Dr. Jack Newman, how dare you?

51933713 - vicious word on keyboard button

To Dr. Jack Newman, pediatrician and professional lactivist:

Dr. Newman,

How dare you?

I just read your execrable piece on Huffington Post and I’m angry. The title is Do Mothers Really Have The Choice To Breastfeed? but it’s the subtitle that’s the greatest outrage: “Breastfeeding is not just about breast milk. It is a relationship.”

How dare you imply that a woman who breastfeeds has better relationship with her baby than a woman who bottle feeds?

How dare you imply that a woman who breastfeeds has a different and better relationship with her baby than a woman who bottle feeds?

When did you ever breastfeed a baby?

For that matter, did you ever mother a child?

What precisely qualifies you to opine on what breastfeeding means to women and babies?

Wait, what? Doctor knows best? Where have I heard that before? Oh, right, from lots of other men telling women just how they ought to use their reproductive organs.

I am a mother of four adult children. From the moment each was born I loved him or her more than life itself and I still do. To this day, I would cut off my right arm to spare any of them pain. I love them for who they are and how I fed them has NOTHING to do with my feelings for them.

How dare you imply that I would love them less had I not breastfed them?

How dare you imply that I would have a different, inferior, relationship with them had I not breastfed them?

Do you think I love my children more than my friends who bottle fed or became mothers through adoption love theirs?

Do you understand just how vicious your statement is or do you simply not care how it impacts women and babies?

Let’s be honest. We’ve read the same research and we both know that the scientific evidence shows that benefits of breastfeeding in first world countries are trivial. We both know that the outlandish claims of lactivists are based on research that is weak, conflicting and riddled with confounders. We both know that breast milk isn’t magic, merely one of two excellent ways to nourish and infant.

But I know what it’s like to breastfeed and you haven’t a clue. That’s why I know that your claim that women who don’t breastfeed haven’t been given the choice to do so is ugly and untrue.

You write:

Often, in fact, mothers do not seem to have the right to breastfeed and are forced, by health professionals, judges and child protective agencies to bottle feed.

Often? Really? I’ve cared for thousands of women and I’ve never seen a single one forced by a health professional, judge or child protective agency to bottle feed against her will. You’ve made an empirical claim; where’s your empirical evidence?

From our experience with many thousands of mothers having come to our breastfeeding clinic during the past 32 years, I can say that in many such cases, with a little good help, the mother could carry on breastfeeding exclusively.

This may come as a shock to you, but women who come to your breastfeeding clinic WANT to breastfeed. They are not in any way representative of women who DON’T want to breastfeed or lack the socio-economic advantages that make breastfeeding easier for privileged women.

You simply ignore those women, a substantial proportion of mothers.

You insult your neonatology colleagues by implying that neonatal hypernatremic dehydration, malnutrition, hypoglycemia, and hyperbilirubinemia either don’t exist or aren’t dangerous even though we all know they can lead to brain damage and death; preventing them is of critical importance.

You treat women as if they are nothing more than cows, reducing them to the milk their breasts might produce, without any regard to their pain, needs and desires … and then you insult them on top of that.

Women have the right to control their own bodies. It is no more your business whether a woman breastfeeds than whether she terminates a pregnancy. She doesn’t have to justify herself to you and you have no way to know what motivates her unless she tells you.

Don’t you dare imply that women who bottle feed are lesser mothers than those who breastfeed. You’ve never breastfed; you’ve never been a mother. You have no idea what you are talking about.

  • Amazed

    OK, I take a leave (kind of) and when I come back, I see people trying AGAIN to make the boob tyrant see sense? For real?

    You’re wasting your time people! Anna Perch is too busy admiring the perks that come with her pair of working boobs to develop things like reading comprehension, respect for others or – God forbid – empathy. The only thing she’s good at is stuffing her boobs in her kid(s) faces and reciting empty words of how things should be in ideal circumstances. I am not going to forget how this piece of nastiness dismissed a PPD sufferer’s account as whining, all the while being busy whining that people here were nasty to her enlightened self.

    It’s hopeless. Don’t give the asshole the attention she craves.

    • corblimeybot

      YEP. I respect anyone who’s able to comport themselves civilly when talking to Anna Perch, because it’s not possible for me. Not after she called Keeper of the Books a whiner for simply describing her own situation, after she was rotten to Erin on a few occasions with no provocation (other than Anna’s own ungenerous soul), and how she dismissed my own breastfeeding-fueled suicide ideation as no big deal, it’s just an ANECDOTE (disregarding that my own doctor knew what was causing the problem, and had seen it before.)

      Like Ouiser would say, she’s a pig from hell.

    • Maud Pie

      Quite right, and I would add to her offenses her packing her posts with insinuations, dog whistles, loaded terminology, and self-congratulations that unmistakably signal her contempt for formula users, and then disingenuously denying that she presented such a message. And blaming us for “stereotyping” lactavists! It’s disturbing that someone could be so persistent in gaslighting and so committed to feigning guilelessness after being repeatedly called out on it. She’s like a kid who gets caught with a chocolate smeared face and still insists, years later, in a tone of moral outrage, “you didn’t see me eat the cake so how dare you blame me!”

  • Anna Perch

    What is the end game here? What is the point in spreading misinformation and creating derision?
    Even if Lactivists are what you say they are (highly questionable), then how is poor behavior on your part a solution of any kind?
    If you think that it is important for parents to make informed decisions about how to feed their children based on accurate information AND you believe that that Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative opposes that idea, then why not review the BFHI policy recommendations and suggest improved policy?
    OTOH, if the game here is to prove that formula is, essentially, equal to breastmilk, then you have chosen a much bigger (impossible) task.
    Still, I ask, if the game is to show that formula is on par with breastmilk, how does deriding Lactivists move your cause in the right direction?
    It seems to me that you represent the qualities that you attribute to Lactivists.
    I challenge each of you to take the high road and respond to this comment with curiosity and empathy rather than belligerence.

    • momofone

      “What is the end game here?”

      I wonder the same thing. What are you hoping to accomplish?

      • Anna Perch

        Actually, I was dared! [But perhaps you should hang around. Many of us like sport here. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.]

        • momofone

          That fits my perception of you. Thirteen or so, reacting vs. acting. And getting huge payoff in stirring the pot.

          • Anna Perch

            I’m guessing you mean preconceived notion.

          • momofone

            No, I said what I mean.

          • Anna Perch

            Obviously, you have not been reading what I’ve typed.

          • momofone

            Perhaps the issue is more that you have not been reading what you’ve typed.

          • Anna Perch

            That fits my perception of you. Adolescent, reacting vs. acting. And getting huge payoff in stirring the pot.

          • momofone

            How original, and not surprising. And along those lines, I am done. Good day.

          • Who?

            Let’s hope she’ll mimic you again.

          • corblimeybot

            You’re doing that thing again. You’re using terms that you’ve heard others use meaningfully, and hoping they’ll make you sound like you know what you’re talking about. Unfortunately, it’s not working.

          • Nick Sanders

            I think it’s a bit more general than that. She doesn’t seem to do much reading at all.

          • Box of Salt

            Anna Perch, you have not been thinking about how others might perceive what you type.

          • Oh no, he’s been reading what you’ve typed. That’s the problem.

          • Box of Salt

            No, Anna Perch, and yes, I’m speaking for momofone.

            How could she have a “preconceived notion” about a fellow blog commenter?

            This (as I read her comment) is how she has perceived your comments.

            Why don’t you get that the words you use matter?

          • Anna Perch

            Seriously? You are trying to explain to me that “words matter” on a forum where definitions of words are invented and used?

          • Roadstergal

            You’re good at deflecting. The original question is – how can someone who doesn’t know you from Adam have a ‘preconceived notion’ about you?

          • Anna Perch

            This has already been addressed, multiple times.

          • Roadstergal

            No, it actually hasn’t.

          • Anna Perch

            Yes, it has, nah nah boo boo.

          • Box of Salt

            Anna Perch “Yes, it has, nah nah boo boo.”

            This is a new low for you.

          • Anna Perch

            I’m just trying to fit in. 😉

          • Charybdis

            She didn’t even get that right. It’s “nanny, nanny, boo, boo! Stick your head in doo doo!”

            If she can’t even get childish taunting right… It’s just sad.

          • Maud Pie

            But where is your proof that that was a childish taunt? You’re just imposing your stereotype of what a childish taunt is. And you’re being mean.

          • Roadstergal

            No, YOU’RE a childish taunt!

          • Lactivist vs breast feeder.

          • Anna Perch

            Apologist vs formula feeder.

        • Sarah

          You were also urged to back up what you claim, but shockingly it would seem that hasn’t resonated quite so thoroughly with you. Still, your ducking provides plenty of lolz, so there’s that.

          • Anna Perch

            I bet that you are regretting the dare, eh?

          • Sarah

            Not in the slightest, I’m rather enjoying watching you squirm and squeal. I’m just wondering if you’re going to do everything else I say, too. My fellow commentators and I could have rather a lot of fun with that.

          • Anna Perch

            OK then.

          • Sarah

            Wriggle wriggle.

          • Nick Sanders

            I dare you to put your money where your mouth is, then.

    • Erin

      Having reviewed the policy behind the BFHI, I think that some of it is dubious and some of it is down right dangerous.

      – Breast milk is readily available. There is nothing to buy and it needs no preparation or storage.
      – Breastfeeding is simple, with no equipment or preparation needed.

      Women deserve better than being told that. We all know it’s not the truth for all women. Perhaps you’re right when you say that with proper coaching and support, more women than currently do could meet their breastfeeding goals but that’s not how the BFHI is selling it.

      Telling women it’s easy is fundamentally wrong. It might be for some women and certainly it from a biological standpoint it was for me, despite a traumatic birth, an emcs after a long labour, despite being dehydrated and exhausted, despite having no skin to skin for over 12 hours, despite a baby in NICU and a full on mental breakdown, by day 3 the stuff was pouring out of me but my experience doesn’t match up with anyone else I know. The Birth Trauma group I’m a part of is full of women who tried pretty much everything and still couldn’t produce enough milk.

      Offer non-medication methods of pain relief [in labour] before offering pain medications. These nonmedication methods include:

      – Labour support
      – Walking and moving around
      – Massage
      – Warm water
      – Verbal and physical reassurances
      – Quiet environment with no bright lights and as few people as possible
      – Labouring and giving birth positioning a position of the mother’s choice.

      Women should not have to fight for proper pain relief because it may or may not harm their breastfeeding relationship. There are lots of studies which suggest that painful labours increase the chance of post natal depression and plenty of studies which chart the potential harm post natal depression can do to infant development. There has to be a middle ground.

      Rooming in absolutely should be an option but I know I wasn’t in a fit state to look after my son by myself at points during my hospital stay and there wasn’t an alternative. There should always be an alternative.

      – Reduced infection rates, reduced use of artificial feeds, and reduced need for nursery space all save the hospital money.

      Aren’t good enough reasons to withhold that alternative.

      That’s just three of the things which bothers me about the way they’re implementing the policy. There is no one size fits all when it comes to the relationship between Mother and newborn. There are too many different factors to take into account and the BFHI doesn’t do that. It tries to shoehorn women into boxes, telling them they’re hurting their baby when they don’t fit and given the link between Maternal Mental health and child development, I think that’s criminal.

      If we believe that Breastmilk is liquid gold (I don’t but I accept that others do), how does making women who can not breastfeed for whatever reason feel bad about themselves help with the outcomes for that child? I’d argue it has the opposite effect, not only did they not breastfeed but they’re at higher risk of suffering from post natal depression with it’s associated risks for the baby.

      There has to be a better way to encourage breastfeeding in women who want to, to support them in every way possible whilst they want that support but to also acknowledge that some women just won’t be able to breastfeed in a way which doesn’t do psychological harm to them.

      • Roadstergal

        I know Anna will just ignore this, but I really appreciate you writing it and hope that a lot of lurkers get to see it.
        The only thing I could possibly add is that BFHI and all of the ‘just one drop’ lactivism and ‘nipple confusion’ fear-mongering takes combo-feeding off of the table.

        • Anna Perch

          How am I supposed to address Erin’s concerns when they do not appear to be directly related to the BFHI?
          And, Road, your bias is showing.

      • Anna Perch

        Really? The BFHI is dangerous? That makes no sense.

        • Erin

          The quotes I have included in my previous post above come directly from BFHI guidance on training Maternity staff to implement the policies.

          and yes, I believe that forced rooming in when women are exhausted and drugged up is dangerous. It might be fine in 99 percent of cases but we should care about the 1 percent too. Here, there is no choice unless your baby is in NICU and in most hospitals you can’t have someone with you overnight. I want options for women, not the removal of the ability to room in but the acceptance that for some women in some situations there needs to be an alternative.

          and yes, I believe that telling women that breastfeeding is easy is both untrue and dangerous when done across the board. There are plenty of studies which back up the fact that women who want to breastfeed and fail are more at risk of postnatal depression. That potentially is dangerous both for the mother and for the baby and some of those women either need more preparation (as you yourself pointed out) or acknowledgement of the fact that it’s not simple, it’s not always readily available and sometimes there isn’t a fix.

          The 10 steps themselves seem innocent enough, what midwives and other maternity staff are being taught (by design) is something else entirely and based on your previous posts, you should be concerned too.

          They’re letting women down every time they tell someone ante-natally that:

          “- Breast milk is readily available. There is nothing to buy and it needs no preparation or storage.
          – Breastfeeding is simple, with no equipment or preparation needed.”

          You’ve spent the last day or so arguing with people about preparation for breastfeeding and yet you still think it’s okay for staff implementing those policies to push women away from doing the self same preparation you think is important…

          • Anna Perch

            I missed the bit about forced rooming in, which number? Breastfeeding is easy, which number? Ah, I see now, “The 10 steps themselves seem innocent enough” the steps you posted do not state anything about your concerns.

          • Erin

            Oh so you take step 3 at face value too do you?

            “Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.”

            I don’t see any risks of formula mentioned there. In fact I don’t see any risks of formula anywhere in the 10 steps and yet they get brought up all the time. They’re definitely all over the training guides referred to in step 2. In fact I’d say it’s at least equal weight formula risks to breastfeeding benefits.

            Or can we agree that what the 10 steps say isn’t quite the whole picture and nor is it intended to be the whole picture.

          • Anna Perch

            “it’s at least equal weight formula risks to breastfeeding benefits.” I’m not sure what you mean by this.
            Baby Friendly USA has a detailed pdf on the 10 Steps, if you are interested.

        • Acricket

          GTFO. How disrespectful can you be? Erin succinctly laid out 3 points and you cant be bothered to address the content of her reply? You are the definition of pathetic. What a joke

          • Anna Perch

            Seriously? Did you bother to address the content of any of my replies?Does that make you a pathetic joke?

          • Roadstergal

            I did. Let us know what you think of that paper.

          • Acricket

            Yeah seriously. You have no content to address. Our endgame here at this site has been blatantly explained to you multiple times, through both plain words and through actions. People offer well thought out explanations and provide links to studies backing up our stances. You return fire with empty one liners, deflection, and even denialism. When you provide actual content to address then you can call me a joke.

          • Anna Perch

            I think you might be thinking of a different thread? I have provided plenty of content. And, yes, most of it was met with empty one liners, deflection and even denialism.
            You are the one who defined what a joke is.

        • Roadstergal

          Journal of Perinatology (2014) 34, 275–279

          Read it and get back to us. It’s just over four pages, surely you can knock that right out.

          • Anna Perch

            This really isn’t proving your point. The abstract says that “One or more factors that increase the risk of bed sharing were present in all cases.” I am in favor, as is the BFHI, of weighing risks. I far as I can tell, the risk factors were not factored in.

          • Roadstergal

            Did you read the whole paper, or just the abstract? How do you think that the BFHI-driven situation of not having a well-baby nursery affects the cases reported?

          • Anna Perch

            I have never read in the BFHI that mothers who are not capable of caring for their infant should be room sharing without a capable adult present. Please back up that claim.
            If individual hospitals are making irresponsible decisions I don’t see how it is appropriate to scapegoat the BFHI. Many hospitals have implemented the BFHI responsibly.

          • Roadstergal

            What percentage of BFHI hospitals retained their well-baby nursery? The BFHI specifically says that women and babies should room in 24 hours a day. No comments about contraindications to doing so.

            “without a capable adult present” So you think hospitals can staff a nurse 24/7 with every dyad? Otherwise, you’re asking for a woman to bring her own competent care provider (and no, even if this is a magical world where there’s automatically a partner in the picture, even if he/she doesn’t have to work, even if he/she doesn’t have to care for other children, even if he/she isn’t also exhausted from the ordeal – even in this ideal world, the partner isn’t necessarily a trained doctor/nurse). You read that paper, right? You saw how many baby deaths and near-deaths occurred when there were other adults present in the room, and when mom was awake?

            Well-baby nurseries exist for a reason, and the BFHI explicitly recommends against them by saying that 24/7 rooming in is critical for breastfeeding and should be the general practice, with no notes of the dangers thereof (and taking as read the unproven assertion that this rooming-in will increase breastfeeding rates).

          • Anna Perch

            “24/7 rooming in is critical for breastfeeding ” hyperbole. This is getting tiresome. Try to be more honest.

          • Irène Delse

            Hyperbole? You haven’t been reading this blog for long, do you? Here, one of the most recent mentions of BFHI by Dr. Tuteur: when the American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledges that this initiative hurts babies and mothers:
            http://www.skepticalob.com/2016/08/american-academy-of-pediatrics-acknowledges-that-baby-friendly-hospital-initiative-kills-babies.html

          • Anna Perch

            Um, that tell me that on this page, blogs are not evidence.

          • Charybdis

            No, blogs in and of themselves are not evidence. The statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics that acknowledges that the BFHI hurts/is detrimental to babies and mothers, however, IS evidence. Citable evidence.

            The personal experiences of many of us here, while they are anecdotal, they do help paint a picture of the draconian measures pushed as gospel by the lactivist apologists. You MUST have immediate skin-to-skin with your baby, you MUST initiate breastfeeding within one hour of delivery, you MUST room-in as it is the best way to continue skin-to-skin, feeding on demand and learn your baby’s cues. They expect 80+% compliance/capitulation to get and maintain the BFHI certification and that is a hell of a lot of women who are not given a choice of where to house their baby while they are in the hospital. The nursery is not mandatory, but it should be kept as an option.

          • Anna Perch

            “The statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics that acknowledges that the BFHI hurts/is detrimental to babies and mothers, however, IS evidence.” WTH?! More out of context or partial quotes?

          • Anna Perch

            4th. “Protect the system from a two-tiered outcome such as one where mothers who are breastfeeding are rooming-in with their babies and babies who are being formula fed are in a nursery. Many of the steps and sub-steps apply to all mothers and full term healthy babies who receive maternity care in the facility, not just those who are breastfeeding. “

          • Anna Perch

            Hmm. I’ve seen them. Road “No comments about contraindications to doing so.” It’s as if you want to live in denial and have no interest in learning about the topic you are discussing.

          • MaineJen

            Look around here long enough and you’ll hear many stories about infants being left in a room with moms who are clearly unable to care for them alone.

            And…if the well baby nursery is closed, where are these babies supposed to go?

          • Anna Perch

            You are missing my point. Why are those hospitals choosing to leave moms in a room when they are not capable of caring for their infants? I’m not questioning IF it happens. I’m asking WHY it is happening. Hospitals that use the BFHI as an excuse to put moms and infants in harms way should be held accountable.

          • Erin

            Finally something we agree on!

            I think it was always going to happen though. Even the WHO training guidance talks of saving the hospitals money by getting rid of nurseries and needing less staff.

            I shouldn’t have been left with my son that first night, I was delusional, exhausted (hadn’t slept since Thursday night and it was now Tuesday night) and traumatized (had a pretty terrible c-section experience) but they still told my husband he had to leave. “Luckily” he’s fine and so I am (mostly) but it could easily have gone the other way. However it’s hard to hold them accountable for the “could haves”, especially as we have nationalised health care.

          • Anna Perch

            “WHO training guidance talks of saving the hospitals money by getting rid of nurseries and needing less staff.” I doubt it, mostly because there is so much misinformation here. However, I am not aware of what exactly is being contorted, so I’ll check.

          • Anna Perch

            I guess it is no surprise that the first UNICEF staffing quote that I found says the exact opposite of your allegation of reduced staff. “Staffing levels for each facility providing maternal and newborn care need to be planned in such a way that services can be provided on a continuous basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Team work is essential. In first- level and second-level referral hospitals, teams should be multidisciplinary and include specialized obstetric and paediatric staff in order to manage maternal and neonatal complications. “

          • Erin

            “Reduced infection rates, reduced use of artificial feeds, and reduced need for nursery space all save the hospital money. ”

            Is a direct quote from the “Breastfeeding Promotion and Support in a Baby-friendly Hospital, a 20-hour course for maternity staff” authored on behalf of WHO and UNICEF.

            “More mother-to-baby care and
            feeding and fewer fussy babies
            [less staff time for baby care and
            feeding- staff freed for other
            duties]
            More mother-to-mother care and
            assistance
            [less staff time for mother care –
            staff freed for other duties]”

            Is from a table selling the benefits in cash terms of the scheme. Those benefits also include less money spent on anesthesia.

            “Less staff time needed”

            From a French UNICEF training document.

            I’m pretty sure I could find more.

            Also

            “Staffing levels for each facility providing maternal and newborn care need to be planned in such a way that services can be provided on a continuous basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

            I don’t think anyone is denying that there are midwives/Doctors and everyone else you need to deliver a baby in a maternity hospital or other BFHI site available 24/7 which is all that quote says.

            “The second one, “Reassign staff from the normal newborn nursery and/or formula room to provide mother/baby care and education on the rooming-in wards.””

            I’m not in the US but here that’s a little hard because they got rid of the nurseries a long time ago.

            “Third quote implies that mother-baby separation is still an issue. ” Examine routine procedures that “require” infant to be taken to nursery and define which
            procedures can be done in mother’s room.””

            Again, not relevant here as for a long time all examinations including hearing tests etc are done on the ward.

            So it basically comes back to my original issue, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to maternity care. Trying to impose a system across the world with all the cultural differences and disparities in health care is problematic.

            I also have an issue with this.

            “A natural birth experience is a significant prerequisite for successful breastfeeding. Therefore, mother-friendly care is a compulsory part of BFHI-certification.”

            (The bumpy road to implementing the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in Austria: a qualitative study.(Research)(Report), International Breastfeeding Journal, Jan 20, Vol.10, p.3 [Peer Reviewed Journal)

            (It’s an interesting study btw, worth reading if you can get access especially the bits about the attitudes of the staff based on their length of work experience, their own personal experiences of breastfeeding/formula feeding, inter-department arguments and also their concerns about extra work in some areas, especially facilitating skin to skin in theater after a c-section).

            Not because I’ll never have a natural experience but because it’s limiting when it comes to choice.

            In my birth trauma group there are loads of women who want elective sections because of the trauma and in many cases the physical damage they endured previously and they’re having to fight for them. Mother-friendly should be about listening to the Mother and some Mothers want interventions including maternal request sections whether or not they’re medically indicated.

            They tried to tell me I couldn’t have a general anesthetic because of the BFHI… it got rather heated and ended with a written apology from the hospital but I shouldn’t have to argue my case based on breastfeeding regardless of whether or not I intend to feed my baby that way. If anything it’s probably less likely to make me (or any other woman who has to fight for her choices to be respected) breastfeed.

          • Anna Perch

            The second one, “Reassign staff from the normal newborn nursery and/or formula room to provide mother/baby care and education on the rooming-in wards.”

          • Anna Perch

            Third quote implies that mother-baby separation is still an issue. ” Examine routine procedures that “require” infant to be taken to nursery and define which
            procedures can be done in mother’s room.”

          • Charybdis

            The hospitals have fallen victim to the lactivist apologist ideology. The lactivist apologists have succeeded in making their extreme views on breastfeeding into policy.

            The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. It recognizes and awards birthing facilities who successfully implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (i) and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (ii). The BFHI assists hospitals in giving all mothers the information, confidence, and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.

            Becoming a Baby-Friendly facility is a comprehensive, detailed and thorough journey toward excellence in providing evidence-based, maternity care with the goal of achieving optimal infant feeding outcomes and mother/baby bonding. It compels facilities to examine, challenge and modify longstanding policies and procedures. It requires training and skill building among all levels of staff. It entails implementing audit processes to assure quality in all aspects of maternity care operations. The journey is exciting, challenging, and worth it! It creates opportunities to develop high performance work teams and build leadership skills among staff, promotes employee pride, enhances patient satisfaction and improves health outcomes.

            i.The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breast-feeding: The Special Role of Maternity Services. Geneva: WHO, 1989.

            ii. International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. Geneva: WHO, 1981.

            Step 4: Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
            This Step is now interpreted as:
            Place infants in skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately following birth for at
            least an hour and encourage mothers to recognize when their infants are ready to
            breastfeed, offering help if needed.
            This Step applies to all infants, regardless of feeding method.
            4.1 Guideline: All mothers should be given their infants to hold with uninterrupted and continuous
            skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth and until the completion of the first feeding, unless
            there are documented medically justifiable reasons for delayed contact or interruption. Routine
            procedures (e.g. assessments, Apgar scores, etc.) should be done with the infant skin-to-skin
            with the mother. Procedures requiring separation of the mother and infant (bathing, for
            example) should be delayed until after this initial period of skin-to-skin contact and should be
            conducted, whenever feasible, at the mother’s bedside. Additionally, skin-to-skin contact should
            be encouraged throughout the hospital stay.
            4.1.1 Criterion for evaluation: Of randomly selected mothers in the postpartum unit who
            have had normal vaginal births, at least 80% will confirm that their infants were placed
            in skin-to-skin contact with them immediately after birth and that skin-to-skin contact
            continued uninterrupted until the completion of the first feeding (or for at least one
            hour if not breastfeeding), unless there were documented medically justifiable reasons
            for delayed contact.
            4.1.2 Criterion for evaluation: Of randomly selected mothers in the postpartum unit who
            have had normal vaginal births, at least 80% will confirm that they were encouraged to
            look for signs that their infants were ready to feed during this first period of contact and
            offered help if needed. (The infant should not be forced to feed, but rather, supported
            to do so when ready.)
            4.1.3 Criterion for evaluation: Observations of vaginal births, if necessary to confirm
            adherence to Step 4, show that (regardless of the mother’s feeding intentions) at least
            80% of infants are placed skin-to-skin with their mothers within 5 minutes after birth
            and are held continuously skin-to-skin until completion of the first feeding, or for at
            least one hour if not breastfeeding, unless there were documented medically justifiable
            reasons for delayed contact.
            4.1.4 Criterion for evaluation: Observations of vaginal births, if necessary to confirm
            adherence to Step 4, show that (regardless of the mother’s feeding intentions) at least
            80% of mothers are shown how to recognize the signs that their infants are ready to
            feed and offered help, or there are documented justifiable reasons for not following
            these procedures.
            4.2 Guideline: After cesarean birth, mothers and their infants should be placed in continuous,
            uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact as soon as the mother is responsive and alert, with the same
            staff support identified above regarding feeding cues, unless separation is medically indicated.

            4.2.1 Criterion for evaluation: Of randomly selected mothers in the postpartum unit who
            have had cesarean births of a healthy infant, at least 80% will confirm that their infants
            were placed in skin-to-skin contact with them as soon as the mother was responsive and
            alert and that skin-to-skin contact continued uninterrupted until completion of the first
            feeding (or at least one hour if not breastfeeding), unless there were documented
            medically justifiable reasons for delayed contact.
            4.2.2 Criterion for evaluation: Of randomly selected mothers who have had cesarean births of a healthy infant, at least 80% will confirm that they were
            encouraged to look for signs that their infants were ready to feed during this first period
            of contact and offered help if needed. (The infant should not be forced to feed, but
            rather, supported to do so when ready.)
            4.2.3 Criterion for evaluation: Observations of cesarean births and recovery, if necessary hers in the postpartum unit who
            Guideline: In the event that a mother and/or infant are separated for documented medical
            reasons, skin-to-skin contact will be initiated as soon as the mother and infant are reunited.
            4.3.1 Criterion for evaluation: Of randomly selected mothers who gave birth either vaginally
            or via cesarean, at least 80% will confirm that in the event of medically-indicated
            separation, skin-to-skin contact was initiated when they were reunited with their
            infants.

            Step 6: Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless
            medically indicated.
            Exclusive breast milk feeding shall be the feeding method expected from birth to discharge.
            Each facility should track its rate of formula supplementation of breastfed infants. Facilities should strive
            to reach the Healthy People 2020 goal for exclusive breastfeeding. The rate of supplementation for nonmedical
            reasons should be analyzed and compared to the annual rate of supplementation of breastfed
            infants reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Immunization Survey
            data for the geographic region in which the facility is located. In addition, a year-by-year reduction in
            non-medically indicated supplementation is expected in Baby-Friendly designated facilities.
            6.1 Guideline: When a mother specifically states that she has no plans to breastfeed or requests
            that her breastfeeding infant be given a breast milk substitute, the health care staff should first
            Title: Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria Revision date: 06/30/16
            File name: GEC2016 Page 18 of 32
            © 2010, 2016 Baby-Friendly USA, Inc.
            Baby-Friendly® (“Baby-Friendly”) is a registered certification mark owned by Baby-Friendly USA, Inc.
            explore the reasons for this request, address the concerns raised, and educate her about the
            possible consequences to the health of her infant and the success of breastfeeding. If the
            mother still requests a breast milk substitute, her request should be granted and the process
            and the informed decision should be documented. Any other decisions to give breastfeeding
            infants food or drink other than breast milk should be for acceptable medical reasons and
            require a written order documenting when and why the supplement is indicated. (See Appendix
            B.)
            6.1.1 Criterion for evaluation: Of randomly selected mothers who are breastfeeding, at least
            80% will report that:
             to the best of their knowledge, their infants have received no food or drink other
            than breast milk while in the facility, or
             that formula has been given for a medically acceptable reason, or
             that formula has been given in response to a parental request.
            6.1.2 Criterion for evaluation: Of breastfeeding mothers whose infants have been given food
            or drink other than breast milk, at least 80% of those who have no acceptable medical
            reason will report that the health care staff explored the reasons for and the possible
            negative consequences of the mother’s decisions.
            6.1.3 Criterion for evaluation: Of infants who have been given food or drink other than breast
            milk, at least 80% will have the reasons for supplementation and evidence of parental
            counseling (in the event of parental choice) clearly documented in the medical record.
            6.1.4 Criterion for evaluation: Of randomly selected mothers who have decided to feed
            formula, at least 80% will report that the staff discussed with them the various feeding
            options and helped them to decide what was suitable in their situations.
            6.1.5 Criterion for evaluation: Of mothers with infants in special care who have decided to
            feed formula, at least 80% will report that staff have talked with them about the risks
            and benefits of the various feeding options, including feeding expressed breast milk.
            6.1.6 Criterion for evaluation: Observations in the postpartum unit/rooms and any well-baby
            observation areas show that at least 80% of breastfed infants are being fed only breast
            milk, or documentation indicates that there are acceptable medical reasons or fully
            informed choices for formula feeding.

            Step 7: Practice rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain
            together 24 hours a day.
            7.1 Guideline: The facility should provide rooming-in 24 hours a day as the standard for motherbaby
            care for healthy term infants, regardless of feeding choice. When a mother requests that
            her infant be cared for in the nursery, the health care staff should explore the reasons for the
            request and should encourage and educate the mother about the advantages of having her
            infant stay with her in the same room 24 hours a day. If the mother still requests that the infant
            be cared for in the nursery, the process and informed decision should be documented. In
            addition, the medical and nursing staff should conduct newborn procedures at the mother’s
            bedside whenever possible and should avoid frequent separations and absences of the newborn
            from the mother for more than one hour in a 24-hour period. If the infant is kept in the nursery
            for documented medical reasons, the mother should be provided access to feed her infant at
            any time.
            7.1.1 Criterion for evaluation: Of randomly selected mothers with vaginal births, at least 80%
            will report that their infants were not separated from them before starting rooming-in,
            unless there are documented medical reasons for separation.
            7.1.2 Criterion for evaluation: Of randomly selected mothers with healthy term infants, at
            least 80% will report that since they came to their room after birth (or since they were
            able to respond to their infants in the case of cesarean birth), their infants have stayed
            with them in the same room day and night except for up to one hour per 24-hour period
            for facility procedures, unless there are documented justifiable reasons for a longer
            separation.
            7.1.3 Criterion for evaluation: Observations in the postpartum unit and any well-baby
            observation areas and discussions with mothers and staff confirm that at least 80% of
            the mothers and infants are rooming-in or have documented justifiable reasons for
            separation.
            Step 8: Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
            This step applies to all infants, regardless of feeding method, and is now interpreted as:
            Encourage feeding on cue.
            8.1 Guideline: Health care professionals should help all mothers, regardless of feeding choice: 1)
            understand that no restrictions should be placed on the frequency or length of feeding, 2)
            understand that newborns usually feed a minimum of 8 times in 24 hours, 3) recognize cues that infants use to signal readiness to begin and end feeds, and 4) understand that physical contact
            and nourishment are both important.

            Identify acceptable
            medical reasons for
            supplementation of
            breastfed babies
            according to national and
            international authorities.
            Session 12: If the baby cannot feed at the breast
             Learning to hand express
             Use of milk from another mother
             Feeding expressed breast milk to the baby

            Describe strategies that
            protect breastfeeding as a
            public health goal.
            Session 14: Protecting breastfeeding
             The effect of marketing on infant feeding practices
             The International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes
             How health workers can protect families from marketing
             Donations in emergency situations
             The role of breastfeeding in emergencies
             How to respond to marketing practices

            With the overwhelming push to obtain and maintain BFHI certification, many hospitals are closing well baby nurseries and this FORCES 24 hour rooming in. Some hospitals won’t let a support person stay overnight with the mother and sometimes the mother might not be able to have a support person with her because of other children at home that need the other parent to stay with them, the mother may be a single mother, may be in another state/country that her family, etc. So if there is no safe place where a mother can send her baby so she can rest, sleep and recover from a taxing physical endeavor, then rooming in is no longer an “option”, it is mandatory. Nurses will *sometimes* take the baby to the nursing station for a couple of hours and keep an eye on them, but how safe is that? If they have to leave the station, do they take the baby with them or do they leave it there in the hallway?

          • Anna Perch

            The BFHI is not based on ideology, it is based on evidence.

          • N

            Because they just don’t have any nurseries anymore? Where should they put all those babies if not with their mothers. I myself had to go to ICU shortly after giving birth to my 3rd one. Of course Baby could not come with me. But he could not stay with the midwifes at the maternity unit either as they are not equipped anymore to look after babies around the clock. So they sent him to NICU even if he didn’t need any intensive care. I’m sure if a nursery even a small one had been there they could have kept him there and my husband and whole family could have visited him and cared for him more then they could with NICU rules.

          • Anna Perch

            Just curious, what state or country?

          • rg

            I’ve seen it asked numerous times but you give no answer without a well baby nursery where should a baby be placed if the mother is unable to care for them in the room?

        • Juana

          Erin told you at length what bothers her (and not only her) about the BFHI, which is what you mentioned in your post directly above.
          And that’s all you have to add to the discussion? A one-liner?

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Well, my most recent delivery was in a BFH. Due to a medication interaction and overall exhaustion, I was hallucinating on my second night there–like, literally thinking that things were happening that weren’t. Nonetheless, I was expected to take care of my baby. Why? Because it would be non-baby-friendly to have my baby assigned a caregiver who, y’know, wasn’t outright hallucinating. There was no well-baby nursery because if there was, moms might want to *gasp* send their kids there rather than practice the 24 hour rooming-in expected in a BFH.
            Very, very bad things could have happened that night. It was sheer dumb luck that they didn’t.

        • MaineJen

          Yes. It is dangerous to do away with a well baby nursery and have a blanket policy of “24 hour rooming in, no exceptions, no regard for the mom’s actual wishes or her physical well being.” That may not be what is written in the word of the policy, but it is certainly what is being practiced at all too many centers, with disastrous results. Why is this so hard to understand?

          • Anna Perch

            There is no mandatory 24 hour rooming in with no exceptions. Why do you keep asserting this silliness.

          • MaineJen

            I would love to know what the alternative is when there is no well baby nursery.

    • Nick Sanders

      The end game is freedom for women from a system built on shaming and control. It is for them to have agency over their bodies and to be able to perform an action that is in no way harmful to their child, if they so choose, without being bullied about it and made to feel inferior. It’s making sure infants are fed takes priority over the method of feeding them. It’s about ending a sexist system that reduces women to their reproductive organs, confines them to the home, and excludes men from childrearing just as excludes women from everything except child rearing.

      We haven’t behaved poorly. You just see any disagreement with your position as hostility. You barged in demanding respect, while offering neither respect nor evidence, and we naturally took that badly.

    • Spreading misinformation?

      Like…”Anna Perch, tell us more about this accurate information you have.”

  • corblimeybot

    Anna Perch is back, so I thought I could refresh everyone on what a shitty person she is.

    Here she is calling Keeper of the Books a whiner:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8213856be4c081ecaf058842a82669056676482d4bf0b0112c143a8defc70e50.jpg

    • corblimeybot
    • corblimeybot
    • demodocus

      An irony that the goldfish is more than willing to play semantics with apology and apologist but not lactivist and bf supporter.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Goodness. And to think I’d missed that.
      I suppose I can add “sharing the difficulties you had with nursing despite your best efforts=whining” to the list of nonsense I’ve heard from lactivists.
      Oh, dear me, Random Person (who’s already proven herself a nasty piece of work, at that) On The Interwebs thinks poorly of me. Whatever shall I do?
      I know: I’ll “clink” my wine glass with DS’s bottle of evil, poisonous formula tonight, toasting another month of his growing, thriving, and surpassing his milestones while I don’t let life-threatening infections go untreated in the name of the almighty boob-juice. Then I’ll order my SIL, who’s expecting, some of the awesome nipple ointment that worked splendidly both for me and for several friends, cos she wants to breastfeed and I’d like that to work out well for her if possible. No doubt, as one of those Evil Formula Feeders, I’m supposed to adulterate the ointment with lemon juice or something in order to sabotage SIL’s breastfeeding, but I’ll have to give that a miss as I’m rather busy this evening. Ah, well. Guess my check from the formula companies will be a bit short this month!

    • Irène Delse

      And she’s as bad at understanding science as ever. When someone with an actual science degree corrects one of her misconceptions, she thinks it’s clever to blurt out: “You’re funny”. Anyone with a glimmer of a self-awareness would have gotten the hint that she’s out of her depth, by now.

      • momofone

        Self-awareness does not appear to be her forte.

  • Charybdis

    OT: Thanks to Anna, we’re gonna break Disqus on this thread, then she’ll claim we are silencing her. Just wait and see.

    • OttawaAlison

      She came on here, distorted people’s answers, wrote dozens and dozens of posts in a comment section that generally has a different view, accused a woman of whining when that woman chose to share her experience.

      Anna – if you think you’re doing this for some higher purpose that woman who formula feed their babies and their babies need to be saved from the clutches of big formula and redeemed by using breast milk, that’s one thing.

      Realistically supplementing with something other than breast milk from the breast has been happening at least since humans began farming in the Fertile Crescent. Heck there are mentions of wet nursing in Hammurabi’s code. None of this is new. Not everyone can breastfeed for physiological / psychological reasons and it’s frustrating when advocates forget about these women (including me). Gaslight us and tell us why we ended up formula feeding (having our narratives ridiculed and dismissed and the replaced by the usual narratives that are approved by advocates).

      I too care deeply about baby’s health and preventing stillbirth and infant death, I had a full-term stillbirth. I belong to many groups where people had stillbirths/lost infants, it’s absolutely terrible and devastating. Formula to me though was what helped my living child gain weight and thrive. There was a peace that came over me seeing my daughter fed. She was happier too. She’s 10 now, is very healthy and thriving. She’s a very talented artist and athletic with her parent’s aptitude for math. I made an individual health decision with IBCLCs and my GP tha supplementing was the best thing for us and it was.

    • Heidi

      I’m hoping she’s done with us. She’s screamed hypocrite, accused us of silencing her, told us we don’t get her point, accused us of being mean and vicious when really she’s attempted to gaslight us, never even gave a second thought when some us tried to explain how her brand of lactivism (and that’s really saying something because I think lactivism is bad enough but I think if Jack Newman saw her behavior supposedly defending him he’d be appalled) is damaging and hurtful, has refused to actually give any evidence to her claims, denied stuff she has clearly stated before, and says she doesn’t care what any individual baby eats. Well, okay, if you don’t care what any individual baby eats then *why* is this your life’s cause?! My guess is because she feels so inadequate otherwise and maybe breastfeeding worked for her this is sadly all she thinks she has. I can’t say I like her in the least, but I’m not keen on seeing anyone suffer. I hope one day she’s a happier person.

