Trust your intuition, Mama — unless it tells you your breastfed baby is starving


“Trust your intuition, Mama!” It’s the all purpose battle cry of the natural parenting industries.

Want to have a homebirth even though ACOG says it increases the risk of perinatal death? Trust your intuition, Mama! You’re safest where you feel safest!

Want to give birth underwater even though the American Academy of Pediatrics says it’s dangerous? Trust your intuition, Mama! Everyone knows, according to the geniuses at the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), babies don’t breathe “until they experience gravity!”

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#999999″ class=”” size=””]We have a word for those who think they know more about what patients are experiencing than patients themselves: paternalism.[/pullquote]

Want to skip vaccinations for your children even though every health organization IN THE WORLD says vaccines don’t cause autism? Trust your intuition, Mama! You know that your child’s difficulties were caused by a “vaccine injury.”

Want to supplement your exclusively breastfed baby with formula because he’s losing weight and screaming constantly from hunger? Trus… Wait!! You can’t possibly trust your intuition about something so important!!

You might think that your baby is starving, but, Mama, you’re just an unqualified layperson who should never trust her intuition on such an important matter. ONLY a professional lactivist is entitled to determine whether your baby needs supplementation. No one cares what you think; only someone like lactivist Maureen Minchin is qualified to decided whether your baby is starving — and Maureen already knows, before hearing your story and without ever examining your baby — that he isn’t.

The utter disrespect and dismissiveness with which lactivists treat mothers is one of the ugliest of the ugly, ugly, ugly tactics of contemporary lactivism.

In response to Dr. Alison Stuebe’s Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine post about exclusively breastfed babies suffering brain damaging, life threatening hypernatremia, Minchin offer this charming comment:

… I have my doubts that it was just four days of ineffective feeding that resulted in Meagan’s boy’s neurodevelopment problems… And the clues to what else happened to this child are there in Meagan’s post. He struggled to tolerate any formula and in the end would take ONLY ready-to-feed Alimentum, which as a liquid end-sterilised concentrate was most likely to contain high levels of AGEs and could have had many other problems …

Maureen has her doubts! And why should anyone care what Maureen thinks? She wrote a self-published book and everyone knows that a self-published book is the ultimate mark of expertise!

Maureen is a font of scientific sounding stupidity:

… My book argues that a milk hypothesis makes a lot more sense and has a more substantial scientific basis than the commonly accepted hygiene hypothesis or the biodiversity hypothesis, both of which are discussed. And 2. allergy studies to date have not looked for the intergenerational impacts of artificial feeding, which become very evident when you deal with these families as I have for decades, and can be explained by epigenetics. We are what our grandmothers ate: many first generation formula feeders gestated in bodies that were breastfed probably did better than second and third generation formula-exposed babies gestated in the bodies of women formula-fed as children (even if those women EBF). I have lived through both the 1960-1970s formula invasion (when every child in many hospitals was formula-exposed and most women breastfed for very short periods) and the allergy epidemic in Australia, which has grown with every generation for reasons both genetic and epigenetic.

Won’t someone think of the great grandchildren????????!!!!!!!!!

What’s Maureen’s problem (besides ignorance and grandiosity)? Maureen, like many lactivists, is suffering from cognitive dissonance. In Maureen’s fantasy world where breastmilk is ALWAYS the perfect food for every baby, regardless of circumstances, some babies have the temerity to sustain brain damage and even die because their mothers couldn’t produce enough breastmilk for them. How could that possibly be true? As far as Minchin is concerned, it couldn’t.

As Prof. David Dunning (of the eponymous Dunning-Kruger Effect) explains in regard to “confident idiots” afflicted by the Effect:

Some of our most stubborn misbeliefs arise not from primitive childlike intuitions or careless category errors, but from the very values and philosophies that define who we are as individuals. Each of us possesses certain foundational beliefs — narratives about the self, ideas about the social order—that essentially cannot be violated: To contradict them would call into question our very self-worth. As such, these views demand fealty from other opinions. And any information that we glean from the world is amended, distorted, diminished, or forgotten in order to make sure that these sacrosanct beliefs remain whole and unharmed.

To contradict the superlativeness of exclusive breastfeeding would call into question Minchin’s self-worth. Information about babies who sustain brain damage or die from insufficient breastmilk must be amended, distorted, diminished or ignored in order to make sure that Minchin’s sacrosanct belief in the perfection of breastmilk remains whole and unharmed.

When it comes to weighing brain damaged and dead babies against Minchin’s self-worth, it’s no contest, Minchin’s need for personal validation is far more important to her than what is actually happening to babies and mothers. Minchin is not alone. Other lactation professionals are equally adept at dismissing or outright ignoring what mothers tell them about their babies’ suffering.

So trust your intuition, Mama — unless it conflicts with the intuition of birth workers and breastfeeding professionals.

We have a word for healthcare professionals who think they know more about what patients are experiencing than patients themselves; that word is paternalism. Unfortunately, midwives and lactation professionals, who spend tremendous time and effort bewailing the paternalism of obstetricians and pediatricians have adopted the very attitudes they claim to despise.

Like Minchin, lactation professionals are not listening — and mothers and babies are suffering deeply as a result.

238 Responses to “Trust your intuition, Mama — unless it tells you your breastfed baby is starving”

  1. Sue
    February 6, 2016 at 11:52 pm #

    What we know as “intuition” isn;t magic – it;s the sub-conscious expression of learned rules.

    People who are thought to be “intuitive” are good observers, and have lots of experience in that observation.

    CLinical “intuition” has been studied – it;s advanced pattern-recognition, occurring quickly and sub-consciously.

    So, a parent’s “intuition” that their child is “not quite right” is based on a lot of close observation. That does’t mean they have ” intuition” about the cause of illness, or about obstetric techniques.

    • demodocus
      February 7, 2016 at 8:16 am #

      or that their baby wants to be born in Bali with dolphin midwives.

    • sdsures
      February 7, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

      “CLinical “intuition” has been studied – it;s advanced pattern-recognition, occurring quickly and sub-consciously.”

      Yes, exactly!

  2. Puffin
    February 6, 2016 at 11:34 pm #

    Epigenetics is the battle cry of the ignorant these days. I think it’s fairly safe to say that anyone who uses the word ‘epigenetic’ to explain something outside of a research lab, scientific publication, or university genetics course has no idea what epigenetic actually means.

    • Sue
      February 6, 2016 at 11:47 pm #

      Agreed – it’s everywhere in pseudoscience.

    • Ian
      February 8, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

      Yes, much like quantum mechanics in physics.

  3. Gatita
    February 6, 2016 at 8:47 pm #


    “Her water broke two hours ago, and we were trying to do this at home, but it was a bad idea,” Doug says over the phone

    “How long until you get here because I don’t know how to deliver a baby,” Doug continues. “I went to a junior college.”

    • CSN0116
      February 6, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

      That looks like a planned unassisted birth?! Fucking ridiculous. They need to stop glamorizing this shit. And a TV show is glamorzing.

      The Duggar girls are like 2 for 2 in transfers. One for stalled labor, ending in a cesarean, and another for hemorrhaging.

      • sdsures
        February 7, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

        Is there a show depicting their labours? Schadenfreude!

    • Monkey Professor for a Head
      February 6, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

      “I can’t push it back in?”

      Oh dear…

      • sdsures
        February 7, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

        “But the ketchup can be spooned back into the bottle…”

    • Susan
      February 6, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

      I so badly want to see TLC or any reality show that exploits idiots like this get their ass sued. Reprehensible.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      February 8, 2016 at 4:33 am #

      At least they had the sense to call for help when they realized that they were in over their heads. Heck, at least they had the sense to realize that they were in over their heads. That puts them ahead of a number of people. Including, apparently, the people from TLC who I suppose were just filming this poor woman and not helping in any way?

  4. Dr Kitty
    February 6, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

    Baby briefly woke at 1:30 for a feed, otherwise sleeping through to 7am.
    Of course I couldn’t sleep because I was just waiting for him to wake up.

    Seriously, easiest kid.

    • February 7, 2016 at 3:35 am #

      (I forget — this is #2 or #3?). I always tell mothers that there is only one trick to knowing how to care for an infant — have #3 first.

      I don’t really think the baby is inherently “easier”, but you are definitely a more experienced mother, and, on some level, the baby senses your attitude, and responds accordingly.

      • Dr Kitty
        February 7, 2016 at 6:53 am #

        #2. One of each, six year gap. Think I might be two and through, although my husband is pushing hard for team three and then see!

        I am more laid back with him, but I do think he is genuinely very easy. Good sleeper, good eater, smiley and social.

        • February 8, 2016 at 2:49 am #

          Your husband wants another baby? Let him get pregnant, then The third child makes a LOT of changes in the family. I had three, very close together [my age didn’t allow for long spacing], and the early years, and during their adolescence, I sometimes thought I wouldn’t survive motherhood. [Being an only child myself didn’t help]

          I think it works both ways: mother relaxed, baby relaxes. Mother uptight, nervous, baby picks up those vibes, too, and it becomes a vicious circle.

          At any rate, I’m glad for you.

          • Inmara
            February 8, 2016 at 3:00 am #

            I think that association “relaxed mom, relaxed baby” is no more than that – association, because in many cases it’s screaming and crying colicky baby that makes mother anxious. Not to mention that first time parents are a bit anxious by default, yet some have very easy babies. Experience and confidence helps, of course, and now I see that I could have been a lot more relaxed in our early weeks but see above, first time mom 🙂

          • demodocus
            February 8, 2016 at 8:31 am #

            true enough. Our first was remarkably easy-going, and DH needed to get help for his sky-high anxiety.

          • SporkParade
            February 8, 2016 at 3:34 am #

            I have noticed that the typical spacing appears to be to wait two years for the second child and then five years for the third. 🙂

          • Who?
            February 8, 2016 at 3:38 am #

            And then some go on to have number 4 another two years later-we know a couple of families who did that.

      • Michelle Singleton
        February 7, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

        My only 2 are twins. People like to say “oh I bet that was hard!” My only response is – no. Only because I don’t know any different. Sometimes I think having a single would be easier, but then maybe it would be harder. My girls were so easy. The only time I questioned my abilities to deal were when I had to move them into separate cribs because they both couldn’t fit anymore. The painting the walls with diaper contents was their protesting. I had to push their cribs together to get it to stop.

        My only “regret” (and I’m not sure that’s the right term) is that because Superman was AD and deployed from months 5 to 15, we didn’t get to give the girls the one on one time that a single would get.

        • sdsures
          February 7, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

          My sister’s kids are twins – one of each. Her first children, so she doesn’t know any different. I have no idea how she does it, but she and her husband are doing a great job!

          They didn’t do anything as vegeful as this, so far as I’m aware:

          “The painting the walls with diaper contents was their protesting. I had to push their cribs together to get it to stop.”

          • Michelle Singleton
            February 7, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

            The first time it happened I was actually on the phone with Superman. He was in Iraq and it was our weekly call so I went in so he could talk to them. Apparently my cussing like a sailor achievement was unlocked. I also cried. Of course he was laughing. This is also why they have never had finger paints. The flashbacks, man….
            They are 9 now. They haven’t done anything remotely like that since. Unless you count finding my makeup and grinding it into the new carpet when we first moved into this house when they were 2-ish.

