Just because you’re a “shit mom” for not breastfeeding doesn’t mean she’s judging you!

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There are few things more fascinating that watching a Sanctimommy struggle to justify her sanctimony.

Yesterday I created a meme to explain to lactivists why their comments to women who formula feed are so very hurtful and posted it on Facebook.

Lactivists,

Would you tell a woman struggling with infertility that it was easy for you to get pregnant?

Would you tell a woman who just had a miscarriage that she would have carried to term if she’d just tried harder?

The DON’T tell a woman who chooses formula that it is easy to breastfeed and she should have just tried harder,

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The meme has been liked by hundreds and seen by tens of thousands. Clearly it resonated with women who feed their babies with formula.

Not surprisingly, the Sanctimommies are up in arms about pointing out their ugly sanctimony, and they’ve parachuted in to explain why they’re not judging formula feeders who they judge to be bad mothers.

The results are hilarious. There are apparently many, many ways to miss the point.

There’s whizzing right by the point:

You are comparing two things that are completely out of a woman’s control to something that she has almost complete control over. Stop comparing apples and oranges.

There’s walking right into the point, bouncing off it and failing to recognize it:

I really can’t believe someone would trivialize infertility or miscarriage to prove a false point.

There’s “my pain is worse than yours”:

…[T]o say that not having a child, or having a dead child, is the same as not being able to breastfeed is the worst possible summary.

There’s proving the point while missing it entirely. In response to #fedisbest:

#fedisthebareminimum

There’s “I’m so not judging you for being a shit mom”:

Oh please no one ever shame [sic] women who CAN’T breastfeed but it definitely makes you a shit mom if you don’t even attempt to breastfeed.

And variations like:

…Unless you have a legit medical reason, I will always believe not breastfeeding is selfish.

And:

Some women don’t even try to give their baby the nutrition that was designed for them! Yes, it’s hard and demanding, but with support you can push through. What did women do before formula? They wet nursed! Stop making everything about you and get over it. Women who are lactivists just want to help other moms because breastfeeding is freakin amazing. We want every woman to be able to experience the same joy. It’s not a personal attack on someone who chose not to or couldn’t.

Awww, she wants every shit mom to be able to experience the same joy. That’s why she and her sister Sanctimommies are rubbing their faces in their failures. It’s such an obvious motivation that I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before.

Listen up Sanctimommies:

1. In first world countries with clean water, the benefits of breastfeeding are trivial. All that stuff you’ve heard about breastfeeding preventing obesity and every disease known to man is based on evidence that is weak, conflicting and riddled with confounders. In other words, it’s not true.

2. There are many, many things that provide greater benefits to babies in the short and long term like the families’ socio-economic status and the mother’s level of education. A woman who has a graduate degree provides a greater benefit to her child than breastfeeding. So maybe if you don’t have an MD, JD or PhD, should we conclude that you don’t care enough about your children to give them the very best?

3. Why should anyone care what you think about how another loving mother chooses to raise her child? Your ugly and unmerited sense of superiority is merely a disguise for your desperate desire to believe that you are better than somebody, anybody. It’s pathetic.

Let me make things easy for you:

You aren’t a better mother because you breastfeed and you are a contemptible person because you judge.

  • Amber

    Thank you Dr. Tuteur!! I was desperately trying to breastfeed my twins born 7 weeks early. When they were born they couldn’t eat on their own and needed a feeding tube and then gradually transitioned to the bottle. I thought I could feed them by pumping and breastfeeding when they were willing to take the breast (we had worked very hard to get them to eat from a bottle so they could come home with us from the NICU). When they were two months old I was still only producing 25% of what they needed and what they needed was really starting to increase. I was trying everything, “power pumping”, mothers milk tea, fennel greek, pumping until the supply ran out etc (ya NOT convenient). One day I put my daughter down in the play pen who was wide awake and wanted interaction and proceeded to pump a whopping ounce and a half after 25 mins. Thats when I realized how much I was not interacting with them, holding them, using the swing to soothe them just so they could get a little breast milk. I realized thats ridiculous!! My children need my love and interaction way more then they needed breast milk and I was spending 4+ hours everyday pumping. This shtick about not trying hard enough, well I could try harder but then I could either hurt my premies with dehydration if I took the bottle away that they worked so hard to learn to feed from or I could take cuddles away, its kind of a no brainer!! Plus parental interaction has way more benefits then any other part of parenting!

    • BeatriceC

      I also had preemies. I was lucky. I was blessed with an over supply that just got worse with each kid. My first surviving child was born at 36 weeks and after a few small troubles learned to latch and fed easily. My second was born at 32 weeks and also had to use a feeding tube for a while. I got really
      Lucky and he latched perfectly from the first time he was out to the breast at a few weeks old (I forget now exactly how old…he’s 14.5 now, it was a long time ago). The over supply didn’t seem to bother him. He was a hungry baby (and that hasn’t changed…that kid still ways more than what seems humanly possible, but he’s also nearly six feet tall and a competitive figure skater who dances ballet and plays high school football in his spare time). My 24 weeker was more like yours and never learned to latch. Here’s where the over supply was a blessing. I didn’t have to spend much time pumping because I pretty much just had to mean over and ounces of the stuff just poured out. At one point I literally had over 50 gallons stored in a deep freezer. That’s when I quit pumping.

      For what it’s worth, from an Internet stranger, I think you absolutely made the right decision. Cuddling and interacting with your baby is orders of magnitude more important than a few ounces of breastmilk. If I didn’t have such an abundant supply, I would have stopped pumping as soon as he was out of NICU.

    • Megan

      I did not have premies, but this is the reason I stopped pumping too. I hated having to watch my baby cry for me while I pumped or watch my husband play with her while I pumped (and I only got a measly ounce too!). Now that I have two children, I didn’t even seriously consider pumping. My time is worth much more than a few ounces of breastmilk to my children. You did the right thing.

  • Anna

    I think that the simple fact of using the words “shit moms” is particularily hateful and offensive.It should apply only to parents who abuse their children putting their physical or mental well-being in danger.Bottle feeding is not abuse.
    It just shows (in case more evidence was needed) that some lactivists have definitely lost touch with reality.
    As a woman who has experienced a miscarriage and bottle-fed three healthy and happy sons,the image presented in the article made perfect sense to me.

  • moto_librarian

    Having spent far more time than I should have interacting with several lactivists on FB, I have arrived at the following conclusions.
    1. The vast majority of them have no accomplishments beyond the ability to gestate, deliver vaginally, and lactate. That they equate biological functions with good mothering is nothing but biological essentialism.
    2. They either lack basic reading comprehension or are willfully ignorant. In some cases, it might be a combination of both.
    3. They are incapable of responding to constructive critiques of their arguments and “evidence.”
    4. They are incapable of understanding why much of the research on the benefits of breastfeeding is so poor. They know nothing about study design, confounders, or basic statistics.

  • LibrarianSarah

    What baffles me is how these women think they can tell the difference between a woman with a “legit medical reason” and a “shit mom?” And furthermore, how the policies that and social norms that they promote will distinguish between a “legit medical issue” or a “shit mom?” Newsflash assholes! Locking up formula, requiring mothers to listen to a lecture on “breast is best,” and glaring at women who whip out a bottle at the playground doesn’t just affect “shit moms.” Women with “legit medical issues” are hit as well.

    You know, just like requiring women to hear how shutting down abortion clinics, and requiring women to hear a lecture on how abortions cause breast cancer (there is no evidence this is true) or forcing them to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound doesn’t just hurt “irresponsible sluts” but women whose fetus is severely malformed, women and girls that have been raped, and women who need to have an abortion to save their lives.

    It’s almost as if someone else’s personal medical information is NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS and making snap judgements about a large group of people based on partial information is the road to moral ruin.

    • sdsures

      “What baffles me is how these women think they can tell the difference between a woman with a “legit medical reason” and a “shit mom?” And furthermore, how the policies that and social norms that they promote will distinguish between a “legit medical issue” or a “shit mom?” Newsflash assholes! Locking up formula, requiring mothers to listen to a lecture on “breast is best,” and glaring at women who whip out a bottle at the playground doesn’t just affect “shit moms.” Women with “legit medical issues” are hit as well.”

      Since Sanctimommies don’t follow other moms around 24/7/365, I’m guessing that parents who combo-feed might also come under fire if a Sanctimommy happens to see them on an occasion when their child has a bottle in its mouth instead of a breast.

  • Rachele Willoughby

    “Doctors don’t know anything about breastfeeding.”

    Except, of course, the doctors who performed the studies I’m citing.

    • Rachele Willoughby

      New rule: You don’t get to say that doctors don’t know anything about your subject and then cite the AAP for support.

    • Amy

      Yup. Doctors are morons, doctors don’t know anything about breastfeeding or nutrition or Hale’s or really anything. BUT!

      Jay Gordon and Bob Sears are DOCTORS!!!!!

    • Dr Kitty

      My colleague and I both happen to be BF mothers, and Drs.
      I found it easy and take a “feed the baby, who cares how” approach.
      She struggled with her first and is therefore much more supportive of women who are willing to do *anything* to make BF work.
      Our patients have worked out that if you want to see a Dr who will tell you combo feeding or formula feeding is fine, you come to see me, and if you want someone to support your 2hrly pumping schedule and oatmeal and fenugreek diet you see her (although she doesn’t put up with anyone trying to exclusively BF if the baby is not thriving).

      Knowing about breastfeeding doesn’t necessarily mean that one is willing to support exclusive BF when it is making mum or baby miserable.

  • demodocus

    I bf’d my first and i still feel like a bad parent but my shrink is trying to help with that.

    • sdsures

      Getting help from a professional is good. *hug*

  • LH Smith

    It’s nearly always out of a feeling of insecurity that the lactivists get out their sanctimommy and go after another woman. In all reality, how another woman feeds her child and for what reasons have NOTHING to do with any other mother and her choices and situations. It’s not even related. To criticize over the lack of breastfeeding is pure insecurity and a need to validate their own choices by shoving them down someone else’s throat – exactly like school yard bullies. No wonder we have bullying problems in schools if our own mothers are modeling this behavior!

    • Inmara

      I disagree that all lactivism stems from insecurity. Staunch lactivists wholeheartedly believe that breastmilk is so magical that depriving babies of it seriously harms them. Would you try to convince anti-vaxxer that by choosing not to vax she’s putting her children in harms way? Would you be tempted to talk a woman out of HBAC because it’s risky for her and her unborn baby? Would you at least judge silently when seeing mom smoking next to her child? That’s how lactivists see mothers not trying to breastfeed, and they are eager to “help”. And, unfortunately, official healthcare institutions back their case and feed to the notion that formula is so harmful it must not to be even mentioned before baby is clearly starving.

      • Emma

        I know there are lots of people are truly passionate about getting Moms to breastfeed, despite how annoying (or hurtful) it comes across when they eagerly butt in and loudly preach benefits the of breastmilk at every chance they get.
        But berating Moms for being selfish and calling them out for being shitty parents for not breastfeeding are not the actions of a person motivated by any desire to help. If If I knew someone who was considering a HBAC there’s no way I’d start off by immediately throwing insults at them. That’s the last thing I would do if I was genuinely concerned and trying to change someone’s mind! At best, it wouldn’t help matters, and at worst, it would backfire and actually cause them to harden in their stance. I read the Facebook post and I couldn’t believe how mean some of these women were being right off the bat!

      • Who?

        I think you’re right about how lactivists see everything else, and I think the difference between lactivists and others is the hard-core ones won’t change their mind when presented with the facts and the science. They still think the ‘true’ ‘failure’ rate is a fixed number; they still don’t believe babies are seriously injured or die from underfeeding.

        And nothing will change that. In that case, I’d save my breath to cool my porridge.

      • LH Smith

        Well in that case, they are extremely ill informed and uneducated. Because in all reality, Formula does not EVER harm babies unless there is an allergy, and I’ve seen as many babies experience formula allergies as experience breastmilk issues. Those are feeding issues that have to be worked out to the baby’s best interest, however, I’ve seen so many, MANY who feel that the way to reach or teach mothers is to berate them, call them names, belittle them, all in the name of Lactivism. THAT is bullying and bullying ALWAYS comes from insecurity. So either they are insecure and bully others, or they are misinformed and under educated about the issues surrounding formula feeding and why it sometimes is the absolute best choice. Here and there, it is both.

        Having an opinion that breastfeeding is the best always is one thing, shoving it down other people’s throats is another. If we all did that with religion or politics, think what this world would be like. You’d hate it right? Well telling women they didn’t try hard enough is extremely rude. “oh you can’t walk and are still in a wheel chair after your paralysis? Oh you’re just not trying hard enough.” This is ridiculous right? Come on… this is what so many Formula moms encounter.

        I have absolutely nothing against breastfeeding and think it’s great. I do have a problem with other people telling me what THEY think I should do based on THEIR lives and not mine, or my circumstances. It’s presumptive, arrogant, and obnoxious.

        Immara – my own story is that I’m one of those women who will never be able to breastfeed, and I experienced post partum depression trying to do so, and failing, ending up with a child hospitalized, starving to death, and in serious condition. There was nothing at all wrong with him, but I wasn’t blessed with almost any mammary glands in my breasts. I discovered a few things – Women can be EXTREMELY cruel. They blamed me. Lactivists told me I didn’t didn’t try hard enough, long enough, or whatever supplement they wanted to push at me… but none of that fixes my issue. I felt like the worst mother in the world for starving my baby to that point all for the sake of breastfeeding. Was it worth it? HELL NO!! not in the least bit and it was OBNOXIOUSLY expensive, and caused me an intense amount of guilt.

        Contrary to what many lactivists believe, and what I discovered through my doctor and others I have encountered since then ten years ago – it is NOT just 2% of the population of women that can’t breastfeed. It is only 2% that EVER get a diagnosis that they can’t. Most women in that situation just give up because everyone pushes them to breastfeed and no one listens or truly realizes that there ARE sometimes physical problems with the process. To expect that breasts will function at peak performance 100% of the time and for even 98% of women is defying the odds well beyond any in nature whether human or animal. Unfortunately many quit before ever getting a diagnosis because they don’t have doctors or nurses or IBCLC’s or LC’s who are either willing or trained to diagnose issues as a real thing. The goal is breastfeeding numbers apparently, and less the health of mom and baby. I experienced that… FOUR IBCLC’s failed to see the issue, and the child that was hospitalized was my SECOND child. I quit breastfeeding without a diagnosis on my own with the first one, and ended up so shocked at how I was treated by other mothers and lactivists that I did everything humanly possible for the second… see where that landed me?

        How many mothers never ever get a diagnosis? It’s hard to say but the estimation is that the real total of those who cannot breastfeed or fully breastfeed is actually more like 15-20% depending on area and what you include in the estimate.

        As far as women who choose not to – we can have abortions in this country but we can’t choose to formula feed? EXCUSE ME! Women have every right to determine all things regarding their own body and body parts including how they feed their baby. Sometimes ability is not the only deciding factor in things. Many times it’s just not going to work for health, mental health, comfort, or even employment and income reasons. Sometimes women simply have an aversion to the idea. We need to stop this berating and belittling and looking down on women for choosing what to do or not do with their own bodies.

        There is breastfeeding advocacy which is often approached tactfully and in a good way from what I’ve seen and then there are the lactivists who seem to think if the bully, belittle, and treat women poorly, that will somehow convince them to breastfeed. I have NEVER EVER encountered a lactivist who wanted to listen to why I didn’t or couldn’t and took no for an answer. That’s the sad truth. I have four children, all formula fed, all healthy, with no allergies, no asthma, no obesity, no mental deficiencies (all gifted and ahead of their classes) and none of it is connected to what they ate as a child.

        I run a facebook group and page for women who formula feed, and have heard hundreds and hundreds of stories from them as to why and how this came about… I also listen to how they are treated by other women. NONE of them have issues with women breastfeeding in public, or doing what is best for their child. They ALL have issues with having people shove things down their throats and tell them they are horrible mothers, or going to have sickly, fat, and stupid children over this. it’s so consistent it’s shocking.

        If lactivism wants to be known as something different – perhaps people need to stop listening to the Jerks of the parenting world like the Alpha Parent, and start paying attention to the facts and what reality often is. Breastfeeding is great, commendable even, but it’s also not always possible, and not always easy.

        • Inmara

          I’m so sorry for your experience, and thank you for sharing! I wholeheartedly agree that many lactivists are behaving like bullies, and there is no excuse for that. I just wanted to point out that the reason they are so dead set in their position and the reason they can get away with this bullying is that WHO, CDC, AAP and national healthcare institutions in other countries have their backs with “breast is best” campaigns and repeated claims about “proven” health benefits from breastfeeding. If it wasn’t so, then lactivism would be more of a fringe attitude (like anti-vaxxers). And women can be cruel indeed (especially behind the anonymity of internet), it’s just they would find another topic to attack other women if “breast is best” would be off the table.

          I had insufficient supply myself, due to lack of mammary glands in one breast. I wrote my medical history in birth plan (it didn’t have confirmed IGT but medical professionals should have guessed that something may be not going well) but nobody even questioned my ability to EBF. Three weeks later, when baby was dropping from 25th centile at birth to under 10th we started to supplement (and our pediatrician looked relieved – I guess that she has had to convince more than one mom that formula is not a poison and there is a reason to supplement). Fortunately, I haven’t had any encounters with public shaming or questioning of my choices, but I attribute that to not going out of home very much, and our national introvert temperament (people my gossip behind your back but not say anything directly). Having to face dismissal and bullying for the best I could do for my baby would have been devastating in those early, hormone-laden weeks.

  • Sarah

    OT (but not entirely): What does DFF mean?

    • Megan

      Defensive formula feeder.

      • Sarah

        Coined by the Alpha Parent, I assume? Ugh, these people are disgusting.

        • Megan

          I believe it was coined by TAP.

      • Rachele Willoughby

        Deluded formula feeder? I mean us with our “science” and our “citations please”.

