Our breastfeeding fetish

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There once was a time when all babies were breastfed … and they died in droves.

That’s because the benefits of breastfeeding are very small. Breastfeeding can’t overcome poor sanitation; it can’t prevent or treat deadly childhood diseases; and many women don’t make enough breastmilk to fully nourish a child.

Breastfeeding is a natural process in exactly the same way that menstruation or pregnancy are natural processes and every woman knows how painful, inconvenient and disappointing those natural processes can be.

So why are we fetishizing breastfeeding?

Yes, fetishizing. There are a number of definitions of the word “fetish” and two have particular relevance:

1. Something worshipped for its supposed magical powers.

2. Something regarded with irrational reverence and devotion.

Our fetishizing of breastfeeding begins with those purported magical powers. To hear lactivists tell it, exclusive breastfeeding could save hundreds of thousands of infant lives around the world each year.

How?

It didn’t prevent an astronomical infant death rate prior to the advent of sanitation, vaccinations and antibiotics. Why would it suddenly start saving lives it couldn’t save for nearly all of human history? It wouldn’t.

It doesn’t prevent astronomical infant death rates in poor countries today. Indeed, the countries with the highest infant mortality rates have the HIGHEST breastfeeding rates (essentially 100%). If millions of infants in poor countries die each year in spite of exclusive breastfeeding, how exactly is it going to prevent the much rarer deaths of infants in wealthy countries? It isn’t.

Breastfeeding is a natural process in exactly the same way that menstruation or pregnancy are natural processes and every woman knows how painful, inconvenient and disappointing those natural processes can be.

Breastfeeding shares many similarities with menstruation. It can be painful; it can be inconvenient; and it is subject to complications. In the case of menstruation those complications can be severe pain, heavy bleeding, irregular periods or polycystic ovarian syndrome. In the case of breastfeeding those complications include severe pain, poor latch and inadequate breastmilk.

Just like menstrual pain, heavy bleeding and irregular periods are COMMON, painful breastfeeding, difficulty emptying the breast and inadequate breastmilk are also COMMON.

Similarly, established pregnancies have a miscarriage rate of 20%. In other words, one out of five pregnancies that have implanted in the uterus DIES. If a process as critical to human survival as pregnancy has such a hideous death rate, why would we ever believe that breastfeeding doesn’t have a death rate, too?

Breastfeeding does not have magical properties no matter how much the breastfeeding industry pretends that it does.

Why all the pretending? Precisely because breastfeeding IS an industry, complete with trade unions, lobbying groups and public relations campaigns. The moralization of breastfeeding — the claim that breastfeeding makes infants healthier, smarter and less subject to the diseases of wealthy societies — parallels the monetization of breastfeeding.

I don’t mean that the breastfeeding industry is cynical. They actually believe their own propaganda, but it is propaganda nonetheless.

The fetishization of breastfeeding extends beyond imagining magical powers to irrational reverence and devotion.

Consider the myriad brelfies (breastfeeding selfies) of women dressed up in ludicrous outfits, nursing in ridiculous photo shoots, and gathering for mass breastfeeding photos while dressed in uniform or not dressed at all. The ostensible reason for these breastfeeding stunts is to “normalize” breastfeeding. But why should breastfeeding need to be normalized? Its benefits in first world countries are trivial. It would make far more sense for naked nurses to administer vaccinations in an effort to normalize vaccines since they really do save lives. It would make far more sense for naked mothers to pose with infants properly buckled into car seats to normalize proper car seat use.

Why don’t we see that? Because brelfies and breastfeeding stunts aren’t about normalizing breastfeeding; they’re about blasting the supposed superiority of breastfeeding mothers into everyone else’s faces.

Breastfeeding has been fetishized because it allows some mothers to feel superior to other mothers.

Remember the mean girls in middle school who would imperiously declare who could and could not sit at their table in the cafeteria. Those mean girls have grown up and they are now patrolling the playgrounds and mommy and me groups to enforce submission to their whims.

Or worse. Some, like chiropractor Heather Reed Wolfson, are now representing themselves as healthcare providers and using their positions of authority to bully women who don’t mirror their own choices back to them.

Wolfson had this to say to a woman who chose to feed her child pumped breastmilk:

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It was NOT your choice to not breastfeed and instead pump. Did you ask your newborn if they minded being fed out of an artificial nipple and plastic bottle that was probably heated up in a microwave?? Missing out on the natural skin to skin bond and immune boosting behavior when you were perfectly capable of nursing the way natural intended?! Did you I know that the mother’s milk changes every time the baby puts his/her mouth (saliva) over her nipple depending on the babies needs? If they are sick the mother’s body will produce antibodies to their babies illness. I would imagine that you don’t know any of this because you are an incredibly arrogant and ignorant mother who thinks she knows it all and has the right to pass nature because of her own screwed up reasons!

This is NOT in your face breast feeding mentality. You are pathetic for even commenting on this article. You need to get your head checked for even saying such crazy comments. Maybe if you nursed your babies the way they deserved to be nursed, you would understand these pictures.

I know mothers who have adopted and spent months prior trying to make milk by pumping and even taking hormones for milk production despite not giving birth! Some still use their breast as a pacifier even if they were never able to develop milk because they know the importance of this behavior.

You have to live with yourself which is why you find it necessary to put other women down who do the right thing. Makes you feel better about yourself and your pathetic “choices” in life.

It is Wolfson who is incredibly arrogant in her ignorance.

Apparently she doesn’t have a clue that antibodies for most childhood diseases (immunoglobulin G or IgG) CAN’T be passed through breastmilk; it is secretory IgA that can be passed through breastmilk and that is effective only against colds and diarrheal illnesses.

There is NO evidence that breastmilk is customized to a particular baby nor any realistic mechanism by which it might be customized. The theory of spit back-wash invoked by Wolfsohn is pure speculation unmoored from actual scientific evidence.

Wolfson is a mean girl spewing a vicious mean girl rant because someone refused to fetishize breastfeeding as Wolfsohn has done.

Wolfson is a particularly ugly example of our breastfeeding fetish, but that merely emphasizes the true purpose of fetishizing breastfeeding. It has nothing to do with what is good for babies and everything to do with some mothers desperately trying to feel superior to other mothers … and sadly revealing their arrogant ignorance of science in the process.

  • sdsures

    Putting a baby to nurse on an empty breast sounds awful.

  • Megan

    OT: watching the Today show and they are actually giving airtime to Robert DeNiro and his antivax nonsense (oh wait, he’s “not antivax, he’s pro safe vaccine”) Disgusting.

  • ladyloki

    Showed this to my husband. He summed it up perfectly – “That bitch be cray-cray.”

    • Allie

      Brevity is the soul of wit.

  • Mad Hatter

    OT – Are there really any benefits from drinking red raspberry tea while pregnant or is that just more woo and unicorn farts?

    • demodocus

      I thought it was supposed to be detrimental to carrying to term? *shrugs* I just have some every once in a while when I miss my mommy. It was her hot beverage of choice.

      • Mad Hatter

        I’ve read something cautioning drinking it during the 1st trimester, but its supposed to be safe for 2nd and 3rd.

    • Chi

      I heard it was raspberry leaf tea and ONLY in the last couple of weeks to help ‘thin and ripen the cervix’.

      • Karen in SC

        No evidence that I have ever been able to find.

        • Chi

          Doesn’t surprise me that there’s no real evidence for it. This was preached by the same antenatal instructor that insisted epidurals led to a cascade of interventions and a ALL women can breastfeed.

    • swbarnes2

      With any supplement, you have no idea how much you are taking, or how pure it is, or if it is what it says on the box. So it’s one of those things where, if it has an active ingredient, you don’t know how much of it you are getting. I think I once found some article about using raspberry leaf extract on rat uteri, and it had some effect, but that’s obviously a long way away from getting anything by drinking tea.

      I mean, if you are going to take a chemical to start your uterus contracting…that’s a pretty potent chemical, and you probably should be at a hospital, taking a known dose.

      • Mad Hatter

        Well, you’re supposed to drink like a gallon or something of the tea a day. According to my mother. But she’s crazy. Supposed to tone the uterus, and help shorten labor. I drank it with my first pregnancy, a cup or two a day. I can’t stand the taste to drink anymore than that.