      • Charybdis

        You are nicer than I am. At best, I would be neutral towards her. Not for, not against, just neutral. However, she has proven herself to be a petty, cruel, ignorant, gaslighting person and I not-so-secretly hope she lives a lonely, Ebeneezer Scrooge-type existence, except I don’t think she has any redeeming qualities and that the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future would have nothing to show her so she could even begin to possibly change her ways.

        Nope. I kind of hope she dies alone, buried in hoarded house and gnawed on by her 75 cats.**

        **This is my vicious, vindictive streak out to play. I’m still fed up with life ATM.

        • Heidi

          Nah, I doubt I’m a nicer person. And I’m leaning towards the fact she may not have any redeeming qualities, but I hate that she has to be so miserable that she attempts (and probably succeeds sometimes, unfortunately) to really damage and hurt others.

      • Right. She asked me about not calling myself a lactivist and said it had to do with it being a negative term.

        Um, no. As long as the end result is a fed baby, I don’t give a damn.

  • Anna Perch

    “You have no idea what you are talking about.” So long and thanks for all the fish!

    • Wren

      Yes, you have no idea what you are talking about.

    • Roadstergal

      Three days – no evidence, no citations, no specifics, just a lot of blather. You could have spent those three days reading a paper – just one paper! – that you think supports your assertions, and provide that to us. That’s what we call ‘adults having a reasonable discussion.’

      • Heidi

        Or she could have spent that time writing her congressman about how WIC doesn’t provide enough extra calories for exclusively breastfeeding mothers, or how we need reformed maternal and paternal leave, or even asked mothers who formula feed in a non-judging way why they chose formula over breastfeeding if she still chooses to believe in made up risks.

        • OttawaAlison

          I suspect she’s in the UK due to using turn of phrase like “you lot”.

          • Wren

            I don’t want her to be here though.

          • Box of Salt

            quite possibly UK based on the timing of her posts, both here and over at SBM (I notice these thing as I am on the US Pacific Coast, and often on line at odd times)

      • Old Lady

        She is just a troll so we would never get anything else. I have to admit she’s quite good at it considering the amount of response she got.

    • rosewater1

      Oh if only you meant that. And why drag Douglas Adams into this?

    • OttawaAlison

      Could this be an alias of a lactivist with the same first name as me (however spelled differently)?

      • moto_librarian

        Quite possibly.

      • Heidi

        Oh my, I hadn’t heard of that person, their crappy book, and their awful website until now. I mean her initials do match the initials of that awful website. Either way, this/these person/s is/are miserable.

        • OttawaAlison

          Yup, it is sad. But apparently to them we’re defensive science denialists. They do their mental gymnastics and incorporate a vicious sort of gas lighting and sanctimony to try and be “right” all the time and put others down for shits and giggles. Funnily enough I didn’t even notice The AP thing, but yes, am now side-eying things even more.

          • Heidi

            Heh, Anna Perch commented over at the AP, “You are amazing, AP!” I so want it to be the same person now.

      • Sarah

        I actually don’t think so. She appears to have retired, around 18 months ago. For reasons I shan’t go into, I reckon her not especially supportive husband made her get a job once the youngest was at school.

        Also, TAP tends more towards the bibliography salad approach. Ms Perch appears not to.

  • Heidi

    I figured out what Anna Perch has been saying! ***Breastfeeding matters MORE THAN breastfeeding itself!*** Breastfeeding adherence leads to maternal suicide – that’s fine! Sure a dead woman can’t breastfeed but at least she didn’t quit while she was alive, and her mental health professionals told her of all the made up risks of formula. Breastfeeding adherence leads to a dead baby, that’s fine, too! No, you can’t breastfeed a dead infant but at least everyone gave that woman breastfeeding “support.”

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Note that in the science-based medicine blog linked below, she said something like, “Your problem is that you think breastfeeding is about nourishment.”

      I think that sums up the attitude nicely. It’s not about feeding your baby, it’s about *sparkles*

      • Heidi

        Sparkles makes sense.

      • Roadstergal

        It’s funny how lactivists end up talking themselves around to the actual point of attachment theory, which is that warm cuddles promote attachment even if the feeding is happening elsewhere.

        Then they fall over themselves trying to explain that cuddles don’t count if a mouth isn’t on a nipple.

        • Tori

          Bottles are too easy, we need to prove our worth by making life as hard as possible for ourselves.. Also breastfeeding is easy and convenient, I want it both ways…

      • MaineJen

        Yeah…I remember that comment standing out for me, too. That’s Olympic-level mental gymnastics.

      • Wren

        Oh, I tried to read that. It was making me crazy! Even if mammalian breast milk did develop from a specialised immune gland, how was that meaningful today? I mean, it’s interesting and all, but it doesn’t change what breastfeeding does in modern mammals, including us. She seemed to believe it actually made some real difference in the value of breastfeeding.

      • Charybdis

        I’ll bite. What the hell is it about, then?

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I assume it’s “bonding” or something like that. Sparkles

  • Heidi

    Little orange fishy has already left her doodies all over an article at Science Based Medicine a few weeks ago. I’m getting really over her telling us we are just seeing her through our “bias” and we are being prejudice. A pediatrician said this:

    “As a pediatrician, I abhor those who try to make non-breastfeeding moms feel like crap because they aren’t breast feeding. I hope all moms try to breastfeed but breastfeeding is never a certain thing, and the mom’s who’ve tried to breastfeed but just couldn’t (as well as those mom’s who know it won’t fit in with their back-to-work schedule–some jobs are very incompatible with pumping breast milk no matter what the laws say) don’t need a bunch of sanctimonious people making them feel like they’ve somehow failed/hurt their child–which they have not. The only time I will get angry with parents of a newborn is if they aren’t feeding either breast milk or formula and are instead doing something truly dangerous (actually pretty much everything else at this age is truly dangerous), like making their own formula (you can find “recipes” for this on the internet, of course) or goat’s milk or powdered goats milk.” Littly fishy’s response is, “If you were my children’s pediatrician, I would find a different one. Supporting breastfeeding is a necessary trait for me. Clearly, you have a prejudice against breastfeeding supporters. Crossing your fingers and hoping for the best is not good enough for me.”

    It is clear as day that fishy here believes trying to make mom’s feel like crap IS breastfeeding support.

    https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/efforts-to-encourage-breastfeeding-like-the-baby-friendly-hospital-initiative-bfhi-may-have-unintended-consequences/

    • corblimeybot

      That pediatrician sounds a lot like my daughter’s pediatricians. They were pro-breastfeeding, but never had a bad word to say about combo or formula feeding. If the baby was doing fine, they were happy. Thank God for their support of my child’s health over ideology.

      • moto_librarian

        I remember taking our second in for his one-week visit. She knew about my difficulties with breastfeeding the first time, and asked if I had seen a lactation consultant. I told her what the hospital IBCLC had said and confessed that I just couldn’t handle the thought of dealing with a nightmarish pumping routine again for primary lactation failure. She was awesome about it, reminding me how healthy our then 3 year-old was.

      • Heidi

        My doctor just makes sure I am feeding my baby breast milk and/or infant formula. Until about 7 months, he would get 8 oz. a day because that is the max I can make. Since baby’s weight and iron levels are good and he’s never had any digestive issues, there’s been nothing to discuss! I would find it very bizarre if he tried to offer up “breastfeeding support” when I wasn’t asking for it. If I came in an appointment severely depressed or anxious because I was distraught that my breasts can’t produce more milk, then of course I’d hope he’d support my mental health and not breastfeeding because why would you support me in something that I probably can never do?!

        • Heidi

          *My son’s doctor (aka pediatrician), not exactly my doctor.

        • corblimeybot

          Yes, exactly right. It’s inappropriate for them to offer unsolicited “support”. Anna would probably support mandatory harassment of new mothers. She’d love dealing with the people at my local WIC offices.

          I suspect that my kid’s ped practice has internal disagreement going on about breastfeeding, actually. The “guide to your newborn” book the practice hands out bordered on breastfeeding propaganda, and included a list of “approved formula” if you don’t breastfeed. Their lactation consultant was so horrible, she traumatized me.

          But the nurses, and the pediatricians my kid sees? They were NOT like that. They never brought it up beyond, “is she eating well?”. They didn’t care what formula we used. Every time I’d be apologetic about combo feeding, they’d say something like, “She’s doing fine, and it helps take pressure off you”.

          So I’ve always been curious what the deal is there.

          • Heidi

            I’m thankful formula feeding was required in the hospital so if the LCs there were anti-formula ones, they couldn’t say anything mean to me about it. He had low blood sugar. I know the lactivists like to claim low blood sugar is natural, that hospitals force formula the second they are born, but that is definitely NOT the case. We didn’t get formula until the second day, I was given the option of NICU with IV dextrose if I really wanted (hell no!), his blood sugar was taken over a dozen times I guess, they tried SNS (baby HATED it) and they tried syringe feeding and neither of those would get enough formula in him to get his glucose up to a satisfactory level. I’ve looked at my hospitals website and I see no indication they are “baby friendly.” The hospital’s LCs may have been perfectly reasonable LCs who simply wanted to help women who wanted to breastfeed and who could reasonably and I think that is absolutely fine. If they weren’t though, I’m glad I was spared the judgment and fear-mongering. I have a feeling if I did make enough milk, I still wouldn’t have been in love with breastfeeding and would have supplemented to preserve my sanity.

          • Roadstergal

            “I know the lactivists like to claim low blood sugar is natural”

            Well… yeah, an underfed baby lacking blood sugar is natural. “I fell from a second-story window – naturally, I broke my arm.” It sure isn’t _good_!

          • Heidi

            So you know take yourself to a chiropractor Kate Tietje-style and/or see what essential oils Dr. Axe claims heal broken bones! Orrr squirt some boob juice on it!

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I contend that MOST pediatricians are like that. Ours certainly was. He was pro-breastfeeding, with “Breastfeeding welcome here” stickers all over and stuff, but when we mentioned combo feeding for daycare and stuff, he was fine and talked about his preferences if we were to do that.

        Didn’t bat an eye, didn’t try to talk us out of it. Treated us like responsible adults, who knew what was going to work best for our family.

        • Maud Pie

          At one of the early well-baby visits the pediatrician asked if I was breastfeeding, by immediately brushed aside the question by saying “it doesn’t matter, she’s obviously thriving,”. This visit, along with similar contacts with pediatric nurses and a pediatric endocrinologist, help me see that the professionals whose job was to support care of my baby had no issue with formula. It was the LC, whose job was to support breastfeeding, who objected to formula.

          • Azuran

            Really, why don’t they just stop it with the LC and just start having baby feeding consultant, who are able to provide support and information to breastfeeding mothers, formula feeding mother and everything in between?

          • Maud Pie

            Absolutely! And they would have to adhere to medical and professional ethics, starting with acting in their clients’ best interests instead of proselytizing their own agendas.

    • moto_librarian

      Well, now we know why she won’t share her sources here. She cited Alison Steube, et al., and had her ass handed to her by the author of the post. Anna also doesn’t understand that since breastmilk is a bodily fluid, its composition will change when a woman’s immune system is fighting off any type of infection or virus, instead attributing it to the mystical communication between mother and child.

      • Maud Pie

        It’s funny how in the science-based med discussion, she rattled off a lot of bogus arguments (evincing ignorance of science and especially evolution) and, in moto’s words, had her ass handed to her. That totally explains why she’s evading science here and instead is struggling to make this a cultural issue about prejudice against lactavism. As if criticizing and debunking an ideology is somehow akin to racial and ethnic prejudice.

    • momofone

      She clearly doesn’t understand that supporting one option does not mean denigrating the other. Black and white; no other options.

    • Roadstergal

      Thanks for the link! I took a looksee through that SBM thread, and she has indeed been thoroughly and soundly educated with many links to, and explanations of, good quality science. She just plain Dun Wanna Hear It.

      She doesn’t understand evolution or immunology, FWIW. She only understands that if breastfeeding doesn’t make her a better person, she’s got nothing else.

      • Heidi

        Every time I see her comment, I picture my dad’s goldfish swimming around in the aquarium with a 4 inch long string of fish poop hanging out of its fish butt.

        • kfunk937

          I feel bad about myself for laughing at this. Touché.

          • moto_librarian

            I don’t. Only I’m thinking of the huge pleco in my 40 gallon tank who routinely has a long string of fish poop trailing behind him.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        What I found interesting there is that, for the most part, I didn’t recognize the commentors there. Apparently, there is not a lot of overlap between the regular readership at Harriet Hall and here.

        Yet, the response to her was exactly the same.

        As the saying goes, “The common denominator of all your failed relationships is you.” You go from place to place and get the same response, perhaps the problem is not those places but is you? But that would take a moment of self-awareness, of which she has none.

      • Heidi

        I can’t tell she’s mentioned it, but I get the feeling she does not have a child. I really don’t believe she’s actually ever breastfed.

        • Heidi

          Which I mention, because wouldn’t it be something to base your self-esteem and worth on something you haven’t done yet?

          • MB

            Omg. I think you might be right. Which makes the whole thing even more crazy.

          • Wren

            I wonder if she was not breastfed and has now decided all the problems in her life are because of that. It lets her blame mom, not herself, for things that go wrong. It would explain the identity based on breastfeeding without having actually breastfed.

          • Heidi

            That reminds me one day I was trying to figure out why I have hypoglycemic episodes and consulted the Google. I stumbled upon something that claimed IV dextrose was never needed for hypoglycemic newborns, it wasn’t a serious condition, treating it with formula (gasp!) or sugar (double gasp!) water would make all sorts of bad things happen down the road and all babies needed was to breastfeed. All I knew was that I got IV dextrose and I was formula fed and I decided that was probably why I occasionally experience hypoglycemia. I was angry. So anyway, I ask my mom about what happened exactly and I learned that even in 1984, my mom had decided to breastfeed and the medical staff respected that and their first line of defense for my low blood sugar was to have me nurse. My sugar still hadn’t gone up so then they tried formula. Formula didn’t work either so they used IV dextrose as a last resort. I think I was on that IV for over a day because I really did have a serious case of hypoglycemia. I’ve concluded the hypo thing is genetic. My grandmother still has hypo episodes in her 80s and she never developed diabetes. (I know reactive hypoglycemia is a thing but neither of ours appear to really be reactive.) Anyway, I also learned my mom switched to formula because I wasn’t gaining weight properly and she wasn’t producing enough. Here I am with a baby born hypo, although much less hypo than me thankfully, and don’t produce enough milk.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yeah, maybe, and I know this is a stretch, but just maybe the fact that you needed IV glucose as a baby REFLECTS your physiological proneness to hypoglycemia, and didn’t actually cause it?

            Nah, that’s just crazy talk. Why would anyone think that an adult who is prone to hypoglycemia might have also been so as a baby?

          • Heidi

            Nah, the corn water just poisoned me!!!

          • Azuran

            Ah the lactivist way: Not enough breastmilk? Give more breastmilk!

          • Bombshellrisa

            Remember Nikkilee the LC? She believes her husbands health problems are directly linked to being formula fed.

          • Wren

            I missed that one. It doesn’t surprise me though.

          • Heidi

            I definitely remember Nikki Lee but didn’t know that one!

        • Bombshellrisa

          I was going to say that, she sounds much like the smug people who refer to epidurals as “gateway drugs” and are dead set against them–until they have actually experienced labor.

        • momofone

          I think she mentioned having two children, but I don’t want to reread her posts to be sure.

    • momofone

      Wow. I’m impressed by the patience she was shown by so many commenters there.

  • guest

    I’m reading this while breastfeeding my baby. On my phone. Not bonding with my baby. Feeding is utilitarian. I don’t stare into her eyes every time, she eats ten times a day for god’s sake.

    • sdsures

      IKR??

    • BeatriceC

      I used to grade papers and make lesson plans during those middle of the night feeds. Definitely not bonding, just doing whatever I could to keep myself awake and not drop the kid.

    • MaineJen

      I made it through soooo many TV series while breastfeeding my son. He was a big eater…

      • Sonja Henie

        I remember watching the World Series while breast feeding.

  • maidmarian555

    You know, I’ve been watching this thread progress and, whilst I see absolutely no point in arguing with an Internet stranger who is apparently incapable of empathy, I would like to just take a moment to THANK all the women who share their stories here. I found this site during a very dark time and I will be eternally grateful to all of you for being brave and sharing your truths and your stories.

    There are plenty of places online where ‘perfect’ women share their ‘perfect’ birth and feeding tales, merrily slapping each other on the back whilst telling those of us who had c-sections or bottle feed how ‘sad’ they are for us (puhlease!). The raw honesty here is to be commended, not shut down (as apparently some people with their own agendas would prefer).

    So, once again, thank you ladies. I would bet there are a lot of women like me who rarely comment but do indeed find some real solace and helpful advice here.

    • Anna Perch

      I do not agree that it is necessary to find a scapegoat in order to share an emotional experience!
      I do not believe that sharing misinformation is helpful to anyone.
      I do not agree that people who believe breastfeeding is important are perfect or that they think they are perfect.

      I do believe that something about within the culture of this page gives license to write libelous, defamatory comments about other posters.

      • Stephanie Rotherham

        Can I ask you a question?
        Why are you still here?
        I don’t think you are going to change anyone’s opinion right now.
        It might be better if you just cut your losses and left. There’s not much point sticking around arguing when it’s pretty clear you’re not changing anything.

        • Anna Perch

          I am changing my understanding of people who have opinions that differ than my own. I find them intriguing.

          • Stephanie Rotherham

            And here I thought you were arguing with people because you are an insufferable fucknugget.

          • corblimeybot

            So you’re treating other human beings like a social experiment?

          • Anna Perch

            Um, no.? Wiki: “A social experiment is a research project conducted with human subjects in the real world”

          • corblimeybot

            Oh shit, you cited a literal definition from Wikipedia. Whatever will I do now.

            You really are a rigid, uncreative thinker.

      • moto_librarian

        Given that you refuse to post a single shred of evidence for your own viewpoints and casually dismiss the very real experiences of many of the women in this group, I find your claim that you are being victimized laughable.

        Frankly, you’re quite boring. You offer nothing substantive to the conversation, and I”m done trying to engage with you. I’ve repeatedly asked you to back up your claims, and you refuse. I’d be better off talking to a tree at this point.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Well, she is ever so slightly more intelligent than Brooke. You have to hand it to her that she hasn’t mentioned men suckling babies in Papau New Guinea as an example.

          • corblimeybot

            That just means she isn’t actively stoned as often as Brooke is.

          • Roadstergal

            Hey, I write more sense than Brooke when I’m stoned.

          • corblimeybot

            You’re starting out with an exponentially better brain than Brooke!

          • Roadstergal

            “Check out the big brain on Brooke!”

      • Charybdis

        Then why, oh why, do you continue to share misinformation?

      • Sarah

        #that’snicedear

    • Bombshellrisa

      It’s a great place to gather!

    • Megan

      I feel the same way. I felt a lot of guilt after having a failed induction and CS and then not being able to BF my first. Then I found this community. With the birth of my second child, I had a prelabor RCS and loved it. Tried to breastfeed but when it again didn’t work out, switched to formula and have enjoyed my younger daughter’s babyhood so much more (and still am!). I look back on my older daughter’s infancy and regret how much time I spent pumping and crying over my struggles/attempt to breastfeed and regret that it interfered with our time together. For me, breastfeeding inhibited our bonding. I wish I had snuggled her while bottle feeding instead. Rabid lactivists won’t talk about this possibility and that’s a real shame.

      • maidmarian555

        I had a failed induction and CS. After I got home, I googled CPD as I’d never heard of it before it happened to me and found a bunch of woo sites, where people claimed CPD didn’t exist and that it was something doctors made up to frighten women into having C-sections. In my wonky post-partum state, I was devastated. I spent 3 days having brutal contractions and didn’t dilate a single centimetre in all that time. I let them break my waters on day 3 and ‘caved’ and had an epidural shortly afterwards. The only part of the entire experience I didn’t hate was the operation. I was so grateful my son came out healthy and breathing. Those sites made me hate myself, they made me feel so guilty and question the OB who’d performed the section, who had told me at the time that I mustn’t feel bad as there was no way my son could have ever been born ‘naturally’ and that I’d made the best decision for both of us.

        This site gave me my sanity back. I find it so frustrating when people parachute in here to tell women that they should be quiet and not tell their own stories. I am glad you were able to enjoy feeding your second child. I combo feed and love that Dad can join in with the bottles, it’s a beautiful thing that we would all miss out on if I EBF.

        • Erin

          I spent many many many hours googling it too, trying to figure out why my six pound nine ounce (with giant head) didn’t descend.

          I suppose the clue was really the “giant head” but I couldn’t see that for a long time.

          • maidmarian555

            Ha! Yeah my son’s head was at the 91st centile. His weight and height were 75th, which is fairly large but not enormous. I’m only 5″3, I understand now that it’s just one of those things that happen sometimes.

            Thank you for your story btw, the bit that really resonated with me was that I had a very similar experience with a midwife pulling down my top and manhandling my breasts whilst I was telling her to stop (my son was screaming, she’d yanked him out of his bassinet where he was sleeping because she ‘needed to see him feed on my left side’ even though I’d said it could wait as he hadn’t slept properly since he’d been born and had finished feeding on my right boob not 15 minutes beforehand). I hadn’t had a prior experience that made it triggering, but it was horrible and I still have nightmares about it. Had my partner not come in at that moment and told her to eff off, I am not sure whether breastfeeding would have been a thing for me and my son at all. It very nearly put me off altogether, I have never felt so humiliated in my life.

          • Erin

            I think I got hung up on his weight, which was the 19th percentcile I think and totally ignored the 90 percentcile head (and yes, he was a bobble head til about 5 months old).

            It’s interesting, I used to get really frustrated with my Birth Trauma groups who would be crying “Birth rape” at the drop of a hat and then I started to think about my own experiences and that of other women. Whilst you and/or your partner can attach your child, why is it considered acceptable for anyone else to grab your breasts? Also why do midwives always have freezing cold hands?

      • Bombshellrisa

        Rabid lactivists never focus on any part of parenting that isn’t about them and their breast milk. Which is sad, since that part of parenting is a short period of time. I think the other things like going to the park, reading together and seeing your child blossom into their own little self is amazing, much more interesting than breastfeeding. I know I am totally jealous you have not one but two girls to have a tea party with! What a wonderful bunch of things you have to look forward to and enjoy (and have nothing to do with breast milk!).

        • Megan

          I am excited for younger daughter to be able to participate in our tea parties! Older daughter likes to take her tea set and put “sugar” in the whole teapot though, so if you like your tea plain, too bad I guess. The creamer is right out; she won’t use it at all! She’s my little tea dictator 🙂

          • sdsures

            Cuteness!!

          • Bombshellrisa

            That is precious!
            I was the tea dictator as a child, everyone got lemon whether they wanted it or not.

          • Old Lady

            I find the whole tea party thing very strange. According to movies, shows and books it is the defining feature of little girl’s play. I have never in real life seen little girls play tea party or ever participated in it myself. Most American adults don’t even drink tea much less have parties around it.

          • demodocus

            My son has brgled my itty bitty teapot pn cushion and pours us tea frequently 🙂 Usually into our real mugs, lol

          • corblimeybot

            My brother and I had a tea set and I guess we did do tea parties? But we never dressed up in frilly Victorian clothing and tried to give the “tea” to our toys.

          • Roadstergal

            My sister and I did tea parties, but it was mostly because of Alice in Wonderland, I think.

          • MaineJen

            Clean cup! Move down!

          • MaineJen

            I’ve recently inherited my grandma’s old mini-tea set (tiny cups and saucers…adorable), and I have vague, fond memories of drinking chamomile tea with her during visits. But it’s not something my sister and I ever thought of doing on our own…we were strictly a coffee household 🙂 And neither of us cared much for frilly dresses…

        • Amazed

          I find the parallel Anna is trying to draw between a lactivist and a breastfeeder here a very interesting one. As if you can’t be a breastfeeder if you aren’t a lactivist as well.

          My SIL is EBF. Her kid’s lips had never been assaulted by a drop of inferior formula. And she’s quite comfortable saying that perhaps the kid likes her bottles (of breastmilk) better than the boob since she doesn’t need to work to get the food out. Not that SIL would know. She’s never given one. It’s the rest of us who do. She breastfeeds but happily acknowledge that perhaps the kid would have been just as happy if not happier with a bottle.

          Just today, they sent me another video of the kid laughing and babbling. One can almost think that they consider talking and rolling against the edge of every sofa she’s placed at more important than the fact that the kid has never had formula. That singing to her, reciting children’s rhymes and playing with her is what pays off in the form of this (mostly) constantly smiling baby. Go figure!

        • corblimeybot

          They’ll talk about going to the park with their kid. If they can talk about breastfeeding there. Even better if they can frame their time breastfeeding at the park as highfalutin civil disobedience.

          • corblimeybot

            NB: I breastfed at parks (and generally in public) plenty of times, so no need for Anna to tell me that I just don’t get it.

          • Bombshellrisa

            She still will. I think everyone is right that she hasn’t read anything but blogs and junk science and has never had a baby. Which makes me want to laugh, since she is akin to the people who are perfect parents whose toddlers will sleep through the night, never have a tantrum and will eat only healthy home cooked meals–until they actually have children.
            I breastfed in public and had a baby who didn’t like a cover, so I didn’t use one (I just tried to be discreet). Even then, I couldn’t stand the women who couldn’t talk about anything but breastfeeding and acted like breastfeeding without a cover was somehow the way to convince people that breast is best.

      • sdsures

        Ditto.

        Not on here, but elsewhere, I have been told that disabled people like me and my husband should never have children because we are disabled. By able-bodied idiots.

        • Megan

          That’s horrible.

          • sdsures

            Yep.

        • demodocus

          I hear ya. Not so much for myself (my hearing impairment is invisible) but all the people who think I’m essentially a single parent. Even the usual “husbands are just an extra kid” jokes get old really fast.

          • sdsures

            I hear ya. 🙁

        • MaineJen

          Jesus christ. Eugenics much?

          • demodocus

            Oddly enough, I don’t know any disabled people who have disabled children.

          • sdsures

            Particularly funny since almost nothing either of us have can be passed onto our kids.

          • sdsures

            God only knows.

        • sdsures

          We will also probably be FF or combo-feeding depending on how it goes because of the meds I’m on, which causes people to moan, “Maybe you shouldn’t have kids at all if you’re on so many meds.”

          *eyeroll* I *obviously* won’t breastfeed or even TTC if I am on meds that could hurt the baby!

          Good news!!! We are experimenting with lowering my sodium valproate dose some more. 300mg twice a day. The Botox is working, and seems to have kept the migraines at the same frequency on 800mg daily as it did on 1000mg daily, so my nurse suggested we try lowering me to 600mg daily for the next 12 weeks. Goal is to be off it completely so we can TTC. <3

    • BeatriceC

      Thank you for sharing. We speak openly here, and counter the exaggerations and outright lies spouted by pseudoscience, lactivists, and NCB cultists precisely for people like you. It is our hope by doing so we can reach the lurkers who are perhaps in a dark place because of those lies, and bring them out of it. We also hope we can reach people before they get to that dark place by providing them with real information, not the fairy tales presented so often elsewhere.

  • Erin

    I’ve mentioned before that one of the baby and toddler groups I attend with my son also has a breastfeeding support group built in (with NHS peer workers). This morning one of them who I’ve got to know reasonably well was asking how pregnancy was treating me over a cup of tea. For some reason I ended up talking about this thread and how despite everything I went through last time that part of me still wants to try breastfeeding. Just preferably without reaching the bit where slicing off my nipples seemed like a sensible suggestion.

    Her reply surprised me somewhat. Not only did she suggest that I should discuss my feelings with my consultant and/or a mental health professional, she also went on to say that immediate skin to skin was nonsense and that me being functioning and sane outweighed any benefits of breastfeeding. She went on to say that she would support as best she could if I felt the same after the baby’s arrival but that if I started exhibiting 1 tenth of the behaviours I admitted to with my first, she would be recommending formula and getting help for PnD.

    Even my son “washing” another child’s hair with squished up banana couldn’t get the smile off my face although it’s amazing how much banana the average banana contains when it’s smeared across two small children, several chairs and your handbag.

    • moto_librarian

      I’m so very glad that you have finally found sensible support. Finally, someone is listening! May it continue.

    • Bombshellrisa

      I am so glad you were able to talk about this with someone who really listened!
      Banana is a good deep conditioner for hair : )

    • Stephanie Rotherham

      I’m glad to hear you got to talk to someone and get the support you and your family need- I hope things stay good and get better.

    • BeatriceC

      We need to clone that woman. I’m so glad she’s a part of your life.

    • Sarah

      Think of the potassium. At least your handbag will be healthy.

  • Ob in OZ

    On board with everything except he concept that by being a man it excludes you from having an informed opinion on these topics. Just like being fortunate enough not to have experienced cancer, I can still discuss the topic. I am a patient advocate whose patients happen to all be female. I provide them with the best information I can so they make informed decisions of every aspect of their pregnancy and postpartum care. I should not be considered less capable than a women of providing high quality, evidence-based, family-centered care. That said, I agree with the blog in general

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I agree, but I think the most common objection to the “he’s a guy” part is when it’s “It’s easy and convenient”

      Easy for a man to say that breastfeeding is easy.

      • Ob in OZ

        I would say it’s stupid for a man to say it’s easy. What a man or woman should say is about 85% of of those who wish to breastfeed are successful. Easy or not is not what is in the published literature as far as I know. I have heard a short statured female doctor guilt a patient into a vaginal delivery after a prior shoulder dystocia because she had vaginal births without complications. My point being there are idiots who’ve “been there (women)” and idiots who never will (men). As I’ve responded to others, I don’t feel I should be left out of the conversation because of my external genitalia when my entire career is devoted to women’s health advocacy

    • Roadstergal

      “I should not be considered less capable than a women of providing high quality, evidence-based, family-centered care.”

      I agree, but if you weren’t providing high quality, evidence-based, family-centered care, but were instead – frex – saying that it is easy and convenient to be abstinent, we would have a legitimate basis to claim that you were looking at the situation from a male-privilege view.

      • Ob in OZ

        Agree. So men, like women, should be judged by their words and actions. All male doctors are not like the ones Dr T describes, and too often for my taste she implies that a male doctor cannot have an opinion when it comes to women’s health issues. I am a big fan of her agenda, except for this specific issue.

    • FEDUP MD

      It would be like me, as a woman, saying that getting kicked in the testicles isn’t so bad. Or that getting an erection is easy no matter what. Or that the side effects of prostate cancer treatment aren’t so bad. I would rightly sound sanctimonious and lacking empathy.

      • Ob in OZ

        But you not I would never say that, which is my point. We are caring doctors, not assholes, regardless of our external genitalia.

    • Sarah

      You shouldn’t, but Jack Newman is going a long way beyond that and that’s what he’s criticised for here. Aside from mutual possession of penises, I don’t see any resemblance between his behaviour and the care you mention offering here.

      • Ob in OZ

        Thank yiu

  • Cody

    When Jack Newman mentions judges and child protection agencies, he’s talking about women being forced to give up breastfeeding because they have to share access of their babies with the father 50/50 in situations where the parents don’t live together. He talks about this in greater detail in his book.

    I see this issue from both sides, because I was still breastfeeding when the father of my kids breached an access agreement and kept my kids for an extended period of time when he wasn’t supposed to. This ended breastfeeding for us. There was nothing I could do about it and I felt like it should have been my choice to end breastfeeding, not his. Courts in Ontario (where Jack Newman practices) will sometimes put in place temporary access schedules that help support breastfeeding relationships during the first year with the I intention of amending them later so that the father has more time with the child after breastfeeding is done.

    On the other hand, women know this and some of them will say that are breastfeeding when they aren’t, so they can purposely limit access between father and child during the first year. My husband has experience with this. If the father questions this in court she may be required to supply a doctors note which explains that mom is breastfeeding and includes recommendations to the court as to how breastfeeding can be preserved through appropriate access.

    • Maud Pie

      Thank you for posting this information. It’s always awful when parents won’t cooperate to act in the child’s best interests. No one should use breastfeeding as a strategic weapon in custody battles. I am genuinely sorry that you and your husband were abused in this fashion by your former partners.

      • Cody

        Ultimately, it’s the kids who suffer the most. When I say that I’m not talking about the breastfeeding stuff because that was a minuscule part of it. Family court sucks for everyone, plain and simple. I’m pretty sure that the judges don’t want to be there either.

        • Maud Pie

          yes, it sucks to high heaven. I bitch about my XH, but I know there are a lot worse.

  • Wren

    If breastfeeding is sooooo much better than formula, why is it that no one could walk into a classroom of 9-10 year olds (chosen as those are the ages of my kids) and pick out who breastfed and who didn’t, let alone who breastfed for at least 2 years and who quit before 1?

    I breastfed both of mine, one for 35 months and the other for 9 1/2 months with an extra 2 1/2 months of mixed formula and pumped milk. I generally found it easy and it fit in with my life. Without knowing, you could never guess which of my kids was breastfed for 3 times as long as the other, or even that they were.

    • Roadstergal

      Just by the numbers, I’m sure we’ve turned down for hiring people who were breastfed in favor of people who were formula fed.

      • momofone

        I’m betting the people who hired them were formula fed.

        • Roadstergal

          You know, I’ve yet to have a lactivist even try to explain to me why, if breastfeeding is so protective against asthma, allergies, and obesity, these conditions have been steadily increasing from the nadir of breastfeeding in the 70s to the new boob renaissance today (speaking for the US).

          I’m sure they’d drag some bullshit out of their butts about ‘just one drop’ if put in a corner.

          Or Monsanto. Monsanto is always a good fallback.

          • Young CC Prof

            Epigenetics. It must be epigenetics. Or they’ll claim breastfeeding rates aren’t really rising after all.

          • Sarah

            Vaccines, presumably.

          • Roadstergal

            Ah, breastmilk is so weak and useless it can’t even protect against the ebul vaccines? 😀

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    Imagine:

    • Bombshellrisa

      Oh but then some moms would have to admit they are doing things for status not because it’s actually better!

  • BeatriceC

    I had to take a step back yesterday, as the topic got too upsetting for me. Nasty lactivism cropped up in two places yesterday and one of them I couldn’t avoid, so I forced myself into speaking out and handling things even though I was puking my guts out with anxiety. I had some awful moments with lactivists, but nothing like what some women experience, and combined with my anxiety when it comes to confrontation, this was not a good thing.

    So some of you know I run a FB group for maternal mental health support focusing on postpartum depression but branching out into other areas. I’m obviously not going to go into specifics, as that would betray the trust these women have in the group, but I will say that based on numerous comments and the community’s gratefulness at our hardline approach to shutting down lactivism, the idea that breastfeeding itself, and the immense pressure to breastfeed contributes greatly to PPD in many cases is one that needs to be researched a lot more heavily than it has been.

    • Anna Perch

      Sanctimony?

      • demodocus

        Projection?

      • BeatriceC

        Because actually believing women when they talk about their real experiences and concluding that research should be done on the topic is the very definition of sanctimony.

        • Anna Perch

          But you said that you take a “hardline approach to shutting down lactivism” within your group. And you believe it makes your group better than other groups. Your devotion to the formula apologist ideology IS sanctimonious.
          It has nothing to do with allowing women to talk – it is censorship. That is not necessarily bad, conversations about pregnancy are often censored from fertility groups.

          • Maud Pie

            I was brought up Catholic and remained in the church until my 30s. I am now an atheist and practice no religion. I believe in people’s right to practice a religion.*. I believe in people’s right to practice no religion. I am opposed to religious persons imposing their religion on others. Does that make me an anti-theocrat apologist? Does my commitment to the separation of church and state make mean that I have to justify the imposition of non-religion on the religious or be deemed equally oppressive in forcing my free exercise non-establishment beliefs on those who believe in non-free exercise and free pro establishment?

          • Anna Perch

            That makes no sense. You are making all kinds of irrational assumptions. You have no idea if I am also a raised Catholic who is now an atheist who opposes the imposition of any religion.
            THOSE assumptions are ALL based on the fact that I believe the well established science that breastfeeding matters and I am willing to express that, vocally, within a group that rabidly despises people who talk favorably about breastfeeding.

          • swbarnes2

            For the hundredth time, cite that well-established science. And restrict yourself to only citing well-controlled studies.

            The only people who are rabidly despised are those who lie about what the science says. You can easily prove you are not one of them by citing the well-controlled research that supports your claims

            Just to be clear, by “well-controlled” I mostly mean don’t cite anything where the breastfeeding group is whiter, richer, and better educated than the formula group. If your study doesn’t specify, it’s probably not well-controlled, so omit it, and cite something that is well-controlled.

          • Anna Perch

            Have you ever heard of the Fallacy Fallacy?

          • Charybdis

            Department of Redundancy Department, this is Anna, how may I not help you?

          • Nick Sanders

            Have you ever heard of the burden of proof?

          • Yes.

            Rejecting your argument doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It means you have a bad argument.

            But the problem is that your only argument is assertion i.e. you don’t have one.

          • Anna Perch
          • Still not evidence….

          • Azuran

            Are you finally ready to share those studies behind this ‘well established science’

            Didn’t think so.

          • momofone

            Please either cite said “well established science” or shut the hell up about it.

          • Maud Pie

            Thanks for corroborating my assessment.

          • Anna Perch

            My point is that you do not need any corroboration from me. You are making assumptions about me based on your prejudice.

          • Maud Pie

            And why the hell do I need to know anything about your religious history to state the facts of my religious history? If I wrote “I ate Fage yogurt for breakfast this morning,” would you respond by wailing that I am making assumptions about what you ate for breakfast?

          • Anna Perch

            My bad, I thought you were trying to make some sort of point about your religious history and how it influences your thinking.

          • Azuran

            If the conversation about pregnancy where about telling infertile women that their IVF babies are not as good as naturally conceived baby, or that they love their babies less, of that they should have tried harder to conceive naturally, then yes, censorship is more than welcome in those groups.
            You are not ‘promoting’ breastfeeding. You are shaming and degrading formula feeding mother. There is a difference. We are not ‘formula appologist’ we support every mother equally no matter how they feed their child.

          • Anna Perch

            Um…it is pretty obvious that you are attempting to shame and degrade me. I have no ill will toward people who use formula nor do I rank people who breastfeed as somehow better than other people. Your assumption is a load of bunk.

            As I have said, many, if not all of you here, do liberally share the formula apologist rhetoric and talking points. Little if anything has been written that defies the formula apologist ideology.

          • Box of Salt

            Anna Perch ” formula apologist”

            “I have no ill will toward people who use formula nor do I rank people who breastfeed as somehow better than other people.”

            Every time you use the phrase ” formula apologist”
            you are, indeed, spreading ill will towards every formula user, and ranking them lower than breastfeeders. Don’t bother blathering about that is not your intention.

            Words matter. Your words provided the label.

            It’s interesting that you lack the insight into your own behavior that you deny what you are doing within a single comment.

          • Anna Perch

            Are you implying that every time anyone uses the term “lactivist” it is spreading ill will toward every breastfeeder?? Ranking them lower than formula feeders?

          • Box of Salt

            Anna, to be clear:
            In my comment, I am criticizing your behavior. Yours only.

          • Anna Perch

            People who use the term “lactivist” are not insulting all breastfeeders, but people who use the term “formula apologist” ARE insulting all formula feeders.
            Can you say double standard?

            Absolutely fascinating opinion.

          • Maud Pie

            They are not analogous terms. “Lactavist” is a portmanteau of fairy recent vintage (5-10 years?) which means “an proponent of breastfeeding who favors and/or effectuates policies and practices intended to deprive parents of the option of using formula. These policies and practices include, but are not limited to: aggressive, hard-sell and emotional messaging exaggerating the alleged advantages of breastfeeding and disadvantages of formula, social shaming of formula users, limitation of access to formula in medical and retail establishments, co-opting medical, educational, and governmental institutions by incentivizing cooperation with lactavists.”

            That’s a bit clumsy but not bad for an impromptu definition.

            “Formula apologist” – a term invented by a pro-lactavist participant in an online forum with the ostensible intent of portraying approval of formula use as ignorant and irresponsible.

            It’s significant that many anti-formula crusaders embrace the term lactavist, but pro-choicers repudiate the insinuation that we are “apologizing ” for formula, which we maintain has no need of apologies.

          • Anna Perch

            Thank you for the thought provoking post. It will take me a little while to compose my thoughts.

          • Azuran

            You have no ill will?
            You have refused to say that formula feeding women have the same right as breastfeeding mothers to feed their child in peace. You said multiple time that formula is inferior, which means that breastfeeding mothers are better. You push false information that formula feeding mothers are hurting their child.

          • Anna Perch

            Apologist rhetoric: “formula is inferior, which means that breastfeeding mothers are better.”

          • Azuran

            So you admit that formula feeding is just as good as breastfeeding?
            You can’t have is both way. You can’t say that one is better than the other, but both are equal. So either formula is inferior, which means that breastfeeding mothers are better, or both are equally acceptable way of feeding a baby and both mothers are equally good mothers.

