Hey, Dr. Jay, maybe you could offer personal belief exemptions for formula feeding

Hypocrisy Concept

I suppose if you’re going to be a hypocrite, you might as well jump in with both feet.

I’ve been arguing about breastfeeding on Twitter with anti-vax hero Dr. Jay Gordon.

We started with this:

image

Dr. Jay decided to take a whack at me after I questioned his claim that not breastfeeding is a “major risk factor” for ear infections. Since high quality research shows that breastfeeding reduced the incidence of ear infections by only 8%, formula feeding couldn’t possibly be a major risk factor.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Here’s a crazy idea: let’s ask women themselves why they choose formula![/pullquote]

Dr. Jay refused to answer a direct question, a move he made over and over again in our conversation.

Instead he offered a personal attack. But how could I be anti-breastfeeding when I breastfed 4 children? Dr. Jay couldn’t answer that one, either.

Then Dr. Gordon offered the standard trope of the breastfeeding industry:

Most of the time that breastfeeding did not succeed it was because we docs did not offer enough support and/or find a good IBCLC

Dr. Gordon is an IBCLC.

Lactivists claim over and over again that women stop breastfeeding because of lack of support.

Here’s a crazy idea: let’s ask women themselves instead of having lactivists speculate that what was needed was more support from the breastfeeding industry!

image

Dr. Jay apparently thinks he knows better than formula feeders.

Practicing pediatricians know the consequences of moms NOT breastfeeding. Everything from increased SIDS to GI problems. This creates a very strong desire to give maximum support and encouragement to breastfeeding mothers.

Holy Hypocrisy, Dr. Jay! Aren’t you the same guy who offers personal belief exemptions for vaccine refusal?

Didn’t you say this to CBS?

If somebody with measles walked into Dr. Gordon’s office, 90 percent of the unvaccinated people who come in contact with them would get measles.

I asked Dr. Gordon to explain how that type of contagion isn’t a risk.

“You just said it, they’d get measles,” Dr. Gordon replied. “Not meningitis, not the plague, not Ebola, they’d get measles. Measles is almost an always a benign childhood illness.”

So it’s okay for kids to get measles from being unvaccinated, but you think ear infections are a major public health problem requiring you to hector women into breastfeeding?

I, of course, followed up with the obvious question:

image

Can you please compare for us the death rate for term babies aren’t breastfed vs. those who aren’t vaccinated?

He did not respond.

The incident highlights the hypocrisy of the anti-vax movement, but it also highlights a very serious deficiency of the lactivist movement, the refusal to listen to women who choose formula feeding.

The breastfeeding industry would rather substitute it’s own self-serving views of why women formula feed (they didn’t hire a lactation consultant and pay for support) than to acknowledge that breastfeeding can be difficult, painful and fail to produce enough milk to nourish a baby.

Perhaps Dr. Jay might change his mind about formula feeding if he could find a way to profit from that, too. I humbly suggest personal belief exemptions for formula feeding. Maybe then Dr. Gordon would respect women who formula feed as much as he respects women who don’t vaccinate.

  • Christopher Hickie

    Ah, Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP–celebrity pediatrician to the stars. Anti-vaccine fool. All-around creepy guy. Did you know he almost flunked out of med school? This surprises me not at all. He sure doesn’t know what he’s taking about almost all the time. And did you know he wasn’t smart enough to test a child with severe failure to thrive for HIV even though he knew the child’s mom had HIV (but was herself an HIV/AIDS denialist). That child died shortly thereafter from complications of HIv/AIDS ( http://www.evernote.com/l/AA9w4qKXW_ND-pOVyI-4VEFRn0ayWEaGm9g/ )

    Yeah, that’s Dr. Jay, advancing the frontiers of pediatric medicine by running a cash only clinic to the stars while telling people not to vaccinate during measles outbreaks ( http://www.stopsearsandgordon.org ) and then topping it off with a layer of breast feeding militancy that is shameful. Nice job, Jay! If there were any justice in the world, you’d have lost your license by now. –Chris Hickie, MD, PhD

    • Amazed

      We’ve been having a new wave of anti-vaxxers here lately. Yesterday, I personally hurt an anti-vaxxer’s precious fee-fees by calling him a leech and saying that I detest people who sicken and murder other people’s children. He was saddened by my lack of respect.

      Anyway, it’s far worse when those have a MD after their name.

  • Amber

    I’ve been practicing as a PA for a mere 8 years and have never seen a case of measles but have seen some cases of sequela from measles infection years ago including one case of epilepsia partialis continua from a measles infection over 30 years ago and required high dose seizure meds and a long hospital stay to control (the patient contracted measles and then developed encephalitis but fortunately survived). I wonder how many more cases we would see if no one was vaccinated from this “benign” infection…

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      But…but…but….they didn’t die, right? So that means it’s all good…

  • Amy Tuteur, MD
    • Gatita

      Excellent!

    • AA

      The post made it to my Reddit front page!

    • mostlyclueless

      This is like Christmas!! I love AMAs. You are brave to go on reddit though; the NCB cult can be very strong though. Actually, you are brave all the time, so I shouldn’t be surprised!

    • An Actual Attorney

      It was the first AMA I ever read. I found the format hard to follow (that’s a criticism of reddit, not this particular AMA. or maybe shows I’m old). But it was interesting.

  • Margo

    Daily mail article re flu vaccination cuts stillbirth, australian study.

  • Gatita

    OT: Do I dare bring up the Democratic primaries? Anyone want to talk about who they’re supporting? I’m very conflicted.

    • Nick Sanders

      I held my nose and voted Hilary. I like Bernie’s concern for the poor, but he’s anti-GMO, from what I’ve read many of his plans are impractical and not properly funded, and he really doesn’t have many allies in Congress or other political capital. Clinton isn’t great, but she’s tolerable, especially compared to anyone and everyone the GOP have running, and she has the connections and experience to make things happen, rather than getting stonewalled a la Carter.

      • Gatita

        That’s how I feel about it. I have some serious reservations about Clinton but Bernie’s plan isn’t really a plan at all, more like a progressive wish list with no meat behind it and no feasible way to make it reality. Great points about his lack of allies and political capital. Plus his senate record is pretty thin considering he’s been in office 25 years.