        • Megan

          What does “tone the uterus” even mean?

          • Azuran

            My guess is they think that drinking the tea everyday will cause your uterus to have mini contractions. And that would ‘train’ your uterus so you have a stronger more powerful uterus for the birth?
            Because despite your body knowing how to give birth, you still have to do uterus training to birth properly.

      • Fleur

        When I was pregnant, I was amazed by the number of women in online forums who were absolutely desperate to avoid an induction yet were happy to try all kinds of untested home remedies to induce labour, despite the lack of any evidence as to their safety or the correct dosage, if any. The women cheerfully drinking absolutely massive quantities of castor oil at home as early as 35 weeks because they thought it would allow them to avoid the hated, “dangerous” induction by medical professionals absolutely blew my mind. Most of them just got very sick and dehydrated, which really isn’t a good plan.

        Of course, the thing with online pregnancy forums is that all comments must be supportive, so any attempt to ask “dude, are you trying to kill your baby?!” would be jumped on instantly for being mean and judgmental.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          The women cheerfully drinking absolutely massive quantities of castor oil at home as early as 35 weeks

          Side note: at least it was castor oil, and not Castrol oil, (“It uses only 40 weight Castrol-R” – Steve (Lilttle Opie Cunningham), in American Graffiti, talking about his car) which apparently some have ignorantly used instead.

          • Roadstergal

            Castrol Oil and Mobile One are the ones for baby. Change often!

          • Charybdis

            Where’s the dipstick go?

          • Roadstergal

            Don’t they come with a manual?

          • Fleur

            Words fail me…

          • Roadstergal

            Hey, it’s organic.

        • Commander30

          I remember reading a pregnant mom’s posting along the lines of “My OB will be inducing me next week, but I want my baby to come when he’s ready! Any tips to naturally induce?”

          If you’re inducing, “naturally” or not, the effect is the same–you’re giving the baby a kick in the pants to get out of there, even if “the baby isn’t ready”. The hypocrisy just befuddled me.

          • Fleur

            Yup, that makes absolutely no sense at all. All any natural method will be doing is stimulating uterine contractions, surely – it’s not going to mature the baby’s lungs or anything. Unless she thought the baby would feel more “ready” because it would somehow magically know that it was being booted out of the womb by nice natural means rather than some nasty doctor? Am confused.

        • Roadstergal

          I’ve said it before – NCB types are perfectly happy with induction, as long as it’s a type of induction that doesn’t work reliably. Oils, smoothies, sex, nipple stimulation, bouncing on a ball, you name it – as long as it’s not something in a proven, replicatable dose, it’s great.

          • Fleur

            Yup, spot on. Evidence-based, proven methods just spoil everything πŸ™‚

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Now, to be fair, some of the above options in various combinations *could* be a fun way to pass the time whilst waiting for baby…just sayin’… πŸ˜€

        • Allie P

          The lady teaching my lamaze class told us to make “milkshakes with our favorite flavor” and castor oil to help induce labor. My favorite flavor milkshake does NOT include castor oil. She also told us to lie to our docs about what we took, if our water broke, etc. It’s a world gone mad.

        • swbarnes2

          It’s insane. Our bodies work by chemistry, so anything that induces you is going to be a !!!!chemical!!!!, and anything that you wish to have that strong an effect on you should be done under observation with a known dosage! Not just “take however much you like, hope this unregulated supplement even contains no more and no less than what the box says it does”

      • demodocus

        Oh, god, someone on my due date group says her midwife recommended 3 or 4 kinds of essential oils yesterday. Apparently, if I would only use Evening Primrose Oil, I won’t get baby blues! Why didn’t I think of that?! I wouldn’t need that pesky zoloft. Feh.

        • Madtowngirl

          Oh god, essential oil peddlers are the worst.

          • AirPlant

            I had one yesterday claim that my allergic reaction to lavender oil could have been prevented if I had used his brand and not whatever I got off of amazon. I pointed out to him that being allergic to lavender was not likely to change due to a different person distilling it.

        • Mad Hatter

          When I still thought I wanted a homebirth with #1, I did have an initial visit with a midwife. At my moms insistence, I contacted her later about the herbs she recommends for the last six weeks. Blue and Black Cohosh, Evening Primrose Oil, Ginger, taken in increasing amounts each week. Don’t know that they did anything and ended up needing Pit to get labor going after my water broke.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Essential oils to diffuse into the air or….take internally?
          I hate those people who suggest something for depression that works only if you aren’t really depressed. I had severe depression during pregnancy and the people who suggested taking a walk (um, did lots of that because I got anxious about driving a car and walked to the store, library, ect), getting a pedicure or drinking herbal tea really upset me more. The people who wanted to suggest something “natural” were the worst.

          • Who?

            It’s like someone saying to a cancer sufferer they should take vitamin C, or do coffee enemas, or whatever other nonsense they are flogging this week.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            What is WITH this coffee enema nonsense?! What on earth did the delicious, delicious java bean of wakefulness ever do to them?!

          • demodocus

            No idea. Someone else jumped in to ask what to take for something else, because she’d rather do homeopathy than go the “pharmacuetical route” Like I’m jumping straight to pills.

          • Bombshellrisa

            That makes me very upset. I hate when people act like you are somehow caving in to some horrible desire if you choose to take medicine a doctor deems necessary. Or that it’s the easy way out. Or that you have failed because there is something your body needs to manage its chemical balance. Anyway, since homeopathy is just water, I assume you have had a glass or two of water every day and it’s not managing your depression and you can strike that suggestion from the list. I can’t tell you how much I sympathize with what you are going through, just remembering how people treated my depression while pregnant was enough to make me never want to see or talk to anyone again.

    • Nick Sanders

      Raspberries are delicious, and pregnant women deserve more delicious in their life?

      • Chi

        Except the tea is made from the leaf, not the berry and is bitter and disgusting.

        • Nick Sanders

          Well then, that’s no good! Someone should fix that then, because hot tea with raspberry juice actually sounds really nice…

          • demodocus

            raspberries are good, especially with whipped cream or on top of ice cream.

          • Nick Sanders
          • demodocus

            Sadly, i have none of the above.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Note to (pregnant) self: purchase raspberries while at the grocery store this morning. Also cream. And an angel food cake. *looks solemn* It’s my duty as a mom to make sure baby gets nothing but the best!

          • Nick Sanders

            Well, if it’s fit for angels, surely that includes your little angel.

    • Mishimoo

      I took the tablets in a slowly increasing dose before my eldest because I wanted to do anything I could to avoid a caesarean (Yay, woo). I don’t know if they actually helped, but I took them with the next two who both needed augmentation partway through labour, which would suggest that the red raspberry leaf tablets don’t work as well as people claim (if at all).

      If you are going to take them, you do need to be careful. During one of my check-ups while pregnant with my middle kiddo, I noticed a bottle of the tablets on the CNM’s desk and asked her when I should start taking them. She went from happy to stern in a flash, and asked if I’d taken them before, how long, any side effects, etc. Turns out one of her patients had come in bleeding heavily and in premature labour. Things were a bit touch and go for a while; everyone worked hard to stop the labour and deal with the bleed. “No, no. I haven’t taken anything. Just my prenatal vitamins, nothing else.” A few hours later, a CNM came in to check on her and walked in just as she was taking another dose of the red raspberry leaf tablets, which caused the same symptoms to start up again. As far as I know, they both survived but it kind of sticks solidly in my memory.

  • CSN0116

    Nothing like a middle class, white woman in an Escalade to tell women how they should behave lol (from her husband’s business page).

    • demodocus

      I ran across this blog round about the time I had my boy. http://breastfeedingwithoutbs.blogspot.com/2011/10/bullshitometer-no-average-age-of.html

      • Roadstergal

        The blog post is excellent. The comments gave me a headache.

        • CSN0116

          Joel Butt’s obsession with women nursing (damn near) middle school children is freakyyyyyyy. And he’s like, “I’ve read and read and read about breastfeeding.’

          Why, dude?!

      • Megan

        Someone should post that link as a reply to ten ridiculous meme Wolfson posted. (Sorry, I don’t have FB.)

        • demodocus

          I avoid those pages like the bubonic plague

    • crazy grad mama

      As far as I can tell, that 4-years statistic is completely made-up B.S. Where did it come from?