          • Anna Perch

            No, I don’t believe apologist rhetoric.

          • Azuran

            That’s not really a matter of believe. You can’t, logically consider one better but still equal.
            You are just an hypocrite and don’t want to admit to your hurtful views

          • Anna Perch

            Apologists do it all the time, “Breast is best, but formula is just as good.”

          • Roadstergal

            “All else being equal, given abundant supply of milk that is not deficient in fat/protein/carbohydrate/vitamins/etc, given good latch on the part of the baby, given no physical or preference barriers on the part of the mom, given no harm is being done to mom, given a decent sleep and feeding schedule, given decent maternity leave, the best-quality studies suggest that breastmilk might have some slight advantage in terms of minor short-term GI illnesses for term infants that might tip one towards breastfeeding if all else is equal, but given that all else is never equal, and given the minor difference in the absolute best case for breastmilk, a woman’s feeding choice – breast, pumped, formula, or combo – is a choice that she deserves to make – in the light of the highest quality evidence – of what’s best for her, the baby, and the family, and is not something she has any need to justify or apologize to Anna Perch for.”

            It’s something that’s worked out well for many people here, including Dr T. It’s not as pithy as “Breast is best,” I agree, but it’s a helluva lot more accurate.

          • Anna Perch

            I guess my point went over your head? You said that it is problematic if anyone attempts to agree with contradictory statements. I merely pointed out the apologists do it all.the.time.

            And by the way, Anna Perch has not asked for an apology for using infant formula from anyone. Your statement is more apologist drivel. (not something she has any need to justify or apologize to Anna Perch for).

          • Roadstergal

            My statement in the post you replied to is not contradictory. The only contradictory statement is the one you tried to put in my mouth, which is why I clarified it for you. I do _not_ agree that “Breast is best” as a blanket statement. I agree with what I posted above.

            What, in my post, do you disagree with? Be specific.

          • Anna Perch

            Is this the bit you are asking me to critique? “All else being equal, given abundant supply of milk that is not deficient in fat/protein/carbohydrate/vitamins/etc, given good latch on the part of the baby, given no physical or preference barriers on the part of the mom, given no harm is being done to mom, given a decent sleep and feeding schedule, given decent maternity leave, the best-quality studies suggest that breastmilk might have some slight advantage in terms of minor short-term GI illnesses for term infants that might tip one towards breastfeeding if all else is equal, but given that all else is never equal, and given the minor difference in the absolute best case for breastmilk, a woman’s feeding choice – breast, pumped, formula, or combo – is a choice that she deserves to make – in the light of the highest quality evidence – of what’s best for her, the baby, and the family”

          • Roadstergal

            I asked what part of that statement you disagree with, yes. I’d ask for citations to support your disagreement, but since your definition of ‘citing a study’ is saying ‘duh,’ I’ll lower my expectations on that.

          • Azuran

            Basically what we say more or like looks like: In a totally hypothetical world, where everything is rainbow and magic, and everything works perfectly well 100% of the time for 100% of people, yea, breastmilk is very slightly better than formula (as in: 8% fewer diarrhea and cold in the first year, the only actual real benefits, for which someone actually bothered to show evidence. You still haven’t provided any BTW))

            Even in this imaginary world, it has absolutely no long term effect.
            And in the reald world, it’s one of the least important or helpful thing you can do. Whatever slight benefits there might be are dwarfed by basically everything else. Hence, it’s not worth the suffering and shame people like you are putting mother’s through.
            You would be the exact same person you are today if your mom fed you differently, I would be also, also. There isn’t anyone who can say they would be anything different if their parents fed them differently. It just doesn’t matter.

          • Charybdis

            No. We don’t agree that breast is always best. If it is working for you and you are not starving or underfeeding your baby by EBF, then by all means, carry on with your bad self. If it is not working, for whatever reason, or if you simply don’t want to breastfeed, then formula is just as good. Better, in some cases.

          • Anna Perch

            Two things 1) “Breastfeeding is best” is written on every can of formula, so yeah, apologists say it all.the.time. 2) Even if you do not say it “Breast is best, but formula is just as good”, or some form of that, is also said all.the.time.

          • Roadstergal

            Yes, Breast is Best is written on cans of formula – to appease lactivists who throw toddler shitfits at the idea that some women might not be feeling sufficiently guilty about using formula. If I had my way, the only thing on them would be ‘consult a pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s feeding.’

          • Anna Perch

            If you think that lactivists are appeased by the words “breastfeeding is best” on formula cans while so many other aspects of the WHO Code are ignored, then you have another think coming.
            They do type out a recommendation on the label to talk to a pediatrician about using formula, don’t they?

          • Roadstergal

            So you speak for the lactivists?

            I agree with you that it’s dumb to try to appease the unappeasable. “Breast is best” shouldn’t be on formula cans.

          • Charybdis

            I hope to hell she is not the Lorax of the Lactivists. That would just be bad all around.

          • Charybdis

            Like the fact that they (the WHO) support and recommend vaccination? Lactivists (some, not all) certainly do pick and choose what appeals to them and what they will rabidly latch onto as dogma, don’t they?

          • Anna Perch

            What?! Lactivists are not all marching in lock step? Blasphemy!

          • Charybdis

            It wasn’t on formula until the lactivists started their public hissy fit meltdown that breastfeeding and breastmilk MUST be every woman’s first choice to feed her baby. And that any mention of formula or even it’s very existence is somehow jeopardizing breastfeeding. That women cannot see, hear about or learn to use formula because it puts women off breastfeeding and we certainly can’t have that, can we?

            That does not make breast always best. It just makes it orders of magnitude harder for a woman worrying about feeding her baby adequately so that they thrive to obtain and feed her baby perfectly good food. Trying to make one option (formula) so difficult to access so that women won’t even try it does not automatically mean that the other option (breastfeeding) will be easier or a more attractive option.

          • Anna Perch

            If you think it is false to say that “breastfeeding is best” then why aren’t you complaining to the formula industry???
            Again, these are unfounded apologist distortions “breastmilk MUST be every woman’s first choice to feed her baby”, “trying to make formula so difficult to access”, and “women cannot learn to use formula”. Teaching mothers who choose to formula feed how to prepare it properly is a component of breastfeeding advocacy.
            I do not understand your need to cling to this baloney. I do, however, respect your right to believe it.

          • Charybdis

            Then explain why the lovely swag diaper bags now do not contain formula samples. I was lucky, I got two. One from my OB/hospital and one from my pediatrician. They had diaper rash cream, diapers, a changing pad, a small sample can of formula and coupons for all the previously listed items. As they were from two different offices, they were from two different formula companies. When I left the hospital, I got a couple of pacifiers, diapers, a couple of receiving blankets and some RTF nursette bottles and corresponding nipples. I also took home a hospital grade pump, nipple ointment, extra pump parts, storage bags and bottles, nursing pads and a little soft-sided cooler with a blue ice insert. Plus the LC’s phone number and other contact information. I hated, loathed and despised breastfeeding and it was a major factor in my PPD. The formula I wound up using was neither of the brands I received as samples.

            How is it a bad thing to have these things available for new mothers to take home if they wish? Asking is not “pushing” or “forcing” women into accepting/taking these items and they can always say “no thank you” if they don’t want one. How can that be considered subversive?

          • Anna Perch

            Why aren’t you complaining to the formula industry ? I thought you were the “answer the question” monitor.

          • Charybdis

            Because it wasn’t the formula industry who brought that practice to a screeching halt. It was the lactivists and the pro breastfeeding brigade who threw an extended, almighty temper tantrum to stop that practice. Toss in the push for BFHI with the edicts that a mother must sign a form stating that she has been informed of the “risks of formula” each time she requests it AND that a doctor’s order *should* be required before it is dispensed and the nonsense about pacifiers, skin-to-skin and breastfeed within the first hour after birth, well, you have the makings of a disastrous policy.
            So, as question monitor, we have several you still haven’t answered. 1. If Vitamin D isn’t a vitamin, what is it?
            2. How is a pediatrician’s advice to supplement breastfeeding with Vit. D drops undermining breastfeeding?
            3. How does being offered a free swag bag containing some formula samples and other useful baby supplies & coupons a bad thing and/or worthy of banning?
            I know there are more, but we’ll start here.

          • Anna Perch

            “It was the lactivists and the pro breastfeeding brigade who threw an extended, almighty temper tantrum to stop that practice.” What practice did they stop?

            I’m impressed 🙂 “BFHI …mother must sign a form stating that she has been informed of the “risks of formula” each time she requests it AND that a doctor’s order *should* be required before it is dispensed and … pacifiers, skin-to-skin and breastfeed within the first hour after birth”, that actually is included in the BFHI.

          • Charybdis

            You are thick as a brick, aren’t you? The lactivists/pro-breastfeeding brigade finally made hospitals and doctor’s offices STOP offering/handing out diaper bags with formula samples in them. I think you can still get them, but you have to request them directly from the company, whereas they were offered/provided by the hospital/OB/pediatrician. No one was forced to take one if they didn’t want one and they contained other things besides formula samples. Useful things like diapers, diaper rash cream, changing pads, maybe a pacifier, a sample of baby wash, small package of baby wipes and coupons for all those items. Is providing disposable diapers in the bags undermining cloth diapering? Or a baby wipe sample undermining making and using your own?

            The lactivists threw an unholy, extended temper tantrum because putting a small sample can (they weren’t even full size cans) of formula in a gift bag full of useful items was somehow subversive and detrimental to breastfeeding. THOSE CANS HAD TO GO!! It didn’t occur to them to say “No, thank you” when a bag was offered, or that some folks might find the bags useful and be thankful that they were provided. Or that you could accept the bag but not use the formula samples. No, no, no. That wasn’t good enough.

            You seem surprised that I/we here are familiar with the edicts of BFHI. We are familiar with it and many of us could provide you with citiations/links to what it says and the 10 steps contained therein. We do, however, think it is a draconian measure and certainly a Pyrrhic victory for the lactivists.

          • Anna Perch

            What’s wrong with requesting them directly from the company? Is that such a big effort?Why should hospitals and doctors offices be marketing depots for infant formula?

            You seem to be conflating lactivists and new moms. “It didn’t occur to them to say “No, thank you” when a bag was offered”

            Well, I’d hardly call the BFHI recommendations “edicts” or “draconian measures”, but, yes, it is refreshing when someone is familiar with some of actual recommendations, rather than the usual myths.

          • demodocus

            Nothing but mom’s nipple shall pass baby’s lips until 12 months or else DOOM!

          • Who?

            Oh well if doom is at stake.

            No one mentioned doom.

            I’ve totally backflipped.

          • Charybdis

            Pfft! 12 months is amateur league! /sarcasm

          • demodocus

            well, at 12 m, you can started to offer minced organic kale

          • Well, for a start, the formula industry isn’t making claims on this article, are they now?

          • Anna Perch

            The partial out of context quotes are so typical. Anyway, the rest, “If you think it is false to say that “breastfeeding is best” then why aren’t you complaining to the formula industry???” They write it on every can.

          • Are the formula industry *making claims* on *this article* It is a simple yes-no question.

          • Wren

            It’s bad for the same reason that offering epidurals to women in labour is bad. Anything that might tempt a woman from the path of righteousness (natural birth, breastfeeding, attachment parenting) is bad.

          • We don’t need to cling to it. That’s why we’re begging you to show us the evidence.

          • No, it’s.

            “All else equal, breast is best.” but the thing is? ALL ELSE IS NEVER EQUAL.

          • Nick Sanders

            That’s not rhetoric, that’s a logical conclusion. If there are only two options, and one of them is inferior, that means the other is better. That’s how comparison works.

          • indigo_sky

            All other things being equal and good, breastmilk is absolutely better. Things are not always equal and good.

            If mom needs medication that could harm the baby, then formula is better than her breastmilk. If trying to breastfeed is destroying her mental health or keeping her from getting any sleep, then formula is better. If the breastmilk is unscreened milk acquired from a stranger over the Internet, then formula is about a billion times better.

            I breastfed all three of my kids. My older two tandem fed, and my oldest and youngest both nursed until around age four. I love breastfeeding and think every mother should try it – same as I recommend my favourite books to everyone. I’ve done the breastfeeding thing pretty much perfectly by lactivist standards, but that does not make me a superior mother than any of my friends who fed formula. Truth be told, some of them are better than me.

          • corblimeybot

            Breastfeeding not absolutely better, though. Even when all things are equal, it’s not so much better that it can be called “absolutely” better. “Marginally”, maybe.

          • indigo_sky

            Absolutely marginally better? Meh, I absolutely believe there are benefits, but it’s not a big deal, not like car seats or back-sleeping or vaccines which are big deals and I will think badly of a mother who chooses not to bother using a carseat correctly,but not a mom who chooses formula for whatever reason (and no, I don’t need to know her reasons).

          • corblimeybot

            Yeah, but if it’s marginal, it’s not worth even really talking about. If breastfed children turn out impossible to differentiate from formula-fed children, the benefits are so marginal they might as well not exist.

          • Roadstergal

            Even PROBIT and the discordant sibling study had confounders. :p

            Breastfeeding has certain advantages in certain circumstances. Formula has certain advantages in certain circumstances. One isn’t better than the other.

          • corblimeybot

            That’s really the deal. Imagine how much misery women could avoid, if we could all just acknowledge that

          • indigo_sky

            And I got off track there and sound argumentative. That was directed at both you and Anne. My point was that it is possible to love breastfeeding and believe in it and support/encourage it without stomping all over formula feeders. What happens in lactivist communities (and I’ve been in many) is not how to do that. They are full of misinformation and shaming, the latter often appearing in the guise of pity.

          • Anna Perch

            ” it is possible to love breastfeeding and believe in it and support/encourage it without stomping all over formula feeders”
            Actually, I don’t think so. I have not said anything negative about people who use formula, and yet because I have said that there are measurable risks to using formula (that people deserve to be aware of), I am treated like a pariah who “stomps all over” formula feeders and who thrives on shaming others.
            My point is, when breastfeeding is spoken about in honest terms, apologists will perceive “shaming of formula feeders” even when it is not there.
            This discussion stands as evidence to that.

          • momofone

            This discussion stands as evidence of many things (most of which you choose to ignore), but not that.

          • Who?

            There are no known risks of formula feeding. Stop making stuff up. Or if you’re going to make stuff up, at least try to be entertaining.

          • Anna Perch

            “There are no known risks of formula feeding” well, that is made up stuff that isn’t very entertaining. Practice what you preach?

          • Charybdis

            That statement is not made up, nor is it an example of magical thinking that lactivist apologists like to make.

          • Roadstergal

            “because I have said that there are measurable risks to using formula (that people deserve to be aware of), ”

            No, it’s because you make that blanket assertion and refuse to provide any evidence at all of it. And when presented with high-quality published evidence in direct contradiction to that blanket assertion, you ignore it and say ‘potato’ (which is delicious with butter and garlic, but utterly tangential).

          • D/

            And yet at my house the potato evidence is clear. Breast IS always best … with butter and garlic 😀

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/287e7cb8b799f6395e3c5b8640d3794bac10006287f75858db65c5440120e130.jpg

          • Michael McCarthy

            Anna Perch has decided to Barzini. (I got to use your new verb in a sentence!!)

          • Charybdis

            Congratulations!

          • Anna Perch

            Hey, if you believe that since exercise is recommended then people who do not exercise are inferior to people who do exercise, that is not logical.

          • Roadstergal

            Exercise is good, just like a fed baby is good. What you’re doing is saying that running is inherently better than cycling because our ancestors didn’t have bicycles, rather than noting that each has advantages and disadvantages that prevent a blanket determination of superiority for one versus the other.

          • Anna Perch

            “What you’re doing is ..” You are not very good at listening.

          • Roadstergal

            You are exceedingly poor at communicating. We’ve given you plenty of opportunity to give a clear statement and to give citations to back up your assertions, and you just wander off on a tangent and/or attempt to be snarky.

          • Anna Perch

            My statement are candid, clear, terse and as pointed out, lacking in fuzzy warmth. If they do not make good sense to you, then you need to read more carefully and maybe put a little tiny bit of effort into opening your mind to another’s point of view.

          • swbarnes2

            Where is your clear evidence for your factual claims about the overwhelmingly wonderful benefits of breastmilk? You were asked for them over and over again.

            You have none, because you are fundamentally dishonest, and don’t even see anything wrong with that.

          • Roadstergal

            Your statements are, sometimes, terse. What they are not is clear. I could give fewer shits than I make on a given day if they are warm or not.

            You have said there are risks to formula. We have given you citations and summaries of cited papers to show that there are no risks to properly prepared formula in term infants. I checked out the link to SBM, and you were given more of the same there.

            If you want to be clear:
            1: State a proven risk (specific and quantifiable) to properly prepared formula in term infants
            2: Cite at least one published peer-reviewed paper in support of that risk.
            3: Repeat 1 for as many proven risks as you think exist.

            I really can’t spoon-feed you Communication In Reality any more than that.

          • It’s not about whether they make good sense or not. It’s about whether the evidence supports your claims. Do you have any?

          • Anna Perch

            I believe that is called changing the goal posts?

          • A) The logical fallacy is called “moving the goalposts.”

            B)We asked you for evidence, originally. Pointing out that you *missed* the goal and didn’t actually score in the first place doesn’t move the goalposts.

            C)You’re the one who moved the goalposts by responding “it makes good sense” when asked for evidence.

          • Wren

            I think I found the problem with your explanation there Nick, or at least why Anna can’t see it. Logic.

          • swbarnes2

            Well, yes. We do shame and degrade people who make factual claims and refuse to back them up with evidence. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

            If you want to stay in the kitchen, cite the well-controlled studies that back up your claims. It’s easy as pie to cite evidence that shows no health differences between formula feeding and breastfeeding. See, here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4077166/

            Took me 5 seconds. You’ve been here for days, why can’t you do what I did in 5 seconds? What honest person would balk at providing evidence for their claims?

          • Anna Perch

            “We do shame and degrade people who make factual claims and refuse to back them up with evidence.” OK

          • swbarnes2

            Well, good we are in agreement. This board is for people who are intellectually honest and you aren’t.

          • Charybdis

            What about your lactivist apologist ideology?

            And not allowing lactivists to get on their soapboxes and pontificate about inaccurate science and wild overestimations about breastmilk DOES make that group better than other groups for the women who are looking for evidence-based support with PPD and other issues.

          • Anna Perch

            “wild overestimations”, by that you mean anything that suggests that formula is not on par with breastfeeding?

          • MaineJen

            Yup

    • demodocus

      and we thank you for it. Though I found the fb group less troublesome. Maybe cause noone said anything directly to me?

      • BeatriceC

        I think that the facebook issue was inherently less troublesome, however with my issues with confrontation, having to go be an admin and shut it down took more out of me than this did. Also, you were right in the thick of things here, where I was just reading.

        And you guys are the reason I do it. I’m long past my days of having an infant. But helping make the lives of younger mothers better with resources that weren’t available to me is something that gives me great joy. Selfishly, I’m also hoping that working to make your lives better will help my sons and their future wives when they have children. Every ounce of misery I went through yesterday shutting that crap down was worth it, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

        • demodocus

          “younger” mother makes me laugh, since I’m 39, but the implied “newer” is certainly accurate. 🙂

          • BeatriceC

            Mothers of younger kids, I think, is what I was aiming for. Though you’re technically younger than me, so there.

    • Bombshellrisa

      Have you covered depression and anxiety during pregnancy? It’s a topic that needs to be addressed, although even healthcare providers can have a hard time addressing it properly.

      • BeatriceC

        The name of the group indicates that we just deal with PPD and PPA, but we also accept women who have prenatal mental health issues and women with older kids who have mental health issues as well. We also accept women who have had life long mental health issues and not necessarily a result of having kids. A better name might be “maternal mental health”, but it did start out as just PPD/A. We’re growing at a huge rate, so we must be doing something right.

        • Bombshellrisa

          That is awesome! I wish I would have been part of this group during pregnancy.

          • BeatriceC

            We started it a while ago but it never took off until about two months ago, when one of the other admins really kicked it into gear. We went from 23 members two months ago to over 800 today, and the admins get daily comments and messages thanking us for what we (mostly that one other admin…I play a supporting role, but it’s “her” group) do. So far we’ve had several intense situations where we’ve been able to make a positive difference, and dozens of women who are just incredibly thankful to have a group that’s not full of woo and is honest about the realities of motherhood and mood disorders.

          • Mary Guralnyk

            Hi there Beatrice, is there a way I could get in touch regarding that group?

    • corblimeybot

      I am in that group, and it’s probably the best FB group I’ve ever been in. One of the best internet spaces I’ve been a member of, honestly. You’re doing a fantastic job.

      • BeatriceC

        Thanks! We’ve had some growing pains, but we are trying our hardest to make it a safe, welcoming place for the greatest number of women.

    • Maud Pie

      I am so grateful to read this. As I worked my way out of PPD I developed a clear understanding of how my breastfeeding difficulties and the pressure from the LC and XH exacerbated it, and how switching to formula saved me and my baby. While I gained insights I was horrified at the lactavism fanatics’ staunch refusal to even acknowledge the connection. That’s why I’m so outraged at Perch’s insistence on silencing mothers who have experienced this. Responsible breastfeeding supporters would understand and accept this reality. Only a reckless fanatic would see it as a heresy that must be stamped out.

      • BeatriceC

        Your story is unfortunately not unique. That’s why I put so much effort into my group. We may not change the world, but we can be a voice of reason and evidence based support for the women who do find us, and that can change the world for those women and their families.

        First and foremost, we believe women when they tell us what their experiences are. That’s the first step towards changing the status quo.

        • Anna Perch

          Some formula feeders suggests that they support “all moms”, presuming that breastfeeders only support other breastfeeders. It is interesting to note that you are attempting to create a postpartum group that alienates those who breastfeeding or at least tries to silence them.

          • Heidi

            You’re just making stuff up now. Beatrice did not say she was making a group that alienates those who breastfeed. Lactivists are not always breast feeders (um, Jack Newman comes to mind) and breast feeders are mostly not lactivists.

          • Anna Perch

            Well, she surely did not say that she takes a hardline approach to rudeness or incivility. She said she takes a hardline approach to rooting out lactivism.
            Lactivism is often perceived to be anything that suggests that formula has risks. If formula does have risks, then her group is censoring truth.

          • Heidi

            Properly prepared formula doesn’t have any unique risks that breast milk doesn’t. We’ve asked to see these risks and you haven’t provided us with anything. If someone is telling a woman suffering through PPD that she is risking her baby by giving him appropriate formula s/he should be thrown right out.

          • Daleth

            And actually, breast milk has risks that formula doesn’t. Here’s just one example: a woman who has plenty of milk and no trouble nursing can still give her baby bone damage if she happens to be deficient in vitamin D:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/26/health/research/26rick.html

            That won’t happen if you use formula, because formula has all the vitamin D babies need.

          • Anna Perch

            Yup. Vitamin D, a common apologist talking point.

          • swbarnes2

            See this is the kind of person you are. The argument is true, and you literally don’t care.

          • Anna Perch

            It is true that vitamin D is a common apologist talking point. It is also true that vitamin D is not a vitamin.
            I suppose I should be flattered that I am the kind of person who speaks truth?

          • Charybdis

            Vitamin D is a vitamin. A fat soluble one. What, pray tell, do you think it is?

          • Roadstergal

            I keep thinking of the line from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead: “Just a conspiracy of cartographers?” Our devastatingly smart commenter Anna here really thinks that the basic existence of Vitamin D… is a conspiracy… of formula… apologists? I couldn’t make this up if I were trying to do a lactivist Poe!

          • guest

            Wait ’til she learns about DHA.

          • Azuran

            But even IF it wasn’t a vitamin, it still doesn’t negate the danger of vitamin D deficiency.
            You are, once again, just trying to avoid the topic because you are wrong and don’t have any proof to support any of your claims.

          • Maud Pie

            Are you suggesting that Vitamin D deficiency is a sham concocted by pro-choice feeders to discredit breastfeeding?

          • Anna Perch

            Ooo, you got me. I almost said that Vitamin D deficiency is not a scam.

            But, yes, the assertion that breastmilk is deficient in vitamin D IS a talking point of so called “pro-choice” feeders, which they use to undermine breastfeeding.

          • FEDUP MD

            Do you know what rickets is? Have you ever seen it? I have.

            Yea, breastmilk is deficient in vitamin D. I, like many other breastfeeding women, just gave Vitamin D drops. No biggie.

          • MaineJen

            That must be why my pediatrician told me “If you’re exclusively breastfeeding (which I was), it’s probably a good idea to give these vitamin D supplements, especially since your baby was born in the winter months.” It didn’t discourage or undermine me. Why would it undermine someone to have to give a vitamin supplement?

          • Anna Perch

            As a general rule, pediatricians do not know a lot about breastfeeding. Many do.

          • MaineJen

            That would be an example of a lactivist talking point. Telling people to ignore their doctor’s advice is a good idea why?

          • Anna Perch

            Except that I did not say or imply anything of the sort. it is that kind of word twisting that makes apologists untrustworthy.

          • MaineJen

            “Pediatricians do not know a lot about breastfeeding.” How exactly did I twist your words?

          • Charybdis

            You also did not answer the question. Let’s refresh your memory. MaineJen asked “why would it undermine someone to have to give a vitamin supplement?” To which you replied: ” As a general rule pediatricians do not know a lot about breastfeeding. Many do”. You answered in a non sequitur that has no bearing on the actual question.

            In no way did you answer the question. So again, why would it undermine someone to have to give a vitamin supplement?

          • Anna Perch

            When you “refresh my memory”, you seem to invent a story line that does not match up with the original comments.

          • Charybdis

            Here is MaineJen’s post from above. I have conveniently copied and pasted it VERBATIM here for you, so you don’t have to scroll back up.

            **************************************************
            That must be why my pediatrician told me “If you’re exclusively breastfeeding (which I was), it’s probably a good idea to give these vitamin D supplements, especially since your baby was born in the winter months.” It didn’t discourage or undermine me. Why would it undermine someone to have to give a vitamin supplement? (MaineJen)
            *************************************************

            This was your retort, again copied and pasted so you don’t have to scroll back up.

            *****************************************************
            As a general rule, pediatricians do not know a lot about breastfeeding. Many do. (Anna)
            ******************************************************

            My response to you. Again, no scrolling necessary.

            ****************************************************
            ou also did not answer the question. Let’s refresh your memory. MaineJen asked “why would it undermine someone to have to give a vitamin supplement?” To which you replied: ” As a general rule pediatricians do not know a lot about breastfeeding. Many do”. You answered in a non sequitur that has no bearing on the actual question.

            In no way did you answer the question. So again, why would it undermine someone to have to give a vitamin supplement? (Charybdis)
            *****************************************************
            And your final post, right above this one. Again, I’ve done the work for you.

            *****************************************************
            When you “refresh my memory”, you seem to invent a story line that does not match up with the original comments (Anna)
            ****************************************************

            This brings us to two things. One, what part of my “refresh your memory” post is the invented part that does not match up with the original comments. Two, ANSWER MAINEJEN’S QUESTION: Why would it undermine someone to have to give a vitamin supplement?

          • Anna Perch

            I will not play this game again. It is a waste of space and my time. If you attempt “to refresh my memory” again, I will assume you are just being malevolent. [anything in brackets is commentary]

            D And actually, breast milk has risks that formula doesn’t. Here’s just one example: a woman who has plenty of milk and no trouble nursing can still give her baby bone damage if she happens to be deficient in vitamin D: [con’t]
            AP Yup. Vitamin D, a common apologist talking point.
            SB [insults, no substance]
            AP It is true that vitamin D is a common apologist talking point. It is also true that vitamin D is not a vitamin.
            MP Are you suggesting that Vitamin D deficiency is a sham concocted by pro-choice feeders to discredit breastfeeding?
            AP Ooo, you got me. I almost said that Vitamin D deficiency is not a scam.
            But, yes, the assertion that breastmilk is deficient in vitamin D IS a talking point of so called “pro-choice” feeders, which they use to undermine breastfeeding.
            MJ [the part I responded to]That must be why my pediatrician told me “If you’re exclusively breastfeeding (which I was), it’s probably a good idea to give these vitamin D supplements, especially since your baby was born in the winter months.”
            [the part I did not respond to] It didn’t discourage or undermine me. Why would it undermine someone to have to give a vitamin supplement?
            AP As a general rule, pediatricians do not know a lot about breastfeeding. Many do.
            MJ That would be an example of a lactivist talking point. Telling people to ignore their doctor’s advice is a good idea why?
            AP Except that I did not say or imply anything of the sort. it is that kind of word twisting that makes apologists untrustworthy.
            CB You answered in a non sequitur that has no bearing on the actual question.

          • Charybdis

            You still didn’t answer the question. Why would you think a pediatrician who recommended Vitamin D drops to a breastfeeding mother to use to supplement her child didn’t know much about breastfeeding and that the recommendation would somehow undermine MaineJen’s breastfeeding?

          • indigo_sky

            Was your implication not that people should ignore doctors advice on the subject of vitamin d in breastfed children because it’s just an apologist talking point? If you’re aware that it’s a real thing and the doctors are correct, then what possibly could your objection be to people being informed of it?

          • Anna Perch

            Nope. You inferred that.

          • indigo_sky

            My bad then. Though I’m sure you can see where people got the idea from your insistence on it being an apologist talking point combined with “as a general rule, pediatricians do not know a lot about breastfeeding.”

            Your repetitive claim of “apologist talking point” makes it sound as if you are dismissing the issue of risk of vitamin d deficiency as either unimportant or untrue – either way, as something that should not be talked about so much. If this is not what you intended, then please explain just what was your point?

          • Nick Sanders

            Vaccine?

          • indigo_sky

            Oops. Catching glimpses of comment below while made me think of them and suffered from word creep. Not enough coffee.

          • Nick Sanders

            I was wondering, because if she was antivax, too, the gloves were coming off.

          • Roadstergal

            Given her level of understanding of immunology displayed in the SBM comments, I wouldn’t be surprised if she is a ‘breastmilk does more than vaccination’ type.

          • Anna Perch

            This is the deal, you are assuming that I am making up a bunch of fictions, so you believe that the only way to find out more about these alleged fictions is to pester me until I “confess” or reveal them. I am stating to you that nearly every thing I have said can be discovered online by anyone who has any desire at all to learn.
            If breastmilk is naturally dangerously low in vitamin D, ask yourself, how did the human race survive? How are humans supposed to get vitamin D if not from food?
            Suggesting that breastmilk is inherently deficient in vitamin D is a talking point that apologists (and the formula industry) use to cast doubt on the reliability of breastfeeding. As with most well crafted propaganda, these is some semblance of truth to the rhetoric. But it is deliberately misleading. The premise that breastmilk is routinely inadequate in vitamin D, or iron, or volume, or whatever else, undermines breastfeeding by increases mothers skepticism about whether or not her milk is “enough”. It is fear mongering.
            When you stretch what I have said to mean that I am dismissing the risk or denying that people do experience vitamin D deficiencies, or even rickets, that is disingenuous.

          • momofone

            No, you make the claim, you provide the evidence. Been waiting a while on those citations.

          • Sarah

            Is she Brooke in disguise?

          • Heidi

            It seems like Brooke will say something stupid then run off never to return to say anything else about it. Anna just keeps digging herself deeper into the hole, reinforcing what she claims is an untrue stereotype over and over and over.

          • Roadstergal

            Ha! Simulpost!

          • Roadstergal

            Ha! Simulpost!

          • Roadstergal

            Their styles seem different to me. Brooke is vacuous and comment-shy, posting something hugely dumb and/or nonsensical and then running off. Anna Perch _wants_ to be cutting and nasty, like she resents the fact that this isn’t high school anymore and wants to still be a Mean Girl in the Cool Club. She hasn’t realized that we’re in the adult world now, and the Mean Girl stuff just sounds silly and nobody cares what club you’re in.

          • Sarah

            Also in all fairness to Anna, she hasn’t cast anyone’s infertility up to them yet.

          • Roadstergal

            True – but on the other hand, it hasn’t come up yet. I’ll take a wait-and-see approach.

          • Sarah

            Hmm. Let’s reconvene this time next week.

          • Roadstergal

            My people will talk to your people.

          • Anna Perch

            “Mean Girl” is the whole gist of Skeptical OB’s page!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            She is clearly older than Brooke. Brooke appears to have finally moved beyond her “SAT preparation” phase, but that was still not that long ago.

          • Sarah

            That works on a number of levels because in the UK, we take SATs in primary school.

          • Roadstergal

            “If breastmilk is naturally dangerously low in Vitamin D, ask yourself, how did the human race survive?”

            With a lot of death and rickets. Evolution isn’t perfect, it’s ‘good enough.’ It doesn’t care if a high percentage of babies die, it doesn’t care if a lot of children suffer, it just cares that enough babies survive to reproductive age to pop out a stable or increasing population.

            Evolution isn’t the reason humans are so successful these days. It’s because we’ve used our big brains (that make childbirth painful and often deadly) to improve on what evolution had stumbled blindly towards.

            This was all explained to you in painstaking detail over at SBM. Did you think you were hitting the Reset button on reality by going to another site?

          • Anna Perch

            So, you have no curiosity, no interest in learning, you just want to cling to your fixed notions.

          • momofone

            We’ve all but begged you to teach us by sharing your vast stores of scientific citations, but you still refuse. Show us which fixed notions we should change, based on scientific findings.

          • indigo_sky

            “If breastmilk is naturally dangerously low in vitamin D, ask yourself, how did the human race survive? How are humans supposed to get vitamin D if not from food?”

            From sunlight. The natural source of vitamin D has never been food or breastmilk – it’s sunlight.

            Well, except perhaps the Inuit. As human beings moved farther from the intense sun of the equator, we evolved lighter skin to better absorb what our bodies needed to make vitamin D. The Inuit kept fairly dark skin despite living as about as far from the equator as possible because they have a whole lot of fish in their diet so really did get vitamin D mainly from diet.

            For everyone else though, diet was never enough for sufficient vitamin D. That’s why rickets became such a problem during the industrial revolution when smog and factory work and such really began keeping people out of the sun.

            I live fairly far north in Canada. Vitamin D is a real issue here, and the lack of it causes health problems (it’s even suspected to be contribute to why our rates of MS are so much higher than farther south, though that has not been proven, to my knowledge).

            Even in Florida though, with babies kept under beach umbreallas and stroller canopies and in large floppy hats with long sleeves and then high power sunscreen, vitamin D can be an issue.

            It’s not so much that breastmilk is deficient as that our lives are now deficient in sunlight and so vitamin D must be added to formula and should be supplemented for breastfed infants.

            As I mentioned, I’m in Canada, where it’s a big issue and new parents are spammed with info about the importance of supplementing it. And yet, our breastfeeding rates are still higher than in the states. Of course, that probably has a lot to do with paid maternity leave, but still, pushing vitamin D is certainly not undermining breastfeeding here.

            I am not suggesting you are dismissing or denying that some people suffer from vitamin D deficiency or even, rarely, so severally that they develop rickets. What I am suggesting is that you are dismissing the real risk of vitamin D deficiency in breastfed infants as “fearmongering” and implying that it should not be talked about and that doctors should not push vitamin D drops because because those things undermine breastfeeding.

            If I am wrong, and you agree that parents need to be informed of the risk of vitamin D deficiency and should supplement with vitamin D drops, then please again explain what your point was insisting over and over that it was a “formula apologist talking point” and also how you felt “As a general rule, pediatricians do not know a lot about breastfeeding,” fit into this particular thread and what you meant people to take from that.

          • Anna Perch

            “From sunlight. The natural source of vitamin D has never been food or breastmilk – it’s sunlight.” Thank you.

          • Anna Perch

            When the vitamin D issue is presented this way it is scare mongering and suggests to mothers that there is something wrong with their milk. It undermines her confidence and lessens her resolve:
            “breast milk has risks that formula doesn’t. Here’s just one example: a woman who has plenty of milk and no trouble nursing can still give her baby bone damage if she happens to be deficient in vitamin D”

            It should be presented as: People in northern climates often do not get enough exposure to sunlight, so vitamin D supplementation is recommended.

            It has nothing to do with breastfeeding.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            If breastmilk is naturally dangerously low in vitamin D, ask yourself, how did the human race survive?

            If drunk driving is dangerous, how can millions of people drive drunk each year without an accident?

            How many dead babies are acceptable as long as we are perpetuating the species?

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            “If breastmilk is naturally dangerously low in vitamin D, ask yourself, how did the human race survive?”

            The same exact way it survived a natural miscarriage rate of 20%.

          • An Actual Attorney

            If 95% of cheetah cubs don’t survive (which is the actual mortality rate for them), how are cheetahs even a thing? http://www1.ucsc.edu/oncampus/currents/98-99/08-10/cheetah.feed.htm

          • momofone

            Prove it.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Aside from the total bullshit nature of the claim, the other thing is that pediatricians DO know a lot about sick babies. And they aren’t going to ignore sickness just because the baby is breastfed.

          • Anna Perch

            “There are mothers who want to breastfeed and trust the health care system to help them continue when in fact, they are frequently left feeling guilty for not breastfeeding, feeling that they “failed” or feeling that they “couldn’t” breastfeed for medical reasons.” Agree?

          • Nick Sanders

            Is there a reason couldn’t is in scare quotes? It’s my understanding that there are some people who cannot breastfeed, for medical reasons.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I agree that many women are set up to believe that breastfeeding is easy (“easy, cheap and convenient” right?) and that if they happen to discover that it isn’t easy for them, or even not possible for medical reason, they are left feeling guilty and that they have failed.

            But the problem there lies with the ones who set them up in the first place.

            Doctors will tell them, “It is ok if you don’t breastfeed, you can formula feed instead.” And you think THAT is the problem?

            Who are the ones sending the message that they have failed if they don’t breastfeed? Not the doctors.

          • Anna Perch

            Yes, non-lactivist doctors and healthcare workers.

            “Mothers are left feeling frustrated and devastated because they desired to breastfeed and due to the lack of qualified help or incorrect medical advice they begin to see breastfeeding as “unreliable,” “painful” and “potentially dangerous” and ultimately its importance as “exaggerated.”

            Some of those women, who wanted to breastfeed but were told that they couldn’t, find the experience traumatizing and they expend their anger online in discussions about infant feeding. Oftentimes they blame the people who are working the hardest to improve the quality of lactation knowledge and practice and align with those who devalue it. It’s not unlike the Fox and the Grapes. I couldn’t have it, so it couldn’t have been that good.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yes, non-lactivist doctors and healthcare workers.

            Nonsense. The “non-lactivist” doctors tell them that it is ok if you don’t breastfeed. That is the exact OPPOSITE of calling them a failure.

            they begin to see breastfeeding as “unreliable,” “painful” and “potentially dangerous” and ultimately its importance as “exaggerated.”

            You are a piece of work. Women don’t see breastfeeding as “unreliable” or “painful” because of what their doctor told them, they come to realize that, despite what they were told by their lactation loons, they are finding breastfeeding to unreliable, painful, or just plain not working.

            Why do you think they are asking the doctor about it in the first place? You don’t go to the doctor and say, “Breastfeeding is peachy!” and have him respond with “Oh it’s painful and unreliable!” They aren’t going to the doctor for lack of desire, but because they are having problems. And the doctor says, “It’s ok, you don’t have to breastfeed.”

            OF COURSE they are devastated, because they have been led to believe that breastfeeding is the most important thing in the world and they are failing their child if they don’t do it. Who told them that in the first place?*** Those are the people who are causing the problem.

            ***Folks like you, that’s who

          • Heidi

            That couldn’t be better said!

          • guest

            Yup. My ped and the NICU insisted on vitamin D and iron supplements for my breastfed preemies. The iron was because of their prematurity, but the vit. D was because of the breastfeeding and being born in the dead of winter in a cold climate.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            But, yes, the assertion that breastmilk is deficient in vitamin D IS a talking point of so called “pro-choice” feeders, which they use to undermine breastfeeding.

            Perhaps, but the more important question is, is it not true?

            I noticed in all your blathering about “apologists” you haven’t actually countered the claim that vitamin D deficiency is a risk of breastfeeding.

          • FEDUP MD

            Vitamin D is not a vitamin? In what world?

          • Nick Sanders

            So, are you gonna answer FEDUP MD’s question or not?

          • Charybdis

            I’m betting on “NOT”.

            ‘Cause you know that’s how she is.

          • Anna Perch

            Yes, I said that and I also said, “I do not think it is acceptable to have a mother sign a piece of paper saying that she is “putting her child at risk” period. ”
            Are you being deliberately obtuse or can you seriously not see the difference?

          • Nick Sanders

            You said what? The question was, “If Vitamin D is not a vitamin, what is it?”. I’m not being deliberately obtuse, and I don’t know what “difference” you are talking about, but I did not see you answer the question anywhere.

          • shay simmons

            You certainly are flattering yourself if you think you’re the kind of person who speaks the truth.

          • What do you think Vitamin D is then?

            A vegetable?