        • Sarah

          Hahahaha, this just in – “the science is settled. science is fact.”

          I’m seriously curious what their thoughts on GMOs are now.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            Climate change, germ theory, the structure of the atom…

          • Sarah

            I’m sure they imagine it as a very tiny tiny boob.

  • Gatita
    • BeatriceC

      Great article! There’s actually a flock of wild parrots in my area as well. They’re great fun to watch. And we have a couple of baby doves on my back porch that are hatching this morning. The back yard is now off limits so mama dove doesn’t get scared off.

      Funny story: birds really are flock animals. MrC takes Goofy when he goes out of town. For the last several days Leo has been squawking loudly and looking around trying to figure out where he went. He was so happy when Goofy came back he was jumping up and down on his perch.

      • Charybdis

        Is Goofy the official name of the Evil Attack Parrot (TM)?

        • BeatriceC

          Yes. Sorry, that’s his “real” name. He also goes by “Goofzilla”, “The Goofinator”, and “Spawn of Satan”.

  • Min

    I’m in the group, that bashed this meme..they’re all a bunch of ignorant assholes, who do nothing but judge all day. I sit around cringing at the things I see them say, and the way they judge. Insecurities, at its finest. And they treat each other horrible!!!!!!!!! Even have a group specifically to argue, called scores.

    • crazy grad mama

      Honest question: why are you in the group? For entertainment?

      • Rachele Willoughby

        I used to hate-read The Alpha Parent but I decided that, though fun in the short term, it wasn’t making me a better or happier person.

  • Megan

    The one question I have yet to see any of them address is this:

    Why do you care so much how other people feed their own babies?

    You think breastfeeding is the best way? Fine. Breastfeed your kids, but why do you think it’s your business how anyone else does things?

    • Madtowngirl

      Because they need to feel superior. It’s totally like the middle school/high school cafeteria all over again. “Let’s sit around and gossip about how we’re such great moms, and bully the people who aren’t like us.”

      • BeatriceC

        Unfortunately, I’m a grown up now and can’t respond to the bullies like I did in middle school. I went to an expensive, all-girls Catholic school, where the girls redefined “mean girls”, and the characters in “Pretty Little Liars” would be in over their heads. I finally had enough and one day after PE I realized that one of my worst tormentors had left her PE locker unlocked while she was in the shower, taking forever, as usual. I quickly got dressed, grabbed all her clothes (PE and regular uniform, plus her underclothes), scurried out of the locker room, tossed her clothes in the trash behind the gym and scurried back before anybody noticed. Watching her flip out because all she had was a towel and the nun that taught PE didn’t have any extra uniforms for her to put on while they called her mother was one of the highlights of my childhood.

        I might have been a little bit evil as a kid.

        • Who?

          Dunno, sounds fair enough. No one was injured or permanently harmed.

          And you did not get caught.

          As revenge goes it sounds unusually successful.

          • demodocus

            Unless she reads this

          • MaineJen

            No…all the Mean Girls became Sanctimommies.

        • Charybdis

          That was not evil, that was INSPIRED!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          You couldn’t take the towel(s), too?

          • BeatriceC

            I like the way you think.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            It happened on my floor in the dorm in college. Guy took another guy’s clothes and towel while he was in the shower. He came out wearing the shower curtain.

            Then again, that happened because the guy who did it was being a douche, and the victim did nothing to deserve anything against him. It was mostly a bullying move.

          • BeatriceC

            Yeah, I never did care much for dorm pranks. I suppose it’s funny if all parties are okay with it, but bullying is not okay. I did what I did in response to being bullied and tormented for years. It’s still not completely okay, but it’s better than doing it just to be a jerk.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Someone tried that on me when I was in college. I walked out into the common area and said “I don’t know who wanted to the but here you go” and gave them a little shake. It did not happen again.

          • Roadstergal

            I went to Bryn Mawr. Walking around the dorm naked was just your average Tuesday night. It wasn’t a bullying kind of place, but the body acceptance there would have taken away a lot of bullying tactics up front.

    • Erin

      Because “my taxes (well actually my husband’s because I’m a SAHM) are paying for your bad choices”.

      Yes it’s a direct quote and yes I told her sod off. Oh and I also pointed out that formula was odds on less harmful to my son than the four chocolate biscuits, banana and sugar laden drink her one year old son had just wolfed down as his second mid morning snack. Unfortunately I then felt guilty for the rest of the day but if either of them are heading towards childhood obesity, it’s not my formula fed and c section born son who is tall and lanky like his Dad.

  • momof3

    I’m a foster mom who took in a newborn 2 days after her birth. We are not allowed to give them anything but formula, doing so means the child is taken from my home and I lose my ability to take in foster children. I tried to explain that to the mom group I joined, but I was told if I really loved the baby, I would find a way to induce lactation and breastfeed on the sly. I was at a loss for words, but my middle fingers still worked, both of them.

    Foster baby became adopted baby and is now four and is at a 1st grade reading level *humblebrag* Yep, #shitmom here and proud. Of course, if I breastfed her she’d be at a 4th grade reading level, yadda yadda…

    • BeatriceC

      The rules were a little bit different 13 years ago when my parents took in a FTT foster baby. Baby was delivered to my parents on a Friday evening in the middle of a huge event they were hosting (that had been planned for months…they were supposed to bring the baby the next morning). I wound up doing most of the baby care during the event. He would not hold down any amount of the formula he arrived with. I called my pediatrician and explained what was going on. He recalled I had a massive oversupply of expressed breast milk and suggested I try a little bit of that before bringing him to the ER. He held down a few ml’s, so we tried a bit more. Since he did okay with that, and it was being supervised by a pediatrician, CPS allowed him to continue to eat from my frozen stock.

      There are a couple differences here. First, the baby was older (4 months). Second, the primary goal of CPS is family unification, and many people would be up in arms with a foster parent nursing a foster baby directly. Lastly, my case was being supervised by a pediatrician and my milk had been tested to death when my own child was a newborn (micro-preemie), and tested again to get long term approval.

      • momof3

        I think for circumstances like that it’s OK. But on the whole, formula only. Worked for me, as I had never planned on ever having a baby. I had adopted her two older sisters and Mom went and had a third and popped positive at the hospital. So they asked if they could place her with me and if I might consider adopting her if Mom yet again didn’t do a thing to get her parental rights back so all three sisters could be together. Obviously she didn’t, and we were able to make it official when she was a little over a year old.

        And we won’t be getting any more from her because the mom OD-ed a few years back. Such a horrible situation. Glad the first two were old enough to understand what happened, so they can help me explain to their sister when we think she is ready.

        • Who?

          Lucky girls to have found their way to you.

          Sounds like you’ve made a beautiful family.

          • momof3

            Nope, the kids were not lucky at all. Ending up with us does not negate the trauma of dealing with a birthmother who does drugs and neglects them. They will forever both love and hate her and be both happy and sad that she died. They will always have those scars, even after years with us and a happy home life. We are the lucky ones, that they chose to give us a chance after the experience they had.

          • Who?

            It’s true, nothing can take away the trauma you describe, and it’s a lot for anyone to live with.

          • Gatita

            Bless you for saying this. It’s rare to see the loss experienced by adopted children explained so empathetically.

          • momof3

            Adoption is loss. Even if it was a birthmom who did everything “right” in her pregnancy and gave up the newborn immediately, that is still loss. My girls obviously had much more going on. Seriously, if anyone thinks these foster kids won’t have loss, trauma and baggage, they are absolutely brainless.

            You don’t get taken away from your birth family for nothing the majority of the time. I know there have been some stupid reasons kids get taken but they are rare. Usually CPS doesn’t step in until much later than it should.

          • BeatriceC

            Two of my four adopted siblings were adopted out of the foster care system. The scars never really go away. Thank you for being understanding. My parents aren’t so understanding on that topic.

            *My parents aren’t very nice people, but they’re extremely wealthy and money buys a lot of “looking the other way” when it comes to what goes on behind closed doors. I wish I could swoop in and take my siblings that are still minors out of that mess, but I’m powerless against my parents’ money. That’s why I live 3000 miles away and have no contact with them.

          • Mishimoo

            That’s why I was scared of cutting contact with my mother the first time – money. She threatened to take custody of my kids because I had them babysat during the day by my inlaws for 5 days when I had a bad case of gastro. My husband was working and I was too sick to look after them while he was out, so I asked for help. Apparently that makes me a failure as a mother.

            Thankfully, my inlaws have more money, are used to getting their own way in court, and were/are on my side.

            (My mother is back in my life and is behaving for now, but only because I wanted to make my grandparents last few years happier.)

          • BeatriceC

            I didn’t feel safe even in the same state. The final blow was a fight that turned physical (ending with me getting three broken ribs) over the fact that I was planning on accepting a job in a city that they believe is a terrible place to raise kids. A sister informed me they were planning on taking my kids from me in the next day or so. I talked to a friend who’s a high powered lawyer from a well respected family (like government buildings named after them kind of respected) and he advised me that they would get away with it and bury me in legal fees to the point where I could never win. I threw what I could into the trunk of my car, which at the time was a Civic, and disappeared in the middle of the night. They do know where I am now, so I’m less cautious about posting online than I was in the first couple years after I left. California wasn’t an accident. I’m limited to places where there are specialists familiar with the rare disease two of the boys have, and of those places, California had the strongest laws protecting me, plus I had friends here (including an online acquaintance with the man that would eventually become MrC), so this is where I landed.

          • Mishimoo

            That’s a fair call, you did what was best for you and your kids. Ouch, your poor ribs!! My father dislocated one of mine, but that’s nothing compared 3 broken ones. I was lucky – my mother stopped hitting me when I was 15 because she was scared that my then-boyfriend (now husband) would hit her. Of course, she’s spent the last nearly 13 years slandering his character to anyone who would listen as payback. I was also lucky that she kicked me out when I was 17, which meant I got to live about 10 hours drive away and figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I am so sorry. That’s really all I can say.
            I was fortunate (?) in that my mother was much more cowardly, so when I started fighting back at 10 or so, she stopped hitting me. Even though I didn’t hit, I found that I could block most of hers and/or grab her arms and could keep blows from landing. Apparently, she found this heartbreaking (seriously, I remember her sitting on the bed and crying about “how hard I was making things for her” after that incident), but she didn’t try it again.
            Also, yay for leaving the house ASAP. I left a few days after I turned 18, and never looked back. Lot of hard lessons, some of them from inevitable teenage stupidity, but I can honestly say that where I am now is because of what I’ve done in the last ten years, and can be damn proud of that.
            And people wonder why I cut contact totally, and there’s no way in hell she’ll ever meet her grandkids.

          • Mishimoo

            Awww 🙁 That sucks, emotional manipulation is one of the hardest things to get past. For me, I didn’t dare fight back against my parents except for verbally, and even then I was terrified because that was basically “going against God” (‘God’ speaks directly to them because of course he does)

            No wondering here! I am so glad for you that you’ve cut contact and stuck to it. It’s so much better that way, magnitudes less stress.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I’d initially felt similarly about parents and God–raised very, very strictly Catholic with a lot of additional, non-Catholic-but-passed-as-such-by-them bizarre ideas. Then, unfortunately for my parents, I developed a two-book-a-day habit, and read, among other things, Jane Eyre. Not, perhaps, a grand feminist screed, but the idea of an authority figure (Mrs. Reed) being a genuine authority figure and yet being very, very wrong in how she behaved was just about life-changing for me.
            Thanks for sharing your bit of background; it’s always interesting to hear from other now-adults who left the house pretty young and ended up at least mostly functional. 🙂

          • sdsures

            Group hug? Because abuse in all forms sucks, and emotional abuse doesn’t get nearly as much proper treatment or professional attention because it’s invisible. BT; DT – and it STILL goes on even though I’m an ocean away, and an adult.

          • sdsures

            “Even though I didn’t hit, I found that I could block most of hers and/or grab her arms and could keep blows from landing. Apparently, she found this heartbreaking (seriously, I remember her sitting on the bed and crying about “how hard I was making things for her” after that incident”

            Emotional vampire in addition to physical abuse. 🙁 I’m so sorry.

            *passes the garlic and a crucifix*

          • BeatriceC

            Ugh. What is it with these people? Most of my parenting can be summed up with “what would my mother do?” And then do the exact opposite. Except for childbirth and early infant care. She’s an absolutely amazing person for that stuff.

          • Mishimoo

            Same, except she wasn’t even good with childbirth and early infant care. Reportedly put me on straight cows milk at 6 weeks old. With 2 of my 3 successful pregnancies, she screamed at me over the phone for not going into labour according to her schedule (based on LMS not ultrasound “because they’re not accurate”) and for my first, made me walk 10+ km to try and force me to go into labour. (I was still getting over the obedience thing at that point).

          • BeatriceC

            Ugh. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that.

          • sdsures

            What in the actual ****?

          • demodocus

            Your sibs kind of went from pan to fire, sounds like. I hope they can break free themselves when they can.
            I have no idea what my bio grandmother would have been like as a parent, but Dad’s adopted mother was certainly *not* a good person to grow up with.

          • momof3

            I don’t think they ever truly will, but the more time with us, the better they get. I think their biggest worry is turning into her. I told them I would never allow that, I’m going to be the no-fun mom and make sure they stay away from the bad stuff…as much as I can.

          • demodocus

            i was referring to B’s minor brothers and sisters getting away physically, rather than your trio, who already did. Dad certainly was still trying to deal with the mental component even after he became a grandfather.

          • momof3

            Sorry, missed that on my phone, and the way these threads are confuse me. No, it sounds like they went straight to the gates of Hell personally. I have unfortunately seen this happen, and a lot of the time the adopters relinquish the kids back. I wish that would have happened with these two.

          • demodocus

            A couple local cases like that that made the news in the last several years, unfortunately. A good adoptive family is wonderful, but a bad one…
            Like any other family but in the case of older kids from fostercare, it just seems that much worse for the poor kid.

          • BeatriceC

            Yup. They’re better off than they were, but not by much. My one regret in disappearing like I did was that I was no longer able to run any sort of interference between them and my parents. But in the end I had choices to make, and I chose my own children. It was a horrible choice to have to make though.

          • momof3

            My girls really are troopers. They were in therapy for a time but felt like they had learned enough coping skills. And they trust us enough to come to us when they have these feelings and we discuss it. It’s been made very clear that I don’t judge their birthmom, I have no idea her history so she may have been raised in a family around drugs and knew nothing else. And if it wasn’t for her, I would not have these three amazing kiddos, so while her life might not have been good, her legacy is.

          • sdsures

            I had to do something similar – cut off contact. It eventually worked, but I needed a lot of therapy and still have emotional scars about it.

        • BeatriceC

          That’s exactly my point. In rare circumstances it might be possible for a foster baby to eat breast milk. I’m my brother’s case (my parents wound up adopting him two years later), circumstances lined up perfectly. It just so happened to be a Friday night so doctors offices were closed for a few days. It just so happened that I had an 8 month old and my body thought I’d give birth to a fully grown NFL team and not a 504g preemie, and I literally had over 50 gallons of frozen breast milk, much of it from the early days, stored in a deep freezer. It just so happened that milk had been repeatedly tested while my baby was still in NICU. The pediatrician wanted to try one last thing before telling me to tell my mother to end her event early and go to the ER within an hour of getting custody of the baby. It just so happened to work.

          If none of that happened the baby would have been brought to the ER, started on IV fluids and they would have found a formula he could tolerate. As it was, he ate a half an ounce of breast milk every 20 minutes or so for the first two hours, and we gradually increased the amount throghout the night until the next morning when the pediatrician came out to the house to check on him (dude was also a family friend…was a sad day when he retired). He recommended to the social worker that the baby keep eating my expressed breastmilk and they approved the plan on the condition that the milk be retested.

          Most foster families wouldn’t have all those circumstances line up so perfectly. My brother would likely have been just fine on a different formula, but we had the excess breastmilk and it was no trouble at all for me to deliver it to my parents, so that’s what was done.

      • Charybdis

        I first read that as you were 13 when this happened and I wondered “How the hell did she have an oversupply at age 13?!?!”

        Obviously, I need more caffeine.

        • BeatriceC

          I always need more caffeine. I feel your pain.

          • Charybdis

            I need to order more caffeinated water. I have to drink regular Dr. Pepper as my caffeine, as both sucralose (Splenda) and aspartame give me migraines and I have never learned to like the taste of coffee (even all doctored up with sugar, cream, etc) and tea is an abomination to my taste buds.

            I do have a friend who will use caffeinated water to make their coffee….

          • BeatriceC

            If caffeinated water had been available when I was in grad school I’d have been in a whole lot of trouble. I drink less coffee now than I did back then, and I regularly consume 3-4 pots (not cups, pots) of coffee per day (black, so no added sugar or fat), and 10-12 cans of diet coke. I know…tell me how awful that is. I recently switched to diet pepsi in order to cut down on the volume of soda I drink, since I detest* pepsi products.

            *Years ago my first husband worked for PepsiCo. I would drive one town over to buy my Diet Coke. This is how much I hate Pepsi.

          • sdsures

            Ever made coffee using a French press?

          • sdsures

            Me, too. *travel mug clenched firmly in hand* I actually don’t drink much coffee per day, but I do need it to function and stave off the sleepies from my medications. I do not drink soda, except for ginger beer when I’m nauseated re migraines. I would wager I maybe drink 2 cups of coffee with milk and sugar per day.

      • sdsures

        “many people would be up in arms with a foster parent nursing a foster baby directly.”

        Why is this so?

        • An Actual Attorney

          Fostering means generally speaking that the plan is not for the child to remain permanently with the foster parents. The first goal is family reunification and if that fails, a decision will be made about what happens to the child. The foster child does not “belong” to the foster parents, and while foster parents go through lots of screening, they aren’t screened for safety of bfing.

          • sdsures

            Ok, I understand now. Thanks!

    • lilin

      Holy shit. What a bunch of evil, self-righteous assholes.

