Lactivist tells mother to stop bemoaning her baby’s brain damage

angry woman with bad attitude giving talk to hand gesture

Bitter grief is often an unselfish motivator.

Consider organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, started by parents who suffered the ultimate loss, to ensure that other parents would not have to endure the death of a child. Consider the various laws named after children who were abducted and murdered, championed by parents who wanted to make sure that no other family’s life would be shattered by crushing grief.

Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi is performing a valuable public service. Why are lactivists chastising her for it?

Fed Is Best is an organization like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, started by a parent whose baby was starved into devastating brain damage by the relentless promotion of breastfeeding at a so called “Baby Friendly” hospital. It was started by Dr. Christie Castillo-Hegyi.

My son was born 8 pounds and 11 ounces after a healthy pregnancy and normal uneventful vaginal delivery. He was placed directly on my chest and was nursed immediately. He was nursed on demand for 20-30 minutes every 3 hours. Each day of our stay in the hospital, he was seen by the pediatrician as well as the lactation consultant who noted that he had a perfect latch. He produced the expected number of wet and dirty diapers. He was noted to be jaundiced by the second day of life and had a transcutaneous bilirubin of 8.9. We were discharged at 48 hours at 5% weight loss with next-day follow-up. We were told by the lactation consultant before discharge that he would be hungry and we were instructed to just keep putting him on the breast…

This went on for several days. Then Christie note:

When I pumped and manually expressed, I realized I produced nothing. I imagined the four days of torture he experienced and how 2 days of near-continuous breastfeeding encouraged by breastfeeding manuals was a sign of this. We fed him formula … and he finally fell asleep. Three hours later, we found him unresponsive. We forced milk into his mouth, which made him more alert, but then he seized. We rushed him to the emergency room. He had a barely normal glucose (50 mg/dL), a severe form of dehydration called hypernatremia (157 mEq/L) and severe jaundice (bilirubin 24 mg/dL). We were reassured that he would be fine, but having done newborn brain injury research, knowing how little time it takes for brain cells to die due to hypoglycemia and severe dehydration, I did not believe it, although I hoped it.

She was right to be concerned:

At 3 years and 8 months, our son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder with severe language impairment. He has also been diagnosed with ADHD, sensory processing disorder, low IQ, fine and gross motor delays and a seizure disorder associated with injury to the language area of the brain…

Christie took her grief and did something positive with it. She founded the Fed Is Best Foundation along with lactation consultant Jody Segrave-Daly in order to spread the word about the dangers of insufficient breastmilk. She works spare other families her agony.

Not surprisingly, lactivists are up in arms about the foundation and its hashtag #FedIsBest.

This recent post on Meg Nagle’s Facebook page is typical:

img_1635

#fedisbest takes away the importance of HOW we are fed. In what other area of health does the actual product going into our mouths not matter? It’s not just about being “fed”. Being fed is minimum, and obviously a baby needs to be fed. But being fed the milk that is made exactly for our child and continually changing to meet their needs is the norm…and how we are fed does actually matter.

Here’s my English to English translation:

Breastfeeding has to be best, otherwise I’m not the best mother and that’s just impossible!

Other lactivists, their fragile self-esteem on the line, joined in.

That’s not news, of course. We see this all the time, but every now and then a response is so vicious that it deserves special notice. Like Jennifer’s response:

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Christie del Castillo-Hegyi Please learn to accept your child the way they are. Your constantly publicly bemoaning your child’s diagnosis is disturbing. When they are an adult, they will find out how horribly you viewed parenting them, and how publicly you exploited their diagnosis as a tool to build your anti-breastfeeding platform. How will you answer when they ask why you didn’t spend more time working to promote disability justice, accommodation, and advocacy?

Yes, Dr. del Castillo-Hegyi, please stop bemoaning your child’s brain damage. How dare you try to prevent other babies from suffering the same preventable fate? It’s … it’s … it’s exploitation!! How dare you criticize breastfeeding, the source of my self-esteem? My breasts work great; too bad yours didn’t, but it’s time to move on.

Here’s what I’d like to ask Jennifer:

When your child is old enough to read what you have written online, and sees that you just told the mother of a brain-injured child to stop moaning about it, how will you explain your cruelty?

Is your self-esteem so fragile that it can’t deal with the notion that motherhood is powered by love, not by breastmilk. Is your identity so bound up with the function of your breasts that other women must mirror your choices back to you?

No one is interfering with YOUR ability or desire to breastfeed your child. Why are you trying to interfere with Dr. del Castillo-Hegyi’s desire to inform women about the serious, even deadly, consequences of insufficient breastmilk?