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        If it were true then there would be hundreds of millions of children over age 4 being breastfed. I’m skeptical.

        • SporkParade

          According to the local lactivist, Jewish textual sources indicate that breastfeeding until age 2 was expected, and breastfeeding until age 4 was recommended (age 5 in the case of a sickly child). I don’t know if that’s true, but it sure as heck sounds like 4 is a maximum, not an average. Also, I have no clue how you keep a supply up for that long; mine tanked as soon as solids were added.

          • demodocus

            The same way Sarah had a baby? Pray really hard?

          • Inmara

            From my experience, you can go really long with 1-2 feeds per day, hopefully nobody implies that children should be getting most calories from breastmilk at that age.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          In areas where food is scarce, I can see extended breastfeeding as not being unreasonable. Adults are better equipped to deal with malnutrition, and the goal is to get the kid to grow up.

          But I don’t consider the behavior in those areas to be the exemplar for how we should act anywhere else.

          Basically, it’s the “Noble Savage” crap again. Women in asia wear their newborn babies in wraps! Yeah, because they are are out working in rice paddies all day. They do it from necessity, not because it’s what they want. Do you think if they could sit around the house watching Baby Einstein videos, they would choose to strap their baby to themselves?

          • AirPlant

            My husband is the child of an Asian immigrant. She grew up impoverished in rural Thailand. She used a stroller.

          • Inmara

            Or they can’t put baby on the floor because it’s just a dirt patch with a high chance of meeting some spiders or scorpions…

      • Valerie

        It’s bogus. Even Kathy “formula-fed children definitely will be inferior” Dettwyler says so.

        http://www.health-e-learning.com/articles/A_Natural_Age_of_Weaning.pdf

    • mostlyclueless

      I mean. In all seriousness, at what point is this woman going to find it inappropriate for her son’s mouth to be on her breast?

      • Chi

        Exactly. At what point does it actually cross the line into sexual abuse? I’m sorry but I am a firm believer that children should be weaned before they are school age (so in most countries that means before 5).

        And okay yeah I get some people believe in extended breastfeeding, but that does NOT mean you post pictures of it online to feel smug and superior!!

        Gross.

        • Who?

          And the kid isn’t going to love it in only a few short years when he is a young adolescent and this is all over Facebook. Even if he doesn’t have it, people in his world will; and I don’t care how crunchy they are, teenagers won’t be kind about it.

          The lack of respect for the child pulses out from that photo. He doesn’t even look comfortably seated.

          Is the logo next to her head of interest ie a brand of car or similar? No doubt if that’s a yes it fits in with their whole ‘lifestyle’.

          • BeatriceC

            Teenagers are an interesting breed. This is actually the time when their consent needs to be considered. The pictures of my kids I’ve posted here and on Facebook have always been with their full consent.

          • Amy

            Same. My kids actually tell me which ones to post.

          • Mishimoo

            Same here! I don’t mind, it’s not a hassle to double-check that they’re fine with what I’m putting up on Facebook.

          • Megan

            It’s the Cadillac logo.

          • Roadstergal

            It’s a seat from an Escalade. Expensive gas-guzzler.

            http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/69175815.jpg

          • Who?

            Goodoh. And here’ s me thinking they’d be in some electric wonder car or similar.

            Turns out you can rely on them to be inconsistent.

            Since you have the steering wheel on the left, does that mean she’s in the driver’s seat in the above photo?

          • Roadstergal

            It’s either the driver’s seat pushed back, or the passenger’s seat with the photo flipped. Either way, the kid is sprawled across the center console.

          • Who?

            Super comfy for him, then.

            Poor kid.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            *facepalm*
            Reminds me of the nutter who, while I was working a low-end retail job in college, felt compelled to lecture me about the importance of driving a Prius For Teh Environment. While I agreed with her in theory (yes, be nice to the environment) I thought I might diffuse the situation by chuckling gently, pointing out “broke college student earning $8/hour” (read: no, I can’t drop 30 grand on a car right now). I thought incorrectly. Got told off for several minutes about my evil, gas-guzzling ways before she left…in a giant Escalade.
            Call me crazy, but I bet it wasn’t reliably getting 25+ mpg city like my rather elderly compact was.

        • tariqata

          I thought *I* believed in extended breastfeeding because I’m okay with keeping it up until my son is two or so, but that is just crazy.

        • Madtowngirl

          I saw a comment from a woman yesterday that she let her son breastfeed until he self-weaned at 8. She was quite proud of it, too. I don’t really have strong opinions about extended breastfeeding, but that one squicked me out.

          • demodocus

            8? How many girls in his class are starting puberty?

          • Azuran

            I don’t really mind extended breastfeeding but that’s far beyond extended. I have memories from when I was younger than that. If you are old enough to actually remember sucking your mother’s breast there’s a problem there.

          • Allie P

            Was her name Lady Lyssa of the Eyrie?

    • Who?

      Does breastfeeding help with the injuries from being thrown through the windscreen if the driver stops suddenly?

      And imagine the nipple damage…

    • Tiffany Aching

      Her husband calls himself a “paleocardiologist”. Does that mean he treats heart conditions like in Paleolithic times ? In all fairness you’re not likely to die from a massive coronary when your life expectancy is about 30 years.

      • Chi

        Oh her husband is THAT Wolfson. He’s an antivax nut jub who somehow STILL has a medical license.

        Orac has written about him a few times:

        http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2015/01/30/antivaccine-cardiologist-jack-wolfson-and-the-resurrection-of-false-balance-about-vaccines/

        So really this isn’t surprising.

        • Azuran

          That man is sure full of anger. He’s angry at everyone apparently.
          Can’t be good for his heart :p

          • Chi

            Oh it would be ironic if a cardiologist keeled over from a stress-related cardiac arrest.

          • Azuran

            Honestly, a lot of them probably do.

        • Tiffany Aching

          Have you seen the pictures of Paul Offit dressed as a nazi on her facebook page ?

          • Chi

            I wish I could say that surprises me, but nothing about anti-vaxxers surprises me any more.

      • Amy

        He makes infusions of digitalis. He got the recipe from an old dog-eared copy of “Clan of the Cave Bear.”

        • MaineJen

          Paleo…cardiologist…*doubles over*

          Paleo cardiologist: “Huh. He’s dead. Musta been his heart.”

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            “Let’s eat it”

          • Roadstergal

            “Ug die at 30. Nice ripe old age. No big deal.”

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Now, which Agatha Christie novel did that figure into? All I remember is that sage leaves look a lot like foxglove leaves, and foxglove leaves are where you get digitalis…must go reread…

          • Mishimoo

            ‘The Herb of Death’ and ‘Postern of Fate’, which I know despite not having read many Agatha Christie novels (they’re on my ever expanding list) but because I picked up a very interesting book which discusses the poisons in Agatha Christie novels called ‘A is for Arsenic’ by Dr Kathryn Harkup and I highly recommend it.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Oh, man, that sounds fascinating! Thanks for the tip! *scribbles down title and author*

      • Allie P

        He studies fossils for signs of heart disease?

    • Commander30

      That kid looks like he’d really rather not be there.

      • Roadstergal

        That picture wasn’t showing for me yesterday, and the moment I saw it today, I had the exact same thought. Kiddo looks super not-stoked. Which is fine, kids aren’t stoked by a lot of things, but I think making a kid suck at your nipple when he’s at an age where there’s no reason to is super-creeper.

    • Roadstergal

      Unspoken assumption – ‘above average’ is always good. “Average adult BMI in the US is 28. Here’s to being above average.” “Average alcohol consumption in the US is four drinks a week. Here’s to being above average.”

  • mostlyclueless

    OT – have any of you read The Birth Partner? The reviews on amazon insist it’s not too crunchy woo woo but I am skeptical…

    • Bombshellrisa

      Which version? The one from my doula days was all about “comfort measures”, you know, those things you do to try and stave off the temptation to get an epidural. One of the suggestions was getting a folding chair and setting it up in the shower so the mom could do hydrotherapy.

      • Sean Jungian

        Why do they hate epidurals so much? I know Dr. Amy has said it’s mainly because NCB folks like midwives, etc. can’t perform them, but what it the NCB reasoning against it?

        • demodocus

          Some thought that it might make the babies drowsy or something.