          • Anna Perch

            Post more questions and I’ll get back to you when I can.

          • Maud Pie

            This isn’t about facts, it’s about blaspheming the Holy Name of Breast Milk.

          • Daleth

            It’s a common talking point because it’s a common condition (google “vitamin D deficiency America women” to get stats) and can be devastating to babies. And surely that’s the important point–that breast milk actually can harm babies? In other words, breast is NOT in fact always best?

          • Anna Perch

            Why do you think women with PPD should be thrown out and what have I said that makes you think I’d agree?
            Yes, as I have said, you can believe anything that you want. Moon is made of cream cheese, whatever.
            It is absolutely fascinating to me how ridiculous the assumptions you make about me are. All because I say that breastfeeding matters and it is not nice to generalize.

          • Heidi

            See, Anna, you never counter with facts. You say crap like, “You can believe the moon is made of cream cheese.” You just talk around any valid points anyone makes. If I did believe the moon was made of cream cheese, by the way, I don’t think I could hurt anyone with that belief. I’m having a hard time imagining a scenario where I’d induce guilt, shame, or encourage a person to do something that is affecting them negatively.

          • Anna Perch

            Did you just say that stating my belief, that there is compelling evidence that breastfeeding matters, hurts people??!

            Have I encouraged you to breastfeed? Have I encouraged anyone here to breastfeed?
            How is stating a belief in science related to inducing guilt and shame in others?
            Where have I encouraged anyone to do something that is affecting them negatively?
            Where have encouraged anyone to do anything other than stop generalizing, dissing, stereotyping, or sharing misinformation?

          • Heidi

            Last time I am communicating with you. You said, “Yes, formula feeding has risks. Yes, formula fed babies are more likely to die.” You’ve said formula has significant risks. We’ve asked you for the data that proper formula feeding in a full term infant can be directly attributed to more deaths. You won’t give us your sources. You think women should be FORCED to sign a box that they are giving a baby an inferior product if they choose not to breastfeed. Your beliefs aren’t based in good science. If they were, you’d post this good science in a heartbeat. You think people should be given the negatives of FF and the positives of BF and nothing else as far as I can tell.

          • Anna Perch

            Thank you.

          • Nick Sanders

            Stating your belief? No. Being an utter jackass about that belief? Yes.

          • Anna Perch

            Well, maybe you waited until I shared my belief multiple times before you starting making assumptions, but others jumped right in.

          • Charybdis

            Again with the reading comprehension fail. The women with PPD wouldn’t be the ones being thrown out. The pro-breastfeeders/lactivists who give her the line that she is risking her baby by feeding formula are the ones who are invited not to stay.

          • swbarnes2

            For the hundreth time show those risks. For instance, here’s a paper where one method of feeding has a 11x higher risk of sending the baby back to the hospital for neonatal dehydration. This is the kind of thing you need to be citing.

            http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=191546

          • rosewater1

            It appears from the description that the women involved haven’t gotten adequate support from breastfeeders. Why is having a group where those who have suffered trauma alienating? And besides…since it’s a closed group how would you know?

            You appear to be painting with a very broad brush in this situation. And your combative and at times downright nasty attitude and words can hardly be seen as supportive.

          • Anna Perch

            She did not say it was a group explicitly for those who had difficulty with breastfeeding (maybe it is), she said it is a PPD/PPA group. She also said that people who speak out positively about breastfeeding aka lactivists are silenced. Isn’t that alienating?

            Can hardly be supportive of what?

          • Charybdis

            Support of breastfeeding is fine. Support of formula feeding is fine. Support for combo feeding is fine. Support to want to STOP breastfeeding is fine, although I think you would argue that point and try to “support” and “educate” and “encourage” to continue breastfeeding when they have indicated they want to stop.

            Lactivists need not apply. If you are looking for a lactivist echo chamber where you will receive all the kudos and congratulations you wish, I suggest you check out Meg Nagle. She’s another of you cut from the same cloth.

          • Anna Perch

            “Lactivists need not apply. “

          • Charybdis

            Damn straight. Check your lactivist ideology at the door please.

          • Anna Perch

            Exclusively for promotion of formula apologist ideology.

          • Charybdis

            I’m not a formula apologist because there is nothing formula needs to apologize for. In fact, I don’t care how someone feeds their baby, either by breastmilk/breastfeeding or by formula feeding in any of the myriad ways you can feed formula. If I see a mom breastfeeding in public, I don’t bat an eye. Nor do I go out of my way to congratulate her or give her kudos for feeding her baby. If I see a mom using a bottle to feed her baby, I don’t bat an eye or go out of my way to congratulate her or give kudos for feeding her baby. Nor do I feel it necessary to ask her about why she is not breastfeeding, tell her that she is harming her child by feeding formula, or trying to “educate” or “inform” her about breastmilk. That’s how it is supposed to work. No apologizing necessary or required.

            So, not sure why you keep droning on and on and on about “formula apologists” because you are a “lactivist apologist”.

          • Anna Perch

            You’ve completely missed my point. On a person by person basis, I don’t care how someone feeds their baby, either by breastmilk/breastfeeding or by formula feeding in any of the myriad ways you can feed formula. If I see a mom breastfeeding in public, I don’t bat an eye, but I might go out of my way to congratulate her or give her kudos for feeding her baby. If I see a mom using a bottle to feed her baby, I don’t bat an eye nor do I ever ask her about why she is not breastfeeding, tell her that she is harming her child by feeding formula, or trying to “educate” or “inform” her about breastmilk. If I know her I will ask if she would like me to feed the baby.
            My objection is to formula apologism (nothing to do with regret), not the use of formula. Big difference.
            Formula apologists (such as Skeptical OB) routinely disparage people who speak out in favor of breastfeeding, they try to censor information about breastfeeding, they share misinformation about formula (it is only trivially lesser than breastmilk), and share misinformation about lactivism (this is endless, I’m not even gonna try to pick one to highlight, read the thread). Frankly, I do not see how anyone can participate in that kind of behavior. Even I don’t stoop that low.

          • Charybdis

            The hell you don’t. This thread is full of you stooping that low.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Are you a regular reader? Do you actually read, sit back and take in what you are reading before you start typing? This blog has never shared misinformation about breastfeeding or formula. The only reason anyone talks about lactivists is when they show up with both barrels blazing and have nothing logical to say. The only people “speaking out in favor of breastfeeding” here want to make a point that they support breastfeeding, usually done in a belligerent fashion, people who are so fragile that they require validation and kuddos for their bodily functions and situation in life making breastfeeding a choice that works for them. The people you label as apologists are the ones who figure fed is best.

          • Anna Perch

            Misinformation about breastfeeding has been shared routinely.

            The major reason that people diss Lactivists is that the formula lobby is quite powerful.

            “The people you label as apologists are the ones who figure fed is best.” No, s@@t, Sherlock.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Fed is best.
            What misinformation? If you can’t give three concrete examples, then it didn’t happen.
            Fed is best.
            You don’t seem to be able to show any kind of logic, empathy or present the science backing up your claims.
            Fed is best.
            Nobody is able to distinguish between children fed formula and children fed breast milk.
            Fed is best.
            Parenting is actually focusing on the child, not the way they got nutrients for a few months.
            Fed is best.
            Your attitude is why women are still reduced to bodily functions like pregnancy and lactation.

          • Well, if it’s been done routinely then it will be easy for you to provide say, 12 examples, right?

            Kindly get on with it.

          • Roadstergal

            She couldn’t think up even three examples 21 days ago in response to Bombshellrisa, below…

          • Well, she’s had 21 days to look now.

          • Anna Perch

            Not a problem. I’ll just have to pick which 12.

          • Just pick 12 at random.

          • Anna Perch

            “This blog has never shared misinformation ” Bwah-ha-ha!
            ” only reason anyone talks about lactivists..” Classic.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            You are welcome, and in fact have been invited, multiple times, to provide examples of misinformation shared on this blog.

            You have never done so. Can you please do that for once?

          • Maud Pie

            Crikey, the multiple levels of self-deception, self-congratulations, and self-pity are high enough to cause a nosebleed.

          • Anna Perch

            Yes, exactly.

          • Charybdis

            She was talking about you….

          • Roadstergal

            “they share misinformation about formula (it is only trivially lesser than breastmilk)”

            Ooh! Ooh! Anna actually identified something she considers to be ‘misinformation’!

            Okay, that gives us a place to start. In light of the information from the best-controlled-for-confounders studies – the PROBIT study and the discordant sibling study – why do you consider this to be misinformation? Be specific and cite your sources.

            PROBIT study:
            http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=193490

            Discordant sibling study:
            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953614000549

            For extra credit, identify confounders that remain unaccounted-for in each of these studies.

          • Anna Perch

            I consider it to be misinformation because of what the research shows. Duh.

          • Roadstergal

            The research does not show that. I even linked it for you, right above.

          • Anna Perch

            Potato, potato.

          • Roadstergal

            So you expect us to just take your word that you know the science better than the immunologists, biochemists, pediatricians, and other assorted scientists in the thread because… of your inability to know what a vitamin is, and your misunderstanding of basic science as demonstrated in the SBM thread?

          • Anna Perch

            Actually, you are the one that doesn’t know what a vitamin is.

          • Anna Perch

            Actually, you are the one that doesn’t know what a vitamin is.

          • Roadstergal

            No, your mom doesn’t know what a vitamin is! 😀 Are you actually, physically, in grade school, or were you just never able to leave that mindset behind?

          • Michael McCarthy

            “I consider it to be misinformation because of what the research shows. “
            So, because you don’t agree with the information, it is misinformation, Is that correct?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I consider it to be misinformation because of what the research shows.

            What Roadstergal shows above IS the research!!!!

            I mean, direct links to the original publications! What is this “research” you are talking about? Studies that were done before these, and done so poorly that better ones like these needed to be done?

          • So what are the PMID numbers of said research.

          • guest

            Why wouldn’t you go out of your way to congratulate a woman feeding her baby with a bottle? Why not give her kudos for making the decision to feed her baby in the way that works best for her?

          • Anna Perch

            Gosh, you are incorrigible. Should I congratulate her for being able to prepare a bottle? For remembering to feed her baby? For actually making a decision despite pregnancy brain? For picking the right brand of formula? For the cool bottles she chose? For being brave enough to bottlefeed in public?
            Seriously, tell me, in what way could I possibly congratulate her for feeding her baby with a bottle. And don’t side track with some gibberish about I could congratulate her for having a baby, for making it outside the house, for getting her hair combed, for finding a really cute baby outfit, because not of those have anything to do with her feeding her baby a bottle of formula.

          • guest

            Why would you go out of your way to congratulate a woman on having breasts and remembering to feed her baby, if you wouldn’t do the same for formula? Why do you think one needs you to go out of your way (since we’re talking about a stranger you spot in public here) to provide kind words of encouragement, but not the other?

            I mean, personally I think it’s ridiculous to congratulate either one on their method of feeding, but withholding your approval from bottle feeders while showering breastfeeders with praise is why you’re getting such a negative reaction here. You perpetuate the myth that women who use bottles (wither it’s breastmilk or formula in it) are inferior mothers. If they were equally good in your eyes, they would merit equal praise. The fact that you can’t see this demonstrates that *you* are the biased on here. *You* are the apologist. You are the only one in this discussion who is prioritizing one method of feeding over others (in spite of not being able to provide a shred of evidence in support of this). If it seems like we spend all our time talking about the benefits of formula, it’s because *you* keep coming at us saying breastmilk is leaps and bounds better.

            Try us sometime. Comment under a pseudonym and post comments asserting that it’s formula moms who should be praised above all else, and lecture us on how breast milk is an inferior food for children. See what kind of responses you get when you set a different stage.

          • Anna Perch

            Um, I asked what I am support to congratulate her for, you did not answer.

          • MaineJen

            Well actually, you could congratulate her on her beautiful baby. And leave it at that. Whether she is breast or bottle feeding.

            That’s what a decent, kind human being would do.

          • Anna Perch

            Again, if you are not going to read my posts then don’t bother commenting to me.

          • MaineJen

            No, I read the “Don’t sidetrack me with some gibberish” part. I wish I hadn’t, but I did. Because that is what *normal decent* people do, Anna…they simply congratulate the mom on having such a beautiful baby, and leave it at that. Normal decent people feel no need to comment on another person’s method of feeding their baby, be it breast or bottle.

          • Anna Perch: What am I supposed to congratulate her for?

            MaineJen: You could congratulate her on her beautiful baby.

            Anna Perch after Maine Jen answers Anna Perch’s question about what Anna Perch is supposed to congratulate bottle feeding mom with a suggestion on congratulating both mums on their beautiful baby: “If you’re not going to read my posts….”

          • Anna Perch

            Another out of context quote. Full original paragraph, “Seriously, tell me, in what way could I possibly congratulate her FOR feeding her baby WITH A BOTTLE. And don’t side track with some gibberish about I could congratulate her for having a baby, for making it outside the house, for getting her hair combed, for finding a really cute baby outfit, BECAUSE NOT OF THOSE HAVE ANYTHING to do with her FEEDING her baby a BOTTLE of formula.”

          • Hmmm….how do you know there’s formula in the bottle?

          • corblimeybot

            Please don’t approach breastfeeding women to congratulate them. I would have found that so fucking creepy, like being approached by a crazed street proselytizer.

          • swbarnes2

            For the thousdandth time an honest person would have cited the information about how breastfeeding is more than trivially beneficial over formula. You can’t because you are fundamentally dishonest. I can cite my evidence:

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4077166/

            Because I’m not fundamentally dishonest.

          • How is

            “Great, share us this evidence promoting breastfeeding” at all an attempt to silence you? It’s actually asking you to TALK MORE.

          • guest

            For you, Anna, “lactivist” means someone who supports breastfeeders. By that definition, many of the regulars here are lactivists. BUT.

            Here, “lactivist” is the term for those who promote breastfeeding *above all else.* Lactivist isn’t a synonym for lactation consultant or La Leche League leader here – it’s the term for those who become zealots about it, those who use misinformation and shaming, who think that breastfeeding should be done at all costs, by any means necessary.

          • Anna Perch

            Yes, a lactivist advocates for breastfeeding as the expected and unequaled why to feed a child.
            Again, you are making up gibberish because you hang out in a formula apologist environment that has brainwashed you or something.
            Being zealous, advocating BF “at all cost”, being against the use of formula, using misinformation, shaming, and whatever other negative aspersions you throw out are obviously not effective ways to advocate for breastfeeding. They are stereotypes contrived and promoted by people like you.

          • swbarnes2

            You are being dishonest again. No here one is using “lactivist” only to mean “someone who supports breastfeeding”.

            Why is it so very very hard for you to be honest?

          • Roadstergal

            “Yes, a lactivist advocates for breastfeeding as the expected and unequaled why to feed a child.”

            Being generous and assuming that ‘why’ should be ‘way’ in order to make this sentence English…

            Is this what you consider to be lactivism? And do you consider it your own stance? Because your comments do not make it clear.

          • guest

            Really, I think about 80% of Anna’s deal is that she considers herself a lactivist, but knows that she, herself, does not engage in some of the most outrageous lactivist behavior (grabbing boobs and shoving them into babies’ mouths without permission, etc.). Therefore, she finds it insulting to be lumped in with these people (who, she assumes, are very, very few in number and not representative). But like 80% of her problems with our forum would be solved if she stopped considering herself a “lactivist” (the term for overzealous, breastfeed-at-all-costs, make-formula-prescription-only people) and chose another term, like “breastfeeding supporter.”

            She won’t do this, of course, because she wants a cute portmanteau word for what she does, but I’m betting it would change the conversation substantially if she did.

          • Roadstergal

            Interesting. I think that while she would not actually engage in such behavior herself, she can understand where they’re coming from, so to speak, and some part of her is cheering them on in the back of her mind.

            After all, she didn’t jump right up and say “That’s not lactivism! That’s horrible!” She tried to dismiss those experiences altogether.

          • Maud Pie

            That’s an interesting suggestion but I can’t agree. I think she actually does believe in the extremes of lactavism (for example, her prolonged evasion of the Vitamin D issue, culminating in her finally admitting she believes it’s all fear mongering). As I see it, her schtick is creating the straw opponent of Formula Apologist, and imagining that these so-called FAs are saying and doing all the things that lactavists do. With the straw FA in the ring, she can deflect all criticism, attack arguments that no one is actually making, and declare herself a victim. The phantom FA provides a justification for the extremes of lactavism– we’re under siege! We have to protect ourselves!

            As for whether she, personally, would grab a woman’s breast to force her to breastfeed? I doubt that anything other than fear of legal consequences would stop her.

          • Anna Perch

            Yes, “she assumes, are very, very few in number and not representative” That’s sounds fair.

          • That’s the point. Lactivists aren’t representative of breastfeeding supporters.

          • Anna Perch

            No, you’ve missed the point. The point is that lactivists ARE breastfeeding supporters ie breastfeeding advocates. An advocate IS “a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.”

          • Scroll up and reread what has already been explained to you.

          • guest

            I did not make up “gibberish.” I explained to you what the word “lactivist” means IN THIS FORUM. And in other places, like the Fearless Formula Feeder website. Just because you want it to mean something else for us does not make it so.

          • Anna Perch

            So, the reality here is different than reality outside of here?

          • Erin

            Well then either the hospital at which I had baby number 1 and will be having baby 2 at is either staffed by “Formula apologists” pretending to be Lactivists or your idea of what is an effective way to promote breastfeeding is not shared by most other Lactivists.

            You are however correct that those tactics don’t work.

          • MaineJen

            Yes. How could we possibly think you are “against the use of formula” based on your comments?

          • Anna Perch

            That’s what I’m thinking.

          • Azuran

            She didn’t say ‘speak out positively’
            She’s talking about lactivist like you, who shame mothers.

          • BeatriceC

            Precisely. I specifically used the word “lactivist”. Words mean something. I meant what I said; nothing more, nothing less. Ironically, every single one of the admins and mods on that group currently or previously breastfed their children to some degree. We love breastfeeding when it’s possible and wanted by the mother. We don’t tolerate lactivism. That’s an important distinction.

          • Azuran

            You do realize that a lot of people here are actually breastfeeders right?
            We have nothing against breastfeeders. We 100% support their choice.
            What we hate are lactivists like YOU. There is a huge difference.

          • Charybdis

            She is not trying to alienate or silence breastfeeders. She is providing a place where postpartum women can talk about their experiences and the things that trigger or exacerbate their conditions. Breastfeeding and being lambasted by lactivists certainly are contributors to PPD.

          • Anna Perch

            I am not in agreement that lactivists are contributors to PPD. Sounds like prejudice to me.

          • Charybdis

            Nope. Not prejudice in any way, shape or form. Just facts, experiences and anecdata go into the viewpoint that lactivists can exacerbate PPD.

          • Anna Perch

            I rest my case.

          • Azuran

            What case? You still haven’t provided any evidence of your ‘case’

          • Charybdis

            What case would that be?

          • momofone

            You haven’t presented a case.

          • Azuran

            And who are you to decide?
            And really, look at what you have written here. You have not written anything in support of breastfeeding or breastfeeding mother. You have not offered advices to anyone. You are just here, spouting nonsense about formula’s risks, breastmilk superiority and dismissing the real personal experiences of other women.
            How does ANY of what you have been doing here supports breastfeeding?

          • Anna Perch

            Wow. I think this might be the first time I agree with you! ” You have not written anything in support of breastfeeding or breastfeeding mother. You have not offered advice to anyone.”

          • Azuran

            Then why are you even here? If’s it’s not to support breastfeeding or to offer any kind of support?
            Are you admiting to being here to shame mother? To shame and put down formula feeding mother?
            And then you wonder why we have a problem with lactivist like you.

          • D/

            Oh my word, Anna! Can you please just be still? For one moment even? You’ve come barreling up in here on some sort of three week manic, steamrolling-lactivist episode, and you are not listening to anyone. You. Are. Not. Listening … even to women very clearly telling you how YOUR behavior is affecting them!

            And this brand of lactivism spreads ill will toward every breastfeeding advocate, even toward those who can and do listen before speaking. Whatever valid points you might have had are buried so deep under so many feet of poor communication and insensitivity that they’re long since lost. I’d like to add my invitation to others’ that you just stop typing … or at least go type somewhere else.

            JSYK I have a ‘non-feeding’ approach toward trolls, hoping they’ll wither from failure to thrive faster in silence, so no need to reply. I won’t be.

          • Anna Perch

            “Whatever valid points you might have had are buried so deep under so many feet of poor communication and insensitivity that they’re long since lost”
            Not really.

          • demodocus

            She personally has exacerbated mine, that’s for sure.

          • D/

            Need emoticon options here. Consider me bearing hugs and chocolate, or whatever you’d prefer that might serve in substitute 🙂

          • Roadstergal

            If we had emoticons, Anna would just be posting the smiling poop everywhere. That’s how her comments look and smell to me, at least. Sanctimonious and full of shit.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I imagine the South Park episode where everyone is in love with their own farts, the electric car drivers.

          • D/

            Yep. Although I still feel like company here and am *very* hesitant to call much out.

            I guess I’m just sensitive to shit talk at the moment, though, after being called out by a family member for a recent gaffe of my own. Something I’ve used in jest for *years* talking with mothers but have never, ever considered the totally reasonable alternative interpretation that was (pretty nastily) pointed out to me. Left me wondering how many mothers could have had that same reaction and just said nothing or how many other unintentionally crappy things I’ve said. I not going to beat myself up over it, but if someone so clearly shares their perspective I need to shut the hell up and pay attention.

            That, and being on the receiving end of some marital-version shit talk from Mr D/ last night has left me feeling pretty testy. Gave him the advice above too 🙁

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I certainly can’t speak for everyone here, but as for me–and I think for a lot of us–please feel free to post anytime. I always love your posts! While I wasn’t in a position to do so this time, if and when I have another baby, I seriously may give BFing another shot with a what-the-hell-let’s-see-if-this-works sort of attitude. I can ascribe that to a combination of your posts here and also to the delightfully, shockingly chill LC I met at the hospital this time.
            (Can’t remember if I posted about her, but she walked into the recovery room, introduced herself, and asked if I wanted help breastfeeding. I said no, thanks, I tried that the first time around and wasn’t willing to even try again because it went so horribly last time. She said, “no problem, here’s my card, if you change your mind feel free to call at any time for help, congrats on the cute baby, and have a good one!” I was floored.)

          • D/

            Your sweet as sugar 🙂

            Tell you what, if and when you have another baby, I’d be honored to be your LC (whether you breastfeed or not). I earn a ton of vacation time and have never been on your side of the Mississippi. It would broaden my horizons so to speak.

            If the let’s-see-if-I want-to-mess-with-this-breastfeeding-stuff action plan leans toward what-the-hell-I’ll-give-it-a-try, all’s good. Private LC on the hook … if it works, it’ll work.

            Leaning more toward fuck-that-shit-what-was-I-even-thinking-about-breastfeeding-for plan? All’s still good. I’m under the impression you’ve probably got a good book or three lying around. Story hours and hours and hours for all 🙂

            Now in all seriousness, I keep promises made and won’t be replying to the engine driving this nonsense of a thread. Feed a fever, starve a troll, ya know 🙂 But I do want to say, as I’m certain you know, the response to your absolutely heartfelt story above is nothing more than another foot in the miles-long rope of fish shit floating around and around in this tank. Sorry you have to see such nonsense though 🙁

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            That is so very kind of you! And you’d be more than welcome, whether as a “mere” baby-snuggler and story-reader, or in your professional capacity. You can snuggle my (quite cute, IMNSHO) babies while gorging on fantastic Tex-Mex and giving latch suggestions (or not)…I like this idea!

          • D/

            Tex-Mex! 🙂

          • moto_librarian

            The “block” function might be a good option right now.

          • D/

            ^ what moto_ said …

          • demodocus

            sigh, you’re probably right. Drawn to it like probing a sore tooth

          • demodocus

            ah, that’s better.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I did it. I have found someone block worthy…Brooke has never been worth it, he who shall not be named wasn’t worth it, but this nasty toad is.

          • Anna Perch

            OK, shhhh! Got it.

          • Amazed

            Yeah, I can see why you won’t be in agreement. After all, you, a lactivist, personally mocked a woman who shared how breastfeeding made her PPD worse. You don’t want to admit that you’re uncapable of empathy, after all.

            Once again, why don’t you run and wash your milking equipment? Sticking it into your kid’s mouth might be the only thing you’re good for, if we don’t take mocking women who share about their breastfeeding challenges.

            Moo away, milky thing.

          • Anna Perch

            I had a good idea that people here would be vicious. It is sort of the heading of the discussion. I am somewhat surprised by how much hatefulness there is.
            Anyway, you do realize that anyone with at least half a brain will not just accept your condemnation of me, right?
            What they will find is that, in response to my comment that formula apologists deride anything resembling positivity toward breastfeeding, someone wrote, “people saying things like you just did make those of us who can’t feel like crap”.
            Yes, I called them out for that. It can hardly be summarized as shamefully, mocking someone who had PPD, as you allege.
            I am calling you out on your BS, too. If you would like me to hang around, keep on making stuff up about me so I can refute it. 🙂

          • Azuran

            Actually, anyone capable of having any kind of brain power would condemn you. You are just horrible.
            You are not spreading ‘positivity’ about breastfeeding. You are degrading mothers, both formula feeding and breastfeeding mothers.

          • Amazed

            Indeed. It would be incredible that after reading what Demo had to say about how people congratulating her for breastfeeding affected her, she’d boast how she sometimes goes out of her way to congratulate a breastfeeding mother. Unfortunately, after reading all her poisonous drivel, I am not surprised at all.

          • Nick Sanders

            If you’re tired of all the viciousness and hatefulness here, I’d suggest you stop being vicious and hateful.

          • Anna Perch

            If you recall, the OP was all about being vicious.

          • Nick Sanders

            Yeah, no.

          • MB

            I have found that the Naural birthers, AP, and lactivists that I have met over the years actually have personality and/or life style deficiencies that cause them to NEED to feel like better parents, due to their own underlying feelings of parental inadequacy, either real or imagined. Unfortunately, to make themselves feel better, and prove what their own mind believes to be a fallacy, they must make others feel like shit, attempting to prove themselves again and again.

            Anna, I think the real reason you are here might be a difficult pill to swallow. My hypoyhesis: You wanted to seek out these polarizing views to your own, to shit all over them to again reinforce your superiority to other parents, but in so doing you are neglecting the real reasons why you feel like a shit parent, whatever they are.

            I think most people here offer support to each other. But support doesn’t really sound like the thing you are looking for.

          • Anna Perch

            Why does your version of support depend upon vilifying others?

          • Anna Perch

            If you were trying to imply that you are not nasty, you failed.

          • MaineJen

            It may surprise you to know that the regular commenters here are the most un-vicious bunch I’ve encountered on the net. The only source of viciousness seems to be the parachuters, who find that our experiences might not fit into their mold. It’s a noticeable pattern.

          • Anna Perch

            Bwah-ha-ha!

          • guest

            You know, I don’t see anyone “hating” you here, or “hating” breastfeeding as a general concept. Some of them hate they way they were treated for their feeding choices and struggles, though.

          • Anna Perch

            I think you might have missed a few comments that were directed at me.

            Yes, I totally get that, people were treated badly. What I don’t get is how generally and defaming lactivists is going to fix that.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            So…being told that the reason you aren’t producing enough milk is that you must not have wanted your baby or love her wouldn’t ever contribute to PPD? Or that if you don’t breastfeed, your baby won’t bond to you?
            I wish it were true that moms in fragile mental states could so easily disregard such comments, given that they’re grossly untrue. The fact is that many can’t, especially when such comments come from people who are in positions of perceived authority. Seriously. I went to a LLL leader for help, and her response was, “Well, did you want to get pregnant?” Further followup questions essentially said that she believed I must not be producing enough milk because I hadn’t really wanted to have a baby in the first place. Never mind, of course, that we’d tried for six months prior to get pregnant with DD…

          • BeatriceC

            You make the incorrect assumption that I formula fed my babies. But I expect no better of you. You’ve made multiple false assumptions about me, which speaks volumes about you, and nothing about me.

          • Anna Perch

            I didn’t make any assumptions about how anyone has fed their babies AND, if I haven’t already said it, it does not matter to me.
            I haven’t made any assumptions about you. You said that you do not tolerate lactivism in your PPD group. You did not say that you do not tolerate rudeness. THAT speaks volumes.

          • Nick Sanders

            You sure spend a lot of time complaining about something that doesn’t matter to you, then.

          • Anna Perch

            I have not complained about how anyone has fed their babies.

          • MaineJen

            See, this is the problem. You automatically assume that anything not exclusively Breastfeeding-centered is therefore anti-breastfeeding. Don’t you agree that a mother who wants to stop breastfeeding should be supported? Just as a mother who *wants* to continue breastfeeding should be supported. Either way, the baby needs to be fed.

          • Anna Perch

            “You automatically assume that anything not exclusively Breastfeeding-centered is therefore anti-breastfeeding.” Nope.
            “Don’t you agree that a mother who wants to stop breastfeeding should be supported?” Duh, of course.

          • MaineJen

            After she signs a paper saying she’s putting her baby at risk?

          • Anna Perch

            At risk of what.

          • Azuran

            We don’t know, you are the one who claimed that formula had risks (we have been asking you for evidence about this for days). But it’s good if you finally came to your senses and realized it was an idiotic claim.

          • Anna Perch

            Well, then, no. I do not think it is acceptable to have a mother sign a piece of paper saying that she is “putting her child at risk” period. These idiotic claims you are making are not coming from me.

          • Azuran
          • Heidi

            “I do happen to think it is fair for healthcare workers to ask a mother to check off a box that says something about recognizing the differences between breast and formula.” https://disqus.com/home/discussion/skepticalob/dr_jack_newman_how_dare_you/#comment-2903871562

            Anna is such a liar.

          • Azuran

            and yet I’m sure she wouldn’t want such a list to include the risks of breastfeeding. Like hypoglycemia, icterus or even mastitis.

          • Heidi

            No, of course she wouldn’t. She already says that undermines breastfeeding because it tells the mother her milk isn’t enough. I don’t think women should derive their worth or self-esteem from breast milk, but I guess I’m silly. I’d argue, and I think most people would agree whether they are a parent or not, that milk is never enough for a baby, whether formula or breast milk.

          • Roadstergal

            Or jaundice, vitamin D/iron deficiency, failure to thrive…

          • I dunno. Tried asking about that, she thinks the difference betwenen a)a paper stating the risks of formula and b)a paper stating the risks of formula feeding vs combo feeding vs breastfeeding is the way b was phrased.

          • MaineJen

            You tell me. You’re the one who wants new moms to have to sign a paper if they want to formula feed.

          • “Formula has risks”, remember?

            We tried asking you about the unique risks and what evidence you had for it – but you assumed we weren’t interested.

          • Anna Perch

            Again, you are missing my point. Stating that “she’s putting her baby at risk” is a vague, inflammatory comment. That is why I asked MaineJen to clarify.

          • So is “formula has risks.” Why do you not clarify?

          • Anna Perch

            I am not the one who said, “she’s putting her baby at risk”. I think the author should clarify.

          • You did say that formula has risks though, correct?

          • Sarah

            The problem with this argument is that a)lots of breastfeeding mothers say the same and b)that includes the many breastfeeding mothers who post here.

          • Anna Perch

            Ah, but your premise is that pro-breastfeeders are a horrible lot. One of the accusations that apologists use to dis pro-BFers is the “we support ALL moms” and They do not rhetoric. This a a clear example of apologists not supporting all moms. Doesn’t that indicate to you that they are just as horrible as the pro-BFers? If not, kindly explain the double standard.

          • Roadstergal

            “Ah, but your premise is that pro-breastfeeders are a horrible lot.”

            That’s not anyone’s premise here. People who advocate for better parental leave, for science-based investigation into low supply and for research into what actually helps women breastfeed who want to, people who talk honestly about difficulties breastfeeding and how to mitigate or overcome them, people like Dr T who breastfed all of her children – they are welcome. People who mis-represent the science and try to represent perfectly viable alternatives as inferior are not pro-breastfeeding.

            Hey, we have code-accessed private pumping/nursing rooms at my work thanks to actual pro-breastfeeding people. It’s a small thing, but it means breastmilk will be getting into babies that wouldn’t have otherwise. What have you done lately that actually helps breastfeeding?

          • Anna Perch

            Well, it is most everyone’s premise and there isn’t a lot of criticism about it.

          • Roadstergal

            It definitely took some work to respond to my comment without addressing anything substantive in it. 😀 We just have to assume – and it’s not the biggest stretch in the world – that the answer to my question is ‘absolutely nothing.’

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Ah, but your premise is that pro-breastfeeders are a horrible lot.

            I mentioned this the other day, but what you call “breastfeeding support” is not actually support. At best, it’s cheerleading.

            We are all in favor of doing things to support breastfeeding. What you are talking about is nothing of the sort. And the problem is, you refuse to understand that.

          • Anna Perch

            Yup, right back to Orwell.

          • Sarah

            No, that is not my premise at all. You have made that up, with literally nothing in my post to base it on, and I shan’t be responsible for your inventions.

          • No. That’s a strawman fallacy.

          • Anna Perch

            Prove it.

          • Well, no-one made the argument you said they did so strawman fallacy.

            Don’t use tricks unless you understand them.

          • Wren

            I breastfed both of mine. I breastfed my second to 35 months. I have no problem whatsoever with breastfeeding as long as the baby is getting enough and the mother is not taking a medication (legal or illegal) that could negatively affect the baby. I support breastfeeding in public. I support breastfeeding in private. I support mixed feeding. I support bottle feeding with breastmilk. I support bottle feeding with formula. Whichever method works for the family is fine by me, as long as the baby is fed an adequate diet to thrive.

            That is supporting all moms, and dads, and others who may have responsibility for raising a child.

            Every option has pros and cons. The vast majority of women are more than capable of working out which pros are worth which cons.

            One can be pro-breastfeeding for oneself, and pro-policies that better allow for those who wish to breastfeed to do so, without being anti-formula. Breast worked best for me in my situation with my children, but that does not mean it works best for others. I’m old enough to realise that different individual situations will have different best solutions.

          • Anna Perch

            “pro-policies that better allow for those who wish to breastfeed to do so, without being anti-formula” It sounds as if you have concluded that I am anti-formula.

          • Wren

            Concluded you are anti-formula?

            Well, yes. What you have written pretty much leads to that conclusion. At minimum you portray yourself as believing formula is inferior to breast milk, and that formula via an SNS is superior to formula in a bottle. If those are not your beliefs, you really, really need to work on communication skills.

          • Anna Perch

            You mean precisely, formula is inferior to breastmilk and, yes, the SNS is preferred over bottles.
            If you conflate that with being anti-formula, then isn’t it you that has missing skills?

          • Wren

            The SNS is not generally preferred over bottles. It is preferred only when the mother wants to breastfeed, does not produce enough milk and uses it in an attempt to either increase supply or mimic breastfeeding. The latter reason is not generally suggested by medical practitioners.

            Formula is not inferior in many cases. If the mother is willing and able to breastfeed and has no medical reason not to, then formula may be inferior. When that is not the case, formula is the superior option.

            Your belief that formula is inferior, period, is pretty strong evidence that yes, you are anti-formula.

          • Anna Perch

            “You are anti-formula.” Nope.

          • Wren

            What would you call it then?

            You are certainly not equally in favour of formula and breastfeeding.

          • Anna Perch

            Formula feeding and breastfeeding are disparate, not “even choices”.

          • Wren

            And there we have it.

            Anti-formula fits.

            For those who are not anti-formula or anti-breastfeeding, they are even choices, both with pros and cons and both just fine.

          • Roadstergal

            Please provide evidence that formula is inferior to breastmilk and that the SNS is preferable to bottles.

          • Wren

            The evidence is that she said so.

          • Maud Pie

            Plus she said on the science based medicine site that she would boycott a pediatrician who approved of both breastfeeding and formula feeding.

            I once chanced upon a sort of “publication” by a fringe right-wing Catholic organization. (This was in 2009, but whoever prepared this rubbish was using 1970s duplication technology.). The lead article was an outraged protest over accusations that the fringe group was anti-Semitic. It literally said something like “We are not anti-Semitic! That’s a lie invented by the filthy scheming Christ killing Jews who control the media and the banks and who want to take over the world and crush the Godly oppressed true Catholics!” Sound like anyone we know?

          • rosewater1

            This isn’t even a GOOD argument. Where does she say that all formula feeders are good and all breastfeeders are bad?

          • BeatriceC

            I don’t. And to be perfectly clear, all three of my surviving children were breastfed (two straight from the tap, and the third, who was born at 24 weeks and never learned to latch was bottle fed expressed breastmilk, which I had in abundance). So I’m more than a little amused to be designated as a formula feeder and anti breastfeeding.

          • Wren

            Ah, you’re one of those secretly self-loathing breastfeeders who breastfed her own children but because you aren’t 100% in favour of breastmilk over formula at all times is really a formula apologist. Welcome to the club.

          • BeatriceC

            You found me out!

          • demodocus

            This makes my brain hurt

        • Nick Sanders

          You may not change the world, but I’m sure you have or will change somebody’s world.

      • Anna Perch

        That would make more sense if Perch had tried to silence someone.
        Science shows that having difficulty with breastfeeding is correlated with PPD, It shows that rapidly stopping breastfeeding is correlated with PPD. It also shows that breastfeeding is correlated with less PPD.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Have you considered why PPD might be correlated with difficulty breastfeeding and stopping breastfeeding?

          • Anna Perch

            Are you joking?

          • Bombshellrisa

            You mentioned it, so I assumed you understood what you were talking about.

          • moto_librarian

            Yes, well, some psychiatric medications are contraindicated for breastfeeding, so it’s entirely possible that some women quit breastfeeding simply because they have entered treatment for PPD. That would be a plausible explanation for why rapidly stopping breastfeeding is correlated with PPD.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Also the feeding or pumping routine leave no time for any rest or time to eat. The pumping schedule I was on with my son while we waited for him to be able to latch and nurse without immediately being worn out was brutal. Every three hours I would put him to the breast, then feed him (it took forever for him to drink less than two ounces) and then I would pump. It left me with 38 minutes between cycles. I wanted to give him breastmilk since he was born late preterm and there were some benefits but i would never cheerlead someone else to do what I did.
            There was a study out of Sweden recently that linked personality traits to higher risk of PPD. Lots of factors and facets to PPD. I hate that someone is trying to make it as easy as “breastfeeding protects moms from PPD!”.

          • moto_librarian

            Oh yes. I can so relate with this. I was pumping every two hours. I got to the point where I was absolutely dreading everything – putting a screaming baby to my breasts, pumping for up to 40 minutes a session for 1/2 an ounce of milk, washing bottles and pump parts.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I forgot about the washing up part. And then having a minute or two to clean up a little and cry because sitting up on my healing tear really hurt.

          • Maud Pie

            You want to know the extent of my XH’s help when I was being worn down by the SNS/pumping regimen? He said, “I don’t think you need to wash anything. Just give it a good rinse.”

          • moto_librarian

            JFC.

          • Bombshellrisa

            No way. Please tell me you threw the parts at him.

          • Maud Pie

            LOL, I wish I had.

          • BeatriceC

            And he’s still alive? You’re a better woman than I.

          • Daleth

            Omg, 38 minutes between cycles?! I’m jealous! I had late preterm twins and one boob that didn’t really work. I wasted over $600 renting a hospital-grade pump and god knows how much time sitting there with it on, jealously watching my husband and mother-in-law actually hold and interact with my babies.

            It didn’t take long to make the switch to all-formula but it took months to get over the guilt. The completely baseless guilt that I felt because I believed the “liquid gold” BS that lactivists crow about. Thanks, lactivists!

          • Megan

            The worst part for me? Hands down, watching my husband play/cuddle with the baby while I was hooking up to the milker and couldn’t hold her. I felt like a cow, not a parent.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            My wife said the same thing. “I feel like a milk cow.”

            Megan, are you sure you’re not my wife?

          • Azuran

            Or, you know, people with PPD might also quickly stop breastfeeding if they feel it’s contributing to their depression.

          • Anna Perch

            “it’s entirely possible that some women quit breastfeeding simply because they have entered treatment for PPD.”
            Not really.

          • momofone

            Actually, yes, really.

          • Charybdis

            Oh, yes. When I called my doctor and told them I hated my son because of the breastfeeding and PPD, they immediately told me to stop trying to breastfeed, switch to formula and started me on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds that same day.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            So, Anna, I think the proper response at this point is, “Oh, sorry. I was wrong. Now I know better. Thanks.”

          • Erin

            The Birth Trauma forum I hang out in would suggest otherwise.

          • corblimeybot

            Do you not even remember my fucking post from the other day? The one you blew off, about how ceasing breastfeeding was a big part of treating my PPD?