      • momof3

        You’re being much too kind there 😉

    • Sue

      That babe was lucky to find you and your family! Goes to show that love, security and smart parenting help a child to thrive – whatever baby milk they drank.

      • momof3

        We already had the first two of her kids, so we were asked to take the third, in case parental rights were terminated. We chose adoption to avoid ever having to have a baby. Did not want to deal with feeding every two hours, diapers and potty training. And everyone wants the babies so we thought we were scot-free. God instead laughed at our plans and gave us one.

        • sdsures

          There’s a Yiddish saying: “A man thinks, and God laughs.”

    • Cartman36

      Thank you for posting this. Obviously nourishment, clean water, a safe and warm environment are critical to baby’s development but love and attention are what matters. Thank you for posting your story!

    • LH Smith

      UG! Because breaking the law and having the baby removed from a loving home over breastfeeding is worth it? That’s stupid. Your love is so much more valuable to that child than your breastmilk ever could be. Talk about ignorance!

    • sdsures

      You go, girl!

  • BeatriceC

    OT Rant: MrC is out of town and he took the chocolate chips with him! I can’t even go get more because they’re Costco brand chocolate chips and I’m not on his membership (when we first got together I had my own but recently let it expire and one of his daughters has the other card on his membership and we haven’t gotten around to fixing the mess yet.) I have no chocolate chips to snack on! This is a TRAGEDY!

    • Rachele Willoughby

      Unacceptable!

      • BeatriceC

        Sooooo…

        I was going to just go to the normal grocery store and get M&M’s or something only to find out my car battery died and wouldn’t you like to guess where the jumper cables are? If you guessed “In Los Angeles with MrC”, you win an internet.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Dude has a death wish.
          Tell him all of the above (chocolate chips plus membership plus jumper cables), and if he’s a smart man, he’ll return with Peace Offerings.

          • BeatriceC

            Peace offerings are definitely in order! Maybe he can dig out the new toys he bought and feed me chocolate while he uses them. 😀

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            *grins evilly* I can’t speak for you, but I’d probably accept those peace offerings were I in your shoes!

          • BeatriceC

            Peace offerings were offered and accepted. *equally evil grin*

          • Charybdis

            What happened to the Raisin Bran fixation?

            Although chocolate *always* trumps anything else.

          • BeatriceC

            I can’t want both? Ohhhh! Raisin bran and chocolate together!

          • Charybdis

            Raisin bran with extra Raisinettes sprinkled in….

          • demodocus

            lol, i’m tempted to tease you about pregnancy with that one. 😉 Sound’s revolting to me, but then so does bacon.

          • BeatriceC

            Yeah, since after suggesting to somebody else use pickles for teething, I managed to sit down with a bowl of raisin bran and a pickle, and the fact that my period is two weeks late, you wouldn’t be the first tease me about pregnancy today.

          • Who?

            Hope everything is okay.

          • BeatriceC

            Thanks. I have an appointment with my gyn, but they’re booked months out and can’t get me in until the end of April. This is weird for me. I’m normally regular enough that I can predict when my period will start down to a couple hour window. MrC is still shooting live ammunition, though I’ve had a tubal. I did have a pregnancy scare a year ago. I was late and had a positive home test, but started bleeding the morning of my appointment (they get you on sooner with a history of high risk pregnancy and advanced maternal age), so I don’t really know what happened back then. The doctor did tell me that the risk of failure goes up significantly around ten years post-tubal, and I’d like to have it redone, but without a doctor confirmed pregnancy my insurance won’t approve it. Anyway, the home test I did yesterday was negative, so this is probably just me getting old. I have instructions to go straight to the ER if any of a list of events happens. Otherwise, I just have to wait for my appointment.

          • Who?

            It’s dreary when you get to the age where ‘it’s probably nothing’ is said in a slightly anxious tone.

            Don’t hesitate on the panic button.

          • demodocus

            *hugs* hopefully it’s just menopause being weird.

          • BeatriceC

            If it’s menopause, it’s being really weird, since I’m only 40. Then again, I got my first period when I was 9, so it wouldn’t be entirely unreasonable to start pre-menopause about now. I’ve recently had some major health issues properly diagnosed and started on medications for that, so it’s also possible that the meds are messing with my cycles.

          • demodocus

            rare, but my best friend’s getting hot flashes and she’s our age

          • Who?

            Bacon revolting? I’m about to call an intervention!

            It’s flying against nature!!!

        • namaste863

          Damn! Hell hath no fury like a woman jonesing for chocolate. He’d better come home with a 10 lb box of See’s.

        • momof3

          I’m in Los Angeles, do you need me to go kick his butt for you?

          • BeatriceC

            He got home at midnight. With chocolate and a car battery charger. And then he made it up to me for a few hours. It’s nearly 11am and I’m still in bed. While its nice to be lazy and let him take care of things around the house, I need to get going. I’ve missed my first appointment of the day and my poor, ignored middle kid had to walk to the ice arena (it’s 2 miles, so not a bad walk).

  • NT

    Just so you know more than one person joked with me about how they got pregnant easily while I was going through IUIs and then IVF so it does happen. Not sure the motivation but it made me feel pretty crappy.

    • Who?

      Many people say thoughtless things when they feel sad for you, or awkward or embarrassed-they haven’t learnt to say ‘I’m sorry to hear that’ and then stop talking.

      And other people can only talk about themselves, so any personal information you share will be responded to with their own anecdote.

      The former group will hopefully get better at saying something simple and thoughtful as they get older and wiser. The latter group should be ruthlessly excluded from your life, lest you end up a bit player in their personal drama forever.

  • Monica

    Can we take all of the sanctimommies of the world, put them in a room full of babies fed in varying different ways and ask them to identify the EBF babies vs the EFF babies simply by looking at the child? Or perhaps we can have them walk into a Kindergarten class and point out which ones were breastfed as a baby and which ones were formula fed. Since the benefits are so amazing and last a lifetime I’d love to see them pick out the ones who were formula fed and breastfed. It should be obvious just by looking at them, shouldn’t it?

    • Megan

      I like this idea. Let’s call Game Show Network and pitch it!

      • Roadstergal

        “Slumboob millionaire”

        • Rachele Willoughby

          I just spit Cadbury Egg all over my screen.

          • guest

            For some reason I cannot find Cadbury Eggs anywhere in my area. It’s giving me the sads.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            That’s terrible!

      • “Tit or Tat?”

        • indigosky

          Wouldn’t it be Tit or Fat?

    • Rachele Willoughby

      Or even better, angsty teens.

    • Who?

      Exactly.

    • ObiWan Kenobi

      Oh that’s simple, they would just call in a lactation consultant…heh.

    • Are you nuts

      I’m in a Facebook group with a woman who is a child sleep consultant. She said she could identify children whose parents had ever allowed them to cry it out. Based on this vignette, I think the lactisanctimommies probably think they COULD identify the breastfed kindergarteners.

      • mostlyclueless

        I thought sleep consultants as a rule were very pro-CIO? Is she an exception or was she saying that she could identify the CIO kids because they were so superior?

        • Are you nuts

          No, because they were too attached, or not attached enough. I’m not really sure. Apparently if you pay her $25 an hour all night, every night she has some unicorn serum that allows your child to sleep through the night without crying. CIO worked for us, took about half a night and it was free. Too bad my kid apparently will have a scarlet “CIO” on her chest forever and always, oh, well.

          • Who?

            Unicorn serum aka gin.

          • BeatriceC

            My pediatrician was old school and prescribed paregoric. Great stuff, really. One drop rubbed on their gums and they were very, very happy babies.

          • Who?

            Well they would be. I think you’ve nailed the secret.

            Might try a drop myself.

          • I was going to say Benadryl.

  • Megan

    Ok, here to announce that in officially becoming a shit mom!! I combo fed for a week and just got back from a weight check where my daughter has lost weight after initially gaining while she was hospitalized. Could I pump and forsake time with my husband and older daughter all the while making myself insane (like I did the first time around)? Sure I could. And in the eyes of these santimommies I’d be making the “appropriate” sacrifice by doing just that. But you know what? I want to enjoy my baby and my family so we are stopping breastfeeding today (aside from maybe some comfort nursing on top of bottles if we both feel like it). So yeah, that’s me, shit mom. And I’m ok with it!

    • guest

      Long live the shit moms!

    • moto_librarian

      Enjoy your baby! I found it so much easier to give it up the second time that my milk failed to come in.

      • Rachele Willoughby

        Ugh. For me, breastfeeding was the hardest to give up with my fourth baby. I’d finally gotten “educated” and I was doing everything “right” (VBAC, supplements, Feeding/pumping exclusively and around the clock…) so how could I possibly still be failing? It took a while to wrap my brain around the fact that if he wasn’t gaining weight it wasn’t working no matter how “right” I was.

      • Megan

        So proud of my “half-assed” effort. More proud that I am stopping and doing what is right for my whole family and my baby and not measuring my self worth in ounces!!

        • Rachele Willoughby

          Kudos. The hardest part is knowing when to stop.

          • Megan

            Ain’t that the truth??

          • Chi

            Congratulations on making the best decision for you and your family ^_^

            Any sanctimommy who wants to judge you for that can go to hell.

          • Who?

            True in many areas of life…

          • Kq

            Always. ALWAYS.

    • Bugsy

      I’m a bit behind the times…congrats on your new baby!

    • Mishimoo

      So glad you’ve made the switch! Hope you get some decent sleep and that bub thrives from now on. Even though you probably don’t need to hear it, I’ll say it anyway: You’re doing the right thing.

    • Dr Kitty

      Sounds like excellent parenting choices to me.
      Feed the little one, play with the big one, hug your husband and be happy.

    • Charybdis

      Welcome to the shit side! We have cookies!

      • sdsures

        BWAHAHAHAHA!

    • Kelly

      I am very impressed with your ability to make a good decision for your family during the early weeks. I was never able to at that stage.

    • BeatriceC

      I’m sure I’m a shit mom even though I breastfed all my surviving babies. Well sort of. I’m probably a shit mom for listening to my mother and giving my oldest a little bit of formula so he could calm down long enough to learn how to latch on breasts that were bigger than he was. I’m probably also a shit mom for switching my middle to formula after I got pregnant with my youngest because my body simply couldn’t handle both. Oh, and I’m potentially a shit mom because after six months in NICU my youngest never learned to latch properly, so he ate breastmilk from a bottle.

    • Glittercrush

      Welcome to the Shit Show! I hope your daughter thrives quickly and your family can settle into to happy cuddly babyness!

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Good for you!!!!! It sounds like you made the best decision for you and yours, which is pretty much, in my admittedly limited experience, the hardest part of parenting and yet the most important.
      Warning: stopping may be emotionally miserable for you even though BFing isn’t working/isn’t what you want to do right now/etc, and that’s okay. Hormones SUCK. I remember when I stopped after round who-knows-what of mastitis/clogged ducts, and even though I was happy at the prospect of not hurting from that any more, I was pretty much in tears because “I’m not nursing”–even though nursing was awful. Like I said…hormones. May it be easier on you!
      Also, ice packs wrapped in a washcloth and shoved in one’s bra are awesome if you start getting sore. Ditto ibuprofen. And sage tea tastes utterly and completely revolting, but it does seem to dry up supply fairly quickly, if that’s what you want. I’d chug a mug of strong sage tea, then let myself eat a chocolate to take the taste away. 😀 (Obviously, check for any possible counterindications with meds you might be on, but since I seem to remember you’re a doc, I expect I’m preaching to the choir there!)

      • Angharad

        I made my sage tea with chicken broth, noodles, carrots, and shredded chicken because I couldn’t stomach the idea of drinking plain sage tea. The sage flavor was still a little overwhelming but not too disgusting. It did seem to help although my supply wasn’t so great to start with.

        • demodocus

          Chicken noodle soup is one of my pregnancy aversions.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Mmmmm, sounds considerably tastier than my version! I heartily approve. Believe me, I wasn’t chugging that sage nastiness out of a fondness for it…more that after round 57 (or thereabouts) with mastitis and plugged ducts over 4 months, you could’ve gotten me to chug straight gasoline, cleaning fluid, and/or essential oils if it meant reducing the likelihood of a reoccurrence as I dried up. 😉

      • Megan

        I’m sure a few doses of Allegra D would do the trick (and not taste gross). I’m only a little uncomfortable though and not sure I want to give up the possibility of comfort nursing after a bottle completely. So for now I just have been bottle feeding with occasional “relief” nursing. My supply isn’t abundant anyway so I’m sure in two days it will be much less.

    • Kq

      But you can’t go around ENJOYING motherhood!!!?!!!1!1!! That’s madness! What’s next?

      • Megan

        Right?? I enjoyed my repeat CS too! Oh, the horror!!

      • sdsures

        *maximum gigglesnort*

    • ObiWan Kenobi

      Are you sure you’re ready to be a shit mom? I mean, have you contacted a lactation consultant about it first? Have you checked for a lip or tongue tie? Are you sure you want to believe your pediatrician? Because they aren’t up to date with breastfeeding, and are you doing weighted feeds on the same scale? Because hospital scales are notoriously innacurate. Are they using a breastfed infant growth chart or a formula growth chart, because they’re different. Also, Is your baby bright eyed, having wet diapers and reaching milestones? Then she’s probably fine, just make sure you’re drinking plenty of fenugreek tea, eating oatmeal and doing a LOT of skin to skin, maybe just have a day where you’re laying in bed naked nursing for 24-48 hrs. Formula can REALLY mess with your supply and baby’s stomach so I would just keep pumping, maybe your family can bring you snacks while you pump, your husband can bake you some lactation cookies! Yay! And of course drink PLENTY of water and If your nipples crack and bleed just ask your lactation about shieds or use an SNS or a dropper, you don’t want to end up with nipple confusion. Also co-sleeping with your nipple in her mouth all night as long as you’re not overweight, drinking or smoking cigarettes is PERFECTLY safe, just do dream feeds all night and don’t worry about suffocating your infant, baby is safer in your bed.

      Signed,
      Your Local Internet Lactivist

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Hell, the LC at my hospital with DD thought that the mere fact that I was a) obese, b) drugged up on post-op morphine, and c) totally exhausted (little sleep for 2 days and nights) didn’t mean I shouldn’t cosleep.
        In a hospital bed.
        With DD lying in a football position on a sodding PILLOW.
        Under the sheets and blankets, where I couldn’t even see her, complete with a blanket over her face/her face against my *ahem* ample side.
        And she was an EXPERT!!!Eleventy!!! You see, this was the Best Way (TM) for me to get rest; who was I to question her?

        • NoLongerCrunching

          Consider speaking to her supervisor. She should not be allowed to continue making those recommendations.

        • sdsures

          Good lord, how stupid WAS she???

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Pretty idiotic, apparently. In retrospect, I can see how colossally moronic that setup was, but at the time (first baby, first major surgery, sleep-deprived, on painkillers, desperate to EBF) it seemed like the perfect, snuggly solution.
            The only reason I didn’t report her once I came to my senses was that I have absolutely no idea what her name was. While one of my instructions with this next kid is “I’m not breastfeeding and do not wish to see a lactation consultant,” I’m kind of hoping she walks into my room anyway so I can get her name and write an appropriate letter to administration saying “hey, wrongful death suit waiting to happen here.”
            ETA: one of the things that boggled my mind about this setup was that even by the extremely limited safety standards of the cosleeping/bedsharing crowd, this setup just about ticked every single “not safe to bedshare” box.

          • sdsures

            With a little digging, maybe you could find her staff listing at the hospital and find out her name?

          • Bombshellrisa

            If you remember the dates you were in the hospital, it’s easy to report her. Your chart will show her name and what she did during her visit (you can request copies of that part of the chart).

        • ObiWan Kenobi

          Well, obviously it was safe because you weren’t smoking a cigarette! It’s proven that breastfeeding moms are more aware of rolling over onto their infants, therefore as long as you keep your newborn latched onto your breast while you sleep they are immune to suffocation!

    • momofone

      All you need is a nursing vacation! (which is an oxymoron if ever there was one)

    • sdsures

      You MONSTER!!!! 😉

  • Liz Leyden
  • Erin

    “You are comparing two things that are completely out of a woman’s control to something that she has almost complete control over. Stop comparing apples and oranges.”

    Yep, I have complete control over what I find triggering. Oh wait, if it was that simple I wouldn’t be triggered by anything because call me weird if you wish but I don’t actually enjoy the feelings/flashbacks and emotional punch to the gut said triggering things give me.

    One of my friends has polycystic ovaries but her lack of milk following on from fertility issues and a miscarriage was obviously a totally separate issue and not related in the slightest. She should have tried harder right… instead of her daughter having to readmitted to hospital having lost 25 percent of her birth weight she should have ignored medical advice and kept starving her daughter until the liquid gold started flowing. Or not.

  • Irène Delse

    My late mother, who for most of her adult life was a SAHM, used to get angry with people who extolled motherhood. Her usual rant was along the line that “there’s nothing special in having and raising a child, lots of people do it, and have done it since the dawn of humanity! She was more proud of her university achievements than of her four kids – and rightly so, IMO. She had to fight her parents to even get an education farther than highschool (charming folks who thought a girl needed just enough education to be a homemaker), and enter a world that was alien to the small-town girl she was at at the time. She started teaching herself at the university at the same time she had her second child. Later, she had to stop her career, because of a combination of ill health and lack of support at work. But as a result, my siblings and myself were raised on *books* as much as on milk. Or more! We had various amounts of BF, from 8 months to zero, but we all benefited from a smart well-read mother.

    • Liz Leyden

      So I’m not the only one who gets a bit embarrassed when people gush over the fact that I have twins. Yes, it can be challenging, but I had babies; I didn’t cure cancer.

      I’m planing to start another degree program this summer. If I take 1 class per semester, I should finish in 3 years. Fortunately, that’s also not unusual in my family. One of my favorite pictures of my grandmother is her last graduation photo, posing with her Master’s and my 3-year-old father.

