The formula doesn’t magically change it’s make-up just because of the virtue of the mother feeding it to the baby. And that’s when I finally realized that the people who say they only judge a formula feeder if she didn’t try to BF first don’t give a shit about the baby or the mom. They only care about making themselves feel important and better-than by making others conform to their own ideals. Frankly I have more respect for those assholes that say women who can’t breastfeed shouldn’t have children.

    I am so, so thankful for our pediatrician. Pretty sure if I had employed this “edgy” doc I’d be six feet under right now.

  • CelinaA

    “Doesn’t play well with others”. Uh yeah. Just the trait you want in a pediatrician when the issue of collaborative care comes up with your child. Having two special needs children who regularly need care that is done in concert with other doctors, this does not sound like a pediatrician I’d want to have on our team.

  • demodocus

    Oh, you’re adopting a baby? How wonderful! You are re-lactating, right??!? So what if its been 5 years since your daughter weaned. You aren’t??! I’m so sorry, but I can’t have your kind here.

    • RMY

      I gave up on a friend who got mad at her wife for giving up on artificially inducing lactation with drugs and spending time pumping. My friend is the gestational mother of twins, who is a SAHM, and her wife worked full time in a hospital (I think she’s a nurse?). I basically told my friend that it wasn’t reasonable to expect her wife to pump enough to get a full supply to feed twins and she got pissed at me, so yeah, not friends anymore.

      • demodocus

        Poor kids and nurse mom, to have to deal with that one.

      • ForeverMe

        Um…. pure curiosity- did I get this right: the gestational SAHM (of twins) wouldn’t/couldn’t/didn’t BF, but expected her working wife to induce lactation and pump instead? Then SAHM was upset when working wife gave up? That’s what happened?!? (Pot / kettle???)

      • Young CC Prof

        Um, she does know that with attempted adoptive nursing, a full supply actually not the usual result? Many women can get some milk that way, but not many get enough to fully nourish one baby, let alone two.

        • RMY

          No, she’s the type who watched that Breastmilk documentary that had the non-gestational mother who had no issue inducing lactation. Now that she no longer needs massive amounts of super artificial medications to get pregnant, she’s a crunchier than thou mother, apparently conventional baby powder isn’t good enough for her kids. Total Food Babe fan. Heaven forbid if you introduce any knowledge to her.

          • Hilary

            Except the couple in Breastmilk was sharing breastfeeding – my impression was that the gestational mother was doing most of it and her wife was just helping out so she could have a break.

      • Tosca

        Wait, what?? She was the gestational and SAH mother, and wanted her wife (who was working fulltime) to artificially induce lactation sufficient to feed twins?? So she wasn’t BF at all, but she wanted her wife to go through all that?? So very strange!

        • RMY

          The SAHM was breastfeeding, but wanted her wife able to help out when she wasn’t working (basically be a nights and weekends wet nurse).

          She wrote a long post about how she felt her wife was giving up by not continually pumping in an attempt to “get a full supply” whatever that means. I just felt bad for her (the nurse wife), it sounded like she was doing nothing right in her wife’s eyes about their kids and was feeling discouraged. You can’t treat your partner like that IMHO, not just about childrearing, but about anything, you have to always believe your partner is doing their best and on your side, or if you don’t feel that way, talk to THEM about it, not the internet.

  • FrequentFlyer

    I guess she thinks this is less offensive than coming right out and saying what she really means. The children of well off white women are the only ones she has time for. The children of any other group are not worthy of her attention.

    • RMY

      So, she’ll only care for families like her own. How she talks about her practice, it makes me suspect she’s not practicing medicine as her family’s sole means of support, so her family is probably in the “well-off” category. And she is evidently white.

    • Sarah

      Absolutely. Let’s spell it out: breastfeeding mothers are, as a group, rather more advantaged than formula feeding mothers. If you only see the former, you’re going to be excluding a group that is disproportionately poor, black, badly educated, unhealthy and underinsured. Now, I can think of a number of words for that. One beginning with r in particular. Already one commentator here has seen their arse when that was pointed out, but it is what it is.

  • Madtowngirl

    “I don’t play well with others.”

    Then what the hell are you doing in a profession that requires dealing with people?

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    Dr. Becky looks to be overweight. I hope she never comes to see me as a patient. If someone can’t even be bothered to maintain a normal BMI, they don’t get my precious time and energy.

    Wow. That sounds just awful, doesn’t it, Dr. Becky (and I’m sure you’re reading here!)? Good thing I don’t actually believe that or have such a policy…maybe if you don’t like how my comment made you feel, you ought to re-think your views.

    • Charybdis

      Remember Milk Meg’s “don’t give a shit” meme? Dr. Becky sounds like she needs a similar one.

      Or a rousing chorus of Southpark’s “Kyle’s mom is a bitch, a bitch, a big fat bitch” song, but change “Kyle’s mom” to “Dr. Becky”.

    • Amy

      You know, for someone who pretends to be so into natural health and natural foods and all the earth mama woo, it’s a little hypocritical to be the fan of Chick-Fil-A that she is.

  • Trixie

    Actually one criticism of Mother Teresa is that she denied the suffering modern palliative care because she thought suffering for its own sake was beautiful. So I’m going to say her self-comparison isn’t entirely off the mark.

    • Spiderpigmom

      That was my first thought.

      • Amazed

        IIRC, SHE got the best palliative care in an American hospital. Not unlike Dr Becky: proud to be a bully, running away and hiding when encountering a bigger bully, eh?

        Don’t give up, Dr Amy! The world needs more no nonsense bullies.

  • Allie

    “Patients who choose to be obese aren’t worth my time and energy” says the cardiologist.
    “Patients who choose pain relief in labor aren’t worth my time” says the OB
    “Patients who smoke aren’t worth my precious energy” says the vascular surgeon.