          • sdsures
            February 7, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

            The best story I have about my niece and nephew is when they were under a year but crawling: they pulled out all the stuff from the dresser in the nursery, piled it and pillows on the floor against the door from the inside…

            AND FELL ASLEEP on the pile of stuff! LOL Sis couldn’t get in there for a while.

          • Michelle Singleton
            February 7, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

            Mine have done that with their stuffed animals. They aren’t happy that we are going to be going through everything. I’m wanting to downsize to capsule wardrobes and minimal toys. If nothing else, their growth spurts won’t cost as much… lol

          • sdsures
            February 7, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

            When a toddler hands you a banana, you always answer it!

          • Michelle Singleton
            February 7, 2016 at 3:20 pm #


          • sdsures
            February 7, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

            “Unless you count finding my makeup and grinding it into the new carpet when we first moved into this house when they were 2-ish.”

            *nearly hs asthma attack from laughter* That’s not so bad.

        • BeatriceC
          February 7, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

          My step-daughters are twins, and MrC’s only kids. However, they were in their 20’s when I met them*, so I can’t claim any experience.

          *As somebody else put it, I like my men “vintage”. MrC is 22 years older than I am, and there’s a correspondingly large age difference between our kids.

          • Michelle Singleton
            February 7, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

            My mother threw a fit when she found out Superman was 7 years older than me. I get called a cougar because the Boyfriend is 3 years younger than I am. I’m a firm believer that if you are old enough to join the military, you have every right to make a decision on your love life. (and should be allowed to drink legally but that’s a whole different bag of worms) My issue happens when the other person in the relationship is under 16. I was a sophomore at 16. If I had dated a senior that year, our relationship would have been taboo the following year. That seems silly.

          • BeatriceC
            February 7, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

            My parents are probably scandalized, but I don’t know and don’t honestly care. I cut all contact with them (and everybody else, as when I tried to maintain contact with my siblings, they gave my new contact information to my parents, so my siblings became collateral damage). About a year and a half ago my parents hired a PI to take pictures of me and the kids, in what has to be the creepiest “welfare check” ever, as the guy followed me around town for days and even parked just off campus at the kids’ schools to take pictures with a zoom lens. That was a stressful few weeks. Anyway, I’m happy, MrC is happy and the kids are happy. Everybody else can go jump in a lake if they don’t approve.

          • Michelle Singleton
            February 7, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

            What creeps! Not only that but taking pics of kids at a school (without permission from the parent) is kind of illegal. I mean when my kids were in public school we had to sign waivers that gave the staff permission (or not) to take pics of our kids. Some dude off campus with a zoom lens isn’t part of that “permission slip” thing. I’m just saying… Hell, I know of/have seen parents/grandparents who have thrown shit fits at softball games because of parents or team/league photographers were taking pictures and their Snowflake might have been in the shot. It’s always stated in the registration forms that your right to privacy ends where another parent’s right to photograph their kids begins (rough translation). They DO ask us not to share pics on social media unless it’s been ok’d by all the team parents and coaches. Which has never been an issue. I do ask permission of certain parents if I take a pic of just their child with mine. I had one parent to add me on FB and Insta so that we could add pics of each others kids and tag the other parent because of our families all being out of the area.

          • BeatriceC
            February 7, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

            Oh, that’s nowhere close to the worst things they’ve done. There’s a reason I put the three boys, the mastiff, and just what stuff I could into the Honda Civic I had at the time and disappeared in the middle of the night. Those sorts of decisions aren’t made just for the fun of it.

          • Michelle Singleton
            February 7, 2016 at 6:39 pm #


          • BeatriceC
            February 7, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

            Thanks. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I met MrC on a social site online dedicated to a mutual interest of ours, and when I got here, we discovered his house was quite literally 1 mile away from the friend’s house where I stayed for a few weeks while I got my ducks in a row. We decided that the coincidence was far too awesome and decided to meet for coffee. The rest, as they say, is history.

          • Michelle Singleton
            February 7, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

            I met the Boyfriend playing World of Warcraft. It was me, Superman, Boyfriend, and another friend that all hung out in game. We had a great group that could pretty much take on any mob. We all met in 2007. When Superman died, Boyfriend was the only person that I could yell and cry at without judgement.

            On a whim I packed the girls and I up and we went to MI to meet him in person. Been together pretty much ever since.

          • Who?
            February 7, 2016 at 6:10 pm #

            Amen to the last sentiment.

            The fact that two grown adults came up with spying on you as a way of doing anything in relation to a third grown adult shows where their heads are.

            It sounds almost like slapstick, but must have been very uncomfortable while it was happening. Did you confront the guy? Let his tyres down?

          • BeatriceC
            February 7, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

            It’s a power and control thing. I used to be terrified of being found. These days I’m obviously not. Hell, I’ve posted pictures of myself here, where anybody could find them. That’s part of me taking my life back. As for the PI, I let the police handle him. That’s how I know who he was and who hired him. That knowledge helped a few months later when MrC and I were subject to a bogus CPS investigation. We weren’t technically supposed to know who made the complaint, but the social worker’s body language when I brought up years worth of documentation and that police report said everything.

          • Who?
            February 7, 2016 at 6:30 pm #

            Sounds like the best plan. I guess if you tell the police you’re being followed, and they take an interest, that will bring things to a head pretty fast.

            The PI can only go on what his clients tell him, they must get told to back off reasonably often for just that reason.

            Same with the CPS, I suppose-they have to chase everything down, yours is a quick and easy (and happy) result for them.

          • BeatriceC
            February 7, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

            Well, the PI should know the laws and follow them. If he was getting pictures within the law, there wouldn’t have been much I could do. As for CPS, yeah. They have a job to do. It sucked for me, but they came out to the house, talked to us, then a month later sent us a “case closed-unsubstantiated report” letter.

        • Old Lady
          February 7, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

          My first are twins, I’m looking forward to having only one infant to feed/change for the upcoming baby it seems like it will be easier but I guess it really depends on the kid. I had to learn to juggle two kids right away but you adjust to that and my kids have so far not been too difficult. They slept through the night pretty quickly, ate well, never colicky, never climbed out of the crib or smeared their diapers anywhere. Maybe they’ll make up for it as teenagers.

          • Michelle Singleton
            February 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

            My girls were pretty easy (except for the poo-painting). I was actually told that talking about how easy they were made me a Sanctimommy so I needed to shut it.
            I feel the need to tell people twins aren’t that bad. Everyone expects them to be hard. When I was pregnant I just KNEW they would be born at 32-33 weeks, they would HAVE to be born by c-section because of how early they would be, that they would end up in the NICU for a month or more, and that they would have all kinds of issues. Because that’s what all the books and forums told me.
            The girls were born at 38 weeks. Although that was my decision because I couldn’t breathe and my OB said she wouldn’t induce until I was 38 weeks.
            I had a section because after 2 hours of pushing baby A got stuck. I may have wide carrying hips but a narrow “that ain’t gonna fit” pelvis.I was done.
            They didn’t need any extra help. They could have gone home in 2 days but they were waiting on me.
            The only issue they have (other than snark) is that they had to have speech therapy because they were speaking twink and I was translating.

          • Old Lady
            February 8, 2016 at 7:59 am #

            I had a easy pregnancy too, and a scheduled c section at 38 weeks since they were breach. (38 weeks for twins is what 40 is for a singleton). I was sooo ready for them to come out and they were a big, strapping 7 pounds each. Breastfeeding was the hardest, I never could get the hang of tandem feeding without help, and even with help it was hard. Then when they were mobile toddlers that was pretty hard. I remember envying singleton mothers for being able to follow their one kid around wherever and play. I had to select parks that made it easier to keep track and contain them, since they didn’t play together. They are fraternal with very different personalities so have fairly different play preferences. I’d station myself so that I could keep them both in my sigh and was very strict about not letting them trying to run off. So they learned to stay in the playground. I think their personalities had something to do with it. One is somewhat timid and well behaved anyway and the other likes to wander off but slowly so it’s not hard to catch her. Those were my biggest challenges with twins and I think I lucked out with fairly easy kids.

        • Inmara
          February 8, 2016 at 3:03 am #

          My husband is from a set of twins and they did the diaper painting while both in one crib (and painted not only walls and crib railings but each other as well). So you’re not alone…

        • SporkParade
          February 8, 2016 at 3:45 am #

          Is it wrong of me to giggle because your last name is Singleton and you had twins?

          • Michelle Singleton
            February 8, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

            No because I do too! I

        • Taysha
          February 8, 2016 at 10:58 am #

          ALL of this.

          The only thing I “regret” of my twins is I have never been able to give them the one-on-one I desperately wanted. Because they can’t stay away from each other and throw a royal fit if one gets something the other doesn’t.
          It’s a pain to get them to do their homework without bugging each other.

          • Michelle Singleton
            February 8, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

            Mine go back and forth on the sharing a room or not. Today they want to share because it leave the other room to be the playroom. I homeschool and because they learn differently and have opposite strengths (one is good at math the other at grammar) they actually help each other. Not sure how long that will last…

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        February 8, 2016 at 3:39 am #

        What’s the old joke? With the first baby you have three special thermometers dedicated to checking the temperature of the bath water which you recalibrate daily and check five times before putting the baby in (only if they agree to within 0.1 degree). With the second baby you use your elbow. With the third baby you use the baby.

        • Inmara
          February 8, 2016 at 3:57 am #

          There is another: With first baby, you wash and sterilize pacifier before each use. With second, you wash pacifier if it has fallen into dirt. With third, baby has to wrestle his pacifier from dog.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            February 8, 2016 at 4:01 am #

            My sister, who does have three, muttered a lot about allergy prevention and the benefits of exposure to dirt a lot when the third was a baby. And it’s true that he has no allergies whereas the oldest has asthma. Though since both sides of the family have heavy allergic/etopic histories, I’m not going to promise that that was anything more than luck in the game of genetic roulette.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            February 8, 2016 at 8:05 am #

            I love the hygiene hypothesis, it makes it so much easier to ignore it when I catch mini monkey licking the floor.

        • demodocus
          February 8, 2016 at 8:28 am #

          How’d i get to baby 3 before i even have baby 2? lol

    • Bugsy
      February 7, 2016 at 9:00 am #

      I’m so envious! #2 is our wild child. Well, actually not wild…but just suffering from a nice bout of colic. #1 was calm throughout his babyhood, so having a screamer is new for us.

      (That being said, we are currently vacationing in the U.S., and ironically #2 slept through the night while #1 has kept me up. I blame my lame attempts to bedshare with a 3-yr-old so that he doesn’t fall out of the hotel bed. I’m not used to waking up with feet or a butt in my face!)

      • Dr Kitty
        February 7, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

        You remind me of our first holiday (to an apartment in Spain) with #1, when she was 11 months and crawling. We stupidly decided to save luggage space and not to bring a travel cot, figuring we’d bed share or put her to sleep in one of the empty bedrooms.