      • Irène Delse

        Kudos to you and your mother!

        One thing I noticed people often miss when they talk about giving a child “the best”, is the mother’s mental well-being, or even just happiness.

    • Sue

      Yep – even if BF raised the IQ by a point or two (and the evidence of effect isn’t strong), it pales into insignificance when compared with smart parents and smart parenting.

  • Tam

    I just left the Facebook group Sanctimommies. It is comprised of some very hateful, mean-spirited women that just tear other women down. I feel like a weight has been lifted already! Life is just too short to be filled with such negativity 🙂

    • Chi

      Good for you! It is good to remove ourselves from toxic environments. Mothers should be supporting each other, not tearing each other down over our parenting choices.

      • Rachele Willoughby

        Unless it’s the Sanctimommy page. That one is the best.

        • Chi

          Because it’s hilarious ^_^ I love Sanctimommy.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            I have a conspiracy theory that it’s actually run by Dr. A and that’s where she gets all those screen caps.

    • Who?

      Is that what they call themselves? Nice.

      • Mishimoo

        I was about to tell you to look at their description, but then I remembered you’re not on Facebook, so here you go:

        “We are all a little Sanctimonious
        You know better! You judge best…

        If you are a cry baby… This group isn’t for you!

        We support and we love drama!

        We sit right in the Middle

        Ladies only”

        • Who?

          Well what a delight they are.

          I don’t think that’s how actual ‘Ladies’ behave, just btw.

    • Bugsy

      I was on that group for awhile as well. I left after I’d posted a comment from my cruel sanctimommy friend, and instead of receiving blanket support, instead became the target of quite a few bullies within the group.

      I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was battling depression when this happened. The comments from those moms nearly put me over the edge. In retrospect (and now that I’m on a SSRI), I see that many of the participants use the forum as a means simply for bullying other parents. I have zero desire to go back there.

      • Who?

        Pause and reflect how sad and frustrated a person would have to be, and how much in need of validation, to think that the way to feel better for a moment is to get stuck into total strangers who disagree with them online.

        • Rachele Willoughby

          To be fair though, I’ve spent all afternoon arguing with lactivists on Facebook.

          • Who?

            I’d suggest the difference is that you aren’t totally certain about your position on any topic-if new evidence or information came to light, you’d consider it and change your view: most of the lactivists and other cesspits of certainty won’t.

            There’s nothing so entertaining as total certainty. Provided, of course, the certain have no power to make me do anything.

            Lactivists are dull, dull, dull: they get cross when you ask them if they could reliably pick the breastfed out of a lineup of babies, children or adults of any age, because they know they can’t. Homebirth hobbyists and gun nuts make me cross, because people die in a moment thanks to their advocacy. Respectfully disagreeing with them, and then mocking when they lose it, seems like a small punishment for their death dealing ways.

        • Bugsy

          I completely agree. It took a long time for me to realize that the sole reason I was there was to find validation in my own choices regarding parenting friendships, and that I was searching for that validation from a group of strangers online who openly stated that they would attack other women.

      • Tam

        Yes, I understand. After I left the group I received a lot of kind private messages from people in the group that felt the same way I did…that it was just a forum for bullies.. From what I understand it’s primarily very young, uneducated mothers who have too much time on their hands and like to stir up trouble. Kind of feel sorry for their children:(

        • Bugsy

          I found similar in some of the BabyCenter forums I visited, including my birth boards. By the end of my pregnancy with #2, I visited my birth board more to read the posts and watch other people’s drama than to post anything myself. I agree that some of these online parenting forums seem to be more about stirring up trouble than anything.

          Truthfully, I hope the Sanctimommy forums get shut down…before they’re at the point that someone harms herself from the bullying there. I fear it may be coming, however. (I’m not saying me, just more generally.)

          • AirPlant

            It is sad, because the ladies who run it really do seem to mean well and I have never had any issues with the admins, but some of the regulars are just awful people. They will bully and derail and generally make a nuisance of themselves on a regular basis and they never seem to get called on it. I still appreciate the genuine humor that I see in the group, but I stopped posting a while back after I posted a story of real life sanctimommying hoping for some sympathy and got dogpiled on by people telling me that it never happened and I was just a pathetic internet attention seeker etc.

  • Roadstergal

    “Stop making everything about you and get over it.”

    Can you get irony meters in bulk at Costco? Mine keep blowing up.

  • CSN0116

    Ever hear the interview with Madonna Badger, the accomplished NY ad executive whose house caught fire on Christmas Day (2011), killing her three young daughters and parents? She shares some very profound thoughts about motherhood in hindsight:

    The painful journey has taught her many things, but there is one important lesson that Badger wishes she had learned earlier in life, long before her daughters died.

    “Yes,” Badger says, shifting in her seat and regaining her composure. “And that all that stuff — organic food — doesn’t matter.”“Being present [is],” Oprah says for her.She is overcome with emotion and unable to finish the thought.“I wish I knew then what I know now. Like, when I was so worried about having them eat organic food all the time. Or when I was so worried about them getting into the ‘right’ school. Or when I thought that that deadline was so important at work and I stayed and worked late. Or the time I missed a recital that Grace did because I was traveling,” Badger says, breaking down in tears. “I wish I knew how important…”

    Being a “shit mom” by these people’s standards DOESN’T MATTER. None of it matters :/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/23/madonna-badger-oprah-lesson_n_6029986.html

  • Rachele Willoughby

    “You are comparing two things that are completely out of a woman’s control to something that she has almost complete control over. Stop comparing apples and oranges.”

    Magical thinking at its best here, folks.

    “If I’m just a good enough mommy and try hard enough, I can’t possibly have trouble breast feeding. Not like those other terrible mothrer who obviously didn’t try hard enough.”

    “If I just make sure I’m eating only organic/paleo/made from scratch/vegan foods I couldn’t possibly get cancer. Not like those other regular produce/meat/fast food eating losers.”

    Does thinking that help you sleep at night, dear?

    • demodocus

      Oh, i loved the comment about having complete control over bfing. Not even my shrink is able to tell me how to control my emotional reaction to it! (Not that she’s mean enough to try; we have more important things to work on.)

      • Rachele Willoughby

        Seriously, the idea that if you just loved your baby enough you would *get over* past abuse, is super gross.

        • demodocus

          it’s ridiculous. Even my husband, whose brain definitely works on its own wave length, didn’t just get over his assault, and he deals very well.
          For the record, I’ve not been physically or sexually abused, I’m just not a touchy-feely kind of person.

    • Kq

      Makes me think of this.

  • BeatriceC

    Small study, n=2:

    Participant 1: 14yo male, breastfed for 6 months, high maternal education, moderately high maternal SES.

    Participant 2: 15yo female. Fetal exposure to drugs. Formula fed. Low maternal education and SES, foster child, adopted by lower middle class family as a pre-teen.

    Experiment: Show participants the meme. Ask what they think the creator is trying to say.

    Results: Neither are sure, but both ask questions to the effect of “are people actually trying to tell mothers that they’re bad for not breastfeeding?”

    Conclusion: two pain in the butt teenagers have better reading comprehension than most of the people commenting on the Facebook thread.

    • CSN0116

      I’m doing an experiment of my own. I have an intro to epi class reading Jung’s “Lactivism” book (supplementary). They are OBSESSED. There’s about 50 of them (boys and girls, most under 25 years) and they cannot get enough. They keep bringing article after article to argue over and I think I’ve done turned them into conspiracy theorists. They stalk the web for lactivists (and their statements) and lactivist memes to bring to class and share. Some have also found this blog and reference it lol. They’re BEGGING me to bring in a “real life lactivist” as a guest speaker, but I don’t know one :/

      I never in a million years thought such a young group of people would be appalled by lactivism. I should post excerpts of their analyses on here. The arguments are so well-poised …from 19-year-olds!

      • BeatriceC

        Yes! Do it! I’d love to see what the next generation has to say.

        • CSN0116

          Commentary on Jung’s Chapter 4:

          “…The ‘Latch On’ campaign wasn’t the only tactic used to push breastfeeding. Physicians believe that if formula is made less accessible, then more mothers throughout the country will choose to breastfeed. The extremes in which people took to advocate breastfeeding may not have been ethical, but that isn’t far off from the rest of they country’s policies.

          This chapter included statistics, controversial topics and health care policy that relates well with morals and ethics. Controversy arose in 2012 when breastfeeding was officially declared a public health issue. The issues I have with this push for breastfeeding isn’t whether it’s right or wrong, it’s the fact that the information being displayed is far from 100 percent accurate. Numbers are being brought to the surface by “hypothetical findings” that can’t be deemed as accurate measures. How is it that the medical journal Pediatrics published an article citing numbers that are skewed? In that article, they claimed that, ‘failing to breastfeed generated an annual cost of $13 billion and caused 911 deaths’ (Jung 2015). They would expand further on this comment later in the article, as they claimed: ‘If 90 percent of US families could comply with medical recommendations to breastfeed exclusively for six months, the US would save $13 billion per year and prevent an excess 911 deaths, nearly all of which would be infants.’ (Jung 2015).

          I find this statement to be quite comical; I just can’t believe that a credited medical journal would publish nonsense. First of all, if you want families to breastfeed then you might want to start with giving maternity leave! Do we honestly believe that ALL women in our country have the ability to take six months off of work and provide for their family? Working class women do exist in today’s society, maybe someone should write an article to the Journal of Pediatrics and make them aware of this.Not everyone has the luxary of being a stay at home mom; if that were an option, I believe many women would take advantage of it.

          The second issue I have with this is the dollar amount that is being thrown out. Why is it that if you try to research this, it’s impossible to find? Where is this value coming from? How did they end up with $13 billion? If you continue to read the chapter, the dollar amount is hypothetical.

          …(later in his paper) The author states that Schanler and his co-author did not just pick ‘large, well-respected studies’ and rely on them consistently. In fact, they drew on numerous studies in a fairly selective manner. If research was taken from the studies without a credible source, then it makes you really ponder the thought of future research studies. Or how often has research in the past been produced with this same approach? Is all research evidence-based, or is it skewed the way that the resaerchers want it?

          I don’t believe these questions are being asked enough, nor do I believe that people care. It all comes back to socioeconomic position. These physicians are well-known, they are highly credited in their field of study, and they have the power to provide the nation with wrongful information. It’s unfortunate to say but that’s just what our society has become accustomed to. It is clear that our country has greater problems than decideing whether or not breastfeeding is a public health issue.”

          -“Jake,” male, 20-years-old, Sophomore, Pre-Med

          • Chi

            Your students are amazingly switched on. It rekindles my hope in the future generations.

          • CSN0116

            I have some pretty amazing students 🙂

            The girls are quick to note though, that while they wouldn’t bat an eye at breast vs formula feeding now in their lives, that something must happen to women as they go through pregnancy and after birth. Because, according to them, no 19-year-old has profound opinion on this. It’s learned.

            The #1 thing they keep asking me, and I can’t answer, is why most lactivists are pro-choice but maintain the position they do. They cannot comprehend it.

          • Mishimoo

            My personal opinion on the lactivist + pro-choice stance is that it’s probably along the lines of “Everyone should have the right to choose. If you choose to continue a pregnancy, then you should choose to do what’s best for the foetus/neonate/infant and everyone knows that breast is best.”

          • CSN0116

            Yes, that’s what I think in my mind too.

            But you can’t ignore the extreme sexism just permeating through it all – your breasts are owned, morally, socially and literally; you should give up months/years of your life to do it; you should stay home to do it (eliminating furthering your education, raises, promotions, and making yourself dependent on a man/significant other for survival). It’s as anti-woman as it gets, honestly…

          • Mishimoo

            It really is, which is part of why it’s so frustrating that it’s being pushed as a feminist action in some groups.

          • Who?

            Choosing is the feminist action-and being able to realistically make a choice. When someone introduces ‘should’ into it the feminist aura starts to fade.

          • Mishimoo

            Exactly! It fades to non-existent when ‘must’ and bio-essentialism are introduced.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            As someone on here once said, to counter the “women have breasts, therefore they are made to breastfeed” argument, why does no one ever say “women have brains, therefore they are made to do science”.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            How about this?

          • guest

            Well, to be fair, brains are for more than doing science. Trust me, we use a lot of brains in the humanities, too. 😉

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            True! I should have said that women have brains, therefore they are made to use them. 🙂

          • Mel

            That made me think for a second. I read a book a few years ago called “Promises I can Keep” about why women in poverty chose to reproduce prior to marriage at higher rates than women in middle-class or wealthy families.

            The opportunity costs of having a baby at 19 can be much less if you are going to be pursuing advanced education over 10 or more years or are working in a service oriented job. Likewise, for a lot of my former students, staying home with a baby is not much of a financial hit since they are often working at just above minimum wage.

            I’ve heard girls discussing if/when to have a second or third baby. For many of them, having a few children spaced 2-3 years apart and finishing their family by age 25 or so means that they will have all of their kids in school (the closest the USA comes to funded day-care unfortunately) by age 30. This gives them the rest of their adult lives to work their way up through a job or college.

          • CSN0116

            I’ve read that book too! “Flat Broke with Children” is another good one along the same lines.

            Another thing the “Promises” author states is much women in lower income communities value motherhood. No matter the age, it is seen as a right and a blessing, not to be squandered. The author explains that when you lack a lot of other opportunities that middle class America raves about: college, graduate school, marriage, home ownership – you place exceptional influence on biology = childbearing. It’s a right of passage and it’s flaunted.

            Perhaps a bit akin to the exceptional importance lactivists place on breast feeding?

          • fiftyfifty1

            Yep. One of my jobs is at an alternative high school that also houses a daycare and a GED program. I do a lot of what is called “family planning counseling”. Most of the girls are asking for my help in delaying/preventing pregnancy. But for a sizable chunk I am giving advice to help them GET pregnant and have healthy pregnancies. These are typically the young women (ages ~19-23) who already have a 2-3 year old and who want to have a second and “get it done with”. They are nearly done with their GED tests, and want to have kids that will be going through school at the same time and can play with each other. Then they plan to get a 2 year technical degree from the local community college and start their careers.

          • This is what s lot of people do in my area. I know a lot of late-30s / early-40s grandmas whose careers are really starting to cook. It can actually seem like the most rational choice – have those babies before there’s a career to walk away from (and maybe pick up some cash by babysitting other littles whose moms have to work), then start studying/ working at 25 or 26 after the kids are all in school. It is not a path that would have ever occurred to me (and thank goodness – I was in no way mature enough to take care of a kid at 19 or 20) but it works really well for a lot of women. The key is having support, either from a boyfriend/spouse with a good job, or from family, in those early years.

          • Yes. This. Exactly. And don’t forget that working and pumping is something like third-best on the Official Lactivist Score Card. Because leaving your baby for 9 hours at a stretch to provide for them must surely be depriving them of *something*, right?

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I support your right to choose, as long as you choose what I think you should choose.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Although I think the main issue is that they can’t comprehend why anyone would make different choices to them. Basically “I like breastfeeding, so I can’t imagine why someone else wouldn’t want to breastfeed”. So if someone chooses to formula feed, they must be uneducated, or lazy, or uncaring.

          • Mel

            I have two former students who are new moms who are fairly vehement about their enjoyment of breastfeeding their babies and I can think of quite a few others who chose to breastfeed and felt it was in the best interest of their kid at or before age 19.

            The problem is the confounding factor of maternal motivation. A mom who is highly motivated to give their kid the best shot at getting out of poverty is likely to have improved outcomes for her kid.

            My students are breastfeeding because they believe it is in the best interest of their kids. As women who are hell-bent (in a good way 🙂 ) on giving their kids better lives than they had themselves, they give their daughters and sons a whole host of positive interventions like talking to the babies more, looking up age-appropriate games and teaching kids that schooling is a positive force in their lives. In other words, the net outcome would be the same if they formula-fed because they thought it was in the kid’s best interest.

            OFC, my students don’t post obnoxious memes either….

          • BeatriceC

            I posted some time ago about a middle school student of mine who had her second baby while she was in my class. I taught 7th grade. Now she had been held back a year, so she was 14 and not 13, but that’s still awful young. She came from a culture in which you do not, under any circumstance have an abortion nor do you give up babies for adoption. She had some help from family, but not much. Her own mother was a strung out prostitute, her father was in jail and her grandmother was working multiple jobs to try to keep everybody fed and housed. The staff at my school made a herculean effort to keep her in school long enough to go to the high school for teen mothers. We succeeded, but it was tough.

            One of the things that still gets to me to this day was one of the first days she was back in school after delivering. She wanted to turn her life around and decided the best thing for her and her babies was to finish school. That meant that breastfeeding was not an option. Still, the hospital staff where she delivered berated her for “not doing what’s best” and telling her “she got into this mess so she should deal with the consequences.” Apparently, dropping out of school so she could breastfeed, and continuing the cycle of poverty and low education was the appropriate consequence for being a teen mother.

            While I do find it sad that a 14 year old was giving birth to a second baby, I don’t feel that berating the poor girl and making her life harder than it had to be an appropriate response. Those babies are going to be much better off with a mother who finished high school (and went to a community college and got an AA and had transferred to a 4 year university last time I had an update), and would be able to get a decently paying job than with a mother who dropped out of school in the 7th grade and would likely never be able to get anything better than a minimum wage job.

          • Kelly

            Plus she was 13 and 14 which means that in the legal sense she was raped. This is too sad. I think about my 13 year old self and can’t believe that these poor girls are faced with these situations. I was not even close to any kind of situations where sex was a possibility at that age.

          • demodocus

            not if the boyfriend was 13

          • Kelly

            True. But if they are having sex at that age, most times their home lives were pretty messed up.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym


            the hospital staff where she delivered berated her for “not doing
            what’s best” and telling her “she got into this mess so she should deal
            with the consequences.”

            Beating the hospital staff over the head with a clue stick until you could visualize their cervical vertebrae would be wrong, wouldn’t it? WTF, people?

