The vicious anti-feminism of natural parenting advocates

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I posted the image above on Facebook and got the following response:

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You want to spend 10 months carrying a fetus to a live birth… You should be expected to breastfeed to at least 2 years, you should be expected to baby wear – PERIOD. You should also demand paid maternity leave, expect an extra stipend for staying home with your child and have the support group of other Moms and professionals so new Moms don’t feel isolated…

I’ve been a hardcore feminist for over 20 years… You don’t demean or belittle the huge and amazing aspects of womanhood and motherhood to get equality – because then you are making women act like men. You support, praise, expect and demand monetary value for what women do – to gain equality. Don’t make women feel they need to sublimate or cast off their Motherly instincts to be equal- that is just as damaging as the Patriarchy’s demand to pigeon hole women.

Way to miss the point, Pamela!

In natural parenting, the only good mothers are powerless mothers.

I’ve been a hardcore feminist for more than 50 years and feminism is all about situating women’s worth in their intellect, talents and character, not their reproductive organs. Natural parenting, in contrast, believes that women (but not men) must be reduced to recapitulating their lowly status in nature.

Feminism is all about autonomy for women, letting them make their own decisions. It is most emphatically NOT about using pregnancy and infancy as excuses to restrict, control and disempower women.

Wake up, Pamela! Natural parenting has nothing to do with what’s good for babies and everything to do with fear of women’s emancipation. Those who are afraid of women holding political and economic power think they can force them back into the home by setting up so many rules around motherhood that the only “good” mothers are powerless mothers. And you’ve fallen for it, Pamela.

  • When was the last time you saw people claiming that “good” fathers demonstrate their love for their wives and children by killing game animals and dragging them home?
  • When was the last time you saw men escorted out of the delivery room because traditional societies do not allow fathers at childbirth?
  • Where are the restrictions on what men can consume, justified by the desire to keep their sperm safe for maximum fertility?
  • When was the last time you saw fathers harassing each other over who is the more natural father?

Never, right? And that’s not a coincidence.

It would be bad enough if Pamela were just a random vicious natural parenting advocate, but Pamela is a nurse. A nurse who had this to say about infant formula:

Can’t argue with facts- even when you may feel guilt about a failure.

Chemical compounds, synthetic ingredients and hard to digest vitamin and mineral sludge isn’t normal, isn’t great… It is abnormal and inferior nutrition- which thankfully is enough to allow a baby to survive on it.

You know what’s normal, Pamela, my friend? Women who can’t produce enough breastmilk to fully nourish an infant (5-15% or women) is normal, too. And that normally leads to dehydration, seizures and death. It’s so normal that it happens every day around the world.

The “Nature” of our pre-historic ancestors was not the Garden of Eden; it was a garden of horrors. Get bitten by a predator … die. Bleed excessively in childbirth … die. Get a childhood illness … die. The NORMAL life expectancy in nature was only 35 years. It’s entirely unnatural to live to 70, 80 or 90 as people do now.

Why, Pamela, do you get to pick and choose what aspects of life in nature women must be forced to recapitulate? There were no nurses receiving monetary compensation for careers outside the home in nature. So why is it okay for you to have a career? There were no people living in houses, using central heating and air conditioning and driving to their jobs in cars in nature. So why is it okay for you to live in a house with central heating, wear clothes and drive a car?

Most importantly, there were no people using computers to communicate with others across the country and around the world. What are you doing on the internet promoting the virtues of natural parenting, Pamela, when the internet is entirely unnatural?

Open your eyes, Pamela. Natural parenting is not about parenting in nature since that was filled with disease, disability and death. Natural parenting is a way of judging women by the functions of their reproductive organs, reducing women to nothing more than the chattel of men.

It may be natural, but it sure as hell isn’t feminist.

  • Why do the ‘mankind can’t improve on nature’ types never demonstrate their commitment to this belief by communicating this to us over smoke signals and refraining from using the internet ever again?

  • Anne

    Dear Pamela,

    I’m all for supporting paid maternity leave and advancing the societal acceptance and value women’s work in the home. I’m all for supporting mothers who breastfeed their babies and carry their babies for extended periods of time (though I cringe at your use of the word “wear”, as babies are humans and not accessories). I am all for supporting other mothers so they do not become isolated. I am all for supporting a smooth transition back into the workforce (if a mother so choose this path).

    However, I will not stand for telling women how and when to use their bodies. I will not support with the “expectation” that women breastfeed for two years. I will not support the expectation that that a mother must carry her child or stay at home for extended periods of time, if she does not choose this.

    I support raising children in loving environments, nurturing them physically and emotionally and fostering their integration into society as considerate, insightful, kind and caring human beings. How parents manage to this, is really no one else’s business but their own.

    I do not believe in using anecdotes to prove a point. I believe in scientific methodology, in well-designed, adequately powered studies. However, I do believe anecdotes are powerful for sharing perspective, so I will share my story with you.

    I went back to work after 6 months for a number of reasons.

    If I didn’t, we would not be able to pay our bills. Clean water, electricity and a roof over my little one’s head trumps the “expectation” that I should personally have carried her around everywhere and been with her 24 hours a day.

    I went back to work after 6 months, so I would not delay my advancement at a critical point in my career. Overall, this return to work would lead to a higher salary, a better standard of living for my family, and personal fulfillment, as well as a societal duty to the patients that I promised to care for.

    I went back to work after 6 months, and my beautiful daughter was cared for by my husband, who has the exact same capacity as me to physically carry her, love her, teach her and nurture her. My daughter is also cared for by four grandparents, a host of uncles, and numerous friends.

    I work 60-80 hours a week. I do not see my daughter as much as some mothers do, but I still have a lot to offer her. She does not lack for love and encouragement. Despite my “limited breastfeeding”, she never had an major infections. She is ahead in every milestone: potty-trained at 18 months, saying over 200 words and speaking in 3-6 word sentences at 20 months, can name her colours, identify most letters of the alphabet, count to 12 at 22 months. She is loving and shows empathy “why kitty hiding? shhh everyone, don’t scare kitty”. Overall, she is healthy and happy, and I attribute it mostly to effort my family and community has put into introducing her to many different exposures, constantly reading, singing and talking to her and actively trying to foster her development as a human being.

    I tell this story to illustrate that there are many ways to raise a baby. I have raised my child in a “it-takes-a-village” style approach, where the mother is not the central and only figure of love and support. We’re all doing very well. There are countless other ways to raise a child. Don’t demonize women who do not choose your narrow understanding of motherhood. They can raise pretty awesome children too.

    • guest

      Growing up, my dad worked an average of 60 hours a week, I’d say, and my mother was a SAHM until I was eight. As it happens, I have a stronger bond with my father. It isn’t the quantity of time you spend together – it’s the quality.

    • An Actual Attorney

      Baby “wearing” makes me think of Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs. Creepy.

      • Charybdis

        “It puts the baby in the sling, or it gets the hose”.

  • SparkTheTruth

    okay, I’m not a fan….
    Why is it that every time something about women and what they do comes up, someone has to argue (belittle the subject)? Yes breastfeeding for two years is extreme since the immune benefits are only good for the first 6 months… but paid maternity leave helps businesses in the long run, and the mother as well.
    How is it weakness to want to be as close to your baby as possible? This is why children today are so hard to control, they have no connections, they just get sat in front of screens all day. And before anyone says so, just because you yourself don’t, doesn’t mean that babysitter you hired so you could go back to work doesn’t.
    The author of this “rebuttal” demeans women by wanting to have a connection with their children. Sure society makes it harder today to want to be a mom, but this attitude, the one saying that taking care of your child makes you less of a person in the eye of a misogynist society, is putting them in that category themselves simply by saying it.
    Women are the cause of the strife of women. At least in this subject apparently.
    And, this author seems to me like a woman hating, pompous, self-aggrandizing know-it-all who claims she advocates for healthy women and their babies. She either has never had children, or messed them up so bad they are ticking time bombs waiting to happen. I’m extremely glad I don’t live anywhere near the “professional’s” practice.

    • Glittercrush

      Ok. You missed the point. The author quit her job as a doctor to stay home and care for her children. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be connected to your children. The only thing the author has a problem with is telling women that is the *right* thing to do. If staying home, breastfeeding on demand, bed-sharing, and baby wearing are what work for your family, that is awesome. What is not awesome is telling me I am an inferior mom because that is not what worked for us. That is the whole point of this. Her problem is with the *movement* that is pushing these factors as normal and best, instead of the option they are.

    • guest

      You have a reading comprehension problem. Probably because you weren’t worn enough as a baby.

    • Poogles

      “The author of this “rebuttal” demeans women by wanting to have a connection with their children. Sure society makes it harder today to want to be a mom, but this attitude, the one saying that taking care of your child makes you less of a person in the eye of a misogynist society […] She either has never had children, or messed them up so bad they are ticking time bombs waiting to happen.”

      Here is a quote from Dr. Amy regarding her feelings concerning “natural parenting”:

      “I had four vaginal births, two with epidurals and two without, breastfed all four and enjoyed it, and practiced attachment parenting … BUT that doesn’t make me a better mother than you!” – http://www.skepticalob.com/2016/04/i-am-not-a-better-mother-than-you.html

      So, not only did Dr. Amy choose to stay home with her children, she practiced much of what is considered “natural parenting”. The point is, she did it because it was what worked for her and her family, not because she thought it was the “right” or the “best” way to parent. It’s the message (seen from Pamela above, for example) that these parenting choices are inherently better and so any mother who doesn’t choose them is being “unnatural” and denying her child(ren) some fundamental experience that is the issue being addressed as anti-feminist.

  • Tokyobelle

    Wait a minute! How do we know that Pamela’s a nurse? Maybe she just thinks she is because she’s a mom. You know, like that meme that states moms are teachers, doctors, psychiatrists, etc?

    She already thinks she’s a feminist just because she’s a woman, so anything’s possible.

  • Anna

    Where I live mothers have 3 (!!!) years of paid maternity leave. However… that’s just about all the privilege we’ve got. There are no private hospitals, only government-funded ones. Which means that even if you are wealthy you can’t just walk in with a birth plan saying I want this and this and that. Actually no such thing as birth plan here. Only birth protocol which is identical for all the hospitals in the country. This includes when to induce for post-dates (41 + 1), how long it takes to deliver the baby once the waters are broken (12 hours), epidurals are only used if there is a medical indication and only for a short time, the pushing always (!) goes without the epidural and VBACs are very rare and not encouraged (but on the other hand, c-sections are done quite skilfully under spinal with good painkillers afterwards and glue for the incision). So few people are really interested in VBAC. The wealthier people do get their way with the Drs but it’s never legal and most often they just request a CS. Not to say that homebirth is banned (but takes place) and such cases are often dealt with by the police, if found out. I don’t know that anyone ended up in jail for it though. As for the natural parenting for most it’s plain unaffordable. Women here mostly have no hired helpers and husbands are off to work 3 days after the birth. You just do whatever works to survive. Baby wearing is technically very complicated as we have winter practically 8 months out of 12, you don’t easily wear a baby under a winter coat. What am I trying to say? I am just sick sick sick of all these really privileged women for whom noone is ever good enough, no mother is trying hard enough and there’s nothing in the world that could please their high standards.

  • canaduck

    She seems to be under the impression that the purpose of feminism is to celebrate our reproductive organs and their various functions. The poor myopic dope.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    For a feminist, Pamela is doing a lot of “women should”. It never ceases to confound me when I encounter a “feminist” like Pamela – one that seems to seek to put limits and restrictions on other women in the name of feminism. Why must only moms demand affordable childcare? Don’t men have children also, and pay for childcare also? For all her complaining that Dr. Tutuer is “making women act like men”, Pamela sure seems to be invested in making women act like women (at least, her idea of what women should act like).

  • Dr Kitty

    Expecting someone who is highly intelligent, who enjoys the company of adults, who has useful skills she trained and worked hard to learn and who dislikes mindless repetitive tasks to spend two years of her life carrying, feeding and diapering a baby and not using her intelligence and skills just because she is a woman…isn’t that the definition of disempowerment and sexism?

    • Sue

      Exactly. There are also few communities where mothers even CAN spend one-on-one time with each child – they’re too busy doing daily chores associated with survival, while the older kids help look after the younger ones.

    • SparkTheTruth

      No one forces a woman to stay home. They can go back to work anytime they feel is right. That is the difference between reality and this fiction that feminists narrate to force change. Not allowing a woman to stay home and be with her kids because she has to help pay the bills is the biggest problem here, and by not giving them the option is how you end up with depressed, self-hating people.
      Also, what stops them from working from home exactly? If they’re smart enough to get a job that challenges them mentally, then why not arrange for a work from home setting? You can “earn your keep”, work your brain, and still be able to take care of your own children instead of leaving them with someone else to care for.

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        Maybe no one forces women to stay home, but there are plenty of people who will judge you and shame you for your choice to stay home or to work. Societal pressure is a real thing. Women should be able to choose whichever option suits them best without that pressure.

        And working from home is not a good option for many people. I find it interesting that you said that to Dr Kitty, who as the name suggests is a doctor (a GP). I doubt it’d be practical (never mind the legalities) for her to set up a practice in her living room, nor would she be able to focus on patients and provide good quality medical care whilst also looking after her children. She would have to find a whole new area of work, retrain in that and give up on the work that she loves. What kind of solution is that?

        • Sarah

          Come on, she could easily do smear tests and swabs on her kitchen table. As the children frolic peacefully in the background.

          • Dr Kitty

            The stuff of nightmares!

          • Daleth

            I know I would like my gynecological appointment to take place on the doctor’s kitchen table. Maybe I could make myself a sandwich while she probes my cervix.

          • Sarah

            There we are, you see, you’re just not thinking outside the box Dr Kitty (pun intended). There’s clearly a market for combining intimate examinations with lunch, for the busy woman on the go. Just wash your hands inbetween smear and sandwich prep, obviously.

          • Charybdis

            Make sure that’s mayo you’re putting on the bread and not KY.

            Although that would be a disasterous take on a “Peanut butter and jelly sandwich”.

      • Nor

        Replace the word “woman” in your answer with “man” and see how much easier it is to say it, how much truer it feels.

      • guest

        They can go back to work any time they like…as long as you get to guilt them about how their children will be ” so hard to control” because all the lazy babysitters you hire will put them in front of the TV and you won’t even know? You’re a hypocrite. You don’t get to shame working moms out of one side of your mouth and think that’s okay because no one is “forcing” them to stay home.

      • guest

        Your “work from home” solution is so unrealistic. Do you even know what a mentally challenging job is like? And what caring for children at home is like? The two *do not* go together – certainly not full time. You can’t do any mentally taxing work while small children are awake – not without neglecting either your children or your work.

      • Dr Kitty

        I’m a Dr.
        It is all I ever wanted to be, the most challenging and rewarding job I can think of, and one I’m actually pretty damn good at.

        It is not something that works well as a cottage industry.
        “Working from home” is not an option.

        I don’t WANT to stay home for two years.
        I don’t WANT to work from home.

        I want to be a Dr and a mother, and you know what, I can be.

        Your “solution” is for women to stick to (poorly paid, usually unskilled or minimally skilled) jobs that can be done from home, to forego motherhood entirely or to pick partners who can support them on a single income.
        None of which actually reflect how real women choose their careers, partners or plan their families.

        My kids are fine being cared for by people other than me on the days I work, and I’m not slowly going crazy looking after them. Win win.

        If being a SAHP works for you, more power to you, but it is not a “better” choice, and frankly you presume too much if you think that you know what is better for my children than my husband and I do.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        When I’m working from home, I’m WORKING from home. I need to concentrate on what I’m doing and think about the actual job. This is not compatible with comforting a colicky baby or chasing a toddler.

        Also, if “you” must be able to do your work at home while caring for a baby, why can’t the father do the same? No call for men to work from home in the first year of their babies’ lives?

      • Box of Salt

        SparkTheTruth “what stops them from working from home exactly?”

        Try it some time. Work from home, with your kids around.

        Make sure you’re doing the best you can possibly do at each activity – i.e., supervising the kids, AND completing the job you are being paid for to do at home. At the same time. On a daily basis.

        Get back to me.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          Hell, I can’t *game* while DD is awake and in my general vicinity! Working a mentally-challenging job? Bwahahahahaha!

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Um…how am I supposed to work from home as a social worker? Not everyone has a career that is conducive to working at home. And not everyone needs one.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          I think the “you can always work from home” statement has two underlying messages: 1. If you insist on pretending that you have some calling outside of reproducing, we’ll let you work–as long as it doesn’t interfere with your being constantly chained to the baby. For your and its own good, of course.
          2. If you were REALLY smart, determined, etc, you’d find a way to work from home and be able to do it while baby wearing.
          Basically, it’s a way of belittling women and their importance in the job market and setting the bar of “competence” so high that the vast majority will fail to make it.

      • Sarah

        You do realise there are quite a lot of mentally challenging jobs that require equipment people don’t have in their homes, right? If I needed brain surgery, I’d be quite happy for any or all of the medical and nursing teams to be mothers of babies. I would be less happy for the theatre to be in one of their living rooms, and less happy still if they were attempting to look after their babies whilst performing their incredibly mentally challenging jobs.

        Also, speaking as someone with a very mentally challenging job who is sometimes able to work from home, you still need childcare. I’m both part time and supervisory, so I do a few emails and the odd phone call on my days off whilst caring for my preschoolers. Mostly that’s doable, to keep things ticking over. But when I wfh and do the actual substantive work, like drafting legal arguments or occasional skype appointments, that requires me NOT being with my kids while I do that. No getting round it.

      • Gene

        Well, my son got a paper cut yesterday, so when I treated him, I guess I was working from home! And I diagnosed my neighbor’s kid with an ear infection the day before. Guess I should just set up shop and turn my garage door into a pop-up ER! But it will just be me…no nurses, techs, lab, radiologist, secretary, janitor, or any other essential ED employee. ‘Cause that would mean they would work outside their home!

        Two things I can speak to regarding this. First, I find it laughable that many people who push for women to stay home freak out if a man does a traditionally female job or a job in which women are desired: kindergarten teacher, nurse, obstetrician, etc. I’ve known women (and some men) loudly espouse the evils of mothers who work outside the home and in the next breath complain about wanting only a female for a well woman exam or think that a male kindergarten teacher must be a pedophile. So, natch, any woman who works outside the home should remain childless.

        Second, my spouse was a WAHD (work at home dad) for five years (home office) and currently has a job where he works from home 1-2 days a week. It’s great for snow days or if one kid gets sick. But he actually WORKS. It’s not a job where he plays with the kids all day and occasionally send an email. Even when he was exclusively at home our kids were in daycare full time. The only full time job I can think of that would work with kids at home would be an in home daycare provider.

    • Box of Salt

      “spend two years of her life carrying, feeding and diapering a baby”

      And that’s only if you have only one child.

  • Amy

    That’s some pretty intense mental gymnastics she’s got going on there. But then, how else could one simultaneously be a liberal as she claims to be, AND believe in chemtrails? Isn’t that Alex Jones/Glenn Beck/free state project territory?

    • Nick Sanders

      Horseshoe theory and crank magnetism.

    • Zornorph

      I don’t think chemtrails are only believed by right wingers. Lots of liberals think it’s a crime against nature by evil corporations.