        • crazy grad mama

          Same feelings here. I’d love for many of Bernie’s ideas to come true, but I’m also pragmatic, and he’s presented no feasible plan for getting from here to there.

      • LibrarianSarah

        I voted for Bernie because I knew that it is unlikely that he was going to get the nomination but if Bernie got enough delegates maybe the Democratic Party could take progressive politicians more seriously instead of constantly being the “moderate” party. One of the reasons that this country is shifting ever more to the right is that while the Republicans let their freak flag fly, Democrats constantly pick “moderate” candidates over more progressive ones. At the end of the day, you can’t lead from the middle.

        • Nick Sanders

          That was my original plan, until Trump picked up so much steam.

    • demodocus

      I’m pretty much with Nick, not that i held my nose. I think Sanders is tapping into the same sort of discontent as the GOP front runners. Our nation works best when we compromise once in a while and those 3 men seem to think compromise is a 4 letter word. I’m not enamored with Clinton or Kasich but I think they’ll try to play with the other kids once in a while.

      • Daleth

        YES, EXACTLY. I’m in agreement with Bernie on a lot of issues but the thing is, I don’t think he actually knows how to get any of them DONE, and that’s in part because of his refusal to compromise. He was on some talk show where they asked what his plan was for dealing with a stubborn Congress refusing to do what he thought should be done, and guess what his plan was? He said people would just protest all across the country, and bingo, that would cause congressional representatives to do the right thing.

        Um.

        Because that worked so well when 10 million people worldwide all demonstrated on the same day to protest the Iraq war… all their governments immediately realized the war was wrong and we shouldn’t do it… NOT.

        Bernie. It is not the 1960s anymore. And that didn’t even really work in the 1960s–case in point: people protesting the war in Vietnam.

        Hillary, in contrast, knows how to get sh*t done!

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          I’d love to see Bernie in Hillary’s cabinet in an economic advisory position. Secretary of the Treasury, perhaps?

          • Nick Sanders

            I think Labor might be a better fit.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Do Cabinet positions require senate approval? If so, I can’t imagine the Senate approving Sanders for SoL. Unless there is a democratic majority, in which case they are going to have to change the rules on consent to avoid a filibuster (or whatever you want to call what they do nowadays).

            Of course, I can’t imagine the Senate approving anyone for Hillary’s cabinet. They’d just throw a temper tantrum and promise to hold their breath until she is gone.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Well, that’s working out for them so well with Obama’s supreme court nomination. Oh, look, they just lost a case they might well have won if Obama’s relatively conservative choice had been approved by the time arguments were heard. What a shame!

        • Nick Sanders

          I’ve told my dad that the candidate I really want is someone with Bernie’s ideals and Hillary’s pragmatism and know-how.

    • Madtowngirl

      Thanks for bringing this up with a rational group of people! Our primaries are tomorrow, and I have no idea who I’m voting for yet. I might even vote Republican just to vote against Trump.

      • Michele

        I voted Republican for that very reason. In the primaries, I try to vote against the worst choice(s) in the field as a whole.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          The problem is, I’m not convinced that Trump is the worst of the republican candidates. Compared to Ted Cruz? Not obvious.

          What I do think, however, is that if Trump were to get the nomination, he wouldn’t stand a chance in hell in the general. He’s barely holding on among the republicans, for pete sake, his racist, misogynist, completely non-thought out campaign isn’t going to get democratic support. I think Trump vs anyone in the general would be a historical blowout

          • Michele

            Oh, I don’t want Cruz either. He’s terrible, if at least more consistent in how he’s terrible. Trump will change his mind tomorrow on just about anything if he thinks it’ll be better for Trump. I voted Krusich mostly in the vain hope that he’d win a couple of delegates in my state and move the Republicans closer to a brokered convention. I can start popping the popcorn for watching the drama. I’d rather have either of the Democratic candidates than any of the Republicans, but I also don’t trust that Trump won’t pull some kind of shenanigans if he gets the nomination.

          • mostlyclueless

            Agreed, I actually think a Trump Republican candidate would be a boon to the Democratic party.

          • An Actual Attorney

            I heard a Republican strategist on the radio fretting about that very thing. He felt that the worst part was the down-ticket Rs were likely to miss out on votes with a Trump nomination, because most sane conservatives will just stay home on election day.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      I voted for Bernie, with some reservations, in the primary, but would not be unhappy to vote for Clinton in the general if she wins the primary. They’re both pandering to pseudoscience a lot more than I’d like, but there isn’t a Republican running who wouldn’t be a disaster.

    • An Actual Attorney

      My primary is so late, I’m just burying my head in the sand. And it’s not like I’m in a position to donate money. I’ll vote in the general for whomever gets the nomination, which will likely be Hillary. But I vote based on who the winner will appoint to the federal judiciary, so I’d vote for pretty much any D over any R.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Re the general election: In the general election I’m voting for whoever wins the Democratic primary because, to paraphrase I don’t remember who on FB, I’m a one issue voter and that issue is not opening the 7th seal and ushering in the apocalypse. Even most of my Republican friends are with me on this one. They’re wincing and hoping for decent candidates in 2020, but just not able to justify Trump or Cruz.

      • demodocus

        Yeah, my boyo voted for Rubio; he even donated to that campaign. He’s going to vote libertarian in the general “unless a miracle happens and someone sane gets the nomination.” He’s *really* hoping for a contested convention.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          I’m hoping for a contested convention too, because that’s the only chance of getting someone other than Trump or Cruz in. Plus, entertainment value. However, Trump and Cruz seem to have united on trying to get a rule passed that no one who didn’t win at least 8 states can get on the ballot, which means that it’d be between those two. Not sure that that’s going to happen, but if it does so much for the Reps last hope for someone decent.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Count me in there, though while I tend to vote Republican for lack of a better-to-me candidate, I don’t really identify as one. *sighs dismally* I could, if push came to shove, vote for Cruz, though I wouldn’t like it one bit, and wouldn’t at all care to see him in a second term. Trump? Oh, HELL no. Just…no. Fifty shades of NO.
        And that’s coming from people for whom pro-life is the issue we’re most likely to vote on, but we have the odd notion that to be pro-life also includes “not nuking people for looking at you funny,” and likewise “not sending anyone who don’t sound like they’re from ’round here/have noticeable melanin content in their skin to concentration camps,” so…well, as said. HELL NO. The man has clear aspirations of being Mussolini’s successor, and I have no interest in encouraging that. We’ll vote for Clinton first, and that’s not something I ever thought would come out of my mouth, believe you me.