        Marble floors and crawling babies are not a good fit. And one night of all three of us getting constantly woken by her wriggling was enough to stop the bed sharing.
        We ended up building her a pillow fort with duvets and pillows on the floor beside our bed and she slept on that.

      • BeatriceC
        February 7, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

        If I’d had number 2 first, he’d have been an only child.

  5. BeatriceC
    February 6, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

    OT: Bird update.

    We’ve decided that the macaw, as wonderful as she is, is just too far out of reach for us, and asking the breeder to keep her in a less than ideal environment for so long isn’t fair to the bird. We are looking at other options. I found a private person rehoming a senegal parrot, plus all his supplies for $250. We’re going to go meet him in a couple hours to see if it’s a personality match.

    • BeatriceC
      February 6, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

      And we’re getting the Senegal. The man who currently owns him needs some time to say goodbye. He’s only re-homing him because life circumstances have forced him to be away from home for 12-14 hours a day and the bird isn’t getting the attention he needs. He’s not as eye-catching as a macaw, but he’s a very sweet bird. If everything goes as planned, he’s joining our family late tomorrow afternoon.

      • Puffin
        February 6, 2016 at 11:23 pm #

        Senegals are absolutely lovely birds. Playful and funny and eager to please. Macaws are intense. When I did parrot rescue I always slightly dreaded macaws because they can be so very demanding (and damaging when they’ve not been well-socialized. I have scars.) Lovely, intelligent, captivating birds, but difficult. I’m happy with my flock where the largest is a cockatoo. Enjoy your lovely sennie!

        • BeatriceC
          February 7, 2016 at 12:00 am #

          Thanks! We already have an amazon (the previously referred to Evil Attack Parrot), but he’s MrC’s bird, no question. We also have an extremely elderly cockatiel, who pretty much sits on his perch and stares at the wall. Even when we take him out, he just flies back to his cage, lands on it (or in it) and stares at the wall. Poor bird is 25 years old, so he’s up there in years. I wanted a family friendly bird who can handle a busy, bustling house, and a macaw certainly fits the bill. I’m definitely not intimidated by the amount of work a macaw requires. But they’re just so expensive, and it’ll take us a while to save enough for one. I found this little guy on accident, and he was pretty laid back and didn’t show too many nerves when a bunch of new people showed up. I think he’ll adjust nicely. Assuming his present human doesn’t change his mind, he’ll come home with us tomorrow afternoon.

          • Puffin
            February 7, 2016 at 12:31 am #

            We also have an elderly cockatiel (bit younger, though. He’s 19) but he’s a gentle old soul that the other birds, with one exception, largely just leave to his own devices. Our cockatoo is my husband’s bird much like your amazon; he’s a sweetheart but he’s a rescue and he just hasn’t had good experiences with women so after a few months I can only just get him to step up and let me give him headrubs without lunging to bite. I hope the senegal settles in quickly. I’d love to have a senegal someday just because they tend to be such funny little birds. Congrats on the new addition. 🙂

          • Azuran
            February 7, 2016 at 9:36 am #

            wow, 25 years old. That’s old. And here I was considering my 15 years old cockatiel old XD.
            Mine has a somewhat boring life as well, sadly. I used to have a couple, they were not hand raised to they preferred to keep to themself. Sadly my little girl died of heart problem before Christmas. Since then, the old little boy has chosen is reflexion in the mirror as his new mate. He panics whenever he can’t see himself.
            My ring neck seems to have a sexual attraction to him, but the cockatiel is super scared of her so that’s going well XD.
            I have a senecal parrot as well. They are special little birds but they have they make very good family birds. They tends to be less exclusive than many other species and although they are high maintenance (as are practically all birds) they are a lot easier to care for than macaws and other huge birds. If you haven’t, you should look up Kili the senegal on youtube. He’s so good he makes my own parrot look brain damaged.

          • Gatita
            February 7, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

            What is it that makes macaws so high maintenance?

          • BeatriceC
            February 7, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

            They’re big, so they require a lot of space. They’re stubborn, so they require a firm, but gentle flock leader. They’re extremely intelligent, and are prone to bad behavior if they’re not kept entertained. They get extremely attached to their “flock”, so if you don’t give them enough attention, they can become badly behaved and very destructive. They need to eat a good diet full of fresh food, which their human has to prepare (fresh veggies, some fruits, etc). There’s probably more I’m forgetting, but those are the big reasons why they’re a lot of work.

          • Gatita
            February 7, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

            The only bird I’ve ever owned was a parakeet. He was very tame and social and I loved him. But he died of pneumonia after a year and I’ve been scared about owning birds ever since. They just seem fragile to me. Also, I now have 3 cats and I don’t intend to buy them $500 snacks.

          • BeatriceC
            February 7, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

            Keep going on the price. A well bred large parrot can be over $1000. A macaw runs from $1500-$2400, depending on the type of macaw, with the exception being hyacinth macaw, which I’ve seen for as much as $20,000, but mostly in the $10,000 range. The blue and gold I had my eye on is $1600.

          • Gatita
            February 7, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

            I googled hyacinth macaw and got this and it’s cracking me up.

          • BeatriceC
            February 7, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

            You should check out Miss Iris. She has her own Facebook page and a couple videos on Youtube. This one is my favorite.


          • sdsures
            February 7, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

            My cockatiel kept our indoor cats in their places. I only let him out of the cage in his room when the door was securely shut with the cats outside.

          • Azuran
            February 7, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

            In short, it’s basically taking care of a 3-4 years old for 40-50 years.

          • BeatriceC
            February 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

            You give them too much credit. It’s more like a 2 year old. A very bitey, destructive 2 year old. Have you ever seen a large parrot throw a temper tantrum? It’s funny and kind of sad at the same time.

          • Azuran
            February 7, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

            Actually I think I’m probably not giving the kids enough credit XD.
            But yea. And I’m gonna add very loud to the list.
            God, when my senegal parrot had his ‘teenager’ period, it was hell. It got much better, but she spent a whole year yelling none stop and actively hunting everyone down with killing intent. It was basically ‘birdemic’

          • BeatriceC
            February 7, 2016 at 3:21 pm #

            We’re pretty lucky with the Evil Attack Parrot ™. He’s an amazon, but usually pretty quiet. He’s pretty content to just play in his cage and watch the activity level of the house around him. He rarely gets mouthy, mostly just making noises that sound more like somebody muttering under their breath. Every once in a while, he gets a bug up his butt and thinks we’re not paying attention to him and starts yelling “Hi, Goofy*, Hiiiiiiii” over and over again until somebody appears in his eyesight.

            *His real name is Goofy.

          • Gatita
            February 7, 2016 at 2:26 pm #


          • Gatita
            February 7, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

            What is it that makes macaws so high maintenance?

      • Dr Kitty
        February 7, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

        Glad you seem to have got a nice new pet, and solved his re-homing issue too.

        Obviously, as the servants of a feline overlord, we are not a bird family, but I know that they are wonderful pets for those who like them and don’t have other pets who would try to eat them.

        • BeatriceC
          February 7, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

          I actually know quite a few people with birds and cats. My next door neighbor has birds and large dogs. It just depends on how they’re raised, I suppose. I’d guess that if the bird was around first, and then you brought a kitten in, the kitty would see the bird more as a family member and less as lunch, or at least could be trained that way. My favorite pairing was a little love bird and a mastiff.

          • sdsures
            February 7, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

            One of my cats was raised with 3 big dogs. He thinks he’s a dog: very loving and clingy.

          • Dr Kitty
            February 7, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

            Based on the “gifts” on my doorstep, birds, mice, rats and baby rabbits and hares are not safe from our cat. He only hunts about twice a month, and clearly for fun rather than food. Oh, and this is a cat that supposedly needs a hip surgery (we’re not entirely convinced).

            My husband is scared of birds, I don’t do rodents, reptiles or fish, and we’ve both decided that dogs are too high maintenance at present although we’d like one eventually, so a cat it is.

          • sdsures
            February 7, 2016 at 3:21 pm #

            Cats are the only carnivores that hunt for fun, to torture their prey.

          • Kerlyssa
            February 7, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

            Bullcrap. Pretty much all of the weasel family are murderous, and the bigger ones will go after cats and small dogs.

          • sdsures
            February 9, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

            Otters are pretty sadistic.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            February 8, 2016 at 4:36 am #

            Humans? Okay, not technically carnivores, but unquestionably hunt for fun.

          • sdsures
            February 9, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

            Oops, sorry. I meant to include humans in that category. Humans AND cats.

          • BeatriceC
            February 7, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

            I was actually scared of birds until I met MrC. And I was scared of birds for at least a year after I moved in with him because the Evil Attack Parrot ™ isn’t very nice to anybody but MrC. I’ve made substantial progress with him though. I can’t get him to step up on my hand, but I can get him to step up on a stick, and he’ll let me scritch his head if he’s in his cage. I spent a lot of time playing with the birds in the bird room at the bird store where MrC gets the birds’ supplies, and over time I got over my fear of birds in general.

            But yeah, sounds like a bird wouldn’t be a good fit in your house. I think kittens that go into a home where a bird already lives might be trained out of their hunting instinct for those specific birds, but cats in general probably aren’t a good fit for bringing in a new bird.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            February 7, 2016 at 4:13 pm #

            When I was growing up, one of our neighbours got several doves once. We had several outdoor cats at the time. I think they may have gotten all of them. And one of our King Charles spaniels stole one of them off the cat – absolute bloodbath, white feathers all over our garden!

        • sdsures
          February 7, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

          I lived on a farm with all kinds of animals including house birds and house panthers. The cats were more interested in the hamsters, but hamster deaths were most often caused by the little buggers escaping into the heating ducts.

        • BeatriceC
          February 7, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

          Bugger. The guy is looking like he’s changing his mind. He’s asked if we can do the change of people tomorrow now. I don’t blame him. The bird is such sweet little thing. It has to be horrible to have to give him up.

  6. Amy Tuteur, MD
    February 6, 2016 at 1:23 pm #


    So for obstructed labor, hold the mother upright, shake her up and down, then whack her on the head!

    • Sarah
      February 6, 2016 at 1:41 pm #

      Well, the outcome will probably be a lot of red stuff everywhere either way.

      • Felicitasz
        February 6, 2016 at 10:41 pm #

        Remark of the day. I am dying of repressed laughter, can’t wake the whole house. This is… thank you, Sarah.

    • Gatita
      February 6, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

      Did you make that image macro or did the dumbass midwife make it to immortalize that pearl of wisdom?

    • Azuran
      February 6, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

      I get my ketchup in plastic bottles and squeeze them. Should I also squeeze pregnant women?

    • demodocus
      February 6, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

      I use a knife

      • momofone
        February 6, 2016 at 10:41 pm #

        That’s my preference for childbirth too.