      • Amy

        I’m sure it’s not 100% of chemtrails believers who are conservative, but I don’t know if I share your interpretation of “lots of” liberals. And please understand, because I know you’re a “moderate” Republican, that I am NOT accusing all conservatives of believing in chemtrails. After all, I think it’s safe to say that someone like Alex Jones isn’t exactly representative of mainstream conservatism.

        But…I don’t know a single liberal who believes that. Not saying there aren’t any, but I do work in a field where I’m interacting with 150 students and 80 colleagues, most of whom are liberal, every day; I live in a liberal state; almost all my friends and my whole family are liberal; and I’m enrolled in a graduate program populated mostly by, you guessed it, liberals.

        The top hits that come up when you Google “chemtrails” are Alex Jones, a few doomsday sites, a news story that apparently Prince was a believer, and then some pro-science sites debunking the conspiracy theories.

        Liberals have plenty of things we can complain about with respect to large corporations that are real and verifiable: labor and benefits practices, outsourcing, pollution that can be measured. Why waste time on something that’s made up?

        • Zornorph

          Oh, I said that badly. I don’t mean lots of liberals believe it. I’m saying of those who do believe that crap, a fair percentage are liberal. I don’t know anybody in real life who believes it, liberal or conservative. But when I encounter believers online, some are libs.

      • Mac Sherbert

        I consider myself to be conservative and I spend time in conservative circles. We all think the chemtrail people are crazy. I’d say the Alex Jones people is a mixed group of people who just like conspiracy theories…and it can be entertaining on occasion.

    • Brooke

      ???

    • When you take left-wing beliefs far enough, you pretty much end up with right-wing beliefs. There’s a lot of overlaps on the far fringe.

      • Amy

        Oh, for sure. IME what often happens is that hippies start to BECOME right-wing. I’ve seen it happen. They’re center-left, they get into natural everything, and the next thing you know they’re far-out libertarians.

        • Lurker

          Oh, *that* explains the Mother Earth News editorials!

        • MaineJen

          I watched a good friend go “full chemtrail” over the course of several months on facebook. It was pretty sad.

          • Amy

            I discovered a high school friend has apparently always been a little into the woo, but she’s only gotten worse as we’ve gotten older: crystal healing, cleanses, “alkalizing” food (which include lemons, with a pH of 2), essential oils that we can buy from her side MLM business.

            It’s like……another one bites the dust.

          • Nor

            It’s all just a really solid testimonial for the placebo effect. All hail the placebo, it works better than a lot of psych meds, much lower number needed to treat. Not long term of course, or for serious problems, but still…

  • Deborah

    …..”good fathers demonstrate their love for their wives and children by killing game animals and dragging them home”
    LOL that will keep me laughing all day.

    • Bombshellrisa

      I told my husband that if he really loved our family, he would pick up teriyaki on the way home.

      • That’s basically the same thing as hunting.

        • demodocus

          and the kind my husband would actually be successful at. 😉

        • Michele

          My husband is an expert hunter of rotisserie chickens.

        • mabelcruet

          I obviously live in a non-standard household-my cats drag home various furry carcasses and I’m the one who has to dispose of them. Other half squeals like a 3 year old when he sees dead mice.

    • ladyloki

      Well, then I have a good husband. Born and raised in rural Arkansas where that is how they survived the winter was hunting. You didn’t get a kill, you went hungry until you did.

    • Mrs.Katt the Cat

      I’m the hunter in my family.
      Well, I will take an airgun and decrease the squirrel population around my Mothers house when they start chewing on her wires and porch anyway. You should hear the ruckus when I drive up *chitter chitter chitter RUN*

      • Brix

        Do you take clients? We’ve had two squirrel invasions in our house; one of which occurred over several days while we were out of town and resulted in squirrel shit in every room with an open door. From floor almost to ceiling. Not to mention chewed window frames of our floor to cathedral ceiling windows.

        I hate those fluffy tailed bastards.

        • Mrs.Katt the Cat

          Tree rat exterminator could be a profitable sideline 🙂

          • Brix

            LMAO. Most definitely.

  • MichelleJo

    “You can’t argue with the facts”. Sounds like such a discussion stopper. Only they aren’t facts so the statement is irrelevant. Having formula fed five children ‘FFE’ five babies from birth, I’ve seen a bottle or two more than you, Pamela. And I’ve seen fine powder and white liquid. I don’t know which brand you may be referring to, but I have yet to see any sludge being sold to nourish babies. And my babies had no digestive problems; in fact they always slowed down towards the end of their feeds to fill their diapers; digestion at it’s best . After being cleaned up they would sleep peacefully with no signs of discomfort. And for the record, because I know lactivists love to talk about the colour and consistency of breast vs formula fed infants’ stool, it was mustard, in colour and consistency. I can’t speak for every formula or every formula fed baby, but my experience debunks your description of formula as fact. As for it being made from chemicals, any other suggestions? Breast milk is made of chemicals, and many babies thrive on that.

    • CSN0116

      But… but… formula has the BAD chemicals! You know, you can’t see any differences whatsoever in the babies fed the chemical sludge versus the chemical liquid hold. But those sludge chemicals are bad, I tell ya!

    • Nick Sanders
    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      Any time someone complains about “chemicals” I say “water is a chemical”. They usually have no response. 🙂

      • Nor

        Scroll down to Phytochemistry for the chemical components of a mango.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249901/

        You can find these for most common plant foods/meds. One thing the natural types don’t seem to be aware of either is that most of the plants taken for healing of various kinds (I’d put “healing” but some are proven to work) work due to insecticidal poisons in the plant. The few that aren’t pumping out bug killer are poisoning competing plants, but obviously those compounds have less effect on us as we are not as closely related to the intended victims. Since the plants in question are trying to kill a lot of bugs a whole lot of ways not only are you ingesting the insecticide you want but others, commonly neurotoxins, that perhaps you don’t want. Pharmaceutical grade chemically engineered individual chemicals fix that for you by only giving you one pure ingredient.

  • Irène Delse

    10 months?! I know these people are against induction at all costs, but going so far as rewriting human physiology – please, stop!

    • Rachele Willoughby

      Apparently they’re as bad at rounding as they are at science.

      • demodocus

        a month is about 4 weeks, so 40 weeks is about 10 months, right? *snort*

        • Chant de la Mer

          That’s EXACTLY what they think! Plus they are perfectly happy to go weeks past their due date so that rounds it up even more.

          • SporkParade

            There is actually a rationale to this. Pregnancy lasts 9 months, right? For the first month, you are 0 months pregnant but in the 1st month of pregnancy. After 9 months, when you’re past your due date, you are 9 months pregnant, but in the 10th month of pregnancy. I remember this confusing the hell out of me last time around.

  • Heidi

    Does anyone else have a baby that more often prefers not being held? My four month old likes to be put down a lot of the time. I’m just fine with it, because as a shitmom, sometimes I don’t want to be holding his heat-producing body against mine, staring into his eyes all the time. Sometimes he wants to be held, especially when he needs to take a nap, but he loves his stroller, his Fisher Price rocker and his jumperoo.

    • AirPlant

      At that age my goddaughter tolerated about 15 minutes of non-mom cuddling. Then she wanted to wiggle. Mom had a little more time, but not by much. I am gonna say that is totes normal.

    • cookiebaker

      I had one that was miserable when she was held, she made it very clear that she preferred observing from a bouncy seat or swing. When she got mobile, she just wanted to be down and exploring on her terms. She also refused to latch. She hated being held so much, she refused to breastfeed. I pumped until my milk ran out, then fed formula.

      She’ll be 16 years old in a few weeks. She has superb social skills, straight A student, tested into the gifted program, good athlete, adores her younger siblings and is very affectionate. She also keeps her room clean, enjoys charity work through the Girl Scouts, and does chores without being asked.

      I think she turned out ok.

      There is no perfect recipe that works for every kid every time, so if your baby like his down time, then give it to him. You know him better than anyone else. I have 6 kids and they’re all different. Some did like being held or carried, to varying degrees, but my oldest was emphatic she did NOT.

      • Heidi

        Oh yeah, I wasn’t worried about it. I wasn’t planning on doing the whole AP thing myself, but if I had been, I think I would have made my baby miserable if I was determined to make it happen.

    • Commander30

      My daughter will only tolerate being held for about ten seconds nowadays–she just started crawling and always wants to be on the move now. Even before crawling, she never seemed to have strong opinions either way most of the time on being held.

    • swbarnes2

      Mine mostly wants a higher vantage point from which to see stuff. Practically from birth, she would wriggle around so she could be facing outwards. Only wants to be held chest to chest if she’s really super tired (Or realizes the significance of being in the doctor’s exam room!) I suspect she went on a nursing strike because she didn’t want to be staring at boob, when I always fed her bottles facing out. After a while of crawling, mine was always asking to be picked up, so she could see the rest of the house that she couldn’t see from her eye level. And once she’d seen what there was to see, she stopped asking so much.

      • Inmara

        Mine is the same – he wasn’t much interested in looking at my chest but rather at surroundings. I tried to wrap him while he was kolicky but once put on my chest he started rooting and was upset that there was no milk, so we stopped our attempts at babywearing. Besides, he is sleeping wonderfully in a stroller (and since 6 months is sitting there so he has a great time looking around when we’re out for a walk).
        At the same time, my friend had a baby after rather difficult birth and for several months he had muscle tone and was crying incessantly if not held – sling was a lifesaver for them!

        • Fleur

          Forty minutes of the three-hour “Care of the New Baby” class that I attended at the hospital whilst pregnant was given over to some tiresome woman bragging about how happy and secure her six-month-old baby was because she carried him in a sling facing her all day. It was hilarious because the kid was allowed out of the sling to meet and greet people whilst she was giving her talk, and he screamed his head off when she tried to put him back in it (and all the while, she was insisting how much he loved being close to her in the sling all day). Actually, it was sad because he was a bright, responsive baby who was obviously delighted to get some face-to-face interaction for once and was royally pissed off when it ended. (Also, I resented the fact that we wasted the best part of an hour on all that rubbish when we barely covered safe sleeping at all).

          • nomofear

            Those classes are such a racket. My friends, who were dealing with a high risk pregnancy, went and had to put up with a woman harping on about the importance of breastfeeding and immediate skin to skin or, you know, you and baby will never bond. I was glad to have been steeped in this site when hearing about this – hopefully my rage erased any fears this harpy had inspired, because I pointed out how stupid, flat wrong, and horribly mean and insensitive that kind of nonsense was. In any given class, you can figure about thirty percent will end up with a section, but my friends knew going in that their chance was much higher. They were expecting info on what vaginal and sections were like, what the routines were, how to feed – both breast and bottle – and they got a steaming pile of horse poo. I almost want to have another baby just so I can go interrupt these classes. Maybe the better solution is to find out what it takes to teach them! 🙂 just like I kinda want to become a lac consultant so I can interrupt from within – call myself a feeding consultant, tell all pregnant women about the great benefits of initial formula supplementation, tell struggling women they don’t need to keep trying….hmmm

          • demodocus

            I don’t even remember most of my classes. I do remember having my husband get down on the floor to pretend to do the funny breathing, cause at 8+ months along, I didn’t feel like it.

          • Fleur

            Yup, there’s a long list of things that I wish had been covered in those classes. How to sterilize a bottle and how to recognise oral thrush are probably the top ones. What I got was a lecture on the beauty of baby-wearing til your baby is practically at school, a plug for cloth nappies (not on environmental or costs grounds, which I’d have understood, but on some woolly “natural and time-consuming = best” basis), and a lot of lectures about how skin-to-skin and breastfeeding in the hour after birth is “the fourth stage of labour”. As it is, I got to hold my daughter 50 minutes after she was born, so maybe we’re one sixth bonded or something. Mind you, a colleague of mine, who had a vaginal birth three weeks before my c-section, didn’t get to hold her baby for three hours because the placenta wouldn’t come out and she started bleeding heavily (not sure if it’s relevant but she’d declined the injection to help deliver the placenta because she wanted to go all-natural). So maybe the message to get across in antenatal classes should be “expect the unexpected”?

            And yes, I would definitely support your mission to bring the system down from within! 🙂

          • Dr Kitty

            http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/sites/default/files/Chapter%201%20Feeding%20your%20baby_0.pdf

            All the mums here get the above book called “birth to five”. I’ve linked to the feeding chapter, which covers how to make up bottles too.
            It is written for the lowest common denominator, so it covers all the basics.

          • Fleur

            Thank you! 🙂

      • tariqata

        Mine wants the higher vantage point to see things, but also, apparently, to snuggle at the same time. The result is that whether in my arms or on my lap, he’s constantly rotating.

        • swbarnes2

          Am I the only one thinking “That constant rotation should be harnessed into some kind of baby electromagnet”?

          • mabelcruet

            Could you not put them into a giant hamster wheel? It would allow them plenty of exercise whilst doing something useful like powering up the washing machine or the hoover. Or is that child labour?

    • Mariana

      My 5 year-old wanted to be held around the clock, my 2 year-old preferred to fall asleep on his own crib, but liked being held when awake. The oldest detested the baby wrap, sling etc, nothing but my arms (or anyone’s arms really), but the youngest loved being in the wrap (and I loved it too, he would fall asleep strapped to my chest and I was free to work at the computer).
      That said, I love holding babies… And would hold them for as long as they let me, housework be damned.

      I guess kids and mothers are just different… If you are both happy then all is fine.

    • guest

      My son also did not like being held much. He had colic, and picking him up would just make him louder.

    • carovee

      My kiddo definitely needed his “alone time”. He hated being in a wrap but he loved his stroller. He loved his rocker and just hanging out in his crib, moving his little body around this way and that.

    • nomofear

      This year old baby of mine is like a housecat. She likes people who sit on her level, but kind of ignore her. She prefers to address them first, and she lets them know quickly that she does not like to be touched, or especially picked up, without invitation. Drives my dad crazy, because he lives to cuddle babies, and she’ll have none of it, at least without a good half hour of warmup play on the floor first.

    • Dr Kitty

      I’ve had two that hated all carriers and slings.
      At 8 months #2 just wants to crawl- the door bouncer and jumperoo will occupy him for 10minutes or so, but he’s happiest crawling laps of our upstairs hallway. We close all the doors and the stair gate and put something interesting at the end furthest from him. At the moment “interesting” means shoes with laces, which he loves.

      At this age his sister would sit happily on a rug with actual age appropriate toys.
      He will not.

      Deciding you’re going to wear your baby until they turn two rather ignores your baby’s feelings about that.

      • Heidi

        I got a sling and I hate it. I’ve given it a chance or two and can’t but feel the baby is going to go tumbling out. And I guess I’m hot natured because wearing it burns me up and when I overheat, I get a bit panicky and cranky. I think my baby might be a little like me in those regards.

    • Old Lady

      My twins were more independent, they liked sleeping on us after feedings but generally preferred either looking around (my son) or moving around (my daughter). So I usually had them in bouncy seat or pack ‘n play or such. The new one I notice prefers being held more. I didn’t wear the twins, both because they didn’t like it and I found it too difficult with two anyway. Since this one likes the closeness and it would be a convenient this time around, I plan on carrying her to some extent. I don’t carry her around the house but I’m thinking I should try it. I’m not overly inclined to want to baby wear since I like my space, but I also like cuddling so my feelings about it kind of balance out.

    • mabelcruet

      I have no children, but I do have three cats. Working on the principle that babies are larger and less hairy versions of kittens, my three were all brought home at the same age, all fed identically, litter-tray training proceeded normally, and I treated them all the same. I have one who simply wants to be held all day, every day-who will quite happily snuggle 24/7, who happily puts up with anything-belly rubs, tickling, playing who is mummy’s big fat belly boy while wobbling his belly-you get the picture. Another one is skittish, twitchy, nervous and after 30 minutes of you being very still and very quiet she will finally come and sit near you, but jump at the first sign of movement. And the third-very affectionate, sits on laps for cuddles but only on her terms, can’t abide being picked up and will suddenly lash out if she’s had enough, except doesn’t give any warning that she’s had enough.

      What I’m trying to say, all kittens are different so it stands to reason that all human kittens must be too!

      • sdsures

        Brilliant. (I have 2 cats and a husband.)

    • FEDUP MD

      My first was the same way. He is 4 and still not much of a cuddler for more than a second or two a day, and is fiercely independent and active. People tried to make me feel like a shit mom for not baby wearing, co sleeping, etc. but he just hated it and I figured responding to his actual wants was probably the way to go rather than some stupid ideology. My second is much more of a cuddler though. We did a lot of baby wearing and she loved it. Still loves to be carried and held at 2.

  • mabelcruet
    • sdsures

      *speechless*

    • Dr Kitty

      Google map the road from Westport to Mayo General Hospital.
      Seriously.
      Imagine driving it at high speed, at night, in labor.
      It’s the kind of road where you can get stuck behind a tractor too.

      • mabelcruet

        I can’t work out if the verdict of misadventure was meant to indicate that the midwife was at fault for attempting to deliver single-handedly, or if the parents were being censured for attempting delivery so far from hospital.

        Its something I’ve been noticing more and more over the last few years-in my region we have about 110 stillbirths a year, about 7-10% of these are intrapartum. What we are seeing in these cases is ‘placental failure’-not infection, which could be picked up clinically, but a placenta with an inherent pathology. Most commonly this is villous dysmaturation but we are also seeing fetal vessel thrombosis/fetal thrombotic vasculopathy. Neither of these conditions can be diagnosed antenatally-there are no tests for them, there is no significant feature that a clinician could point to saying ‘that mum is at risk’. VIllous dysmaturation is seen more commonly in obese mums and diabetic mums but not necessarily. The only thing that a clinician could pick up on is that these placentas are often larger than normal (but not always, and they may even be smaller, and anyway, there are other causes of placental size issues, so this isn’t significant or sensitive). But what is happening is that placental function starts to fail right at the time it needs to get going-placental and fetal oxygen demand goes up 4 times in labour, and if you have a placenta that has been just about coping, the stress of labour might be enough to tip it over into failure. Something minor happening might be enough to tip it over-a bit of marginal haemorrhage, infection, cord compression-something that a healthy baby and placenta could cope with, but not a placenta that is inherently not great. But if you can’t screen these out pre-labour, how are you going to know? I think these are the ones who end up going for emergency section mid-labour because of decelerations, and then everyone says ‘oh, that was unnecessary, the baby was fine’, but if these placentas are looked at by someone who reports placentas fequently, I wonder just how many of these would show undiagnosed placental anomalies (undiagnosed and more importantly, undiagnosable currently). There is very little in the obstetric literature about this-I wish I could find an obstetrician who wanted to do a retrospective study (I call them ‘fat and wobblies’, as they generally are large thick placentas but have an odd sort of texture).

        • Dr Kitty

          I think death by misadventure is the only possible verdict if you think that something preventably awful happened, but it fell short of negligence and unlawful killing.
          The other option would be natural causes, but that doesn’t seem to fit.

          I think honestly someone at RCOG and RCM is going to have to wake up and realise that if they really want to decrease the stillbirth rate they are going to have to have some combination of third trimester USS with UA dopplers, increasing CEFM in labour, universal GDM screening and not waiting until T+10 for post dates inductions.

          Of course, reducing the stillbirth rate will come at a financial cost and an increase in interventions, but I’m sick of hearing “just apply the guidelines”.

          These would be the guidelines that don’t even require auscultation of FH during an antenatal examination, and consider third trimester SFH alone an adequate screen for IUGR and macrosomia.