          • BeatriceC

            Don’t know if a clue stick would be enlightened. Maybe a clue by four or just knock them down with a cluedozer.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Yep. It’s not the breastmilk the makes the difference. It’s having the type of mom who when told to jump asks “How high?”

          • CSN0116

            Clarification: most of my students want to breastfeed, despite not having children yet and despite reading Jung’s book. What they claim is that a woman with no nursing child (yet) does not just up and become a lactivist, despite preferences. They feel that it must be a separate process that occurs at some point.

          • Who?

            I’m sure that’s right.

            Someone was talking yesterday about playgroups etc where people support each other, offer advice and suggestions, and get on regardless of different values. This seems to be the antithesis of the online communities who hector, rage and exclude, while busying themselves with judging anyone who doesn’t live exactly as they do.

            Perhaps the groups coming through will be more aware of this, having grown up with online communities and understanding how they work.

          • CSN0116

            Quite possibly.

            And I’d like to think there’s anonymity online, so people say and do stupid shit that they’d never do in real life, but those Facebook posters used real identities! OMG what if their employers or families read that?!

          • Who?

            I always wonder what their deepest darkest thoughts are, if they think the way they behave in those spaces is okay for public consumption.

            Though part of that is perhaps not a true appreciation of how far the internet can reach-how many times have people complained that their ‘private’ images/thoughts have been co-opted, when there they are on a public page?

          • Chi

            I do wholeheartedly concur with that. I think it is a combination of the hormones messing with your brains, plus the messages from other mums saying that in order to give your child the ‘best’ you need to breastfeed. And what parent doesn’t want to give their child the best.

            So your ego and identity get wrapped up in this tiny creature, right down to the smallest details. And if someone doesn’t do things the same way, I can kinda see how it is threatening because how dare they choose the easy way out (because I think that’s how a lot of them see it) instead of struggling like you do.

            It’s a very poisonous mindset. And people get sucked in when they’re vulnerable and then don’t leave because that’s the only place they feel supported and even like they’ve accomplished something.

            Cos let’s face it. 90% of the time, parenting is a very crappy, very thankless job.

        • CSN0116

          Commentary on Jung’s Chapter 4:

          “This campaign [Latch On NYC] really emerged after the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) claimed that women NOT breastfeeding was a public health issue.

          …Politicians are supposed to be well-educated, superior figures, making the right decisions for the general population, but they were actually encouraging this campaign?! However, can you really blame the politicians? My argument is against the AAP for giving misleading information to politicians to politicize. Having no medical degree, or a strong ability to analyze research, I would trust the AAP and their claims as well. This organization is supposed to conduct and analyze research that will be beneficial to the health of children. However, in the case of breastfeeding, they are promoting misleading health benefits to the public.

          …The AAP agrees with lactivists, that breastfeeding is healthier than bottle feeding and should be promoted. However, what we are learning from sources cited in this book is that breastfeeding does NOT have superior health benefits when compared to bottle fed children. The AAP claims to have based their breastfeeding preference on research conducted through the AHRQ. But the AHRQ didn’t state that breastfeeding had any superior benefits over bottle feeding. Therefore, the AAP pulled favorable results from small, single, less reliable research sources. So the end result is the AAP supporting breastfeeding based off of research results that THEY found favorable. They then went on to promote it throughout America. Why? So as an educated medical professional, why would you trust small confounding studies? I am left very confused, not on why they are promotoing it, but why they support breastfeeding OVER bottle feeding. When the research that they’re using is lacking, what else makes them support breastfeeding so strongly?

          …The program [WIC] is set up to benefit people, not to shame them for needing extra help. They especially should not being telling women how to feed their babies, and shame them when they do not have the same preference as you. I also do not believe that extra benefits should be given to mothers who choose to breast feed. That, to me, is almost like blackmailing mothers into breastfeeding their babies, rather than making it a choice.”

          -“Laurie,” female, 19-years-old, Epidemiology

  • guest

    I suppose I’m also a shit mom if I breastfed, but didn’t find it “freaking amazing”? The list of things I found less amazing than breastfeeding is very, very short.

    • namaste863

      Of course. Everyone knows that your kid will suffer irreparable damage if every single tiny detail of motherhood isn’t the Most-Important, Best-Thing-You’ve-Ever-Done. Sarcasm, just in case that wasn’t obvious. I’m sure you’re an awesome parent.

      • guest

        I think of my dissertation as a much bigger personal achievement than having kids. So far, it was also harder to do. I must be going to parenting hell.

        • Rachele Willoughby

          Heck, *passing calculus* was a bigger achievement than my natural births.

          • guest

            I applaud you for passing calculus. I never did.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            You should have seen the uncoordinated nerd dance I did when I saw my final grade. 😉

          • namaste863

            Hell, I did a happy dance when I got through college algebra. I ended up with an A-. To this day I have no clue how I pulled that off.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            I’m pretty sure I passed my Cell Bio lab because my professor never wanted to see me again.

          • BeatriceC

            You just didn’t try hard enough. If you really loved your baby you would have sacrificed anything you had to in order to pass calculus. You’re a shit mom who’s just lazy and stupid because you didn’t pass calculus.

            (Sarcasm from the mathematician, if that wasn’t clear).

          • guest

            I’m picturing an academia war now where the sciences are breastfeeding and the humanities are formula feeding.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            Fwiw though, finishing your dissertation is much more likely to *actually* effect your children’s well being.

          • guest

            Well, it would be nice if my paycheck matched my level of education, but one out of two advantages ain’t bad.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            I’ve heard there are some drugs that will help you pass calculus. They’re not legal in the US but I think I know someone who could hook you up.

          • namaste863

            Fabulous. Send some my way.

          • Megan

            Are they available through mail order from Vanuatu? I’ll just get them that way.

          • namaste863

            You passed calculus? Good on you! I stayed as far away from it as I could possibly get.

          • BeatriceC

            Passing calculus was easy for me. It was also fun! If you were a better mother, it would have been easy for you too!

            (Still being sarcastic…we need a sarcasm font.)

          • Rachele Willoughby

            Did you try doing calculus at three hour intervals around the clock?

            What? No I never had to do anything like that. It just came naturally to me. I certainly would have though, if it had been necessary. After all, it’s all about priorities.

          • BeatriceC

            Calculus is the most important thing ever! Of course I would have done calculus around the clock every two hours if I had to. There’s nothing more important than calculus! I also make sure to gaze lovingly into my textbook in order to form a better bond.

            (For what it’s worth, as a mathematician, I actually think that algebra is the most important foundational topic. With a strong enough foundation in algebra, calculus *is* actually easy).

          • AirPlant

            You see I loved calculus. For me it was the most soothing part of school. Literally all of my (fellow engineer) friends agreed with me and there is absolutely no chance that group could have been at all skewed. I just think people who didn’t like calculus were not opening themselves up to the joy of it. Probably too busy with other selfish pursuits. Its sad really.

          • BeatriceC

            Exactly! Calculus is a joyful experience! All of my (math major) friends agreed with me too! There’s no chance that we’re biased either. Those people who don’t like calculus just don’t love themselves enough to try.

          • AirPlant

            I personally feel that it is every woman’s duty to perform calculus. We have centuries of men telling us that we can’t, that our bodies and minds are sub-par. As a feminist I have risen above their propaganda and succeeded, and my success has paved the way for women everywhere to do calculus wherever and whenever they choose.
            Choosing not to do calculus is succumbing to and propping up the patriarchal structures that have held down our foremothers.

          • Are you nuts

            I must have gone to a progressive school (in Oklahoma of all places) because there were more girls than boys in my AP calc class. I always heard that girls were disadvantaged in math, but I never saw it firsthand. Then I went on a college tour for national merit finalists. I was paired up with some loser boy and we were talking about our favorite subjects. I told him I liked calculus and he looked at me like I had three heads. He said, “I’ve never known a woman to take calculus.” I felt like I was in the twilight zone.

          • MI Dawn

            You and AirPlant are just sickos. NO WAY is math fun (at least not for me, currently struggling though statistics.. 🙁 )

          • AirPlant

            You see how deeply the anti-math bias runs in this society! To call something so perfectly natural sick? My heart hurts for you. I hope you can do your research and become better educated in the benefits of learning math to natural term.

          • guest

            (For a serious comment, I failed calculus twice, but I guess technically I did pass it once. I have one of those brains that finds geometry easy but algebra hard. My algebra teacher in high school predicted on day one that there would be people in the class (the majority) who did well all semester, until we hit the conics chapter, and then they would bomb. But that a certain number of people would struggle all semester and then hit that chapter and ace everything. She was right. None of algebra made sense to me, and then we started charting parabolas and whatever and suddenly I was the only person who got an A on the test.)

          • BeatriceC

            I always told my students that “Calculus is easy. It’s the algebra required to do the computations that’s hard.” I could write a full length dissertation on why I believe that so many people struggle with mathematics. I’ll just say that anybody capable of surviving as an adult in today’s society is capable of doing well in high school algebra, but our approaches to math education are woefully insufficient and getting worse, so people struggle. At the community college where I taught, we did a “Lunchtime Learning Series”, where we presented various topics to supplement regular courses. At least once a term I did an “everyday math” workshop, where I linked all those topics that people struggle with to actual problems we all face every day. I got a ton of positive feedback from students saying that making that link and making the formal math less mysterious made it a whole lot easier to pass their math classes.

          • guest

            I have heard similar things from mathematician friends before. I do think I would do better with algebra and calculus if I were to study it now. But I have no reason to study it now, and so many other demands on my time.

          • Glia

            I really believe that a big part of my struggle with math was a fear of it, instilled largely but some particular teaching practices that just triggered my anxiety and made it hard for me to get past. In college, I stopped struggling basically immediately when I stopped thinking of myself as “bad at math”. I now spend a good amount of time gently explaining simple algebra to undergraduates, and seeing the same terror in their eyes when asked to apply it practically to our work.

          • BeatriceC

            You’ve hit on several of my pet topics on the failures of math education in the US and much of the Western world. The “bad at math” one is a big one for me. There are others. I’ve considered writing a book on the topic, but I can’t seem to carve out the time to organize my thoughts properly.

          • LaMont

            Just to get in on this “bad at math” thing (gahh), there’s a site I (full disclosure) have a personal connection to, but it’s a fun “do math with your little kids” thing that has as part of its mission to help break the cycle of math-phobia, particularly for women/girls, by getting parents to incorporate math as soon and as reliably as they incorporate a bedtime story into their household rituals. I have no idea how many people it’s actually *helping* (something tells me that mathphobic people probably stay away) but I think it’s cute and very well-intentioned on this front! http://bedtimemath.org/

          • BeatriceC

            There might be something to that. I have a few personal hypotheses about why some people are “naturally” better at some subjects than others. My kids are better than average at math and science and have expansive vocabularies. I think a great deal of this has to do with how I speak to and interact with my kids, and how I’ve done so with my babies.

            For math: I do math games without thinking about it. When they were babies I’d count things as I put things away: “One can of green beans, Two cans of green beans, etc.” When they were preschoolers I’d say “we brought in four bottles of juice. I have one in my hands, how many do we still have to put away?” To use the dishes example from another post I’d tell my kids “Oh, dear! I only have three clean spoons? How many do I have to wash so that all six of us (or however many people were eating) have a spoon?”

            For science: They hear the adults talk all the time. Last year I managed to get a blob of silly putting in the washing machine with my favorite sheets. I said to MrC “UGH! How am I going to get this mess out?” He said, “Well, it’s non-polar, so you need a non-polar solvent. Do we have any BBQ lighter fluid left?” Similar conversations happen on a daily basis. They also hear us arguing about various scientific studies (including things that get posted here and at SBM).

            Vocabularies: I’ve never dumbed down my language for my kids, even when they were toddlers. I figure if I speak to them in baby talk, that’s what they’ll learn. If I speak to them in normal, adult language, they’ll learn that too.

            I think that what kids are exposed to when they’re little makes a huge impact on what they find “easy” academically when they’re older. I don’t think there’s always a direct correlation, let alone a causation, but I think that it’s a part of the whole picture.

          • Glia

            I would love to read that. 🙂

            It’s funny, too, I avoided math and hated it so much for so long, and then…statistics. Oh, statistics. It was like “Aha! here is what math is for! I could do this forever!” And now I am the person in the lab people go to when they need help with the math. So, I definitely believe that finding how it “speaks” to you can make all the difference.

          • BeatriceC

            I’ve always loved math and declared a math major at the end of my first year of undergrad. I’d been undecided since I was originally planning on music, and had been accepted to Juilliard, but a mountain climbing accident put an end to that. Anyway, I took multivariable calculus my second term and my teacher used mathematical statistics examples instead of the usual physics examples. I’ve always loved math (took AP calculus in 9th grade), but seeing the math in action through statistics is what made me declare not just the math major, but also the stats concentration.

            And one of these days I’ll get around to writing that book.

          • An Actual Attorney

            That’s so much of it. I always found math pretty easy (some natural ability, some having parents who stressed math). In law school, I struggled through tax law. My prof., trying to be sympathetic, said, “I know the math can be hard.” “No,” I said, “I have a degree in physics. I can do three dimensional calculous. I got an A in quantum dynamics. The addition, subtraction, multiplication and division involved here are all skills I mastered a long time ago. I just don’t understand tax law!”

            Long story short, I think, “poor dear, math is hard” is used as an excuse for not explaining the underlying issue.

          • demodocus

            People who insist they can’t draw have some similarities. I’m no DaVinci, but if you move your dog’s head to the side and give him pointier or droopier ears, he’ll look less like a teddy bear.

          • Who?

            It seems to be taught very differently now from back when I was at school-in a time before lycra, is all I’m saying.

            I think I’d do better now if I was starting again.

            And v proud of my engineer daughter.

          • BeatriceC

            Things are different. In some ways that’s a good thing but in others it’s not. I should get to writing that book.

            I do like the fact that real-world applications are being brought in to teach various concepts. I don’t like the fact that in order to do so, certain topics are being stretched to the point of just being wrong, which sets up a whole host of problems later on.

            My biggest peeve with that is multiplication. Kids are being taught that it’s just repeated addition/grouping. That’s wrong. Multiplication is a handy way to compute repeated addition, and it can be illustrated with grouping *only if* we’re working with positive whole numbers. As soon as we introduce fractions and negative numbers the whole concept falls apart, which, combined with other issues, then starts the student on a path of confusion which eventually leads to the student declaring they “just don’t get it”.

            As a middle school teacher (and part time community college professor), re-teaching basic concepts was the bane of my existence.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I wonder if that was part of my issues with math.

            From about third grade on I ended up with zero confidence in math because I had issues writing out all the steps. Add in that the teacher would only teach one way and any other was “wrong” I ended up a basket case of nerve with math. My depression and anxiety went in to full swing the next year and it just got worse from that point forward regarding math.

            It also didn’t help that at the time if you were a gifted student then that must mean you were gifted in absolutely everything. Teachers thought I just wasn’t trying hard enough because so many other things came so easily. Bearing the brunt of that attitude and not being listened to when I needed help probably did the most damage to my math abilities than anything else. I don’t blame my parents because my dad has legitimate learning disabilities and never felt like he could help me in math and my mom tried to help but would teach it “wrong” and my teachers wouldn’t accept my work done different from how they taught.

          • BeatriceC

            I’d take a guess that you ran into one of those “brick walls” I talk about when deconstructing a students’ particular issues with math. The walls got built stronger and higher by the reactions of the adults around you.

          • Young CC Prof

            Ug. Write out the steps and only one way to do it. Oh, and you have to write out every step of the problem for all 20 problems, even though they are exactly the same problem with different numbers. I hated math for YEARS. (I’m a math professor now. I sometimes think about looking up my worst teacher so I can tell her my profession and give her a heart attack.)

          • BeatriceC

            I’m a math teacher and I’m a big fan of showing work, but I’m not a “my way or the highway” person. If the student has come up with a method that works, then ok. The trouble is that sometimes they come up with a shortcut that works only some of the time, which is why I like to see their problem solving logic. I can catch things like that and get it corrected before it becomes a real problem.

            As for your parenthetical remark: In the 6th grade I wanted to join the band, and decided I wanted to play the oboe. The band director patted me on the head and told me I wasn’t a boy and wasn’t smart enough so I would never be good at it. I should pick the flute instead. Being the crazy bitch that I’ve always been, I pretty much said “fuck you” and picked the oboe anyway. I took a certain amount of glee when I photocopied my Juilliard acceptance* letter and mailed it to him.

            *A mountain climbing accident after my audition but before I got that letter ended my career in music, so I never got to actually go to Juilliard.

          • Young CC Prof

            Yeah, my shortcuts always worked, because I was reasoning them out rather than just guessing based on patterns.

            I think half the reason I was so frustrated was that I didn’t understand that the repetition was actually necessary for a lot of people. I literally believed the reason we were doing it was as a test of patience and handwriting.

          • BeatriceC

            I had a few students like that, and for them I altered homework assignments. I also had a “20 minute rule” for my 7th graders. I didn’t want my students working on homework for more than 20 minutes (I figured if something took me five minutes, then that was enough for students just learning). If at the end of 20 minutes of actually working they still could not complete it, they were to write a sentence or two stating what was giving them trouble and that would count as “complete”, even if it was “I don’t even know where to start!” written on a paper that had obvious starts and restarts written and erased several times. Additionally, I honestly didn’t care about correctness in homework. I’d rather they turned in a paper full of mistakes that they made themselves than a paper they copied from somebody else just to get credit for doing it. I feel they got more out of trying on their own, even if they couldn’t do it, than copying it. Also, their mistakes and notes as to why they couldn’t finish gave me far more insight to what they did and did not understand so I could go back and reteach or adjust my explanations so they did eventually learn.

          • guest

            I studied at home for the GRE back in the day with one of the standard study guides. I ignored the math section as I was long past caring, but for the analytical section they had all these time consuming ways to figure out probability and the placement of colored rocks on shelves and things like that, and I also reasoned out my own way of doing them. My shortcuts worked very well on the practice tests, and I did extremely well on that portion of the test and *GASP* even enjoyed it. (But it didn’t matter – only the verbal and subject area test mattered by that point.)