      • SporkParade
        February 8, 2016 at 3:40 am #

        I know you are referring to C-sections, but when I read that, my mind went automatically to how they treat obstructed labor in places where C-sections aren’t an option. ::shudder::

        • demodocus
          February 8, 2016 at 8:34 am #

          There is that. *shudder*

    • fiftyfifty1
      February 6, 2016 at 4:41 pm #

      I read a study about this once actually. In the end, the authors recommended 2 techniques to choose from:

      1. When time is of the essence, the fastest method is sticking something narrow (e.g. clean knife or handle of a fork etc) into the bottle to get the ketchup flowing out.
      2. The second fastest method involves tilting the bottle at a 45 deg angle and encouraging the ketchup out by gentle taps down at the neck.

      The first is rather like an instrumented delivery, no? And the second method and its 45 deg angle remind me of the semi-reclined position that many women seem to assume naturally, in a variety of settings and cultures. It’s also the most common, by far, birthing position in hospitals. Sounds like the ketchup bottle analogy is not a bad one after all…

      • BeatriceC
        February 6, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

        Ketchup is pretty deadly to me, as I have a severe tomato allergy. Pregnancy and childbirth was also pretty difficult for me, with the last one nearly killing both of us. Hmmmm, maybe there *is* more to this…

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        February 6, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

        The physics of why ketchup doesn’t come out is very well understood. The “sheer” of ketchup is a very carefully designed property.

        It’s not just about coming out of the bottle, it’s about things like sticking on the hot dog or sitting neatly in a pile for your French fries.

        Short answer: it’s nothing like an obstruction

    • sdsures
      February 7, 2016 at 2:53 pm #


      Are you sure Mommy isn’t a squeezy bottle?

  7. JJ
    February 6, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

    My intuition told me to get an elective induction and I am glad I did. My baby was 9.6 lbs and broke her collar bone coming out. I also listening to my intuition and quit BFing at 3 weeks because I did not want to poison my baby with my medication I needed to take. It is so funny though. Lots of people think she is breastfed. LOL! Also, I just read a study that early introction of milk massively decreases allergies. I am such a superior mother!

    • Azuran
      February 6, 2016 at 12:53 pm #

      With lactivists, take any random child, tell them it was breastfeed and they will go on and on about it’s superior health and intelligence.
      Take the same random kid, say it was formula fed, and suddenly the kid is visibly sickly and falling being other kids.

  8. SF Mom & Psychologist
    February 5, 2016 at 10:20 pm #

    Totally OT: a quick update about my nephew, who was born 11 days ago with mild-to-moderate HIE after a hellish, very prolonged vaginal delivery and meconium aspiration. He went home yesterday, 10 days after he was born and a week after he completed cooling therapy to minimize brain damage. He caught on to sucking/swallowing fairly quickly (it took about 5 days) and is doing well by most accounts. His MRI was favorable as well. We are all so relieved and glad he is home – he is adorable.
    I strongly suspect we will never know excactly why this happened – whether it was doctor negligance or a vaginal-delivery-no-matter-what mindset aided and abbetted by an over-zealous doula (or a combo). I do know that they rejected the vacuum because they were afraid of the bruising. My SIL and BIL aren’t really talking about it (they tend to be denial-prone anyhow) and want to forget the whole nightmare and just move forward. The NICU docs were trying to process the series of events with them at some point last week; when the issue of a C-section came up, my SIL and BIL both claimed that nobody ever mentioned a C-section (in the 55-hour labor that included 6 hours of pushing). Apparently, the NICU doc responded in some way that communicated that this was untrue or not possible. That’s as much as I think I’ll ever know. And I’m SO glad that the baby is looking strong and healthy now – we are all ready to celebrate and enjoy him.
    In my mind, the moral of this story is: having a baby born with (potentially) preventable brain damage is MUCH HARDER AND SCARIER than a c-section.

    • Gene
      February 6, 2016 at 8:17 am #

      Unless you have a massively crunchy OB (and they are rare), I’m sure a section was brought up at least obliquely. Especially if she was laboring for all 55 hours in the hospital. It’s been studied what patients and families remember during stressful discussions (bad news, etc). Even if the interaction is videotaped, patients and families still have no memory of events or discussion.

      That being said, I sincerely hope your nephew does well.

      • BeatriceC
        February 6, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

        One of my sisters did have a massively crunchy OB, and he still started pushing for a c-section after 24 hours and no progress past 6cm dilation.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        February 8, 2016 at 4:46 am #

        I’ve heard it said that if you’re delivering bad news to a patient–for example, a new and nasty diagnosis– the most important thing is to make a quick follow up appointment to really discuss what it all means, because the first time you’ll be lucky if they remember the name of the disease. It’s simply not possible to process everything you need to under that much stress.

        Clearly, that’s not possible in the setting of an obstetric emergency. Maybe part of standard OB care should be a pre-natal discussion of what could go wrong and what the options are if they do? Of course, the crunchy crowd would be all over any OB who did that for destroying the patient’s “confidence in her body” or some such.

    • Gatita
      February 6, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

      Sorry of related: I’m working an event this weekend where there are a lot of severely disabled children in attendance and let me tell you, I’d get a CS any day, any time over that. It changes the entire family’s lives forever.

      • BeatriceC
        February 6, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

        I have physically disabled kids (bad genetic roll of the dice, not anything related to their births). I love my life, but it’s not easy. I adore my kids and wouldn’t trade them for anything, but caring for them is not routine. Even their doctors wonder out loud how I keep everything together. I usually just shrug my shoulders and say “what choice do I have?” You do it or you don’t. I simply don’t understand how anybody would take a course of action that would dramatically increase the chances of having a child with disabilities when there’s such an easy alternative that will prevent it.

        If I thought then like I thought now I would have done things very, very differently. I would have done embryonic testing and IVF. Of course, I wouldn’t have the specific kids I have now, and these kids are amazing, in spite of their physical condition, but that’s the choice I’d make now.

        • Amazed
          February 6, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

          I suspect many homebirth mothers who drew the short stick share your opinion, BeatriceC. They might claim that it wasn’t homebirth, it wasn’t the midwife, it wasn’t preventable but next time they head off straight to the hospital. To me, that’s a tacit acknowledgment that hospital does make a difference.

          OT: Little Treasure is adorable. Such an easy baby this far. She only cries when there is a problem. She also seems to hate water but calms down pretty easily once she’s dry again.

          Her mom is a different story altogether, though. She keeps spiking a fever and her milk production keeps going up despite closely following the LC recommendations (close to the American LCs’ ones). She was put on antibiotics last night. I actually get the feeling that to many people, oversupply isn’t this great of a problem because the baby isn’t starving. While the baby being fed is, of course, of utmost importance, mom matters too.

          • Elizabeth A
            February 6, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

            Oversupply can be absolutely hellish. So sorry.

            Congratulations on the darling, easy baby. Enjoy her!

          • Amazed
            February 6, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

            Thanks! I am truly enjoying her. And she’s enjoying everyone who pays attention to her. She sleeps well and everything. As to her mom, putting her to one breast per feeding sounds good. Problem is, while she’s at the breast, the other breast leaks so furiously that she gets wet all the way through her clothes, right to her diaper. It just doesn’t work.

            Treasure is very funny when she tries to feed from me or anyone holding her. She cries, sniffs us, realizes there’s no milk to be hand and calms down. Then she tries again – perhaps the milk has come? She needs to ceck!

          • StephanieA
            February 6, 2016 at 11:04 pm #

            Why does everyone else get babies that sleep?? I’m 0/2.

          • Bugsy
            February 7, 2016 at 9:15 am #

            My #2 is right there with you…a very colicky little dude. Breaks my heart.

          • Squillo
            February 7, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

            I’m with you, 0/2. #1 didn’t sleep for more than a year, #2 was 3 before she slept through the night once. (Had her tonsils taken out because we finally figured out she had sleep apnea due to enlarged tonsils.)

        • Gatita
          February 6, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

          Yes, the love the parents have for their kids comes through but it’s so. damned. hard. Just getting out of the house when you have a non-verbal teen in diapers is a struggle.

          • BeatriceC
            February 6, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

            It sounds horrible, but I’m grateful every day that my boys’ disabilities are “only” physical and not intellectual. I have tons of respect for parents who love and care for children who have intellectual disabilities. I don’t know if I could do it.

  9. Amy
    February 5, 2016 at 6:58 pm #

    Okay, true, I was born at the end of the 70s, but my mom exclusively breastfed me and my sisters. In my case, until about 18 months. And SHE was breastfed. As were my own children.

    However… mom’s mother was a chain smoker. My mom was exclusively breastfed by a chain smoker, who smoked throughout all seven of her pregnancies, and my mom and her siblings grew up in a house full of secondhand smoke from Grandma’s cigarettes and Granddad’s pipes.

  10. Dr Kitty
    February 5, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    #2 has been asleep in his cot, in his own room for the last hour… No longer co-sleeping! So happy to have our bedroom back, even if it means weeks of broken sleep.

    Also, weirdly, his cradle cap and the seborrhoeic eczema on his forehead and eyebrows disappeared within 48hrs of him eating gluten and cow’s milk for the first time, and in the 24hr window between me ordering an expensive anti fungal shampoo off Amazon and it arriving. Correlation does not equal causation, clearly.

    • demodocus
      February 5, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

      lol, that figures about the skin issues.

    • Rachele Willoughby
      February 5, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

      But, in this case, it *definitely* cleared up because you’d already ordered the shampoo.

    • Bugsy
      February 5, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

      But it does fit in with Murphy’s Law…

  11. Marie
    February 5, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

    My intuition told me that I should have a maternal request c-section after 5 previous traumatic losses. I had a meaningful, low-stress birth and my baby is healthy and very bonded to me. What would the NCBers say to that?

    • Bugsy
      February 6, 2016 at 9:15 am #

      There, there. You’re obviously suffering from birth-related PTSD and don’t know what a healthy, bonded infant is.

      Not my feelings at all…glad everything went well and you have a healthy little one to cuddle!

    • Anna
      February 6, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

      Oh God. You’ve been through so much and probably viewed the c-section procedure from an entirely different point of view. Most first-time mothers simply do not know what it’s like losing a baby. They fear for themselves, that’s our basic instinct for survival. And with this NCB propaganda making vaginal birth appear SO much safer… They don’t want to think twice. Like in the comment above from SF Mom & Psychologist. I think your birth was VERY meaningful and beautiful.

  12. The Bofa on the Sofa
    February 5, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

    OT: I just found that there is a disqus killfile for Chrome that works here (there is also a Firefox add-on, but I haven’t tried it).

    In case you were wondering.

    Then again, if you killfile the loonies here, what’s the fun?

  13. Anne Catherine
    February 5, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

    Yeah –I thought that Ms Minchin’s theory on allergies caused by formula showing up 2 generations later seemed a little far fetched too. She admits she doesn’t have any evidence for it. I tired to be respectful to her in the comments—just for the sake of being nice.

    I missed the part where she said she had her doubts about the MD’s story… That’s pretty horrible.

    I just don’t get these lactivists. Dr Stuebe’s article really wasn’t the greatest. It’s like they want to sweep the problem of insufficient milk supply under the rug–She admits it happens, and knows it can be tough on women and babies, but then says stuff like we would need to supplement (which really harms babies, you know) 1000 babies to save one kid from the dehydration— which is total crap.