          I’m horrified that the percentage of intrapartum stillbirth is so high, but frankly unsurprised with intermittent auscultation, understaffed units and most women having no third trimester US.

          Anecdote: SFH put both my babies at 75th centile. Ultrasound put them at 25th. Both were just under 9th. And I’m easy to scan and palpate.
          I’m seeing more and more babies under 2.75kg and over 4.5kg whose sizes seem to have been a complete surprise to everyone concerned.

  • Zornorph

    Sometimes all this just bewilders me. I mean, I know men and women often think differently about things but ‘daddy guilt’ just isn’t a thing or if it is, it’s about spending too much time at the office and not enough with the family. Nobody ever told me I should wear boxers and not briefs to keep my sperm in tip-top shape or that I must constantly consume pineapple juice. I ran more against the opposite problem – people telling me I had no right to have a child without a woman in the picture.
    But I never cared what other people thought – I wasn’t doing it for them and I parent in the way I feel is best. I’m happy to listen to advice but if I think it’s silly, I just tune it out. To the extent that I ‘wore’ my kid, it was mostly because it was a lot easier to walk the dog with him strapped to my chest than in a pram. Nor did I feel the need to make homemade baby food or cloth-diaper him.
    But even more important, I didn’t do it to break any gender stereotypes or plant a flat for single fathers. I did it because I wanted to. And that’s really the only motive anybody should have for having and raising kids.

    • sdsures

      You’re an awesome dad.

  • Brooke

    Ironically the reason why there are not criticisms of father’s parenting is because of sexism. In more equalitarian societies both modern and unindustrialised men take more of an active role in parenting even though women by necessity or tradition have natural births, breastfeed and babywear. In Papua New Guinea men dry nurse babies, in Nordic countries men take paid paternity leave.

    • MaineJen

      I think you mean “egalitarian.”

      • Brooke

        Yep. I don’t know where I got equalitarian from but it shows up in my autocorrect on swipe?

        • guest

          Oh, in that case, it must be correct.

          • Brooke

            Typically it is…

          • Who?

            Oh dear. Dear oh dear.

            The day I need Bill Gates or Steve Jobs (from beyond the grave) to select my words for me, will be a dark day indeed.

    • AirPlant

      So if I am interpreting your argument correctly you are saying that things like breastfeeding etc do not prevent feminist, egalitarian parenting. I feel like we agree there which is cool, I like agreeing with people, but I am confused because I thought that the core argument of Dr. Amy’s article is that it is anti-feminist to say that things like breastfeeding are mandatory for mothers and your argument does not really have much to do with her argument. Am I missing something?

      • Brooke

        First that’s a strawman argument because expected does not make something mandatory. Secondly I’m referring to Amy’s bullet points where she equates the man’s natural role in parenting to masculine stereotypes that don’t apply in countries with the highest breastfeeding/vaginal birth rates like Norway that have mandatory paternity leave or traditional cultures like in Papua New Guinea where men dry nurse babies and take a more active role in parenting. Basically natural parenting is not sexist. Her bullet points contain gender stereotypes about how men would parent naturally that conflict with the reality of how men in some traditional societies and western countries with the highest breastfeeding and natural birth rates actually parent. In these societies men ARE expected to take more active role in parenting than their counterparts in America or the UK for example.

        • CSN0116

          1. So Norway has mandatory paternity leave. Is there a breakdown of how these men spend their paternity time? Hour-by-hour, task-by-task, what are they doing when compared to women? We have no idea. That shit isn’t quantifiable. So the fact that the leave exists means very little. Women probably have higher breastfeeding rates there due to the social and economical support that their partners and government grant them.

          2. Papua New Guinea, according to BBC:

          “Some 80% of Papua New Guinea’s people live in rural areas with few or no facilities of modern life.

          Many tribes in the isolated mountainous interior have little contact with one another, let alone with the outside world, and live within a non-monetarised economy dependent on subsistence agriculture.”

          Hmmmm, I wonder why you observe a more “egalitarian” distribution of parenting duties? They cooperate like that for SURVIVAL, Brooke, not to promote equality. For fuck’s sake, is this the best you have?! Let’s all parent like it’s Papua fucking New Guinea?! Seems like a culture and lifestyle to work on mimicking…

          • Brooke

            Your point is what exactly? That the kind of support that women have in Norway to give birth naturally or breastfeed is unachievable, that men should not be given paternity leave and that is not a reflection of gender equality?

            My point in reference to Papua New Guinea is that isolated cultures are more reflective of instinctual parenting practices and are from the point of view of sociologists seen as more egalitarian because there is less social stratification and hierarchy then in modern societies. We can emulate certain parenting practices or see them as more accurate representations of what parenting looked like thousands of years ago than the baseless flawed representations that Amy seems to think existed as referenced in her bullet points. I’m not suggesting we all live as people in Papua New Guinea do which is why I also referenced Norway which is modern industrialized society which has managed to balance natural parenting with modern concepts of gender equality. My point is that gender equality and natural parenting are not mutually exclusive concepts.

          • momofone

            I believe there may still be tribes in Papua New Guinea that practice cannibalism. Should we follow their “instinctual” example there too?

          • Brooke

            So fathers nurturing their children is bad and on par with cannibalism? Do you think before responding?

          • Nick Sanders

            Do you?

          • Brooke

            I’m rubber and your glue? Seriously.

          • Nick Sanders

            Considering how wildly off the mark your comments on Dr. Tuteur’s articles tend to be (I mean just today you wildly misrepresented her bullets to the point that I wondered if you even read them), I think it’s a valid question.

          • Brooke

            Are you high right now? I think that’s a valid question because I’m not wildly misinterpreting anything. Actually she is and has to be to think anyone is forcing women to have natural births, breastfeed or use a baby carrier or to compare modern parenting with slavery. Or think that the natural male role is “hunting”. SMH.

          • Nick Sanders

            Or think that the natural male role is “hunting”.

            Well, in hunter-gatherer societies, that does tend to be what males do for the tribe. However, as usual, the point has gone completely over your head as Dr. Tuteur was mentioning that to show how ridiculously backwards these expectations of women are.

          • Brooke

            Thus why I brought up one society in which although the people are hunter gathers the male members have a nurturing role and a modern progressive society in which the same “expectations” still exist.

          • Nick Sanders

            And? That doesn’t in any way validate this shackled to the baby bullshit that you are endorsing for women.

          • Bombshellrisa
          • Sue

            Quite apart from all the other nonsense the person posting as “Brooke” has spouted, I can’t find any evidence that hunters do – or even would – suckle children.

            In hunter-gatherer societies, hunters hunt and gatherers baby-wear.

            BTW, there is no single PNG lifestyle. Highland villages are very isolated and diverse.

          • Nor

            I’d argue that you could see the tribe where men are offering their genitals to boys to bring on their puberty as nurturing too. Certainly there’s a slight conflict of interest but it’s definitely a generous and nurturing act. And it’s not like women don’t get sexual pleasure out of breastfeeding either, we all know at least one person who was a super fan ’cause of that.

          • Azuran

            You really just don’t get it. No one is physically ‘forcing’ women to have natural births. But when you have many people constantly telling you that ‘breast is best’, that formula is for bad and lazy mothers, that everyone can breastfeed and if you can’t you are just not doing it right. That you should have your baby vaginally to be a real mother, that having an epidural is ‘giving up’ or hurting your baby. That a lot of pressure, it will result in guilt and in many women hurting themselves to follow those ‘social norms’

          • Who?

            Many women feel social pressure to have a ‘natural’ birth, breastfeed, use slings etc to carry a baby instead of using a stroller. They experience this pressure from multiple sources including their communities, online and via the media. The narrative is that this is the one and only responsible way to raise a child.

            You perhaps experience the same things, but find it supportive. Perhaps you are too wise and mature to be affected by social pressure. Perhaps you have bought so far into one perspective that you can’t respect the decisions of others with a different perspective.

            Drawing attention to the fact that children who are fed, loved and cared for will be fine regardless of the details about how that is managed challenges the ‘natural is critical to success’ narrative. Which is why so many people who support that narrative don’t like Dr T.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Actually, we have at least one commenter on here who has shared her story. The short version is that she was raped, and had a horrendous labor followed by a CS. Various things occurred during both that were reminiscent of her rape, which landed her with a nice PPD/PTSD diagnosis. Nonetheless, her hospital has told her that she isn’t a candidate for an automatic repeat CS (her preference for her physical and mental health) and that if she comes in during labor they may force her to have a vaginal birth, so she will either have to not conceive another child, pay out of pocket for a private hospital that will allow her to have a scheduled CS, or risk having a deeply traumatizing vaginal birth. I hardly think she’s the exception, though her story does make me grateful to be in the US vs the UK.

          • Sue

            Person posting as “Brooke” – ‘your’ is a possessive adjective. The contraction of ‘you are’ is ‘you’re’.

            Many people living pre-technological lives in isolated communites are illiterate as well.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Cut her some slack. She has taken the SAT now, and so she has forgotten what she all studied for it.

          • Azuran

            The point was: Just because a random tribe in PNG does it, doesn’t mean we should.
            Maybe some men in PNG have their babies suck on their nipples. But in the industrial world, a man giving his nipple to the baby is just weird and potentially a sexual crime.
            Whatever parenting looked like 1000 year ago is not an indication of what it should look like today.

          • demodocus

            They aren’t the only hunter-gatherers left, either. Is PNG a better representation than groups in South America or Africa? Heck, some Inuit still have a strong connection to their pre-European culture.

          • Who?

            Classic hyperbole.

          • momofone

            Brooke, I get that you want to jump in and share your wisdom, but for fuck’s sake, think before you do it.

          • Chi

            And you’re using the definition of ‘wisdom’ loosely right?

          • momofone

            I think that might be a question best posed in your mirror.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Sure. Mad cow disease didn’t kill enough people. Let’s go for kuru this time!

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            If you’re arguing that what is done in Papau New Guinea is “instinctual”*, then, yes, cannibalism is on a par with fathers nurturing their children. Both are behaviors observed in isolated tribes in Papau New Guinea and why should you code one differently from the other in terms of whether they are “instinctual” or not.

            *Because apparently no non-western society ever developed its own culture and therefore any behaviors observed in an isolated non-western culture must be instinct not the result of centuries of accumulated cultural experience–and bias.
            **Because apparently there is no way to nurture your children apart from nursing. Cuddling, playing with them, feeding them with a bottle, changing their diapers, talking to them, none of those things counts as nurturing, only breast feeding does.

          • Nor

            Men can in fact breastfeed. I don’t see this being advocated much by the natural breast is best crowd. Why not?

          • CSN0116

            So natural parenting according to what you’ve referenced above is vaginal birth without medication and breastfeeding. Women in Norway achieve these things more frequently because they and their spouses are allowed paid time off after the birth of a baby.

            Well the paternity leave affects the birth 0%.

            As for the breastfeeding, I would imagine that could be helpful if the male partner was splitting household tasks to give the new mother relief to feed and concentrate on baby. But you have no proof that that’s happening. What *is* likely happening is women are not rushed back into the workforce, for financial purposes, so they are more physically able to breastfeed, because breastfeeding is a physical action that requires the mother’s time/presence.

            I’m failing to understand the proof of gender equality here.

          • Nick Sanders

            My point is that gender equality and natural parenting are not mutually exclusive concepts.

            Who fucking cares? Just because it’s natural doesn’t make it any better.

          • Who?

            Your assumption that parenting as we assume people did thousands of years ago is a good thing.

            Not everyone agrees.

            But by all means go out gathering roots and berries while the men of the tribe hunt a mammoth.

          • CharlotteB

            I do not live in Norway. I do not live in Papua New Guinea. I do not need to parent as though I do.

            Also? My instincts tell me to pretend the baby doesn’t wake me up so that my husband can go see what he needs. We trade nights, so sometimes I’m actually on duty, and have to overcome my instincts to go see what’s up with my kid.

            I recall my mother telling me that humans don’t have instincts. I can’t remember the context, but it’s stuck with me. I don’t think she meant that humans don’t have feelings or a sense of duty, but that our feelings are different. I have no idea if it’s true.

          • Tiffany Aching

            Ah, the noble savages of Papua New Guinea will show us how we “instinctually” parent. Because obviously they are not tainted by culture. Because every time I encounter a society whose rules I do not discern or understand, I simply assume it has no culture. They’re savages, after all.

          • guest

            “Primitive culture” exoticism is so racist and last year, Brooke.

          • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

            Ye olde “noble savage” trope.

          • momofone

            I read an article about a tribe in Papua New Guinea this afternoon. A sentence of yours stands out to me–that they provide “more accurate representations of what parenting looked like thousands of years ago.” The article pointed out that there are no old people in this tribe, because they do not have access to any of even the most basic medical treatments that we are able to use. They die long before old age, of things that we probably don’t give a second thought. I’m curious about exactly what it is that imbues them with supernatural parenting abilities.

          • Nor

            Also in Norway it’s normal to leave your kid outside in a stroller for several hours a day in the winter while you shop or get coffee or just hang out, and pretty much everyone raises their infant in a government supplied cardboard box.

          • Nor

            You’ve missed the Papua New Guinea practice in some tribes that require young boys to orally service the adult men sexually in order to achieve manhood (there is some scientific backing for this working to encourage puberty, testosterone ingestion and all). Perhaps the nipple sucking is just a warm up?

            I also note a real lack of advocacy for the pregnancy/baby health increasing tribal practice of taking on as many sexual partners as possible during the pregnancy to improve the wellbeing of the child. That’s a tribal practice we can all get behind!

        • Nick Sanders

          First that’s a strawman argument because expected does not make something mandatory.

          So, are you not familiar with the power of social norms?

          Secondly I’m referring to Amy’s bullet points where she equates the man’s natural role in parenting to masculine stereotypes

          I just double checked her bullet points to be sure, and she did no such thing.

          Her bullet points contain gender stereotypes about how men would parent naturally

          They don’t contain a damn thing about how men would parent, naturally or otherwise.

    • guest

      So if we were less sexist, then men would be guilted and badgered and harassed about their parenting styles, too? That seems like a hard sell for gender equality.

      • Brooke

        Can you reference an instance in which a woman has actually been harassed for formula feeding, having an epidural or c-section or using a stroller? No doubt that women feel guilty about their parenting choices but that has a lot more to do with internalised sexism and their own expectations than it does with recommendations to breastfeed, natural birth advocates or people who use baby carriers.

        Also I think considering that many men just opt out of parenting whether it be leaving their partners during pregnancy or just not taking an active role in parenting a little shaming of those men probably wouldn’t be a bad thing. It’s about time men step up and stop acting like parenting is a “women’s issue”. Would it really be a bad thing if men started taking paternity leave or supported women who want to be able to take breaks at work to pump? Is it a bad thing that there are fathers on instagram that have accounts about babywearing or natural parenting? I don’t think so.

        • momofone

          I was given a hard time for bottle-feeding my son breast milk, because obviously I was “taking the easy way out.” (The commenters assumed it was formula.) I was told my OB must have done an unnecessary c-section because clearly he would have wanted to get someplace else rather than providing responsible care.

          I don’t see anyone here saying parenting is a “women’s issue.” If that’s what you get from the men, or women, you know, I’m sorry. It is not a universal experience. If you take the time to actually read what people say, you will find that no one here is trying to dictate what other people should do.

          • Brooke

            I don’t understand why its being called natural parenting but that’s the term being used here for attachment parenting? I’m not saying my experience is universal but how many men are talking about paid maturity leave or women having the right to breastfeed in public? Getting lectured is not harassment. Getting kicked out of a restaurant for publically breastfeeding or getting threatened with a court order for not wanting a c-section are things that have happened to women and are actual forms of harassment.

          • momofone

            What about the right NOT to breastfeed in public–or at all? I breastfed for almost two years–privately–and I can’t count the number of times I was told I should be doing it publicly to fit someone’s agenda.

            I’m actually pretty sure that in most states the mother has the right to breastfeed in any place she is legally allowed to be.

          • momofone

            You seem to be trying, unsuccessfully, to make the case that harassment does not happen. When people do in fact offer examples of how they have experienced that, you change the definition. Can you see that?

          • MaineJen

            “Getting lectured is not harassment.” So you think it’s appropriate to go up to a grown-ass woman in public and question her choices about how she’s feeding and/or carrying her baby?

          • Rachele Willoughby

            Only if she’s bottlefeeding.

            Telling a breastfeeding mother she should be ashamed of herself for nursing uncovered is harassment. Telling a mother she should be ashamed of herself for bottlefeeding her infant or using a stroller is “providing information” and “educating”.

          • Who?

            I believe you have nailed it.

          • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

            I’m getting it now. It’s all about whether or not you are “right”!

          • Kq

            Of course! But only if she’s doing it WRONG.

            /snark

          • Tiffany Aching

            Oh so you think it is totally OK to go tell a mother breastfeeding her 3 years toddler that I find it weird and possibly damaging to his / her psychological development ? That’s good to know (not that I would. Obviously I don’t feel I have to enlighten every random strangers with my own ideas).

          • Chi

            Oh I get it now. It’s ONLY harassment if it happens to women who are breastfeeding in public.

            Never mind the woman telling me that the PARENTS room at my local mall is only for breastfeeding mothers. (Um nope, it’s for all PARENTS which includes fathers too).

            Or as I mentioned above, the mothers from the local milk-sharing group harassing me when I said I needed to supplement.

            Harassment of people who formula feed and have c-sections totally DOES happen. Just because you don’t think they were harassed doesn’t automatically make it so.

            Come back when you grow a little empathy and compassion.

            (Also, here in New Zealand, fathers are totally allowed to take paid parental leave if they are the main breadwinner. It allowed my husband to work only part time for like the first 3 months of our daughter’s life. So there are places that are recognizing dads too).

          • guest

            I was harassed by a stranger for days via email about c-sections. I borrowed a baby name book from her and when she learned I was having twins she kept sending me links to ICAN and arguing with every thing I said to her (which was all non-committal and intended to make her leave me alone) and just repeatedly badgering me about “not letting them” perform a c-section for any reason.

            It’s not the sort of harassment that results in an arrest, but it’s still harassment.

          • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

            Canada too. Either the mother or the father can take the 1 year (paid) parental leave, or split it between them however they see fit.

          • momofone

            “Getting lectured is not harassment.”

            So then you won’t mind if someone stops you to promote all the reasons you should formula/bottle feed each time you breastfeed, right? Because otherwise you’d be a hypocrite, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want that.

        • Megan

          I was approached by a complete stranger in a restaurant while bottle feeding my daughter and told that she hoped I was also nursing because she nursed all 9 of her kids and didn’t I know breast was best? It does happen.

          • Brooke

            Not harassment.

          • momofone

            Define harassment.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            It’s only harassment if it happens to breastfeeding mothers.

          • MaineJen

            Are you kidding me?

          • Megan

            So if someone came up to you in a restaurant and told you that breastfeeding your toddler was inappropriate and dirty for example, that’d be totally ok with you, right? Not harrassment in your book, correct?

          • Madtowngirl

            From Merriam-Webster: harass, n. (1) : to annoy persistently (2) : to create an unpleasant or hostile situation for especially by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct.

            So yes, uninvited lectures are, by definition, harassment.

          • Who?

            What is it then? If it happens every time you go out, does it amount to harrassment? If it happens when the child being fed isn’t yours, is that harrassment?