          • Charybdis

            My mother taught the “Basic Math I, II and III” at the local community college, among other things. I always envied her her patience, as she could explain and re-explain that “2+3=5 is the same as 3+2=5” to ADULTS without wanting to bang their heads off the table.

          • BeatriceC

            I taught several of the “developmental” classes during my time at the community college. We had a class that literally started off with adding columns of numbers and regrouping while adding (subtracting was a later unit). I’m talking second and third grade math here. I got frustrated with that particular class and tried my best not to teach it. I did much better with the next class up, which was approximately middle school math/pre-algebra. Above that I was fine. I never taught anything higher than linear algebra and multivariable calculus (the college I taught had linear algebra as a prereq to MV calc).

          • Christy

            Anecdotal tangent: All through middle and high school I struggled with math and failed miserably at anything that even looked like physics. Then I went through a program to be a veterinary technician. Our radiology class was almost exclusively (applied) math and physics and I loved it! Makes me wonder if math didn’t have to be such a stumbling block for me when I was younger.

          • BeatriceC

            Your story and thousands of others just like it are the foundation of why I believe what I do about mathematics education in this country.

          • demodocus

            I found geometry easier than algebra, too.

          • BeatriceC

            I hated geometry. The one and only math class that I ever truly struggled with was topology (geometry with a major kick). I actually cried over that class.

          • guest

            It is apparently a left brain/right brain thing, although I read something recently that said everything we do is really a whole-brain thing. Whatever the reason, geometry makes more sense to some people, and algebra more sense to others, in large enough numbers that it seems like there’s a correlation.

          • BeatriceC

            My own personal hypothesis is that it has more to do with what people enjoy and what processes they use to parse information and problem solve. Math was “easy” for me. This doesn’t mean that it didn’t take work to earn my master’s degree (MS in mathematics with a concentration in mathematical statistics and probability theory). I worked hard, but I enjoyed the work, which made it “easy”. I do struggle with spacial thinking, which is probably why I hated geometry and absolutely detested topology. Most mathematicians I know gravitate to algebra/analysis type specializations or geometry/topology/set theory specializations. Oddly, we also tend to divide along the same lines between musicians/music lovers and visual artists/visual arts lovers.

          • guest

            I may have some form of dyscalculia, myself. My feeling in math classes was always that the numbers wouldn’t “hold still”well enough for me to perform the calculations. But it is hard to separate a true math disability from a gendered assumption that girls are bad a math. I will tell you all here (under my “guest” pseudonym) that I still perform a lot of basic addition and subtraction using my fingers. At this point I have no idea if I cannot do it the other way or I’m just so afraid that I can’t that I effectively can’t, or what. I get by fine since I can use a calculator in most situations now. I do a lot of grade calculations and almost never make a mistake with my calculator. I’m a little worried about when the kids start school and I might be expected to help them with math homework. I can’t afford a private tutor, and I don’t want to transmit my inability to them.

          • BeatriceC

            Dyscalculia is a real thing, but I think it’s over diagnosed for the reason you stated: is real or is it a consequence of societal expectations and allowances. If it makes you feel any better, I’m not the best computationalist in the world, and neither were most of my professors. It’s an ongoing joke in the math world that some of the most brilliant mathematicians are horrible at arithmetic.

            Now, onto your worries about your child’s education. I have a few thoughts….

            First, let’s change the way you view things. In my classrooms, I banned certain phrases. My students aren’t “bad at math”, they “have to work a little harder to understand the concepts”. They don’t “just don’t have a head for math”, they “don’t like math as much as *insert favorite subject*, so they’re not as motivated to put in the work required to learn it”. Replace definitive, value-judgement phrases with skill-based phrases. You can fix skills. You can do things you don’t like. Making definitive statements that imply something is a part of you means you can’t fix it.

            So with your daughter, you can say “You know, I struggled with that when I was your age. Let’s look at it together and figure it out.” You’re telling her a couple of things. First, you’re telling her it’s okay if something takes a little work to learn. Second, you’re telling her it’s never to late to learn it.

            One of the things I did in my middle school classrooms was to have a marble jar for each class. Every time a student caught me in a mistake I put a marble in the jar for that class. When the jar was full, I threw a party for the class. I had multiple reasons for this. First, we all make minor errors all the time. Most of the time the mistakes I made were simple calculation errors, but other times I switched negatives, dropped a radical, added when I should have subtracted, etc. Sometimes it was on purpose and other times because I simply wasn’t paying attention. This showed my students that it’s okay to make a mistake. They happen to the best of us. Secondly, if my students could catch me in a mistake then they knew that they were not only paying attention, but they were learning, and that, after all, was my ultimate goal. So show your daughter it’s okay to make mistakes. The important thing isn’t that one never makes a mistake, but that one goes back and figures out what went wrong and then fixes it.

            Lastly, and this is going to be the hardest part, especially as she gets older, try to figure out how to apply each concept to something she enjoys in real life. In all my years of teaching there hasn’t been a single topic I couldn’t come up with a real life example of said topic in action; and I’m not talking about some science specific job application, but something that people encounter in everyday life. There have been a few processes/algorithms I couldn’t relate, but I’ve never failed on the topics themselves.

            Some examples from pre-algebra/algebra 1:

            -You’re cooking dinner. You go to set the table and realize that you forgot to run the dishwasher last night so you only have two clean plates. You have 8 people eating dinner. How many plates do you have to wash? This is solving for an unknown. In formal algebra it would look like 2 + x = 8.

            -You live in extreme southern Miami-Dade county. You’re driving down to Key West. It’s a 140 mile drive. You know you get 300 miles out of a tank of gas, but you only have 3/4 of a tank. Gas in the Keys is really, really expensive, so you want to make the round trip on a single tank. Should you fill your tank up before you leave? There’s a ton of algebra in that set up, and most people would be able to figure out that they can just barely make the trip only if they start out with a full tank without ever seeing formal equations, but the thought process is still the same.

            -You could flip that process around. You’re on a long road trip and you have a quarter tank of gas in the car. There’s a gas station coming up, but it’s expensive. You know that 50 miles down the road there’s another station that sells gas much cheaper. Do you have enough gas to make it to the farther station?

            -You have $200 in birthday money. You really, really, really want that PlayStation game for $60 and a skateboard for $100. How much money do you have left after buying the first two things? (60 + 100 + x = 200).

            -You’re having a party. You can have cheeseburgers and chips for $10/person or steak and chicken for $20 per person. You have a food budget of $300. You want to invite at least 20 people. Which food choice can you afford?

            Now, you’re probably saying that there’s easier ways than algebra to figure out all those problems. Here’s the deal: basic algebra is just codifying mental math techniques. Most of the “rules” make far more sense if you stop to see what’s really going on instead of going “CRUDBUNNIES! It’s MATH! with LETTERS!”

            I specialize in teaching students who “Just don’t get math”. Part of my job is de-mystifying math and getting them to see that they *can* actually do the math and what’s holding them back is a mental block. Frequently I have to work backwards to figure out where the mental block started (I can’t teach fractions if my student can’t multiply at all), and then work back up from there.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            “Welp, there’s your problem, 7 plus 8 is never 12”

            I guess I’ll just go redo that last page of calculations then. *sobs*

          • BeatriceC

            Oh, I can’t tell you how many times I worked a problem that wound up with 15 pages of calculations only to find I dropped a negative back on page one.

          • guest

            Um…don’t you just buy a little bit of gas at the expensive station, and then fill up when you reach the cheap one? 😉

          • guest

            But seriously, thanks. Now I just have to try and remember all this for several years. Right now my daughter is still just learning what numbers ARE. But she is a little better at it than her twin brother, for the moment.

          • BeatriceC

            For now, just play math games with the kids. Make it fun and relevant to whatever you’re doing at the moment. I can’t recall (if you ever said) how old your kids are, but make it age appropriate. Count groceries as you’re putting them away. Count toys. If they’re old enough say “I see three blocks on the floor! Johnny has two in his hands. How many blocks do we have?” Then giggle as they count them. Find ways to work in math related subjects when they don’t notice that’s what you’re doing.

            On another aside, I made a girl scout mom laugh a few weeks ago. The girls were selling cookies outside of the grocery store. I said “Sorry girls, I’ve already spent $120 on girl scout cookies this year.” One of the girls responded “That’s a lot of cookies!”, so I said “Yes, it is a lot of cookies. How many boxes did I buy?” The mom smiled as the girls set to figure it out.

          • Charybdis

            Yeah, my mom, who has a master’s in math as well and taught everything from basic remedial math (college level) to calculus and math analysis from junior high lever clear through to college, never missed a chance to math with my brother and me as children. Figuring the tip at a restaurant, counting change, figuring the tax on a purchase, all that stuff. We counted, grouped, added, subtracted, multiplied and divided without knowing that’s what we were doing.
            Odd number counting, even number counting, counting by 5’s, 10’s, 20’s, keeping score while playing progressive rummy (card game), dominoes, dividing a package of Starburst evenly between me and my brother, baking cookies, measuring ingredients, counting chocolate chips in a cookie, you name it, it got “mathed” without us knowing.

            We had games like Tri-ominoes and Quad-ominoes (dominoes played with triangle shaped tiles and square shaped tiles with numbers in each corner), I found one called “Equate” which is like Scrabble, but uses numbers and addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We couldn’t get away from it. But we were learning without knowing it.

          • You sound like a great teacher. Your students are lucky to have you.

          • Mishimoo

            Same! I also found basic physics easy because I could see the real-world applications, but struggled with quadratic equations. (They’re now on my list of things to conquer)

          • Charybdis

            I really enjoyed analytical geometry; rotating and translating parabolas,hyperbolas, ellipses and spheres. However, the parabola was the hardest for me to deal with, I found the others (which were more complicated) WAY easier than those damn parabolas.

            I hated basic physics with the fiery intensity of a million suns. I just DID NOT CARE about the coefficient of friction or any of the other crap they bang on about (length of lever needed to move X pounds, stuff sliding down an incline, etc. EVIL, that was). But near the end of the semester, when we got to the “hard stuff”: heat transfer through different materials, latent heat of fusion and vaporization, that stuff I loved. It was easy for me.

            I can astonish DS by my math recall. Crazy stuff like iMimi (sine wave graph), MimiM (cosine wave graph), rise/run is the slope of a line, and a tangent graph involves an asymptote. Plus I can remember numbers like a champ; phone numbers, account numbers, credit card numbers, stuff like that.
            Makes helping him with his geometry homework (in 6th grade!) a hell of a lot easier.

          • BeatriceC

            Physics is actually my least favorite of all the sciences. I simply could not get interested at all in any of it. I really settled on where I wanted to go with my education and life when my multivariable calculus teacher started using examples from mathematical statistics to teach multiple integrals. I had a difficult time with general chemistry, but really loved organic and bio chem, and between all that, had decided I wanted to do a Ph.D in biostatistics. I never did finish.

          • Mishimoo

            Speaking of chemistry, I just finished a brilliant book: ‘A is for Arsenic: The poisons of Agatha Christie.’ by Kathryn Harkup. It’s such a good read, I’m so glad I picked it up.

          • Roadstergal
          • Mishimoo

            Oooh not yet! I’ll put it on my list, thanks.

          • Roadstergal

            I really enjoyed her writing style.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            See? That (your single anecdote) just goes show that if you push through the hard stuff, *anybody* can do physics. Anybody who doesn’t just didn’t try (and is probably a terrible person with no standards or morals).

            Now go forth and preach the value and ease of physics!

          • Kelly

            I found geometry easier than algebra easier too and I was surprised when I started teaching that the majority of my students just could not pass geometry no matter what

          • Kelly

            Physics made absolutely no sense to me. I have a hard time putting a paragraph of information into an equation and getting the answer.

          • guest

            I wanted to try doing calculus while taking Ritalin so I could up my supply of patience for doing math, but I couldn’t get a doctor to give me a prescription for it. Big Doctors and their booby traps, man.

          • Roadstergal

            If you really loved your children, you’d work harder at calculus. After all, studies continually show that higher-IQ and better-educated mothers have better outcomes overall for their children. If you don’t throw everything else out of the window to get good at calculus, you’re a shit mom.

            (Do I have to /s? I think I have to /s.)

          • demodocus

            I worked damn hard for my C- in calculus!

          • BeatriceC

            Obviously not hard enough. Did you try the supplemental calculus system? It’s a little more effort, but if you use it religiously you can get that A in calculus.

          • demodocus

            ;p

          • demodocus

            Truly, i think I just needed to take longer to learn than 16 weeks, especially since I had 2 or 3 classes that semester that took a lot of effort on my part.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            Well, it’s never too late to recalculate! All you need to do is take these (untested) supplements and start doing calculus around the clock.

          • momofone

            Exactly. It’s supply and demand!

          • BeatriceC

            You just need to make sure that you integrate the right variables into your routine so that your total area is sufficient and differentiate appropriately so you don’t mess up the constants.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            Word

          • Sarah

            Oh, oh! Here’s something I can be ableist about!

            I did really really well in calculus. Like it came easily to me. If we were to compare it to breastfeeding, I was a veritable calculus cow with my 98.8% score. But like so many lactivists, I wouldn’t be able to help anyone else with their calculus, because knowing calculus didn’t mean I really knew anything about math or how other people should relate to their own math problems. I mean, I guess I could get involved in internet discussions about math and be like “Yeah, well, I get it. You should get it too.” but that wouldn’t really help anyone with their math comprehension or make the world any better of a place, so I don’t.

            Also, like lactivists, I can count on one hand how many times doing well in calculus in high school has affected my life. (And that’s once. And that’s right now. Me being able to relate this story is that one thing.) :-p

          • Young CC Prof

            You would be amazed at how many people can do math problems, but can’t explain them to anyone else.

          • BeatriceC

            “Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you can teach it.”

            MrC has a Ph.D in biophysics, but his work is more biochemistry (Pharma research). I had a chemistry minor, but it was years ago and I hardly remember anything. Guess who’s more capable of answering questions from the 16 year old currently taking HS chem?

    • Rachele Willoughby

      Wait. Did you do OTHER THINGS while you breastfeed your darling?!?

      Everyone knows that the benefits of breastfeeding only work if you’re staring lovingly into your baby’s eyes the whole time.

      • demodocus

        even if the little dear has fallen half asleep but will scream the moment you take him off.

      • guest

        Oh, no – I did the dissertation first. The only things I did *while* breastfeeding were read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, and finish all the levels on Angry Birds.

        I do know people who combine breastfeeding and academia, but I wasn’t up for it.

      • Erin

        That’s me failed totally and utterly then because in between staring back at my staring frog offspring I watched seasons 1 through 7 of Criminal Minds. He’s probably ruined for life… oh and worse, he had some marmite easter egg yesterday.

        • Rachele Willoughby

          We did all (at the time) 5 seasons of Doctor Who and all 7 seasons of Bones.

        • Megan

          Marmite Easter egg?

          Not sure I want to know…

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Seasons 1-9 of NCIS here. 😀

        • An Actual Attorney

          What for the love of G-d is a marmite easter egg? Is it an egg made of marmite???

          FWIW, I watched a bunch of movies I missed with Actual Kid. While BFing, I watched Judgment at Nuremberg, Inglorious Bastards and My Cousin Vinny. Don’t know what that did to his psyche.

          • Erin

            Pretty much, marmite mixed in with the chocolate. They advertise it as a “yeaster egg”. I who cant eat toast without marmite through it was disgusting. Husband who hates marmite but loves chocolate thought it was delicious

          • An Actual Attorney

            Afraid my Americanness is going to show here, but that is totally puzzling to me.

        • demodocus

          PBS online, especially nova and secrets of the dead. I’m a nerd.

      • Juana

        Then my LO will have to do will merely being fed and miss out on the other benefits. Too bad.

        I ALWAYS do other things while breastfeeding (like read SOB right now). She’s used to me using her back as a mouse pad…
        If I ever HAD TO gaze lovingly into her eyes all the time (as opposed to “when I feel like it”), I swear my brain would seep out of my ears.
        Then I’d switch to bottle feeding faster than you can say “utter boredom”. But then again, you’re supposed to gaze lovingly into the baby’s eyes as she feeds from the bottle, or else…

        • Inmara

          Using baby’s back as mouse pad is a serious case of badass! Never would have thought about it, though I used to read internet in my smartphone during all feeding sessions, especially in nighttime (until DH read that light from screen it impacts levels of melatonin and baby sleeps worse, so I had tojust sit in the darkness and try not to fall asleep),

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            They have red filter apps for your phone screens now that block the blue light that influences melatonin. So if you have to have another round of having to stay awake with children, there’s an app for that!

            Seriously, I love the dimmer with a red filter I downloaded. I can read at night without sabotaging my sleep cycle.

          • Inmara

            Thanks, I’ll give it a try (children or no children, I like to read while in bed)! Never knew that there is such thing possible.

        • Rachele Willoughby

          Sometimes when my youngest was that size I wished that I was breastfeeding so I could have a hand free for note taking.

    • fiftyfifty1

      You’re not supposed to find it “freaking amazing”. If done right, you are supposed to find it “freakin [sic] amazing” There’s probably a big difference, you see.

      • Guest

        Dammit, there’s my education messing me up again!

    • Elisabetta Aurora

      Yeah, I powered through everything from poor weight gain to middle of the night pumping sessions to build my supply to oversupply to mastitis to early teething to thrush. I made it happen against all odds and was “successful” for 7 full months. And you know what? I wish I hadn’t done it. Not only was it NOT amazing but I missed out on a lot of the joy of being a new mom because I was working so damn hard to make breastfeeding a priority. Now I’m pregnant with number 2 and have every intention of bottle feeding the little buddy from day one. This is my last kid and I want to soak up every gummy smile and tiny cuddle I can. Who knows? I might not get the chance to hold a baby again until I become a grandparent and even that’s not a guarantee.