    In addition she won’t change her post to say that Dr Castillo DID see lactation consultants early on–who –by not noticing that there was a problem, contributed to it. I think that a lot of these dehydration cases are because the LC’s tell them to trust their bodies and that there is enough milk…and make women not trust their intuition that their baby is hungry!

    How ANYONE can have a problem with the petition Dr Castillo-Heygl’s petition and going public with her story is way beyond me. Kathy Detwyller said in Dr. Castillo’s blog that she was ‘fearmongering’ by telling her story.

    Ugh. I’ve been trying to get the possibility (not enough milk) that this can happen (as well as the truth on the benefits) into breastfeeding promotion for years now by writing emails and making phone calls to the powers that be– –and pretty much all I have gotten is pushback and denials even though the evidence is so clear. I have accomplished nothing and got fired from my job at WIC in the process!!!

    Thank you, I just had to rant a little….

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      February 5, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

      Yeah –I thought that Ms Minchin’s theory on allergies caused by formula showing up 2 generations later seemed a little far fetched too. She admits she doesn’t have any evidence for it.

      — Sybill Trelawney being questioned by Dolores Umbridge.

      Dolores Umbridge: “And you are a great-great-granddaughter of the celebrated seer Cassandra Trelawney?”

      Trelawney: “Yes.”

      Dolores Umbridge: “But I think – correct me if I am mistaken – that you are the first in your family since Cassandra to be possessed of the Second Sight?”

      Trelawney: “These things often skip – er – three generations.”

    • Roadstergal
      February 5, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

      Yeah, the ‘formula causes allergies’ is clearly bunk if you just look at formula use vs allergies in the US.

      The more I hear about the EBFers, the more I wonder if EBFing isn’t contributing to some extent, actually. :p There is some decent preliminary data showing that exposure to certain foodstuffs early in life lowers the incidence of allergy, so the push to only let breast milk pass the lips of babies for a year or more – how can that be good?

      • Megan
        February 5, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

        The discordant sibling study would agree with you.

      • Anne Catherine
        February 5, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

        I think so too —The gut biome studies find more diversity in formula fed babies (although they don’t come up with this conclusion –formula is always bad, of course). And a few studies find more eczema, asthma and food allergies in BF babies.

        I grew up in the 60’s when everyone fomula fed and were fed solids at about 2 weeks. There wasn’t much asthma and I know of no one with a food allergy.

        Biome studies
        Food Allergies
        Sibling study

        Sorry if you are getting reruns!!!–I posted this on the ABM blog too.

        • CSN0116
          February 5, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

          From my experience, hard core EBF goes hand in hand with hyper surveillance parenting. So not letting the kid crawl off a blanket, overuse of Purel, not roaming public places, eating far too long to introduce food and when it is introduced it’s very limited. IMO this cluster of commonalities could be influencing these phenomena.

          Oh and I firmly believe intolerance is noted BY PARENTS as “allergy” rather frequently. Or a child will be lactose intolerant as a newborn but parents never retest and go into grade school citing said allergy (for example).

          • Sean Jungian
            February 6, 2016 at 12:48 am #

            I tried to like this twice lol.

          • February 6, 2016 at 4:35 am #

            I wonder if anyone has investigated the prevalence of OCD with this sort of parent.

          • Anne Catherine
            February 6, 2016 at 8:32 am #

            This makes good sense–and it is possible that women with allergies are under the impression that breastfeeding can prevent them, so they breastfeed longer… –(I think some studies do take that into account, though)

          • February 6, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

            My anecdotal story – my son wallowed in dirt. We had a tiny, grubby house you couldn’t clean properly, and we let him play I’m dirt and rocks and whatever, and eat whatever he wanted within reason. He’s 5 and isn’t allergic to anything and hardly ever gets sick. YMMV.

        • Inmara
          February 6, 2016 at 3:53 am #

          Thanks, very useful links!

      • Inmara
        February 6, 2016 at 3:52 am #

        Can someone create a nice graph using data of allergy occurence and breastfeeding initiation rate in last decades? I suspect that it would create something similar to famous “consumption of organic foods/number of children with autism” graph.

      • February 6, 2016 at 4:33 am #

        In my career, which began in 1967 and officially ended in 2013, the issue of when to begin solids and what sort, has gone through many changes, from beginning cereal and fruit at three months to no solids at all until one year, or six months, now I think some authorities are saying 4 months is OK for cereal but now one is supposed to give veggies before fruit, and so on.

        Sometimes I think, how about asking the kid? Or at least, looking at him? My oldest was ready for steak sandwiches at 3 months, with my middle child, we had to pry her lips apart at one year to get a spoon between them. The youngest just smiled and took whatever was on offer.

        While my oldest was sucking up 250 cc of formula (supplemental to BF) every two hours, and downing large helpings of cereal and fruit, the baby in the apartment across the corridor, whose birth weight, and weight at one year, was identical to that of my son, would happily sleep for 4 hours after a 50 cc feed and didn’t see a spoon until after his first birthday.

        Conclusion: it’s all about common sense. I look at a glass of water and gain a kilo; hated those (invariably thin) co-workers who ate massive amounts of food and never gained a gram. Why should babies be any different? Most babies stop eating when they are full (although they can be taught to overeat), no matter how much or little that is. And some babies crave something more substantial than milk early on, others don’t. It doesn’t take a PhD to understand that.

        • demodocus
          February 6, 2016 at 11:31 am #

          Nobody told my son he was supposed to eat veggies first, or wait until he was actually 4 months old. He was *definitely* trying to steal my apple the week before that. Now to convince him that 3 or 4 apples and oranges a day are bad for 2 year old intestines.

          • BeatriceC
            February 6, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

            My youngest could consume an entire large watermelon at a sitting when he was a toddler if I wasn’t paying attention. Middle kid had (and still has) a think for blueberries. Blueberry poop is kind of scary looking.

          • Dinolindor
            February 6, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

            A child-free friend of mine found a rather pure brown blob on my coat the other night and picked it off for me before her eyes widened in fear of what she may have touched. I quickly assured her it had to be chocolate, not poop. How could I be so sure? My children live for blueberries.

          • Rachele Willoughby
            February 7, 2016 at 9:31 am #

            My youngest daughter’s first food was the chocolate cake she stole a handful of while I was blowing out my birthday candles.

        • BeatriceC
          February 6, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

          Your oldest sounds like my middle. That kid eats everything that stops in front of him long enough for him to get a fork into it. It’s astounding how much he eats*. Oldest eats more normally, and youngest eats like a bird.

          I think it’s funny that a lot of AP/NCB/Crunchy types are all about following the baby’s cues until it disagrees with their opinions, and introducing solids is another place where they fail at that.

          *This is the kid who figure skates, dances ballet, and plays high school football. He walks/runs everywhere (even though he has the option to take the bus) and plays pick up basketball with his friends as often as possible. Currently he’s on a cross country ski trip with his girlfriend’s family. Oh, and he’s still growing. While he consumes an eye-popping amount of food, he needs all the calories he can get to fuel his activity level. Even as a baby his activity level was on the high to extreme side for his age. His brothers were much easier.

        • Nick Sanders
          February 6, 2016 at 7:53 pm #

          I’m sorry, but no baby of mine is going to be getting steak sandwiches at 3 months. Why waste good steak on someone who isn’t even going to remember it?

      • Bugsy
        February 6, 2016 at 9:18 am #

        The kid I knew who was EBF the longest was, according to his mother, allergic to GMOs. (Yeah, I know, I know..) So that would, in fact, agree with your thoughts…

      • StephanieA
        February 6, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

        My friend’s son was EBF for 2 years and has severe peanut and egg allergies. I have no idea if they’re related to breastfeeding or not.

        • Inmara
          February 7, 2016 at 1:22 am #

          Latest research shows that delayed introduction of potential allergens in child’s diet is associated with increased allergy risk.

        • demodocus
          February 7, 2016 at 8:24 am #

          I wish they had a better term than EBF for toddlers. ’cause if your 20 month old still hasn’t had solids, he must be having a _lot_ of milk.

    • Amazed
      February 6, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

      I wonder how a LC could miss such an obvious problem. I mean, my niece was discharged 2 days later than expected due to being mildly jaundiced and when I saw her picture from that day, she looked so obviously miserable and unwell, poor kitten. And she’s a healthy, well-nourished baby. How a LC could not notice a starving baby is beyond me. Isn’t this their supposed area of expertise? The same goes about the pediatrician.

    • February 6, 2016 at 7:35 pm #

      Yes, god forbid someone share a story that differs from the party line. What terrible bullies, saying that things don’t always work just perfect…

    • Nick Sanders
      February 6, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

      but then says stuff like we would need to supplement (which really harms babies, you know) 1000 babies to save one kid from the dehydration

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought dehydration wasn’t the main problem, hunger and sometimes malnutrition were. If so, isn’t that poo-pooing it for not doing something it wasn’t meant to do in the first place?

      • Dinolindor
        February 6, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

        I believe in the early days it is primarily about dehydration – at least, that was the wake up call for us. We realized my son wasn’t getting like any milk based on signs of dehydration at about 4-5 days old. (And once we found out that’s what those weirdly colored things in his diaper meant, you bet your ass we used formula. Drove through a freaking blizzard at 3am for the only 24 hour store around – because all the breast is best/breastfeeding is easy for good mothers nonsense left me thinking I had no need for a Plan B and had zero bottle feeding/formula supplies.)

        • Nick Sanders
          February 6, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

          Thank you for telling me.

  14. Old Lady
    February 5, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

    OT: I’ve been encouraged to ask for all your expertise with combo feeding my baby due this March. This is my second pregnancy, hopefully a VBAC but not overly concerned about c-sections. My last twin pregnancy went great other that being breech so I had a scheduled c-section and it all went really great, my birth was overall very great. I did swallow the woo a bit and went in thinking if I just tried hard enough that breastfeeding would eventually work. And it did, to an extent. I combo fed until they were about 5 months or so, the exact timing is foggy in my mind. I never could make enough and I had latching issues. At most I ever seemed to pump was 2ounces. I did really enjoy the act of breastfeeding when I wasn’t stressing over it and I would like to do it again with this little one on the way. Only one thankfully! However I want to have it be a more relaxed experience so I can focus on the new baby AND my preschooler twins. I am a SAHM but I don’t want to spend all my time focused on breastfeeding. So I’ve made some rules for myself and I’m hoping it doesn’t sabotage my ability to breastfeed like they tell me it will. 1)no pumping! At least on the regular. I hated it, got very little from it and found it stressful 2) I’d like to supplement right away either topping off or alternating so I don’t go crazy worrying about my baby getting enough food while I wait for my milk to come in. 3) bottles will be used, and pacifiers if I so wish.