    • Gatita

      This pissed me off: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/04/05/9-things-bernie-sanders-shouldve-known-about-but-didnt-in-that-daily-news-interview/

      If you’re running your entire campaign on dismantling Big Banks, maybe you should have some understanding of the regulations and what you’re legally allowed to do, do you think?

  • Irène Delse

    I have a question: where does the “6 months EBF” standard comes from? And is it something in the USA or do other countries have the same requirements for breastfeeding?

    Because here in France, everyone I know who had children in the last 30 years or so have had very different instructions from pediatrists: start giving baby a varied diet (pureed vegetables, chicken broth, fruit smoothies, etc.) at or around 4 months.

    • CSN0116

      I have no freaking idea.

      Here in the US, the advertisements on the baby food jars will start at 4 months; most literature will say between 4-6 months; other literature will say 6 months (period); and the real crunchies do what they call “baby led weaning,” where they basically never give a toothless baby purees (that they can actually readily consume and get nutrition from) – instead they let them gnaw on whole foods… basically limiting the potential nutritional intake and making the “need” for breast milk that much more intense for as long as humanly possible. They also like to say “food before 1 is just for fun!” – as if an 11-month-old could live (well) on breast milk alone.

      In my little world, in five kids I have NEVER been able to hold off to 6 months. They have all started spoon fed solids between 3-4 months of age (my reflux baby had cereal in his bottle at mere weeks old to control his symptoms).

      I’ve always felt it was a WIC conspiracy. WIC purchases some 60% of infant formula in the US, which means they also purchase around that percentage of baby foods. If they can deter the “start time” by even a couple months by making it a “medical recommendation” across the entire population, then they save millions… probably billions of dollars.

    • Dr Sarah

      @Irene Delse: It’s from a report initially published in 2002 –
      by the WHO, I believe. The abstract, with a link to the full text, is
      at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11869667.
      There also seems to be an update in 2012, but I haven’t read that
      yet.

      This, as I recall, was widely described at the time by lactivists
      as ‘Researchers looked through hundreds of studies and
      concluded…’ Here’s what actually happened:

      The researchers found twenty studies of relevance, eleven
      of which were carried out in the developing world.

      Of these, most of them showed zero difference between EBF
      to 6 months and introducing solids earlier.

      The differences shown were: greater maternal weight loss
      (women gotta be slim, right?) and more prolonged post-partum
      amenorrhoea in the EBF group, fewer cases of infant diarrhoea in the EBF group, and *greater* risk of iron deficiency in the EBF group. (Yup. Lactivists have been energetically explaining that last away ever since.)

      The researchers also noted that there just wasn’t enough
      evidence to say whether there might be a risk of other nutritional
      deficiencies with delaying solids.

      The one study that did find a benefit for the babies EBF
      for longer – the PROBIT trial – was a study in which a group of
      babies EBF for six months were compared with a group of babies EBF for three months and mixed-fed – i.e., breastfed with at least
      some degree of formula-feeding or solids – thereafter. This found
      a small increased risk (around 1 in 40) of gastroenteritis in the
      mixed-fed group. However, there were no subdivisions at all in the
      mixed-fed group – a baby who was primarily formula-fed from three
      months but still receiving some breastmilk would have been lumped in there right along with a baby who was still getting as much
      breastmilk as before but started getting a few solids or the
      occasional formula top-up around the 4 – 5 month mark. Which is
      not going to give any of us a clear picture of how much risk is
      actually involved in giving *solids* from *4* months. Also, IIRC,
      the study didn’t comment on what instructions the formula-using
      parents had received in preparing formula safely, or on whether this
      made any sort of a difference.

      The researchers’ conclusion from all this was that ‘the
      available evidence demonstrates no apparent risks in recommending, as a general policy, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life’. They did, however, go on to note that more research was needed.

      Yup. That’s the evidence. Lactivists have been trumpeting it
      ever since as ‘you should not allow a drop or crumb of anything
      other than breastmilk to pass your baby’s lips before six months
      BECAUSE SCIENCE!!’.

      • Irène Delse

        Interesting, thanks. Another case of starting from mostly neutral studies and twisting them in a pro-lactivist direction…

    • Dr Sarah

      By the way, based on the available evidence, I also would not think it that important to be giving your baby a varied alternative diet from four months. After all, it’s a PITA trying to get that much purée into your four-month-old (and, yes, I’m in general sympathy with the BLW movement because it’s potentially a heck of a lot simpler). But there certainly seems to be evidence that it’s worth trying to get more iron-rich food into your baby before six months (the exception being if your baby had delayed cord clamping at birth and has no other risk factors such as prematurity).

      • Irène Delse

        Does delayed cord clamping really have an effect on term babies, especially 4 months down the road? I thought it was a wash.

        Also, shouldn’t a realistic baby-led weaning would include paying attention to the baby getting interested in mom’s food? My youngest niece started “mushy solids” with pureed baby food from jars at 4 months, but she had started trying putting her hands to anything mom (or dad, or babysitter) was eating as soon as she could sit in someone’s lap. And then locking her fingers. It was quite adorable.

        • Dr Sarah

          @Irene: I believe it has been shown to increase the amount of stored iron in the baby’s system to the point of delaying the time at which a baby will need iron, although this is about the only proved benefit. (Also, there is a flip side to that; I recall there is some evidence that new babies can actually become overloaded with blood as a result of delayed cord clamping, though I can’t remember if this has been shown to be a problem in full-term babies or only in preemies.)

          And yeah, good point; ‘baby-led weaning’ seems to be baby-led only as long as the baby is following approved algorithms. 🙂

    • Angharad

      My daughter’s allergist recommended that we introduce food before six months as soon as she showed signs of readiness. Apparently delaying food until six months or even later significantly increases the risk of developing allergies.