          • Maud Pie

            Corblimeybot, it’s difficult for people like you, me, and most of the people on this site to understand, but people like perch are capable of waving away any evidence contrary to their agenda. Your story, and mine, and other posters’ were offered in good faith as proof of circumstances where countervailing interests weigh against breastfeeding, but perch’s obstinacy, illogic, and utter lack of empathy won’t be budged.

          • Anna Perch

            What a crock! You two are the ones waving away the evidence that is contrary to your formula apologist agenda.
            Neither one of you has displayed that slightest bit of empathy! Hypocrites!

          • Azuran

            What evidence? You still haven’t posted any.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            You two are the ones waving away the evidence that is contrary to your formula apologist agenda.

            Usually, when someone accuses others of “waving away” the evidence, there is actually evidence that exists that needs to be waved away.

            What evidence is that?

          • Anna Perch

            As in this case.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            As in this case.

            In which case?

            I have asked you, what exactly is that evidence that has been waved away? Remind me again, what evidence is there that is being waved away? Help me catch up.

          • No, you have made assertions.

          • Anna Perch

            I seriously do not understand this idea that if I, personally, do not provide the members of this forum with online links to evidence which supports the concept that breastfeeding matters and/or the are risks to using commercial infant formula then, obviously, no such evidence exists.

          • Guest

            Then you must not be a professional of any sort. I’m an attorney, not a scientist, but I know to be prepared to defend my claims with evidence if I want to be taken seriously.

            And your argument is…bizarre..anyways. You make assertions without evidence then you’ve just proven – nothing. You could be right, they could be right. You make the initial assertion, the burden of proof is on you. You refuse to support your assertion with proof, then we’re just wasting time. Elementary logic.

          • Anna Perch

            Really, an attorney, that focuses on argument style not facts? Hmm, who would thunk?

          • Who says you have to provide online links?

            PMID numbers will do just as well.

          • Who said it didn’t exist?

            The point is that YOU have done nothing to support YOUR point. If Anne Carp comes in here and supports her point with evidence then we’ll listen to her.

          • Roadstergal

            What’s the evidence? We’re waiting with bated breath.

          • Wren

            Empathy to what?

            We all saw the total lack of empathy you have displayed to women who posted here.

            What empathy should MaudPie and Corblimeybot have shown?

          • Christy

            What evidence?

          • No, we actively asked you for it – that’s the opposite to waving it away.

          • corblimeybot

            You’re right. I need to stop screaming into the void, with this one.

          • moto_librarian

            Well, I wasn’t going to reply to you again, but you touched a nerve. Have you ever had PPD, clinical depression, or anxiety? Are you a healthcare professional? If the answer to both of these questions is no, please just shut up. Many of us who struggle with mental illness are particularly susceptible to the deleterious effects of sleep deprivation. I am certain that I would have wound up with serious PPD on top of major depressive disorder had I not stayed on my antidepressant medication during and after pregnancy. A difficult delivery coupled with primary lactation failure left me unhinged. All I kept hearing was try harder, pump more, your milk will come in, etc. Our son’s pediatrician, not my midwife, not the IBCLC, explained that PPH can leave you unable to lactate. The worst part is that the reasons that I was obsessed about breast feeding were related to dubious claims preached as gospel. What I needed was for someone to acknowledge that I was physically unwell, that I needed to rest and recover, that the benefits of breastfeeding are vastly overstated. Instead, I got assholes like you, Anna. People who claim that those of us who have been harmed by the lactivist agenda are discriminating against you, that you are the real victim. YOU are the problem here. YOU are why Beatrice has to provide a place where women can share their stories without judgment.

          • Heidi

            I’m glad you made it out and finally got the real support you needed.

          • Anna Perch

            I am opposed to mental health practitioners such as Beatrice who prefer to disregard the evidence that supports breastfeeding. I find it slightly more offensive than medical professionals disregarding the evidence.

          • Azuran

            You do realize we are talking about mental health right? Probably the area of medicine that is the largest grey area ever.
            There is no ‘evidence’ as to what can and cannot contribute to PPD, PTSD, trauma or depression.
            Breastfeeding can make some people feel better, it can also be the cause of distress in others.

          • Anna Perch

            I’ll say it again more loudly and more slowly, I am opposed to mental health practitioners who disregard the evidence evidence that supports breastfeeding. I find it more offensive than medical professionals who disregard the evidence that supports breastfeeding.

          • Azuran

            well, why don’t you post some evidence. Because so far, all I see is an idiot being an ass to someone who is actually doing good in this world.

          • momofone

            What exactly are your professional mental health credentials?

          • momofone

            I AM a mental health practitioner, and what I find offensive are people who place more importance on the way a woman feeds her baby than on the woman’s well-being. She’s suicidal, or psychotic from (or exacerbated by) sleep deprivation? Surely she just needs to breastfeed more!

            I can assure you that I am very familiar with evidence, and the evidence says that a dead mother cannot feed her child at all. Any mental health practitioner who prioritizes breastfeeding over well-being and ability to function, as in stay alive, should lose his/her ability to practice.

          • Anna Perch

            ” I find offensive are people who place more importance on the way a woman feeds her baby than on the woman’s well-being”
            Exactly, you are so prejudiced that you think people who acknowledge the risks of infant formula place ideology over others well being!
            Professional competence includes knowing your biases. You know that right?

          • momofone

            I’m sorry–what were your credentials again?

          • Who?

            Tell us what the risks are.

            No portents of doom, no dire prognostications, no superior winks and nods.

            Just facts of the cold hard variety.

          • momofone

            What risks are those? Please cite evidence. Additionally, how do those alleged risks compare with the risk of death from lack of treatment?

          • Anna Perch

            I don’t know why you only care about the rare deaths that occur from mismanaged breastfeeding, but not about the rare deaths that occur from unnecessary formula use. Oh, right, those are just figments in my imagination.

          • Azuran

            Until you provide a source, then yes, it’s just a figment of your imagination.
            And putting aside the very low risk of death (which used to be extremely high, but is now low THANKS TO FORMULA) What about all those babies who have hypoglycemia, lose weights, don’t thrive, develop icterus or have to be hospitalized because of dehydration because of inadequate breast milk supply? Or all the mothers who have pain, mastitis or mental distress? Death is not the only ‘side effect’ that is worthy of mention.

          • momofone

            Actually, they must be, because I haven’t talked about deaths from either. I’ve talked about deaths due to maternal suicide.

          • OttawaAlison

            As a loss mom all deaths concern me. I think current formulas are great as long as they’re properly prepared. That said if they can create better ones I’m cool with that too. That said I am fairly certain that death rates from properly prepared formula is pretty much nil for healthy babies. It’s even extremely rare for preemies.

            That said, why are you here. You’re antagonizing people. You don’t seem to understand the difference between public health and individual needs in direct patient to Doctor health care. You told a mom who shared her story that she’s whining. You’re being very cruel. Does it come from the view that not only is formula “inferior” but that it’s “harmful” and any women who uses it is directly burying their head in the sand and “hurting” their babies? Do you believe women who tell you that when breastfeeding H didn’t work out formula helped their babies thrive? I know I always felt gaslights when women tried to tell me why I formula fed and the “harm” I was supposedly doing, especially when formula was what help my daughter grow and thrive. Not that you really care about stories like mine (was mine whining too? Oh well, if you think it was that’s none of my business).

          • Anna Perch

            ” I am fairly certain that death rates from properly prepared formula is pretty much nil for healthy babies. It’s even extremely rare for preemies.”
            Right and you are content with maintaining that belief, despite my suggestion that it might not be an accurate assumption.

          • Roadstergal

            You can suggest stuff all day long. Providing evidence rather than ‘suggesting’ is the way to actually change minds.

            You’ve been here three days and haven’t posted a shred of science. I even spelled out in small words how to do it. That’s the way to change minds. That’s the way my own mind has been changed on many things – including breastfeeding. I ‘knew’ growing up that it was superior to formula, the way we all just ‘knew’ that. Then I was provided with convincing evidence (that I have already supplied to you) that it actually isn’t, that they both have pros and cons that are highly situational. If you’re just here to blather and fap, fine, but you won’t change a single person’s mind by doing so.

          • OttawaAlison

            So I’m in way too many infant loss communities. Not one parent I met has lost their baby to formula.

            Do you endorse bed sharing? That on the other hand results in a lot of deaths.

            By the way, since I’m fairly certain you’re not using your real name, do we share the same first name, but spell if differently?

          • Azuran

            We might consider your suggestion more seriously if you showed some proof.

          • So? Your suggestion is nothing more than a claim.

            How about showing us some evidence?

          • Anna Perch

            Actually, a “suggestion” is less assertive than a “claim”.

          • Either way, you have provided no evidence.

          • Anna Perch

            Actually, I am very clear on the difference between public health and individual needs. Breastfeeding is a public health recommendation. Individuals moms have the right not to breastfeed.
            I’m a little surprised that you have brought the issue up, because it seems to me that the average commenter here conflates the two.
            I acknowledge that formula is literally lifesaving when breastfeeding comes undone.

          • Azuran

            Still waiting for you to post evidence of those risks. Come on, try and find 1 baby that was hurt by properly prepared formula.
            Do you actually realize what you are doing? You are so prejudiced that you think people who acknowledge the risks of breastfeeding place ideology over others well being. You should know your biases, you know that right?

          • Roadstergal

            Nobody can acknowledge risks that have not been a: stated and b: supported by evidence.

            Since you have done neither, we cannot consider that there are any risks to acknowledge.

          • Wren

            Can you acknowledge the risks of breastfeeding?

          • Azuran

            You know, in both mental health and physical health, PEOPLE ARE NOT STATISTIC AND EVIDENCE. You treat the person for what they actually have, not what the ‘evidence’ is telling you they should have or how they should feel.
            You look at the patient in front of you. If the patient is front of you is telling you that breastfeeding is giving them suicidal thoughts, then you freaking believe them that breastfeeding is giving then suicidal thoughts and make them stop doing it and give them the appropriate medical help.

          • moto_librarian

            Beatrice is not a therapist or psychiatrist, moron. She facilitates a group on FB for people suffering from PPD. She never claimed to be a mental health practitioner.

          • corblimeybot

            Anna’s reading comprehension is so, so bad.

          • Anna Perch

            That’s a relief, I guess. I hope she makes it clear to the group members.

          • BeatriceC

            I’m not a mental health practitioner. I’m a statistician and a former middle school teacher and college professor, with a brief stint in corporate analytics for a major bank, before leaving the work force to stay home and take care of my physically disabled children. So there’s yet another assumption you’ve made that is incorrect.

            I do not disregard evidence of the benefits of breastfeeding. But what I also don’t disregard, which you so desperately would like to pretend doesn’t exist, is the evidence of the harms of breastfeeding in some situations. I don’t ignore the evidence that in developed countries with access to clean water the benefits of breastfeeding are trivial at best.

            And I will not under any circumstances allow the women in my group to be abused by people like you so long as I have any control in the matter. I will not allow bullies to present exaggerations and outright lies as a way to bully the women who have opened up to their struggles. I will not allow people to try to guilt a mother into not accepting the inpatient treatment she so desperately needs because of breastfeeding. I’m sick to death of women being subjected to the abuse people like you hurl out, and I’ve finally decided to do something about it.

            So you’re going to respond with some drivel attempting to defend yourself, and you’ll still be wrong. But there’s one nice thing here. I sent a few people to read this thread. These people have had their eyes opened to the horror of lactivism through your words. When they read your responses to Erin and Demodicus they were horrified. They understand now. So I suppose we owe you a thank you for that.

          • Anna Perch

            “I do not disregard evidence of the benefits of breastfeeding.” Yeah, you do.

            “When they read your responses to Erin and Demodicus they were horrified. ” I’m guessing you cherry picked which posts to read and conveniently left out anything that I said that contradicted your assertion that I am a “horrible lactivist”. You probably even left out the rude comments that Erin and Demodicus directed at me. That’s how it is done here, right? Half-truths and onesidedness?

          • Azuran

            You need to work on your reading comprehension. She ‘directed people to this tread’ Which means they where on the page, and subject to the whole of the conversation. Beatrice does not have the power to hide some of your comments. They deemed you a horrible human being because you are one.

          • Erin

            Please show me the post where I said anything rude aimed at you. It shouldn’t be hard because I haven’t exactly replied to many of your posts.

          • Anna Perch

            Your rudeness toward me:
            Then perhaps rather than lecturing here, perhaps you should be pushing for better training…
            This … doesn’t match this… in my book
            Ah more “Orwellian language” huh?
            Because one is important, the other … doesn’t really exist
            Personally I know I’d prefer a child who has to watch what they eat or exercise a bit more to one who is incapable of forming secure attachments. [the implication is that I am a jerk who would not agree]

            And some of the nasty, dismissive things that I said to you:
            Have you heard of Penny Simkin? I had the opportunity to hear her speak about this once. Well worth the time. have courage.
            You know what the right thing for you and yours is.
            Wishing you a beautiful birth.

          • Erin

            1. Some of my best friends lecture for a living, I’ll have to tell them it’s an insult.
            2. Personal opinion. You said “Again, common ground, ” before quoting me on “If you say you don’t want to breastfeed” then there should be “no lecture on the “negatives”, no “give it a try” and no emotional blackmail which when we boil it down, telling a new mother she’s not doing the best”. I didn’t then and I still don’t think that matches up with your statement where you say the following “”To me, the answer that works best (online) is, something like, “I acknowledge the risks of infant formula, and I have decided not to breastfeed.” If anything in this discussion is Orwellian, it’s statements like “the risks of infant formula” and I don’t believe that matches up with “no lecture on the negatives”.
            3. If Orwellian language is an example of rudeness, you threw the first stone in using it against me. Personally I found it amusing, hence the “huh”.
            4. Statement of fact. Breastfeeding is normalized. Hospitals push it, health visitors push it, giant public health organisations push it. You can’t get much more normalized than that.
            5. I wasn’t implying anything about anyone else, it was purely a personal statement. As a Mother who was diagnosed with Ptsd and PnD shortly after her son was born, it’s something I’ve worried about constantly.

            Also I didn’t say you said any “nasty, dismissive things to me”. I was under the apparent misinterpretation that we were debating something we clearly both feel passionately about from opposite ends of the spectrum.

          • guest

            We have now entered the theatre of the absurd. Next time someone cuts me off in traffic, I’m going to shout “This…doesn’t match this…in my book!” at them, since it’s so rude and all.

          • Charybdis

            BeatriceC said she sent some people here to read this thread; to see for themselves how nasty, redundant, cold and insensitive the lactivist/breastfeeding apologists truly are to those who won’t fall in line with their ideals. Read the thread, not certain posts from the thread, the ENTIRE DAMN THREAD.

            They got to see for themselves you, in all your insensitive, rude, crude and socially unacceptable glory. Your gaslighting, your discounting of shambolic breastfeeding experiences, your evasion of direct questions to you, your steadfast refusal to cite your source material or provide links to your source material, all your denials and deflections, everything that makes you a slimy, bottom-feeding lactivist apologist. They got to read it all for themselves and arrive at their own conclusions. Which I gather from BeatriceC’s post, they found you sorely lacking in compassion, empathy and science literacy.

            You present badly and come across abysmally, that much is obvious to anyone reading this thread. You don’t need our help to discredit yourself. THAT you have down pat.

          • Anna Perch

            You are just making that up.

          • Charybdis

            Which part?

          • Maud Pie

            [Standing ovation.]

          • swbarnes2

            For the thousandth time what evidence?

            Post your well-controlled studies here of the evidence that we are all ignoring.

            An honest person would have done this days ago. You can’t because you are fundamentally dishonest.

          • rosewater1

            I honestly can’t understand this. Truly, I can’t. If a mother has a choice between taking medication that will enable her to CARE for her chlld-and that care doesn’t include breastfeeding-are you saying don’t take it? Because that is what it can come down to. Fo you want a healthy functioning mother or do you want a mother who’s spiraling downward-but hey, she can breastfeed?

            I don’t understand and have never understood this. In the interest of disclosure I have no children & since I’m 50 will never give birth. And if I’d ever given birth…yes, I would have at least TRIED to breastfeed.

            But is breastfeeding more important than ANYTHING else about being a parent? ANYTHING? I just don’t understand. And frankly, if you think it is…I’m grateful that I don’t understand. I see enough blaming and shaming of women. I hope you realize the harm your words may be doing. There are a lot of people who read here & never post. Your stance on breastfeeding could be a wretched trigger for a mom who is suffering. Think about that.

            Or do you not care as long as your breastfeeding message gets internet time?

          • Heidi

            Rosewater1, I think she’s a miserable person and this lactivism thing is just something she just happened to latch onto (no pun intended).

          • Anna Perch

            Maybe you are looking for something that isn’t there. I have no idea what might even be a tiny bit controversial about this:

            “I am opposed to mental health practitioners who disregard the evidence that supports breastfeeding.”

            Seriously, who would support any health practitioner disregarding any evidence?

            You asked, “are you saying don’t take it?” I am saying that the evidence should be considered before making a decision. Don’t you agree?

            ” is breastfeeding more important than ANYTHING else about being a parent?”
            Why are you asking ME this? I have not said or implied anything of the sort.

            You said, “I hope you realize the harm your words may be doing.”
            I can honestly say, no, I can not imagine how saying “not to disregard evidence” is a wretched trigger, blaming, shaming or otherwise harmful comment.

          • momofone

            What “evidence” do you mean? You haven’t presented any.

          • Wren

            Well, there is the part where you denied that some women quit breastfeeding in order to treat their PPD. That really does imply that treating PPD does not, or should not, be more important than continuing breastfeeding.

            I have never seen a mental health practitioner disregarding the evidence that supports breastfeeding. Have you? Not placing breastfeeding above mental health is not disregarding the evidence.

          • Roadstergal

            “I am opposed to mental health practitioners who disregard the evidence that supports breastfeeding.”

            Evidence that you continue to fail to supply.

          • Wren

            I think she believes she has supplied evidence, simply by making an assertion. I think her skills really are that low.

          • demodocus

            not could be, -is- a trigger. For me, anyway. She’s the first person i’ve ever blocked.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Here’s the thing:
            When a mom like me says “I’m taking fenugreek 4x/day, am on a ‘nurse for 60 minutes, pump for 40, wash pump parts/pee/sleep/eat for a total of 20 minutes, repeat’ schedule, baby never seems satisfied, and I’m pumping a total of a 1/4 ounce from both breasts combined over a full day, and nursing is the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life” the appropriate response is not
            “Are you sure you wanted your baby?”,
            “If you just try hard enough, it will work.”,
            “Whatever you do, don’t give her the formula that the pediatrician (who’s so anti-breastfeeding that she was still breastfeeding her toddler at the time…) wants you to supplement with due to dehydration and weight loss,”
            “All moms make enough milk! All babies cry a lot! You’re just overreacting!”
            “Well, I can meet you to help you, but it will involve your bringing your baby to a hospital…during flu season…”
            I heard all of those from the LLL leader and various nurses and IBCLCs after I had DD. Never actually got any concrete help, mind–just lots of “you’re a bad mom because breastfeeding isn’t working out.” I wanted to breastfeed so. fucking. badly. I quite literally nearly killed myself trying. Thank God that the one thing I didn’t do was take the Reglan that my OB prescribed off-label; it often exacerbates PPD, and as it was, I spent most of every day trying to decide whether and how to kill myself because I was such a bad mother that I couldn’t have or feed my baby the right way.
            But hey, I don’t matter to lactivists, just like my babies, who would have almost certainly died without CSs, don’t matter to the NCB types.

          • Anna Perch

            ” I don’t matter to lactivists” ?!

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            No, I don’t. My ability (or apparent lack thereof) to make milk mattered. Me, as a suffering, depressed, sleep-deprived new mom? Nope. Not a one said, “honey, you need sleep, too.” Not a one said, “Your baby has lost much too much weight and is dehydrated, so she needs to supplement at least until your supply increases a bit.”
            I failed at making milk despite their demands that I never sleep, eat, or bathe in order to be constantly either nursing or pumping. I said, honestly, that the pain of nursing was far worse than anything I’d experienced related to my C-section, and that while I didn’t need more than ibuprofen after I left the hospital for my incision pain, I desperately wished for Vicodin to get through breastfeeding. I was literally chewing the cushions of the couch to keep from screaming when she latched. All I got when I told them this was “well, she’s latching well, and you’re doing the right things, so I don’t know what to tell you. You SHOULD be making enough, and it shouldn’t hurt.” Well, I wasn’t, and it damn well did, but that didn’t fit the narrative of “every mom can breastfeed if she tries hard enough, and it doesn’t hurt if you do it right.” Just like “every mom can have a natural childbirth if she wants it enough, and if she or her baby is permanently injured or dies, it’s her fault.”
            I spent the next year thinking I should just kill myself for being such a failure that I couldn’t breastfeed or have a natural birth. Frankly, my impression was, and to a certain extent, remains even now, that both the lactivists and NCB types would almost prefer it that way so that I don’t mess with that narrative.

          • Who?

            You’re badly broken.

            If that’s all you took from that heartfelt comment.

          • Anna Perch

            Really, you read that as “heartfelt”? It came off as whining to me.

          • Wren

            Yeah, you really need more work on those communication skills.

            Your trolling skills are improving though.

          • Maud Pie

            You’re as sensitive as a cold toilet seat.

          • momofone

            That comment (of Anna Perch’s) is at the level of the commenter who used another commenter’s infertility as fodder for her vitriol. I’m out.

          • demodocus

            Generous of you

          • D/

            In the defense of cold toilet seats … in my previous life I may have been overtly thankful to rest my face on a cold seat or two. As here, I think it’s leaving the bowl crap-smeared that’s the most insensitive 😉

          • Guest

            What is wrong with you? Seriously? You seem to lack basic human empathy.

            I’m jumping out of mostly lurking to ask – why are people still engaging her? She isn’t adding anything to the conversation – and hasn’t for days. She doesn’t understand the science and lacks basic reading comprehension. As far as I can see, she’s just being heartless and cruel and the more people respond, the more you feed her insatiable appetite.

          • Giving her enough rope to hang herself so the lurkers can enjoy the public execution?

          • Azuran

            That’s because you don’t have any empathy.

          • moto_librarian

            So you think that mental illness doesn’t exist then? Okay, that’s pretty much all that we need to know about you.

          • Anna Perch

            As I have already said, I was familiar enough with the personalities here that I was prepared for a substantial amount of nasty viciousness, but in some instances you all go beyond the pale.

          • corblimeybot

            Hey, Anna, do me a favor.

            Archive this thread in your personal records. Come back to it in five or ten years. After you’ve had some time to hopefully grow out of this phase of your life, and when you’ve fully realized that you can’t tell breastfed and formula fed children apart.

            When you read this thread again at that time, ask yourself if you behaved well here.

            Ask yourself if something as ephemeral as breastfeeding, was worth your being so cruel and nasty to people who have truly suffered.

            Ask yourself if you should have spent your time being kind to other human beings, rather than calling them whiners.

            Ask yourself: what did it say about you, that you were willing to verbally abuse people in the name of an idealogy that didn’t mean anything?

            Ask yourself if this was the best way you could have spent your energy, at a very pivotal, direly important time in human history.

            If you’re so confident that you’re doing the right thing now, surely you won’t look back on your behavior as childish bullying. Surely you won’t wonder why you didn’t spent your time doing something constructive and compassionate. Surely you’ll still feel good about being mean to people for not reason at all.

          • Anna Perch

            ” Come back to it in five or ten years. After you’ve had some time to hopefully grow out of this phase of your life” I’m thinking your prediction is based on a false premise.

            But, as I have said to others, maybe you should take your own advice. Look back on your own comments and reflect on the possibility that your were mean and nasty. I think there is an opportunity for personal growth there.

          • How about this?

            We all agree to come back here in five years and look back.

          • MaineJen

            Whining. Are you for real?

          • Christy

            Whining? Really? Once again you tell a woman that her experience, her suffering, doesn’t matter.

          • swbarnes2

            For the thousandth time exactly what benefits are you claiming the well-controlled research supports?!

            An honest person would have cited this days ago after being asked once. A fundamentally dishonest person would keep ignoring it, while expecting people to think they are behaving rightly.

          • Anna Perch

            For the bazillionth time, evidence does not affect denialism.

          • Who?

            So why waste your time here at all?

          • Anna Perch

            You mean why am I wasting your time?

          • Who?

            Oh please, I’m wasting my own time, you don’t get the privilege of wasting mine for me.

            But do tell us all that factual information you have about the risks of formula feeding. Don’t be shy, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it. You owe the world that much at least. Think of all the babies you could save from whatever it is you think will happen to them if they have formula.

            It’s pure selfishness and perversity if you refuse to share.

            And every time you ignore or brush off that question, and someone comes here and sees that you can’t answer it, a formula bottle is that much closer to a baby’s mouth.

            Can you live with that on your shoulders? It’s entirely your responsibility, if you believe what you claim to, to share the information you claim to have.

          • Anna Perch

            “You owe the world that much at least.” scoff

          • Irène Delse

            Proud of being a denialist? That’s pretty sad.

          • Wren

            In your case, it is certainly true that evidence does not affect denialism.

            Most people are capable of changing their minds in the face of evidence. For example, listening to real women who found being pushed to breastfeed exacerbated PPD would cause many people to reconsider the wisdom of pushing breastfeeding.

          • Roadstergal

            Evidence that you continue to fail to provide.

          • Why would we bother asking you for evidence if we didn’t want to see it?

          • Anna Perch

            I would like to know.

          • The answer is simple:

            We’re asking you for evidence *because* we want to see it. If you can’t provide any, please just admit it.

          • Irène Delse

            “Mental health practitioners like Beatrice” WTF? You know there’s such a thing as patient groups, right? Good job erasing the voices and life experiences of people with mental health issues.
            It’s obvious why you cling to the idea that everybody but you “disregard the evidence” for the magical benefits of breastfeeding: you’re making them up as you go along.

          • Roadstergal

            a: she’s not a mental health practitioner, and b: you’ve given us no evidence, so you can’t judge on whether we’ve regarded it or disregarded it.

          • MaineJen

            Breastfeeding is NOT more important than a woman’s mental health. If you think it is, you are a special kind of awful. Signed, Someone Who Has Actually Suffered From PPD

          • Anna Perch

            Breastfeeding is NOT more important than a woman’s mental health.

          • Azuran

            Then why where you accusing Beatrice of disregarding evidence? If mental health is more important than breastfeeding, how was she ‘disregarding’ the evidence?

          • Wren

            I know a few. I nearly was one.

            Interesting to learn my good friends do not exist and I nearly failed to.

          • Irène Delse

            Yes, really. With hey last child, my mother renounced to breastfeed because she was crashing with PPD and had to take heavy-duty medications. Exposing her baby to drugs OR risking her own life by going without drugs (she had a history of suicidal attempts) simply didn’t seem worth the try.

          • Not really.

            Okay, let’s go through this one by one.

            Do you think it’s possible that some woman quit breastfeeding or not really?

          • Anna Perch

            I do not believe that simply entering into treatment for PPD is an explanation for why a mother must quit breastfeeding.

          • That wasn’t the answer to the question. Try again.

            Do you think it’s possible that some woman quit breastfeeding or not really?

          • demodocus

            oh no! we can’t have that! boobmilk uber alles!

          • Anna Perch

            Apologies. I actually misread your post. Quick answer, yes, I am interested and have thought about why.

        • Post-Partum Depression?

          Why is this comment pro breastfeeding? I thought anti-depressants had nothing to do with breastfeeding.

          Oh right, that only applies when it’s convenient for you, right?

          • Anna Perch

            I said that, “Science shows that having difficulty with breastfeeding is correlated with PPD, It shows that rapidly stopping breastfeeding is correlated with PPD. It also shows that breastfeeding is correlated with less PPD.”
            None of those statement mentions antidepressants.

          • How do you treat PPD?

          • Anna Perch

            Treating PPD is not a one size fits all endeavor.

          • Nor is feeding a baby.

    • CanDoc

      An excellent point and absolutely worthy of study. I’m glad you brought it up.

    • Pamela Burn

      A symptom / cause (who knows?) of my PPD was to obsess, research and obsess about my breastfeeding inability. I still do now but do not get anxious or depressed about it, just angry.

  • moto_librarian

    Anna Perch, are you ever going to provide the substantive evidence about the benefits of breastfeeding that you claim to have? Or are you just going to continue complaining about how mean we are for insisting that you back up your claims?

    • Chi

      Nah she’s just like the anti-vaxxers who claim to have all this science, but when we ask them to show it to us, they say that they’re not going to do the work for us and that we need to ‘do our research’.

      Clearly someone needs to explain to her ‘burden of proof’.

      • Bombshellrisa

        Also “bias” and “infer”. We can only judge by what someone says here and her words paint her to be a nasty lactivist with little to no compassion and no idea what she is talking about.

  • Bombshellrisa

    Things any parent can do to care for and nurture their child with longer lasting effects than breastfeeding (in no particular order):
    1) vaccinate
    2) read aloud starting early
    3) be active together
    4) get well child exams
    5) attend story time and participate in early literacy programs through a local library
    6) find a good dentist and establish a good routine of brushing and flossing
    7) help your child develop good coping mechanisms
    8) teach children to be respectful to elders
    9) be a good listener when they voice concerns

    Feel free to jump in here and add more.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Get a job that makes a lot of money ( you didn’t say it had to be easy)

      • Bombshellrisa

        Yes!
        Be willing to sit down and make a budget or consult with a financial adviser so you can figure out how to make your money work for you. Ask how to save for a college fund so no matter what kind of schooling your child ends up choosing, you are able to contribute a little.

      • Bombshellrisa

        There is a 19 year old in our community that is crowd funding for a breast pump. She is struggling financially, the father of the baby isn’t in the picture, but she is determined not to go back to work unless she gets a really nice breast pump because breastfeeding “Is the most important thing” she does for her son. Her son is six months old. I would venture to say that getting a job and giving her son a good home life are more important at this point than breast milk.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I volunteer at my son’s kindergarten room, reading books with some of the kids. The reason I do this is because their parents don’t. The kids are asked to keep a log of books that they read at home (alone or with someone). The principle asks that they read 100 books over the year to get promoted from kindergarten. That is 10 books a month that they need to read outside the class. They have a sheet with 25 slots where they write the books down that they read. So they need to have 4 done over the course of the year.

          We are a month into school, and my guy has turned in 7 of them, and is almost done with his 8th, to get to 200 books (his goal is to match his brother, who had 1000 by Spring Break and then quit counting).

          The kids I am reading with will have NONE. ALL YEAR. They can’t get their parents to read 100 books with them over the course of 10 months. I am hoping that we can get to 50 books together by the end of the year.

          I don’t know if they were breastfed, and I don’t care. These kids and families have much bigger issues they need to deal with. I’m doing what I can to help. They don’t/didn’t need breastmilk, what they need are parents that are able/willing to help them.

          I am very fortunate that we are able to provide a lot for our kids, and that gives them a huge advantage in life, no doubt.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I love that you volunteer in your son’s classroom. Also that you are raising kids who love reading. It’s very sad that there are parents who are unable or unwilling to take the time to enjoy a book with their children. It’s something that is fun and free (the library!) plus if you are really stumped about what to read next, there are resources like bookbub or Pinterest for suggestions. We have bookmarks that our library system prints out with suggestions for different interests. Turns out my friend’s son (he is 6) likes cookbooks with lots of pictures and wants to make some of the recipes he sees, so they are using the list of kid friendly cookbooks and combining reading with cooking. He also loves books he can read to his parents and younger sisters and had read to my two year old when he visits. Not sure how much breast milk he got, but he is getting lots of what he needs to thrive.

          • Roadstergal

            The problem is, even when reading is free and convenient – if you weren’t a reader as a kid, you just don’t have the habits of reading to pass on. I read as a kid (my parents and sibs stuffed the house with books), and I’ll swallow up libraries, used bookstores, and Kindle books all day long. But people who didn’t grow up reading – well, it’s often just totally not on their radar at all to do.

            That’s another reason I really appreciate what Bofa is doing. If it can break the cycle and make a reader – that’s so wonderful.

          • Bombshellrisa

            That is true, neither of my parents are readers. My grandmother was the one who did the library visits and kept encouraging me to read. I married a reader so that helps our family read and keep reading.

          • Amazed

            What Bofa is doing should be commended. Recently, I’ve noticed a decline in people’s interest in making kids interested in reading. It’s all anecdote, I know, but I really think part of it is the availability of more TV programs, computers and so on than we had as children. I guess it shows who truly wants to cultivate the love of reading and who (mainly) wants just to keep the kid entertained. Recently, I gave a toddler a book and the mom was so grateful. Turned out that mom, dad and yours truly were the only ones to ever provide the kid with books. I can’t help but think that a good chunk of those books I got from various people as a kid were because there weren’t this many other presents available. Nowadays, it’s easier.

            Of course, it’s also easier to see who is a true reader now.

          • Roadstergal

            Yeah, that’s sad, because the digital revolution can make reading easier. I have hundreds of books at the touch of my finger!

            I need to remember to give my friends with kids books. I don’t want to imagine life growing up without The Wind in the Willows… the Phantom Tollbooth… the Oz books… Tale of Two Cities… etc.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I will admit to being thrilled our local library system has free audio and ebooks. It’s made reading to pass the time anywhere even easier. (I have novels packed into my emergency kits and go bags for just in case too. Books were my escape during my childhood and teen years, I got more comfort from reading than trying to ask my parents for any kind of help).

          • Roadstergal

            I had good parents – and I still derive a great deal of comfort and love from good books. I love how some of them have just taken on more and more meaning the older I get.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            As screwy as my parents were, they at least let me loose in libraries and bookstores not infrequently. Mind, I had to be careful about what they “caught” me reading (to give you some idea, Nancy Drew was on the banned list…), but you can read quite a lot if you’re at the library for 5-6 hours at a time and totally unsupervised. Some of my happiest memories are from Dad not wanting to deal with the whole parenting thing and leaving me at either a bookstore or a library.

          • Bombshellrisa

            When I comment here about my upbringing, I always realize you are going to be the one who understands the most what I am talking about. I do remember that the few times I was able to go to the library or bookstores with my parents, I had to stay right with them and they wanted to see everything I was reading. They would also pick out books that were completely boring and have nothing to do with anything I liked (at age 10, I wanted to read about horses and since my mom didn’t like horses I would usually get a cookbook from her). My grandmother was much less strict and I could read just about anything and she would find a reason why it was good. I remember she took me to a feminist bookstore because she insisted I have the experience. She would also smuggle books to me or have them at her house and we would spend hours reading outside on the lounge chairs.

          • demodocus

            I like your subversive grandma

          • Bombshellrisa

            There are no words for how awesome she was. She had belly dancing albums in her vinyl collection, traveled all over the world, and was always looking for new and exciting things to do. She was always taking classes and trying new food. I don’t know what my life would have turned out like if I hadn’t had her influence.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I like your grandmother! Sensible woman!
            I was lucky in that my best friend’s mom was a children’s librarian with an accordingly well-stocked house. I’d spend a lot of summer days hanging out with BF, sprawled over sundry couches with a stack of books. Bliss!

          • Amazed

            One of my favourite pictures of Amazing Niece is the kid, in all her 5-month-old glory, supporting a book against her legs as best as she can and inspecting it. She looks for all the world as if she’s reading. “Sweet Little Monkey”, the book is called and as I say, “Hey, look! She’s reading her own biography!”

            I expect that babies are golden mines to make love reading. I mean, they love rhymes so much. I’ve already gone through most of the long lullabies (meaning, with many verses) with Auntie’s Little Treasure and her parents are doing the same. We’ll start with the poem books next.

          • Bombshellrisa
          • Amazed

            He’s such a cutie! The Cutie Reader!

          • Bombshellrisa

            Oh thanks! He had just woken up from his nap and came downstairs to find me. I had been relaxing with a good book : )

          • Roadstergal

            Adorable!

          • Michael McCarthy

            ” I don’t want to imagine life growing up without The Wind in the Willows… the Phantom Tollbooth… the Oz books… Tale of Two Cities… etc.”
            My 10 year old niece has never heard of any of these. Her father doesn’t think reading is all that important, but knowing the name of every NFL starter and what his fantasy points are, that she needs to know. SMH

          • kfunk937

            I highly recommend the Coloured Fairy Books (Red, Blue, Green, etc.) if you can sneak them in find them for her, even in paperback. The illustrations beat American football any day.

          • Michael McCarthy

            Actually, when she was 6, I sent a huge box of books to her. It had things from that reading level up to what she might read as a teen. Because her father has custody of her, he felt it was inappropriate for me to decide what she should be reading so he gave them all to Goodwill. I was a bit miffed over the whole thing. And now, because of that act, she never read Wind in the Willows, Watership Down, Phantom Tollbooth, Escape From Warsaw, none of the choose you own adventure series and on and on. If it isn’t assigned in school, she hasn’t read it. She’s so smart and her father has no idea how he’s stifled her.

          • kfunk937

            Uck. Totally suckworthy.

            Does she have a library card? Best thing I ever got, and why libraries were the cathedrals/temples of my youth, so much so that I got married in one (for the suitable gravitas). Plus they’re generally safe places to hang out in after school…

          • Michael McCarthy

            You know, I don’t know if she has a library card or not. My guess would be no as she really isn’t interested in reading now. She liked the Harry Potter movies and I suggested she should read the books, they are so much better and she told me there’s no point because she saw the movies. *sigh*
            (there is a great children’s museum near them, and a zoo, she doesn’t get taken to those places either)

          • demodocus

            ugh. my 3 month old has been to the zoo! Before we had a car! We couldn’t get far very often, but diaper clad eldest has been to President Garfield’s house, the art museum, the botanical garden, the natural history museum, 2 zoos, 1 aquarium, rehearsals for classical concerts, and both branches of the local library. Granted, we have awesome cultural things “nearby” in Cleveland, but he’s 2 and she’s a big kid.

          • demodocus

            (Our zoo is free for locals before noon on Mondays and the art museum is free all the time. Just needed a bus pass and a lot of patience. A friend drove us to Garfield’s)

          • Michael McCarthy

            my niece lives in Columbus, so it isn’t for lack of cultural things to do, her father isn’t interested in them (and my sister only gets her 3 days a month) so she never gets to go. I had bought my sister a 1 year membership to COSI – the all access membership, they went twice. I wasn’t mad about the waste of money, but the waste of opportunity.
            I grew up in CLE, many many educational things to do, didn’t hurt that my dad thought it important to do educational things. That’s why we went to places like Gettysburg, Colonial Williamsburg, Washington D.C. (for the Smithsonian museums mostly) and national parks as part of summer vacations. Our school system (Kenston, in Bainbridge) was big on educational fieldtrips too, so we went to the Dawes arboretum, Playhouse Square (production of The Hobbit), Greenfield Village, etc.

          • JoeFarmer

            Wow, if only more kids had uncles like you…

          • Michael McCarthy

            Thanks. It’s easier being the uncle than the parent. (although I still get miffed about them not using the COSI membership, the place is awesome.)

          • Bombshellrisa

            That is so amazing! Starting them young and just letting them have the experience is so important.
            Gonna guess that you have some pretty amazing music playing at your house for everyone to enjoy too.

          • demodocus

            Son calls the local classical station “my music” The brainwashing has been thorough 😉

          • Bombshellrisa

            Oh I wish I could like this a thousand times!

          • Bombshellrisa

            Oh that is so sad. Would her dad take her to the library to see what is available in the way of group meet ups or classes? Our local library does lots of gaming type stuff for kids that age, lots of science experiment classes. There are also free passes to museums. This past summer the early literacy program (newborn to age 5) gave vouchers for WNBA game tickets as prizes and for the older kids, tickets to the zoo. Maybe see if the library offers ebooks, audiobooks and has a streaming video and music service that is free? There is a lot more than just books that come with a library card.

          • Michael McCarthy

            He’s a self-centered jerk so it really isn’t important to him to do things she likes or might like. I was on facetime with her one day and she was showing me these clay ornaments she made. They all got burnt in the oven because her dad couldn’t get them out of the oven until the football game went to commercial. No lie. (and you can see the TV from their kitchen)

          • Maud Pie

            I hate this man. What a horrible human being.

          • Michael McCarthy

            Yeah, my mother feels the same way. She’d cut off things if she could.

          • JoeFarmer

            Wow. Just wow. I don’t know what to say.

          • Michael McCarthy

            I think it bothered me more that at 10 she isn’t allowed to use the oven. Like, is putting on oven mitts and pulling out a baking sheet that dangerous?

          • JoeFarmer

            10 is iffy to be using the oven without oversight, IMO. Depends on parental involvement. You have to coach them on where to set the hot cookie sheet down after it comes out of the oven, and how to plan ahead so they have that figured out before they’re testing the quality of the oven mitts.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I’d say it depends very much on the kid. I’d have been fine with it at that age (I mean, I was cooking stews and biscuits and such from scratch since I was about 9), but I’ve met 12-year-olds I wouldn’t trust to use a microwave with explicit instructions and oversight. :p

          • Michael McCarthy

            That’s my thinking. The odd part is he let’s her use the stovetop (gas) which is much more risky, IMO, than the oven.