        • crazy grad mama

          They believe that an epidural is the first in the “cascade of interventions,” i.e., if you get an epidural, you’ll end up flat on your back and labor will stall and you’ll need Pitocin and eventually end up with a C-section.

          • Mad Hatter

            Just going to the hospital is the first in the “cascade of interventions”… must be why I ended up on Pitocin. Probably shouldn’t have even gotten testing for strep B, which is why I went as soon as my water broke, even though I wasn’t feeling any contractions… what was I thinking?!

        • swbarnes2

          Anything that ordinary people (or even poor people!) can do is inferior to choosing to do something else, especially if that something requires more effort.

        • An Actual Attorney

          I was taught (in college) that it makes pushing less effective. I understand that is not true now.

        • Briar

          Because epidural immediately equals C-Section because it slows the birth process. I was stuck at 4 because I was in such pain and they were talking C-Section. They gave me the epi and I was at 10 in a half hour, I kid you not. Kid just fell right out.

          • Sean Jungian

            Glad it went easily! I had an epidural too, and now I can’t remember if it even occurred to me not to have one. I loved it so much I might have retroactively erased any doubts I might have had (if indeed I had any).

          • Allie P

            Me too, briar.

        • nomofear

          They also claim that it affects the baby. Adequate mother has a myth busting blog piece on that.

          • Sean Jungian

            Thanks for the resource, I’ll look for it.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          My personal theory is that a) it massively reduces the drama around childbirth (less/no pain=rather less drama) and b) it makes the role of a labor support person less dramatically involved because no “helping mama through the pain.”
          Me, I like the idea of being able to shower ASAP post-birth, so I’ll give epidural-free a try and see what happens, but if I end up with one, I already have a massive and fun Netflix/Prime playlist to queue up. And naps are always awesome, in my (pregnant) book! Guess I don’t appreciate the birth drama enough. πŸ˜‰

      • mostlyclueless

        I didn’t know there were multiple versions. I was looking at this one on amazon:

        http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/155832819X/ref=s9_simh_gw_g14_i1_r?ie=UTF8&fpl=fresh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-3&pf_rd_r=09EJSTWGDMNJ07ENNQMX&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=2437869462&pf_rd_i=desktop

        I had some complications from my epidural the first time so I am kind of hoping to avoid it. I mean, I’ll get it if I need it, of course, but I want some other pain management strategies in my pocket.

        • crazy grad mama

          I had a not-awesome epidural experience, too, and would prefer to avoid them if I have a second kid. If I need another C-section, I’m asking for a spinal.

          • Hilary

            OK, stupid questioin … what is the difference between an epidural and a spinal? I thought they were the same thing.

          • crazy grad mama

            An epidural goes into the space around the spinal column, whereas a spinal goes directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (basically, further into the spine).

            (My problem was that the epidural didn’t numb me that well, while still making me queasy.)

          • Hilary

            Oh ok, thanks for explaining that. I had a spinal and it worked very well.

          • AnnaPDE

            There’s also the combined thing, adding a top-up epidural to a spinal (which, therefore, can be dosed without allowing a lot of extra for complications). If they poke you in the back anyway, you can as well get the best of both worlds.

        • Bombshellrisa

          I meant which edition, sorry.
          I understand what you, if you can do great in the shower or moaning (don’t laugh, I had a very fast labor with my son and moaning through the contractions did feel like it helped me) then it’s what will work for you. I know you aren’t doing to because you want a warrior woman badge or a yoni cupcake!

          • mostlyclueless

            Lol as a pregnant woman any kind of cupcake sounds pretty good to me πŸ™‚

    • crazy grad mama

      I have a copy and have read some. My impression was that it’s crunchy but not “arg why do you hate science?!?” It’s probably one of the less woo-y books out there if you’re looking to go without an epidural.

      • mostlyclueless

        Thanks.

    • tariqata

      I don’t recall which edition I read, but also found it to be one of the more informative books for me as a first-timer and not terribly crunchy. My husband also said he found it gave him a good overview of what to expect. However, I don’t think I remembered or used any techniques suggested for coping with labour pain.

  • Fleur

    I didn’t need to ask my baby daughter how she felt about receiving formula from a bottle – the look of “oooh, that’s food!” on her face the first time she tasted it was pretty unambiguous. Of course, that was after she’d spent three nights on the hospital ward screaming continuously with hunger because the midwives insisted that she was definitely getting everything she needed from my breasts and that her constant crying was just an attempt to manipulate me (!). I’m so glad I caved in and gave her the odd bottle until my milk came in properly – it means that I actually have good memories of the first week of her life and not just memories of screaming and bleeding nipples.

    • Azuran

      Because newborn babies clearly already know how to fake crying to manipulate people around them.

    • Tiffany Aching

      Makes me think of my friend about her 3 months old which she started combo-feeding because she’s going back to work : “I felt awful at the beginning like I was doing something wrong. It’s entirely my problem though because she obviously doesn’t give a fuck, she makes exactly the same ” yay food !” face “.

    • BeatriceC

      On the other side, my middle son made it crystal clear what he thought about bottles and formula, and to steal a phrase from another commenter, “if it could have been translated into English, it wouldn’t be printable.” But I was pregnant again and my body simply couldn’t do both, so he had to live with the lack of boob juice.

    • Allie P

      YOUR NEWBORN CHILD WAS MANIPULATING YOU?!?!?!?! I can’t with this shit. What kind of monster says that to a mother?

  • DelphiniumFalcon

    Did she ask her baby’s opinion on if it wanted to be squeezed and manuevered through a meat canal?

    Oh, I forgot. They don’t get a choice on that one.

    • prudentplanner

      flesh and bone canal, don’t forget the bones!

  • Jules B

    In her own baby way (screeching/crying endlessly/arching her back/turning her head away), my daughter DID tell me what she wanted. Repeatedly and forcefully. And what she wanted was a bottle (with pumped breastmilk in it). She’d pitch a fit every time I tried to put her to breast because a) my supply was low (naturally, not for lack of trying everything to increase it) and she was impatient for her food (still is, at almost 4 years old) and b) she had reflux so she had to eat at a precise angle in this one bouncy seat we had, and none of the myriad of breastfeeding holds we tried cut it.

    So yeah, she told me what she wanted and it wasn’t the boob! In other words, if they are gonna privilege the baby’s desires, they need to accept when/if babies decide they do NOT wanna breastfeed. (But no, in that case, they say you just gotta keep forcing the kid to get on the boob).
    P.s. I think we should try to make the hashtag #shitmom trend on Twitter!

    • AirPlant

      Remember: Self weaning literally never happens before five. Anything that may look like your child doesn’t want the boob is just a nursing strike. That you caused. Feel shame.

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        In fact we should.parade the in front of everything until they have been properly shamed!

      • Jules B

        Hah. I am so ashamed I stopped torturing my baby and fed her how she wanted. Terrible of me, I agree.

      • Tiffany Aching

        So you’re supposed to do what ? Force you nipple back into your 3 or 4 years old kid’s mouth ? I’m not particularly bothered by extended breastfeeding but this feels like abuse to me.

        • nomofear

          Right, and my one year old already bites accidentally if she falls asleep too hard while nursing. She’s starting to self wean – refusing the offered boob fairly often – and I can’t imagine trying to force it. Seems like I’d end up sans nipple for my troubles. Maybe he kid wants it – but she needs to recognize that’s not average.

    • Erin

      I was thinking baby clothes. You can get stuff like “My mommy rocked her vbac” baby onsies so why not some “shitmom” ones.

      • demodocus

        i recently helped a friend name her (hopefully temporary) colostomy bag. Gotta worry about church ladies, sometimes. The poo puns were so bad we chased one’s 24 year old son out of the room.

      • Jules B

        I am gonna get a shirt for myself done up at the T-shirt place in the Mall! Reclaim the phrase shitmom!

    • Monkey Professor for a Head

      If I sit down to nurse with a glass of water, minimonkey lets me know that he would prefer to drink out of my glass.

      Right now he is letting me know that he neither wants to sit and cuddle with me nor does he want to be put down to play. What he actually needs is to have a nap, but he’s pretty sure he doesn’t want that either.