            A lot of what is being described could be avoided by people minding their own business in public.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Oh lord. I hate it when people just start in, without at least asking you if you are the child’s mom. I had this happen at a Starbucks. My friend and I were trying to feed her twins who were 3 months and get her 1 1/2 year old fed too. A woman came up to us, asked if the kids were triplets and then wanted to know if they were being fed breastmilk. She was asking me (not the mom) and the incident still makes us laugh because the woman was obviously not that smart.

          • Megan

            You should’ve seen the look on her husband’s face. He was obviously mortified that she felt it was appropriate to approach someone eating with her whole family and lecture them. We wee all just shocked and had no idea what to say.

          • Bombshellrisa

            How old was this woman?

          • Megan

            Early 40’s maybe? It was in Niagara Falls, NY. We were visiting.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Oh crap. So someone in her 40’s, with lots of kids and the only thing she could say to another mom was that she breastfed? Sounds like she needs a life. ((I love Niagara Falls. I spent a lot of time on the Canadian side. A little time on the US side too. My husband and I both had watched the Superman movie that took place there, I think we were such 80’s kids that we went mostly to see where it was filmed))

          • Squillo

            The proper answer to that question is, “No. Gin.”

          • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

            Goodness. I’m pregnant with my first and practicing my “It’s really none of your business. Now move along.”

        • anotheramy

          harrassed for epidurals? heck yes.
          I once heard a mom say “I had 4 babies without any pain meds. I was in labor for ___ hours, 1 was 10 pounds. If I can do it, so can you!” To a mom who just had an emergency c-section due to HELLP. The HELLP mom had said she had no interest in un-medicated birth before the c-section, but that other mom felt the need to “educate” her. Usually the harrassing/shaming of epidurals is more subtle, but it’s frequent.

          • Brooke

            Again that is not harassment. Maybe a shitty comment but that is not the equivalent to someone being bombarded with phone calls and death threats or even an example of someone being prevented by a person in power, let’s say her OB/GYN from accessing a c-section or epidural.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I wasn’t prevented by a doctor from getting an epidural, the asshole nurse wouldn’t call the anaesthesiologist.

          • momofone

            Oh ok. So it’s only harassment if someone is stalked or receives death threats?

          • Bombshellrisa

            Well, this is coming from someone who regularly stalks Dr Amy on her Skeptical OB Facebook page and isn’t smart enough to make her own profile private. Her posts include ones for her next door neighbor’s house, complete with Zillow ad. So anyone can find her and harass her, because she is doxxing herself.

          • anotheramy

            There have been instances mentioned by Dr Amy and commentors on this blog of midwives in UK hospitals preventing access to epidurals and c-sections.
            I’m not sure what your narrow definition of harassment has to do with this post. No one here thinks harassing mothers who breastfeed is ok.

          • Nick Sanders

            I wasn’t aware someone appointed you the dictionary. Browbeating an exhausted person who just came out of major emergency surgery is most certainly harassment. I’m sure if someone bullied you while you were that physically and emotionally vulnerable, you’d call it harassment.

          • guest

            And forcing women to undergo a lecture on the evils of formula *every* time their baby needs a bottle is most certainly harassment.

          • guest

            C’mon, Brooke, explain how repeatedly subjecting women to unwanted lectures about the (massively overstated) dangers of formula feeding does not constitute assault *under your very own definition of assault.* Keep in mind that these lectures are something you *must* sit through to get the food you need for your baby. Not just one lecture. A lecture EVERY TIME YOUR BABY NEEDS TO EAT, because they will not give you more than one feeding’s worth of formula at a time.

            I want to see the smoke coming out of your ears while you try.

          • CharlotteB

            When a woman is cat-called we call that harassment. I guess in your world that’s a-ok, because it’s “just” a “shitty comment?”

          • Amy

            Oh come on, if we didn’t condone men cat-calling women how would any dating ever start? You know, according to Brooke-logic.

          • Azuran

            I dunno, by showing respect to women?

          • Nick Sanders

            That way madness lies.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Well, I’m glad that we agree that the SOP in many British hospitals does qualify as harassment.

          • Chi

            What about the mothers from the local milk-sharing group PMing me when, after learning there was no donor milk available, told them I was leaving the community and supplementing.

            Most of the PM’s were along the lines of ‘you’re going to tank your supply!’ or ‘have you tried domperidone?’

            But there were a couple of ‘You are a bad mother and you are poisoning your baby’.

            By this point I had seen 3 lactation consultants, a doctor to revise a tongue-tie AND in sheer desperation, an Osteopath.

            So how is them PMing me with dire warnings of supply loss/saying I’m poisoning my child NOT harassment?

            And also, you need to understand that what YOU constitute as harassment can be different to what someone else does. I FELT harassed, thus I say I was harassed, though you may not agree with me.

          • Allie

            Harassment “involves any unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends or humiliates you. Generally, harassment is a behaviour that persists over time. Serious one-time incidents can also sometimes be considered harassment.” This is from the Canadian Human Rights Commission, but I think it’s a pretty standard and carefully considered approach, and one that clearly encompasses all the examples which you insist are not harassment.

          • Who?

            And if every time you go out someone reaches out to you on a topic you don’t want to engage on, that can amount to harassment even if each individual person has only done it once.

            Like those charity touters on the street-I feel v harassed by them.

          • Sue

            “Is this the two-minute argument or the four-minute argument?”

        • Bombshellrisa

          Had someone from a baby wearing group approach me in the mall and start her speech about bonding. How do I know she was from a baby wearing group? She introduced herself that way. “Hi. I am (inappropriate concern troll) from (this place) baby wearing group. Have you thought about wearing your child? There are so many more benefits to it than using a stroller”. Strollers work better when your goal is trying on clothing. Strollers work better if you want someone/something to carry your bags and you don’t have a butler/valet/personal assistant to help you. I don’t feel guilty for choosing a stroller when it works for me, but I do get annoyed that anyone feels the need to comment about it. I used both an Ergo and a Bjorn too, when it suited me. But I am not going to do anything that doesn’t work well, just because “benefits that can’t be proven”

          • Brooke

            OK. That’s not harassment. Is it harassment when someone in the grocery store approaches you with free samples or someone on the street approaches you with a flyer about something? No. She was trying to give you information about the benefits of babywearing…that’s not even implying judgement.

          • momofone

            If it’s unsolicited, it’s harrassment.

          • Brooke

            No its not. If someone was screaming in your face or calling you names, that’s harassment. If unsolicited conversations are that means every time anyone leaves the house their being harassed. This is ridiculous.

          • Nick Sanders

            Actually, if they’re screaming in your face calling you names, it’s assault.

          • Brooke

            No legally assault is a physical attack. Try calling the police for harassment every time someone gives you unsolicited parenting advice, I’m sure they’d get a kick out of that.

          • Who?

            You’re doing the hyperbole thing again. And as a small woman, if some man was standing over me screaming at me, intimidating me and stopping me going about my business but not touching me, I’d call that assault.

            I have a feeling the police might too.

          • Brooke

            No the police wouldn’t because it is harassment, which is also illegal, not assault. Assault is physical. Either way were not talking about anything even remotely similar to that but women approaching other women about babywearing, bottle feeding, or natural birth in a non-confrontational way. I could see the point if women were being banned from restaurants for bottle feeding or told their horrible bitches for having a c-section but that isn’t happening. Not even in natural birth groups online. If these things are harassment I’m literally harassed every time I leave the house or log onto Twitter.

          • momofone

            Study law much, Brooke?

          • Who?

            I’ll bow to your undoubted expertise-or is it just confident assertion-in relation to what the police think about various forms of activity.

            We go out in public and are exposed to all sorts of things. Some nice, some not so nice.

            Years ago when my children were small a woman came over to tell me off about how I was dealing with one of them. I looked her right in the eye and asked whether she was offering assistance or just being a busybody. She scuttled off. I suggest you try that the next time you feel harassed. Perhaps if you want to talk to some total stranger about whatever you’re finding she needs advice on, before you speak you ask yourself how you’d respond if asked that question.

          • Angie Young-Le

            “I looked her right in the eye and asked whether she was offering assistance or just being a busybody”

            This is fantastic, I’m going to use this.

          • Bombshellrisa

            So why are women approaching other women who choose to do something different than they would at all? Just “mentioning” it? Why call attention to something that someone is doing differently when it involves parenting? (And let’s make this clear, when I say different, I don’t mean something dangerous, reckless or illegal).

          • guest

            Hon, read the dictionary. Threatening physical violence is categorized as assault – and the threat is perceived, not intended.

          • Sue

            No, person posting as “Brooke” – assault is not confined to physical attack. As others have said, that is battery.

            What makes a person keep insisting they are correct, despite clear evidence to the contrary?

            “Assault and Battery

            Two separate offenses against the person that when used in one expression may be defined as any unlawful and unpermitted touching of another. Assault is an act that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent, harmful, or offensive contact. The act consists of a threat of harm accompanied by an apparent, present ability to carry out the threat. Battery is a harmful or offensive touching of another.”

            So – others were correct – assault includes offensive contact but does not require touching.

          • Charybdis

            FFS, please at least attempt to read up on a subject before shooting your mouth off. Assault is not only a physical attack. That is battery and I don’t mean the tiny, electricity-producing devices that go into various electronics that make them work.

            They sometimes go together: “I’m going to come over there with my Louisville Slugger and bash you upside your head!!!” This is assault. Actually bashing said person upside their head is battery. So, the person who perpetuated this attack would be charged with “Assault (the threat) and battery (the attack).”

          • Azuran

            Actually, it is. Any form of verbal threat with an apparent mean of hurting someone is considered an assault. Such as raising your fist or blocking someone’s path.

          • Who?

            I’d think so. Otherwise there is a licence to threaten.

          • Azuran

            Just because it’s not worth calling the police over doesn’t mean it’s not harassment.

          • Daleth

            No legally assault is a physical attack.

            Nope. The legal term for a physical attack is not “assault” but “battery.” Assault is behavior that does not include any physical contact but makes the recipient fearful that unwanted physical contact may be imminent. Getting in someone’s face and calling them names qualifies.

          • Nick Sanders

            http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/assault

            A physical attack is battery, unless the jurisdiction doesn’t split the two into separate crimes.

          • momofone

            It absolutely is, and unfortunately you are oblivious to what makes it ridiculous. Harassment is unwanted contact, screaming and name-calling not required.

          • Brooke

            No its not. If it were no one would ever talk to each other because simply starting a conversation could be considered harassment.

          • momofone

            I’m beginning to see why.

          • momofone

            To quote Madtowngirl:

            “From Merriam-Webster: harass, n. (1) : to annoy persistently (2) :
            to create an unpleasant or hostile situation for especially by uninvited
            and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct.

            So yes, uninvited lectures are, by definition, harassment.”

            The fact that you disagree with a definition does not change the definition.

          • guest

            I am amused that Brooke has started this immense argumentative threat all because I used the word “harassment” and she thought I didn’t know what I meant.

            [Insert gibe about the size of my vocabulary here.] And I don’t only know the words, I know how to use ’em.

          • Azuran

            Well, first of all, how often do you start random conversation with people you don’t know in grocery stores or in the street?

          • Who?

            People tell me their life story in the supermarket queue.

            I mostly go to the self service line now.

          • Daleth

            Striking up a conversation about a topic that you reasonably believe is of mutual interest is normal social behavior. Walking up to a stranger and telling them that a decision they’ve made is wrong and inferior to alternative decisions is not.

          • Sue

            “no one (sic) would ever talk to each other”

            Huh?

            Is this person seriously saying that nobody could talk to another person without attempting to question and correct their personal habits?

            I clearly move in different circles. I talk to strangers all the time, often about how cute their child is or how stylish their clothing or jewellery is. I’ve not had anyone feel bullied by these compliments.

            You should give it a go, person posting as “Brooke”.

          • Who?

            Exactly so. Two occasions to refer to another person’s child or infant: first, to coo about how gorgeous they are and happy they look, second, to wave them to the front of the line if it happens to be a grumpy one.

            And telling someone if you think they look nice is just the sweetest thing, I love it when people do it to me.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I can assure you that when DD was in her “I hate the world, I hate leaving the house, and I particularly hate sitting in my carseat” phase, I was offended precisely never when the lovely clerks at the grocery store would see us heading up to check out and would open up another register just to get us through faster, all while assuring me that “babies go through fussy times, don’t worry about it, mine all went through that, can I help you carry your groceries to your car?” As it happens, DD’s grumpiness made us several friends at that store because everyone there went out of their way to be kind and helpful to a stressed new mom. So, yep: in a shocking turn of events, there are ways to begin friendships that don’t involve criticizing moms!
            The nuisance of a woman who decided to lecture me on why I should babywear instead of using the carseat (about the only thing DD hated more than the carseat was babywearing), on the other hand, I was barely civil to, and I’m quite glad I never saw her there again. (Non-employee, needless to say.)

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            And telling someone if you think they look nice is just the sweetest thing, I love it when people do it to me.

            I find unsolicited compliments on looks by strangers to be generally creepy. I don’t do it myself, and cringe when I hear others do it.

            I was in a restaurant recently and the old guy on the next table told the waitress that she was the most beautiful person he’d ever seen. She handled it well, but, jeez, just awkward, I thought.

          • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

            Yeah, it most definitely can be. “I love your purse/shoes/nail polish” is not bothersome to me, but “you have beautiful eyes” from either a man or woman weirds me out a bit. “You look nice” can go either way – if it’s from my mom and she’s acknowledging I’m wearing a new outfit/hairstyle/makeup, it’s a-ok. From a stranger, weird.

          • LaMont

            Yes! If someone (even a stranger) makes a specific comment about an article of clothing or my “style,” i.e. something I *chose* and *thought about*, that’s one thing. Comments on my ass, which is a) unremarkable and b) not something I chose, not so much.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Good call. There is even a difference between, “That’s a pretty scarf” and “You look pretty in that scarf.”

            “You look pretty in that scarf” from a stranger seems weird to me.

          • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

            Most definitely. It’s a fine line between creepy and complimentary.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            And that’s why I try to stay way far away from it. No offense, but don’t expect me to compliment anything about your looks out of the blue.

            Friends are a different issue. Strangers? Time and place, and since I’m married and not in a college bar, it’s usually not the time nor the place.

          • Sue

            Maybe it works differently for me as a middle-aged woman, but complementing someone’s style, or choice of fabric or colour or jewellery or shoes has always been well received in my experience – both by men and women.

            People with an eye for that sort of thing generally understand each other.

          • Sue

            That’s true – but “what a stylish pair of shoes” is always welcome, in my experience – both given and received.

          • Who?

            I see you beat me to this…

          • Who?

            That is weird-for one thing, he’s in a position of power, and for another, being beautiful isn’t what it’s about-it’s about looking good, having chosen a flattering outfit, or similar.

            I’ve never had a man do that, in or out of a workplace, and in a workplace (other than between colleagues) it would be weird.

            If I see someone out and about I think looks nice, and the opportunity arises, I tell them so.

            And when it happens to me, I smile sweetly and thank the speaker.

          • Sue

            There’s a fine line, Bofa. You don’t comment on a person’s looks – you compliment their choice of clothing, jewellery, shoes, or overall style.

            I assure you, it’s not creepy.

          • Azuran

            Well, according to the Human right commission of my country, harassment is ‘any unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends or humiliates you’
            Harassment is indeed ‘usually’ something that happens over a period of time. But a one time even can still be harassment.

          • Brooke

            Approaching someone about babywearing clearly is not intended to offend or humiliate anyone.

          • Bombshellrisa

            What about if it’s trying to initiate a conversation about religion? If someone comes up to you and tries to talk to you about something deeply personal that you have no interest talk to them about and won’t leave the conversation alone when you stop responding to them, they might not intentionally trying to offend you or humiliate you, but they have. Same for the asshat who came up to me in the mall and wouldn’t stop talking to me after I stopped talking to her. She probably was just trying to preach the gospel of the AP faith and convert me, but she clearly insulted and offended me and then wouldn’t take no for an answer.

          • Who?

            Approaching a total stranger, in public, to engage with them about the personal act and decision about how to move their child around in public, (or feed said child) when the child is in no immediate danger, is the most extraordinary act of hubris.

            It assumes the person with the baby is responsible for the decision; it further assumes that the responsible person has been on the planet Zog and are not aware of the multiple options available. It then assumes that they are open to changing their mind based on the random thoughts of a total stranger whose knowledge, qualifications and standing are entirely invisible.

          • Azuran

            Whether or not it’s harassing is for whoever is on the receiving end of the conversation to decide. The ‘intention’ of the unwanted person is irrelevant. I’m pretty sure many homophobic people don’t think they are harassing gay people when they tell them their way of life is wrong, that just want to save them from eternal damnation.

          • Daleth

            Approaching someone who has clearly chosen not to baby-wear and telling them that they should baby-wear because it’s better for their baby is indeed offensive and intended to shame them. Thinking otherwise is evidence that you are deficient in basic social skills.

          • Charybdis

            Approaching someone whose baby is in a stroller, car seat carrier or is just toddling along happily and berating them because they are not wearing the baby IS offensive. There you are, minding your own business, watching your baby be fascinated with the water dancing in the fountain while enjoying a Beverage of Choice whilst the baby is sitting in your stroller and up comes someone, totally uninvited, to lecture you on why you should be wearing your baby instead of having them in a stroller. How is this not offensive? You weren’t looking for babywearing information, you just wanted 5 minutes to sit, sip a beverage and enjoy the fact that YOU aren’t having to entertain your baby, because FOUNTAIN!!!!

            Unsolicited anything is mildly annoying at best, overbearing and offensive at worst.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Approaching someone whose baby is in a stroller, car seat carrier or is just toddling along happily and berating them because they are not wearing the baby IS offensive.

            And saying, “I didn’t mean to offend” doesn’t make it not so.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            And men telling dirty jokes in the workplace are “not intended to offend or humiliate anyone.” Yet, that is absolutely considered part of harassment.

            Notice that the definition provided by Azuran says NOTHING about what was “intended”, because EVERY harasser claims that “they didn’t mean to offend or humiliate”

            This is why harassers fail. Because they think it is about them.

          • Who?

            I feel harrassed without leaving the house by your neglect/ignorance of correct grammar.

            Its-possessive pronoun-‘the group was holding its own’
            It’s-a contraction-‘it is’

            Their-possessive pronoun-‘their cake’
            There-a place not here-‘over there’
            They’re-a contraction-‘they are’.

            Your-possessive pronoun-‘your cake’
            You’re-a contraction-‘you are’

            You’re (not your) welcome.

          • Brooke

            The irony here is that this is an actual attempt to shame or harass me. If I cared that my grammar was poor on the internet don’t you think I’d install an extension to fix that by now?

          • Who?

            It’s information. You could just take a moment and learn it, as I’ve demonstrated it isn’t difficult. I have no idea what an extension is if it isn’t attached to a house.

            If I wanted to harass you I’d have called you stupid or ignorant. As it is, I think you’re either careless or ill-informed. Neither helps you make me think anything you write is likely to be of interest. If you can’t put a lucid sentence together, how can anyone take the content seriously?

          • guest

            I’m chuckling over here at the idea there’s a special extension to fix your/you’re their/they’re grammar. One would have thought it would be included with the regular grammar/spell check. No wonder my students never get it right!

          • Who?

            I know. And how, if you don’t know the rules, would you pick a good one?

          • Azuran

            If you think this is harassment, then you agree that telling a woman on the street she should breastfeed is harassment.