          • kfunk937

            She might be interested if she knows she can take out virtually unlimited music CDs and movie DVDs… and then the books may seem less threatening/boring/might have a chance if only by osmosis.

            One of my cherished tasks as Cool Auntie is poisoning all their little minds with museums, zoos, Science Hall of Fame, ASM Geodome, etc. visits. I get to feel positively subversive, and really enjoy revisiting with someone much shorter who’s got a fresh perspective. Zoos are teh best with a gaggle of kids trailing along.

          • Michael McCarthy

            If I lived anywhere near her anymore, I would take her. Trying to motivate people from 1600 miles away is practically impossible.
            (as an aside, we were at Disneyworld a few years ago and I wanted to take her to Disney Quest, which is kind of like Disney’s own children’s museum. That went over like a lead balloon with my sister who thought my niece might miss out on some fun)

          • demodocus

            I really liked children’s museums when I was a kid. Didn’t get to go often, but they were highlights of several summers. Granted, I’m nerdy, but my sister also loved them and she’s not academically inclined.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I was homeschooled rather…loosely. *snort* However, living near an Ivy League university and having rather neglectful parents meant that I could bicycle to world-class museums and libraries and just wander around all day soaking it up from the time I was about 8. That part of my childhood was utterly glorious.

          • JoeFarmer

            “One of my cherished tasks as Cool Auntie is poisoning all their little minds with museums, zoos, Science Hall of Fame, ASM Geodome, etc. visits.”

            If there are boys involved, let them play with fire!

          • kfunk937

            Ant bombs are where it’s at!

          • JoeFarmer

            Oh! Speaking of cool stuff, we just got a great biology lab demonstration! A praying mantis on the patio door, so we got to see the underside (which you don’t get to see very often) and we got to see it snarf a bug (something like a little roly-poly) and then use the front legs to wipe it’s mouth!

            Nature is awesome!

          • kfunk937

            That it is. They make imposing photos in macro, too.

            When I was a kid, I had an addled cat (she’d survived distemper) who’d go out to hunt overnight. One morning I awoke with a live mantis she’d lovingly laid on my chest while I slept. I also had an entrepreneurial idea of starting a bait business with the night crawlers she’d collect after heavy rains.

            I miss living in the country, but even in a small town get wild turkey, deer and whatnot who wander in due to overpopulation (removal of predators, mostly, although I see occasional foxes and coyotes), as well as those well-adapted to fringe ecology like raccoons. Lots of fun. Not so hot on the gardens, but a watching apple-drunk deer interact with skunks is a memory I’ll treasure.

          • shay simmons

            Six months ago we adopted our first rescue German Shepherd. He is very sweet and loving, but was a stray and on the streets for Crom knows how long. So there are some security issues there and he’s quite clingy. We spent the first several weeks he was with us showering him with elaborate displays of affection.

            About ten days into his residence, the cat brought home and deposited on the basement steps a freshly killed rabbit. We figured it was some kind of message, either to us (I’m indespensible and I was here first) or to the dog (concrete overshoes for you, mug).

          • JoeFarmer

            Domestic cat behavior is interesting. As independent as we like to think cats are, their acts of presenting their catch to humans suggests otherwise.

            At least I think so, having had to remove many headless baby bunny carcasses from the front stoop before our daughter headed out the door for school…

            Never had a kitty cat supply a live treat like you did, though.

          • kfunk937

            This one was unique. She’d been raised by a St Bernard, but had some of the hard-wired feline instincts, like trying to teach me to hunt. Unusual prey choices, though.

          • Sonja Henie

            Our cat has brought in several snakes.

          • Maud Pie

            The J-teen told me she read that when cats bring prey to their human companions, they think they are helping out the poor human who must be starving because they don’t hunt. I have no idea if there’s any evidence supporting this assertion, but it’s fun to think about it.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            My all-time favorite pet cat (had her from childhood til a couple of months after I met the guy who would become DH–I like to say she only died ‘cos she knew she was leaving me in good “paws”) used to like to tuck a half a mouse under my pillow. *shudder*

          • Azuran

            It’s awesome from a human standpoint. But it’s really terrifying when you think about it. No amount of money on earth would make me agree to be an insect for even 5 minutes. Everything is trying to liquefy your organs, lay eggs inside you and eat you alive.

          • JoeFarmer

            That’s certainly an interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing.

          • Maud Pie

            I was an entomology nerd one summer in my youth and if I had seen what you just described I would have been over the moon!

            I was fortunate enough to have observed a war between two ant colonies and a maple tree where ants were “farming ” aphids.

          • JoeFarmer

            I wonder if there’s a way you can slip a few bucks to the teacher that your niece can use for the Scholastic book order or book fair?

            Our little one is 11. While not anywhere close to being literary classics, the ‘Baby-Sitter’s Club’ books are pretty good; she and her friends have really enjoyed them, traded them back and forth, etc. That book series addresses classic young girl issues (jealousy, annoying siblings, etc.) but also takes on some more modern stuff like divorce, remarriage and such. Just a thought – reading is so important that your story about her makes me sad…

          • Michael McCarthy

            You know, my sister loved the Baby Sitter’s Club and Little House on the Prairie series. You would think she would encourage her to read them. Thanks for bringing that up, I’m texting my sister right now to suggest it!

          • JoeFarmer

            Anything you can do to encourage a child to read on his/her own is worthwhile in my world.

            Baby Sitter’s Club books go for about 5 for a dollar around here at garage sales. Maybe your sis could score some that way, too.

          • Roadstergal

            That’s so horrid. Does she have her own phone, that you can give her Kindle books on? A lot of the classics are free, now, and have the illustrations integrated…

            The other thing I’m thinking – when I was young, I had this lovely little purse that was the size of a paperback. I felt so adult, walking around with my purse, and I could whip out the paperback in it any time. Is that a good ‘stealth’ reading option?

            (ETA: I read Star Trek books ‘stealth’ because they were too low-brow for my parents. I think that worked out great in the long run – every kid likes to rebel, and that was my rebellion!)

          • Michael McCarthy

            She has both an iphone and ipad, yes. Sadly, she’s not all that interested in reading at this point which I think was due to lack of encouragement. I’ve suggested a number of books but she’s just meh on it.
            (your parents would have really hated the stuff I was reading. All manner of horror, blood, guts, zombies, vamps, werewolves. And of course Helter Skelter)

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Ha! My book-related rebellion centered around the Harry Potter series, the American Girls “Samantha” and “Molly” books, and getting my sex ed from the encyclopedia. Mind you, as to the last, I can think of far worse places for a kid to learn about it. At the very least, it was scientifically accurate…

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            What an idiot. DH is a rabid football fan, but he’s even more a lover of books. When he first came to my apartment, his jaw dropped and he said, “You’re the first person I’ve ever met who owns more books than I do.” Clearly, it was love at first sight. 😉

          • corblimeybot

            What. He rejected a box full of free books for his kid??!?!

          • Michael McCarthy

            Ayup. At least they didn’t go in the trash, so someone got to use them.

          • Silly. When a distant relative forgot how old I was and sent 8-year-old OOPIT/Sia/Grasshopper/Negative Marbles/Pawadan/No Marbles/No Brains a bunch of YA romance novels, do you know what my parents did? They wrapped the books, left them on a high shelf for a few years and presented them to me when I got to 14-15 or so.

          • Michael McCarthy

            Well, that would have been the normal thing to do.

          • Yup.

          • Maud Pie

            I have indulged the guilty pleasure of giving books as gifts to children of persons such as your niece’s father.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            The Wind in the Willows is still one of my top 10 favorites. I own a particularly lovely copy with the full-color Shepherd illustrations on heavy, glossy paper. I reread it every year. My SIL just recently told me that I have my first niece/nephew coming early next year (woot!), and a near-identical copy is being procured for Baby Boy/Girl as I type.
            Oh, and even further OT, but–I once made my OB LOL once when he said during an appointment, “It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done,” and I replied dryly, “I hope you aren’t going to a far, far better place than you have ever known quite yet, as I’m not due for another few weeks and I’ve heard it’s bloody awful finding another OB this late in pregnancy.” Between that and his familiarity with submarine history (a favorite topic of mine), I rather enjoy my prenatal appointments. 😀

          • Wren

            I have volunteered to help with reading at the local school since my kids started there. They have moved on, but I’m still there. I’m always surprised how many kids rarely read at home, despite the school having little homework beyond reading.

            My kids are huge readers. As soon as they were capable of reading silently to themselves, we convinced them “Special reading time”, when everyone reads in their own rooms silently, is a huge treat. They really cannot understand how some of their friends can hate reading.

          • Young CC Prof

            Ug, reading logs. I hated those, because I knew I was reading more books than anyone, but I never got so much as a sticker, because I couldn’t manage the logging.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            It’s part of our nighttime routine. Read the books, and then he sits and writes them down. It’s good handwriting practice, too. With the kids at school, I write them down for them, but we always do it when we are done reading. This morning they had fun because I had my 4-color pen and wrote the titles in different colors.

    • moto_librarian

      If I could upvote this a thousand times, I would.

    • Anna Perch

      Interesting comparison. Which IS more important finding a good dentist and establishing a good routine of brushing and flossing or breastfeeding? And how could you compare them?

      • Azuran

        Obviously a dentist is more important.
        No one is able to differentiate between someone who is FF or BF.
        But it’s pretty easy to spot someone with bad dental hygiene who never goes to the dentist. And it’s actually a very well established medical fact that bad dental hygiene raises the risks of hepatic disease, hearth diseases and many other health problems.

      • Bombshellrisa

        http://annonc.oxfordjournals.org/content/27/8/1619.abstract

        Conclusion Good oral hygiene, as characterized by few missing teeth, annual dentist visits, and daily tooth brushing, may modestly reduce the risk of HNC.
        http://www.massdental.org/content.aspx?id=4840
        “People with periodontal (gum) disease are nearly twice as likely to suffer from heart disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. The following diseases have been linked to plaque:
        Bacterial endocarditis – a condition in which the lining of the heart and heart valves become enlarged
        COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

        In addition, a study conducted by the Boston University School of Dental Medicine in 2006 stated that people who are missing some or all of their teeth due to periodontal disease are at an increased risk for having a stroke”

        • Anna Perch

          OK, so how would you say that compares to breastfeeding?

          • Azuran

            Find any proof that there is a long term difference between formula fed and breastfed and we could compare.
            Oh right, you can’t, because there is no long term difference between the two.
            That’s how dental hygiene compares to breastfeeding. One has definitive long term positive outcome, the other doesn’t

          • Charybdis

            Careful, Azuran! She’ll drag out “bottle mouth” and claim that all bottle using mothers allow their babies to comfort suck on a bottle, “dream feed” by putting the baby to bed with a bottle and let the sugars bathe the baby’s teeth all night.

            Just wait and see….

          • corblimeybot

            That’s hilarious. The only kid I knew with tooth issues before age 2, was breastfed. Turns out breastmilk is plenty sugary and not a magical tooth protectant.

          • Wren

            Well, as Azuran pointed out, at least you can identify which children have good oral hygiene without asking their parents.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Where is the study showing that breastfeeding improves oral health long term?

          • Charybdis

            Hell and gone better; both for establishing healthy routines in hygiene and for long term benefits to health. Breastfeeding doesn’t even compare to dental care, vaccination and regular medical care (well-baby checkups, annual physicals, etc).

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      These are really good, but please keep in mind that some parents do not have access to Dental insurance and reading to your child is great also, provided one has access to a local Library and/or a way to get there if it is too far to walk. Well child exams also may require access to health insurance and a doctor that will take the insurance(also a way to get there). I love the ideas on the list but some are out of reach for some parents…

      • Wren

        True, in the US. One reason I’m quite keen on the NHS.

        The library one is a potential issue here, though most people could access a library relatively easily. Children are also provided with books at 18 months and 3 years. Not tons of books, but something at least.

        • Bombshellrisa

          We have a program called “reach out and read”. Not sure if all doctors provide it, but the ones who accept Medicaid participate. Children who come in for visits (from four months on) get a free book. All the books are fun and age appropriate.

          • swbarnes2

            Another cool program for older kids if you can find one in your area is having kids read to dogs. A dog of the right temperament will love to sit rapt at the feet of a kid paying attention to them, and the kid gets practice reading in front of a very real but uncritical audience.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Reading with Rover! This area has a lot of places that do this program, it’s actually more available than story time since it’s multiple times and locations in a week.
            I think I need to add “find free programs and events in your area” to the list. Sometimes it feels like there is nothing that you can have your child participate in that doesn’t cost a lot of money or takes a lot of time to travel to, but sometimes with a little digging (or asking at school, the library or at local places of worship) there are lots of things to be found.

          • demodocus

            I think our local library does a bit of that, as well as a huge pile of little kid story-and-whatever activities.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Yes! Our local library does this, and I think it’s brilliant. I’m pretty sure that a more nonjudgmental, encouraging audience than a golden retriever doesn’t exist.

      • Bombshellrisa

        I agree that a lot of these things are going to be the mark of privilege. I am not presenting this list as “how to be a good parent”, I am making suggestions for things that are more important to a child’s over all health and development than breastfeeding.

      • Sonja Henie

        We didn’t have dental insurance when our kids were small; I was a SAHM and DH worked for a small company that didn’t provide it. We did choose to use some of our money for dental care. For those who can’t, there are usually free/low cost clinics available.

        Most libraries have bookmobiles. In addition, most large cities have branches in all parts of the city, including the low-income areas. Kids in rural areas are less likely to be serviced by a library.

        Federally qualified health care centers take the uninsured and underinsured. Again, these are quite available in cities, not always so accessible in rural areas, though rural people usually have cars.

      • corblimeybot

        I have a comment to make on this.

        A free/low cost dental clinic for children destroyed four of my husband’s adult molars. The dentist later got in trouble for repeatedly performing substandard care on his pediatric clientele, whose parents were too poor and uneducated to know if/how they should complain.

        Yeah, any dentist could possibly be bad, and undoubtedly many free/low-cost dental clinics are fine . But he’s never suffered that level of care since he got dental insurance. He’s not in the same sort of vulnerable group that he used to be in. That really matters.

        I have a close friend who receives her health care via Medicaid and various free and low cost clinics, and I’ve been to with her to several appointments. The practitioners treat her worse and with less respect, than any practitioner who I deal with myself. She’s had tons of health complications due to being treated like a pain in the ass, rather than a patient.

        My kid is currently on Medicaid. Her doctor doesn’t accept new patients with Medicaid. She only got to stay in the practice after my husband was laid off, because she was already a patient.

        If she hadn’t already been a patient, I’m not sure where we would have
        taken her, but it likely would not have been within the major medical system near us. So when she had a bizarre symptom pop up a few months ago, she wouldn’t have gotten a nearly-instantaneous referral to a nationally-renowned specialist in the same medical system. The first doctor called her colleague and made it happen.

        Without that referral, she wouldn’t have been diagnosed with her very serious disease in time to literally save her life. The specialist told us it was a
        matter of weeks between successful treatment, and a much worse prognosis. If she’d been going to the same kinds of clinics that my friend has to go to, it would have likely been too late. As it played out, she had surgery only a week and a half after she saw the first doctor.

        Basically I’m just saying that free/low-cost clinics might be better than
        nothing, but they’ve typically offered substandard and borderline dangerous care to people I actually know. Even if people manage to jump all the hurdles to get there, the care has been spotty and often neglectful.

        Not that I have any clue about how to fix that situation; just putting it out there.

    • CanDoc

      Yes! This a hundred times. 🙂

    • sdsures

      I still remember my grandma reading aloud to me when I was very little. She and I both loved to read. Always gave me books for birthdays and Christmas.

  • belinda henkel

    “Every Infant has an inalienable right to its mother’s breasts and the nourishment they provide” Belinda Henkel (2010)
    This is not always milk, but the relationship enjoyed by mother/ baby diad is central to the baby’s growth and development.
    Mother love is nourished at the breast, regardless of the original source of the nourishing liquor,
    This relationship can not be reduced simply to milk.

    • Chi

      So what about mothers that foster/adopt infants? Do they, according to you, not love their children as much.

      Also I would like a link to the paper where you published that atrocious quote.

    • momofone

      And if the mother has no breasts?

    • FEDUP MD

      I guess single fathers and gay male couples just don’t love their kids according to you then, or are just somehow inadequate. That of course also includes as other have said, any adoptive families of any type.

    • Chi

      And by the way, forgive me if I have a hard time taking anything an anti-vaxx midwife from Australia says seriously.

    • guest

      You’re right – the relationship cannot be reduced to method of feeding.

    • Young CC Prof

      I don’t even know what that means.

    • Nick Sanders

      Could you say that again without the pretentiousness? Because I’d like to know what the fuck you’re actually trying to say.

      • Azuran

        I think she’s saying that a mother’s breasts actually belong to the baby and not letting your baby suck on your breast is gross child neglect.
        ….and that mothers love come from the breast, regardless of if there is milk on then. So you can’t love your baby if it doesn’t suck on your breasts.

        • guest

          It’s true. When my kids weaned, I stopped loving them.

          • LeighW

            Huh… I think I love my kids more now that they’re old enough to get their own snacks and not pestering me every 20 minutes for a glass of milk or an apple.

          • guest

            At what age does that happen? I’m caught in the limbo where they *can* get their own snacks, but will leave the refrigerator door open, spill half of it on the floor, and eat cookies for breakfast if I allow it.

        • Petticoat Philosopher

          So where does a father’s love come from? Oh right, fathers don’t matter. Parenting is women’s work. Bad news for male same-sex couples raising children, or single fathers. Where are the BREASTS???

          What about women who have had double mastectomies. Oh noes! How are they supposed to love their children!

          • corblimeybot

            Lactivists look like right monsters, when they’re confronted with the logical implications of their beliefs. I have never once seen one of them explain these points away. They do, in fact, think they’re more legitimate women than adoptive mothers and mothers with no breasts. They are BETTER, goddamnit, why can’t everyone just accept that!!! They based their self-esteem on something meaningless and you’d better not take that from them!!!

            I don’t even have the energy to get into the homophobia and transphobia involved. Or the deliberate exclusion of fathers as legitimate parents.

            Or, conversely, something else I’ve also noticed that lactivists occasionally believe: That women are “earthy” and “natural” in a more animal sense, and that men are cerebral and complex.

            This belief essentially asserts that women cannot bond unless they’re performing mindless bodily function work, because they’re fundamentally bound by their biology. But men are capable of bonding without that work – because they’re real human beings. Unlike women – who apparently aren’t capable of higher-level thinking and complex emotion, according to the “earthy mama” belief system.

            No matter where you go with lactivism, it’s always sexist and reductionist.

    • Who?

      Quoting yourself is a seriously bad look.

      Quoting yourself talking goo is just embarrassing.

      • Bombshellrisa

        Talking in the third person too. My toddler does that and it’s cute. A midwife doing that while spouting nonsense is just…..creepy.

        • Stephanie Rotherham

          She’s a midwife? Dear Lord.

    • moto_librarian

      Get over yourself. I’m quite certain that the relationship that I have with my sons today had nothing to do with my breasts (which were empty), but the love that I had and continue to have for them.

    • Roadstergal

      “Every man has an inalienable right to his wife’s vagina and the pleasure it provides.”

      Somehow, there are a lot people who would think that statement is horrific, but think Belinda’s statement is spot on.

      • moto_librarian

        Yup. This particular strain of feminism is nothing but biological essentialism.

        • Roadstergal

          I mean, I actually appreciate “This relationship can not be reduced simply to milk.” The original attachment experiments showed that the baby monkeys bonded with the soft’-mom’ cuddles, even if it was fed elsewhere from a bottle. “Cuddles are great” is a statement I am fully on board with. But “Cuddles are meaningless unless your nipple is getting sucked on” is bonkers.

          And of course, cue the mandatory father-bonding moment.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxaQsBXJRcs

        • Cody

          Just because some people call it feminism, doesn’t mean that it is.

        • Petticoat Philosopher

          There are actually a lot of avowed anti-feminists that profess this viewpoint. Especially among the crunchy conservative crowd.

          • Maud Pie

            Lactavism also is strong among Right-wing Catholics. I will say this for lactavists in the religious right: there is a logical consistency in their position. They believe in rigid, biologically based, traditional gender roles, meaning women should selflessly devote themselves to their families 110% 25/8, in complete disregard of their own health, wellbeing, and aspirations. The Breastfeeding obsession fits that perfectly.

            Breastfeeding obsession does NOT fit women’s equality.

    • Allie

      No Belinda, that’s not how any of this works.
      You see, for the last 100 years or so we all have agreed that women are human beings too. As such, our bodies are ours and ours alone.
      My uterus does not belong to the state or church. My vagina does not belong to my husband. My breasts do not belong to my children.
      Unless you’d like to turn back the clock to a very dark age? (which I suspect is the true hidden agenda for much of the breastfeeding fundies!)

  • Anna Perch

    Thanks for the volley, all! 🙂

  • Anna Perch

    Oh, geez, not again!

    • Sarah

      Yes, she has a nasty habit of plugging away at lactivist mansplainers. I wouldn’t hang around if I were you. You won’t like it here.

      • Anna Perch

        It is kind of her job as a formula apologist to deride anything that resembles a positive attitude toward breastfeeding. Thanks for the dare! I think I’ll hang around.

        • LaMont

          It is kind of her job as a formula *supporter* to deride anything that resembles a *negative and damaging* attitude toward *formula feeding*. FTFY

          • Anna Perch

            That begs the question, did Newman exhibit a negative and damaging attitude toward formula feeding or did he exhibit a positive attitude toward breastfeeding?

          • Young CC Prof

            Why does it his attitude matter when he got so many basic facts wrong?

          • Anna Perch

            Little arrogant? You know more about lactation than Jack Newman. Huh!

          • Nick Sanders

            Let’s start with the very first sentences:

            Every mother has the right to make informed choice to bottle feed her baby. Then why, when a mother makes an informed choice to breastfeed her baby, does she not have the same right?

            Note that Informed is in scare italics when talking about bottle feeding, but not for breast feeding. Apparently, if you have the right information, you’ll know better than to bottle feed, otherwise it wouldn’t warrant such emphasis.

            Let’s continue with some more quotes, shall we?

            A lot of formula feeding by mothers who had originally intended to breastfeed is unnecessary and not medically indicated. Mother’s fear of the baby starving or his health being compromised are used as scare tactics to get mothers to consent to formula feeding and to shake her resolve to breastfeed.

            They are examples of how formula feeding is considered the standard way of feeding and breastfeeding is seen as a dispensable, nice but not necessary.

            It is necessary to add “at the breast” because so many in Western societies believe that giving breast milk in the bottle is breastfeeding – no, it’s not at all the same

            But again with tiresome regularity, the bottle is introduced, and breastfeeding undermined.

            But the notion of 10% weight loss is based on nothing scientific at all and results in many babies being unnecessarily supplemented and much too often ending up only bottle feeding.

            The goal of helping mothers should be to get the baby fed by improving breastfeeding.

            In any case, the real question is this: Which is safer for the baby, breastfeeding with tiny amounts of drug in the milk (and the amounts are almost always tiny) or formula? Given the risks of not breastfeeding, in the vast majority of cases, breastfeeding is safer.

            Both father and mother could be accommodated in terms of spending time with the baby if the judge realized that breastfed babies are different from bottle fed babies. And breastfed toddlers are even more different.

            So, you tell me, what kind of attitude was that?

          • Chi

            Exactly Nick.

            I would ask Dr Newman that if the amounts of drugs in breast milk are so tiny then why do they no longer prescribe opiate pain relief for breastfeeding mothers?

            Certainly wouldn’t have anything to do with that ‘tiny’ amount of opiate being passed through the breast milk causing respiratory depression in the infant or anything.

            Oh wait…

            And to answer Anna’s original question, that CERTAINLY reads as a negative attitude towards formula feeding.

        • corblimeybot

          She breastfed all four of her kids, so I’m not sure why you’re reciting the lactivist party line that she hates breastfeeding.

          • Sarah

            Because she doesn’t toe the party line, obviously. That means she must be a formula shill. Come on, you know this!

          • Anna Perch

            I’m not sure why you think that having breastfed her own children means she is not a formula apologist? Care to explain? Did I say anything about hating breastfeeding, or did you infer it?

        • demodocus

          I think the problem here is that we have nothing to apologize for if we formula feed but people saying things like you just did make those of us who can’t feel like crap.
          More power to you if you like to nurse your kids. However, breastfeeding exascerbates my ppd, so formula is the better choice for me and my daughter.

          • Anna Perch

            Yes, same old, tired, erroneous drivel. Blah, blah, blah there are no risks to formula, only benefits to breastfeeding. Nothing to apologize for (as if apologist and apology mean the same thing). Breastfeeding is the cause of every known ailment, PPD included. Everyone who hints that breastfeeding matters should be assumed to be a caricature of a Big, Bad Lactivist and accused of every stereotype, including “you big meannies just want all us nice people to feel like crap”. Ironically, not particularly nice and definitely not evidence based.

          • demodocus

            no, breastfeeding didn’t cause my ppd. i loathe the sensation, but still did it for 11 months with kid one. back then, the only people who bothered me were the ones who kept coming over to congratulate me for bf’ing. i’m still touched out and he’s been weaned for 2 years.

          • demodocus

            i need to stop reading this thread; its triggering for me. i’m fantasizing too much about my kitchen knife.
            For me, Anna Perch, not necessarily for anyone else.

          • Anna Perch

            FWIW, I am genuinely sorry if anything I wrote was triggering. It was not my intention. Peace.

          • Charybdis

            How wonderfully passive-aggressive of you!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            While that may not have been your intention, you are intentionally inconsiderate of others, and being triggering is a consequence of that. It starts with consideration of others. You should try it.

          • Madtowngirl

            Virtual hugs. I know that feeling. I was never able to exclusively breastfeed for a number of reasons, but I tried. I still can’t handle anything touching my nipples. Take care of yourself.

          • demodocus

            thank you

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Your children will benefit more from a happy healthy mother than they ever could from breastmilk. Look after yourself.

          • demodocus

            i know. Intellectually, anyway. Sigh.

          • D/

            I’m just coming off my monthly four-day breastfeeding “support” bender that ends with a never-ending weekend exercise in pissing off folks whose collective needs I can never come close to meeting … patients, nurses, doctors … myself. Then catching up on this inbox-clogging conversation has been my after work “distraction”.

            After all this I suppose, if I’m anything, I’m a habitually apologetic breastfeeding advocate. Seriously, I’ve apologized the bulk of the last 24 hours away.

            ● “I’m so sorry. Our first out-patient availability will not be until Thursday. Would you be interested in other community options as an alternative?” First conversation of the morning returning a crying-on-the-voicemail message left overnight.

            ● “I’m so sorry you aren’t making enough milk for your baby. You’ve worked as hard as anyone could, but your baby has to be fed more, now.” Had this conversation twice first thing yesterday with Peds re-admissions for jaundice/ weight loss > 15% and made both of them cry 🙁

            ● “I’m so sorry breastfeeding has been so hard and you haven’t had any help getting your baby to nurse. Let’s see what we can get him to do while I’m here.” Had this one at least 7-8 times throughout the day and was able fix most, but not all, of them. At least one was fixed by moving to exclusive formula feedings.

            ● “I’m sorry I can’t go help that mother right now. I won’t be available for at least 3- 4 hours. Please help her in the meantime, and let her know I’ll definitely see her before I leave.” Had this one repeatedly throughout the day with the nurses of each of the mothers above.

            ● “I’m sorry. As I explained to your patient, Thursday is our first open appointment. She does have a good plan in place now and can go to the walk-in breastfeeding clinic (30+ miles away) if she needs hands-on help tomorrow.” Direct Pediatrician mid-day call on behalf of the crying-first-thing-in-the-morning mom.

            ● “I’m so sorry I’m just now returning your call from this morning (or yesterday). How can I help you? … ” Had this conversation 6 times at the end of my shift … and our next OP availability is now the 27th.

            ● “Anna Perch is evidently too oblivious to recognize a just-shut-up-and-apologize moment, apologize for it, and then shut up and listen. So I’d like to offer you mine and my thanks. Your story comes to mind and influences my work more than you’ll ever know. I’m sorry, and thank you demodocus (and to everyone sharing their breastfeeding stories here).”

          • demodocus

            It’s okay, D. i’m doing better today. I wanted to like breastfeeding, all my peers and my mother seemed to (at least until teething), but it just didn’t happen for me. Kid1 certainly did fine once my milk came in

          • D/

            Glad today’s better 🙂 That hit and run you got smacked with yesterday was pretty jaw dropping, but I was happy to see you be able to step away and have some time for yourself.

            BTW, I just got The Cat Who #5 that’s been on hold for weeks and been curled up with it today. You gave me a perfect mental health gift that just keeps on giving. Thanks for the tip. 🙂

          • demodocus

            You’re welcome. 🙂

          • moto_librarian

            You okay, demodocus?

          • demodocus

            reasonably. Dem watched the kids and I had some quiet time to read a book. My brain’s still enjoying the hormones. *eyeroll*

          • moto_librarian

            Hang in there. Glad you got a bit of time to yourself.

          • Mishimoo

            I breastfed for 9 months with my last, he self-weaned, and he was constantly hungry. I’m finally slowly coming out of the ‘touched out’ thing and he’s just over 3 years, so hopefully it will start fading for you soon too.

          • demodocus

            i hope so too.

          • guest

            Okay, you want to go with the definition of “apologist” as your sticking point here? Here’s the Merriam-Webster definition: “one who speaks or writes in defense of someone or something.”

            That makes YOU a breastfeeding apologist. We’re all apologists of something, hooray! Maybe you should stop using it as an insult?

          • Anna Perch

            Yes, exactly. Formula apologists defend formula against the promotion of breastfeeding.

            The point of the term is to be accurate and neutral. By and large, formula apologists deny being pro-formula. They also deny being anti-breastfeeding. From what I’ve read “apologist” is supposed to be neutral, but I am happy to adopt any more appropriate term. Any suggestions?

            No, I am not an apologist. I am pro-breastfeeding. I am an advocate or a proponent of breastfeeding. I agree with all the healthcare organizations in the world the breastfeeding matters. I have confidence in the science that supports breastfeeding.

            (BTW, my opinions are entirely my own. They do not represent any particular breastfeeding organization.)

          • guest

            No, the point of the term “apologist” is to criticize the person being called an apologist. The accurate and neutral term would be “formula supporter” or “breastfeeding advocate.” You know full well that “apologist” is a term with negative connotations, which is why you use it every chance you get.

          • moto_librarian

            You’re not a nice person, Anna. But keep telling yourself that you are and run off to your fellow lactivist groups and talk about how mean we are.

          • Anna Perch

            Yes, I know, you think everyone who speaks in favor of breastfeeding is “not nice”. I’m not going to take it personally.

          • moto_librarian

            Oh, you should take it personally. I know plenty of women IRL and who routinely comment here who breastfeed but manage not to be condescending dicks about it. They are nice, pleasant people. You are not.

          • Anna Perch

            It is a little difficult to take the opinion of a Skeptical OB follower seriously when it comes to defining “pleasant”.

          • MI Dawn

            Come on, Anna. Tell us the risks of formula feeding. I combo fed my daughters. What was the risk I took?

          • Anna Perch

            Evidence does not affect denialism.

          • Then call MI Dawn’s bluff – post the evidence and if (s)he denies it….well, you’ve showed her/him up for us all to see. Of course if (s)he is affected…you’re proven wrong.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            You are not a nice person because of the dismissive and contemptuous way you have treated several people here, not because of your appreciation of breastmilk.

          • Anna Perch

            Am I supposed to believe that you are chastising me for some reason other than you have different opinions than I do?

          • Amazed

            It’s very personally, you moron. You, yourself, and not “everyone who speaks in favor of breastfeeding”, behaved like a shit to a woman sharing what breastfeeding did to her.

            Good thing breastfeeding isn’t all you think it is, else I would have been concerned about the amount of nastiness and stupidity you pass on to your kids via your milking apendages.

          • corblimeybot

            You really are an awful, awful person.

          • Anna Perch

            I forgive you.

        • Sarah

          It is kind of your job as a lactivist to deride anyone who criticises your type as a formula apologist.

          But perhaps you should hang around. Many of us like sport here. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.

          • Anna Perch

            Yes, I am aware that this is more about sport than science.

          • Sarah

            I hope you’re going to do a bit more then just make shit up if you’re planning to continue gracing us with your presence.

          • Anna Perch

            From what I’ve read here making stuff up is par for the course. If you have concerns about made up stuff, there are many opportunities for you to police. There is no need to focus on me, just because I have a different point of view than you do.

          • Sarah

            Making stuff up is certainly par for the course for the commentators of your ilk we host, yes. But don’t worry. We’re all here, watching. Communally policing.

          • NoUseForANym

            She never does anything but
            A)ignore points that prove her wrong
            B) ‘misinterpret’ (read: lie) information
            C) repeat formula apologist so that it completely loses any impact
            D) ignores anyone with a different experience
            E) ignores relevant scientific data that shows breastfeeding and breastmilk to have negligible benefits in the first world
            F) ignore points that prove her wrong more
            G) pretends her experience or interpretation of something is the only way it could possibly be

            It’s like listening to a privileged white man insisting racial privilege doesn’t exist and we live in a post racial society.

        • corblimeybot

          You’re such a badass, standing up for ablelist status signalling that privileged women are best able to perform.

          • Anna Perch

            I think it is awful that some people trivialize discrimination by implying that supporting breastfeeding is ableist.

          • momofone

            There’s absolutely nothing wrong with supporting breastfeeding. There’s a lot wrong with supporting it at all costs, particularly if it isn’t what the mother chooses or if it isn’t working.

          • Anna Perch

            “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with supporting breastfeeding.” That’s worth repeating.

            Ah, geez, then more of the apologist rhetoric, “at all costs” “mother’s choice” blah, blah, blah. If you continue to stay within the apologist echo chamber, you will never know how misguided you are.

          • NoUseForANym

            Oh hello obnoxious person with Teflon stupidity.

          • Anna Perch

            Hello, again!

          • momofone

            So it isn’t up to me what I do with my breasts?

          • Anna Perch

            Who is it up to, then?

          • Charybdis

            Apparently people like you, other lactivists and Dr. Jack Newman.

          • Anna Perch

            Why would you defer your rights to me? And what makes you think I’d take them?

          • Charybdis

            I’m not deferring anything in your general direction. Just stating that you, Dr. Jack Newman and your ilk seem to think you have a right to determine how women use their breasts.

          • momofone

            Jack Newman? You tell me. “Ah, geez, then more of the apologist rhetoric, “at all costs” “mother’s choice” blah, blah, blah. If you continue to stay within the apologist echo chamber, you will never know how misguided you are.”

            Apparently the mother’s choice is just another part of the “apologist echo chamber.” So I want to know– who should choose, if not the person with the breasts?

          • Anna Perch

            Sorry, let me be more clear. Apologists create ridiculous scenarios and attribute them to breastfeeders. For example, apologists like to pretend that breastfeeders do not respect a mother’s right to not breastfeed. They blabber on amongst themselves about how breastfeeders are forcing breastfeeding on others. They exaggerate the breastfeeding position that it is not an EVEN choice, to mean that it shouldn’t be a choice at all.

            So, no, just the opposite. The rhetoric, that breastfeeders want to take away choice, is what echoes within the apologist chamber walls. If you continue to cling there, you will never know what breastfeeders actually think. That’s OK. I get the sense that you are comfortable in your bubble.

          • momofone

            You know nothing about me or what I cling to, but you are quite happy to make assumptions. I would say accuracy seems secondary to you, but I think that ranks it too high.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I am a breastfeeding mother. No one here has ever accused me of not respecting their right not to breastfeed. Maybe it’s because I actually respect their right not to breastfeed.

          • FEDUP MD

            I AM A BREASTFEEDER.

            I am also pretty clear what I think.

          • Nick Sanders

            Did you even read the article?

          • momofone

            I hate to almost copy FEDUP MD’s comment, but I am also a breastfeeder, and quite clear about what I think.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            YOU are exactly what we are talking about. You are gaslighting women who didn’t have the same experience as you did and accusing them of being apologists for formula. YOUR terminology is deliberately insulting.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            Jack Newman is not breastfeeder and never was. Obviously. This isn’t about breastfeeders, it’s about people who are sanctimonious jerks about breastfeeding. Jack Newman clearly demonstrates that you don’t have to ever have breastfed to be such a person. And certainly, plenty of women who breastfeed are not such people at all.

          • Anna Perch

            Hey, maybe he used an SNS. Wink.

            I agree this IS about generalizing and stereotyping all people who speak out in favor of breastfeeding as sanctimonious jerks! That’s what I’ve been trying to say.
            The idea that Jack Newman is a sanctimonious jerk hinges upon a whole lot of questionable beliefs about breastfeeding, ie there is only a trivial difference between breastfeeding and formula feeding and about lactivism, ie they want to take away women’s choice.
            There is a fairly well developed formula apologist ideology that too many people have indiscriminately adopted.

          • moto_librarian

            So answer this. I have yet to hear about any formula feeding mothers trying to outlaw free nipple cream, nursing pads, and manual breast pumps at hospitals, but lactivists are crusading to remove free formula samples. Why do you suppose that is?

          • Anna Perch

            World Health Organization’s International Code of the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.

          • Charybdis

            In developed countries with a reliable clean, safe water supply, the WHO recommendations mean diddly squat.

            You still didn’t answer her question.

          • momofone

            “Ah, geez, then more of the apologist rhetoric, “at all costs” “mother’s
            choice” blah, blah, blah. If you continue to stay within the apologist
            echo chamber, you will never know how misguided you are.”

            Apparently the mother’s choice is just another part of the “apologist echo chamber.” So I want to know– who should choose, if not the person with the breasts?

          • Nick Sanders

            Funny, his list of 11 things sure comes across as “at all costs”.

            Premature? Don’t supplement, don’t fortify, just shove it on your breast.
            Jaundice because your baby is starving? Breastfeed harder, don’t you dare supplement.
            Cleft palate? Give it a go anyway.
            On medication? Pssh, it’ll be fine, stick ’em on your boob.

          • MaineJen

            Mother’s choice blah blah blah? Nice to see that feminism is alive and well. Good grief, I weep for the future.

          • So what do you think two-men families should do?

          • Anna Perch

            Live happily ever after?

          • You do realize that even healthy men can’t breastfeed, right?

          • Anna Perch

            Can you suggest the names of a few bloggers who are lactivists, using your own definition? It might give me a better sense of how you delineate lactivists vs breastfeeding advocates. For me, they are one in the same.

          • They aren’t the same to us, that’s the point – bloggers, no? I don’t really follow blogs on breastfeeding.

            But doughcade is a ‘softer’ lactivist website. Because it’s not ‘breastfeeding advocate vs lactistivt’ – it’s a sliding scale. Kinda like how all Labrador retrievers are retrivers and all retrievers are dogs but not all dogs are retrievers let alone labrador retrievers and how not even all retrievers are labrador retrievers since golden retrievers exist.

            http://www.doughcade.com/category/health/

            “There is absolutely no excuse not to breastfeed a baby, unless of course you can’t produce milk. Otherwise, no other excuse will do. If you drink, smoke, do drugs or are on antidepressants or other drugs, then don’t do these for at least the first six weeks of your child’s life so they can get a fair start. You’ve already been off this stuff for nine months, right?”

            Drinking and smoking is a fairish point but women on antidepressants are on them for *a reason*. The advice actually is that mild depression = come off the medicine during pregnancy. Severe depression = stay on.

          • Anna Perch

            I’m not sure why you would call that either “soft” or lactivist.

          • Humour me here for a moment, I’m going to ask you a few questions. You’ll see my point in a little while.

            Are anti-depressants available over the counter or are they prescription medicines?

          • Anna Perch

            Anti-depressants have very, very little to do with breastfeeding.

          • I gave you a lactivist site where it specifically said that women on antidepressants should prioritize breastfeeding over the medicine.

            So answer the question.

          • Anna Perch

            You gave me an obscure site that isn’t particularly good and I wouldn’t call it pro-BF. I think you have heard of a strawman argument? You trump up what I’ve said to a point that I don’t recognize it and then demand that I validate it? Not gonna play. It’s a logical fallacy. If you would like me to explain something that I have said or do agree with, I’m consider it.

          • You asked me about what I defined as lactivism, didn’t you? That site was an example.

            And it’s not like it was so obscure that it could only be found by searching the depths of google – that’s why I gave you a link to it.

            Now, what have I got from you in the way of information? Oh right, “Google it.” Fact is, it was much easier for you to find support for the claim I made than it was for me to find evidence for your claim. Obscure or not, I at least provided you a way to directly find the information – you didn’t do that for me.

            You don’t think that’s pro-breastfeeding? Really? “The only excuse not to breastfeed is if you can’t physically make milk” What do you call that? Formula apologetics? It also says woman on anti-depressants should prioritize bfing over the medicine.

            As to what makes it a soft example of lactivism? The very fact that it does acknowledge that not every woman can bf.