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        I got fed, and figured if he was going to be upset one way or another, then he might as well do so in his bed. Less than ten minutes later, he’s asleep and I’ve had a shower. I think that’s win win!

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          And now he’s awake, much more pleasant, and wants to steal my cup of tea.

          Sorry darling, this isn’t good for you. And much more importantly, it’s MINE!

          • Who?

            Sounds like a great start to the day.

            Enjoy it!

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            When minimonkey was born, I decided that my goals for each day were to shower, put on real clothes, and have breakfast. Everything after that was a bonus. It helps me feel like I’m doing well even on my most unproductive days.

          • nomofear

            Aww man my life goal every morning is to wake up and shower at 645 so that I can have a real day.

          • momofone

            I remember being pregnant and having people (generally people I didn’t know, in stores) tell me I’d never shower or brush my teeth again. I can live without sleep/food/etc. as long as I can shower. That was as high a priority as feeding the baby. I knew he would survive for 10 minutes, even unhappy, and it reset my whole perspective.

          • demodocus

            its the toddler i worry about

          • momofone

            Definitely!

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Hear, hear!
            Item #1 on my “how you can help after baby” list a friend asked for is “make sure I get a shower every damn day. If I get those gross postpartum sweats again, better make it twice a day.”

        • Who?

          It took me almost a year to learn that lesson w number one child. Wish I’d learnt it sooner.

    • Bombshellrisa

      Speaking of #shitmom, it’s official. I am one. I went into the bathroom and my son was playing with his cars right in front of the door. I come out and there is my two year old in front of the pantry, merrily dipping his finger into a bottle of dried basil going “mmmm” and “yummy”. I blame the formula

      • demodocus

        mine prefers to spread the contents of herb jars all over the floor and make heaps and pretty patterns.

        • BeatriceC

          A few years back (I think this was about 6 years ago or so) mine spread vegetable oil all over the kitchen floor to “ice skate” without actually having to go to the arena. All three of them joined in.

          • Charybdis

            I bet that was all kinds of fun to clean up. You made them help, right?

          • BeatriceC

            Of course, that let to them getting the brilliant idea a few days later of flooding the floor with water and liquid dish soap and sliding on that. “But it’s clean, mom!” Yeah, and the carpet that bordered the kitchen floor took days to dry out. I basically used my carpet shampooer as a suction device (used it without solution in the clean water tank), but it was still a mess. Have I mentioned my kids are terrible? It’s an ingenious kind of terrible, but terrible nonetheless.

          • Charybdis

            Mine is cut from the same mold. I find myself saying things that should never be said. Especially to a 12 year old.
            “Stop licking the coffee table” to which he replied that he had spilled some beverage, but not enough (in his opinion) to warrant getting a paper towel or napkin.

            I don’t think he used soap in his shower or bath because he is done *way, way* too quickly, so this comes out of my mouth: “Come here and let me sniff your pits”.

            “You most certainly did NOT brush your teeth, because your toothbrush is NOT WET!”

            “How do you forget to flush a toilet?!?”

            “Jello is not to be used as hair gel”.

            Thank the Lord I only have the one.

          • BeatriceC

            Do we actually have the same kid who’s got some sort of time warp capability? I swear I do and say the exact same things for the exact same reasons.

          • Charybdis

            I’m suspicious, because mine is a redhead too. Very nearly the same color.

          • BeatriceC

            Now we’re just getting crazy here! lol. It must be the red hair.

          • demodocus

            now I’m hoping my daughter isn’t a redhead. Maybe a second x will help?

          • BeatriceC

            No. Not really. I’m a redhead and I was just as bad as they are when I was a kid.

          • Beth

            my daughter used to forget to take off her socks before getting into the bathtub. At age 11.

          • Amazed

            I sometimes forget to take off my glasses before stepping in the shower. I won’t say how old I am but it’s waaaay more than 11.

          • BeatriceC

            I’ve forgotten to remove panties. I’ve forgotten the glasses a couple times too.

            Though more recently I’ve had a bigger problem remembering to bring in a towel. It’s great fun when you have teen boys to stand at your bedroom door dripping wet and try to shout loud enough to be heard over all 4200 (or 4700, depending on what set of plans you believe) square feet of house, to make sure that nobody is in a position to see you dart naked to the linen closet to get a towel.

          • Allie

            I never thought I’d have occasion to utter the sentence “don’t butter mama’s leg” : )

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            This one made me snicker out loud. Right at work too.

          • Charybdis

            Last night DS infomed me that he had done something “kinda stupid” at school. With a great deal of trepidation I asked him what had happened.

            “I ate a Kleenex”! was the triumphant reply. I then asked a follow-up question: “What the hell for?”

            Apparently it was a dare. When I responded that one should not get into the classic game of “I Dare You” with the ante-uppers of “I Double, Double Dog, Triple or Triple Dog Dare You” as it can lead to Bad Things Happening, he replied that he had gotten off easy. The Kleenex was dry, but with saliva, it got smaller and wasn’t difficult at all to swallow. One of the others, however, ate a piece of chalk and someone else snorted a line of pepper.

            I pay private school tuition for this? I have to remember being a kid myself and doing a certain amount of stupid stuff.

          • Roadstergal

            I, um, have been known to lick the coffee table when I’ve made a small spill of something delicious. I turn 40 in September. :p

          • Tiffany Aching

            So glad I’m not the only one πŸ™‚

        • Rach

          Master Two and Miss One recently did that with the ground white pepper. There were beautiful swirly finger patterns on the kitchen floor from a sneezing Miss One. Master Two looked like he’d been pepper sprayed, so our best guess is that he was the one who got the pepper out of the pantry and container.

      • Sean Jungian

        My 14 year old son made 3 full ice-cream milkshakes last night. I think it’s because I didn’t wear him as an infant. #shitmom

        • BeatriceC

          My 14 year old’s idea of dessert was a giant slice of poundcake topped with 3 oversize scoops of ice cream, a cup or so of M&M’s, whipped cream, chocolate syrup and bananas. It had bananas on it, so it was healthy, right?

          • fiftyfifty1

            It’s not just the bananas that make it healthy. ALL of it is healthy. Ice cream, M&Ms, cream and chocolate are all rich sources of macronutrients. Macronutrients: can’t live without ’em!

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I heartily endorse this sentiment.

          • Charybdis

            Sounds like a wonderful idea for dessert. I would have left off the banana, mainly because I like my bananas neat. It ruins perfectly good chocolate.

            Can he make me one?

          • BeatriceC

            Right after he makes mine. And Leo the Senegal will take your allotment of bananas. That bird will do anything for a banana fest.

          • Charybdis

            Excellent! Bonus about feeding Leo the banana; happiness all around.

      • Mishimoo

        My two year old love salt and herbs too. Less of the eating, more of the “Let’s make salt circles!” and “Oooh herbs. I shall pour some on my head, bow to mum, chant at her sternly, and finish up by throwing a handful of herbs at her while yelling.”

        And no, he has not watched Supernatural.

        • T.

          It is clear he should πŸ˜› (kidding of course)

  • Steph858

    Because asking a baby what he/she wants is a GREAT idea. If I’d listened to my son’s opinions (expressed mainly in the form of screams of displeasure) then:

    – I wouldn’t have got him vaccinated.
    – I wouldn’t have given him penicillin to clear up his impetigo; the way he screamed and wriggled whenever I forced the requisite 5ml of Flucloxacillin down his throat you would have thought it was molten lava!
    – I wouldn’t have bathed him till he was nearly 1.
    – I wouldn’t have let the nurses at the hospital clean and dress his burn when he scalded himself trying to grab my freshly-made cup of tea.

    Hell, if I’d ‘listened’ to my son then instead of catching him just in time so that only a few drops of tea sloshed over onto his wrist causing a fairly minor scald, I would have let him pour the whole mugful all over himself. After all, that’s apparently what he wants to do, right?

    • Sean Jungian

      My son probably still wouldn’t take a bath if left to his druthers.

      • AirPlant

        I am past thirty and I wouldn’t take a bath if I had a reasonable choice…

        • Sean Jungian

          I’ll be totally honest, I haven’t done the daily shower thing in years. Probably since my son was born. I go about every other to every third day. If it’s a long weekend, forget it – you might as well learn to love my B.O. I never washed my hair every day, since I have dry curly hair and it looks better when I let it get a little greasy.