She’s generously performing a public service, so why are you chastising? You should be thanking her instead.

  • Steph858

    I can imagine an article along the lines of “Natural Birth Advocates say that women who need a C-Section can redeem themselves by refusing all pain relief, including during the operation. They still won’t be as good as mothers who have an unmedicated vaginal birth, though.” would fall victim to Poe’s Law.

    • Heidi

      Eeeep! My aunt had to literally go through a C-section without pain relief! She lived in a place where the closest hospital was like an hour drive and the hospital was small enough that they literally didn’t have enough anesthesiologists to be able to give her a spinal in time and save her baby. She headed to the hospital when she was far enough in labor. They discovered the cord was wrapped around the baby and the baby ended up going without oxygen for something like 10 minutes before they had to cut her open with no relief. Her husband is a big guy and was tasked with holding her down while they performed the C-section. The doctors told her PTSD was very likely. Her daughter is 18 now and fortunately didn’t end up brain-damaged.

      • Steph858

        Ouch! I know that ideally a qualified anaesthesiologist would deliver a spinal, but if that was an impossibility due to staff/time shortages, could they not at least have given her some knockout gas – even if they had to start cutting her open the second the mask touched her face. I’d rather get semi-adequate pain relief from someone semi-qualified to administer it than none at all.

        Up till you told your story, the only ‘C-Section without pain relief’ story I’d heard was of a mother who’d been in a car accident and was at death’s door; her dying words to the woman who stopped to help while the ambulance was on its way were “Save my baby.” The accident had created a gaping hole in her stomach which the bystander was able to pull the baby through just before the mother died. Aside from situations like that, I didn’t know any C-Sections had been performed without anaesthetic since the days when if you heard a midwife announce that she would perform a C-Section it meant your lifespan could be measured in minutes.

        I’ll keep your story in mind as a comeback the next time my partner moans about how he was circumcised just as he was entering puberty without any anaesthetic (this is apparently traditional among Sylheti villagers). The worst pain possible to experience? We’ll see about that …

        • Heidi

          I don’t know about the knockout gas, but I do know we all kept our fingers crossed on the brain damage because it was that imminent. It was considered a miracle that my cousin is not only alive but not seriously brain-damaged.

          I know on my mom’s side, we kind of have a family history of quick labors. My maternal grandmother’s always went quickly, and I came out before they even had time to get the doctor in there so my mom got no epidural! The only reason I wasn’t unintentionally born at home was because my mom was at the hospital getting a GTT when she went into labor. I was induced and a first time mom and I went from 4cm dilated (and I got there on my own with zero painful contractions), which is known to be a risk factor for long and/or stalled labor, and was at 8 cm in who knows how short of a span. I was begging for an epidural within 5 minutes of having my water broken, the anesthesiologists were up there within 10 minutes, gave it through my horrible contractions which never let up but I managed to keep still, and it didn’t work. So the nurse suspected I was seriously dilated and had the doctor check and I was indeed at 8. I think it took 4 or 5 hours after having my water broken to give birth but it’s all a haze but I was dilated enough to push sooner but refused until they got my pain under control, which they warned would be hard considering how dilated I was. But they got it under control!

        • Dr Kitty

          People forget that in those stories of asking the father whether to save the mother or the baby, it was an obstructed labour and what they were asking him to choose between was a CS without anaesthetic or antibiotics which would kill the woman or craniotomy (collapsing the skull) to deliver the baby vaginally, but would kill it in the process.

          Which is why that conversation doesn’t really happen nowadays.

  • myrewyn

    New here (lurking for a while though)… I think I came here by way of Kavin Senapathy. I’m pregnant with my third after quite a gap and just found out I’ll be delivering in a “baby friendly” hospital, as proudly proclaimed on their website. I’m already planning to pack a couple styles of pacifier but now I’m thinking I should pack a little ready to feed formula as well. I can’t imagine the frustration of knowing your baby is hungry and not being able to convince the staff that she needs to be fed. As for my birth “experience”, I will never understand that trend. I am extremely grateful to be giving birth in a country where I will have nearly immediate access to emergency medical care should I or my baby need it and I can head into labor without fear.

    • Kq

      Welcome!

  • Robert

    I’m curious why you whited out one lacavists name but not the other?

    • Nick Sanders

      “Milk Meg” is a public figure, she runs a blog under that name. As such, she is subject to public scrutiny. The other was a private individual. She may have commented on someone else’s post, which makes discussing her comment fair game, but she is still entitled to have the rest of her online activity private and not swamped by people who read about what she said on places like this blog.