    It’s possible things will go better this time since I’m only feeding one baby but I have a feeling I may just not be biologically able to make a great deal of milk. (1. I never pumped much and 2. Breasts never grew although they look normal otherwise) We’ll see if it is enough I guess. Other problems with latch even with the nipple shield (I have flattish nipples I guess? That’s what the LC said) although that also may have been due to tandem feeding. I’d latch one on and then the processes of latching the other I’d lose the latch with the first. Eventually I gave up and would breastfeed one while bottle feeding the other but they were just done with breastfeeding shortly after that. It’s also possible that I sabotaged my ability to make milk in some way. I went back to work after 2 months, at night, thinking I’d nap while they were napping in the day, but then they went ahead and consolidated their sleep and were only waking twice a night then once pretty quickly. I ended up leaving work because we couldn’t afford daycare for two and I was literally going crazy from lack of sleep. Or maybe it was not pumping enough, using the breastshield, pacifier or dropping a night feed early on.

    Sorry for the information overload but it’s hard to find info on how to combo feed! I’ve had to extrapolate mostly from EFF info or EBB info.

    • Megan
      February 5, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

      My plan is just to breastfeed when I can and supplement when baby seems hungry and I can’t (or just did). My story is very similar to yours except I did not have twins my first pregnancy. I definitely plan to have hubby give at least one relief bottle a day, probably in the evening, so I can spend time with my older daughter. I am with you on the no pumping and supplementing from the start. If I end up making enough milk and it comes easily I’ll stop the supplements. I think it’s difficult to have an exact plan. A lot depends on how well. Aby latches and when/if my milk comes in.

      • Old Lady
        February 6, 2016 at 8:19 am #

        I’m really hoping that by being more relaxed and getting more sleep and not having to work nights will help me with supply and it’s not a biological problem but as much as they love telling you why you should breastfeed there is madingly little research done on why women have trouble and what actually helps. As it is we only have what knowledge the midwives (and now LC’s) have passed down but that isn’t very scientific. I’m due in the latter half of March. So you’ve picked out a name already?

        • Megan
          February 6, 2016 at 9:16 am #

          It really bothers me how little research there is about the prevalence of and reasons for breastfeeding problems. They always just say it’s about education and support but that simply cannot explain all breastfeeding difficulty, especially for those of us who had good support and had difficulties anyway. I did just read a very interesting study about genetic markers in breast tissue for insulin resistance and poor supply and I suspect this is a huge cause that is overlooked. I have PCOS and I know insulin resistance has always been an issue for me, even in high school when I was very thin. Anyway, I also had some bad circumstances surrounding my last delivery that I’m sure did not make breastfeeding easier (postpartum hemorrhage, latch issues, prolonged labor and CS) but I’m sure there are organic issues as well. I’m just not going to try that hard to breastfeed this time. My daughter thrived on formula and if difficulties arise, I’m sure this baby will too. If it works, great; if it doesn’t, oh well.

          I am due 3/31, though I don’t think I’ll get that far with my blood pressure issues. I’m thinking somewhere between 3/17 and 3/24 is more likely. We keep going back and forth on names. Hopefully we’ll figure it out by the time the little lady arrives! Best of luck to you! I’m sure you will find a combo feeding method that works for you.

          • Old Lady
            February 7, 2016 at 8:38 am #

            Thanks! I’m getting some really helpful comments and I’m feeling better prepared already for combo feeding! Still a little nervous about the VBAC but I’ve never been in labor so is the most unknown part of my upcoming parenting experience. I have only the one potential IGT marker plus the experience with the the twins so it’s by no means certain that I can’t. I didn’t have any other pregnancy issues either, so far *fingers crossed*, and I got pregnant right away both times much to my surprise, since I am in my later 30’s I was under the impression that i would have a hard time. We have the plan on bringing in a handful of names to the hospital and waiting till we meet her for the final decision although I am having trouble letting go of names and our list is at 9 names! Oh well, not worried that I will be able to pick a name when the time comes. Good luck to you too!

    • Megan
      February 5, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

      When are you due, btw? I’m due in March too!

    • Adelaide
      February 5, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

      It sounds like you have a great plan. Honestly, it sounds like you have an amazingly balanced mindset going in, and that will without a doubt bare fruit regardless of how you feed your baby. Seriously, you should be the one giving advise to others.

      I’m not a doctor or lactation consultant or anything, but I’ve done a lot of breastfeeding and helped a lot of other women with breastfeeding (and formula feeding). It has been my experience both for myself and for most (but NOT ALL) of the other women I’ve helped, that breastfeeding regularly (regardless of if it is exclusive) will maintain your ability to breastfeed at that level.

      I often remind families (cause sometimes the husbands need to hear it too) that the same people preaching “you’ll lose your supply,” also preach extended breastfeeding that often is only a few times per 24 hours. Figure out what works for you and try to be somewhat consistent. If it turns out that you are one of the ladies whose supply slowly drops off overtime make peace with it and pat yourself on the back for doing what was best for you and your family. Don’t waste your energy worrying about sabotaging yourself.

    • BeatriceC
      February 5, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

      I agree that it sounds like you have a good mind set going on. The one thing I always like to remind new mothers: happy mother=happy baby (mostly). If you’re miserable, your baby will sense it and often times act out. It’s more important that you spend time snuggling with him, playing with all three kids, and actually tending to his needs rather than trying to kill yourself attempting to feed him in one particular way that has no statistically significant benefit in developed countries.

      • StephanieA
        February 6, 2016 at 11:13 pm #

        Isn’t that the the truth. I was a wreck with my first (had PPD that I didn’t get help for right away), and he was what you would call a high maintenance baby- fussy, restless, etc. Sometimes I feel bad, that if I had calmed down he would’ve been more relaxed, but what do you do?

        • BeatriceC
          February 7, 2016 at 12:04 am #

          You learn from experience, and realize babies are pretty resilient little creatures, and they’ll bounce back from most of our mistakes without and horrible consequences. Then you forgive yourself for not being perfect and enjoy your kids as much as possible (when you don’t want to throttle them for being brats).

    • Brooke
      February 5, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

      Have you read any books about breastfeeding or spoken with a pediatrician about supplementing with formula? There are a lot of common misperceptions in this comment. The only place I’ve seen with advice on supplementing are formula websites and it’s largely inaccurate information anyways.

      • Old Lady
        February 5, 2016 at 8:38 pm #

        Tons and certainly not helpful with their focus on breast is best and rigid dogma. If I were to follow their advice I wouldn’t bother breastfeeding again at all. And I saw a really helpful LC who was very supportive of my supplementing and helped me figure out how to best feed the twins. Their pediatrician doesn’t care how they were fed as long as they were growing and healthy.

    • Poogles
      February 5, 2016 at 8:19 pm #

      Please ignore anything Brooke has to say on the topic – or pretty much any topic, based on her comments here.

      • Old Lady
        February 5, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

        I’ve been lurking a bit before commenting so I’m aware of Brooke, but hers is a pretty hilarious post. Thanks for the heads up.

    • Inmara
      February 6, 2016 at 4:05 am #

      From my POV, you have to figure out optimal supplementation mode – either topping up after each feed or having a full feeding of formula in between. This is something I should have had discussed with reliable LC because I suspect that topping-up method contributed to baby’s nursing strike at 3 months (he disliked the unpredictable flow of breastmilk as opposed to bottle; if he would have had bottle only 2-3 times a day maby it wouldn’t have been a problem). From that point on, I switched to 4 (and later less) pumpings a day and 3 night feedings which then were reduced to 2 and finally one until I dropped breastfeeding for good. Maybe my (insufficient) supply would have been diminishing anyway but switching from nursing to pumping affected that obviously.

      I agree that there is so little information about combo feeding! ” Give a breast and then top up with formula” is almost all that’s out there (and that’s what our pediatrician said too), not to even mention judgy articles about combo feeding in majority of breastfeeding advice sites (which mostly are concerned about avoiding bottle and thus suggesting several alternatives, all complicated and time-consuming).

      • Old Lady
        February 6, 2016 at 7:45 am #

        Yes this is the sort of information I need. We did top off with the twins but that meant waking them up usually after trying to breastfeed for half an hour (I think, I’m fuzzy on the details anymore). I think if this one falls asleep and I don’t think she ate enough I’ll just alternate feed. I’ve also read it suggested off the Internet to formula feed first so that baby isn’t ravenous and angry while trying to breastfeed. It makes some kind of sense but it’s hard for me to figure how that would work out, baby can’t eat till full so I’d have to feel sure about how they were getting and how much they needed.

        • An Actual Attorney
          February 6, 2016 at 9:59 am #

          I had to do that with Actual Kid. Gave him maybe half an ounce to am ounce, tried boob. Repeat as needed. The tiny ready to feed bottles were great for that.

        • CharlotteB
          February 6, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

          I combo-fed for 10+ months.

          In the first 8 (ish) weeks, I’d feed 15-20 mins one side, 15-20 mins the other, than 2oz (ish) formula. I was also using a nipple shield at this point, plus pacifier, and 2 (maybe 3?) different bottles. My son never had nipple confusion, and my completely unscientific opinion is that all the variety meant he wasn’t picky.

          After 8 weeks or so, I stopped using the shield, but he also needed to eat more formula, so other than the first feed of the day, he’d do 4 oz bottles. (I think. Hard to remember.) He also drastically reduced the amount of time spent per boob–around month 9/10 it was down to a minute or two.

          Somebody above recommended a hand pump–that thing was awesome. While I never ever want to pump again, I think having some kind of pump would be handy to relieve engorgement if nothing else.

          I think the other things that helped me continue was that I was fully aware that I was doing it because I wanted to, not because I needed too. Also, after the first few emotional weeks, I gave up thinking of it as supplementing, which to me meant that I was hoping to get to EBF, and rather embraced the whole combo-feeding thing and I just stopped worrying about supply. I flirted with the teas and whatnot, but quit after a while. I *did* use nursing as an excuse to drink a dark beer everyday but that was more about me loving stout, haha.

          I think having a routine for the feeding is good too–in my case, baby was never really happy with just the boob (except for first AM feed, sometimes) so every feeding was pretty much both nursing and bottle. BUT when my husband was home or in-laws/family were around, it was great because I’d nurse, then hand him off for somebody to give him the bottle. Seriously the best of both worlds.

          I also was very, very uncomfortable nursing in public. Giant boobs + nipple shield meant that it required a lot of fiddling, making it hard to do discretely, plus little dude never learned to nurse under a cover or blanket. In order for me to nurse, I pretty much had to position myself and baby *just so*–I was never able to just whip out a boob. So, again, combo-feeding was amazing since I could, you know, leave the house.

          Near the end I was only nursing at 1x a night (for 1-2 mins?) so I figured weaning wouldn’t be painful. I’d never really leaked and my (already giant) boobs didn’t get bigger, and I figured since I’d had supply issues it wouldn’t hurt. So I just stopped–uh, that hurt, but only for a couple of days.

          I wish there was more info out there on combo-feeding. I really felt like I was flying blind, especially after I decided that I wasn’t trying to up the supply so I could EBF. Most supplementing info I did find had the assumption that it was a very temporary thing.

          I also tried the formula first thing, but had a hard time knowing when to stop. My boobs never really felt empty, so having a time limit really helped me. My son’s ped. said that if he was nursing actively for 15-20mins, it was likely he’d drained the breast.

          Note: I know that technically your breasts are never completely empty. For reasons I don’t understand, I couldn’t emotionally handle baby being latched for more than about 20mins/side, so giving him full feeds every 2-3 hours worked for me. He slept long periods at night from a fairly early age, so I figured he was just tanking up during the day. The idea of a “quick snack” here or there made my skin crawl, but sitting down, nursing + bottle was fine.