          • AirPlant

            My hair is fine like the gentle wisps of a cirrus cloud and delicate like the heart of a child. Washing it every day would make me bald. I also have crazy dry skin that breaks out in hives under little to no provocation. Bathing is the enemy, and I just pray to god that my 2 ish times a week is enough that I don’t smell.

          • BeatriceC

            I shower daily because I feel gross if I don’t. My hair, however, is another matter entirely. MrC and I went out for dinner last night for our anniversary. I got in the shower intending on not washing my hair, then realized it had been almost two weeks since I’d last washed it. It lives in a bun, so I hardly ever think about it. I decided to be nice to the poor guy and wash my hair so the smell didn’t ruin dinner.

          • AirPlant

            How does that work? I have tried showering without shampoo in the past and it is almost like the water takes my hair grease and multiplies it tenfold. My hair seriously comes out this sticky mess lacquered to my scalp. Even with a shower cap the steam takes my natural wave and creates a greasy birds nest of madness which sticks to my head until you get to about the ears and then it turns into a tufty frizz triangle. So showers are pretty much either all or nothing with me. Is it different for you?

        • Charybdis

          There are two kinds of baths: functional and recreational. I’m a fan of both, as I like to read whilst I soak. Functional baths are for cleaning yourself, your kids and pets. Recreational baths involve bath fizzies and/or bubble bath, a nice drink and a good book.

          • Chi

            The recreational bath is my go-to for stress relief. It’s literally one of the ONLY things that can get me to relax. I light scented candles, maybe indulge in a fizzy, yummy scented bath bomb and bring my book and my ipod (sealed in a plastic bag to protect it from steam and a teeny crack to slip the headphone cord through) and a glass of something.

            I listen to music, I read and I soak. And it is glorious.

            For just getting clean, I much prefer a shower.

          • Who?

            I love the japanese bath-scrub bits of oneself I never knew needed scrubbing (between the toes, seriously?) then rinse and in for the soak.

            The trick is to get out before I’m certain to faint from the heat. Passing out and drowning in the tub would ruin the holiday.

          • BeatriceC

            I’m a big fan of recreational baths. I told MrC that when we finally get around to remodeling the bathrooms, one non-negotiable requirement is a tub big enough for my feet, knees and boobs to all be under water at the same time. Either that or he needs to fix the hot tub.

  • Stephanie Rotherham

    Googly moogly, she’s batty. Even if she had a valid point, that is just vile bullying and horrendous treatment.

    And OT, but I’ve just introduced my mum to this blog, she’s read a couple of articles including this one; any specific reccomendations? I’d like to show her the ugly side of lactivism, natural birthing (especially water birth) and parenting, home birth deaths, placenta eating, c-section prejudice, birth narcissism and all that jazz. I’m off to show her that story about giving birth with dolphins now.

    • AirPlant

      There is the browser crashing million commend anti-vax shit-storm of 2015.
      .
      Or just a supercut of Brooke’s comments…

      • Chi

        The one about the conceitedness of anti-vaxxers? I can’t even get that one to load.

        • MaineJen

          Neither can I. Probably just as well…

          • Chi

            Agreed. There’s an anti-vaxx troll that’s crawled out of the woodwork to play there and their stupidity is likely to make me rage. I’m not in the mood for that today.

        • Charybdis

          I think Disqus broke again on that thread. I can’t get it to load either. Haven’t, for several days now.

          I think the anti-vaxxers are starting to think they have won because we can’t get it to load.

  • guest

    There are just so many things that I didn’t ask my newborn if they minded. These things include whether or not they wanted to be conceived in the first place, whether they wanted to be a twin or not, which one would get the small placenta and which the normal-sized placenta, which city we would live in, what their names would be, who I should vote for in the presidential election that took place shortly before they were born, whether they would be vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore when they weaned, how much TV I allow them to watch, what color carpet is in their room, or, for that matter, any of the other rooms, and what color the sky is at night.

    I did ask them a lot of things, though, like “Who’s a silly baby?” “Oh, are you hungry now?” “Wouldn’t you like to take a nap now and give mommy a break?” etc. They didn’t answer me for over a year, and sometimes they still answer with non-sequiturs.

    #shitmom

  • Sean Jungian

    UGH, Wolfson. That awful post was mocked in my FB “Sanctimommy” mocking page yesterday, thank goodness. What an awful and deluded human being. Is she the one married to the other loathesome doctor who stated that he didn’t are if other children died as long as his unvaccinated children were okay?

    • Amazed

      She’s the one.

  • Heidi

    I’m curious to hear their “scientific” explanation about why breast milk is so great that it has all these supposed benefits beyond infancy. They do realize breast milk is synthesized by the mother’s body, meaning it can’t be any greater than what she herself eats, right? In fact, it’s less great than what she eats because no matter how much iron or vitamin K she might eat, it’s still not going to be present in these huge amounts in her milk.

    • Heidi

      And can I suck on my own lactating breasts and boost my own immunity and gain 30 IQ points?!

      • Sarah

        Yes. But it only works if you get it straight from the tap. No pumping.

      • momofone

        Maybe Heather should try it too–she could use the IQ points.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Rule 34

    • iffydiffy

      Before I start, … I am not some wing-nut proponant of breastfeeding for all. I am not absolute in being “for” it nor “against” it. But something you said here is utterly incorrect.

      ” it can’t be any greater than what she herself eats, right?”
      Wrong.
      The assumption that there is a 1:1 relationship is utterly false. Animals consume products that get converted into something else entirely and this happens all the time. Consider a herd of cattle feeding on water, grass and hay, which humans cannot eat. Yet the cow’s body converts that into milk and meat which humans can thrive on.

      A body is a complex machine capable of manufacturing a lot of things (milk among them). It is a lot more complicated than just passing along whatever the mother eats into breastmilk.

      There is the question of digestibility. Suppose the milk came out containing everything a baby could need, but in a solid mass that a baby could never digest? The nutrients may all be
      there, but how digestible and accessible are they to the baby? I am no
      authority on this at all. But it seems to me that a species would
      naturally produce a milk that is ideally digested by its own young.

      Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3586783/
      A really good, non-biased run-down of what’s in human milk. Vitamins D and K are about the only things that are NOT present in sufficient quantities.

      So, no. I disagree. Human milk is far greater than just “what she herself eats”. It may not have everything necessary, but it’s not just the sum of its parts.

  • namaste863

    Oh, for the love of………anyone who wastes the amount of time, energy, and venom on other peoples parenting choices as this Heather Wolfson character needs a hobby. In a major way.

    • MI Dawn

      Ah, but she’s a CHIROPRACTOR so she’s COMMITTED to HEALTH choices like no vaccines, baby wearing, breastfeeding, being a santimommy with the extra crown of being a HCP.

      • namaste863

        In other words, she’s a zealot. Yup, I rest my case. She needs a hobby.

    • kfunk937

      She has a hobby: delivering anti-vax lectures to helpless travellers unfortunate enough to be stuck in traffic with her. She even got out of her vehicle and someone with her filmed it to post later on FB. The poor “audience” were trapped there with their windows rolled up and nowhere to go.

      • Nick Sanders

        Oh, that would have ended with me screaming at her. I do not take kindly to invasions of my private space.

      • namaste863

        That’s not a hobby! A hobby is something like knitting, or wreck diving, or playing the piano. Preaching anti-vaxx bullshit is a perversion, not a hobby.

        • Who?

          I don’t know-I consider pro-vax preaching to be something of a hobby.

          Though realistically the hobby is more teasing anti-vaxxers, while encouraging anyone who isn’t sure to go and talk to someone who knows all about it and who isn’t a naturopath/homeopath or similar.

        • demodocus

          Knitting is not a hobby, it’s an obsession!

  • Allie P

    I have no idea what article this was posted on or what comment she is responding to. What is the context for her posting something so strident and mean?

    I’m feeding my nine month old breastmilk and formula, so I enjoy getting the side eye from everyone, including pumpers, because I personally hate it and refuse to do it. In y mind, as long as you are feeding your baby enough of approved substances, you’re cool.

  • Azuran

    I went on her facebook page. I shouldn’t have done that, I seriously lost neurons back there.

    • Megan

      I know! I want them, and my time back!!