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    Okay, if you’re seriously recommending letting children starve to disability or death instead of drinking formula you’re officially a member of some weird tit-based religious cult.

    http://www.sourcememory.net/art/anadolu/artemis.jpg

    • StephanieJR

      …the hell?!

    • Chione

      One fairly popular theory is that those are bull testicles, though, instead of being extra boobies.

      • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

        That would explain the lack of nipples.

  • yentavegan

    I cringe when I think that if this mother had contacted me at day 4 and complained of not yet having her milk supply come in I would have told her to keep on doing what she is doing and that this is normal.

    • Kq

      YentaVegan, I have watched your journey over the years here. Forgive yourself, dear.

      • Jo

        Yes, I cringe to think of the damage I could have done to my oldest by allowing myself to be brainwashed into that freestanding birth center. We don’t know what we don’t know until we know it. What we do with the knowledge at that point is the indicator of our true character.

    • When would you have told her to seek medical attention?

      • yentavegan

        I would have told her to seek medical attention if the baby was not passing meconium stained diapers and if baby was not producing frothy yellow green stools. If her breasts never experienced a whoosh of early hormone dependent milk.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    I actually do think it is worth being concerned about the effects on disabled children of their parents railing against how difficult it is for them to raise them in order to draw attention to “a good cause.” I associate this phenomenon most with anti-vaxxers, who frequently act like autism is a fate worse than death in order to boost their views, or just seem to perceive “vaccine injury” in their healthy and developmentally typical children (any deviation from the behavior they want is “autism,” and of course there are the long lists of food “sensitivities” and bogus diseases etc). I sure hope Jennifer is spending more time railing against them.

    What this poor mother is doing is clearly nothing like that. Although I don’t think it’s a ridiculous question to ask how her grown child might feel about being a cautionary tale–assuming he is ever able to develop to a point where he can be aware of it–sometimes the danger is too great to keep quiet. This was a preventable injury and might have ended up being a preventable death. And it was caused by a threat (an actual threat, unlike vaccines) that many people are unaware of. We have to be able to talk about it and I’m glad someone is.

    • Emilie Bishop

      I agree with you on both points. I appreciate that while she acknowledges her son has autism, she doesn’t focus on that. She focuses on the things he deals with that have a more direct correlation to newborn brain damage, like a language delay that is likely caused by seizures caused by insufficient feeding. These things are preventable in settings where new moms are given more balanced care instructions instead of lactivist protocols that make assumptions instead of observations. So yes, she’s advocating for her son’s disability–by trying to prevent it from happening to others! There are lots of wonderful advocates for autism out there already. She’s focusing her efforts on the areas that are woefully underserved.

    • MayonnaiseJane

      Yeah, the Autism/ADHD thing… that’s a touchy thing. Those of us who have those kinds of “disorders” and become cognizant of parental lamentation of how hard they are to parent are… not positively effected. But this poor kid also has seizures and motor control issues which were almost CERTAINLY caused by malnutrition, and the way she phrases it is not about how much work he is but how much unnecessary suffering has been placed on HIM. Centering his experience is what makes this different to them.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        That’s a really important distinction.

    • Ayr

      I agree with you, things like ADHD and autism are way over diagnosed for children that are simply being children. Children have a lot of energy and they need to release it, that is why recess is necessary. Some kids are more introspective and more into building things and taking things apart and just generally being quiet, that does not make them autistic. Some know how to speak but choose not to or their minds are going so fast that their mouth can’t keep up so it comes out all jumbled. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

      Of course I’m not saying that they don’t exist, just not in the high numbers we are seeing these days.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        What you’re talking about is an issue unto itself (with a lot of debate) but I’m actually talking more about parents who just make up their own diagnoses or rely on the diagnoses of “alternative health” practitioners. Among the anti-vax crowd, the authority of real doctors and psychologists who might identify ADHD or autism would often be rejected anyway. They get their diagnoses of “autism” either from themselves (a parent is always, always the best expert on everything pertaining to their own child, of course, much more than anyone who has gone through years of training to understand children’s health) or from naturopaths and other purveyors of fake medicine, who are often happy to sell them bogus treatments that will “cure” them. And since the kid often never had autism to begin with, voila, it works! Of course all that happened is that the kid grew out of a difficult phase or whatever, rather than the chelation treatments or the ridiculously complicated diet and supplement regimen actually having an effect but it all works out for the people actually prescribing these things.