          I also found it hard to manage boob+bottle+solids, just because it felt like I was juggling too many different kinds of food. I did come up with some kind of system for that, but I honestly don’t remember that well.

          • Inmara
            February 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

            I loved the flexibility of combo feeding and being able to leave house for longer than 2-3 hours! In the beginning of supplementing (from 3 weeks) it was a bit annoying that feedings took forever (30 min nursing then 20 min bottle) but after a while it got better. I delegated some feedings to dear husband too, the best deal of it was early morning feed (around 3-4 AM) which he took over when I was sleep deprived and miserable; somehow it’s six months already, baby is having only one night feeding and it’s still DH’s responsibility.

        • Inmara
          February 6, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

          Feeding formula first and nursing after can work indeed – I used it for a period of time when baby was fussing and refused to latch during the day. After a while you will have a good estimation of how much formula you need (if you’ll need it at all) before switching to breast. This approach is useful when nursing baby to sleep – bottle first to take off hunger and then baby gradually suckles while falls asleep, without worries that he’ll be up and hungry after an hour again.

    • JJ
      February 6, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

      When I combo fed I used bottles during the day and BF at night because that was easiest for my life. I did quit at 3 weeks though because I started having postpartum anxiety and needed meds.

    • cookiebaker
      February 6, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

      When I combo fed, I’d nurse both sides, then evaluate the baby. Does he still seem hungry? Frantic? Chewing fists? Crying? If so, I’d top off with as much formula as he wanted. If baby came off the breast “milk drunk,” sleepy, calm, and uninterested in sucking on anything, then I wouldn’t offer a top up. Sometimes offering a pacifier helped to make the decision before prepping the bottle. If he was still hungry, he’d suck on the paci like a lifeline. If he wasn’t hungry, he wouldn’t even hold it in his mouth, or he’d suck on it halfheartedly, often letting it fall out of his mouth.

      Another combo feeding strategy was finishing at the breast. Give 1-2 oz of formula from a bottle at the beginning of the feed to satiate initial hunger pains, then let baby nurse at breast as long as they needed. It helps a frantic baby calm down or a poor nurser you’ve been fighting with, have a more positive association of nursing.

      I have 6 kids: 2 were “never a drop of formula” EBF, 2 were combo fed, and 2 were spectacular breastfeeding failures and subsequently formula fed. So I’ve been all over the place with baby feeding.

      • Krista
        February 6, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

        I combo fed after returning to school when my daughter was about 6 months old. I tried pumping, but I hated it. I found it to be such a hassle. Supply wasn’t the issue, I just didn’t like it. So she had formula during the day when I was at school and I nursed her in the morning, evening and on weekends. This didn’t decrease my supply at all, though there were some embarrassing leaking incidents in class. It worked great for us and then I weaned at around a year. I can’t stand the attitude that it has to be this all or nothing proposal.

    • Anion
      February 6, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

      I’m not sure I can *help,* but I can tell you that after having a very hard time breastfeeding my first (gave up at about three weeks, for several reasons), I found it very easy and enjoyable with my second. My second also had one formula bottle a day, in the evening, so my husband could feed her while I made dinner and I got a bit of a break.

      Second Daughter (I will refer to her as SD) was a very cuddly baby, in that she always wanted to be held. I spent most of the day on the couch with her; she was plunked on her Boppie pillow (an amazing item, IMO, and I highly recommend getting one if you want to breastfeed and don’t already have one) so she was right at breast height, and it was very simple to let her nurse while I watched TV. Getting her to latch was much easier than it was with the first, too, maybe because I’d done it before? I don’t know, but we didn’t have any trouble with feeding and establishing a supply and all.

      As for the bottle…we used those Avent bottles. I can’t say for sure that they made a difference, but I do know she refused to use any other kind (whereas our first refused the Avents), so it’s possible that the Avent nipples really do mimic the breast as well as they claim to. We had zero problems with “nipple confusion” or anything like it. (I also know you said no pumping, but I found the Avent pump helpful if SD wasn’t hungry and I was engorged, or if I was away from her, or simply if I wanted to have a bottle or two stored in the freezer for if we were going out and I knew she’d be hungry. I did use it once or twice just to check my supply, too, basically–it was reassuring early on to see that I was actually producing, and although some people claim that hand-expressing is best I could never get more than a few drops that way. It was a fairly inexpensive, easy-to-use little handpump. So if you decide at some point that you do want to try a pump, again, I recommend that one. The added bonus was I could pump directly into a bottle and plunk the bottle directly into the fridge/freezer. I’m not trying to sell you on a pump or make you change your mind, honest, I’m just throwing it out there. Oh, and I thawed/warmed bottles by holding them between my thighs while I sat in the car on the way to wherever we were going.)

      She was pretty much exclusively breastfed for those first two weeks; I don’t know if or how much that helped as far as being able to establish supply and supplement later, but there you go.

      My big thing when SD was born was not to put pressure on myself about breastfeeding. I decided I’d do it for two weeks, because I was fairly certain that I could handle it for two weeks, and at the end of that time I’d see if I wanted to keep going. After those first two weeks I decided to do one more week. Then I went for six weeks total, then two months, and at that point it was so easy and I was so happy doing it that we just kept going (she ended up nursing for 17 months). I honestly think that having “permission” to quit and a solid goal helped me a lot, and so did the one supplemental bottle.

      I only had one toddler when SD was born, and she was in a preschool program, so I’m not sure how much of my experience will be useful. But I can tell you that supplementing, or switching between bottle and breast, is absolutely possible. IMO I had the best of both worlds there: lots of cuddly nursing time, but also a chance to put the baby down and let someone else feed her for a while.

      Anyway. Again, not sure how helpful that is, but hopefully it’s at least a little reassuring. Best of luck to you!

      • Old Lady
        February 6, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

        Thank you! And yes, that was absolutely helpful. With parenting especially, I’ve never found “this is what to do” type advice very helpful, I prefer personal stories or a variety of choices x can help z in y situation that allows me to figure out on my own what might work for our family. It’s not possible ahead of time to know exactly how things will go down either and it’s nice to know of a range of things to try ahead of time instead of researching it as it comes up. But that’s sort of my personality, I research the hell out of things and just wing it off of that info when the time comes. Mostly. I will get a hand pump as I could see myself using it occasionally or maybe the first week but the feed every two hours and pump in between method is not sustainable for me this time around and I think getting sleep will do more for my supply. my supply did drop off super quickly when they went on nursing strike and I wasn’t about to force them to breastfeed, it felt like all sorts of wrong to me. So exclusive pumping didn’t even last a month. The main thing is I don’t really care about her getting breastmilk, I just want to have the experience of nursing her if I can. Thanks for the bottle tip too, I was thinking I would get that brand of natural bottle.

      • Adelaide
        February 6, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

        This! This! This!

      • demodocus
        February 7, 2016 at 8:30 am #

        Kid 1 hated those avent bottles. ‘Parently even tiny people have random preferences. Kid 2 is 21 weeks along, so alls i know is that she objects to sneezing attacks

        • Anion
          February 7, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

          Lol. But they’re so adorable when they sneeze!

          & yep, my Kid 1 hated them, too, but she was also not a fan of the breast. It’s fascinating how they have “opinions” from birth.

          Congrats on your beautiful baby!!

          • demodocus
            February 7, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

            Not her sneeze attacks, Mine. The mad flurry whenever i do is fairly expressive, lol

        • BeatriceC
          February 7, 2016 at 10:12 pm #

          My kid two would eat from anything that stayed near him long enough for him to get it in his mouth. He’s still like that*. Kid three wouldn’t eat from anything other than the Platex bottles with the collapsable plastic liners.

          *Here’s kid 2 about two years ago. This is pretty much what he does if he’s not dancing/skating/running/playing football. The worst part about this is that it isn’t even our house. We were at a friend’s house.

  15. The Bofa on the Sofa
    February 5, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

    I have mentioned many times that the “Use your intuition, it’s usually right” advice is among the worst things to find in parenting books.

    Not because it’s wrong. In fact, it is often if not usually, true.

    The problem is that it goes too far. It has come to the point of, “Use your intuition, it’s usually right and everything else is wrong.

    And that’s where it fails, when you use your “intuition” as a basis for criticizing others.

    For example, how does the “intuition” crowd respond to someone who says, “Well, yeah? My intuition tells me that formula feeding is going to be better in our situation” You think all the crunchy intuitives are going to shower you with affirmation?

    Oh no, not at all. No, your intuition isn’t acceptable, because it contradicts theirs. And it is contrary to all the made up scientific support they invent.

    Sorry, if “use your intuition, it usually is right” applies, it applies to everyone and their intuition, too.

    My usual example about “intuition” and whatnot is when my wife was working when our older was a few months old. She’d work and I’d stay home, I’d work and she’d stay home, etc. In talking about it, it became clear that over time, we did things differently. How we fed him, what we fed him, routines, all of it. In the end, we each did what worked for us, according to our “intuitiion.” And neither of us expected the other to change, because although we did it different, neither of us did it wrong. For both of us, our “intuition” was right, despite the fact that it led us to doing things differently

    • Roadstergal
      February 5, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

      I think Seth Mnookin put it well in The Panic Virus. Telling you to trust your intuition is good for these sort of ‘no right answer’ things like ‘what is the right curfew and when’? ‘How hard should I push him to stick with the violin?’ But when it’s ‘should I vaccinate,’ there’s very solid evidence there that outweighs intuition.

    • crazy grad mama
      February 5, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

      My intuition with an infant was to lay him down often so I could have breaks, give him a minute to see if he would work it out and stop crying on his own, and offer a pacifier when he wanted to suck again right after feeding. Which is why I call bullshit whenever someone says AP is just about following your intuition.

      • Marie
        February 5, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

        My 3-month-old will fuss because he wants to be put down to wiggle around. If I tried to wear him all day he’d be a mess.

  16. OttawaAlison
    February 5, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

    She lost me at artificial feeding… For some reason I think of waxed fruit….

  17. Sarah
    February 5, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

    It is literally impossible that there could be a rise in allergies because people who have them are no longer all dying young.

  18. Zoey
    February 5, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

    Easily the most paternalistic provider I’ve ever had was the nurse I had after my daughter was born. Obviously a huge lactivist, she rebuffed my repeated requests for formula by giving me a lecture on the dangers of formula, and would point to a poster on the wall showing a picture of the size of my newborn’s stomach, telling me that the literally nothing I was producing for days post C-section was more than enough. Even I as I watched her fuss and cry and fall asleep at the breast without getting a single drop and she lost weight rapidly. Even though I went through the exact same thing with my son 2 years earlier, and watched him scream with hunger, then develop jaundice so severe he almost needed a blood transfusion.

    She finally relented after I asked to speak to her supervisor. She told me as she was giving me that first pre-prepared bottle of formula that I was ruining my chances for exclusive breastfeeding, but after I was finally discharged after my 5 day hospital stay (for other medical complications), I was exclusively breastfeeding and my daughter was almost back to birth weight. I remember her telling me then something to the effect of “See, I told you that you didn’t need to supplement after all.” Because obviously the formula had nothing to do with keeping her fed and healthy until my milk came in.