    • Sean Jungian

      Jeeze, you guys are leading me down a slippery slope – I don’t know how I can NOT check out her page, now.

      • BeatriceC

        I’m doing my best to avoid that rabbit hole for now.

      • Who?

        One moment at a time. Avoid going there, one moment at a time.

        You know it’s for the best.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          Whenever I’m tempted to read something that I know will be rage inducing, my husband quotes or sends me this little voice clip.

          https://youtu.be/mp2PYYYghnA

          You really have to ask yourself sometimes.

          • Who?

            I like it…true and funny.

  • Sarah

    It was not your choice to pump, even though it was. The women I know who tried to induce lactation are relevant because I say they are, and you should always be thinking about them when you make your feeding choices even though I can’t come up with a reason why. Dozy mare. I respect that people want to call her out for the meanness, but personally I think the stupid is much more evident.

  • Alexicographer

    This bit, “Did you ask your newborn if they minded…” actually made me laugh. Certainly my own newborn didn’t need to be asked what he minded (and I don’t know that I’ve ever known one that did); he was quick to let me know immediately — as he should have been, of course (as an infant, that is. Now that he’s halfway through elementary school I’m encouraging him to be a little less forthcoming in sharing this information, with mixed results).

    • Sarah

      I’m fairly sure expecting a yay or nay response to a question from a newborn is one of the first signs of madness. Perhaps she’s sleep deprived.

    • AirPlant

      I am pretty sure screaming, popping off and general refusal to nurse can be considered consent for bottles…

    • MI Dawn

      Mom: Baby, do you mind if I feed you?
      Baby: (sucks and swallows whatever is put into mouth) Nope. Don’t care what it is as long as it fills my tummy.

      • Spamamander

        When my son needed an xray of his upper GI at 6 weeks I had to not feed him overnight. By the time we got to the hospital for the test and popped a bottle in his mouth he did NOT care that it was barium…. he just wanted something in his tummy. Now.

    • LaMont

      This argument comes up a ton in the circumcision fight too, and I’ve never understood it – parents make medical choices for their children; unless you’re being abusive or reckless, you get to make the call. Surely if a baby can’t articulate approval of a bottle, they can’t articulate approval of the breast either?

      • AirPlant

        I retroactively give consent for each and every bottle of formula that I was given. I still do not give consent for that time out I got when I was horsing around in the photo studio. That was obviously my brothers fault.

        • Sarah

          I retrospectively withdraw consent for all that breastmilk my mother insisted on feeding me.

        • BeatriceC

          I retroactively withdraw my consent for the addition of my younger siblings. Also, I withdraw my consent, pre-conception, for the adoption of my older sibling a few years before I was born.

      • Roadstergal

        My parents did all kinds of things without my consent when I was a baby/toddler. Some I minded, some I didn’t, but quite frankly, almost all of the shite I minded only because my brain was still quite underdeveloped. That’s why Parents, FFS.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Right. DD, age 2, considers it a violation of her civil rights that I sometimes interrupt playtime in order to change her diaper, that I draw a line at spending all day, every day at the park, that I won’t let her live on fruit snacks alone, and that I require her to wear clothing on her lower half when we leave the house.
          To which I say, “that’s nice, dear,” and persist in my evil, evil ways, which mean that she has fewer diaper rashes, I don’t go stark, staring mad from pushing a toddler on this swing–no, that swing!–no, this swing!–for nine hours straight, she doesn’t projectile-poo 24/7, and no one calls CPS because “pantsless toddler.”

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            Sounds like your DD has a kindred spirit in my DD. However I can tell you that they get past all that eventually (DD is now 21 and in college) however..you get to move on to –

            Notes from second grade teacher about Too Opinionated 7yr old who did not appreciate class activities divided by gender, call from local police officer when 15yr old DD and friends walked from home to local all night diner for gravy fries and sodas at 2am, yes they snuck out…She has survived to adulthood despite everything, if she can get through her last year of Engineering (apparently a knack for disassembling everything came in handy after all)

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I can totally see DD as an engineer; she loves to figure out how stuff works, take it apart, and put it back together. She’s already figured out half the childproofing stuff in the house…*sigh*

          • Who?

            My daughter is an engineer…despite all those bottles of formula she had to go to sleep of a night.

            That’s just me bragging a bit…

          • BeatriceC

            Watch out. Those toddlers that want to spend all day, every day at the park turn into teenagers that want to spend all day, every day at the ice arena.

            Anybody wanna guess why I have so much time for blogs and Facebook? This is my current view:

            http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn67/mmsw1/Mobile%20Uploads/1460494240_zpsvfxvi9yc.jpg

            Thankfully the arena has free wifi, and its’ a pretty solid, speedy connection. (I can’t afford the round trip twice a day for the arena that’s farther away from the house, which, of course, is the one he prefers. So I pack my laptop and do all my online stuff while I’m here. All. Freaking. Day.)

            It’s currently 1:53, but we won’t head home until about 8:30ish. We got here at 10AM.

          • Azuran

            how dare you not giving 100% of your attention to what your kids are doing 100% of the time.
            #shitmom

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            In our case, we’re kinda hoping it’ll be the golf club, though I’ll accept ice arena as an option. DH loves the game, DD loves going there with him, and there are few things more sleep-inclined than a 2-year-old who’s toddled ecstatically after Daddy for nine holes, swinging her toddler-sized club at the toddler golf ball for two hours straight. Of course, that’s up to her…but fingers crossed! (The club in question is pretty much the reverse of snobby–everyone there gets a kick out of seeing kiddoes on the course.)

          • BeatriceC

            I’m thinking I might ship my kids to Mel for the summer. A summer on a cattle ranch should wear them out for a few months.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Oooooh, I like the way you think!

          • Mac Sherbert

            Oh dear. My eight year old wants to go to hockey school where he will only have classes until 12 then ice time the rest of the day. (And he had to the park everyday when he was two) I get to spend my nights between two different rinks. One doesn’t have wifi I can access. Of course, that’s bad for me because then I can not turn my toddlers brain to mush watching you tube videos.

          • BeatriceC

            You’re in the same boat I am. One rink has wifi, the other doesn’t. Thankfully we spend most of our time at the one with wifi. On long days like today there’s actually a break, but it’s a 40 mile round trip and I need to be stingy with gas. He does his school work during the break, in addition to off ice stuff. We’re actually gradually moving everything up to this arena, even though the other one is barely 2 miles from the house. This one is just vastly better. It’s better managed, the ice is in better shape, the coaching staff is better, there’s more serious attention paid to off-ice training (though the other arena actually has better access to gym equipment because it’s part of a large, YMCA-like complex, though not a YMCA). All in all, it’s just better for him to be full time here. MrC can take care of the other kids’ daytime needs except medical stuff, and then on those days, it’s not a problem to drop the skater off here, drive the 5 miles to the hospital for the medical appointments, then come back.

          • Who?

            Monster.

            πŸ˜‰

    • momofone

      I’m pretty sure mine wouldn’t have wanted a chiropractic adjustment either.

    • Mel

      I walked to the barn and asked the newborn calves if they minded being fed milk replacer out of an artificial nipple made with really hot water (no microwave).

      They said they loved the entire experience – but it could be improved by the use of a microwave. Also, I should give them more formula. They would also like some sugared donuts. Likewise, I should let them run free on the road. Good farmers let their calves run free on roads.

      I feel better now. πŸ˜›

      • Sean Jungian

        “Good farmers let their calves run free on roads.”

        Well, duh. That’s just Farming 101.

    • Mac Sherbert

      Well, my newborn did refuse one brand of formula. Other than that BF or bottle she just ate. She’s still very opinionated! My son recently stated after learning which body part babies exit the womb from thAt he’s glad he got “cut out”.

    • Megan

      My newborn says she wants vaccines and formula. Really. I swear.

      • Megan

        And cuddles.

      • Bombshellrisa

        Mine told my husband to watch “Black Sails”. Or so he claims, since we had alternate nights caring for ds. All I know is that kid is two now and he likes any music that sounds like the theme to “Black Sails”.

  • Madtowngirl

    “Remember the mean girls in middle school who would imperiously declare who could and could not sit at their table in the cafeteria. Those mean girls have grown up and they are now patrolling the playgrounds and mommy and me groups to enforce submission to their whims.”