        I have my own theories about why this happens, one of which is that these parents, usually mothers who have bought wholly into the idea of Xtreme maternal self-sacrifice and don’t have lives outside of parenting, are cracking under the strain and can’t really handle their kids, especially if the kid has a period of difficult behavior, as kids sometimes do. But since it’s completely socially unacceptable to express these feelings, even to oneself, in the circles they are in, they end up pathologizing their kids instead. This is pure speculation on my part, of course, but I think there’s something to it.

        And it’s only exacerbated by the fact that hardcore “natural” types have often bought into the idea that if they just do everything right, they can have “perfect” children who never get whiny, or have picky eating stages, or do other normal kid stuff (normal kid stuff is for the unenlightened peasants who get vaccinate their kids or wean them before kindergarten or let them eat candy on Halloween, obvi). Lots of these people seem to be attracted to “natural parenting” as a form of behavior control. When the kid can’t be completely controlled, which no child can be (or should be), it must be because there’s something wrong with the kid. It must be the vaccines! Or the toxins! Or something! It can’t just be a kid being a kid. Their kids are supposed to be special superhumans who don’t do that!

        • Ayr

          I knew what you were talking about, I was just pointing out another side of the mess.

        • MayonnaiseJane

          My aunt both “diagnosed” and “cured” her children from ADHD. She’s always trying to tell me what to eat and crap, because of course her special all organic toxin free diet cured them, so of course it would work for me… a person who actually definitely has it. (Not to crap on people who are self diagnosed, that’s a whole other ballgame from hypochondriac crunchy mamas looking for someone to blame that their child isn’t exactly how THEY want them to be.) I once stepped in to tell her son that it wasn’t nice to say that the dog must have ADHD because she’s being hyper and misbehaving. (He’s nearly 20 years younger than me, and a child.) She glared at him and mouthed “so does he” at me. Thank goodness they’re at least vaccinated, but my aunt also insisted on a delayed vaccination schedule, cosleeping infants in a feather bed… and oh yeah, she unfriended me on Facebook when I told her in no uncertain terms she wasn’t allowed to send NWO Rothschilds/Zionist Conspiracy Theories to my PMs anymore. She’s infuriating.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            Christ, I’m seeing the Rothschild conspiracy shit come back with a vengeance these days! And it is really disturbing, given what’s going on the US and Europe. One guy completely lost his shit at me when I told him he was spreading anti-Semitic propaganda, whether or not he knew it. He didn’t and melted down in a most classic, sanctimonious ‘How DARE you call ME a bigot!” fashion. (He did relent a little when I told him about the history of Rothschild conspiracy theories being used to target Jews in the Third Reich because, well, that’s pretty hard to argue with even if you are an idiot.) I didn’t know whether to feel better or worse about the fact that he was disseminating this stuff without having any sense of the source. Of course, some people know exactly what they’re doing. As a Jew, it’s all making me pretty damn uncomfortable.

            I’m so sorry about your aunt. 🙁 Co-sleeping in a feather bed, yikes! But there’s not much you can do about a person who unfriends you on the basis of your request to please not be barraged with wackadoo, far right, anti-Semitic propaganda.

          • MayonnaiseJane

            Yep. That was pretty much my Aunts reaction, except that what happened was when I asked her about what seemed to be a complete nonsequiter about Israel in a reply to a post Police Briutality, and when I asked her what that had to do with the price of tea in China, and she responded by trying to “educate” me with some weird assed article about Putin fighting the evil Israeli Police state that murders people for Hillary Clinton, and when I told her any article with an animated gif of a flaming magen david at the top containing the word “ashke-NAZI” was super antisemetic and unreliable source, she told me that the Rothschilds are Zionists, and not Jewish people and the TRUE Jewish people are nice anti-zionists like the Nutrei Karta, and they support her position and besides which she can’t be Antisemetic because Jill Stein is Jewish and she knows all about the Rothschilds… so I told her I in no uncertain terms did not want any more hateful “education” and would not accept it, and she unfriended me because she loves me very much, but its too painful to talk to me when I’m so hurtful as to ever think she would ever believe anything hateful. Then she went on to argue with my great uncle the WW2 veteran, (i.e. HER Uncle) who took up the cause when I could no longer post on her wall, while I spent about a day and a half in fits of crying because I love her kids very much, and they are probably being indoctrinated in this same anti-semetic bullshit…. and they were my Jr. Brisdemaid and Jr. Groomsman at my wedding to my Jewish Husband. :/

  • Sheven

    Here’s the thing. You can’t say, “Obviously babies need to be fed,” when you have spent the last few years scaring people with the idea that supplementing can turn babies off breastfeeding and stick them with “fourth best” formula that will make them stupid, sick, and obese. You can’t say “Obviously babies need to be fed,” when you claim that low milk supply doesn’t exist, or that the colostrum that mothers produce before their milk supply comes in is adequate in the first couple days, no matter how much the baby screams.