    • SF Mom & Psychologist

      My first child was born in 2008, and at that time the pediatrician (following APA guidelines) recommended waiting until 6 months to introduce solids. My second was born in 2012, and our pediatrician gave us the green light to start at 4.5 months (or after), based on the baby’s interest. She told us that the APA’s recommendations had been changed during the interim between #1 and #2.

  • Puffin

    My breastfed daughter had around nine ear infections her first year. She recently had a classmate develop chicken pox and, thanks to having been vaccinated, didn’t come down with it herself which is great since I didn’t develop immunity after having chicken pox myself (I’ve since been vaccinated, but haven’t had serology to verify a response and I’ve failed to respond to several vaccines. I’m currently pregnant so the worry was significant.)

    I know which preventative care intervention matters more to me as a soon-to-be physician. If my patients don’t choose to breastfeed, I’m not going to pressure them (but I’ll definitely offer as much help and support as possible to those who want it!) But someone who won’t vaccinate their kid will get regular reminders that it is crucial to good health to be vaccinated. Because I care more about the stuff that kills people.

  • Gatita

    Jay Gordon is the worst kind of pandering, star fucking hypocrite. He doesn’t take insurance so he can cater to the overprivileged and underbrained. It’s outrageous that he hasn’t been sanctioned for his bullshit. This is where the medical self regulatory systems call down.

  • Heidi

    I wonder if the slight increase ear infections among FF babies has more to do with improper use of a bottle. I can’t imagine any woman breastfeeding a baby flat on its back, but I have witnessed a baby being bottle fed while laying down. New parents aren’t taught how to use bottles and formula. It’s about as effective as abstinence only education.

    • ElaineF

      I breastfed my daughter and when I was at work she got breastmilk from a bottle. Lying down was the only position my husband could get her to feed in.

      I agree, though, that more bottlefeeding education is probably in order, or so I have been told and have no reason to disbelieve.

    • Charybdis

      What about all the “nurse in bed, side lying” options? I can’t think that that would be all that much better.

      However, I haven’t seen a baby lying flat on its back being fed with a bottle.

      • Heidi

        I am not sure about nursing side lying. I do know that was about the only position either me or my baby had the patience for though. It was actually my FIL feeding my baby that I witnessed it. I haven’t seen it in public but most public spaces don’t have a lot of appropriate places to lay a baby flat on his back.

  • Dr Kitty

    After much thought, I have decided that FF and BF are like roundabouts and four way intersections with traffic lights (crossroads).

    Both are good ways of managing traffic.
    Roundabouts requires more practice and are more subject to user error and adverse weather conditions.
    Crossroads with lights are easier to use, but can be less convenient if the lights aren’t timed correctly and they go to hell in a power cut or computer fritz.

    Lit intersections require a higher initial investment and upkeep to ensure the traffic flows.
    Roundabouts pretty much work themselves once they are built, with few ongoing costs.

    You can talk all you want about how traffic lights don’t work well in rural Africa, but it doesn’t matter because they work fine in urban America.

    AND YET
    Some drivers, based on personal preferences or prior experiences will strongly prefer one type of intersection over another.

    That doesn’t mean one type of intersection is worse, or that they are bad drivers, they just have a preference because they find one type of intersection easier to use.

    That is what we are talking about here.
    Lights vs roundabouts.
    Both do the job, both fine when they work, both not fine when they don’t and essentially the choice comes down to which type of intersection best suits the specific place it is being put.

    • prudent planner

      FYI ‘traffic circles’ decrease the severity of traffic accidents significantly (in your analogy the two types of intersections don’t have equivalent risk factors).

      The Highway Safety Manual (HSM) indicates that:

      By converting from a two-way stop control mechanism to a
      roundabout, a location can experience an 82 percent reduction in severe
      (injury/fatal) crashes and a 44 percent reduction in overall crashes.
      By converting from a signalized intersection to a roundabout, a
      location can experience a 78 percent reduction in severe (injury/fatal)
      crashes and a 48 percent reduction in overall crashes.
      http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/provencountermeasures/fhwa_sa_12_005.cfm

  • mostlyclueless

    Wait a second. Between ear infections and measles, which one does this dude think is a “benign childhood illness”…..?

    !?!?!?

    My head…

    • Angharad

      It’s the same logic that makes fever a SEVERE VACCINE INJURY!!!11! if it comes from shots but a mild, benign rite of passage of it comes from the measles.

      • Sue

        Yep – and febrile convulsions a terrible complication if a vax-related fever, but much more commonly caused by common viruses.

    • demodocus

      Oh sure it’s benign, unless and until it isn’t. Scarlet fever usually isn’t too bad either, unless it leaves you with a dodgy heart or a hearing impairment. Yeah me.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Left my grandmother completely deaf at 13. I believe that I’ve mentioned this here before, but I shouldn’t be at all surprised if that was a strong contributing factor to her staying in a terribly abusive marriage until her death. I mean, life isn’t always exactly awesome for the hard-of-hearing or deaf now, but it was a hell of a lot worse 70+ years ago, y’know? A lot fewer job options, and once she became deaf, further education wasn’t an option; she ended up working in a sewing sweatshop for much of her working life.

        • demodocus

          You did mention it a while ago. Poor woman.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Sorry to bring it up again, then. *looks slightly embarrassed* I never met her, but when this sort of thing comes up I always think of her, and wonder how differently her life might have gone if it hadn’t been for becoming deaf.

          • demodocus

            No big deal, we often repeat ourselves when months go by between the comments. 🙂

        • Bombshellrisa

          My husband’s aunt had polio. She was “lucky” that she didn’t end up in an iron lung like a lot of kids or die like the cousin that lived across the street from them. She couldn’t walk very far, had a hard time finishing school due to her health problems and didn’t have many options. She ended up married to a much older alcoholic who had a gambling problem. She is barely able to make ends meet now. She often mentions how vaccination saves people in ways that they may not consider. (No surprise she is pro vaccine, pro medicine, anti woo).

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Are we related? Sounds remarkably like my second cousins’ mother.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Wondering if that cousin’s mom was originally from Iowa? Does Weaver ring a bell?

    • Sue

      He’s wrong about measles, which is clinically generally the most severe of the so-called infections of childhood. Kids can be miserable for days with severe headaches, and there are long-term complications. I saw a young man in ED with overseas-acquired measles a few weeks ago (a migrant himself, not measles vaxed) who was sick enough to need hospital admission.