          • Who?

            Indeed.

          • Sue

            Person posting as “Brooke” – why not install an extension to fix your misconceptions and misunderstandings instead?

            If you were able to post coherent and constuctive comments, others might ignore the grammatical errors.

          • Megan

            Wait, wait, wait. THIS is harrassment but a perfect stranger telling me I don’t know the “right” way to feed my baby isn’t?? Wow, the inconsistency… I guess I shouldn’t be surprised coming from you.

          • Sue

            Appropriate Monty Python reference:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

          • Bombshellrisa

            It is when they follow you around and won’t let the conversation drop. What business is it of theirs how I carry my child in the first place? People who are offering samples, handing out flyers or preaching to people are doing it as a job, and I expect them to try and engage me. Someone following me around at the mall because my kid is in a stroller is just being a tone deaf asshole.

          • anotheramy

            “There are so many more benefits to it than strollers” sounds pretty judgemental to me. Saying “hi, I’m from ____babywearing group. Here’s our card , if you want to check us out”= acceptable. This lady took it further than that.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Especially in light of the fact that she had no idea if the stroller was my habit. I did use baby carriers, I just didn’t think that it would be the best choice for my situation and the goals I wanted to accomplish THAT DAY. Baking cookies at home or walking at the dog park? Baby carrier. Trying on clothes at the mall or walking to the store? Stroller. And it’s only someone else’s business if they want to 1) wear the baby or 2) push the stroller.

          • Nick Sanders

            It’s harassment if she just approached a stranger out of the blue and start giving a spiel without concern for the other person’s comfort or time.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Quite honestly, the woman didn’t even ask if it was my child. For all anyone knew, I could be a cousin, aunt or friend. She just assumed I was a mom who wasn’t concerned with the benefits of baby wearing and started in on me.

          • Tiffany Aching

            Wow. If I wore trousers and some random stranger approached me for an unwanted lecture about the benefits of wearing skirts, I would definitely consider it harassment. And probably tell her to go fuck herself.

          • Tiffany Aching

            When I think of it it would even be easy to conjure bullshit reasons to go badger women wearing trousers : “Did you know that women who wear skirts tend to like their legs better than women who favor trousers ? Also, doctors say that too tight trousers can increase the risk of getting a yeast infection. In fact, we should really talk about the dangers of wearing trousers rather than the benefits of wearing skirts. Women, let your lady parts breathe, just like nature intended !”.

          • Azuran

            Except that she wasn’t handing out free samples or selling anything. And she was just randomly in the mall, not at a baby shower or baby product presentation.
            So yea, a random person approaching another random mother in a setting totally unrelated to baby care to tell her her choice or using a stroller is not right is harassment.

          • Daleth

            That’s ludicrous, Brooke. Of course it’s harassment when a total stranger walks up to you in public and shares their opinion that the way you are feeding or transporting is inferior to the way she chose to do it with her babies.

          • Sue

            Someone silently handing you a pamphlet may not be harrassing you.

            IF that person interrogates you about your personal habits, and insists that the content of their flyer is superior, they may be.

            See the difference?

          • Bombshellrisa

            But how would she know I didn’t know about them? When you quote me on your Instagram, at least have the sense to use my entire post, not just part of it.

          • Mishimoo

            Actually, it is implying judgement and is ableist. Not everyone can babywear and not everyone wants to babywear for various reasons. You don’t get to make the call on which ones are and aren’t okay.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym


            Is it harassment when someone in the grocery store approaches you with
            free samples or someone on the street approaches you with a flyer about
            something?

            It is if they don’t respect your “no thank you, I’m not interested” and leave you alone.

          • Nor

            You defend the protestors outside of Planned Parenthood the same way?

          • Deborah

            Doesn’t it just make you wish you could magically whip out a card from your Pro-Stroller Group to exchange with her???

          • Bombshellrisa

            I have wished I could print a Skeptical OB card and hand it out.

          • Deborah

            I find that just incredible. Are you in America? It sounds so much more hard core there than here (Australia).
            Approached by a stranger and harassed (yes harassed) for using a stroller? Unbelievable.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Yes, this was in America, in Oregon and California (although once when I was wearing baby, someone approached me at the dog park but in a friendly way). It’s happened more than once too.

          • Kelly

            I have two strollers and two carriers in my car so that I can decide on what I want to use depending on the circumstances and the moods of my children. Turns out, it is not that easy to wear your child when you go to a place like Costco as you end up hitting your child on the head when placing things in the car.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Two strollers here too, the jogger for bigger outings and the smaller one for when the stroller is needed as more of just a seat (like when I take the kid to the salon or doctors office). It can also be entertainment, the two year old likes to push the stroller around and it can keep him busy.

          • Kelly

            I also realized I have a baby leash in the car too. The second one is an umbrella stroller that I use for the two year old for the same reason. It makes it easier to keep her tied in the stroller than running around like a hellion.

          • guest

            That was exactly what I was afraid of doing. I’m clumsy. Adding a new dimension to my body that is extremely fragile just seemed like a very bad idea.

          • Kelly

            I have started to take advantage of ordering online and picking up because shopping with three little kids is hell. Baby wearing is not always as easy or as freeing as some people claim.

          • Old Lady

            No kidding. On the baby carrier I bought is a tag that says things like not to cook or bend over and to have one hand on the baby when you move around. So it’s only more convenient than regular baby holding and not putting the baby down where you can have free range of motion, deal with hot things etc. it’s like how breastfeeding is supposed to be easier because you can sleep while laying down in bed in nursing. I don’t feel my baby is safe that way.

          • guest

            I tried side-lying overnight breastfeeding exactly once. I woke up in a bed absolutely drenched in milk and had to do laundry all over again that day. Soaked right through to the mattress protector, about a 2-3 foot diameter area, plus all in the blankets and PJs. SO CONVENIENT.

          • crazy grad mama

            Every time I tried side-lying breastfeeding, Little Boy spat up his entire meal.

          • Bombshellrisa

            It is hell. Even one two year old can be so draining to get from the parking lot into the store (or vice versa).

          • Kelly

            I always forget something because I can’t think with them around. I have also waited until they were in bed and go to Walmart or Target to get my shopping done.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Even with a list, I forget something. Today it was garbage bags. My husband used to go grocery shopping with me on his day off and between the two of us, we usually could remember to buy what we needed. I miss shopping with him.
            The other thing that throws me is when something isn’t ready or available but will be in 20+ minutes. I was waiting for chicken and roast to be cut and put out and when they said another 20 minutes, I ended our shopping trip right there. When it’s noon, your child hasn’t had a tantrum yet, you still have another stop to make and your child is notorious for being able to skip the afternoon nap if he has had a car nap that lasts for more then 10 minutes, you cut your losses and run. I kept the two year old awake by playing the throwback station, with Kriss Kross’s “Jump” coming on as we drove to the next stop.

          • guest

            I do a lot of online shopping. Twin three year olds are bedlam in a store! And most stores around here don’t accommodate strollers very well. I don’t know how they pass ADA requirements, frankly.

          • sdsures

            My god, do strangers actually do this???

        • ladyloki

          I had a woman physically assault me when I tried to get formula once. Not kidding. I went to grab a can, she grabbed me and body checked me away, telling me that I should be breastfeeding.

          And it wasn’t even for me, it was for a friend who was having some troubles now that her *EBF* son was six months old and needed more than she was producing. I offered to get some formula as I was already at the store when I got her text.

          So yes, it happens. I wish it had just been harassment in my case. But I did get to see her escorted out physically by the manager, and they told to not come back again or the cops would be called. She was lucky I was in shock or I would have decked her.

          • Deborah

            Unbelievable.

          • Megan

            Talk about rabid…

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Note that Brooke didn’t reply to this one.

          • ladyloki

            I noticed that too. Had a friend who had a bottle slapped out of her hand. It was breastmilk. Know another mom who was forcefully shoved out of a nursing room when she tried to bottle feed. Have heard stories from friends about other psychos like one woman who grabbed another woman who was walking away from that crazy woman’s “formula is poison” lecture. Mall security apparently was right there, thank goodness. It’s not just lectures and harrassment, it’s physical as well.

          • Who?

            Curious, isn’t it, that people who want to be emulated behave like violent criminals. And then wonder why they give their cause a bad name.

        • guest

          We have provided many such incidents already, Brooke.

        • Tiffany Aching

          One of my friend has been gang-lectured by other “friends” (wives of her partner’s friends, actually, with too much time on their hands) because she had bought the wrong kind of baby carrier. So yes, definitely happens.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Which baby carrier is the wrong one?

          • Amy

            Oh, there’s definitely a hierarchy. It’s been years since my kids were little enough to wear, but I’d say the Maya wrap is still probably the gold standard, mostly because you practically need an engineering degree to figure out how to wrap the damn thing. Next would be the mei tai, because while it’s a million times easier to use, it’s still all-cloth and looks really earthy-crunchy. A ring sling is starting to slide into not-goot-enough territory, though– I remember one crunchy-mama from our play group condescendingly fake-complimenting my ring sling when I first got it. And then anything mainstream is just WRONG– God help you if you show up to the play group with your kid in a Baby Bjorn. You might as well just put the kid in a stroller.

            /sarcasm, in case it wasn’t obvious 😉

          • Bombshellrisa

            Lol no wonder then. My carrier was only used for MY convenience and they were Ergo and Bjorns. Seriously mainstream.

          • Sue

            The absolute BEST baby carrier, of course, is whichever one is hardest to put on or take off.

            Preferably one that wraps around so tightly and with such complicated wrapping that it’s unable to be removed until the child grows big enough to burst out of it, much like a caterpillar from its cocoon.

          • Deborah

            And the absolute bestest baby carrier is the one that comes with a 90 minute DVD.

          • AnnaPDE

            Of course my kid only tolerates the wrap thingy, as it can be adjusted to let him look around and still be comfy. That kind of defeats a lot of the convenience argument, unfortunately. Still, with the crappy footpaths around here, it beats the pram when I don’t have to carry stuff. Good thing that topology was one of my favourite lectures…
            But apart from the lack of crunch-factor, I can see why he hated the baby björn most: Its base is so narrow, all his weight was sitting on his crotch. Not comfy, especially with balls.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I got lectured for putting my baby in a björn facing outwards once. I was told that she’d feel insecure. I think she wanted to look around and see the world, but that’s just me.

        • Azuran

          You really haven’t been reading any comment on this blog. It’s full of people telling their story of being harassed for formula feeding, having a c-section or epidural.

          • Bombshellrisa

            She has, however been sharing the comments on Instagram via screenshots

          • Who?

            Keeping it classy…

          • Bombshellrisa

            Oh you know it. Looks like her followers are as intellectually gifted as she is.

          • Who?

            She can’t help being thick, but she could be a bit less narrow minded with it.

            Perhaps she should try her luck in that well-known nirvana for women and children, PNG?

          • Bombshellrisa

            Why yes, because I am sure that a man dry nursing my infant will forgive him for beating me. I actually didn’t realize just how bad it was there but there is no way to unsee the Doctors Without Borders report.

          • Who?

            It’s horrible. I haven’t seen that report but the anecdata from friends, family and work colleagues who spend time up there is horrifying. It’s on our doorstep, about 3 hours from here, and what goes on beggars belief.

          • CSN0116

            Hahaha I’m surprised she even got a response. Every fb and instagram post and plea she makes gets zero hits lol. Watch my son? Zip. Donate to my food truck? No. Be my neighbor? Nadda. LOL

          • Bombshellrisa

            She got a response only because she posted the part that suited her. Notice that that she conveniently cut off the part where I admit I did baby wear, it just wasn’t something I was doing that day? The comment about how the person just took off the baby carrier and put the baby on the floor in the dressing room so they could try on bathing suits really highlights my point about it being more convenient to use a stroller.

          • guest

            I always put my infants down on dirty public flooring. Builds up their immunity right quick!

          • Nor

            Remember when we were kids and mom could just leave you (seatbelt/carseat optional) in the car all alone while she ran into the store for a few minutes, windows cracked if it was hot? You’d risk arrest for that now.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Mine did that. They also let us ride in the bed of the truck places. Now people don’t even want to see dogs riding in the bed of a truck in case there is an accident.

          • guest

            Shame on you, Brooke.

        • Kq

          Hi. I exist. I’ve been harassed for my epidural and my c section.

          Your argument is once again invalid.

        • Kelly

          I have a woman in my church who badgers people about breastfeeding, home birthing, and organic food. She has even told someone that they were breastfeeding wrong when the baby was gaining weight. There are crazy people out there that care too much about these things.

        • Amy

          Sure. I was. And I’m actually very crunchy!

          I got all kinds of crap from women in my due-date group over “giving in” at 42w1d (and three days of unproductive labor with no painkillers) and agreeing to a c-section. I was told I “wasn’t taking responsibility” for my birth.

          I got more crap when, due to inverted nipples, the only way to get breastmilk into my daughter was to pump exclusively until her tiny mouth grew big enough to latch. I was told it wasn’t really breastfeeding, it wasn’t as good as breastfeeding, and I should just “take a nursing vacation” (me and the kid, naked from the waist up, in bed, starving her into latching properly).

          More crap for going back to work and not planning to homeschool. And oh my, the venom that gets lobbed at my profession (I’m a public school teacher)! Of course they don’t mean ME, they reassure me. Except they totally do.

          I don’t feel guilty about any of my parenting choices. My kids are funny, kind, well-adjusted, pursuing activities they enjoy with some degree of success, and most importantly, they know how very loved they are. They have both repeatedly expressed, unprompted, that they look up to me professionally, and they are both thriving in their public school. So this CERTAINLY isn’t me having “internalized guilt” and reading into stuff people were saying. This was stuff people were actually saying.

        • momofone

          Speaking of harassment, Brooke, I noticed that at the Skeptical OB Facebook page you accused someone of harassing you because they looked at your social media accounts. That can’t be right though, because as you’ve said yourself, it can’t be harassment if there’s no screaming or name-calling, right?

      • Bombshellrisa

        Or women who have three screaming children dressed in mismatched shoes with messy hair and faces, who are throwing things out of the cart at the grocery store will get people smiling at them and saying “at least you are helping out” (like they seem to when it’s a father who is dealing that that at the store). One can only hope.

    • Bombshellrisa

      What good is dry nursing? I thought the whole point of breastfeeding was to feed a baby breastmilk.

      • Brooke

        Comfort instead of using a pacifier.

        • CSN0116

          Except we have pacifiers for that now. So a man’s nipples are no longer required. We don’t need to play it all up hunter-gatherer village style to comfort a baby anymore…

          The instinct to calm your baby can be achieved by alternate means. But the instinct will still be fulfilled.

          • Megan

            I’m just picturing my husband’s reaction if I suggested to him that our newborn should suck on his nipples instead of her pacifier for comfort just so he can be like the men in tribes of Papua New Guinea…

          • CSN0116

            That’s what a lot of this natural parenting shit is, by the way. First world women mimicking and making trendy the behaviors of third world women, who lack all choice in the matter and experience very difficult lives as a result. Infant slings, no diapers or cloth diapers only, home grown baby food, no pain meds, exclusive breastfeeding, no vaccines – what women in these foreign lands wouldn’t give to trade places with these ignorant fucks.

            It’s like outright mockery and taunting. They “wear” babies in rags to go fetch clean water miles away. Here we sell them in 10,000 colors and styles for $120 a pop and wear them to Trader Joe’s to get coconut oil and organic quinoa. Not degrading at all.

          • Brooke

            Meanwhile your mocking women living in undeveloped counties. Great job.

          • momofone

            In what way is that mocking women in developed countries?

          • CSN0116

            Can you even comprehend what you read?!

            And it’s “you’re.”

          • Bombshellrisa

            You already know the answer to that one.
            I just hope these privileged first world women don’t start copying what my grandfather and great uncles did to keep the kids in one place when they were charged with babysitting their younger siblings (dug a hole wide and deep enough so they couldn’t get out).

          • Chi

            No they’re mocking those who are privileged and not realizing their own privilege.

            Clearly you fail at reading comprehension.

          • Charybdis

            Nope. You are holding them up as paragons of parenthood, the very best kinds of role models for we in the developed world to admire and strive to be like.

            No one is mocking women living in underdeveloped countries; we are mocking YOU for thinking they are the parenting gold standard. Things they HAVE to do out of necessity have somehow become a status symbol in the developed world. Don’t you think they would change places in a heartbeat if they could?

          • Deborah

            Do the mocking women belong to CSN0116?

          • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

            No, CSN0116 is not mocking anybody in undeveloped countries. How did you come to that conclusion?

          • Kelly

            All I can think of is when Stewie from Family Guy tried to nurse from his dad and ended up getting a hair in his mouth.

          • Amy

            My kids LOVE that clip!

          • Kq

            You are not alone.
            https://youtu.be/rxaQsBXJRcs

          • Sue

            Perfect!

          • Kelly

            Exactly.

          • MaineJen

            This is what I thought of immediately, as well 🙂

        • Charybdis

          Not using a pacifier is better how, exactly? Can’t be nipple confusion/preference because nothing is flowing through the nipple.

        • Nick Sanders

          The pacifier isn’t comforting? Is it just mind controlling the kid into not crying? Does it prevent the parent from hugging or stroking the child while they suck on it? I’m pretty sure any baby I might have would prefer a nice clean pacifier to my hairy man boob.

          • guest

            My kids didn’t care for pacifiers – you know what else is comforting? Thumbs. And muslin security blankies.

          • Rachele Willoughby

            It wouldn’t be hairy for very long.

          • Nick Sanders

            You have no idea… I’m practically a sasquatch. It’s itchy and I hate it, but what am I gonna do?

          • Mishimoo

            Have it lasered off or use a depilatory cream (if you haven’t already tried that)? You don’t have to put up with hair that’s making you miserable, it’s your body.

          • Nick Sanders

            I hope to one day have the money to spare for a laser removal, but until then I can’t stand the cream.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Magic shave powder isn’t as smelly and is better on the skin. I am afraid of laser hair removal, someone said it feels like rubber bands snapping on your skin.

          • Nick Sanders

            So, update, I finally got my hands on some Magic Shave, and did the test run recommended on the container a little while ago. It cut through the hair superbly, now I just have to wait a day to make sure there’s no redness. If so, then onwards to smooth comfort!

          • Bombshellrisa

            Glad to hear this!

          • Mishimoo

            Awww damn, dude!

          • LibrarianSarah

            Shave it? Wax it? I mean it’s can’t hurt worse than a bikini wax.

          • Nick Sanders

            I’ve tried shaving. Razors can’t get it all, (seriously, two immediately back-to-back shaves with shaving cream and everything took it down from “damn!” to “socially acceptable amount of hair”) and electric clippers leave even itchier stubble if they don’t have the right kind of trimmer attachment. As for waxing, since the issue is personal comfort, I’m not going to do something that uncomfortable if it’s only going to be temporary. I think I’m going to try that Magic Shave Powder BombshellRisa suggested.

          • Who?

            Maybe start with shaved skin and then use the powder to maintain it? If it is as ‘damn!’ as you suggest, the powder might not cope with the full glory.

          • Nick Sanders

            Scarily, I once saw a guy with even more hair; he was wearing a v-neck t-shirt, and it looked like he had shag carpeting underneath it. I’m more of a brillo pad.

          • Azuran

            and then babies will start having hairball problems

          • Nor

            Turns out the same thing works on adults. Science.