    In short, the slogan “fed is best” is a direct response to breastfeeding ideology and you have to acknowledge it and square it with the arguments you’ve been putting forward for the past decade.

  • TsuDhoNimh

    When I pumped and manually expressed, I realized I produced nothing.

    Perhaps this should be a pre-discharge test of readiness to breastfeed?

    Like they don’t let you out after GI surgery until normal bowel activity begins, make sure that the mother has milk production.

    • swbarnes2

      But what does a BFHI hospital do with that information? Ruin their “exclusively breastfeeding” percentages by feeding formula? Alison Steube herself cited this study that 44% of primips have no milk at 3 days. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20573792) The best way to keep those numbers high is to discharge everyone ASAP.

      • Emilie Bishop

        My son lost 7% of his body weight in 24 hours at a “baby-friendly” hospital. This should have clued someone in that something wasn’t working, but nope–we were discharged within the hour, told he was normal, and we’d get the hang of it better at home. The whole initiative is a travesty.

        • Madtowngirl

          I was in the hospital for a bit longer, but we were discharged and I was not told how much weight my baby had lost. When we saw the LC at my insurance provider later that afternoon, we found out she had lost well over 10% of her birth weight. Given that she was only 5.5 lbs at birth, I was livid. I couldn’t believe we were allowed to leave the hospital – but especially that I wasn’t told!!!! I’m sure they didn’t because I was still trying to breastfeed and they didn’t want to scare me.

          The BFHI is bullshit.

          • Emilie Bishop

            Wow, I’m sorry about that! To not even tell you is just asking to be sued. They told me 7%, but they said since it was less than a 10% loss, he was fine. Well, by day 3 he was down 11% and so dehydrated he barely peed and slept through feeding times. I now know how incredibly dangerous this all is, but at the time I thought it was all my fault for not trying hard enough to breastfeed. The BFHI needs to just die already.

          • Heidi

            It’s stuff like this that makes me believe having been diagnosed with gestational diabetes was a blessing in disguise. The GD was easy to control and I never had to really modify my diet let alone take any meds but it meant baby’s blood sugar was taken. I wasn’t producing enough milk, his sugar went down, and I was encouraged to supplement! He lost 7% of his weight so that may or may not have triggered concern. I got to formula feed freely without any shaming from the hospital staff and the pediatrician was concerned with him gaining weight well, not with whether or not it was by boob juice or formula.

        • Ayr

          I think my son lost 5% of his birth weight by the time we left the hospital even though he was being formula fed because I wasn’t producing yet. (We were not at a ‘baby friendly’ hospital) Even with that amount lost his pediatrician was worried and made us come in for a weight check at three and five days post discharge, by day five post discharge he gained back all the lost weight and then some. All because I had some crazy lactation consultant who was clearly one of those ‘breast is best’, thou shall not formula feed drones. She freaked when she saw my husband feeding our son a bottle of formula. Thankfully we got a different lady the next day, but the first one was insistent that I could breast feed all I needed to do was try harder. I did start to produce some when we got home, but it was never enough to fill my little guy so we have spent a small fortune on formula and and now he is a solid 22lbs. But I have watched a friend of mine deal with the effects of falling into that thinking, he poor son is developmentally slow, he is almost two and he just started walking, he barely eats and when he does it can only be bland foods because he can’t handle normal foods without vomiting and he weighs less than my son who is only eight months.

    • fishcake

      But then I would have never been discharged.

      • That’s when they gently explain the beauty of combo-feeding.

        • fishcake

          Wouldn’t even have to be gentle as long as it was straightforward!

      • TsuDhoNimh

        You would have been discharged with bottles and formula (my bad for not being clearer)

        • fishcake

          Makes sense. I’d just be worried about having to stay longer than I’d like.
          To simplify even further, why not have mothers discharged with solid advice on both breastfeeding and feeding formula.

  • TsuDhoNimh

    #fedisbest takes away the importance of HOW we are fed. In what other
    area of health does the actual product going into our mouths not matter?

    You need certain quantities of amino acids, carbohydrates and fats (and the micronutrients) and water … it doesn’t matter if you eat eggs or beef or tofu for the amino acids. And if you are an infant, a commercial formula is tightly regulated for composition and the differences between breastfed infants and formula-fed infants is minuscule, picayune and only visible to lactivists.