      • fiftyfifty1

        Yep, it’s a serious illness. The following is from the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital website:

        “Between 1989 and 1991, Minnesota was confronted with a widespread measles outbreak. This epidemic resulted in 559 cases – mostly children who had not been vaccinated or who had been inadequately vaccinated – the deaths of three preschoolers and left some children severely impaired. One unfortunate case involved a mother who brought her identical twin daughters separately to be vaccinated because it was too difficult to take both of them on the bus. By the time she got the second one in for her shot, it was too late – the girl had caught the measles…[…]…She was very, very ill – she almost died..[…]…As a result of the disease, this patient has battled chronic lung problems that have seriously affected her health and development.”

        I remember learning about this case in medical school. The girl who caught the measles is permanently seriously affected (we had the advantage of seeing the pictures).

        But I suppose anti-vax people will claim that it doesn’t apply to them because they don’t take the bus, or some such. And the 3 dead preschoolers are not their problem either…’cause unicorns.

  • momofone

    Years ago, at my first job out of college, I had a very wise supervisor who told me that help is only help if it’s perceived as help. I think it’s the same for “support.” If the people you’re “supporting” are telling you (general you, directed at breastfeeding “supporters”) that what you’re offering isn’t support, it’s not.

    • Who?

      There was more than a touch of mansplaining in there, no question.

  • Sarah

    OT: Is anyone following the Evolutionary Parenting “April Fools” post? I don’t understand her argument about how fed is best hurts breastfeeding support. I really can’t wrap my head around what she’s trying to argue.

    • sdsures

      Beats me. I was wondering the same thing. Probably means it hurts her agenda?

    • mostlyclueless

      Nope, after seeing what she said about daycare I refuse to give her page any clicks.

    • Valerie

      I’ve never read that blog, but something seems really ominous to me about “evolutionary parenting.” Like, it describes the strategy an animal like a rodent would take, only feeding the offspring they find most fit (and cannibalizing the rest). Maybe I just see evolution as a cold, uncaring process, which is the opposite of what parents should be.

    • LibrarianSarah

      I personally refuse to read anything that (or follow anyone who) uses the word “evolutionary” prior to any word other than “biology.”

      Also don’t read/listen to/follow anything/anyone who uses the terms alpha or beta unironically unless the are specifically referring to the Greek letters.

      • Nick Sanders

        That’s a bit unfair to evolutionary medicine, evolutionary game theory, evolutionary programing, evolutionary robotics, and evolutionary power reactors. :p

        • LibrarianSarah

          They know what they did.

      • Amy

        What about in the context of nuclear energy or trigonometry? 😉

        • LibrarianSarah

          ESPECIALLY in the context of nuclear energy or trigonometry.

    • Rachele Willoughby

      “Oh, I want referring to *formula*…” *blinks innocently* “I just don’t want people to think #fedisbest means it’s okay to feed babies anything at all.”

      So full of sanctimonious bullshit.

    • Angharad

      Somebody commented that her baby ended up hospitalized due to her desire to exclusively breastfeed and the way nobody told her to supplement. Evolutionary Parenting says it was fed is best logic that kept her from being told to supplement. I thought it wa April fools day, not Opposite Day.

      • Sarah

        Yeah, that mom is really well known in some circles for spreading awareness of hyponatremia in newborns. I think the responses to her, given the fact that her child has suffered negative consequences of EBF with no supplementation, to be ridiculously rude and heartless.

        On the one hand, she seems to be saying feeding formula is not the bare minimum if it’s done correctly but that it’s still risky? I mean it makes no sense. I can’t figure out what she’s trying to say because she’s talking out of both sides of her mouth.

    • Chi

      Ouch that screed was painful to actually read. So yeah it’s the usual BS of ‘if you don’t give your kid breast milk you are giving them shitty shitty formula which is NOT the best by any means’

      So the thought pattern for me goes:

      -Fed is best means that breast feeding ISN’T the gold standard
      -This means mothers aren’t going to feel pressured into breastfeeding
      -This in turn means that if people try to bully them into breastfeeding (i.e lactivists) they can turn around and say ‘well I’m feeding my baby, what more do you want?

      In other words, if we keep using fed is best, it basically undermines their right to bully women for not making what THEY deem to be the right choice for feeding their baby. Because to them, if you use formula you are a lazy, selfish parent who shouldn’t have bred in the first place.

      It’s disgusting and judgmental, like the majority of articles on that site. Bleh.

      ETA: I also want to know where she is getting her figure of 800,000 babies dying per year because of formula that is prepared with unsanitary water. Also, how can she compare ‘developing nations’ with a first world country like the USA? There just is NO comparison.

  • AllieFoyle

    What does he even mean by “offer enough support”? If a woman can’t or doesn’t want to breastfeed, what kind of support in the context of a short pediatrician’s appointment is going to make a difference? He can offer a referral to a LC or nag about breast being best, but realistically, he’s not going to be there to help the woman pump at work or juggle the demands of her life with a BF schedule that is taking up all her time; he won’t soothe the crying hungry baby when supply is low, and nor can he increase a woman’s supply or diminish the pain of bleeding nipples, etc. They’re just empty words.

    • Sarah

      I think “more support” is that goalpost that just keeps moving. Improper latch? Did they check for tongue tie, try different holds, etc? Then you didn’t get enough support. Oh they did all those things ? There must have been something they didn’t try. You know, pediatricians aren’t actually trained on breastfeeding. Oh you actually saw a lactation consultant? You should have gotten a second opinion. It is insane what they will suggest before they’ve decided you’ve been through enough to earn the right to formula feed, and even then they will strongly suggest you buy donated breastmilk from a bank.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        At a mere $4/ounce or so. But hey, if you love your babies enough, you can afford to pay hundreds of dollars each week to feed them!

        • Megan

          Even my kid’s Alimentum is cheap compared to that!

          • Bombshellrisa

            I thought of you, someone on the local buy nothing was offering up a can of that stuff (unopened, don’t know why they had it) yesterday.

          • Megan

            If only she would take the powdered. Only RTF will do for her! I can’t wait until we get to retry her on regular formula in a few months. Thanks for the thought though!