    Only they don’t, because that would be hugely unprofessional.

    You never hear this kind of bigoted, condescending crap in other specialties. Why is it somehow considered acceptable to treat young mothers in ways that would never be considered OK towards men or non-childbearing women?

    • PeggySue

      Well, you don’t hear refusal of care. But you certainly hear judgmental speaking in the medical community about people who are overweight, or who smoke, or who use alcohol or drugs compulsively. Trust me on this.

      • Sue

        Yes, that’s true. It’s not considered ethical to deny them treatment, however.

        If vascular surgeons or respiratory physicians refused to treat smokers, they would be out of business. Some do refuse surgery to those who can’t give up smoking. Ambivalent there – but some of it relates to anesthetic risks and recovery time.

    • Jennifer R.

      I know someone who has hepatitis C, is on disability, and is on methadone maintenance but has not used in 20 years, but her doctor refused to enroll her in the new Hep C prescription treatment because he said that drug addicts are not entitled to it, that it is reserved for people who contracted it innocently (through blood transfusions, or as healthcare workers).

      • Melissaxxxx

        That’s only because the serious severe side effects of hep c eradication treatments means they can only be justified in those unlikely to become reinfected (ie: doing least amount of harm). It’s not an intrinsic “druggies don’t deserve meds” bias.

        Much like we don’t provide home O2 to people who continue to smoke – the serious risk of themselves blowing themselves up outweighs the benefit.

        • Azuran

          yet, some people still managed to get it. We caught a woman with a working O2 bottle, smoking in the bathroom of our clinic’s waiting room.

          Still, I’d expect there is more than ‘druggies don’t deserve meds’ behind the doctor’s refusal, or it wasn’t the doctor’s choice but is imposed by someone else. Much like people who destroyed their organs by using drugs, smoking or drinking are less likely to have organ transplants even if they don’t do it anymore.

      • Liz Leyden

        Is it because of the cost? During my brief stint as a prison nurse, management had to stop distributing pamphlets with advice about living with Hep C in prison because they stated that inmates would be treated. Solvadi costs $1,000 per pill, and others cost over $600 per pill.

        Even the VA is having trouble paying for it. Interesting enough, the doc who developed Solvadi has worked for the VA since 1983. He also admitted in a 2013 trade journal article that a full course of Solvadi, 84 pills, costs $1,400 to produce, about 16 cents per pill.

        http://www.cbsnews.com/news/va-cant-afford-drug-for-veterans-suffering-from-hepatitis-c/ (autoplay video)

        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/02/opinion/costly-hepatitis-c-drugs-for-everyone.html?_r=0

  • no longer drinking the koolaid

    That is not how I learned to support women when I became an LC or when I became a midwife. Makes me wonder who else doesn’t deserve her precious time and energy.

  • Lemongrass

    The crunchy anti-vaxers are going to have a field day with this one. “So it’s ok to exclude unvaccinated children but not children who don’t breastfeed?! Hippocrits!”

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      They shouldn’t have a field day with it because the reasoning is very different. Anti-vaxxers pose a danger to a pediatrician’s other patients. Formula feeders don’t pose a danger to anyone.

      • Lemongrass

        There was a blog post that went around maybe 6 months back where an anti-vaccine blogger suggested that excluding formula fed babies makes just as much sense as excluding unvaccinated children since formula fed babies are more likely to get colds and gastrointestinal viruses than breastfed babies (and thus spread those viruses to others).

        • Megan

          Even if infection related to formula feeding was a significant hazard in first world countries with clean water like the US, exposing other children to a cold and exposing other children to measles are not equivalent.

          • Young CC Prof

            Also, breastfeeding is something on the order of a 10% reduction in infections, and it works during the first year only. Getting vaccinated is like a 90% reduction in your risk of catching a vaccine-preventable disease, for your entire life if you stay up to date.

        • Nick Sanders

          Just goes to show how deluded anti-vaxxers are.

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          Except I haven’t seen any studies actual showing that breastfed babies get less colds and gastrointestinal viruses, that actually controlled for the fact that more exclusively breastfed babies are the children of middle-class, middle or upper middle class, Stay at home mothers. If your kid goes to day care at six weeks because mommy has to go back to work ( I was active duty military) then your kid is exposed to more of the little germ factories we call toddlers. I took her to the day care on the base because I had few other choices in my price range.

          • Sarah

            Of course you haven’t, because controlling for social class is not this piece of piss some people seem to think it is. It’s not just about daycare. You’d also have to recognise the fact that EFF populations are, due to poverty, more likely to engage in other risky behaviours too, such as watering down formula and using it when it’s been out too long. For obvious reasons, these are not things that are necessarily communicated to healthcare providers.

        • StephanieA

          Someone forgot to tell my EFF son that he should’ve been sick more. He wasn’t sick once in his first year of life (anecdata, I know).

          • demodocus

            while my ebf son was sick all the freaking time. more anecdata 😉

      • Nick Sanders

        They shouldn’t, but they aren’t very good at critical thinking.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      Only if they don’t understand logic and risks to other peoples kids. Unvaccinated kids in a doctors office put everyone else there at risk, especially the very young and the immuno-surpressed. Formula fed infants put exactly noone else at risk of anything. Unvaccinated people are a public heath hazard.

      • Bugsy

        Oh, but think of the shedding caused by those evil, formula-fed and vaccinated children!

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          Yeah, when some people at work repeat that sort of thing I have the urge to scream, “Thats not how it works! Thats not how any of this works!” like the little old lady in the car insurance commercial….

    • Jennifer R.

      She won’t see their kids, either, though.

      • Stephanie

        That is her only redeeming quality.