    This, exactly. These types of women just enjoy being sanctimonious assholes.

    • AirPlant

      What gets me is less the mean girls, its the wanna-bes and hangers on. Like the central blogger or website has a brand to sell so they typically have the grace to just insinuate that you are a terrible mother without going full douche, but the fan girls have nothing to lose and they are viscious! Its like a competition for who can find the nastiest application for the rhetoric and somehow even in the most tightly moderated comment sections you just get these psychic purgings of bile that are never addressed. Like I have never heard BFMT or the Leaky Boob say that formula from birth is a bad choice, but I have for sure seen it again and again in the comments.

  • Megan

    Wow. That is some really nasty rhetoric. I’m really saddened to see that especially as a mom who has had to continually fight guilt over my breasts’ inability to sustain my children. It’s hard enough without bullies making it worse. She should be ashamed of herself. And she’s a HCP??

  • BeatriceC

    It’s funny that in my very small (n=3) sample, the healthiest kid is the one who breastfed for the shortest amount of time*. My oldest, who only got maybe 20 oz of formula total and breastfed for right at a year gets any bug that even looks at him from three miles away. This is the kid that got pertussis twice in a year and a half despite being vaccinated. My middle kid almost never gets sick, and the youngest gets a fairly normal number of minor colds and such.

    *I’m not factoring in the bone disease. Though I have been told on occasion that maybe if I breastfed longer/nursed from the tap/etc, that maybe they wouldn’t have it (not from medical people, just from random people). Yeah, because breastmilk has the magical ability to alter genotype.

    • Azuran

      Didn’t you know? Breastfeeding can even cure down syndrome!

      • Spamamander

        Damnit I knew I did something wrong! I should have nursed her longer! Never mind that the DS caused very lax muscle tone in her mouth so she couldn’t latch properly and would fall asleep before getting a good feed in.

        • Roadstergal

          Asking these people to understand the order of causation is several bridges too far.

    • demodocus

      duh, calcium or some nonsense.

  • Taysha

    Should we change it from “liquid gold” to “gilded nipple”? Talk about moving the goalposts.

  • Amy M

    Even if the “back wash theory” was true, antibodies aren’t made instantaneously. Wolfson seems to be saying that the second baby saliva hits mom’s nipple–BOOM–fast and convenient antibodies, immediately available.
    Breast milk may change over time, but it isn’t a psychic, sentient entity and it can’t “know” that a specific baby might benefit from more fat or what not. If the mother doesn’t produce fatty enough milk for whatever reason, her infant losing weight will not be able to force the milk to have a higher fat content. Breastmilk certainly can’t magically provide iron and VitD or Vit K, which it would if it could really tailor itself to be perfect for a given baby. Wolfson’s rant here is nutty, especially if she goes around asking infants about their eating preferences.

    • Azuran

      The babies immune system is also still working properly. So, technically, by the time the mother made antibodies (which is not even actually happening), the baby also made them on his own as well so it doesn’t need any help from the mother at that point.

      • Amy M

        Yeah, I know that, but Wolfson doesn’t, it seems. πŸ™‚

        • Azuran

          I doubt she even knows what antibodies are.

          • Roadstergal

            Chiropractors are the very sort to say nonsense things like ‘strengthen the immune system.’

          • swbarnes2

            Of course, your average Western person is far more likely to be made miserable by an over-active immune system (lupus, arthritis, Celiac, allergies, etc) than an underactive one.

          • Roadstergal

            It’s an imbalance between the various arms and regulators and counter-regulators of the immune system; I hesitate to call autoimmune diseases ‘overactive’ immune systems.

          • Amy M

            Allergies (hypersensitivity) are pretty miserable too. πŸ™‚ But “under-active” or suppressed…not so great either. Of course, it doesn’t matter to the Wolfson-types because they have no clue how any of it works. They believe in things like “adrenal fatigue” and can’t handle food ingredients with too many letters.

          • Roadstergal

            Allergy is a disease of dysregulation, again – if you have rampant IgE and mast cell degranulation, it’s not like you’re bonkers good at fighting off infections due to an overall overactive immune system. Even a ‘classic’ disease of ‘overactive immunity’ – SLE (lupus) – gives you increased susceptibility to infections. The system isn’t over- or under-active as a whole in autoimmunity/sensitivity/allergy, just dysregulated.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I was just going to point this out. I don’t know which is worse, having issues where your immune system is fighting off cold after cold or making the body more susceptible to illness like my cousin and her very plentiful and very bored eosinophils that nearly turned her lungs into useless holey sacks of flesh.

            Or those poor people that have a deficiency in one part of the immune system but then also have an autoimmune disease.

            Nature is one hell of a crap shoot.

          • Tiffany Aching

            Ha ! My thoughts exactly ! I have Grave’s disease and that “strengthening the immune system” nonsense sometimes makes me want to smack people in the face.

    • guest

      If antibodies were made instantaneously, colds would last like, what, an hour? Some days I just want a t-shirt that says “Do you even science, brah?”

  • Amy

    Wow, that is some serious meanness. And as someone who really really really wanted to make breastfeeding work (my own mom had breastfed all of us and I was so looking forward to it) but had inverted nipples, I know first hand that feeding your child pumped milk (in my case, exclusively for almost two months) is the hardest of both options. You don’t get the convenience of breastfeeding in terms of being able to just feed the baby wherever and whenever; the milk isn’t immediately available at the perfect temperature; and you have bottle preparation and cleanup to contend with. However, you are still responsible for producing (not just preparing) 100% of the baby’s calories, which means pumping every few hours for 15-20 minutes at a time, never being able to go long stretches without emptying your breasts– none of the convenience of formula feeding. Exclusive or predominant pumping is the HARDEST of the feeding options and moms who CHOOSE to do this should be supported.

    As for how the kid feels? My baby is now ten. She knows that I pumped for her until she was able to latch. We have a close, loving, supportive relationship. She knows how much she means to me. But she knows that because I help her with her homework, we go on outings together, she’s learning to cook with me, we read stories and tell jokes and sing and cuddle, we jam on our instruments, I drive her to her activities, I host her friends, and I have her back when she encounters challenging situations. Pardon my language, but she doesn’t give a rat’s ass that some of her feedings came from bottles.

    • Megan

      I always described exclusive pumping as the worst of both worlds. It truly sucks.

      • BeatriceC

        I didn’t find it too terrible. Then again, I had a massive over supply, so pumping took very little time, so that might have affected how I felt about it.

        • Megan

          For me, 5-6 hours a day to get 8-9 oz (though I had a few miraculous days I can count on one hand where I got 10-12 oz). I wish I hadn’t wasted my time and had held my baby more instead.

          • BeatriceC

            I’d have given up under the same circumstances. For me it was 7-10 minutes to get 40-50 ounces (and sometimes more). My oversupply was massive. I had to pump 4 times a day minimum to keep my breasts from getting engorged. Between pumping and clean up I spent maybe 90 minutes per day. That kid was a very early preemie, so it was worth it. If he’s been term, I likely wouldn’t have bothered. The other two ate straight from the tap, so my supply dos eventually level out with them in a way it never did with the youngest.

          • Mac Sherbert

            Wow.

          • Megan

            That’s some crazy oversupply!

          • BeatriceC

            I wasn’t kidding when I said my body thought I’d birthed an entire, full grown, NFL team.

          • Megan

            Just thought to ask, WTH bottles do you attach to collect all of that milk?

          • demodocus

            well, in my case (and my oversupply was *far* less than B’s) i just paused the pumping and changed bottles.

          • BeatriceC

            Quart sized mason jars with a creatively engineered coupling MacGyvered from items found in the plumbing department of Home Depot. One on each boob.

  • MissKate

    Heather sounds like a deeply unhappy person.

  • MI Dawn

    Heather and her husband are pieces of work. He’s the cardiologist who spewed the hatred that parents with immunocompressed kids should let them die rather than encourage others to vaccinate. If my child still lived in AZ (she moved out), I’d make sure she avoided these two and anyone ignorant enough to go to them.

    • Sean Jungian

      Aha, I thought that was them, thanks for verifying. Loathsome people.

    • Roadstergal

      The irony of a cardiologist with no heart would be mildly funny if it weren’t threatening the lives of vulnerable children.