    I could argue that because my ancestors were cattle-rearing Europeans that a vegetarian diet is unnatural.

    • Roadstergal

      The actual product going into babies’ mouths does matter – if it’s too little, or too watery, or too full of a necessary drug for mom that doesn’t work for baby, it’s not a good idea. So make sure your breastmilk is sufficient before you refuse formula!

      But I have a hunch that wasn’t what she was going for.

      • Daleth

        Yes! And don’t forget that babies who get adequate amounts of formula are getting all the iron and vitamin D they need, but babies getting adequate amounts of breast milk may not be. In other words breastfeeding is a risk factor for rickets and anemia in babies, while formula feeding protects babies from those conditions.

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

  • CSN0116

    Just talked to my mom and she was ranting to me on behalf of a friend of her’s.

    The woman is an OB/GYN and gave birth about a month ago to a term baby who was far smaller than anyone expected – in the 5lb range. This woman always planned to combo feed, as she’s returning to work right at the 6 week mark. My mother told me that she insisted that the baby be fed formula immediately after birth and that she would initiate breast feeding later; that she wanted the tiny baby fed. Apparently they dicked around and prolonged her request, trying to talk her out of it and using guilt, for so many hours that baby’s blood sugar dropped. This woman, a DOCTOR and MOTHER CAPABLE OF DECIDING FOR HER BABY, had to get in an actual shouting match with LCs to give her baby formula. This was a non BFHI hospital. She is appalled and filing a complaint.

    • While I don’t think it will be a problem for my daughter (now at 36 weeks with #3), if, after her ERCS she gets into any argument with the Breastfeeding Nazis, I wiil bring her bottles of Similac to the hospital and I want to see the staff try and stop her using them. My daughter produces a lot of milk by day three PP, but, as her nipples are completely inverted, she has to pump, and bottle feeds anyway. With baby #2 it was quite funny, really, as a nursing school instructor, with a gaggle of students, gave my daughter exactly the wrong advice on how to stimulate milk production, and was followed, ten minutes later by an LC who said the opposite. “Glad you’re a midwife, Mom” she told me.

    • Jennifer

      So the tricks that nurses have used for years to deny epidurals to women who request them (“It’s too soon,” “It’s still too soon,” “Oops! It’s too late, you’ll have to do it the right way.”) are now being used to starve babies. I bet the smirk is identical.

    • fishcake

      I was admonished by the LC for giving my newborn a bit of formula on Day 3 in the hospital. This was suggested by a nurse, by the way! I wish I had given Baby more, and earlier. I plan to combo-feed from the very start for Baby #2.

  • BeatriceC

    OT: I failed at the quit smoking thing last week. I had a massive panic attack and gave in. Doing it again today. I can’t use the patches because it blisters my skin. The gum pulled a filling out last week (which was what caused the panic attack), so it’s cold turkey. I could really use some encouragement and cheerleading today.

    • MI Dawn

      Good luck, BeatriceC. Can you use the patches some other way (not using the adhesive, but using a cotton bandage wrap to keep it in place)? I find the adhesive (bandaids, patches) is what causes the blisters for me.

      • BeatriceC

        I’m allergic to most adhesives and latex, though most of those things don’t have latex in them anymore. At any rate, how would one go about actually getting the drug in your system if the adhesive isn’t exposed? I thought that the drug itself was blocked from getting to your skin by the plastic that covers the adhesive before use.

        • MI Dawn

          I don’t have a lot of experience with nicotine patches, but with other patches, the actual medication part doesn’t have adhesive on it, just the edges. So I would cut them off and hold the patch on with other items. If there is adhesive all over the patch, can you gently wet it down so it doesn’t adhere? I find that’s what causes the blisters.

        • maidmarian555

          I got blisters from the patches. I did successfully quit using them for five months (some years ago now) but it was painful and they also gave me really, really bad night terrors (I was advised to put one on overnight to avoid my first cigarette of the morning craving). I wouldn’t use them again if I’m honest. I’ve also done it before using the gum and when I was pregnant, I used a nicorette inhalator, which meant I could cut down dramatically (although I never quite kicked it entirely with that). I managed three days earlier this year by switching to vaping and I’ve got all my kit ready to have another go with that soon. My OH switched from smoking 40 a day to vaping literally overnight about 18 months ago. I think you just have to be mentally ready. And prepared to get back on the horse every time you fall off. Best of luck.

          • Sean Jungian

            Just as an FYI to others who may be reading this: I was advised NOT to wear a patch overnight because of the possibility of overly vivid dreams, so I didn’t. It was because I didn’t feel any cravings for a cigarette in the mornings – after going all night without nicotine – that I realized I didn’t need the patches anymore.