            I didn’t say YOU personally were a lactivist, did I? I gave that as an example of lactivism. I made no claims about what your claims were. I did ask you to support your claim but you should do that anyway.

          • Anna Perch

            Oh, right. That site was so lame that I forgot that you were offering it up as evidence of what Lactivism is, in your opinion. I honestly can not say that it helped me to understand what you think lactivism is. Is that the best example you have for me?

          • Anna Perch – that won’t fly. I stated in my comment that it was an example of lactivism and why.

            As for anti-depressants, you’d know the relevance had you read the article where that extract appears.

            Women generally aren’t on antidepressants for no better reason than “they taste nice.”

          • Anna Perch

            I guess your explanation didn’t explain clearly to me.

          • Which is one thing but I don’t think you forgot it.

          • Anna Perch

            Anti-depressants have very little to do with breastfeeding or breastfeeding advocacy. I’m not sure why you are insistent that ADs are crucial to a discussion on breastfeeding advocacy.
            That very fact that the website you offered up thinks ADs are crucial to a discussion on breastfeeding advocacy is problematic.
            I can’t even begin to untangle that thought process.

          • Nice strawman.

            But That is precisely the point. It’s a specific example of lactivism because it brings up anti-depressants only to say that they are less important than breastfeeding.

            Why does it need to insist that they’re less important than breastfeeding if they’ve got nothing to do with bfing?

          • Anna Perch

            “Fact is, it was much easier for you to find support for the claim I made than it was for me to find evidence for your claim.” That’s an interesting supposition.

          • Yes.

            What did you have to do:

            1)Click on a link.

            What would I have to do:

            1)Google to support your point

            2)With what, exactly? Some undefined term.

          • Which requires more effort:

            1)Clicking a link

            2)Googling it without the first clue what you’re supposed to be googling.

          • Anna Perch

            Your choose has little merit, since I gave you the clues about what to google.

          • “The only excuse to not breastfeed a baby is if you can’t produce milk.”

            The goldfish wouldn’t call this pro-breastfeeding. Seriously??????!!!!!

          • BeatriceC

            Really? Tell that to my former student who nearly killed herself because of the pressure to breastfeed. Thank everything we can that she reached out to one of my colleagues, a teacher she trusted, and we were able to band together and get her the help she needed. This girl faced every challenge you can imagine and still none of it was good enough. If she didn’t breastfeed when was lower than shit on a shoe. How can you say that’s not ableist bullshit?

          • Anna Perch

            Frankly, I do not see how a postpartum group can be run competently by someone with your apparent limited knowledge about breastfeeding and your biased attitude.

          • Charybdis

            BeatriceC breastfed all her living children, all of whom were preemies. She has dealt with loss, preemies with long NICU stays and breastfed/provided breastmilk to them all. She also had a huge oversupply, but had to supplement with formula for the first day or so. She has plenty of experience with breastfeeding, PPD, and loss of a child. She also has a great deal of empathy for others and a LOT of experience in dealing with medical issues, doctors, nurses, wrangling with insurance companies and the like. She can give empathy, sympathy, practical help and tips for coping with lots of issues. She also has very little problem telling people where to go and suggesting routes to get there when it is necessary.

            She is MUCH, MUCH more qualified to provide help and support than the likes of you.

          • guest

            You think it’s so awful that you trivialize ableism. How kind of you.

          • Chi

            How the heck are breastfeeders discriminated against?

            LEGALLY they can breastfeed anywhere they damn well want.

          • corblimeybot

            I cordially invite you to bite me. I have a condition that has made me a lifelong subject of ableism, so you don’t get to tell me that I don’t understand what it is.

            ETA: It’s honestly impressive how slimy your tone is. It’d be very difficult for me to maintain the level of smarm, that seems to come as naturally to you as breathing.

          • sdsures

            To women who cannot breastfeed but desperately want to, yes, your attitude IS ableist.

          • Anna Perch

            Potato, potato.

        • Monkey Professor For A Head

          Is it your job to deride anything that’s not 100% positive towards breastmilk? You can support breastfeeding whilst also recognising that it’s not always the best for everyone.

          • Anna Perch

            Hmm. I said “resembles a positive attitude” you conflate that to “100% positive” and “best for everyone”. I don’t own that.

          • LaMont

            No, we’re narrowing down “positive attitude” to something we’re actually freaking talking about. We don’t dislike positive attitudes towards breastfeeding, we simply dislike the idea of *pushing* it on people which is an act that implies “best for everyone” and downplays any negatives breastfeeding may cause. You’re the one saying that anyone who pushes back against this is an apologist who hates breastfeeding.

          • Anna Perch

            But Newman does not like the idea of “pushing” either, nor does he espouse “best for everyone”. He DOES have a positive attitude and that is what Tuteur takes exception to. I think Tuteur has exaggerated the “negatives” of breastfeeding.

            No, again, an apologist is not “one who hates breastfeeding”.

          • Charybdis

            Bullshit. He pushes breastfeeding. When it stops being about feeding your baby adequately and he starts blathering on about using an SNS even if you are using formula exclusively because somehow a baby drinking formula from a tiny tube taped to your breast is somehow better than using a bottle, that, THAT RIGHT THERE IS PUSHING BREASTFEEDING.

          • Anna Perch

            What’s wrong with using an SNS for formula?

            Are you suggesting the act of breastfeeding serves no purpose?

          • Azuran

            Do you have any kind of proof that babies fed SNS using formula are someone healthier than those who are fed from a bottle?

            There is nothing wrong with using SNS per say if you want to. But there is definitely something wrong with saying that SNS has benefits and telling bottle feeding mothers that they are not doing their best without having any proof to back up that claim.

          • Anna Perch

            Yes, there is evidence such as jaw development that is linked to feeding as the breast rather than using a bottle.

          • momofone

            Please share it with us.

          • Azuran

            please share your sources. And does this ‘source’ of yours actually compares SNS to bottle? Because the baby is still not getting milk from the actual breast, so it might not be sucking ‘right’
            And what are the actual long term effects of this?

          • guest

            Sorry, but no. There is no real evidence of that.

          • MI Dawn

            How long must a baby breastfeed for this jaw development? A week? A month? 6 months? A year? 5 years? What does it promote? How can you tell a bottle fed baby from a breast fed baby by its jaw? How about a group of school kids?

          • Charybdis

            Why would you use an SNS for exclusive formula feeding? In that case, then yes. The act of breastfeeding serves no purpose. Because you aren’t breastfeeding in that case. You are pretending to breastfeed, imitating breastfeeding, but you ARE NOT BREASTFEEDING.

            If you opt to use an SNS for combo feeding while you work to boost supply, then it is serving a purpose to make sure the baby gets adequate nutrition.

          • Bombshellrisa

            It means I am still stuck being the only one who can feed the baby.

          • Young CC Prof

            An SNS may be helpful for some people struggling to initiate breastfeeding, but do remember that they are incredibly difficult to adequately clean and cannot be boiled, which creates an actual health risk to the baby if you use it regularly.

          • Wren

            What purpose does it serve, if not providing breast milk?

            Why should fathers not also feed with an SNS then?

          • Who?

            Cue outrage….

          • Anna Perch

            It would not surprise me if some fathers do try the SNS, but I don’t know of anyone personally.
            There is plenty of information online about the act of breastfeeding. If you prefer you might look for links for formula moms who want to mimic breastfeeding.

          • Wren

            Yes, some fathers may try it. Why shouldn’t all fathers be pushed to use it?

          • Anna Perch

            It is really difficult to answer your question because it appears to be somewhat convoluted leading question.
            Are you assuming that I believe that mothers should be forced to use an SNS?

          • swbarnes2

            No, she’s asking if you think that fathers should be pushed to use them just as hard as mothers, in cases where the mother’s breasts are never going to respond adequately to nursing.

          • Anna Perch

            So, you are saying that mothers are being pushed hard to use an SNS when they are not lactating? And you assume that I agree that is happening? Am also supposed to believe that Jack Newman pushes the use of an SNS, hard, to mothers who are not interested?

          • swbarnes2

            Did you read #8? “And the baby can be at the breast, without bottles, the supplement given with a lactation aid at the breast… breastfeeding is so much more than breast milk. It is a close, intimate relationship between two people who are usually very much in love with each other. The value of that relationship is not measured by how much breast milk the mother can produce and it is important that people start seeing breastfeeding in its different forms.”

            If this relationship is do powerful and so important, and actually feeding the baby a mere afterthought, why doesn’t he recommend that men do it?

          • Wren

            You’ve claimed that breastfeeding, even if it is formula via SNS, is somehow beneficial.

            Why would it not be beneficial for the father, the grandparents, the child care provider and heck, even older siblings to use an SNS to breastfeed?

          • Anna Perch

            Hey, I’d be OK with the mothers choice to have the child care provider nurse the baby!

          • Bombshellrisa

            It would undermine the dyad you spoke about before, perhaps even bring into question it’s existence.

          • Anna Perch

            I am assuming that you did not understand the concept of the right of the dyad?

          • Bombshellrisa

            Your reply was that you were against interference with that “dyad”. Someone else involved would render the relationship something different. I am assuming you are using the term as something that only operates as a duo. Which is very “the womanly art of breastfeeding” but is too specific for having a two parent family with support from friends and family.

          • Anna Perch

            It is clear to me that you have little or no idea what it means that breastfeeding is a human right and even less desire to find out.

          • Bombshellrisa

            A child getting properly fed is a right. That can be accomplished in many ways, by people other than the mother and with other resources other than breast milk.
            And you are right, your ideas about breastfeeding, support and “rights” are very hard to follow and I have no desire to find out what they mean.

          • Anna Perch

            Did you read what I wrote, because it sound like you are commenting on your assumptions of what you expected to see?

          • Bombshellrisa

            Did you read what anyone here has written?
            The objective of breastfeeding should be to feed a child. It’s one way to fulfill the right that a child has to have a basic need met. Insisting on mode of delivery (breastfeeding) to accomplish that puts emphasis on the person who lactates, not on the right of the child to be fed.

          • Wren

            I don’t care whether you would be ok with it.

            I’m wondering why you are not actively promoting it for every person who might look after an infant if the actual act of breastfeeding, even if it is formula from an SNS, is so darned important? Why do you only promote it for the mother?

          • Anna Perch

            I promote breastfeeding for the baby not for the mother.

          • corblimeybot

            In fact, you don’t promote anything with coherence. It might make you feel important to think of yourself as a “breastfeeding promoter”, but you aren’t doing a good job of it.

          • Anna Perch

            I have not promoted breastfeeding HERE. True. Are you reading my posts?

          • Wren

            You promote breastfeeding BY the mother.

            You have not argued for anyone other than the mother to breastfeed using an SNS, despite your claims that it is somehow better than bottles even if the baby only gets the formula through the SNS and no breastmilk.

          • Anna Perch

            I have zero control over what you infer from my comments.

          • Wren

            No. You do have control over what you type though, and let’s be honest here, it has pretty much been right along lactivist lines with little to no consideration for those who either could not or did not want to breastfeed.

            You claimed the act of breastfeeding, even if via SNS with just formula, is somehow beneficial and provided exactly zero evidence to back that up. If it is so beneficial, why not promote all formula feeding via SNS?

          • Anna Perch

            Again, you are revealing your bigotry toward lactivists when you say they have ” little to no consideration for those who either could not or did not want to breastfeed.”

          • Wren

            No, that is YOU who has shown little to no consideration for those who either could not or did not want to breastfeed, along with sticking to the usual lactivist script.

          • No, he’s saying that Anna Perch has shown little to no consideration.

          • Anna Perch

            Yeah, no. I’m not buying it.

          • So? That’s what he said. Whether you believe him or not….another story, entirely.

          • Anna Perch

            He said that what I write is “pretty much been right along lactivist lines with little to no consideration for those who either could not or did not want to breastfeed”.
            In other words, he is imposing his stereotype of lactivism onto me.

          • Nick Sanders

            But Newman does not like the idea of “pushing” either, nor does he espouse “best for everyone”.

            Funny, that’s the impression I got reading his article.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            You’ve dismissed the experience of multiple people here who have had a hard time with breastfeeding. None of them were saying that women shouldn’t breastfeed if they wish or that women should not be supported in breastfeeding. But you felt the need to try and invalidate their experiences regardless. That is what I am talking about.

          • Anna Perch

            No, I have not dismissed anyone’s experience. What I said was they do not need to attack and vilify all breastfeeding supporters and Jack Newman, himself, in order to validate their negative experience.
            Hmm. They kinda did say that women should not be supported to breastfeed. SNS is one form of breastfeeding support. I’ve known women who used an SNS and were glad to have it. Every comment here implies that offering and SNS is detrimental to mothers somehow.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Demodocus: Breastfeeding exacerbates my PPD

            You: Yes, same old, tired, erroneous drivel. Blah, blah, blah there are no risks to formula, only benefits to breastfeeding. Nothing to apologize for (as if apologist and apology mean the same thing). Breastfeeding is the cause of every known ailment, PPD included.

            You don’t think that is dismissing her experience? You don’t see how nasty a comment that was?

          • Anna Perch

            As I have said, negative experiences and trauma, anger, grief, etc are real and valid. Using stereotypical apologist rhetoric is not the answer. I get, “hurt people hurt people”, but I think manufacturing a common enemy (big bad lactivists) is counter productive.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            You haven’t answered my question. Do you not see how dismissive of her experience your comment was? Do you not see how nasty your comment was.

            These women are not manufacturing the way they were treated. They are not manufacturing the people who treated them this way. Stop your victim blaming nonsense.

          • Monkey Professor For A Head

            Oh, by the way, I don’t hold my opinions because of any “hurt”. In fact my personal experience of breastfeeding has been very positive. But I happen to have this thing called empathy for others. You should check it out sometime.

          • Erin

            As a currently pregnant woman (2nd child), what I would like to see is a balanced view and I don’t think we get that from most people, especially breastfeeding supporters. My health care providers have made so many assumptions about my plans for feeding this baby because of how I fed his/her sibling. I’ve made my feelings clear but they are constantly being ignored by people who feel for whatever reason that they know me better than I do.

            In every other aspect of life, support is usually offered if you ask for it. That doesn’t seem to happen with breastfeeding. Instead you get the “support” without asking at least in this country. If you want to breastfeed absolutely you should get support whether that’s practical advice, help with pumping or even lots and lots of that lovely nipple cream. If you say you don’t want to breastfeed that should be it. No lecture on the “negatives”, no “give it a try” and no emotional blackmail which when we boil it down, telling a new mother she’s not doing the best she can for her child is precisely that.

            For a lot of women (at least in the “support” groups I hang out in) being told what we should do with our bodies is triggering enough. Add in the cocktail of hormones and it’s a recipe for disaster.

            What also annoys me is that in most lactivist driven discussions of breastfeeding women like me are removed from the narrative. When they talk about reasons why women can’t breastfeed, it’s rare that anyone talks about women who find the very act triggering but we exist and there a lot of us. Unfortunately offering us support tends to be out of the remit of breastfeeding peer to peer supporters though.

          • Anna Perch

            First I am guessing that when you say “support” your do not mean support. I am not clear on what you actually do mean.
            Yes, our common ground, ” If you want to breastfeed absolutely you should get support “.
            Again, common ground, ” ” If you say you don’t want to breastfeed” then there should be “no lecture on the “negatives”, no “give it a try” and no emotional blackmail which when we boil it down, telling a new mother she’s not doing the best”
            “Being told what we should do with our bodies is triggering ” Yes, I think that is a fairly common response. Have you heard of Penny Simkin? I had the opportunity to hear her speak about this once. Well worth the time.
            Personally, I think that the reasons any individual mother has for not breastfeeding are unique to her. That’s why I discourage people from saying (online),” I could not breastfeed because….” Inevitably some well meaning person will chime in with I know some one who did in spite of ….” More often than not, no one online has a need to know. I think (guess, suspect) that some people will say (online) that they “could not breastfeed because…” but the real reasons are too personal or too complex to share. Unfortunately, by sharing a ruse reason, it falsely inflates the perception of the numbers of people who experience the rused reason. It also, gives the impression to people that their private, complex reasons are much rarer than they actually are, because no one else shares them.
            To me, the answer that works best (online) is, something like, “I acknowledge the risks of infant formula, and I have decided not to breastfeed.” It is a very polite way to say, it’s none of your business why.
            Personally, I think there needs to be better support for people who do not breastfeed. Ironically, I think breastfeeding supporters could be a great resource, because they recognize how intense breastfeeding can be and can appreciate the sense of loss.
            Better maternity leave would be nice, too.
            So, I guess the only little bit that I think is important that you did not explicitly say, is that there is evidence to show that on a population level, breastfeeding should be recommended. Groups of formula fed babies consistently fare less well than groups of breastfed babies. That said, the differences are small enough that they can only be measured by comparing groups.
            I do happen to think it is fair for healthcare workers to ask a mother to check off a box that says something about recognizing the differences between breast and formula. I think it is important because the formula industry sweeps the risks under the rug with the advertising. Mothers shouldn’t have to guess how much breastfeeding really matters.
            Women absolutely have the right not to breastfeed for any reason or for no reason. No lactivist worth their salt believes otherwise. The scare mongering that lactivists are a bunch of big meannies causes way too much angst for mothers. There is not reason for it to be perpetuated.
            Should a mother who has made an informed decision not to breastfeed feel badly? Absolutely not. Should bloggers write up a bunch of hooey so that mothers who do not breastfeed have a scapegoat to blame? Absolutely not.
            If your hospital happen to be Baby Friendly and the staff are not honoring your decision not to breastfeed, you could consider reporting them to Baby Friendly USA. The goal of BFHI is to honor women’s choices and to give each mother the opportunity to breastfeed, provided she wants to. If not, have courage. You know what the right thing for you and yours is.
            Wishing you a beautiful birth.

          • guest

            “Personally, I think that the reasons any individual mother has for not breastfeeding are unique to her. That’s why I discourage people from saying (online),” I could not breastfeed because….” Inevitably some well meaning person will chime in with I know some one who did in spite of ….”

            How about you start discouraging people from responding to personal stories about breastfeeding difficulties with “I know someone who did in spite of…”?!?!??? Women who can’t breastfeed should keep their mouths shut according to you, simply because somewhere, some other woman could and we can’t ask HER not to make guilt-inducing comments in response?

          • Chi

            Not to mention that those of us who were unable to breastfeed are apparently liars who are deliberately conflating the issue about WHY we couldn’t breastfeed.

            Here is the honest to whatever god you choose to believe in truth about why I couldn’t breastfeed:

            1) I had inverted nipples and my daughter didn’t like the nipple shield.

            2) My daughter had a tongue tie that we had corrected, which still didn’t help.

            3) My milk (when I got the chance to pump and actually SEE it) was very thin and watery with very little fat in it.

            So as you can see it was actually several issues.

            Oh and also;

            4) My nipples were cracked, torn and bleeding and so nursing was excruciatingly painful, even more so when I developed Reynauds in them and we were going into winter which wasn’t helping.

            So there you go. Which of those issues am I lying about? What do I stand to gain by lying about why breastfeeding was a painful struggle for me?

          • Anna Perch

            Huh?

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            I think the point is that it makes no sense to place the responsibility for a negative interaction between a woman who has chosen not to breastfeed for reason X and a woman who says “But I know someone who breastfed despite reason X!” on the woman who has chosen not to breastfeed. Why is the onus on her to not share her story if she wants to? It’s the woman who is responding to her who is engaging in the bad behavior. She’s the one who should be told to stop.

          • Anna Perch

            Oh, I see, you changed the verb. I said “when a mother says that she CAN’T breastfeed due to X” and you changed it to “when a mother says that she CHOSE not to breastfeed due to X”. In the scenario I presented, the “but I know…” lets other mothers (lurkers) with X know that they may still have the chance to breastfeed despite X. That’s not “bad” behavior.

            In the scenario you presented, the mother is not implying that people with X cannot breastfeed . She is sharing her experience and the factors that influence her choice . Very different. I think it was disingenuous switch.
            Oh, and while we are at it, if a mother chooses to share her story about why she chose not to breastfeed, she doesn’t have to include snark such as “if you must know” or “I shouldn’t have to defend by choice”. Those types of comments are common place and reinforce the negative stereotype of breastfeeders.

          • Charybdis

            Only because they jump right in with all sorts of suggestions and so-called help, education and support. They (breastfeeding enthusiasts) are simply FULL of anecdata: “I thought I had supply issues, but a week in bed with baby doing nothing but nursing fixed it right up!” Or if a woman states that she cannot breastfeed because of a health issue or medication she must take, then she gets ALL THE HELPZ with “change your medication to one that is safe for breastfeeding”, “Oh, you can use supplements/herbal remedies instead of medication”, or “Breastfeed anyway. It is SO important and the danger of medication in your milk is dwarfed by TEH GOODZ of breastfeeding.”

            There was one LC who suggested that a woman who had had a double mastectomy try breastfeeding anyway because “there might be some tissue left and the milk could come out of your armpit”. Or the one who was recommending that a mother taking anti-rejection drugs after an organ transplant STOP TAKING THE DRUGS so she could breastfeed.

            We don’t need encouragement, education or support for breastfeeding, but lactivists insist on trying to provide it whether we asked for it or not. They are full to bursting with tips, tricks and their own self-importance in spreading the word that Breast is Best! Unsolicited advice/help is annoying and we are tired of being patronized.

          • Anna Perch

            Yup. predictable.

          • Charybdis

            As are you.

          • MI Dawn

            What’s predictable, Anna? The fact that not all LCs are good? The fact that breastfeeding is pushed as “what all pregnant women MUST do”, no matter what, rather than an option?

            Or the fact that as a nurse-midwife, I asked my patients *how* they wanted/planned to feed their baby, and then supported that choice, no matter WHAT it was? I didn’t care if they said breast or bottle or combination. I gave them support, education on proper feeding, and contacts (LCs, home care) if needed.

          • Anna Perch

            No. No. No.
            Am I right? You are feeling sanctimonious while you disparage others in your profession. You are implying that you are doing it right and They are doing it differently? “Nice”.

          • momofone

            No, she is talking about actual professionals.

          • MI Dawn

            What’s wrong with supporting a woman’s right to her body? With supporting how she chooses to birth and feed her baby? And, yes, that’s how my whole office functioned. We educated as to the risks and benefits of breastmilk and formula, and let the mother choose.

            You, my dear, are the sanctimonious one, declaring that you and only you are right in making sure all babies are breastfed because in your mind “breast is best” rather than the true: FED is best.

            And, you never told me why formula feeding is so horrible and what the risks are when properly prepared. Remember, in the science world, YOU make the statement, YOU have to provide proof of that statement.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            People who are making “but I know…” comments ought to think about the impact they are having on the person they are actually speaking to, who is quite likely feeling sensitive and vulnerable. There are plenty of other places to talk about how women have overcome certain difficulties besides a conversation with a woman who didn’t or couldn’t (by choice or necessity). It is not too much to ask to ask adults to consider others’ feelings.

            As for defensive comments like “I shouldn’t have to defend my choice”–what you call “snark”–I don’t see why a woman is obligated to be all sweetness and light if she has faced judgment and nastiness, which she quite likely has. Consider that she might not be saying “I shouldn’t have to defend my choice” because she wants to be “snarky.” Consider that she might be saying it because she has been frequently called upon to defend her choice and she is fed up. People are allowed to get fed up.

          • Anna Perch

            This idea that formula apologists are “nice” and lactivists are “mean”, that only lactivists need to be reminded to consider others’ feelings, that only apologists are sensitive and vulnerable, that only apologists are fed up with lactivists, but lactivists have no reason to be fed up with apologists is absolutely ridiculous.
            “why [is] a woman is obligated to be all sweetness and light if she has faced judgment and nastiness”
            Surely, you see the irony in this. The vast majority, if not every single commenter here has approached me with judgement and nastiness. Every time I am less than perfectly clear, my comments are contorted into ideas I can’t even trace back to what I originally said.
            If an apologist assumes due to her preconceived notions (or something she read online) that big, bad lactivists demand justification for formula feeding, then, yes, I stand by my comment that those phrases are snarky.
            I truly believe that if apologists would stop generalizing, if they approached others with curiosity rather than trepidation, if they made a modicum of effort to see the other side, they would experience a lot less angst.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I’m pretty sure the extent of my judgement and nastiness to you has been pointing out your nastiness and not letting you get away with it. But sure, you’re the victim here.

            And by the way, I didn’t do so to justify my formula use as I’ve never once used it.

          • Anna Perch

            Again, it is apparent to me that you are basing your opinion on your preconceived notions rather than anything that I have actually said or implied.
            For example, you have implied that whether or not you have ever used formula, influences my opinions. Nothing I have said supports that premise.

          • Charybdis

            As opposed to all those lactivists who never generalize and are never, ever snarky. They are all sweetness, light and a bundle of good intentions ready to spread sunshine, sparkles and flower hair garlands to all women.

            How about they acknowledge and show some empathy for the other side? And we are not apologists, as we are not apologizing for anything or to anyone. You are a lactivist apologist. Or you play one on TV, since you are giving a cracking imitation of one.

          • Anna Perch

            Au contraire! Unlike you, I think that both lactivists and formula apologists are human beings who are sometimes sweetness and light and other times snarky and fed up.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            Funny, because approaching with curiosity is exactly what you refuse to do here with the women sharing their bad experiences. Is it impossible for you to imagine that some women might have bad impressions of lactivists without ever having had preconceived notions of them?

            I certainly didn’t have any preconceived notions about them. I thought “Oh, lactivists–people who advocate breastfeeding. Cool! Breastfeeding is good and any woman should be able to do it if she wants to!” Seemed entirely benign, even benevolent to me. Then I started actually coming into contact with more lactivists, on line and IRL, and talking to more women who had left those communities after bad experiences. And I started noticing that lactivists, well, were often kind of judgmental jerks. Who promoted pseudoscience and weren’t actually doing anything to make sure that women are always able to choose to breastfeed. That would require social action and possibly professional dedication that would be a lot more difficult than scolding women on the internet (or possibly in hospitals if they are in professions that allow them to do this.)

            And I don’t even have firsthand experience. Do you think all the women here who are reporting bad experiences coming into contact with this ideology are just reading imaginary stuff into their experiences because of “preconceived notions?” Many of them, it seems, began themselves with the notion that they must breastfeed and were disillusioned by the way they were treated when this turned out to be difficult, miserable, or impossible. That is not “preconceived notions.” If anything, they were disabused of their preconceived notions.

            A parallel situation–I strongly oppose infant circumcision. I don’t think it should ever be done unless it is some how medically indicated. However, I have found that people who identify as “intactivists,” though they superficially share the same opinion as I do, are generally insufferable.

          • Anna Perch

            It is difficult for me to imagine that any followers of the Skeptical OB have an open mind in terms of breastfeeding and lactivism and no one here has given me an iota of doubt about it.

          • Azuran

            Really? We support every mother doing whatever she feels works best for her without any judgment.
            You on the other hand, won’t shut up about fake benefits of breastmilk and imaginary risks of formula (for which you still have to provide any kind of evidence) and you think we are the one who are close minded? You might want to look at a mirror.
            We are not close minded, you are just obstinately refusing to provide any kind of back up to your claims and you are mad that we don’t want to blindly believe what you say.

          • Anna Perch

            That’s not the part I have an issue with. It is the sanctimonious part where you claim that other people do NOT support every mother doing what’s best without judgment. And also the denial about the importance of breastfeeding. Basically, the formula apologism is what I take issue with.

          • Azuran

            And what IS the importance of breastfeeding?
            The only actual benefits are a few less colds and a few episode of diarrhea, during the first year, on the population level. Basically everything else that you do in your baby’s life will be more important that whether you breastfed, gave breast milk in a bottle, used a SNS or just formula in a bottle. In the long term. It makes absolutely no difference. Mother’s who formula fed love their kids just as much as those who breastfed, their kids are just as healthy and are just as smart.
            Both are perfectly acceptable way to feed a baby.

          • Anna Perch

            Right, that is the apologist point of view. I am fully aware.

          • Azuran

            Actually no, it’s not an ‘apologist’ point of view. It’s the scientific point of view.
            Or are you now ready to provide any kind of scientific proof of your claims?

          • Bombshellrisa

            Just ask then. Lots of us have breastfed a child for years. It doesn’t limit our view of the world to just our own experience.

          • Anna Perch

            I’ve already asked lots of questions. I’ve seen no signs of open- mindedness.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Why is that important? I noticed that you have replied a great deal and there is no hint of open mindedness in those replies. Being open minded is more “fed is best, do what works” than you stating you would be happy with a child care provider using an sns to do feedings.

          • Open-mindedness is the willingness to consider *evidence*. We’ve been asking you for days for evidence.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            It is difficult for me to imagine that any followers of the Skeptical OB have an open mind in terms of breastfeeding and lactivism

            Speaking of pre-conceived notions…

            I read a lot of blogs that I don’t necessarily agree with 100% (or very much at all even) because I like exposing myself to different viewpoints. I do usually, but not always agree with Dr. Amy and, even when I do agree, I sometimes disagree with the way she presents her viewpoints. I do find though, that the data and evidence on which she bases her viewpoints (when applicable) is consistently sound. And that is one reason why I like her blog quite a bit more than I used to, actually. Inquiry revealed that the evidence was on her side. I follow the evidence. I can handle disagreeing with somebody sometimes if we are both working off the same reality, as demonstrated by evidence. People can arrive at different opinions based on the same facts–the important thing is that they are the same facts. Because, as we know, people are entitled to their own opinions but not to their own facts.

            I also read viewpoints that I disagree with very much. I believe that it is important to understand why people feel the way they do, even if I do not feel the same way or even if I disagree with their premises.

          • corblimeybot

            Cosigned

          • corblimeybot

            I BREASTFED MY CHILD EVEN THOUGH IT WAS LITERALLY KILLING ME. I did it because lactivism is so entrenched in motherhood culture, that I had no reason to doubt all the supposed benefits that didn’t exist.

            I was pretty fucking open-minded about breastfeeding, wouldn’t you say? I did it when I was recovering from HELLP syndrome and PPH. I did it even though I had no one to help me with my baby while I convalesced. I did it at the expense of eating, sleeping, and functioning as a human being.

            But now that I know how much lying is inherent to lactivism? How little it values women? How little it values starving babies? No, I do not have an “open mind” about an idealogy that causes that much damage.

            I ended up reading Dr. Amy because it was a cathartic breath of fresh air after over a year of abuse from lactivists and NCB assholes. I came to her waaaay after I’d already decided they were awful people.

          • Chi

            And going on about the ‘risks’ of formula feeding ISN’T fearmongering???????

            Praytell where are you getting your information that groups of formula fed babies fare less well than their breastfed peers?

            Scientific citations please. There are enough researchers and doctors and other science-minded people on this blog to show you why the science showing breastfeeding should be recommended is a load of crap.

          • Anna Perch

            I can call them side effects if you prefer.

            No, Chi, I am not going to humor you and spoon feed you the science that supports breastfeeding. There are denialists to every thing these days, climate change, vaccinations, fluoride, you name it. The fact that there are some outliers who think they know better than everyone else means nothing to me.

          • Chi

            In other words, you’ve got nothing.

            Dr Amy has done plenty of posts about the various studies done to show how much ‘better’ breastfeeding is and shown that they’re actually poorly done.

            A lot of the studies people like you fall back on don’t control for things like income, maternal education level etc etc etc. So there’s no way of saying conclusively that it was the breastfeeding that was what elicited the result.

            The only real benefit of breastfeeding in a first world country is maybe a SLIGHT reduction in tummy bugs in the first year of life. And even that might be because the mothers in that scenario can AFFORD to take time off work to breastfeed/pump that long.

            I’ve been around this blog for 2 years. I’ve seen all the lactivist arguments and seen Dr Amy debunk them all. You sweetie are nothing new.

          • Anna Perch

            You mean that she has carefully cherry picked studies to criticize. If you want to blindly trust her to explain the science, go ahead.

          • momofone

            So help us out–which I’m sure is your intent, right?– you “explain the science” so we don’t have to “blindly trust” her.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Help us out, Anna. What do YOU think are the best studies of breastfeeding, if not the Belarus and concordant sibling studies?

            I will note those are also the studies that the WHO relied upon in their evaluation of breastfeeding benefits. Do you think they also were “carefully cherry picked”?

            The studies that Dr Amy criticizes are the same ones that the authors of the better-done studies have also criticized, and for the same reasons.

          • Who?

            Can you identify from a group of one year old children, who is/was breastfed and who isn’t/wasn’t?

            Kindergarten age?

            High school age?

            University age?

            No? Thought not.

          • Mishimoo

            Of course not, their eyes don’t glow like unvaxxed kids.

          • Who?

            I always forget about the eyes.

            Mind you I was fed on Carnation evap so heaven knows how I walk and respire at the same time, let alone remember internet trivia.

            How’s your world?

          • Mishimoo

            I fell into a casual job which works around my studies even though it’s not in my field, and there’s room to apply for casual library work or do placements when I’m studying the Bachelor’s. Turns out that cooking for picky kids and husband makes me eminently qualified to cook for a small cafe with lovely owners. Kids are on holidays and the eldest just turned 10, so there is a lot of cake to devour. How is your world going?

          • Who?

            Congratulations sounds wonderful! Good on you! So glad you’ve landed in that great spot. Hope the school holidays aren’t too much juggling.

            I fell into a job too-was just resigning myself to never finding a job again, and one fell into my lap. So I get to wear lovely clothes and have people hang on my every word, or most of them anyway;-) (that’s not the whole job, obviously, just my favourite bits). It’s a twelve month contract, and I’m meeting lots of great people and learning lots, so I figure it’s all good now and let’s see what happens next year.

            Take it easy and enjoy their holidays!

          • Mishimoo

            Oh that is awesome! I am so glad that one fell into your lap, especially since you get to dress nicely and all. Here’s hoping more good things come your way!

          • Who?

            You too! Call me shallow, but I do love the dressing up, and now have a reason to buy makeup, not that I need one…the Mecca down the street is getting quite a workout!

            Time for screens off so this middle aged lady can get to bed by 10!

            Take care.

          • MI Dawn

            Yeah, my mom fed my brother and me the old “Carnation/Caro” formulas. She hated breastfeeding my brother so refused to breastfeed me. (She BF my brother for about 6 weeks). Strange, we’re both alive, healthy and (relatively) sane. My little sister (adopted) got Enfamil.

          • momofone

            But their jaw development is a dead giveaway.

          • Roadstergal

            I mean, I’m going to guess the kid with the cleft palate was bottle-fed. Bottle feeding is so dangerous, the negative effects go back in time…

          • Young CC Prof

            Fortified formula no doubt caused my son’s low birth weight. Very high correlation there!

          • Charybdis

            I thought their eyes were dead and flat, like a shark’s…

          • Azuran

            That’s because you don’t have any proof. Don’t try to get the high ground over this, you have nothing and are just repeating things you where told by other lactivits.

          • Anna Perch

            Look – if you want to believe that the world is flat, that fluoride is dangerous and that formula is perfectly safe, I am not going to stop you. If you want to call it the high ground, go ahead, but it does not make good sense to me.

          • MI Dawn

            So teach us, Anna. What is dangerous about formula when it is made correctly with city water (barring Flint, MI) or with bottled water? What is dangerous about ready-to-feed formula? We’re talking about the formula. NOT socioeconomic factors that lead to incorrect formula use. Tell us what’s so dangerous about formula?

          • Anna Perch

            I don’t really think your question is coming from a place of curiosity.

          • Charybdis

            That did not answer the question. What is so dangerous about formula?

          • Azuran

            No, we are all very curious to see where you are taking your information from. Why do you think we asked to see it multiple time?

          • momofone

            I think your answer is coming from a place of disingenuity. You don’t know how to answer it, so you try to deflect. Unsuccessfully, but you try.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Actually, yes, it is. But not curiosity about the science, more curiosity about how you are going to twist yourself in knots to answer, and what bullshit you will use.

            So yep, the question is a set up. She knows the answer, and knows that you don’t. So the point of the question is to expose your ignorance. And it’s working. Everyone can see you dodging it.

          • Then call MI Dawn’s bluff.

          • Azuran

            Then just link a study and prove me wrong.
            If you told me the earth was flat without any kind of proof, I’d call you stupid just as much.
            We believe the claims of Amy regarding the benefits of breast milk because she supplied good scientific evidence to back up her claim. I you want to be taken seriously, then you have to do the same. If you don’t want to, then go back to wherever you came from.

          • Anna Perch

            “We believe the claims of Amy regarding the benefits of breast milk ” Like I said, if that’s your prerogative, fine by me.

          • Azuran

            I see you cropped out the part where I said ‘because she supplied good scientific evidence to back up her claim’
            She showed proof. you didn’t. So why should I put any kind of faith in what you say?

          • Anna Perch

            As I have said before, she has cherry picked that scientific evidence in order to “prove” her ideology.

          • Azuran

            And you have other scientific evidence that goes against what she has?

          • Anna Perch

            I’m am finding it difficult to take you seriously.

          • Azuran

            Why? Because I’m asking for evidence instead of blindly believing you?

          • In order for you to know that, then you must know what relevant science she has left out.

            PMID numbers?

          • moto_librarian

            We don’t need the science spoon-fed to us regarding breastfeeding. The only proven benefits of nursing a term infant in the developed world are 8% fewer colds and episodes of diarrheal illness in the first year. That’s it. Every other outlandish claim made by lactivists is unproven, including increase in IQ, decreased risk in obesity, asthma, etc. You are the one that needs to take a hard look at what you believe about breastfeeding.

          • corblimeybot

            If you can’t support your own arguments, you are not actually participating in a debate like an adult .No one has to acknowledge anything you claim, if you refuse to support it yourself.

          • Mrs.Katt the Cat

            What are the side effects? I haven’t heard of any specifics just vague ‘risks’

          • moto_librarian

            Side effects? So formula is drug now?

          • Anna Perch

            You really are behind the eight ball, eh?

          • FEDUP MD

            That’s bull. I gave birth at at BFHI twice and exclusively nursed afterwards, for a year to year plus afterwards. My “choices” to try to recover from 48 hours without sleep and the effects of general anesthesia by not endangering my child’s safety by me dropping or smothering them were in no way “honored.” I was basically told I was an idiot with the second baby when I told them based on my first breastfeeding experience that when it did come in, I was going to have massive oversupply (which, of course, I did, so badly that I actually got a bilateral brachial plexopathy from the swelling of the breast tissue in my axillae). Got woken up to pump, etc when I knew damned well how my own body responded. Oh, and I was a board certified pediatrician at the time (I let it lapse in favor of my subspecialty) so yes, I knew quite a lot. If I had not been lucky enough to have my husband with me at all times, which I recognize is a massive privilege due to my socioeconomic and social class, I am not sure how I would have managed. My husband held the baby when I was too drugged to safely do so, he watched to make sure I didn’t fall asleep with the baby in bed, he got the baby for me when I was tethered to the bed for 12 plus hours with numb legs and a Foley catheter, and walked the halls when my first developed brief oral aversion and wouldn’t be calmed by anything, and the nurses refused to take him despite the fact that I was hallucinating from lack of sleep (mind you, I had regularly done 36-40 hour shifts without sleep up to every 4 days as a medical student/resident, so not like I was a lightweight).

          • Erin

            Well the “support” I encountered in hospital after having my son included someone grabbing my nipple after I said it was triggering to force my son on. They also had cold hands and he objected to being thrown at it. Another “lovely” midwife told me that as he was born by emergency section, he “NEEDED” breastmilk more than a baby born normally. Don’t get me wrong, the breastfeeding support nurse in NICU was amazing, the rest on a par with Nurse Ratched.

            This doesn’t match:

            “To me, the answer that works best (online) is, something like, “I acknowledge the risks of infant formula, and I have decided not to breastfeed.” It is a very polite way to say, it’s none of your business why.”

            this:

            Again, common ground, ” ” If you say you don’t want to breastfeed” then there should be “no lecture on the “negatives”, no “give it a try” and no emotional blackmail which when we boil it down, telling a new mother she’s not doing the best”

            in my book.

            What about the risks of breastfeeding, to me as an individual they far out weigh the “risks” of formula feeding. We have an excellent water supply and I’m capable of following the instructions on the packaging. However in my immediate circle of friends, I know one person who essentially starved her baby (lost 25 percent of birth weight before anyone did anything despite seeking advice on breastfeeding and said child now has developmental delays) because of breastfeeding. That’s before we even get into postnatal depression and the harm that can do to a child’s social development should breastfeeding be a contributing factor. Personally I know I’d prefer a child who has to watch what they eat or exercise a bit more to one who is incapable of forming secure attachments. Certainly I’d beat myself up more over the latter than the former.