    Thinking of her still makes me mad years later. I hope she’s found a new line of work.

    • pandapanda
      February 5, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

      Oh I hate that stupid picture chart of how much your baby needs in a feeding. That’s all well and good but what if you are not even producing that much? And that’s the average baby, some need more than that.

      • Valerie
        February 5, 2016 at 4:18 pm #

        Not to mention that it is wrong. I don’t know where they are getting their data from to say that a newborn’s stomach is the size of a cherry (5-7 mL), but the estimate here, from measurements, is ~20 mL.

        • Valerie
          February 5, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

          Oh. Lol. Here’s where they got it from.

          Of course they are using research from the 1920s. They didn’t measure the infant’s “anatomical” stomach capacity- they measured the “physiological” stomach capacity, which is how much breast milk (by weighed feedings) they were able to get from their mothers. Which, of course, is limited by how much the mother makes, and not necessarily how much the baby can (or wants to) consume.

          • Valerie
            February 5, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

            P.S. The contemporary measurements cited in the above paper put the neonatal anatomical capacity at even larger- ~25-33 mL (not sure how that was measured), and the authors flat out state that the “physiological capacity” comes from the ability of the mother to “furnish food,” not the physical size of the baby’s stomach.

            Now I’m mad, because of this lactivist nonsense is used to override the “instinct” and judgement of parents who read their infants’ hunger cues and want to supplement. Yeah, some babies will suffer no permanent harm from a few days of hunger, but some will, and some parents just don’t want their newborns to go hungry, even for a few days, for the sake of gold-star breastfeeding.

          • Anne Catherine
            February 5, 2016 at 6:16 pm #

            I’m mad too.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            February 5, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

            I’ve mentioned previously, I vividly remember when my oldest niece was born, by c-section, 35 years ago (on March 2). We got to the hospital less than an hour after she was born, and her dad said that she already drank 1 oz of water. That would be about 30 mL. Less t h an 1 hour old

          • Kesiana
            February 6, 2016 at 7:35 pm #

            …water? I thought babies weren’t supposed to drink ANYTHING but formula or breastmilk for nearly the first year. Admittedly, I’m pretty sure ONE ounce of water can’t cause an electrolyte imbalance, but I’m curious why it was given.

          • Anne Catherine
            February 5, 2016 at 6:16 pm #

            Wow —that is something else–I’ve seen those pictures of how little newborns need to eat all over… From misinterpreted research from the 1920’s OMG!!
            I’m just king my head

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      February 5, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

      She told me as she was giving me that first pre-prepared bottle of formula that I was ruining my chances for exclusive breastfeeding,

      Kind of by definition, actually….

      • Zoey
        February 5, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

        Of course you’re right. But I sort of meant that like once you start feeding formula, then you will never produce enough milk and need to supplement forever.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          February 5, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

          No worries. Just remember that I have this thing about the obsession over “Exclusive” breast feeding. I hate the concept, I hate the casual (and careless) use of the word, and, mostly, the implication that it fucking matters.

          ETA: and not just in an overall health view, but even in terms of judging successful breastfeeding. It’s a bad metric.

          • Zoey
            February 5, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

            I totally agree. In my mind it matters so little that “exclusive breastfeeding” always meant that I was not giving my babies any formula on a regular basis. I never felt like the few bottles they got as newborns had somehow polluted them for life or anything.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            February 5, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

            I never felt like the few bottles they got as newborns had someone polluted them for life or anything.

            Of course not, but by definition, they would NOT be exclusively breast fed. Not a drop of anything else.

            And that’s why it’s a bad metric. Someone who gives a bottle of formula in the hospital will be considered to not have EBF, even if they continue to breastfeed for two years. But someone who does breastfeeding only for 6 weeks and then completely quits to go back to work would be counted among those who EBF for a month. But which would be more successful breastfeeding?

    • Jessica
      February 5, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

      I requested a discharge 24 hours after my son’s birth because I was exhausted and not getting any rest in the hospital and the nursing care was frustrating and slow. We were having problems with breastfeeding, but the ONE lactation consultant was beyond worthless (showing up 45 minutes after I paged her, by which time the baby had fallen back asleep. She’d just shrug her shoulders and tell me to call her when he woke up and wanted to eat again). The nurse gave us some grief because nursing wasn’t going well. I told her I had a mother who’d breastfed and could offer support, I had a hospital grade pump at home, and if necessary we’d supplement with formula. Her response? “Well, we don’t like you to do that.” I thought my husband’s head was going to explode at that point.

      I was very clear with her that we were not happy with the support we were getting, and when she left the room I reminded my husband that they could not keep us in the hospital just to breastfeed. The pediatrician, in fact, did not have a problem with a 24 hour discharge so long as we had a feeding plan in place and were open to supplementation. She said simply, “We only worry when parents are so insistent on breastfeeding that they won’t supplement at all.” The nurse was a bit sheepish when she came back and actually took a significant amount of time to go through how to use my pump, the SNS, and arranged for us to go home with some donor milk for supplementing purposes.

      Baby still ended up getting a couple of bottles of formula until my milk came in. At five days postpartum I saw a community LC who did one weighed feeding and said he absolutely needed supplementation after every nursing session until we had the hang of nursing (my milk supply was not the issue). It took four weeks to get to that point, but I went on to nurse him for 19 months, something I enjoyed tremendously. But I’m still pissed about that hospital nurse, and hoping when I give birth again in the next month I either don’t have the same kinds of problems or the wherewithal to shut that kind of crap down IMMEDIATELY.

  19. demodocus
    February 5, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

    And then there’s the part where some people’s common sense is of better quality than others (and of course both could still be wrong). For example, if i say i have a cast iron stomach, most people would realize i’m using a metaphor. A certain intelligent-but-ditzy friend from college thought i was being literal. I suspect B’s intuition isn’t the most accurate in town. But he’s male, so of course his intuition in general wouldn’t count anyway, amirite?

  20. AirPlant
    February 5, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

    Is the ability to say that your baby never had a drop of formula really that awesome? Like I get that all social groups are different, but if someone started on that track to me I would honestly not have a response. I mean great? I’m glad your boobs work?

    • demodocus
      February 5, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

      and swiftly, too. Mine are over achievers, once my milk comes in, 5 days after birth.

      • AirPlant
        February 5, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

        Milk is neither early nor late, it arrives exactly when it means to.

        • demodocus
          February 5, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

          *snort* my kid disagreed.

          • AirPlant
            February 5, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

            Who said the kid’s opinion matters? There are mommy bloggers to be consulted!

        • Gene
          February 5, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

          PRECISELY, not exactly! Get your nerd quotes right!

          You obviously were formula fed! 🙂

          • demodocus
            February 5, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

            Not that Gandolf was ever an infant

        • Roadstergal
          February 5, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

          Witch’s milk.

    • Bugsy
      February 6, 2016 at 9:13 am #

      Lmao.”I’m glad your boobs work” would be such an awesome reply.

    • LeighW
      February 7, 2016 at 9:50 pm #

      Meh… Unless they can do my taxes I’m not impressed

  21. guest
    February 5, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

    You know, I think the vast number of “difficulties” a child has is due to being human.

  22. Madtowngirl
    February 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

    Am I the only person whose eyes roll when someone refers to themselves as “mama” online?

    • AirPlant
      February 5, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

      If I never have to hear a grown woman call another grown woman (who is not her mother) “mama” again I will die happy.

    • guest
      February 5, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

      I also roll my eyes when people who are not my children call me that. And sometimes when my own children call me Mama, because I prefer Mommy from them.

      • Poogles
        February 5, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

        So, I have to admit, I have started referring to my MIL as “Mama” (when I’m not using her first name, which is 90% of the time).

        I am very close to my MIL, but due to the many issues I have with my own mother (“Mom”), I could not bring myself to call MIL “Mom” very often even though I knew she loved it when I did. “Mama” ends up solving this – it is still affectionate, it’s something I never called my own mother, and it conveys how important my MIL is to me and what our relationship has meant to me over the last 15 years.

        • pandapanda
          February 5, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

          That’s different. She is your mom…in-law. Both my husband and I call each others parents mom and dad. We are both close to both sets of parents. My MIL nearly cried when I asked if I could call her mom, as she was afraid I was going to be like my husband’s bitch of an ex girlfriend and try to kick her out of our lives. Nope, I have cool in-laws and a BIL whom I love conspiring with to prank my husband. Poor man…

      • BeatriceC
        February 5, 2016 at 11:45 pm #

        I’m originally from Florida but from a family with deep southern roots. “Mama” is just what mothers are called. My kids alternately call me “Mama”, “Ma”, “Mom” or “Merm” (not sure where that last one came from).

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          February 6, 2016 at 12:50 am #

          Yep, I (a Yankee) did a bit of a double-take when I heard my MIL refer to her mother as “Mama,” but it made sense once I thought about it: “Mama” is white, but grew up in South America and is fluent in Spanish, and married “Papa,” who’s Hispanic, their family culture is somewhat heavy on the Hispanic side of things, plus they lived in the deep south for much of her childhood. Being from the northeast, I’d always associated it, I’m sad to say, with odd natural-at-all-costs types, which my in-laws aren’t, so it struck my ear strangely until I recognized the context.
          DD calls me “mama” or “mommy,” depending on the day. I’m not sure which I prefer. When I hear “mommy” I think of my own mother, which makes me cringe nine ways from Sunday, but on the other hand, “mama” makes me feel like I insist on taking kindergarteners out of class in order to breastfeed them or something. :p

          • Kelly
            February 6, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

            I get sad when my kids move on from mama. Of course they are around two when they started calling me mommy and then when they get older, I am sure they will just call me mom. I do hate it when someone calls me mama though.

        • momofone
          February 6, 2016 at 7:19 am #

          From the south here, and “Mama” is definitely the most popular where I live. My son calls me “Mom,” which I like. I have never cared for being called “Mommy,” and I remember as a small child my mother asking me not to call her that either. (When he was small, my son called me “Mum,” which I loved–his dad is a Kiwi–but when he started school the other kids gave him a hard time about it.)

    • demodocus
      February 5, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

      Depends on context. If it’s clear she’s talking about their child (i.e. “and of course he came running to mama for help”), being ironic, or if a new parent is trying out/practicing the title, then no. If it’s all the mamas on the xyz caused all my kids problems type of site, then yes.

      • Madtowngirl
        February 5, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

        Thanks for linking that! Great piece!

    • pandapanda
      February 5, 2016 at 1:57 pm #

      I also hate when other people call me “mama.” To me, that is taking away my identity. No, I am not “mama” – call me by my damn name!

    • Sean Jungian
      February 6, 2016 at 12:31 am #

      One of my dear friends has a tendency to refer to me as a Mama, and it does make me cringe just the faintest bit. I love her, but being a mother is not the sum total of my greatest accomplishments in life. At least, that’s kind of what it feels like when she says that, I know she means it in the best possible way.

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