        • Who?

          Why though? Surely someone’s pinkie knuckle would do the same job ie skin contact for comfort sucking without?

          • swbarnes2

            If I learned anything from reading (an abridged version) of the Golden Bough, it’s that “primitive” cultures do a lot of weird superstitious stuff. So I guess all cultures do a lot of weird superstitious stuff, it’s not like hunter-gatherers are honed to laser-like efficiency at only doing things that maximize survival.

          • Nick Sanders

            Eh, I’ve heard GB goes a bit overboard…

          • swbarnes2

            I’m sure it has flaws. And Frazer is definitely trying to build a “superstition < religion < science" narrative, and lots of examples of 'primitive' people wasting their time on garbage fits that narrative nicely, but he has so many examples from so many places, I think there has to be some truth to the examples. Humans are biologically built to be pattern seekers, we just have very poor systems for correcting false positives.

        • guest

          Less chafing with a pacifier.

        • Daleth

          Pacifiers are comforting. My babies LOVED them. It was so nice to have something that enabled their dad to comfort them, and enabled me to comfort them without whipping out a boob.

        • Sue

          Like most places, PNG has a range of divergent communities.

          IN cities, people feed babies much as in any city.

          In the highlands, in isolated villages, things are very different. Some lactating women are known to suckle domestic animals like piglets. That’s reality in isolated places, where livestock are weatlh. That doesn’t make those practices ideal for all of humanity, doe it?

      • Rachele Willoughby

        Your baby is less likely to leave dad’s nipples at Denny’s.

      • Mariana

        If you have no pacifiers I guess that’s a good way to give mom a break

    • swbarnes2

      I’m not sure what you think your point of your comment is. Everyone here thinks that parenting is something that both sexes are equally capable at being great at. It’s the attachment crowd who dives deep into saying that mothers, and not fathers, are magically suited for, and in fact are called to sacrifice every moment of their free time for their offspring. It’s they who are saying that the standard of parenting is ridiculously different depending on the sex of the parent, not anyone here. For instance, formula and breastmilk are equally good for babies, but formula has the benefit of supporting egalitarian parenting, because both parents can share in that duty. Natural parenting advocates are the ones trying to take that option off the table, not anyone here. People here think that good effective pain relief is a good thing people of both sexes. It’s the NCB’ers who think that there is a special exception to that, for women only. Do you really thinks that the lady quoted above who thinks the babywearing and two years of nursing is the minimum for good parenting thinks that Dad should be an equal partner in raising a kid who is literally attached to Mom constantly?

      • Nor

        “For instance, formula and breastmilk are equally good for babies, but formula has the benefit of supporting egalitarian parenting, because both parents can share in that duty. ”

        That’s another thing you don’t see advocated by the natural peeps – men can in fact breastfeed (not all men!) but there is a good chance they can lactate w/ proper prep. So why isn’t that process being advocated for by the hyper-pro-bf crowd?

        Also only two years of breastfeeding – the lady clearly isn’t hard core. The only thing that should limit truly great parenting is those terrible public schools that won’t let you breast feed your kindergartener in class (which of course you quit your job to attend daily). For shame.

    • Bombshellrisa

      “In Papua New Guinea, one study found two-thirds of women had been beaten by their partners. Another study found that in one region of the country, one in five women’s first sexual experience was rape. The international medical aid organization Doctors without Borders, or Medecins Sans Frontieres, released a report this week with disturbing new evidence of the scale of violence there. The report analyzes data from over 3,000 survivors of family and sexual violence treated in 2014 and the first half of 2015 in two MSF clinics — in the capital, Port Moresby, and the rural town of Tari. Three in four sexual violence survivors knew the perpetrator. Over half of the survivors were children. One in six were under the age of 5.

      Two-thirds of the population in Papua New Guinea, one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse countries in the world, lives below the poverty line, and the country suffers from a shortage of medical staff and a weak justice system. While the economy has grown rapidly in recent years, weakening commodity prices have hurt the country.”
      http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/papua-new-guinea-“return-abuser”-report-examines-shocking-levels-family-and-sexual-violence

      • Who?

        I was going to do this but then just couldn’t bear it. How anyone can use PNG as a role model for a society that takes care of women and children just beats me.

        • Sue

          Don’t worry – it’s not “anyone” – it’s the person posting as “Brooke”.

      • Deborah

        I know – let’s send our asylum seekers there! Not 🙁

        • Who?

          We do-though their Supreme Court has just said it is illegal.

          • Deborah

            Lol yes I know – my sarcastic tone failed to come through. Did you see Four Corners the other night about the poor guy who died from sepsis due to a delay in being transferred from Manos Island to PNG? (He should have been immediately transferred to Australia but they fluffed around so much he died not long after arrival in PNG). I think that when the history books are written in a few decades from now, Australia is going to be showcased as a nation with an appalling attitude to human rights (for the second time! – remembering what occurred with colonisation). They are trying to keep it secret by censoring the media and threats of imprisonment for medical personnel who speak out about what is occurring in the detention centres but they must realise it will all come out one day to our national shame.

    • Mishimoo

      Oh yes, good old PNG. Where carjackings, murder, and rape are normal road hazards. My aunty is from there – reportedly, her father sold her for a pig and took her back again in exchange for farming equipment. Lovely place, such a supportive society which cares so much about it’s female members.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        (Obviously, upvoted for the information, *not* for what happened to your aunty.)

  • ladyloki

    Hell, I must really be considered acting like a man. I wanted kids, when they are more fun then work, so we decided to adopt older kids instead of producing our biological spawn. No diapers, no 2 AM feedings, none of that crap. No having to be pregnant and giving birth was the best part. Not saying the intrusive foster paperwork and home studies were fun and games, but I could eat and drink what I wanted and no one was making me take off clothes, pee in a cup or get gallons of blood drawn to be certified. ONE vial of blood to check cholesterol and a TB test, and I got to keep my clothes on.

  • momofone

    I don’t know, Pamela, I think you should be expected to mind your own damn business; looks like neither of our expectations will be met.

  • LibrarianSarah

    you should be expected to baby wear – PERIOD

    So disabled women shouldn’t have kids. Wow so intersectional much feminist.

    • Lilly de Lure

      Yep – no kiddies for us for the greater good. Now where have we heard that before?

      Sorry to rail on at this angle twice in the one thread but its really managed to piss me off!

      • demodocus

        Eh, several of us are in the category. Me, I’m in the only-enough-to-be-occasionally-irritating category, but my husband’s had the police called on him for walking with small child while blind. That’s not what the callers *say* of course, but that’s the impression we get.

        • sdsures

          You would not believe how many times that we get questioned for our suitability to have kids when both my husband and I are disabled. It’s mind-boggling.

          • demodocus

            All the people who’ve told me “so you’re parenting 2?” or “so, basically, you’re a single mother” have given me a clue. 🙁

          • AirPlant

            I don’t understand, being blind doesn’t prevent you from yelling “Don’t make me come over there” from the other side of the house… 😉

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            If anything, I should think it would make you more likely to notice the sort of Suspicious Noises that indicate a toddler/small child is up to no good whatsoever.

          • Megan

            I’m always much more worried when there’s silence.

          • AirPlant

            Suspicious lack of noise. The most ominous of sounds.

          • BeatriceC

            As my father was find of saying, there’s nothing louder than the sound of kids being quiet.

          • Rach

            Me too. As soon as it goes dead quiet, it’s time to hunt them down. Otherwise, you find them making it snow laundry powder or they’ve broken into their older brothers’ rooms and are cheerfully dismantling all the Lego sets they can find. I find it’s always when I’ve got my hands in raw meat or dough, and it’s going to take a while for me to get cleaned off and find them.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            True that. However, those faint, unidentifiable rustling/clicking/tapping/whatever-ing noises that inevitably erupt from two rooms away while I’m in the bathroom have led to world-speed-record-breaking pee breaks on Mommy’s part.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Dem sounds like a good dad. He is concerned for his child’s welfare and parents appropriately.

          • demodocus

            Especially for such a novice. He took this morning off and he and the little guy are off gallivanting so my very sick self can have a little peace. The little guy brought me his dump truck first though, so I can play with it.

          • Nick Sanders

            Aww, what a sweet little guy.

          • sdsures

            “Are they yours?” is another one I’ve heard about that gets directed at disabled parents.

          • demodocus

            eye roll

          • guest

            I believe it. I mean, people question whether a single mother is capable of raising an undamaged child. Of course they’re going to be even nastier to disabled parents. If they were not, they’d be showing a shred of decency, and they can’t have that.

          • ladyloki

            I’ve gotten it too, and all I do is walk on a cane on my bad days, because my knee will give out and I will faceplant. So this little stick in my hand makes me an unfit parent. WTF?

          • Bombshellrisa

            Apparently your kids are supposed to be less traumatized by their parent falling than (gasp) using something that helps tyoi work against nature’s plan (you falling down)

          • sdsures

            IKR??

          • sdsures

            Ah yes, the faceplant. I’ve been having more than the usual number of faceplants due to problems with my feet, so I am getting them checked ASAP.

      • LibrarianSarah

        You’re preaching to the choir sister. I’ve been lucky though as my brain has yet to have gone through a hard reboot while I was in front of a classroom. Well…that I know of.

    • Nor

      I guess in that case you’d just ask your local natural childrearing enforcer to wear your baby for you. If someone comes up to harass you and isn’t wearing at least 5 babies I’d find it hard to take them seriously. Like the people w/ pro-life bumper stickers and no adopted kids.

      Are men harassed for not baby wearing? I’m guessing no…

  • Gatita

    OT: Chrissie Teigan goes out to dinner one week after her baby is born and the sanctimommies crap all over her: http://dlisted.com/2016/04/25/instagram-swatted-at-chrissy-teigen-for-going-to-dinner-and-leaving-her-one-week-old-baby-at-home/

    • mabelcruet

      My immediate response is that the poor woman doesn’t deserve that sort of crap, and then I remembered that she is more than capable of standing up for herself! At one week of age, their baby isn’t likely to suffer abandonment issues in later life. Dinner-couple of hours out of the house, the kid probably slept the whole time!

      • Gatita

        Hilariously, someone tweeted at her “How’s the baby?” and she responded, “Don’t know, we can’t find her.” So yeah, she’s fine. But I still got enraged when I saw the comments because you know, a woman should be completely fulfilled staring into her baby’s face 24/7 and never need anything else. ARHGHGHWJLKHRKJWEHRK!!

      • sdsures

        Kid won’t even remember it. I hope the mom had a lovely time.

    • CSN0116

      No man would ever be put down for that. Men can be back in the office hours after the birth of a baby and it’s OK. Fuck this noise. Rock on, Chrissie.

      I was doing online work for my job while still in the birth recovery room (sittin’ on ice and just chillin’ lol). The baby had his 2 oz of formula and was passed out on my chest. I returned to work 13 days later because I WANTED TO. My students, bless their hearts, gave me a literal round of applause and were wonderfully supportive.

      Choice, motherfuckers. CHOICE.

    • lawyer jane

      Damn she looks amazing! Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I were really rich. I think motherhood and pregnancy are so hard that it’s probably not all that different in some ways — I think I would have felt the excruciating need to monitor my baby at all times, yet complete inability to sleep next to him, no matter how much $$ I had. At the same time, I definitely would have enjoyed a professional hair & makeup person and a babynurse to be able to go out to dinner after a week … !

    • Megan

      Oh, FFS. People need to get a life. I wish I’d had the resources to go out on a date with hubby a week postpartum!!

    • Madtowngirl

      Oh God! The horror! Leaving your house and having a life beyond being a mother!

    • indigosky

      I was out without my daughter 5 days after she was born, and was gone nearly 4 hours. I wanted to see the newest Harry Potter movie at the midnight showing. My mom happily babysat, daughter was not traumatized and I got to finally be able to sit for a few hours without having to pee that whole time. Victory all around.

      • Kq

        I nursed my son through the entirety of Deathly Hallows part II because I refused to miss it. He was less than a month old.

        • demodocus

          Mom said she took me to the original star wars movie. I was probably about 6 months old.

    • Kelly

      I went to Busch Gardens when my daughter was only a few weeks old in order to use a pass that would expire. It was awesome and we were able to ride every single ride.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    You support, praise, expect and demand monetary value for what women do –

    This line chills me. What women do? I gestated ONCE. I breast fed…well, once or a number of times over 2 years (yeah, yeah, I’m just the lactation poster child, okay), but that’s over and I’m never going to do it again. What about the 20 years I’ve spent trying to help sick people? The 40+ papers I’ve published in hematology and oncology? Do those count for nothing? Are they not part of what “women do”? Is my so far childless colleague not a woman? Is she not doing what women do? How is this feminism?

    • momofone

      Maybe if you’d written them from home, with a baby tied to your back?

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        I’m afraid one of them was finished while the baby was out in a stroller with a babysitter. (Well, my mother, but you know, not me and not being worn.)

  • LibrarianSarah

    Anytime someone talks about “women acting like men” I know some seriously misogynistic shit is going to follow. How does one act “like a man?” By not having kids? By having a career? By wanting both a career and kids? By not wearing pink? By wearing pants? By working in a male dominated field? How much to you want to box women in?

    To an actual Feminist and not someone who play’s one on the internet, the only way you can tell if someone is “acting like a man” is if they are a man. This goes both ways of course. If a man wants to stay home with the kids he isn’t “acting like a woman” either. Gender reductionism is bullshit.

    I’m not sure what you have been for the past 20 years Pamela but it sure as hell wasn’t a Feminist. You are as much as a Feminist as Christina Hoff Sommers.

    • Irène Delse

      Well, let’s see: I don’t have kids and don’t plan to have any; I hate pink; always wear trousers; I don’t depend on a man for bringing home a salary… Horror, maybe I’m a dude too! XD

      • LibrarianSarah

        Or you’re neither man nor woman but something else entirely. Maybe you’re Bigfoot? ARE YOU BIGFOOT?! AM I BIGFOOT?!

      • Charybdis

        But do you pee standing up? I think that has to be the gold standard.

        • LibrarianSarah

          What if you pee standing up in the shower? Asking for a friend.

        • Rach

          There’s always the ‘she pee’ to fix that problem. 😛

          • Charybdis

            Go Girl. And You Go Girl, too.

        • swbarnes2

          Ehh…not a very trans-friendly definition.

          • guest

            I don’t think it’s a problem in this context – the point is that the markers of “man” and “woman” Pamela used to castigate bothers are false binaries. Charybdis is being ironic about peeing standing up being the gold standard.

          • guest

            “bothers” = “fathers”

          • Guest

            Or “mothers” I don’t even know anymore, lol.

        • Nor

          Women are much better at pissing standing up than men are. Way more distance. That’s why all pissing contests used to be women only. Pity we’ve softened our standards to the point that mere men are allowed to compete.

  • InfiniteSovereign

    Best quote: “Moms should demand and expect to get very cheap but highly educated and experienced child care for their children up to 5 years old”

    Let’s hope that she knows more about nursing than she does economics.

    • Houston Mom

      My son’s preschool isn’t cheap for us but we consider it worth every penny. His teacher is a gem.That part was the most galling part for me.

    • AirPlant

      God, the closest I have to that is the fingers crossed hope that one of the highly educated middle class SAHM’s in my life will take cash under the table, and that is of supremely dubious legality.

    • Elizabeth A

      I know. This one hurts hardest for TONS of families, but most especially the families of childcare workers.

      Childcare pays shit. It costs families a bomb, and it pays workers pennies. It would be great if, say, the government would step in and subsidize it, but the US government has repeatedly declined to do so. Obviously, greater agitation on this point would be wonderful, but I already had my kids, they are here and the government subsidy is not. Does Patricia have any advice for those of us who live in *this* universe?

      • Mishimoo

        This is why I am so grateful to live in Australia. My childcare is subsidised and it is high quality but still affordable (thanks to the government). It still could be way better of course, but I’m appreciative of what I receive.

        • demodocus

          Only if you vaccinate 😉

          • Mishimoo

            Oh, the horror! 😉

    • MaineJen

      The (slightly less well known, but equally important) golden rule:
      Cheap
      Fast (or in this case, “convenient”)
      Good
      Pick 2.

  • Heidi

    I didn’t exactly want to carry the fetus. I mean, if I’m honest, it kind of sucked. Sure, I wanted a child and wanted him to be healthy as possible, which means full-term was definitely ideal, but the exhaustion, pains, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and SPD sucked! Then there was the whole worrying about the baby being okay when he was inside me. I felt a huuuuge relief when he arrived and no desire to shove him back in!

    • moto_librarian

      The only way I would have another baby would be if it could be grown in an incubator. I love my children. I did not love being pregnant or giving birth to them.

      • lawyer jane

        I liked the conception part! And the first and second trimesters were kind of fun. But if I ever have another baby I’d like to use a time machine to skip straight from around 6-7 months pregnant to a 9 month old baby. That would be ideal!

    • Sarah

      I sometimes feel the urge to shove mine back in because at least then I wouldn’t have to listen to them bickering.

      • guest

        My daughter still can’t pronounce Ls very well, so she’s always saying stuff like “I’m going back to my womb!” And in my head I’m screaming “Oh the HELL you are!”

        • guest

          And likewise, her brother has difficulty combining T and R, so when he wants a cookie, he asks for a “teat.”

          • Charybdis

            DH had that issue as a very young child, except his T and R combinations came out as F’s.

            Imagine his mother’s face when, at a parade and the fire trucks came by, DH got excited and started yelling “Fire Fuck! Fire Fuck! Fire Fuck, Mamma!!” over and over.

          • LeighW

            My 3 year old loves horses, and where we live you can’t drive more than 60 seconds without seeing one. The girls at his daycare laugh their butts off every morning when he runs in all excited, eager to tell them about the whores he saw on his way to school.

          • guest

            I will be sad when they learn to pronounce it all correctly.

          • guest

            Ha!

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      I am not enjoying fetus carrying. And all the super-chipper “it’s for the baby!” responses to my ailments do not make me feel any better about it, I tell ya.

  • Madtowngirl

    To quote Family Guy, “Feminism is about choice.” If you think feminism is about requiring women to comply with your choices, you need a dictionary.

  • CSN0116

    Casting off my motherly instincts (i.e. not complying with any of Pamela’s advice) allowed me to obtain a PhD, a well-paying job, financial independence (I would never require my husband’s income to support my family, if need ever be), and a publically elected position. I must be doing feminism wrong.

    Our foremothers must be rolling over in their graves at the current thought processes of women via natural parenting.

  • guest

    Anonymous Facebook commenter is an ignorant classist, though. “Expect” “very cheap but highly educated” childcare providers?!?! Education costs money, honey, and even if it didn’t, childcare workers deserve a living wage – or more.

    • Taysha

      God forbid those “expert, highly educated” people were women and asked for a decent salary.

      • guest

        I guess childcare is one of those professions where money sullies the work. You do it because you love it.

        But meanwhile, your family has to eat, and needs a roof over their heads…

        • Taysha

          So you get pregnant and get a stipend! Problem solved!

          • guest

            My gog, it’s a pyramid scheme! Run away!

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Very cheap (free), highly educated childcare providers, maids, and sex slaves were what men are after in a traditional marriage. Offering to pay a little for the first part of the triad does not make you a feminist.