            As you say, we all have individual reasons and in many cases it’s deeply personal. I would be more inclined to support the likes of Dr Newman if they acknowledged that, especially if they went on to add that sometimes not breastfeeding is the best option for a mother/baby dyad. After all, healthy mother…

            I breastfeed exclusively for three months and loathed it. I don’t blame anyone but myself for that. I should have listened to my instincts but I kept at it, hoping as I was being told it would improve. However what angers me this time around is despite telling my “care givers” that I found it triggering and hated every second, I’m not being listened to. The assumption is that I will suddenly and miraculously change my mind on holding my baby.

            “Personally, I think there needs to be better support for people who do not breastfeed. Ironically, I think breastfeeding supporters could be a great resource, because they recognize how intense breastfeeding can be and can appreciate the sense of loss. ”

            What sense of loss would that be? I don’t expect any “sense of loss” from not breastfeeding baby 2 and neither did I feel any “sense of loss” when I quit breastfeeding baby 1, quite the opposite in fact.

            Interestingly enough, in my circle of friends (wealthy enough area, lots of stay at home mothers) I know way more women who have been shamed for formula feeding (even when it was expressed breastmilk in the bottle) when out and about than for breastfeeding. Things have changed massively since my Mother in law’s experiences in the 70s when she was the only woman breastfeeding in the maternity hospital and an object of great curiosity.

          • Anna Perch

            It would be helpful if you all could stop with the Orwellian language. Instead of saying “support” when you do not mean support, use the word you do mean.

          • Charybdis

            You first. The crap we are talking about is presented as “support”. Erin had a nurse manhandle her breast and shove her baby on it to initiate breastfeeding, providing here the “support” she needed, as apparently she was not bending to the nurses’ will. She was ignored and trivialized when she said she found breastfeeding triggering, all in the interests of “supporting breastfeeding.”

            If we used the words “she assaulted me while I was vulnerable and recovering from a traumatic CS delivery” you would tut-tut and tsk at that language. If we used the words “manhandled, forcibly grabbed my breast, shoved my baby’s head into my breast,” you would have problems with that as well. Because that is exactly what those nurses/LC’s/Lactivists did: assault and battery.

          • Anna Perch

            Well, thank you for your “support”.

          • Charybdis

            You are most welcome. I can’t thank you for your “support” because you haven’t offered any, real or imagined.

          • Anna Perch

            Thank YOU.

          • Nick Sanders

            Sarcasm is not Orwellian language.

          • Who?

            I think Erin is making the point that what she describes was offered as support, but experienced as something negative.

          • Anna Perch

            Um, duh? My point is that if it was not supportive it was not support.

          • Erin

            Then perhaps rather than lecturing here, perhaps you should be pushing for better training for those breastfeeding supporters (including midwives) who aren’t providing support. After all, my notes clearly say “breastfeeding support given” after all of the incidences I mentioned.

            Bearing in mind that I wanted to breastfeed, I wouldn’t have kept at it for 3 months with all the obvious issues it was causing me if I hadn’t wanted to. Plus given that my breasts already seem to be gearing up for spraying milk everywhere again, I’d probably try it again if someone could provide useful support in helping me deal with the triggering side.

          • Anna Perch

            Um, “lecturing” ? And why can’t I do both, push for better training AND learn online about why apologists oppose the normalization of breastfeeding?

          • Nick Sanders

            Because normative values generally suck?

          • Maud Pie

            It takes a special blend of unmitigated gall and self blindness to say you want to learn about why we disagree with you after you made several posts demanding that we shut up.

          • Anna Perch

            I think I was the one who was told to shut up.

          • moto_librarian

            Evidence. Present it.

          • No, you were told to PUT UP or SHUT UP.

            The fact that you CHOSE to somehow manage to shut up noisily isn’t our problem.

          • moto_librarian

            Because we know damned well that you aren’t going to push for LCs and IBCLCs to do better.

          • Anna Perch

            Right, but that’s not because of your preconceived notions. /sarcasm off.

          • moto_librarian

            Given everything that you have said here, I’m making that assumption based strictly on your behavior.

          • Erin

            Ah more “Orwellian language” huh?

            Because one is important, the other … doesn’t really exist. I don’t think anyone here is against breastfeeding if the owner of the breasts actually wishes to do so (and produces milk).

            I’m not American (if wasn’t already obvious) and here I’d say breastfeeding is normalized to the point that not breastfeeding at least in my circles gets raised eyebrows. Formula advertising is illegal (apart from Follow on Milk aimed at Toddlers) and our ante-natal classes refuse to discuss formula at all. When you have the baby, the general assumption is that you will breastfeed. Our post-natal wards can choose to hire extra midwives or breastfeeding support and as far as I know every ward has at least one peer supporter coming in every day.

            There is no support group for Postnatal Depression within 30 miles of my house but I could attend three different breastfeeding support groups including one which runs in tandem with a Baby and Toddler group I take my son to.

            As a side note, I googled Penny Simkin.

            “1. Recognize that sometimes abuse survivors cannot breastfeed. Follow
            their lead.
            2. If a woman really wants to breastfeed but cannot, pumping and
            feeding by bottle may be acceptable.
            3. Help mother recognize that a young baby cannot manipulate or
            deliberately hurt her. Help her frame her perceptions.
            4. Refrain from touching woman’s breasts; allow privacy. Teach latch
            techniques without making her expose her breast. Let her try in
            private. ”

            I think training on 4. would be hugely helpful across the board as would accepting that 1. is true.

          • Anna Perch

            I’m glad you looked her up.

          • Azuran

            You think we oppose breastfeeding. We don’t

            We oppose putting breastfeeding on a magical pedestal and making up false health benefits to make it look ‘better’ when it isn’t. Both formula and BM are perfectly acceptable way of feeding a baby, both should be supported and respected in exactly the same way.
            We oppose the shaming of mothers, whatever their feeding method is, and support proper support of both FF, BF mothers and everything in between as long as both parties are physically and mentally healthy.

            We support normalizing feeding your baby whichever way works for you. Whether you use formula, breastfeeding or anything in between, every single feeding mother (and even father) should be able to feed their baby however they want without anyone judging them.

            Normalizing ‘breastfeeding’ means putting it as the normal thing, and everything else as abnormal.
            How would you feel about normalizing ‘heterosexuality’? How do you think the LGBT community would feel about that? You think they wouldn’t get the feeling they were somehow less valuable or abnormal? or that they were doing something wrong?

          • Charybdis

            I think it is the UNSOLICITED part of the equation that you are missing. At the time, Erin had said she didn’t want someone grabbing her breast and forcing her son onto it. The person doing so was not asked by Erin for help latching her son. The midwife who told her that her son NEEDED breastmilk more than a vaginally delivered baby was pushing ideology on Erin and also not taking into account Erin’s issues. UNSOLICITED is the problem here. That, and an “I know better than you do, your experience is meaningless” attitude from people doesn’t help your crusade.

          • Anna Perch

            No, I’m not the one missing key bits.

          • moto_librarian

            You don’t give two shits about the fact that Erin was sexually assaulted and then triggered repeatedly by lactation consultants. I also had my breast forcibly grabbed and twisted without my consent. Thankfully, I have never been assaulted, but the whole situation was uncomfortable. I was too ill at the time to protest (I was recovering from a massive pph caused by a cervical laceration – all from my textbook “natural” vaginal birth). The IBCLC then put me on the pumping schedule from hell, and recommended fenugreek despite the fact that I am a severe asthmatic (it’s a good thing that I had a copy of the Nursing Mother’s Companion which I had read in preparation for breastfeeding; found the contraindication by looking up fenugreek in the index). I don’t really care if you think that lactivists are treated unfairly. Your behavior in this comments section demonstrates that you are far more interested in dogma than evidence, and you suffer from a complete lack of empathy. Try getting some accomplishments that aren’t related to your breasts and uterus. That might help give you some perspective.

          • Anna Perch

            I have no words to with which to address your shamelessness.

          • Amazed

            Really? Not even some Orwellian language?

            Listen, we already saw that you consider anything other than, “Breastfeeding is great, everyone should try it, every negative experience is just an anecdote and everyone should be careful in phrasing their words as to avoid unsolicited advice” as mean and meaningless. But you won’t support your claims about the risks of formula. Because you can’t.

            Why don’t you go stuff your boob in your kid’s mouth and leave conversations to adults? From what I’ve seen this far, acting as a milk source is the only way you could be remotely useful. Provided, of course, that your milk is nutritious and plentiful enough and your kid has no problem latching onto your sacred tit.

          • Charybdis

            Why is moto_librarian shameless, exactly?

          • moto_librarian

            I’m all ears, Anna.

          • Megan

            How we all wish you really truly had “no words”…

          • moto_librarian

            Was it the part where I suggested that you get some real accomplishments? Or where I pointed out that you are gaslighting Erin?

          • Charybdis

            Oh yes, yes you are.

          • Anna Perch

            No, you are. 🙂

          • momofone

            We’re still missing all the available science you were going to share with us!

          • Erin

            That was the language the hospital used to describe those incidents.

            I also go to a lot of baby and toddler groups and amazingly enough, that’s the sort of thing a lot of other women got in the name of “support” too.

            And therein lies my issue. I’m sure we both agree that wasn’t supportive at all but whilst that passes for support and is signed off by senior hospital staff, there is a problem.

            I’m not a 100 percent sure what sort of support would have kept me breastfeeding (and kept me relatively sane) or if it’s even possible but I didn’t receive it from my health “care” providers (care is also the wrong word in this particular experience).

          • Maud Pie

            Screw flight and invisibility. My choice of superpower would be the ability to make hypocrites vividly see their own hypocrisy in all its rank sordidness. Demanding that we rewrite our histories and and tailor our statements to fit your ideological narrative while accusing us of Orwellian language is foul hypocrisy.

          • Anna Perch

            Me, too!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I have to admit, what passes as “support” among you lactivists leaves a lot to be desired. It’s about as useful as the cheerleaders at football games, who, despite their self-importance, don’t do much of anything to help. Huh, that sounds just like some lactivists I’ve heard of….

          • Nick Sanders

            At least good cheerleading is entertaining in a pleasant way.

          • Bombshellrisa

            My mom was a cheerleader. She can’t get over that fact even though she is in her 60’s and has accomplished many more things since her cheerleading days.

          • Nick Sanders

            I’m sorry to hear that.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Yeah, it’s not easy for her since she is so proud of it. She was also adorable, funny and a blast to be around at that point in her life and she doesn’t really have friends to have good times with anymore so I think that is part of why she can’t let it go.
            I will admit to watching all the televised games for the schools where my cousins were cheerleaders. I loved seeing them more frequently than our family reunions!

          • corblimeybot

            And you’re contemptible, too! How very in accordance with the lactivist playbook When faced with a story of clear trauma and abuse like Erin’s, you react by 1) ignoring the content of her experience, 2) deflecting, 3) insulting her with rhetoric that sounds fancy to you, but that you don’t actually understand the meaning of.

            CLASSIC!

          • Anna Perch

            Prejudice?

          • Cody

            This was nicely written. I’m a doula and my clients deal with this attitude quite a bit. I hate it when nurses grab women’s breasts without permission (it happens all the time). Sometimes I also have to have fairly direct conversations with mom’s who decide to formula feed after trying breastfeeding. They have so much guilt. I try and take it away but I’m only one person. Women these days are really hard on themselves.

          • Tori

            I mix for as long as was reasonable. I was never shamed for breastfeeding. I have been shamed for formula feeding.

          • Charybdis

            To me, the answer that works best (online) is, something like, “I acknowledge the risks of infant formula, and I have decided not to breastfeed.” It is a very polite way to say, it’s none of your business why.

            There are no risks to correct formula usage. And by correct I mean mixed properly if you are using powdered formula or diluted properly if you are using liquid concentrate. That’s it. None of the “it’s SO inconvenient, all the measuring and mixing! Sterilizing everything and all the washing!” crap the lactivists try to say is the complex process of formula feeding. What about the risks of breastfeeding? There seems to be precious little of THAT information out there. Things like dehydration, pathological jaundice, hypernatremia, low blood sugar, the fact that babies often need more than mere milliliters of colostrum during their first few days, the fact that somewhere between 5-20%(is it 20 or 15%) of women will NOT make enough milk to support their baby’s needs, unsafe levels of weight loss, things like that. Not to mention all the crying and inconsolability of a starving baby who wants more to eat because Mom is not producing enough milk to sate the baby. Isn’t that one of the things AP/NCB/EBF warn about if one sleep trains a baby? That all that crying can raise cortisol levels and can cause brain damage? How is the crying from being hungry All The Time somehow different than the crying of a baby being sleep trained by controlled crying?

            So, I guess the only little bit that I think is important that you did not explicitly say, is that there is evidence to show that on a population level, breastfeeding should be recommended.

            Why, exactly should breastfeeding be recommended on a population level? In developed countries the ONLY difference is 8% fewer GI illnesses ACROSS THE POPULATION.

            Mothers shouldn’t have to guess how much breastfeeding really matters.

            It doesn’t really matter, not in the way you wish it did. If your milk comes in in enough quantity to adequately feed your baby, the baby latches well and is able to get milk and you enjoy breastfeeding, then great. Even if you don’t enjoy it, but can tolerate it, if you are “meh” about it, or even if you dislike it, but can power through, great. If you choose to combo feed or EFF because you simply want to, or because you are a rape survivor/sexual abuse survivor, or because you have IGT or have had a mastectomy or if you have to take medications that are not compatible with breastfeeding

          • Chi

            I wish I could upvote that more than once.

          • Anna Perch

            Hey, if you want to believe that the world is flat, the moon is made of cream cheese and formula is perfectly safe, I’m cool with that.

          • Azuran

            Do you have any actual evidence that properly prepared formula is harmful?

          • Charybdis

            The world is round, the moon is a chunk of rock and formula is safe. Has been for years and years. I refuse, however, to believe that breastmilk is some sort of magical elixir. It’s not. It is one of two excellent ways to feed a baby.

            You are free to believe otherwise, just like you granted me the freedom to believe differently from you. Difference is, I have science on my side.

          • corblimeybot

            Just dropping in to see how this conversation was going, and I am not disappointed. You are just as vacuous as promised.

          • Please point to some evidence comparing the risks of breastfeeding and formula feeding.

            Nothing is perfectly safe.

          • Anna Perch

            Agreed. Nothing is perfectly safe. That is why it is important to compare the risks of various options. For example, if a mother smokes, the risks of formula feeding and smoking are greater than the risks of breastfeeding and smoking. The risks of taking SSRIs while breastfeeding is less risky than untreated moderate/severe depression. The risks of formula feeding while taking SSRIs is greater than the risks of breastfeeding while taking SSRIs. IANAD and obviously no one should be getting medical advice over the internet. Each individual has unique circumstances so, just to be clear, I am NOT saying that every mother with depression should take SSRIs or that cigarette smoking is fine or that mothers who do not breastfeed will spontaneously combust (or whatever the current apologist rhetoric says these days).

          • Please point to some evidence comparing the risks of breastfeeding and formula.

          • Anna Perch

            Well, as I just said, breastfeeding and smoking is less risky than formula feeding and smoking. If you have any curiosity, you can google and determine for yourself if that comparison is accurate.
            Also, consider this question. If it could be shown that formula is perfectly safe compared to breastfeeding, why haven’t the formula companies shared their research that proves it?

          • You make the claim, you bear the burden of proof.

          • Anna Perch

            I’m not suggesting that you take my word for it. I’m suggesting that there is evidence and you can find it IF you are interested. I don’t really think you are interested, so I’m not going to bother finding links for you.

          • Still a non-argument – your assertion, your responsibility to prove it.

            This isn’t about whether I’m interested or not, this is about basic logic. Your claim, your responsibility to prove it. If you can’t or won’t provide evidence then that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

            https://youtu.be/CVY1WzD9Tjw?list=PLrcjHcKc8BLhYNvBgFLCx3seHWbANWA4X
            https://youtu.be/KayBys8gaJY

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/03ead76900f1c9d792d52e6321d87a1f3f13bbb5bf3005929d96652787f35f1a.jpg

            Since there are lurkers and other people here, the logical thing to do would be to call my bluff. If I don’t accept it exists, well, you’ve shown me up, haven’t you?

            You seem to think it’s about finding link s for me – wherever did you get that idea? It’s about YOU finding links to support YOUR point. They don’t have to be links though, PMID numbers will do just as well.

          • Anna Perch

            It is not my responsibility to prove anything to anyone. You can ask till the cows come home. I will ignore the badgering.
            If you want ME to believe something different, by all means, provide a good argument or some evidence.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
          • Anna Perch
          • So … let me get this right:

            1)If Anna Perch wants others to believe something different – then it others’ responsibility to ‘google it’.

            2)If others want Anna perch to believe something different then it is THEIR responsibility to provide a good argument or some evidence.

            I really really hope I have misunderstood you and this is not just a special pleading fallacy.

          • Anna Perch

            I guess, then, I’ve got good news. As you hoped, you got it wrong.
            1) If Anna Perch believes something, she may type it out on a public website. That comment may or may not include a suggestion to google something.
            2) If others want Anna Perch to believe something different, then those others can provide a good argument or some evidence. AP has no responsibility to accept the argument. TO has no responsibility to provide it.

          • Can others tell Anna Perch to google it?

          • Anna Perch

            I’ll have a to check the official rule book.

          • I would guess no based on the fact that you objected to an actual link on the basis the site was obscure.

          • Nice. Double standards there.

          • Anna Perch

            Disingenuous?

          • Others should support their claims but ANNA PERCH gets to tell others to google to support their claim is….well….logically fallacious for a start.

          • Anna Perch

            Again, Disingenuous.

          • Heh. Nice try….we can all see that other comment.

          • Nick Sanders

            Taking your statements at face value is not disingenuous.

          • Proving anything TO anyone has little to do with it. The point is that it is YOUR responsibility to have evidence for YOUR claim. Again, it’s irrelevant whether I’m interested or Sonja Henie is or Joe Bloggs or Disgusted of Turnbridge Wells, for that matter. Your claim, your responsibility to prove it – it is that simple.

            ” You can ask till the cows come home. I will ignore the badgering. ” Then we’re done here. If you can’t or won’t provide evidence then I am forced to conclude that you made the risks of formula up.

          • Anna Perch
          • I am so glad you are citing this as a reliable source.

            You ask me for an example of lactivism and ask me to point out why. When I do so, you object on the grounds that this is an obscure website – having never specified beforehand that the site had to be common. Note I agree that you said blogs – however, I pointed out I didn’t have one and gave you an example of lactivism on a site.

            “A method of denial that involves arbitrarily moving the criteria for “proof” or acceptance out of range of whatever evidence currently exists. If new evidence comes to light meeting the prior criteria, the goalpost is pushed back further – keeping it out of range of the new evidence. Sometimes impossible criteria are set up at the start – moving the goalpost impossibly out of range – for the purpose of denying an undesirable conclusion.”

            You also claim that it is not your responsibility to prove anything to anyone. But shifting the burden of proof is still a logical fallacy.

          • Mike Stevens

            “If you want ME to believe something different, by all means, provide a good argument or some evidence”

            Why should they do that?
            According to you, instead of others providing you with an argument or some evidence of their own, they should just tell you to “Google it”.

          • Anna Perch

            Are you for real?

          • Mike Stevens

            See? Attitudes like yours are quite unbelievable, aren’t they?

          • Nick Sanders

            Nice double standard.

          • Mike Stevens

            “For example, if a mother smokes, the risks of formula feeding and
            smoking are greater than the risks of breastfeeding and smoking.”

            Can I see the scientific evidence for that claim please, Anna?

          • “Google it.”

          • Mike Stevens

            Heh!

          • All the work? Really? For heaven’s sake:

            Our dishwasher has a hygiene setting which proudly declares itself “ideal for homes with younger children where things need to be sanitized or baby bottles etc.”

            Dishwashers do tend to go on at some point anyway – it’s really not that hard to make sure you push an extra button. I know parents tend to be sleep deprived but come on – they’re not that incompetent even so!

          • momofone

            “More often than not, no one online has a need to know.”

            I’m sure this will come as quite the surprise, but many people prefer to decide this (and a multitude of other things) for themselves.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            A lot of lactivists aren’t worth their salt, then. I am not a mother myself (at this point) but I don’t think women are hearing some kind of scaremongering rumors about what “big meanies” a lot of lactivists are, I think they are seeing for themselves. I know because I sure have when I have looked at breasfeeding “support” forums out of curiosity. Seems less like support a lot of the time and more like peer pressure, always with the threat, implicit or explicit that not breastfeeding would be disastrous. I never see anyone respond to a woman who is having terrible difficulties and is at her wits’ end with “you know, you tried and maybe it’s time to realize that breastfeeding is not working for you and that is okay.”

            Plus, there’s this pervasive idea that women are absolutely not allowed to stop breastfeeding for any “selfish” reason, especially among big proponents of extended breastfeeding. I have seen women talk about frustrations they are having breastfeeding their 2 or 3-year old and then, before anyone even says anything, fall all over themselves to make sure that everyone knows that they are NOT going to stop and they would NEVER stop just for themselves and their own needs, ONLY when their child spontaneously wants to stop. It’s creepy and I don’t see why these women would feel the need to do these long disclaimers if they weren’t anticipating judgment. Sacrificing yourself and your autonomy completely to another person tends to ultimately make you resentful of that person. That’s not fair to mother or baby. Your 2-year-old never asked you to completely subsume your needs to theirs.

            I’m not saying that these people represent all people who support breastfeeding. Hell, I support breastfeeding. Like, great, go for it if you are able and want to! If I have biological children of my own, it would be my first choice although, if I had to go to Plan B for some reason, I wouldn’t consider myself a failure or fear for my child’s future. And I believe that no woman should ever be prevented from breastfeeding if she wants to by financial circumstances, hostile work environments, lack of parental leave etc.

            But I don’t call myself a “lactivist.” And I have to say, at this point, when somebody does, I have the urge to back away slowly. Because of what I have seen, not because of what I have heard rumored about them.

          • Anna Perch

            “A lot of lactivists aren’t worth their salt, then” Is that in some way different than any other profession?

            Hmm. If you are not a mother (yet) then you have not seen it for yourself. You are frequenting a forum where those who have had negative experiences congregate. It is exactly what I take exception to. There is a great place to be indoctrinated to the apologist ideology, but not a good place to learn about breastfeeding.

            Nope. This is all Apologist Ideology: “this pervasive idea that women are absolutely not allowed to stop breastfeeding for any “selfish” reason” and “consider myself a failure or fear for my child’s future” “they would NEVER stop just for themselves ” It can not fairly be attributed to lactivists in general.

            Hear, hear! “I believe that no woman should ever be prevented from breastfeeding if she wants to by financial circumstances, hostile work environments, lack of parental leave etc.”

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            Is that in some way different than any other profession?

            Lactivisim is not a profession. It is a social label that seems to be embraced almost exclusively (notice the “almost”–there are always exceptions) by people who “promote” or “support” breastfeeding in a way that misrepresents existing scientific evidence on the issue and shames and bullies women who can’t or don’t want to breastfeed. The people I know who support breastfeeding without disparaging formula-feeding and who accurately represent the science don’t call themselves lactivists, even if they are or have breastfed themselves. Hell, I’m a graduate student of social work so reading a lot of scholarly literature about child health and welfare is a pretty big part of my life and I know plenty of people who specialize in the health of children and families. All of these people passionately support social interventions and policies that would help children and families in many ways and would remove many barriers to breastfeeding for low-income women who want to. (Which would make a hell of a lot more of a difference in people’s lives than scolding them or shaming them and calling it “support.”) Guess how many of these people call themselves lactivists? Zero.

            There are probably some self-identified lactivists out there who are not as I have described. But, in general, that is the trend. There are people in actual professions who are ironically doing a lot more to create a society in which every woman has a choice about how she wants to feed her baby than lactivists are with their “education.” And, sure, some of them are jerks too because, yes, there are jerks in every profession. Some social workers are jerks. Some teachers are jerks. Some nurses are jerks. Some mechanics are jerks. Some doctors are jerks. But most are not. Most professions don’t seem to positively attract jerks the way the “lactivist” identity label does.

            Hmm. If you are not a mother (yet) then you have not seen it for yourself.

            Must we? Are we seriously doing the “You’re not a mother so you couldn’t possibly understand” thing? There’s nothing mystical about motherhood. (Though maybe it’s just that I couldn’t possibly understand!) Why would I need to have a child to respect and honor other people’s parenting harm-free parenting choices? Why would I need to have a child to listen to others, especially others who have been shamed, judged, or traumatized, with compassion? (Actually, that IS something I have to do a lot in social work! ) Why would I need to have a child to be able to accurately read and interpret the studies on breastfeeding vs. formula feeding and judge their quality? (You know what helps with that? Not motherhood but education.) Because it is by doing these things that I have come to the conclusions that I have about strident lactivism. Whether or not someone is a parent has no bearing on their ability to look around them and judge whether or not something is causing harm to others.

            And really? You take exception to women congregating in a place where they can share negative, humiliating, or traumatic experiences with one another without fear of judgment? It seems to me that these comment threads offer a source of support to women who feel that they may not be able to share certain experiences in many other settings without being shamed. You should ask yourself why that is instead of insisting that women merely reporting honestly on their experiences is some sort of “indoctrination?” Do you think their voices should be suppressed? Because if you think that certain people’s experiences need to be suppressed and hushed up so that your own ideology isn’t threatened, that’s usually a sign that you should question your ideology. There are lots of things to learn about breastfeeding. One of them is that certain types of breastfeeding promotion cause some women and children to suffer. That is as important a thing to know about it as anything else.

            It can not fairly be attributed to lactivists in general.

            Then why is it that I have observed so many women apparently feeling the need to make so very clear that they consider their own struggles insignificant and unimportant and that they fully understand that they MUST sacrifice their own needs on the altar of breastfeeding? Where are these women getting the idea that such disclaimers are necessary? Are they all just crazy?

            Ask yourself where these attitudes and behaviors come from. They are motivated by something. What is it?

          • Maud Pie

            The very fact that they embrace the word lactavism is revealing. Activist connotes ideology and commitment to a movement. It does not connote competence, knowledge, or commitment to helping people on a voluntary basis.

          • Anna Perch

            “activist connotes ideology” I don’t understand the compulsion to make up unique definitions for words?

            OTOH, if you oppose ideology, you might want to think about your commitment to the ideology of formula apologism.

          • Maud Pie

            Perhaps you should consider the meaning of the word “connote” especially in contrast to the word “denote.” (Hint: one has to do with the precise definition of a word, the other has to do with the concepts that get attached to a word through usage.)

          • Anna Perch

            Sorry, I can’t remember what point you were trying to make before you gave me the vocab lesson.

          • Maud Pie

            I oppose ideologies that are not rationally based on objective evidence and ideologies that trample individual rights and welfare. I oppose lactavism because it is based on misogynistic beliefs that have been extensively discussed in this thread and website. “Ideology of formula apologism” is a tortuous phrase based on your sophistry; my choice of term is “pro-choice on breastfeeding.”

          • Anna Perch

            “I oppose ideologies that are not rationally based on objective evidence and ideologies that trample individual rights and welfare.” Me, too!

            I oppose formula apologism for many reasons, including it malevolently misrepresents what lactivism is, ie it’s based on misogyny.

            The difference between us is that I think mothers have a right to make an informed decision free from pro-formula propaganda.

          • moto_librarian

            And I believe that women deserve accurate, evidence-based information. Namely that the only proven benefits of breastfeeding a term infant in the developed world are an 8% reduction in colds and episodes of diarrheal illness in the first year. That reduction in diarrheal illness may disappear as well due to uptake of the rotavirus vaccine.

          • Anna Perch

            “And I believe that women deserve accurate, evidence-based information” Bwah-hah-hah!!!

          • moto_librarian

            Spoken exactly like someone who can’t rebut her points.

          • Azuran

            And we think they should also be able to make decision free from pro-breastfeeding propaganda.
            If you cannot back up your claim with proof, than it’s nothing more than pro-breastfeeding propaganda.

          • Charybdis

            What pro-formula propaganda? Seriously….what propaganda are you referring to with that statement? Because there is way, way more breastfeeding propaganda out there.

          • Bombshellrisa

            If you find any, please let me know. I have yet to find pressure to formula feed.

          • Maud Pie

            I’d like to see a mathematical representation of Anna’s self-aggrandizing delusions and tortuous logic. Is it double-speaking to the power of ten, or quadruple speak cubed, or what? I’m getting dizzy trying to unravel her disingenuous rhetoric, so maybe a mathematician could step in.

          • Young CC Prof

            It’s not math. It’s just really tangled, with a lot of contradicting herself and misquoting others.

          • Roadstergal

            Argumentum Ad Christmas Lightsum?

          • Maud Pie

            I’m sure somewhere I read a fictional satirical work where (1) self-righteous zealot argues for imposing belief system on persons who don’t want it; (2) zealot launches crusade based on false assertions, irrational argumentation, and bigotry; (3) targets of zealot respond by calling out zealot’s lies, irrationality, and bigotry; (4) targets of zealots provide accurate information and sound reasoning against zealot’s capaign; (5) targets demonstrate how zealot’s campaign offends core cultural values of justice, human dignity, etc; (6) zealot spins, twists, distorts events of controversy to paint self as victim and paint target as oppressors.

            Gulliver’s Travels? Candide? Samuel Johnson? Dickens? Twain? It’s out there, in multiple sources.

          • Charybdis

            I think she’s somewhere in the area of logarithmic expansion in regards to her rambling.

          • The nearest thing we have to a mathematician (that I’m aware of) is Jonathan Graham (@skeptistics) – someone who knows who stats work.

          • Michael McCarthy

            The nearest thing we have to a mathematician

            or Andrew Lazarus

          • BeatriceC

            Psssst: I’m a statistician. Though it’s been over a decade since I worked in the field. I went into teaching instead.

          • Ah, well. Didn’t know that.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            There is nothing wrong with activism. I have taken part in various forms of activism myself and other people doing so have been responsible for a lot of social advancement in our society.

            But “lactivists” don’t seem to actually do anything except scold and “educate”–which means, in this context, assuming women are too stupid to understand their own circumstances and just need to be told what to do by the Enlightened.

            If people want to engage in activism that would enable more women to breastfeed if they choose to, they should get involved in advocating for policies like better (and paid) parental leave, a higher minimum wage so that poor women don’t have to work 2 or 3 jobs to support their children, and other policies that would support social equality. Maybe some lactivists do these things. But it seems the vast majority prefer armchair lecturing.

          • Maud Pie

            I’m distinguishing activism from practice. There’s nothing inherently wrong with activism, and a person can engage in both, but when I want help with a problem I want someone who can help me find a solution. For example, if I have a toothache, I want a competent dentist. If the dentist happens to also be an activist for better dental care, and participates in social and political activities to advance that goal, that’s great, but it’s the dentist’s practice that matters when I need dental care.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            Fair enough. And “activist” is also something anyone can call themselves. It doesn’t mean they actually do anything useful or know jack about what they are doing or talking about.

          • Anna Perch

            Well, on this page the term has been generalized to encompass any healthcare worker who attempts to help mothers breastfeed, without regard for their thoughts on breastfeeding. So it is disingenuous to now say, hey, but it is not a profession. I have not seen any attempt to distinguish lactivists from random healthcare workers. I agree that it IS something that should be considered by apologists.

            Um. no. “people who “promote” or “support” breastfeeding in a way that misrepresents existing scientific evidence ” Those are not lactivists. Lactivists promote and support breastfeeding CONSISTENT with the existing evidence. You really can’t expect to communication if you don’t define your terms the same way as others.

            What you are terming a “trend”, I am terming a gross mischaracterization.

            I could be wrong, but I think that you may be the first apologist who has admitted that you stereotype lactivsts as more likely to be a jerk than others. I appreciate your honesty.

            “You take exception to women congregating in a place where they can share negative, humiliating, or traumatic experiences with one another without fear of judgment?” Again, not what I said. The problem is scapegoating, not the sharing. “I hurt therefore I need to blame someone” is generally a bad idea.

            “”You’re not a mother so you couldn’t possibly understand”” Another example of a gross distortion of what I said.

            “Then why is it that I have observed…” Confirmation bias.

            “They are motivated by something. What is it?” Cognitive dissonance.

          • moto_librarian

            Still waiting for any evidence that supports your blanket assertions about breastfeeding…

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            1.) Some healthcare workers are lactivists. Some healthcare workers might hold attitudes consistent with hardcore lactivist ideology even if they themselves do not use the label. The attitudes of either group may be expressed in their professional conduct. This does not imply that lactivism is a profession. Logic fail.

            2.) Oh, so lactivists promote breastfeeding based on the evidence that the benefits of breastfeeding in developed countries are tiny and fairly inconsequential? Because that is what the existing evidence says. I am not making up my own terms. You are making up your own science (though you are not the only one.)

            3.)If the observations I am offering about lactivists and women in lactivist communities who appeared cowed are “gross mischaracterizations” than how do you explain the fact that so many women do appear cowed and the fact that many women here and other places report terrible experiences with lactivist dogma?

            4.) Oh right, you callously dismiss them by implying that they’re just lashing out randomly because they hurt and therefore must blame somebody. They apparently lack the ability to identify an agent of harm against them. Look, people looking for something or somebody to blame just because they are suffering is definitely a thing that happens but many women here and in other communities are relating specific experiences involving specific interactions with specific humans who have harmed them or shamed them. If a bunch of people are saying the same thing you should at least listen to them. Frankly, your dismissal of so many women’s stories as just “looking for somebody to blame” reminds me a lot of when men accuse feminists of just being “too angry or “hating men” or hushing up women who talk about things like sexual harassment in the workplace or in public as just whiners that nobody should take seriously and are just trying to “scapegoat” men. #Notallmen! #Notalllactivists! Blah blah blah.

            5.) I’m not any kind of apologist. I am just a person who thinks that women ought to be able to formula-feed their babies if they have to or want to without being shamed, blamed, or told lies about risks whose existence is not supported by evidence. But yeah, I totally own that I think that people who self-identify as lactivists are more likely to be jerks than others–at least in this particular regard. But then, again, like I said, I know people who are putting in actual effort to make social change that will remove barriers to breastfeeding for women who want to but who don’t call themselves “lactivists.” I don’t actually think “lactivists” are doing much if anything to forward their stated goals because finger-wagging at people about what they should do doesn’t work and that’s all they seem to do.

            6.) If I grossly distorted what you said, then what your purpose in bringing up that I am not a mother? I do not see it is at all relevant to this discussion.

            7.) No confirmation bias. I’ve lived in pretty crunchy communities for nearly all of my adult life. The idea that breastfeeding is magic has been ambient and, though I never attributed the mystical qualities to it that some around me did, I did, for a while, buy the idea that it is vastly superior to formula and had major consequences for children’s health–especially since the popular press was backing that up. I had to actually investigate those claims to find out that the ideas that I had passively accepted did not hold up to scientific scrutiny. So I changed my position, as one should do when confronted with new evidence. And I started observing what seemed like a lot of bullying among “lactivists” and fear of judgment among women who completely buy into breastfeeding mythology because…well, it was all around and I’m sensitive to those kinds of social dynamics. That’s also part of my job.

            I did not have skin in the game. I wasn’t primed to want to see one thing or the other. I just followed the evidence and my own observations. I am not on a team. I was never in the mommy wars–maybe that’s one way in which my not being a mother is relevant. I have no investment in this except the desire to not see people needlessly harmed.

            It’s you who seems bent on not seeing what she doesn’t want to see. Which is why you just seem to beat everyone over the head with the No True Scotsman fallacy. No TRUE lactivist would do this or that! What is a true lactivist? It seems like you’re the only one here who has ever encountered one. If so, they really need to pipe up more. All of these impostors are messing things up for them!

          • Stephanie Rotherham

            You are amazing and I love you.

          • momofone

            “You are frequenting a forum where those who have had negative experiences congregate.”

            That’s an interesting perspective. I didn’t have a negative experience. I breastfed for almost two years. I had a supportive work environment where I pumped for 10 months, people who helped me when I needed it, and a husband who did an incredible amount of work to make breastfeeding possible. I quite happily offer help if I can when someone I know is breastfeeding and asks. I have no agenda against breastfeeding; I’m here because for all my personal experience, breastfeeding is neither magical nor a guarantee of a particular outcome; it is one of a couple of excellent ways to feed a baby, and it is no one’s business but the parents which decision they make.

          • Anna Perch

            Nobody said breastfeeding guarantees a particular outcome. That is just another one of those apologist fictions.

          • momofone

            I’m still waiting on all your science. But I bet it’s almost time for you to go, right?

          • moto_librarian

            Let’s just hope she sticks the flounce.

          • Who?

            What are the risks of formula?

          • Anna Perch

            These are readily available online.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Can you provide a link to those that you might consider legitimate?

          • Nick Sanders
          • Maud Pie

            Lactavists will not have any credibility until they fully and honestly recognize the hardships many women encounter in breastfeeding, and fully acknowledge and repudiate the overbearing, coercive, and abusive tactics lactavists employ. Scolding women for sharing their adverse experiences, dictating to women what they may and may not say, and dictating the language they use in their dialogues only corroborate our criticisms.

          • Anna Perch

            Ah, yes, the stereotype: overbearing, coercive, and abusive, scolding, dictating, criticism.

          • moto_librarian

            You forgot gaslighting. Which is something you excel at, Anna.

          • Anna Perch

            You keep using that word. I don’t think you know what it means.

          • Maud Pie

            So you persist in declaring that complaints of coercive, overbearing, abusive, scolding, dictatorial, and critical tactics of lactavists have no merit and are mere stereotypes. Your dismissive and contemptuous attitude is not only insulting, it deprives you of all credibility.

          • Amazed

            I think she doesn’t even realize what a tight fit she and the stereotype as described are.

          • Maud Pie

            “O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us, To see oursels as others see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, An’ foolish notion: What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us, And ev’n Devotion!”

          • Anna Perch

            Yes, I declare that individuals may have been, and definitely were experienced to have been, overbearing or coercive or abusive or scolding or dictating or criticising, but that individual behavior can not fairly be generalized to the group.
            This is no merit in attributing the characteristics to lactivists, in general.
            The fact that you are generalizing, reinforcing my sense that you are an apologist.

          • Charybdis

            Are you a lactivist apologist? Because you sure are acting like one.

          • Anna Perch

            That is an interesting question.

          • Charybdis

            Still waiting on an interesting answer. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If we are formula apologists, then you most certainly are a lactivist apologist.

            An in-your-face, platitude bleating, science-ignoring, head in the sand lactivist apologist.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Well apparently since not all lactivists are bad, we shouldn’t be allowed to speak out against the ones that are bad, or the culture which has allowed the badness to develop.

          • Maud Pie

            It’s much worse than a few rogue LCs going a little overboard. There’s a pervasive pattern of reckless, psychologically abusive zealousness among lactavists. You know this: that’s why you want us to shut up and not share our experiences and ideas. You want every target of that zeal to feel isolated, to believe that she can’t speak out because no one will believe her because everyone else’s experience was so won-diddly-underful . You want to normalize the belief that breastfeeding advocates are saints, to put enormous negative pressure and stigma on anyone who would dare criticize. And if any criticism manages to survive these disincentives, you want to minimize it as utterly rare and therefore irrelevant to any need to reevaluate the broad approach.

          • Anna Perch

            Yes, this is exactly what I’m talking about! “There’s a pervasive pattern of reckless, psychologically abusive zealousness among lactavists.”
            Formula apologists are prejudiced against lactivists.

          • Anna Perch

            Does this seem familiar, When a problem arises in regard to breastfeeding, “sometimes the solution is easy, not complicated at all. Sometimes it’s not so easy, but it can be done. Most of the time, however, mothers are left feeling frustrated and devastated because they desired to breastfeed and due to the lack of qualified help or incorrect medical advice they begin to see breastfeeding as “unreliable,” “painful” and “potentially dangerous” and ultimately its importance as “exaggerated.”

          • swbarnes2

            For the thousandth time, no one here objects to competent LCs being made available to women who want to breastfeed. You think that a “good” LC is one who lies and lies and lies about how formula is vastly inferior to breastmilk, we think that a good LC is one who acknowledges the evidence that breastfeeding does not work for all families.

            You will never agree with us, because we care what the facts are, and you have proved over and over and over again that you think facts are merely “talking points” to be attacked when you dislike them. It’s how fundamentally dishonest people like you think.

          • moto_librarian

            Until you quit saying that we need to “acknowledge the risks of formula,” we have nothing to discuss. Feeding a term infant formula in the developed world does not carry risks.

          • Heidi

            Says the person full of fear mongering. You aren’t doing any good. As someone who didn’t end up exclusively breastfeeding, you enrage me. So your tactics aren’t working.

          • Anna Perch

            My tactics? What do you think my goal is?

          • Heidi

            As far as I’m concerned, I think you are a mean, dismissive, hateful person. I’m not sure what your goal is, but that’s what you seem to be accomplishing.

          • Anna Perch

            Well, how can you assess my tactics if you don’t have an idea about what my goal is? Maybe you are just attributing you preconceived notions to me?

          • Heidi

            Maybe. But there you go. That’s how I see you. That’s how many others have come to see you based on your unsubstantiated, rude, dismissive comments to the