          • Bombshellrisa

            Omg, little lady has opinions already!

          • demodocus

            I think mine does and she’s not due for 11 weeks.

          • Bombshellrisa

            What is your little lady’s latest orders? (Some of the stuff they do in utero is surprisingly telling about who they are going to be. I should have realized my son was stubborn when the ultrasound tech was doing everything to get him to turn so she could look at his heart and when she pressed with the wand, his answer was throwing a punch in her direction. I actually apologized to her for my son’s embarrassing behavior. I also craved spicy food, which he loves now. He is addicted to salsa).

          • demodocus

            I actually *want* some spice to my food, which is very abnormal. She gets *really* vigorous when her brother’s crying, but calms down except a little rolling when her father sings (and starts back up when he stops). Cool tea is horrible; it must be *hot*. And 5 am is an awesome time to be busy. It’s a good thing that our guys are reasonable in the morning and that I’m a natural morning person.

          • Bombshellrisa

            She sounds like she has it all figured out : ) love that she is responding to her father’s voice. Especially his singing voice (which is quite good, if I remember right).

          • demodocus

            He’s no Pavoratti, but he’s pretty good, yes. 🙂

          • demodocus

            On an unrelated note, her brother currently calls the flower crocus “cro-ca-dot” which i find hysterical.

          • Bombshellrisa

            How did he get to know what a crocus is already? Your kid is really bright.
            The latest howler in our house is my two year old’s name for the tv: dub a dee.

          • demodocus

            He’s not sure *which* flower is a crocus (he was pointing at daffodils and hyacinths yesterday), I think he just likes the name. They tell me he is pretty verbal, and Mom once told me that we tend to talk early in our family.

      • Valerie

        I read that into the quote about how doctors need to help mothers “find a good IBCLC.” What’s the point of the credential if it doesn’t tell you if they have the skills to help you? Your breastfeeding would have been successful if you had gotten support from a “good” IBCLC instead of that mediocre IBCLC you ended up with. The answer to why breastfeeding didn’t work work out is ALWAYS insufficient support.

      • Jules B

        After exclusive breastfeeding didn’t work for my baby and I, and I started combo-feeding, I had that exact type of convo with lots of people. At a certain point, I was like, “OK, so exactly under what circumstances are you allowed to give up EBF according to these folks??” The lengths they expected women to go to seemed insane to me. Especially when you are talking about new mothers who are already dealing with a baby bomb going off in their life. I felt like I had stepped into the Twilight Zone, talking to these people. More than once I just sat there with my jaw hanging open.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          I had never before heard the descriptor “baby bomb,” and I am so stealing it because it’s THAT accurate.

          • Jules B

            Hah, it is accurate! I have also used the term “baby apocalypse” or natural disaster metaphors like “baby tsunami.” 😉

          • Amy M

            Well, with twins, I guess we had a baby flood.

          • Megan

            Especially when you a easy have another kid in the house. It is a bomb that reverberates to all family members, lets included!

          • Megan

            Ok let me try again. Damned phone. I need to proofread more. Or multitask less… That should say:

            Especially when you already have another kid in the house. It is a bomb that reverberates to all family members, pets included!

    • Valerie

      I think they just firmly believe that the vast majority of women will make enough milk to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months- that the pain/frustration/low supply/inconvenience goes away after a few weeks or so, if only mothers take to heart the wisdom of the lactation consultant and want to breastfeed bad enough. Breastfeeding is perfect and totally worth it, if you can get past the initial struggle, and almost all women can get through it with enough encouragement and advice.

      When you start from that assumption and work backwards, the only things that can possibly be wrong are those that can be fixed by a lactation consultant and a positive outlook.

      • Mac Sherbert

        I stopped at around 5/6 weeks with baby #1 due to pain…the only support that would have gotten me to continue would have been pain meds. It felt so good to finally hold my baby to my chest for cuddles and not have it hurt.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          For quite a while, I had a really nasty baby=pain association with DD. Nursing hurt horrendously, and she was the cause of the pain, so my instinct when she cried was often not as much to run *to* her as *away* from her. I didn’t, of course, but I will say that I’m looking forward to feeding this baby and have it be a source of warm fuzzies vs pain-ridden stress.

          • Mac Sherbert

            Yes. The breaking point for me was one night when I didn’t care that he was crying. I had laid him on the couch and was crying myself saying I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry mommy can’t do this anymore. My DH woke up, made a bottle, took the baby and told me to go to bed. (Nicest thing DH ever did for me.)

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Three cheers for your DH!

    • Kelly

      In my case, support would be to feed me high caloric foods, take care of my other kids, and let me sleep at night. If I had all of that, I might think again about pumping. I was very successful at pumping but not really successful at anything else in my life.

    • Bombshellrisa

      I supported breastfeeding friends by bringing them dinner, stocking their nursing area with snacks that were easy to eat while nursing and passing on advice like audiobook and ebooks are free through the local library system (no limit, no late fees) and offering to take their older kids for a few hours. Come to think of it, I did that stuff for my friends who were formula feeding too. #fedisbest

      • mostlyclueless

        So undermining! Such lack of support! With behavior like that I’m shocked you have any friends left! (I kid, I kid.)

        • Bombshellrisa

          I shoulda showed favoritism complete with a tiara to the breastfeeding friends. My bad!

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Tiaras? You saboteur! Don’t you know it’s now the Done Thing to give boob-shaped awards in sundry gemstones increasing in cost/preciousness by how long the mom breastfed?

          • Bombshellrisa

            Omg I forgot! The platinum/diamond/jade boobies!
            Plus there is the whole other issue of the baby’s route out of the uterus. Yoni cupcakes for those who gave birth “physiologically”?
            I took an informal poll of the friends who have gotten dinner from me postpartum and they all liked the chicken pot pie I make. Good to know for the next time I am meals on wheels for a friend.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Yoni…cupcakes…
            Sad thing is, you just know that someone out there has that as their default new mom gift–assuming, of course, she gave birth the One True Way.
            The chicken pot pie comment made me smile because that’s one of my default new baby freezer meals, too, and I have never *not* had the giftee rave about it. Even fairly picky kids will usually eat it, it’s delicious, delicious comfort food, it tastes good cold if mom just wants to cut off a slice for lunch and eat it with baby on the other arm…perfect! And while they’re a little time-consuming to make, it’s really easy to make a half-dozen at a time, assembly-line style. Clearly, great minds think alike!