      Though, to be fair, government subsidy can go a fair way towards providing a decent salary for child care workers while keeping the costs to the individual relatively low. A Waldkiga (woods kindergarten) near me is something like 600 Euro a semester, with something like 3 providers for 10-15 children. Needless to say, there is a huge government subsidy component. I’m happy to have my tax money spent that way.

    • tariqata

      If we’re talking ‘cheap’ on an individual level because high quality child care is seen as a community good and subsidized through taxes to ensure that the child care workers are appropriately paid and no one has to decide whether they can afford to work, I admit I’m on board with this part of the post.

      • guest

        Sure, me too, but I live in the real world. If I “expect” this, I’ll be left high and dry – or else exploiting an undocumented worker.

        • tariqata

          No argument there.

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      Also the majority of childcare workers are women, and they don’t make very much even with the current astronomical prices for childcare. What kind of feminism is this?!

      • guest

        Yup. I have a nanny for my two, and she costs only slightly more than daycare for two in this city. This makes no sense. (I wish I could pay her more – I treat her the best I can, but I could really use some government subsidized daycare over here).

  • guest

    I can understand why NCBs are so gung-ho about breastfeeding – we were all misled into thinking it provided proven health benefits. I don’t get the insistence of baby-wearing, though. There aren’t “hundreds” of studies purporting to show that worn babies have higher IQs, fewer illnesses, etc., etc., so what’s the big deal to them if someone doesn’t wear their baby all the time? Is it a rule that to be a crunch Mama, you can’t have a bad back?

    Although I know some people manage it, I could never wear both of my twins. I did think at first that wearing would be helpful in dealing with two infants at once, but it just didn’t work out for me. One in a front wrap and one in the stroller made me very fearful anytime we had to navigate stairs – I thought the worn baby might fall out, or that I would crush/bump its head while doing whatever with the other baby. And then my colicky son just freaking HATED being worn. When he was a few weeks old I put him in a Moby and he squirmed and cried and fought against the fabric until I relented and took him out.

    So, you know, baby wear if that works for you, because I can totally see how it would. But there are no magic benefits to doing it, and now downsides to using a nice stroller to make life easier when it does so.

    • AA

      Because if you do the hokey pokey enough, you will produce the perfect Child, the perfect Mother, and the perfect Bonding Experience

      • guest

        I can’t imagine trying to do the Hokey Pokey while wearing twins. It would be more like Ring-Around-the-Rosey – we’d all fall down.

    • Tiffany Aching

      An (obnoxious) woman I know once explained to me that “studies have shown that babywearing makes children more confident. It’s a scientific fact”. To which I replied “wow, this study must be flawlessly designed”. The sad thing is, she’s a journalist at a big news agency and doesn’t have the common sense to realize that this can only be bullshit.

      • Kelly

        No one told my first overly confident child .

      • guest

        But what if you wear your baby TOO much and they surpass confident and become arrogant?

  • Sarah

    Actually, we may have misjudged Pamela here.

    On re-reading, I notice she addresses her comments to those who ‘want to spend 10 months carrying a fetus to a live birth’. That presumably means that those of us who want to do no such thing, who would opt for induction or section well before the magic 43 week mark, are excused?

    • Valerie

      “You want to spend 10 months carrying a fetus to a live birth… ”

      And it’s not a fetus until 9 weeks after conception, so carrying a fetus for 10 months is quite extreme, indeed.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Oh, hmm, yes. Ouch!

      • Sarah

        Snort. So using the British system, ie where you’re 2 weeks pregnant as soon as you DTD, that’s taking us potentially to what, a 54 week pregnancy? THE CRUNCHIEST.

        • MichelleJo

          The British way? That would mean that a full term pregnancy in Britain would be 42 weeks, but it’s not, it’s 40 weeks. And that way of calculating pregnancy is not exclusive to Britain; it’s the same here in Israel. I thought it was an international standard; pregnancy is counted from the LMP.

          • Sarah

            I don’t know where else it’s used, but pregnancy is indeed calculated from the LMP in the UK, and full term is considered to be anything from 37 weeks from first day of LMP to 42 weeks.

          • guest

            That’s also how it’s calculated in the US. I found this hilarious when doing IVF so that everyone *knew* when conception occurred without ANY doubt, but we still had to add those extra two weeks in the beginning on.

          • Lilly de Lure

            Ah yes – I’m still getting that from sonographers and people who refuse to believe that I can be so sure to the day how old my baby is. Do they think I get egg retrievals so often I get bored or something? 🙂

          • demodocus

            I had an argument with someone in my ob’s office who gave me a due date (based on size) that was a week after my working one. Seriously, lady, I may be fuzzy on the exact dates, but I do know that they implanted a hatching blastocyst and an expanded-about-to-hatch one at 3 weeks since the start of my last period.
            Kid’s still reading large for gestational age; my ob wants me to have weekly ultrasounds starting next week.

    • MichelleJo

      There is nothing more classic than the fact that pregnancy is nine months long. Who came up with the revised figure of 10 months? Forty weeks, taking into account that all women get to two weeks pregnant every month, actually works out to 8.7 solar months, and spot on 9 solar months.

      • MichelleJo

        Correction; 8.7 solar months and spot on 9 lunar months.

  • demodocus

    My size F boobs and obesity made baby carriers/wraps awkward and uncomfortable. Damn wrap barely went around me enough to tie and the kid hated it. Dem was terrified that he’d drop the kid with the wrap, but he did use the carrier until kiddo was too heavy.
    Damn boobs never shrank back to my old DD after weaning. They’re past G now with kid #2.

    • Bombshellrisa

      It’s like they assume every woman’s body is exactly alike and is perfectly able to wear a baby.

      • demodocus

        Didn’t you hear? Us imperfect specimens should just die for the good of the species or something.

        • Sarah

          Bad SPD rendering you unable to lift properly for months afterwards is also apparently not a thing. Or maybe it is but it means I’m actually a bloke.

      • AirPlant

        Aren’t back problems a complication of pregnancy? I feel like that is an argument against universal babywearing just by itself.

      • guest

        If you have back or knee pain, you probably shouldn’t breed and pass down your inferior genes, I guess.

        • Elisabetta Aurora

          Yoga, chiropractors, and mysterious tonics! Also, ingesting nothing but organic produce and kombucha will cure everything! Or else, you have no one to blame but yourself. Ahem.

          And you can always squirt a little of your own breast milk onto any aches and pains.

          • guest

            Yoga is about the only thing left that I can do, as far as exercise goes. But it doesn’t cure my conditions.

    • Phoenix Fourleaf

      Baby carriers are a way to get a kid from point A to point B, not a damn religion. It works for you or it doesn’t. It is just another option, not a tool for bludgeoning other mothers with.

      • demodocus

        ‘Xactly. The carrier early on and the tether now are great for my husband. He needs a cane to navigate and unless he’s dragging the stroller backwards and one handed, it’s just a pain for him to use and “see” where he’s going. I prefer combining the stroller and tether, so kiddo can walk a bit and I don’t have to carry him far.

  • Cartman36

    Who the hell does Pamela think she is to tell other women what they need to do. She needs to mind her own business…. PERIOD!

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    You should be expected to breastfeed to at least 2 years, you should be expected to baby wear – PERIOD.

    If your feminism leads you to demand that other women* raise their children in a certain way, regardless of their own judgement, desires, and circumstances, it is not feminism.

    Also, if it’s the 40 week incubation that makes it necessary for women to baby wear and breast feed, how about we get to work on those artificial uteruses** and eliminate this argument.

    *And others who have uteruses and choose to use them to produce children.
    **It’s not really that hard a technical problem, just no one’s followed through with it.

    • guest

      You know, an artificial uterus could be really cool, especially if you could make them so parents could see inside them while the fetus grows.

      • Mrs.Katt the Cat

        True gender equality, men gestating babies and getting c-sections. 😉

        There was an episode of Sliders that had one of the male characters carrying his wife’s baby after she had a medical emergency- they just moved the baby over to him to save it. I thought it was brilliant,.

        • guest

          I suppose one problem would be if the parent wanted to breastfeed – milk production is still triggered by birth. We’d have to solve that problem, too, for this to be useful in more than just medical need/FF from th start situations.

          • Mrs.Katt the Cat

            Hormones maybe? Prolactin i believe it is called, starts milk production.

          • Sarah

            Men occasionally lactate.

          • LibrarianSarah

            And trans men can carry babies if they don’t get a hysterectomy and are not on hormones.

          • guest

            Yes, but not reliably so far. I think it’s a solution we could develop, though.

          • AirPlant

            You see, I am just imagining the stalwart pro-life types having to put their money where their mouth is and gestate those snowflake babies themselves, so I feel more than comfortable recommending power pumping from a year on or so…

          • Nor

            You could totally induce it with a number of different medications, plus manipulation to encourage it. Sympathetic pregnancy in men is at least in part psychological (more so than physical? Does anyone know?) and could be encouraged by a training program I’m sure.

          • FormerPhysicist

            Really? I was lactating way before my first birth. By about month 7 I really needed to never squeeze my nipples.

          • guest

            Most women lactate a little long before birth, but not typically in the first trimester. And many women who give birth prematurely have trouble with milk supply. If you did IVF and put the embryo into our hypothetical incubator, the woman’s body would never get any signal to begin lactation. It would have to be stimulated artificially somehow (if s/he wants to lacate), and as far as I know we can’t yet do that effectively. I mean, why else are women taking Domperidone illegally and drinking nasty teas to get their supply up?

          • FormerPhysicist

            Ok. I thought you meant triggered by birth, not pregnancy. I was lactating before full-term, and never did have a vaginal birth.

          • guest

            Well, it’s a little of both. Pregnancy triggers changes in the breast, but separation of the placenta signals the milk to come in. If you were fully lactating before giving birth, you were highly unusual. I was producing colostrum for months before my c-section, and for a week after in increasing amounts, but 7-8 days postpartum I woke up and truly understood what was meant by “milk coming in.” You’d see a lot more cases of mastitis in pregnant women if this happened before they had a baby.

          • Nor

            Men can breastfeed. Women don’t have to be/have been pregnant to produce milk either. It just takes some luck and determination…

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          That could work, actually. It’s possible for the placenta to implant on the intestinal lining and the fetus to grow there. Happens extremely rarely, but if it does, a c-section can result in a healthy mother and baby. Men have intestinal linings. I’ve yet to convince one that he wanted me to try implanting an embryo there, though.

          • Mrs.Katt the Cat

            There is a poop joke in there somewhere 😉

            Could a baby be ‘started’ on a piece of appropriate tissue, then be grafted into a surrogate, placenta and all?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Yeah. That’s how IVF works. Though it has to be transferred very early on. Not sure how letting it go long enough to have a distinct placenta would work, since the placenta’s a fusion organ, part maternal, part fetal. But there are plenty of “snowflake babies” frozen away in fertility clinics that could be implanted in a male volunteer…if we had a male volunteer.

          • Mrs.Katt the Cat

            Maybe a male to female trans? I actually know one who wants to experience pregnancy, as it is such a “defining characteristic ” of womanhood.
            Now all we need isva Dr and a snowflake

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            It wouldn’t actually be a man getting pregnant, but it would be a test. Though the first thing we need is funding and I’m not sure how that proposal would go over in the current funding milieu. Any of the OBs on the board know of any relevant grants?

          • Nor

            You’re going to need a rich crazy dude w/ a private medical team wiling to risk killing him. Bleedouts a problem. Won’t get past an ethics board.

          • Nor

            Not only that but if you could make the guy make an egg… You can make “sperm” out of bone marrow so it seems possible someone will even the score at some point.

      • Elisabetta Aurora

        I have always thought so. I would like a crock pot style with a glass lid. And maybe an app for my phone that tells me how baby is doing wherever I’m at.

        • guest

          Right? Like those cameras they put in endangered birds’ nests to people can watch the chicks without disturbing them?

          • Nor

            Eggs are actually a good model. Hm.

        • MichelleJo

          We can start a human in a lab, and keep it alive if it is born a few months too early, but we haven’t found a way to replicate our bodies in between the two. As an HG sufferer from 5-20 weeks, that’s the bit I wish we had!

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            There was an effort a while back, which, IIRC, tried to gestate goat fetuses in, basically, bottles. The goats wiggled and cracked the containers so that was a failure. They then sedated the goat fetuses and they came out too weak to live. Oops. They were then going to try a soft sided container when they ran out of money. But I could have some/all of this wrong.

          • MichelleJo

            The type and size of container sound like one of the minor issues in the experiment. The fact that they got them to gestate is huge though. It was just dumped because of a container issue?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I think they ran out of funding and couldn’t convince anyone to give them more. Not entirely sure though.

          • Nor

            THere’s a lot of chemical talk between fetus and female human host (mom) that is important in development, so it’s unlikely a jar would work. Luckily we are closely genetically related enough to both men and other large mammals that we might be able to use them. Margaret Atwood’s pigoons would be ideal, you could pop out a half dozen infants and enjoy a BLT at the same time!

      • LaMont

        I know I’m super late to the game on this but last year I read the Vorkosigan Saga which had uterine replicators as its main sci-fi element (besides the space travel but I feel like that goes without saying) and it is quite a cool story! I know tons of people hereabouts have read it but here’s yet another rec to anyone who hasn’t!! Lois McMaster Bujold seems to have de-romanticizing pregnancy as the main goal of her work and it’s amazing. Almost like a woman can be pregnant (or otherwise about to become a mother) and still a person capable of thought and a life besides!

        • Elizabeth A

          Cordelia Vorkosigan’s reproductive options are so very enviable. (Except for the 43-year hiatus due to assassination risk.)

          There, by the way, is an astoundingly powerful and astoundingly maternal woman who can’t ever have had the slightest quibble regarding formula, but take a look at the generation she helped raise on Barrayar and *goddamn* does she get to declare parental victory.

          • LaMont

            Charting how progress hits Barrayar in waves/generations gives me such feels. But Cordelia was spot on when she said the war for cutting edge women’s health and women’s rights won’t be between men and women, it’ll be between older women who want better for their daughters and older women who don’t.

        • Elizabeth A

          And in case it’s not clear, I would be here with bells on for the extended discussion of reproductive tech and options in the work of Lois McMaster Bujold.

          (Warrior’s Apprentice was handed to me by about six guys in college. I was supposed to read it to understand them better. Except that I read it in junior high, and kind of wanted to fling Barrayar – book not planet – at them to make *them* understand *me* better. And then Bujold published Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen this year, and it was like a personal gift to the fans who were more into the bio side than the military side all along.)

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I’d’ve flung the planet at more than one guy in college if I could have.

            At one point, one of the younger generation female characters in the story asks Mark (the main character’s galactic clone brother…it’s a long story if you haven’t read the books) what he thinks about uterine replicators and whether using one meant that a woman didn’t love the man she was reproducing with. Mark, having grown up with entirely different assumptions, thinks that completing a pregnancy is a ridiculous thing for a man to ask of a woman. He has bodily autonomy issues and enough insight to be horrified at the idea of someone being forced or coerced into a pregnancy. But it does give an interesting insight in passing into what the debate must have been like on the ground, so to speak.

          • Elizabeth A

            They deserved it. (The guys we all wanted to fling things at.)

          • LaMont

            Perhaps not as violently as a book or planet-throwing, but I seriously believe anyone who wants to make laws about sex education and reproductive choice needs to read Barrayar, period. Though the whole “bad shit happens when a whole planet lacks sex ed” conversation between Drou and Kou would probably seen as a GOOD thing by those sickos. I was a bit on the fence about if I’d be an adopter of the replicator tech myself, but ever since a Facebook friend of mine lost twins to complications of prematurity I’ve been really sad that this won’t be up and running by the time I have kids, and devastated that it wasn’t there yet for my friend…

          • Mishimoo

            This is why my brother probably won’t reproduce. He doesn’t think it’s fair to ask someone to take that kind of risk and we don’t have uterine replicators yet or gene-tweaking to prevent inheritance of his severe eczema.

          • LaMont

            Well besides the “asking someone to take on the risk” side, it is technically possible (though with cultural programming, perhaps problematic) for a woman to consent to taking on the risk, rather than have it forced onto her. This is my *one* issue with the discussion the Vorkosigan Saga – we go from “eh, 25% of women on Beta (the most advanced world!) bear their own children, it’s got risks but not big risks here in the space future, you do you” to “Only women who are forced would do this!” which seems a smidge inconsistent. (Also, just me, or is the Barrayaran issue of women, particularly widows and divorcees, *not having custody of their children* more pressing?? Come on, Cordelia!)

          • Mishimoo

            Oh, thank goodness – that bugged me about the Vorkosigan Saga too. It is still such a brilliant read though.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I’d always assumed that Beta had a strong altie movement that kept things like natural pregnancies culturally alive. There certainly are described cultures where it simply never happens in the Vorkosigan universe. Athos, for example.

          • Irène Delse

            I haven’t read the more recent book. But my impression is that the author didn’t think through the social implications of the incubator technology when she wrote her first volumes.

          • LaMont

            Elizabeth A, Nym, What’s Standard Operating Procedure for taking things offline to a private-message type thing? Because I too shall bring my bells to this conversation 🙂 (To be honest, I didn’t mind the military stuff because the women’s rights theme never felt too far behind, especially in Warrior’s Apprentice, Komarr/A Civil Campaign, and even shades of it in Cetaganda and Mirror Dance. I felt like a traitor to my girl Cordelia when I found myself missing Miles a bit in GJRQ, though I still *adored* it overall.)

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Not sure, especially since I’m shy about putting an email address out on the open web, even with the spaces in to confuse the bots. Though I’m open to ideas, including using an email that I’ve trashed anyway.

            I just want to add, at least, before this gets completely buried: I love the bit about Cetaganda: A very traditional society where the men go out and conquer worlds (literally) and the women stay home and make babies. One gene at a time. Now that’s using your “motherly instincts” to good effect!

          • LaMont

            Nym, Mishimoo, Elizabeth A, Irene (and anyone else!) – if you want to hit me up and continue the Vorkosigan/LMB chat outside this thread, I set up a “LaMont” account on Telegram, a chat app where you can find people by username rather than actual phone number. Hit me up there and I’ll try to get a VorGroup going!

    • Tobias B. Santa

      Breastfeeding is great, I’m all for breast feeding if that’s what YOU want to do BUT it’s seriously not ok to force your expectations and rhetoric onto someone else (as Pamela does). What if someone can’t breast feed or doesn’t produce enough milk? Is Pamela suggesting that the baby should just starve to death (as it would in nature)?

      *sigh*

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        You do know the bit in italics is a quote, right? I enjoyed breast feeding and was able to do it successfully. I have zero opinion on how other women should feed their babies. Okay, no Mountain Dew or vodka in the bottle, but other than that, not my decision.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          No vodka?! Damnit, there goes my plan for when Baby Books the Second starts teething!

          • Charybdis

            Mix the formula with vodka and Kahlua and you have a Baby White Russian!

            I am joking. Really.

          • Megan

            The “Teething Russian?”

          • guest

            I like it.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I’m intrigued that 7 comments objected to the vodka restriction but no one objected to the Mountain Dew restriction. People here fantasize more about a sedated baby than a hyper one?

          • Charybdis

            Oh dear God, yes. Sedate them, make them sleepy, reduce grouchiness, you bet. Rev them up? Ummm…no. Thank you, though. 😛

          • demodocus

            mine are quite hyper enough, thank you! Even the one who’s currently kicking my internal organs.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I like the way you think!