  • no longer drinking the koolaid

    Three miscarriages, and several rounds of fertility meds before naturally conceiving and carrying 4 children to term. PCOS, and breastfed the kids until they were toddlers. Home birth CNM & IBCLC, who had a home born baby, believes formula feeding is a god send, and that home birth is entirely too risky for every mom and baby.
    I am a walking oxymoron and a reformed cognitive dissonant. None of the failures or successes were w/i my control.

    OTOH, these lactivists have obviously never met a tubular breast trying to produce milk for a starving baby.

    • Christy

      Today I was out shopping with my little one all snuggled up in his Baby K’Tan wrap. When he woke up hungry I whipped out a bottle of formula (I combo feed). I’m secretly hoping I blew a few people’s minds. The great thing about not being dogmatic about birth and parenting is getting to pick and choose what works best for you and baby at that particular moment!

      • Kelly

        I was out with my kids and had the two year old on my back in the Ergo and the six month old in her car seat with a bottle propped up. It works best for us as my two year old is quite the runner and screamer and does neither when in the carrier. I am glad to have the ability to have things that work for me.

  • indigosky

    I suffered several miscarriages and yes, I was blamed for it. I was told I worked too hard, ate the wrong thing, dared to go on the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and this why I miscarried. So unfortunately yes, women are blamed for miscarriages.

    And if formula feeding makes me a shit mom, so be it. I think my child will strongly disagree with you. Feel free to ask her, she is plenty old enough to have her own opinions and very strong ones. She has recently learned about debating (heaven help me!) and always backs up every statement. Much better than these lactivists.

    • Zornorph

      I have to ask – somebody thought the Haunted Mansion scared you into a miscarriage or they thought that the gentle movement of the Doom Buggy cased it? Have they never even been on the ride? It puts less force on your body than riding in a car. Or perhaps the 999 ghosts were responsible? Honestly, people are so vile sometimes.

      • swbarnes2

        I think the “thinking”, if you can call it that, goes “women are supposed to be like appliances, not people. They are supposed to be operated in accordance to their functions, not their feelings.”

      • indigosky

        Daring to go on the ride. It was the first chance I had ever gotten to go on the Haunted Mansion during Christmastime when it was decked out as the Nightmare Before Christmas, and my doctor even said it and several other rides were perfectly fine to go on.

        Funny, all those supposed experts – it was a lack of progesterone that caused my miscarriages. I could never make it past 10 weeks before. I even went on Splash Mountain when pregnant with my daughter and she turned out fine (I was 14 weeks along and it was HOT. Then I realized what hot really was as my pregnancy continued). Well, as fine as she can when she has my genetics 😉

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Ugh. I am so sorry you had to hear that, and even more sorry that you had to go through the miscarriages. I had only one, and it was very early, and I still wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
          FWIW, with DD’s pregnancy, I lost a good, longtime friend because I wouldn’t purchase a special brand of $20/pound salmon and pay more to have it express-delivered to my doorstep. That plus my insistence on eating sushi (you never know with them foreign foods!), eating a lot of lean protein, fruits and veggies (don’t kill me, sweets tasted horrible), and not following crazy non-mainstream diets meant that I didn’t really care about my baby. She “only hoped I didn’t live to regret it.” I didn’t, sushi remains awesome, and it was rather nice not having to worry much about getting the baby weight off.
          I swear, pregnancy tends to bring out Teh Stoopid in the non-pregnant like nothing else does.

          • demodocus

            I hated sweets my first pregnancy too. Now I want chocolate ice cream all. the. time.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            M&M McFlurries here. Mmmmm.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            I couldn’t eat *meat* during my last pregnancy. I became an involuntary vegetarian for almost a year.

          • demodocus

            Ah pregnancy.

          • Mishimoo

            Same with my last two pregnancies, and even though I’m not pregnant, I’m starting to head back to involuntary vegetarianism thanks to the way my gut is behaving. It’s awful!!

          • BeatriceC

            Coffee. I knew I was pregnant long before any test told me when I developed a sudden and severe aversion to coffee. I couldn’t even have the stuff around me. I got rid of all the beans and grinds and made my husband buy coffee at McDonald’s because I wouldn’t allow even the smallest amount in the house.

          • Mishimoo

            I cried when my morning sickness took coffee from me.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            My Dad was so sad for me that he went out and bought me a bunch of boxes of tea. He’s like, “I don’t know anything about tea so I got you a bunch, just to be safe.”

          • Mishimoo

            Awww! That is so sweet!

          • guest

            I had the same aversion. I am a die-hard coffee drinker and had read all I could about the safety of caffeine during pregnancy. I was all set to keep drinking it. And then, all of a sudden, it was gross.

          • BeatriceC

            Exactly. I’m currently working through my third pot (not cup, pot) of coffee today. This is normal for me. Then I switch to Diet Coke when I want something cold to drink.

          • demodocus

            *jealous* i love tea, even pregnant. Real tea with camilla sineses (sp?) in it! But i have to behave. 🙁

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I craved sweet/acidic food during pregnancy and so drank a lot of soda, including caffeinated. I stopped abruptly after the baby was born because I was breast feeding and could not overcome the fear that the baby would get a clinically relevant dose of caffeine through breast milk and…stay up all night!

          • guest

            I was worried about caffeine keeping the babies up too. I cut back to two cups a day, and it didn’t seem to affect them, so all was well.

            While I had morning sickness, the only things I wanted to eat were potato chips, salted lemons, olives, and ginger ale.

          • Who?

            I don’t ordinarily like fresh tomatoes, loved them both times when I was pregnant. To the point where my husband looks askance at me if I have tomato, and asks if I have ‘news’ to share.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            With my first baby I only liked things that were super sour. Like, growling, fork in hand, over an open can of sauerkraut, sour.

          • BeatriceC

            You know what I’m craving these days? Raisin Bran. It’s like I cannot physically eat enough to satisfy the cravings. Plain raisins don’t work at all and neither does anything else sweet. I passed up my favorite chocolate last night at ate raisin bran for dessert because it was all I could think about. It’s weird.

          • demodocus

            Blame the teenagers?

          • BeatriceC

            There’s a thought.

          • Kelly

            I crave cheese when I PMS. My OB thought it was weird. I will also crave a food and will think about it for days before I finally get it. I love when people tell me to wait ten minutes and that craving will go away because it will not go away until it is satisfied.

          • Dinolindor

            Raw carrots for me. Baby carrots don’t count for some reason, it has to be regular carrots that I peel and eat like Bugs Bunny.

          • Kelly

            I wish mine was more healthy.

          • Dinolindor

            Don’t get me wrong – I still crave (and eat) buckets of chocolate and fried things. I was just mentioning the one I think is odd.

          • Kelly

            Oh, that makes me feel better. I crave ice cream as well.

          • BeatriceC

            Hmmm. Maybe that’s it. After bragging that I’ve pretty much been regular as clockwork for my entire life (save a few times over the course of the last 31 years…yes, I got my first period when I was 9), my period is now over two weeks late. I spotted just a tiny bit when it was due, but barely enough to wipe, and not enough to actually stain a pad. Anyway, maybe my body is trying to tell me it needs something. And yes, I do have an appointment with my doctor. Unfortunately they’re booked months out, so the soonest they can get me in is at the end of April.

  • Mel

    My sis-in-law is catching a lot of crap from the nurse-midwives at her OB/GYN’s practice because she’s not planning on EBF for very long after birth.

    I’ve given her two responses to try:
    1) “I’m here today because of ongoing elevated blood pressure. Being nagged about how I’m feeding a child who is not even born yet is making my blood pressure worse.”
    2) “I’ve discussed feeding methods with our pediatrician and (he/she) feels that my plan is the best for the baby based on my medical conditions.”

    It’s making ME exasperated by proxy.

  • BeatriceC

    As a loss mother, I have absolutely no issue with this meme.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Ditto.

  • AirPlant

    I am a very opinionated person and as such I have had a lifelong battle of learning to STFU. There have been plenty of times that I have failed at this seemingly simple task and there have always been social repercussions. All I can think is that contemporary lactivism is a bunch of similarly opinionated folk with functioning lady bits who just managed to find the socially sanctioned bitchy outlet that they have been searching for their entire lives.

    • Chi

      It’s basically an extension of the cool-kid clique at high school.

  • Sarah

    These self-satisfied dullards have such an over-inflated idea of their own importance, don’t they? This particular specimen has things entirely arse about face. If she calls me a shit mother for not breastfeeding, it is I who will be the one doing the judging.

    • attitude devant

      You wonder “Can they even HEAR themselves?”

  • Sarah

    I really wish some organization somewhere would give a more nuanced and realistic portrayal of breastfeeding and proposed benefits. It’s really annoying to share studies only to be countered with WHO policy talking points. It’s easy for them to say #shitmoms when a quick Google search will give the impression that all of the major medical decision-makers agree with them.

    • Saysha

      I agree. I think if there was a factual account with all the problems, expected and rare, more women would breastfeed if possible because they’d be aware it was normal.

      I think it was linked a few months before that supplementation at birth also leads to better BF outcomes (non starving baby latches better). Demonizing formula has probably cost a lot of mothers to give up breastfeeding.

      • Roadstergal

        “Demonizing formula has probably cost a lot of mothers to give up breastfeeding.”

        And harms babies (starved in the first few days of life) in ways that will be difficult to quantify.

        • Sarah

          To this day I’m a little worried that I harmed my son in some way. He doesn’t seem at all harmed by it and really bounced back quickly in growth and health once we hit the right level of supplementation (which if I’m being honest with myself was ‘all of it.’) But I still think back to finding crystallized urine in his diaper and his overall listlessness during that first week and shudder to think what could have happened if I’d only relied on LLL guidance and not had an amazing LC that worked with their pediatrician’s practice.

          • Roadstergal

            🙁 I’m so sorry you two went through that, and thank goodness for your LC…

    • Charybdis

      Even if they did, there would still be those who discount the information/proof/evidence. Look at the vaccine vs. autism debate. Long proven that vaccines have NOTHING to do with autism, but there are still folks who stubbornly insist that there is a link and they are not going to take that risk with their snowflake, no matter how small the risk.

    • Zornorph

      Let’s organize and take over WHO. We can get rid of that silly C-Section thing at the same time. Boy, wouldn’t that just freak them all out!

      • Sarah

        We can replace the optimal c section rate with the following: “Countless studies show that 100% of people use statistics incorrectly to prove a point at least once.”

  • Saysha

    I’d like to point out their only argument is that since they can’t see my kids on my profile, I obvs don’t have kids.

    Internet safety. It’s a thing.

    • Megan

      That’s because their whole lives are about flaunting their children and their parenting (aka their only achievements in life) all over the internet. I’m sure they wouldve assumed the same about me as I don’t even have a FB page and my children’s pics are not allowed to be posted by anyone else. It’s one of my few hard and fast rules I ask family and friends to abide by.

      • Saysha

        Oh, I had them up, but then I remembered crazies abound and I hid them all.

        But yeah, they “taunted” me that I only knew about cats….when only they talked about cats. I mean, I know a fair bit about cats, but I hadn’t said anything.

        Hell, all I said to them was if they were SURE I had no kids.

        • Zornorph

          Are you Debbie, the online dater, who wants to hug every cat?

          • Saysha

            No? I’m happy to go Elmyra on felines, but I do have my limitations.

          • Zornorph

            Just so you know what I’m talking about:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP4NMoJcFd4

          • Gatita

            I got to pet a seven toed cat today, SQUEE! I love cats. But that video is cuh-ray-zee.

  • Zornorph

    I think what is so telling is how big of a deal these lactivists make breastfeeding out to be. Even if you breastfeed for a full two years (which is what I think they consider to be the ‘right’ amount), that’s still such a short period of time comparatively speaking. What do they go on about when they are doing BFing their special snowflake? What do they use to hold out that they are the Best Parent Ever? I guess they’ll continue to go on about BFing until they are dead, but since they aren’t doing it themselves anymore, is that something lacking in their lives?

    • Amy M

      They have another baby.

      • Zornorph

        That’s true, they need that ‘healing VBAC’, too.

    • Charybdis

      They always talk about letting the baby self-wean when it is ready. So why do they treat a potential self-weaning attempt at say 10-12 months as a “nursing strike”? Baby is ready to be done with breastfeeding, BUT I’M NOT!!! OMG, what do I do? How do I get my baby interested in nursing again, because I’M NOT READY TO BE DONE WITH THIS MAGICAL, SPECIAL BONDING TIME”!!!

      They then become “those” helicopter parents at school. I can’t count the number of parents that are continually hanging out at school, noses up the principal’s and the teachers’ ass, brown-nosing and micromanaging their kid’s school experience. When I was in school, if a note got sent home, or god forbid, you had to call your parents, it was a VERY SERIOUS MATTER. You had set something on fire, created an explosion or killed someone. Not these days. I got a note from DS’s teacher saying that he was tilting back in his chair during class. WTF is that about? Deal with it in class and save parental involvement for serious issues like fighting, defiance, bullying, etc.

      Just because you have a baby does not mean that you completely lose yourself and your identity. Sacrifice everything for your children; quit your job, breastfeed, only organic foods, chauffeur them all over creation for their myriad of activities, never complain, bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never, never let your husband forget he’s a man! “Cause I’m a WOMAN!! Enjoli !! I don’t think it is too healthy to completely lose yourself in another person, whether that be a mate, child or friend. Their interests become YOUR interests, their favorite things become YOUR favorite things; dress like them, parrot their phrases back to them, convince yourself that this is way better than it used to be. Single White Female territory there.

      • Mel

        In defense of DS’s teacher, if the teacher is employed in a helicopter parent heavy school, you find yourself writing notes preemptively in self-defense.

        I student-taught in a helicopter heavy HS. I was a fairly advanced student teacher who was a tad older than the average student teacher and had lots of previous teaching experience. Even with that, my supervising teacher in the district spent the first two weeks responding to emails from freaked out parents that I was going to totally ruin their junior-in-high school’s life because their chemistry experience was going to be subpar.

        I also found myself helping students write “improvement” plans – at the student’s behest – to raise their chemistry grade. The problem was that their current grade was an “A-” and they were 3 weeks into a 18 week grading period. I tried to explain to these terrified students that their grade would likely be in the straight “A” territory in 2-3 weeks without any change because of the way points accumulate and people’s grades improve over time. No one believed me and so we made plans.

        The saddest part for me was the “average” kids who were nice, normal students who liked school but enjoyed goofing off, too. I remember having a PT conference with a kid’s mom. He was a solid C student in chemistry, but he was funny, nice and witty. I said that I really liked having her kid in class because he was a hoot and made the class fun. She started to cry. She’d never had a PT conference where a teacher didn’t start by explaining how the student needed to do better in the class. I asked her if her son wanted to be a chemist – I thought he was interested in some auto mechanic work, not hard-core academic chemistry. She said he loved working on cars in the family business. I said “So, he just needs to pass chemistry which he’s doing just fine and get the diploma so he can start at the local trade school. He’s fine. ” I still remember that and it’s been more than 10 years.

        • demodocus

          my experience, too, though mine weren’t quite that um, interesting

      • Zornorph

        If I had a note sent home from school, that was, quite literally, my ass. Which I’m sure would horrify the BFing set, too.
        As for the other thing, before I had kiddo, I did agility training with my doggie. Within two months of him being born, I was back at it once a week, running around the course with Kiddo in my baby Bjorn as I shouted commands to doggie. My way of thinking of it – this was something doggie and I loved to do – it was OUR special time – and I didn’t think it was fair to either of us, but particularly doggie, to stop just because I had a baby.
        So Kiddo is growing up around this much to the amusement on the nearly all-female group that we train with. Even when he was just a bit more than 1yo, he would sit in his stroller and go ‘Oops!’ when a dog would fault on the course because he’s learned to recognize that.
        I won’t give up my life – there’s no need. I was asked to be the chairman of my political party in our district. I took it but just warned them that I’d be bringing Kiddo along to some events because while I’m happy to leave him with a baby-sitter sometimes, we have an election next year and I don’t want to be constantly away from him. He may or may not inherit my love of politics or agility training but there’s no reason I have to sacrifice either of those things that I love just because I’m a dad.

      • guest

        I’ve always wondered…are nursing strikes ever a real thing? I was led to believe it was so common all women had to deal with them and then it just never happened with mine.

        • swbarnes2

          Mine abruptly refused to nurse from boob at about 6 months, (though for a while, would do it first thing in the morning only). Cried when I tried to put her on boob. Would take pumped milk fine from a bottle, so it wasn’t the content. I googled a bit, and the only advice was not use bottles, which I thought was pretty stupid, and stay at home spouse didn’t want to do (not “supportive enough” I guess the critics would say). I still pumped for a while, but it hurt my never adequate supply to lose those nursing sessions, and a vacation where pumping was really inconvenient killed my supply for good, and we went all formula from there on out.

        • Toni35

          I’ve nursed three children to age 2-2.5 years, and currently nursing a 7 month old. My oldest did have a nursing strike at 9 months old (pretty sure caused by her biting me and me yelping, rather loudly, as it caught me off guard – must have scared her). It was a *sudden* refusal to nurse, and it was clearly making *her* upset (not like she refused and then just went off and did her own thing, she’d refuse, but be crying and inconsolable about it). The only sane advice I found about it was what I followed – I pumped enough to relieve engorgement, fed her her normal meals of solids in their normal amounts, gave her her normal non-boob liquids (in a sippy cup) in their normal amounts, offered what little I had pumped, and offered her the breast whenever she seemed receptive (especially upon waking from a nap). And frustrating as it was, did my level best not to let her know I was worried. It worked – the strike ended within 36 hours. Not sure it’s a “common” thing (only one out of my 4 ever did this, so certainly not common in my house), but it is a real thing.

        • Mel

          As a non-parent, I guess that the frequency of nursing strikes is directly proportional to the length of time that the mom wants to breastfeed AFTER the baby no longer wants to.