    • An Actual Attorney

      It’s probably the two glasses of wine, but I’m giggling thinking about my kids’ ped offering bfing support. He’s a great doc, and very nice, and also a gay man. I can’t imagine he has much real world practical advice to offer, and if he tried, he’d turn bright red.

      He’s also a dad, and obviously knows that lack of breast milk doesn’t doom a kid.

    • Megan

      Support for me would be creating some extra glandular tissue in my breasts. Wait, he can’t do that? Oh that’s right, women like me don’t really exist.

  • Jules B

    Measles is a minor childhood disease eh? I caught measles when I was around 10 years old (turns out the MMR jab I got was ineffective for whatever reason). So old enough to remember it, and it was horrid. First, I initially had a scary high fever for a few days – apparently I was screaming about snakes going up the walls as both my parents held me down in the shower stall under cool water to try to bring my fever down. After I recovered from the measles (which had me bedridden for close to two weeks), I promptly caught pneumonia, which eventually landed me in the hospital, where one night was apparently “touch and go” for me. My mother says my health and energy levels were never quite the same after that. So yeah, measles is a super minor illness!

  • E.C.

    Not everyone who would get measles at his office would be a child. Many adults don’t realize that their childhood immunizations have faded or may never have worked at all! That didn’t used to be a problem, thanks to herd immunity. Now it is.

    Get your MMR and chickenpox titers checked at your next physical, because you never know if an outbreak is going to hit your town. Massachusetts has seen an outbreak of mumps in college students this year. At that age, mumps can cause sterility!

  • Commander30

    I know, I know, I’m mentally a 15-year-old boy… but I can’t help but feel that the “FAAP” title after his name is accurate. I have a mental image of him fapping over the “brilliance” of everything he types.

    • Roadstergal

      It’s not just you. When he commented at RI, he’d always put his letters after his name *cough*blowhard*cough*, and I’d read it as a loud, drawn-out FAAAAAAAAAP.

    • BeatriceC

      I have always maintained that I made a good middle school teacher because my sense of humor never really matured past that point. That said, I agree with your assessment.

  • Sarah

    How significant is the breastfeeding- reduced ear infection correlation? Is it particularly strong? It seems like ear infections would have a lot of other factors that influenced their frequency.

    • swbarnes2

      At some point, I found a paper showing that ear infection diagnoses increased a lot after 1975, so when breastfeeding rates were increasing. It’s just a correlation I suppose, but if breastfeeding was so magic, that time period should be showing marked changes in problems that breastfeeding can supposedly help with, and I don’t think that’s the case at all.

      • Sue

        Actually, real middle ear infections (bacterial otitis media) are way over-diagnosed. Fussy kids with fevers that are repeatedly taken back to doctors can end up with antibitoics for ear infections because their eardrum is reddened, but true otitis media has a dull ear drum with fluid behind it.

    • Dr Kitty

      Babies sleeping flat on their backs increases the rate of plagiocephaly (flat head) that also increased rates of otitis media, but the pay off is a reduction in SIDS.

      From my clinical experience, the shape of the ear canals and a family history of ear infections counts for more than anything else.

      • Megan

        And exposure, i.e. daycare or older sibling in daycare or school, which is never controlled for in studies of breastfeeding and infection AFAIK.

      • Gene

        And vaccination for H flu and Strep pneumo. HUGE reduction due to those!

  • Roadstergal

    How well did breastfeeding help Eliza Jane Scovill, Dr Jay? You know, the EBF girl who you diagnosed with an ear infection (why did you make that diagnosis, if breastmilk is so protective?), and died of AIDS because you supported her mom’s woo?

    I only wish that dude were as financially bankrupt as he is morally bankrupt.

  • Mel

    I know that a rare but extremely serious side effect of measles is encephalitis. I wonder if that’s why Dr. Jay started out his list of “really dangerous” diseases with meningitis – to do an end run around the most common come-back against the “measles the minor childhood disease”.

    Another follow-up question: does he offer the meningitis vaccine for teenagers? Or does he ignore that disease in a higher-risk group?

    And seriously, what’s the risk of one of his patients getting Ebola? If his patients travel to the US West, there is a small (ok, really small) chance of getting the plague….but neither meningitis, Ebola or the plague are as common as measles throughout the world.

    • Roadstergal

      SSPE doesn’t exist in Jay’s world.

    • Irène Delse

      Try yellow fever: common in most tropical countries, but there’s a vaccine. Which, in addition to mosquito control, helps prevent outbreaks. Though they’re currently having one in Angola. And as the vaccine is only manufactured by one company, they’re running out of their stockpiles. Where’s the all-powerful, eager to profit Big Pharma when you need it?

    • Sarah

      And when they came out with a trial vaccine for Ebola, I had anti vaxxer friends on FB that posted “here we go! Humans are going to be guinea pigs again!” So even when it is something like ebola, there will still be plenty of resistance. Because of the kind of ignorance this guy and his practice breeds.

      • Megan

        In the case of Ebola, these people might actually get their Darwin awards were they ever to be in the midst of an outbreak.

    • Gene

      I saw a case of encephalitis from the chicken pox last year. And I know a patient who is permanently brain damaged from influenza associated encephalitis. But, yeah, “minor childhood diseases”.

      • Dr Kitty

        I’ve seen varicella pneumonitis and necrotising fasciitis that started in an infected chicken pox.

        The kids in India with measles were some of the sickest children I have EVER cared for.

        Toddlers with TB, that is fun too.

        Dr Jay is… Not a doctor I would recommend to anyone I cared for.

        • Charybdis

          Maybe he need to have the Dr. in quotes, like the parachuters like to do to Dr. Amy.

          So, “Dr.” Jay, you are all for parental choice when it involves vaccines but not for feeding options? Where is the consistency in that?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            “Are you a real doctor, or are you a doctor like Dr. Pepper is a doctor?” -Scrubs

        • Sue

          I’ve seen a young man who died of varicella pneumonitis – developed respiratory failure.