            Just to add to the base knowledge.

          • maidmarian555

            At the time I used to have a cig first thing when I woke up in bed. I get why that was the advice for me at the time. I probably should have clarified the circumstances surrounding that advice. I certainly don’t do that any more and most people won’t smoke in bed the second they wake up.

          • BeatriceC

            Well, not quite that fast, but only because I don’t smoke inside. The time between waking up and having my first cigarette was dictated by the amount of time it took me to put on enough clothes to not be arrested (or freeze to death in the cooler months) and get outside.

          • maidmarian555

            That’s kinda where I am now. Although if wee man needs me I tend to him first and then go and smoke afterwards. I’ll get there one day. So will you. I am so glad that kids are rejecting cigarettes these days. I grew up next to a tobacco factory, I’m not entirely sure what chance I had of not being a smoker when as a child I’d wake to the smell of roasting tobacco in the air. I’m glad my son won’t have that.

          • Charybdis

            Have you perhaps checked into the lozenges? No patches to irritate your skin and no gum to remove fillings. =)

          • Sean Jungian

            I had one sometimes several during the night, in bed. I wasn’t trying to chastise anyone, just wanted to add to the baseline with my own experience. And I did smoke (in my bedroom) and yes it was a terrific fire hazard. I hate to admit it but yes I had burn marks on my sheets. It chills me to realize the risks I took. I did throw out all my old bedding and got new stuff on my 6 months no-smoking-versary.

          • maidmarian555

            Oh I didn’t think you were trying to chastise me 🙂 It’s important as addicts that we’re as honest as we can be (particularly when it comes to quitting). I also can’t believe how much of a fire risk I used to be. Back in the day, I not only smoked in bed but I had an office that I smoked in all day every day. I was horrified when they brought in the smoking ban here. In hindsight, even though I haven’t quit cigs completely, getting used to smoking outside was actually one of the best things that could have happened to me. I’m so glad they changed the law.

          • Sean Jungian

            Me too, even though I still smoked, I was glad when they outlawed it in restaurants and bars. I mean, it really does stink and even as a smoker I knew that.

            Don’t be too hard on yourself! You’ve come a long way, be good to yourself. It’s a hard thing to do. My friend asked me how I quit smoking and all I could say was, “I tried and tried and it was impossible, until one time it just – wasn’t.”

            One weird thing now is, if I see someone smoke on TV or in a movie (quite rare in today’s shows but 70s and 80s shows people smoked like chimneys) when I see it I can “phantom smell” it and it smells bad to me.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I had a massive panic attack and gave in.

      The challenge in quitting smoking is that it is a double-edged addiction. Yes, there is the nicotine, which is addictive, but it is also an addictive behavior, akin to cracking your knuckles or biting your fingernails or gambling. Nicotine replacement can be used to deal with the chemical dependence, but will not fix the behavioral dependence.

      From your description, it sounds to me that your lapse in this case was more a coping response to the stress (the panic attack) than nicotine craving.

      Sadly, I don’t have good suggestions for dealing with that addictive behavior. I bite my nails, and can say I don’t know what I could do to prevent that, either. But in trying to quit, all I can say is don’t forget about that behavioral addiction as well. What can you do in those situations when you just need a cigarette? This is a damn hard problem.

      Good luck.

      • Roadstergal

        I bite my nails endlessly – unless I have an acrylic set, in which case I just run them gently along my lips. The latter being a far less problematic tic, I spend the money on acrylics.

        • Mattie

          I bit my nails for so many years, right down to the ends of my fingers (sometimes more) I had lumps on the top knuckles from pressure from my teeth. I stopped when I started anti-depressants, I don’t bite them now, good luck with the acrylics 🙂

          • Bugsy

            Me too – was able to give up y 35-year habit of nail biting when I started my SSRI. It’s been 9 months now – I do a shellac manicure once a month to help keep the tips even and smooth. Best wishes!

        • Who?

          Totally ot, I have just got into acrylics. How do you find them? I have the powder ones, fingertip length, with shellac polish over the top. I do quite like them, certainly the grooming aspect is a dream. Due to my improbably small size, I get them really thin, so they could be real nails not fakes. I’m convinced they harbour all kinds of germs and gunk, and am forever cleaning underneath them…

          • Roadstergal

            I have the gal do them really, really short – just at the edge of my finger, really. Between typing, nitrile gloves, and motorcycle gloves, I can’t do long. :p I really, really like them; I have thin, brittle nails, and these are so much more sturdy and visually appealing!