          • Mac Sherbert

            There actually is case of mother doing that. Apparently, alcoholic dad hid the vodka in water bottles and the mom used one to mix the formula.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            *groans dismally* 🙁

        • Tobias B. Santa

          I meant to post it on its own, not a reply. Sorry about that.

  • Mel

    Pamela realizes that some babies are adopted, right? Is she suggesting that birth mothers should be mandated to breastfeed their infant until age two and then give the kid up for adoption? Or are adoptive moms supposed to buy breast milk online? (shudders at that thought)

    Pamela realizes that some babies are premature, right? I spent my first two weeks in an isolette without being held. I’m glad I was; I’m still alive. Not being strapped to my mom from birth has not affected our bonding or my interactions with other humans.

    • demodocus

      or mothers may need a medication that is bad for babies, like my sister’s chemo

    • AirPlant

      You have heard the kangaroo care craziness right? The party line currently is to reject the NICU isolette and just do 24/7 skin to skin. Because that is super safe and sustainable.

      • Amy M

        Wow, really? Is it totally fringe, or is that catching on? That’s insane. Although it does go along with “some babies just weren’t meant to live.” I mean, those isolettes are super-unnatural.

        • AirPlant

          I think it is the same level as the types who say that if they had primary lactation failure they would never ever ever give their baby formula. In most cases it is never put to the test, it is just used as a stick to beat up other mothers.

      • guest

        Kangaroo care isn’t all crazy, though. NICUs support it – but it’s done IN the NICU with the baby still attached to all the things it needs, and for limited times. But as far as I can tell, there is legit science showing that when done this way, preemies have better outcomes.

        • Amy M

          I think AirPlant means a few women are opposed to any NICU care, and would only accept kangaroo care. Most of us would do both–kangaroo care in the NICU.

          • guest

            Well, my NICU didn’t even allow for kangaroo care. But don’t let me get started on that.

          • Amy M

            Oh, I thought it was standard. 🙂 I think they did it at the NICU where my boys were born–we were VERY lucky and they didn’t need to go to NICU. However, they did spend a lot of time in the regular nursery, swaddled–so not skin-to-skin with me or their dad.

          • guest

            I don’t know what was up with my NICU. It was a level II, and they seemed on the ball in some ways, but not in others. For instance, they separated my twins into two different bays in the NICU, on alternate day/night lighting schedules. I’m guessing this had to do with nurse staffing, but it was kind of cruel to me as a parent who had to choose which baby to spend time with each visit (because of my surgery, moving back and forth wasn’t easy).

          • AirPlant

            Yes! I really have nothing against kangaroo care if the infant is strong enough. I am a super snuggly person and I think it would just be the hardest thing to not be able to touch my baby. I just don’t like the idea of rejecting medical care on principal because skin to skin will fix it. For one mom has to sleep sometime and skin to skin with a premature infant is not an example of safe cosleeping. I tried to specify 24/7, but I could be having an off day 🙂

      • Elizabeth A

        As the parent of a NICU graduate, this kind of talk about kangaroo care makes me want to SCREAM.

        Skin to skin is good for preemies ONCE THEY ARE STABLE. We did not hold our daughter for the first few days of her life because doing so would have disturbed the oxygen tubing, the bili lights, and the assorted other mechanisms keeping her alive. SHE NEEDED TO BE STABLE. Further, the isolette was an incredibly valuable tool for letting me leave the hospital, care for my underfoot toddler, and SLEEP. Which I needed, to recover from the hemorrhage and the surgery. (In fact, for the first few days of my daughter’s life, I had a distressing tendency to go from feeling fine to unable to remain upright in the space of about five minutes.)

        When DD was born, she could not coordinate suck/swallow/breathe well enough to nurse. She could barely coordinate breathe at all – she needed three doses of lung surfactant to get through her first 24 hours. She needed CPAP and blow-by oxygen, and treatment for jaundice. She got all of those things. And sometimes the lovely NICU nurses sent me outside, so that my seasonal and PPD issues would not make me straight up crazy.

        DD is six and a half. She is writing a book entitled “How 2 Unnoi Ur Mothr”, planning to marry a friend from school, and learning to swim well enough to make her big brother worry she’s catching up to him. Obviously, we need to work on her spelling (as well as her tendency to discharge Nerf firearms in the house), but I do not believe we could improve on the NICU’s results.

    • Beth

      I’m sure she expects adoptive mothers to take herbs and things to unsafely induce lactation, and if that fails, to buy some breastmilk online. Because you sharing unscreened body fluids with random strangers is an EXCELLENT idea and not at all a public health concern.

      • Sarah

        I believe there’s a few kilos of it going spare at Heathrow as we speak…

  • Angela

    A pregnancy is not 10 months! 40 weeks does not equal 10 months, this always annoys me.

    • demodocus

      i know! Since when do Westerners operate on a lunar calendar?

      • demodocus

        it’s been 7 1/2 months since my last cycle, aka 32 weeks + 3days. i am not 8 months pregnant

    • AirPlant

      That and you weren’t even actually knocked up for the first two weeks. I feel like it is just another part of the whole martyrship competition that is motherhood these days.
      .
      That said though, the last two weeks do feel like two months so I try to keep quiet about calendar dates 🙂

    • Valerie

      Thank you! By that logic, there are 13 months in a year. I hope nobody ever actually lets a pregnancy continue for 10 calendar months.

      • Sarah

        You hope forlornly, I’m afraid. Google it!

        • AirPlant

          I actually have an unsubstantiated mini-theory that the sudden insistence that pregnancy is ten months is due to the internet stuntbirth “10 month mamas”. Like the women who just carry to term suddenly felt left out and had to insist that they also carried that long.

          • Sarah

            That and people who can’t count.

    • AJBW

      I’m a math teacher and this misunderstanding makes me CRAZY!

      • Kelly

        I somehow got on the subject with my students and pulled up a calendar to explain it to them.

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      “Always” annoys you? So you’ve heard this before? I’m surprised!

      • Angela

        I have, many times.

  • Nick Sanders

    you should be expected to baby wear – PERIOD.

    I honestly do not understand baby wearing, let alone the obsession with it.

    • Marie

      Me either. It’s convenient sometimes when baby wants to be held and I need my hands free, but other than that I don’t get the obsession.

    • Angela

      I used a baby carrier for shopping and in place of a stroller at times when the baby is really small. I never understood the whole wearing baby around the house while you clean, etc. I tried it a few times, it just didn’t work for me.

      I REALLY don’t get “wearing” toddlers, at least on a regular basis. Just not for me.

      However, if it works for others, fine. Everyone’s different. That’s what real feminism is, you can make a choice, you don’t force your views on others.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Same here. The most I used the carrier was when we went on a vacation that involved a lot of hiking. The combination of travel (easier to haul a rolling suitcase while wearing the toddler than to involve a stroller) plus the stroller-inaccessible trails made using the carrier the obvious choice then, but the rest of the time, count me in the die-hard stroller camp! A bonus was that hauling nearly 30 pounds of toddler around all the time meant that I lost several pounds on that trip…woot!

      • Nor

        You know I honestly wonder if the whole baby wearing and breastfeeding forever group is really more about staying thin. Know a lady who breastfed until the kid was 6 because she loved what it did for her waistline. She’d have kept going but the kid wasn’t up for it. Carrying toddlers around would give you six pack abs pronto.

        • Angela

          I actually joked around once that I wanted to breastfeed until college age because it helped me lose weight. I’m currently nursing my 1.5 year old. As they get older and drink less milk it has less impact on your weight (at least, that’s my experience).

    • MI Dawn

      And many societies *didn’t* wear their children while working. The babies were down on the ground, in the dirt, being watched by an older sibling.

      Baby wearing is fine – if you like it, the baby likes it (one of mine hated it), and it works for you.

      • Bombshellrisa

        My grandfather told me that, in their case, the older siblings who were expected to watch the younger ones devised a great plan: dug a hole wide and deep enough to put the younger ones in so they couldn’t escape. Turns out if you were old enough to watch another kid, you also were expected to work too and this was their solution. He laughed when he told me about it. He said one of the first baby gifts he got my parents when they had me was a playpen : )

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          See, I think that shows initiative, resourcefulness, and a definite aptitude for problem-solving. 😀

          • Bombshellrisa

            It was so funny when he was telling us about it, he was proud he and his other siblings worked out a solution.

      • critter8875

        I grew up on and around small farms. I recall everybody over 12 working into the night to get the hay in before rain. Kids were set on a blanket with older ones keeping an eye on the younger.

      • Nor

        Or in a baby cage/basket. Also useful for keeping poultry, when the kids weren’t using it.

    • Lilly de Lure

      I’m epileptic and so cannot baby wear without putting the infant at serious risk should I have a seizure. Should I get sterilised now according to this woman’s twisted definition of “feminism” (oh wait, I’m 14 weeks pregnant – I guess I should just self-flagelate as a horrible failure as a mother before I’ve even started)?

      • Sarah

        No need for any flagellation, as you don’t exist. Disability and long term health conditions are Not Things.

      • guest

        Did you see that recent video of the mother who had a seizure in a gas station store and the clerk reached across the counter to take the baby just before she fell?

    • Cartman36

      I don’t either. My son loved her stroller and hated the carrier thing. Plus I found it awkward and heavy.

      Edit… It should read his not hers

    • Amy M

      Yeah, I mean take a trip to the zoo. If you take a stroller, yes, you have a stroller to manage, but you have a place for a tired toddler, a place to put hte diaper bag, and you can walk pretty fast pushing something on wheels. If you “wear” the toddler, you are hauling that weight around all day, or maybe only once the toddler gets tired, at which point, you are tired. You are also carrying the diaper bag. Burdened with a toddler and bag, you can’t walk nearly as fast. Forget running if the rhino escapes.

      • AirPlant

        Or in my experience it isn’t the walking that gets you. Its that fact that toddlers are unable to make up their damn minds and you are stuck lifting the toddler up. Then Down. Then Up. Then Down. Forever. Plus the whining in between.
        .
        Team stroller.

        • Bombshellrisa

          You are describing my day (team stroller here too)

          • AirPlant

            I have a friend with two toddlers at the moment (2/4) and bless her heart, she double carries and up/downs them as often as they ask. She is some kind of emotionally balanced stepford saint because I legit do not have that level of patience inside of me. I have one single umbrella stroller and my rule is that you get to stay in as long as you want but once you get up it is fair game for the next kid in line and even that wears on my nerves.

        • guest

          Yeah, and now imagine doing that with twins. Which the natural parenting types are insistent is *totally possible and important* to do with twins.

          I haven’t yet seen them insist that triplets+ moms also need to do it, but maybe the parter can wear two while you wear two?

          • Amy M

            I have twins, and decided that using a sling would be stupid. So we had a double-snap n go and when they outgrew that, a double stroller. Sometimes a big pain, but really, the only way to get out and about with both of them.

          • guest

            Yeah, I am a single mother with twins. There was no way I wasn’t going to have a stroller, even if sometimes I wore one. The double snap and go was essential for getting to doctor’s appointments, etc., where we had to take a taxi and therefore needed car seats…and then something to do with the car seats when we arrived.

            My kids are 3 now and we still use strollers, because we don’t have a car. Without the stroller, we could never venture very far from home, because all it takes is one kid to refuse to walk…

          • Beth

            it’s probably not much of a problem since triplets aren’t that likely to survive their unassisted home births.

          • guest

            Oh, right – I forgot. Triplets are not a variation of natural. (Except, of course, they are.)

      • momofone

        But if you really love your baby, you won’t need a diaper bag, because you’ll be so in tune with his/her body rhythms, you’ll just do elimination communication. And of course you would never need to put them in a stroller–away from you!–because think of all the bonding opportunities you would miss that way. I mean seriously, if you don’t want to bond, you just shouldn’t have them in the first place, right?!

        • critter8875

          Who invented “bonding”?

          • guest

            Whoever invented glue?

        • Nor

          Traditional elimination communication involves the use of sound cues to stim the baby to void when it might otherwise not want or need to (as you would w/ a dog), and the use of pain to punish mistakes (pinching usually). If not practiced this way of course it is difficult to get sufficient compliance for it to be a real world option. Additionally babies are usually taught to never cry using the pain as punishment method (not sure how that works at the start honestly but I’ve seen it in practice once trained and it’s highly effective). Odd the natural child peeps aren’t promoting these methods…

      • Commander30

        Do the baby-wearers actually carry the “wear everywhere” mantra until toddlerhood? That just boggles my mind. I can’t imagine carrying my daughter around everywhere at how big she is now, and she’s only nine months old! Granted, she’s in size 12 month clothes, but still, the thought just makes my body ache! Obviously I hold her and carry her some distances (stairs and such), but if it’s anything substantial, the stroller is coming with us.

        • tariqata

          Can’t speak for all baby-wearers of course, but I went to a local baby-wearing meet up this weekend to try out some different carriers and use their lending library, and everyone I spoke to, including the group admins who are obviously very into the whole thing, was in the ‘do what works’ camp. Yes, they wear their toddlers, but use strollers when it works (and for people with a couple of young children, wearing the smaller one while pushing a stroller for the bigger one seemed like a good compromise). I was a bit concerned that it would be a judgy group, but I was pleasantly surprised.

          I don’t carry my son everywhere – I use our stroller if I’m carrying a lot of stuff – but I like to have a carrier with me because my son seems to enjoy looking around from higher up, and if I’m taking public transit anywhere, using a carrier is way more convenient than lugging a stroller on the subway. Also much easier for grocery shopping. And I do carry him around the house a lot because he’s pretty chill hanging out on my back while I do things like make lunch, and much less happy if I set him down to do something else.

          • Megan

            I do a lot of the same. Using a carrier of some sort is the only way I can do any shopping with two small children alone. Youngest goes in sling and oldest in the cart. I love my double stroller for trail walks, which we do 3-4 times a week at least. And I do enjoy wearing baby to snuggle. Choice is a wonderful thing and I think I’m still a #shitmom, right? I really want the Tshirt.

          • Commander30

            I only have the one child*, but I can totally see how helpful a carrier would be with more than one. It’s nice to have so many options to make our lives as parents easier!

            *I do have the stepson as well, but he’s ten, so obviously he’s far past the age where he can’t be expected to walk the same amount that we do. 😉

          • Kelly

            What? In order to bond you must wear them until they are in high school…

          • Commander30

            Oh, don’t me wrong, I have nothing against babywearing and can see how it’s a great option for some. We put my daughter in a carrier occasionally when she was younger (my husband actually used it more than I did) and it she seemed to like it okay. And obviously I know most people who use wraps and slings aren’t judgey about it. I just don’t get why slings vs. strollers has become (to a vocal minority) one of the parenting wars. Like someone else said above, I can almost understand why breastfeeding vs formula is one because of all of the supposed health benefits, but how you move your baby from point A to point B is just such a small and unimportant thing to judge other parents over. I don’t know how many people are like the woman who left her scathing comment on Dr. Amy’s facebook post who believe that mothers should be EXPECTED to wear their babies… but honestly, even if it’s just her, that’s still too many.

          • Nor

            I’m pretty sure the judgy people are the ones who didn’t actually wear their babies as much as they’d apparently like other people to. Like the lady I saw at 11:30PM with a “Breast is best” bumpersticker feeding her babies chewed up Big Macs while they were watching cartoons in the back of her SUV. I bet she’s just rabid about it. And probably a zero screen time mom too.

        • Puffin

          I wore my kids (I just find strollers annoying and bulky, personally, and never had one. Don’t give a flip what other families do) until they could walk fairly well – around 16-18 months – at which point I expected them to walk the vast majority of the time with occasional carrying. By age 2, I wouldn’t carry them unless we were out on a day event and even then it was usually on my shoulders, not in a sling.

        • MI Dawn

          I used the sling well into toddlerhood. Mainly because I could use it to put the toddler on my hip and still have my hands free. She was up high so she could see and was happy, but more contained so she couldn’t reach *everything* in sight…just some things.

          Was also wonderful when pregnant with #2 and #1 wanted to be carried. Again, I could put her on my hip and use the cross-body of the sling to help distribute the weight and take the burden off my arms. Husband did the same.

          Strollers were great and used also. But for some things (like the flea markets), the sling was better.

        • Kelly

          I used the Ergo with my two year old on my back when she is a bad mood. When she is tired, she goes crazy and turns into a runner. It is rare though because I normally use it for my infant now.

        • Mishimoo

          I wore mine until they started hurting my shoulders (9kg), by which time they were happy to sit in their strollers and look at the world instead of napping while I shopped or exercised.

    • Megan

      OK, I know it’s tempting to rag on everything dear “sweet” Pamela promotes above, because she is clearly despicable, but seriously, baby wearing is not a big deal and in my opinion not worth judging one way or another. There are plenty of us who regularly comment on this forum who enjoy wearing our babies and that doesn’t make us anything like Pamela. There’s no need for bashing “baby wearers” just because AP people take it to extremes.

      I love my ring slings. I love my wraps. I love my backpack carrier. I love my strollers (yes, plural). I use all of them depending on the situation.

      I guess that makes me Team “whatever the hell works at the moment.” 🙂

      • Nick Sanders

        I’m not ragging on it; I just don’t understand it. If it works for you, that’s great, but why are some people pushing it like it’s the difference between Ivy League and flipping burgers?

        • Megan

          I don’t know why people act like it’s the end all be all either. And sorry, I should’ve clarified, my comments weren’t really directed so much at just you, more at the entire slew of comments below as a whole, basically making fun of anyone who happens to enjoy wearing their baby or think it helps them get stuff done. I thought the whole point of feminism was choice. I was just saying that while I think it’s understandable to criticize Pamela (because she’s obviously a judgmental twit), we don’t need to let that morph into criticizing entire parenting preferences just because they aren’t what we do.

    • Mac Sherbert

      I have no clue. I attempted it. My baby hated it. I mean HATED IT! She’s still a free spirit to this day, but it’s hard to contain one that ran at eight months. (Yes, documented by the pediatrician who kept putting her down to watch her run.)

      It irks me that their solution to every problem is to baby wear and if you don’t then you are just stupid or something.

  • AirPlant

    So if your baby hates being worn, is it still a requirement?

    • MI Dawn

      Yes. Who cares what the baby wants. It’s all about how SUPERMOM sees it should be done. Baby, schmabe.

    • namaste863

      Of course! How else is she supposed to know she’s Better Than You?

    • Cartman36

      Of course, neither baby or mother’s comfort or preference matter to Pamela

    • Gatita

      Yes! My son hated the sling. Gimme a break with this crap.

  • Sarah

    Pamela dear, if the formula is like sludge, you’re making it wrong.

    Also, I’m pretty certain your breastmilk is full of chemicals, at least I hope it is. Your offspring aren’t going to get very far if it’s not…

    • MaryMary

      Yeah, I bet Pamela’s breastmilk is FULL of dihydrogen monoxide.

      • Rachele Willoughby

        And lactose! Who needs that much sugar!

        • Phoenix Fourleaf

          Corn syrup! Ooga booga!

    • Tobias B. Santa

      It cracks me up when people get all sanctimonious about chemicals.

      Literally everything is a chemical.

      That free range egg you cooked this morning? Made of chemicals and in fact, the cooking, causes a chemical reaction. CRAZY!

    • Sarah

      I’m the one arguing that point. By ‘arguing,’ I mean ‘talking to a brick wall,’ of course.

      I very much liked my “so plant fiber is sludge?” jab.