          From my mom, my middle brother self-weaned at 7 months when she got pregnant with my younger brother. He went from “I love nursing” to “Your milk tastes weird” based on facial expressions and his new habit of turning away from her breasts and screaming.

          She taught him how to use a sippy cup.

        • Inmara

          I don’t know if it counts as nursing strike but around 3 months my baby flat out refused to take breast during the day (fussing, crying and pulling his head back immediately after latching) so we switched to bottle feeds then and nursing at night. From what I have read, LCs call it “milk crisis” when baby’s nutritional needs suddenly exceed supply (which was not adequate from the beginning so we were combo feeding by topping up). Probably, if I had persisted with my boobs every day, baby would have switched back to nursing (and I had maintained my supply longer) but I found the new arrangement quite comfortable and so we gradually went to EFF.

        • Elisabetta Aurora

          Never happened with mine. For her it was a bottle strike. I tried to introduce bottles around 7 months when I was done nursing, and she wouldn’t do it. I had to go cold turkey and literally send her on a hunger strike to get her to drink from a bottle. It was heartbreaking and one reason I think introducing a bottle early on (at least one a day) to get the baby used to it for when you’re ready to wean is a really, really good idea.

          • guest

            I wish mine would go on a bottle strike now. They are three years old, and still want two bottles of milk a day.

            It helps them sleep, so I don’t push it, but I am so sick of washing them.

          • Elisabetta Aurora

            Have you tried diluting them? That worked for mine. Your bottles probably have around 10oz. For the first couple of days put 9 oz of milk in and 1 oz of water. For the next couple of days 8 oz of milk and 2 oz of water. Keep diluting in this fashion until you are down to just water. Make sure you are adding milk at the mealtimes at the table to make up for it. By the time the bottles are down to just water, most kids will give them up on their own after a couple of days. The process takes about a month, but worked like a charm for me.

          • Who?

            Or just offering a little less each time. Same principle. By the time they are getting a taste each time they’ll have stopped wanting it.

          • Elisabetta Aurora

            That wouldn’t have worked on mine. She would have just shouted, “More, More!” But that just goes to show you that kids are different, do what works.

          • Who?

            It’s true. We tried the dilution first, not a success, so moved on to the gradual reduction. They’re all sensitive to different things.

        • MI Dawn

          Happened with both of mine with ear infections. Sucking at the breast was apparently much more painful than bottle (which they got during the day) and they both decided (one at 6 months, 1 at 7) that they were NOT going to nurse any more. I wasn’t ready to quit, but neither was I willing to make my baby miserable by forcing them to nurse.

          I actually tried all the tricks with child #1 (nurse when baby is sleepy/waking from a nap/whatever) but she would pull her head away and scream until she was given a bottle. With child #2, when the same scenario started, I said “to heck with it” and didn’t even try to go back. Pumping wasn’t convenient at work, anyway (I worked as a nurse) and I usually leaked like a sieve and soaked scrub tops a few times a night.

          Quitting was great. I was engorged for a day or so, then it was over. The kids were happy, I could work all shift and not have to change tops and bras every few hours, and everything else stayed the same.

      • Tokyobelle

        Not that I don’t agree with you (because I do), but as a teacher, you hear stories (who knows if they’re urban legends or not) about kids doing dumb things. One such story involves a student who kept leaning back in their chair, despite being corrected by the teacher. One day, they fell back and injured themselves, and the teacher was sued for not keeping a constant eye on the child.

  • Dinolindor

    Here’s what I don’t understand with the “people just used wet nurses” comment:
    For these SAHMs, who think they should do everything for their babies, that bonding with your baby can be disrupted by the tiniest infractions (ie, no skin to skin within the first hour of life), using a wet nurse means handing off your baby for someone else to cuddle and feed for what will amount to hours out of every day. How is this better than cuddling your baby yourself while giving it a bottle?

    • Amy M

      Breastmilk itself is the key to bonding because of the magic sparkles. Any breastmilk. If a baby is fed someone’s breastmilk, it will automatically bond like glue to its mom.

    • indigosky

      And people conveniently forget that those wet nurses were poor women and often of color, who sometimes had to let their own baby die to nurse the baby of their employer if they did not produce enough milk for two.

      • AirPlant

        For me that is actually the most depressing bit. In America the babies of slave women were often killed outright to ensure that the woman wouldn’t short the baby that they were being forced to feed. Wet nursing isn’t always a happy tale of community motherhood, it is most often a tale of subjugated mothers of dead babies.

        • Dinolindor

          Wet nursing is the prime example for why formula was a very necessary invention for babies.

    • Mel

      I’m curious is they actually understand the implications of wet nursing. The survival rates were atrocious in part because generally one wet nurse had two infants – hers and the nursling. For the poor women who acted as wet nurses, having enough food to supply two infants with enough milk was rare – so one or both babies died.

      • Dinolindor

        Right! It’s not like wet nurses were people who had a lot of choice in their lives. I mean, they couldn’t necessarily choose to keep their own baby fed!

    • Zornorph

      Fun fact; Julius Caesar was not born of a Caesarian birth, but he did have a wet nurse.

    • Sarah

      People did use wet nurses, but this predated both HIV and basic employment rights. It doesn’t seem to occur to most of them that wet nurses now would, quite rightly, be entitled to the usual employee protections and that paid household staff, which is what a wet nurse would effectively be, are beyond the reach of all but a very few people these days.

      • Dinolindor

        Exactly – I just picked one of the few realities of using a wet nurse that wouldn’t sit well with one of these lactivists. But there are a myriad of reasons why the “wet nurse” argument doesn’t make any sense.

        • Sarah

          Employment rights? We don’t need no stinking employment rights! Breastfeeding is only magical and important until it comes to paying someone for their time, it seems.

        • Chi

          Not to mention how strictly you’d have to screen them to make sure they weren’t on any drugs that could be harmful if passed through breast milk.

  • CSN0116

    I checked out the profiles on a lot of those posters and the most vehement were young, low levels of education, with 1-2 kids. This is their purpose. This is all they have. They can’t counter argue, or argue on a different plane, because they’re limited to a very small scope based on few life experiences and little education. Loved when one threw up WHO CDC and AAP. Their evidence is weak (AAP and CDC) to non existent in the US (WHO). They’ve never read them. They’re not uni students and they sure as shit can’t afford the journal subscriptions. They know the abstracts and summaries from Kellymom.

    Quote I live by, “I would die for my children but I will not give up my life for them.” -Kate Chopin, “The Awakening” (I read it when I was 10). “Total motherhood” is today’s overt sexism. Men might as well still own women, only now its the child’s role and it’s encouraged.

    And I saw the meme via bodily autonomy. I’ve had two miscarriages; I exclusively formula feed. The meme applied to neither, IMO.

    • Saysha

      It honestly makes me feel very sad.

      I just spent a few hours getting apparently mocked by women who have no value in themselves other than being milk machines. The are the stuff /r/justnoMIL nightmares are made of. They have nothing but their belief they are better because they breastfeed.

  • mostlyclueless

    Hear, hear!!!! Posts like this one make me so grateful that you are doing the hard work that you do.

    Also, regarding point #2, I always wondered why that doesn’t come up more. Realistically, all the stuff people moan about on the internet — breastfeeding babywearing, baby led weaning, having a baby come out of your vagina, blah blah blah — has FAR FAR FAR less of an effect than does being wealthy and/or educated. So where are all the memes shaming moms for being poor? Why are some things more acceptable targets than others?

    • demodocus

      That Lawrence guy had a lovely fat-shaming pic a few posts down.

    • Amy M

      Those memes ARE shaming moms for being poor, only a little less obviously. I guess even hardcore lactivists can recognize that its not socially acceptable to directly shame people for poverty, so they come at it from the side. The things they shame people for are associated with, or correlated with lower SES. Sure, lots of middle and upper class people formula feed and whatever else these people don’t like, but according to the lactivist/NCB types, we should all be striving for the perfection that the women in the higher SES achieve, which is at least in part due to their privilege.

      • mostlyclueless

        I’m not so sure about that. The same women I know who are die-hard lactivists are the same women who say things to me like, “I gave up my job and became a SAHM because being there for my kids was more important to me than, you know, buying junk or having a fancy car. It was worth it to me to cut back on material things so I could improve my chances of breastfeeding success, and that’s something any mom can do if she tries hard enough and sticks to a budget!” As if the only reason I work is to make money that I can fritter away on frivolous crap, which I prioritize above (a) breastfeeding around the clock and (b) being my child’s sole caregiver.

        • Amy M

          I see what you are saying, and I have heard that too. I guess I mean that the trends, over history, have been generally set by those in the upper end of the SES, and the lower end strives to achieve the same. When formula was in vogue (in Western cultures), breastfeeding was mainly done by those who couldn’t afford formula, and was considered an activity associated with poverty. Today, the stats look a bit different—sure there are plenty of middle/lower income families where the mother breastfeeds, but the stats seem to show that middle-upper class white women do the most breastfeeding, in America at least. They also do the most AP-type stuff.

          When it comes to having mom stay home, it seems that either the parents are comfortable enough on one income that mom can choose to stay home (and do all the AP stuff including breastfeeding), or that the parents are lower income, but whatever the mother could earn would be outpaced by childcare costs, so it doesn’t make sense to have her work. That second group would be more likely to include the women you mention above who are hardcore lactivists, but not wealthy. What I don’t know is if these two groups of SAHMs are similar in size or not.

        • guest

          I prioritize a lot of things over breastfeeding. I like things. Things give me comfort. I don’t love my things more than I love my children, but I don’t see what’s wrong with enjoying things.

        • Liz Leyden

          She may have a point, if you consider groceries, heat, and a mortgage “frivolous crap.”

        • Exactly. And yeah, I drive a newer car and I buy the expensive yogurt, but that’s because I have a good job. If I were to quit, the result wouldn’t be an older car and generic yogurt. It would be no car, no house, and no food. The fact that my salary allows for nice things doesn’t negate the need to bring in the salary.

      • guest

        There is also a similar set of people who dictate pet ownership along the same lines: Pets must be treated in one very specific, very expensive way, and anyone who does not do so is an abusive animal hater. If you can’t afford it, you shouldn’t have pets. I was once told that I was an irresponsible bird owner if I didn’t have a separate savings account for bird medical emergencies with about $3,000 in it. I was a grad student in an abusive relationship at the time. My pet was a source of great comfort to me. But I was “too poor” to deserve one.

        • Sean Jungian

          WOW. While I do have a separate savings account for emergency expense, there is not now, nor has there ever been, $3000.00 in it. And I have a child!

  • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

    Thank you, and as my totally personal opinion I approve your meme/message , and I say this as someone who had 2 miscarriages and chose to formula feed her baby(when I finally was able to have one). As the baby is doing fine in her junior year of college(engineering) and still calls me every week just to chat, I think we did OK.

    • Karen in SC

      I was formula fed and I’m awesome! I have an engineering degree, my two brothers have MS degrees in engineering, and my sisters also have degrees and professional jobs.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        Yup, I think being able to afford a house, in a neighborhood with great schools, being able to get her the toy microscopes and chemistry sets she wanted as a grade school kid and encouraging her to enter the state science fair had a lot more to do with her doing well at what she wanted than whether I breastfed or not. And just spending time with her, whether at the park, museum, library or whatever. We were lucky enough to have that time and 2 incomes.

  • Commander30

    Just for the record, I’ve suffered a miscarriage and didn’t find your image offensive at all. It made a good point. The point being that words hurt and telling someone “just try harder” or “you didn’t want it enough” solves NOTHING.

  • Madtowngirl

    As a woman who has struggled with infertility, multiple miscarriages, and breastfeeding, I thought the meme was on point. People said some pretty insensitive things to me about the miscarriages and infertility, but they were never anything like “just try harder” or “you just need to be better educated.” Yet, I was repeatedly told that when I was desperately trying to feed my baby as a newborn.

    • Tokyobelle

      Exactly. When I had my miscarriage a few years ago (after years of infertility), people were quick to give me their condolences. When it became apparent that I wasn’t breastfeeding, and people wanted to know why, they really haven’t said much, but the looks on their faces said it all when I told them I couldn’t, and that sentiment has to a large extent been “bullshit”. But to some people’s credit, some have apologized, or have told me that it didn’t matter so long as I fed him.

  • moto_librarian

    I think that a lot of these women need to find some sort of outlet other than their children. Seriously, the whole goal of parenting is to raise independent, healthy adults. Breastfeeding occupies a very short amount of time when compared to total lifespan. Go back to school, get a hobby, get a job, something. If your only real achievement is natural childbirth/attachment parenting/breastfeeding, you’ve got problems. If you feel the need to lord it over other women to the point where you tell others that they are “shit mothers” for not making the same choices as you, well, you obviously stopped maturing and still have the mentality of a 13 year-old. Grow up!

    • Madtowngirl

      Exactly. I particularly loved the ” motherhood is about total sacrifice!!” comments. Yes, sacrifice is involved. But I’m not sacrificing my health or who I am for my daughter. That seems like an awful example to set for her.

      • moto_librarian

        I have two sons. I don’t want them to think that it’s okay for women to martyr themselves to their children. That’s a bad example for them too.

        • momofone

          Exactly. I want my son to see me choose to do what I enjoy, and I think the best way for him to learn it is to let him see me do it, the same way my mother did. Like her, I am completely missing the martyr gene. 🙂

        • BeatriceC

          I tend to choose to buy things for my kids rather than for myself. Recently I’ve decided that I’ve had it with being overweight. My health issues are finally properly diagnosed and I’m able to be more active again. I decided that since I spend so much time in ice arenas that I would ice skate for exercise, so I bought myself a pair of skates and go skate around in circles for a half hour or so each day. Even though the money I’m spending causes me to have to cut funds from other fun stuff, my kids are actually happy that I’m doing something for myself. They’ve all commented that I’m so much happier these last few weeks now that I’m doing something for myself. Funny how that works.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          It took me a ridiculously long time as a mom to figure out that it simply wouldn’t cause DD a lifelong trauma to learn that Mommy Gets To Pee, Too.

          • Gatita
          • Megan

            Upvote x 1,000,000

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            ROTFL. So very true. DD has recently discovered that if she lies down on the floor outside the bathroom door and peers under the crack, she can see my shoes while I pee. Insert toddler squeals of “SHOES! SHOOOOOEEEES!” here. *sigh* She’s lucky she’s cute!

          • BeatriceC

            All of my “OMG can you believe he did that!” stories from the boys’ toddler years start with “well I had to go to the bathroom….”

          • Elisabetta Aurora

            My husband mentioned just the other day that going to the bathroom in our house was a public show. Neither of us has bothered to shut the door in a long time, even for numbers above 1.

          • momofone

            I’ve shared this here before, but when I was probably ten or so, my mother was getting ready to go do something with a friend. I assumed that I was going too, and was incredulous when she told me I wasn’t. How could she without us–her CHILDREN!–and she said, “Firstname, there are parts of my life that don’t belong to you, and parts of your life that won’t belong to me. This is one of those.” She was a wise woman. 🙂

        • Tokyobelle

          You took the words out of my mouth. I was typing the very same thing when I saw your comment!

      • demodocus

        I’m pretty sure sacrificing my “sanity” is a bad idea for future outcomes/

      • Commander30

        There’s a difference between a necessary sacrifice (say, throwing yourself between your child and a bullet for an extreme example, where if you don’t do it your child will die or at least be severely harmed) and unnecessary sacrifice (say, making any aspect of motherhood harder than it needs to be when it really doesn’t affect your kid in the long-term, or even the short-term).

        I think a lot of these women think breastfeeding is an example of the first when it’s really an example of the second (in most cases).

        • Tokyobelle

          But didn’t you know that we’re all mompetitors in the great mompetition!

      • swbarnes2

        And of course, the people who expect women to sacrifice everything don’t expect men to sacrifice much of anything.

      • guest

        I think they’ve been reading too much Charlotte’s Web. “Total sacrifice” my ass. I have value in this world that extends beyond my children, and I’m not going to withhold that just because I have kids.

        • Gatita

          AKA Fuck the Giving Tree

  • DaisyGrrl

    This part of one of the comments really jumped out at me: “Women who are lactivists just want to help other moms because breastfeeding is freakin amazing. We want every woman to be able to experience the same joy.”

    Replace a few words, and: “People who are Christians just want to help other people because Jesus’ love is freakin amazing. We want every person to be able to experience the same joy.”

    These lactivists aren’t educating. They’re evangelizing.

    • moto_librarian

      This! Pointing out that your own experience with breastfeeding was the complete opposite of amazing is apostasy!

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        So freaking true. I’ve genuinely stunned several moms of my acquaintance when I briefly explain why breastfeeding DD sucked epically and, therefore, that I’m not going to try again. It doesn’t fit the narrative/catechism/whatever.

    • Daleth

      EXACTLY. I once met an Evangelical who said almost word-for-word what you’ve posted there. It was her explanation of why she had come up to talk to me about Jesus even though when she saw me, I was sitting in the astrology/alternative spirituality section of a bookstore reading a book from that section, and thus any passerby could correctly infer that I was not a big fan of talking about Jesus.

      To her credit, she did look genuinely overjoyed about her religious faith. But then, some people would be overjoyed by a Mariah Carey concert, which likewise is not at all my cup of tea. Why is it that Mariah Carey fans and Ziggy Stardust fans understand that there is no point trying to persuade each other that their preferred rock star is the only one worth listening to, but evangelical religious folks and breastfeeding advocates don’t get that?

      News flash for evangelists of every stripe (religious, breastfeeding, etc.): What makes you super-happy does not make everyone else on earth super-happy, because different people… are… DIFFERENT PEOPLE.

      • Gatita

        You clearly haven’t run into crazy stans online. Little Monsters, Beyhive, Cumberbitches, Dragonflies, Glamberts…just to name a few. I won’t even get into Twihards who define batshit.