  • Allie P

    Before I found this blog, back when I was beating myself up for my “breastfeeding failure” of #1, I got SO ANGRY at my ped for shrugging and going “I adopted 4 kids. They all got formula. They’re just fine.” Now I realize she was trying to let me off the hook. Because I’d been brainwashed by the lactivists into thinking “support” was browbeating me into “trying harder.” No, “support” is helping a mother nourish her kid without killing herself.

  • Zornorph

    I always say that I tried to BF Kiddo, but that he got hairballs. That usually cracks people up, though one lactivist who I said it to didn’t think it was funny and said in a prissy voice that I should have gotten pumped breast milk.

    • Mel

      Reply to the priss: “But Kiddo’s second head looks so cute and I didn’t want it to fall off from getting breast milk.”

      Because, you know, breast milk is a magic elixir.

    • Roadstergal

      “I should have gotten pumped breast milk”

      And you should have let random women spit in kiddo’s mouth, too; it’s a faster way to swap bodily fluids.

  • Madtowngirl

    Additionally, my daughter currently has her first cold, and is miserable. I’d imagine she’d be miserable with an ear infection, too. But ear infections and colds don’t kill babies. Measles does. It’s complete idiocy to claim ear infections are a public health issue, but measles isn’t.

  • Madtowngirl

    I saw several lactation consultants in the hospital. I had several appointments with an IBCLC. They had me try everything to increase my supply and get my baby to latch. None of it worked. No amount of “support” was going to get breastfeeding to work for us.

    My child’s pediatrician didn’t care that she was formula fed. He only cared that she was fed. Probably because in all his years of practice, he’d never seen a major difference between formula fed and breastfed children.

    • BeatriceC

      I see all these stories about low supply and wish I could have magically shared some of my body’s ability to produce. I swear I could have kept up with the caloric needs of the entire roster of an NFL team after I had my youngest. I had oversupply issues with all of them, but it was the worst with the youngest, who made his grand entrance weighing a whopping 504g. He certainly didn’t need the roughly 30 ounces (or more) every two hours my body thought he did.

  • MI Dawn

    Ah…Dr Jay. He’s gone many rounds with Orac at Respectful Insolence, and lost every one because all his data is based on 1)his feelings or 2)his personal experiences. He’ll “give vaccines” if the parents basically beg for them. I wouldn’t send people I dislike to his practice, much less people I like.

    On the other hand…he’s NOT as bad as the Sears’ practice….though I realize that’s damning him with faint praise.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Remember, Dr Jay’s hand was what was controlling the Jenny McCarthy puppet the whole time.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    “Can a smart responsible doctor…”

    Of course, Jay Gordon is neither. He’s the height of irresponsible, and in my interactions with him, he’s been anything but smart. He’s a typical blowhard.

    • Roadstergal

      I am legitimately shocked someone as dense as him was able to pass medical school. He is not a smart man.

      Also, he’s still FAAP. Every fellow should be knocking down the doors about him devaluing the term.

      • MI Dawn

        Roadstergal: don’t forget what they call the person who graduated last in their medical class.

        Dr Chris Hickie has actually LEFT the AAP because they are too gutless to take on anti-vax (oh, excuse me, “pro-safe vaccine”) pediatricians.

        • Roadstergal

          I guess we now know what That Doctor looks like. They hang their diplomas on the wall, not their GPAs.

          • MI Dawn

            😀

          • fiftyfifty1

            Why DO doctors hang their diplomas on the wall? I have never been able to figure it out.

          • Roadstergal

            You know what’s funny – the MD/PhDs I work with have their diplomas hanging in their offices. The never-see-patients offices.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Yeah, this is part of what I don’t get. A few of the docs I know hang them in patient exam rooms. Even this seems sort of silly. I mean do patients really need to see proof of graduation? Tracking credentials is a state medical board thing, you can’t practice medicine without graduating. But then there are the ones who only have them in their own private offices, and that is even more inexplicable to me. Who are they for? To prove to their colleagues that they graduated? The janitor? To remind themselves in case they have an amnesia event at work?

          • Allie

            Aw, I have my undergraduate and law degrees on my office wall. It seems an appropriate place for them since I use them there, and I worked hard to get them. I don’t think I’m trying to impress anyone, but who knows. Perhaps I have a raging ego ; )

          • fiftyfifty1

            Well, this makes me feel a bit better. If putting up a diploma is something all sorts of professionals do, then that’s better. I had only ever seen it with doctors, and thought it was a “doctor thing”.

          • demodocus

            My husband’s master’s diploma is framed and in our bedroom; I think it’s sort of pretty. ‘Course he doesn’t officially use it at work (philosophy happens) and can’t see the thing anyway.

          • Megan

            Mine still isn’t even framed and I graduated 10 years ago! It’s still in an envelope in my box of credentialing stuff. I guess I’m a procrastinator.

          • Dr Kitty

            Snap!

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Mine is in a suitcase with the rest of our most important documents – that way if there’s a fire, we can grab it on the way out. As hubby and I are immigrants to Australia, we don’t want to go through the hassle of losing that stuff.

          • Azuran

            For vets where I live it’s a legal obligation for our diploma to be hanged in a place where clients can see them. I guess it’s probably the same for human doctors

        • AirPlant

          Can anyone tell me what is up with the AAP? Like I feel like they should be a neutral, evidence based organization but every time I hear one of their recommendations it is just steeped in woo. I feel like I am being gaslighted…

          • Gene

            They are being dumbasses. I refused to be a member (and all it requires is me to pay the $700/yr membership fee). It’s not like it’s an exclusive club.

        • Christopher Hickie

          Sorry I’m late to the discussion. I will not rejoin the AAP until they get off their arses on vaccines. They couldn’t even stand up against Wakefield and his anti-vaccine “film” Vaxxed until after it was pulled from Tribeca. Quite honestly, the AAP disgusts me for letting jerks like Jay Gordon and Bob Sears be members. http://www.evernote.com/l/AA9eGJ5dxv5E0JLPynQBmPnq_T-oRCv6jsY/

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        He’s a total used car salesman.

    • Sarah

      I was going to say, more to the point is what exactly is he talking about smart responsible doctors for? He wouldn’t know one if they sat on his face and wiggled.