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      My husband had some success with carrying a water bottle everywhere and talking a sip when ever he need something to do with his hands. Another friend used sugarfree lollipops, and a different friend kept a bag of baby carrot sticks and celery sticks to nibble when they wanted a cigarette. (I realize that since you lost a filling these last two suggestions might not be wanted at the moment..) My husband quit 3 times before it stuck. You can do this!

      • BeatriceC

        I’m on attempt I don’t even know how many. I quit for years when I was pregnant or nursing the kids, then picked it back up again after I weaned the youngest. Since then I’ve quit for anywhere from a few hours to a few months and keep relapsing. But I’ve gotten to the point where most of the time I don’t even enjoy it anymore. Sometimes I do, but most of the time not. And CA just approved a bunch of new taxes, and all the retailers are like “hey, we can start sneaking the price up even before the new taxes apply”, so while the new taxes are “only” about $2/pack, the true increase is probably going to be closer $3-$4/pack. That’s a pretty significant chunk of change.

        • Sean Jungian

          OH! Another thing that really helped me was using a QuitSmoking app on my phone – the one I used tracked how long it had been, how much money I had saved, and had little milestones over time that I would achieve, like “6 months – cut your risk of heart disease to only blah blah blah” that kind of thing. I found it fun and useful, it also had a timer to get through cravings.

          I also worked with my doctor, I found that being “accountable” to her helped keep me from backsliding, knowing I had to go in and see her kept me motivated.

        • blargh

          They sell lozenges, so you can suck on those and not worry about fillings or adhesive reactions.

    • Roadstergal

      I highly recommend When You Are Engulfed In Flames, and David Sedaris’s funny, honest commentary on the day-to-day struggle to not smoke. And his various ways of going about the cravings of something in his nervous hands and nervous mouth, including rolling up note cards and sucking on them (they made him feel a little ill, so he switched to a lighter, unlined stock).

    • guest

      When I quit for the last time, I used suckers. They last a while and give you something to do with your hands. If that isn’t feasible with your teeth, maybe try brewing a cup of tea or reading a book. What I found the hardest to give up was the mental breaks during the day that smoking gave me, so try to find something you enjoy to do during the time you would normally smoke. Good luck! I quit about 5 times before it finally stuck and I have no idea what I did different the last time. I also remind myself even today that 1 cigarette will make me a smoker again. It really is an addiction and I can’t handle even one.

    • FormerPhysicist

      Celebrate your successes. You clearly can start quitting, so you’ll get there. And any cigarette you resist is great news. Even if you have one later and have to go back to quitting.

    • Sean Jungian

      Hang in there Beatrice!!!! Don’t beat yourself up! I am now on my 15th non-smoking month and it’s going really well. There IS hope. I was able to do it using the patch for only 2 weeks after 25 years of pack-a-day+. Just relax, don’t punish yourself, if it doesn’t “take” this time, it will next time.

      Good luck, it’s possible and it feels really really great to have that monkey off your back.

    • N

      My dad always said, every time you try, you get closer to the result of really not smoking anymore, even if it doesn’t work the first time(s). He quit almost 30 years ago (!!). The first summer, every time he wanted to smoke more than anything else, he would climb on his bike and do 10 to 20 kms. Before that and after that first summer he didn’t do any sport. But he is sure, the bike saved him. You can do it!

      • BeatriceC

        Replying here, but to everybody. Thanks. It’s been rough. Because I’m not using any sort of nicotine replacement, I’m having some pretty awful physical withdrawal symptoms. MrC suggested I sleep my way through as much as I can today and he’ll manage the house, the kids and the birds. I took him up on it. I can’t sleep all that well because of some of the symptoms, but at least being curled under warm blankies with a book, locked in my room, and having all my regular responsibilities taken care of by others helps deal with it.

        I think I’m going to try what somebody’s father did, except with running. I like running. Perhaps if a jog for a mile or two every time I want to give in, it will not only help me quit, but help keep the normal weight gain down to a minimum.

        • maidmarian555

          Good luck! Sounds like Mr C is a gem!!

        • Sean Jungian

          Whatever it takes, Beatrice! I’m rooting for ya!

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Go for it! Most people who eventually quit smoking fail to quit several times before they succeed. Just keep trying! Even if you fail, the time you spent trying is time you weren’t smoking, so it’s all to the good.

    • Who?

      Take it easy-one step at a time.

      Love the ideas below for little distractions when you feel the craving. You’ll get there, I’m sure. Every cig you don’t have is doing you good.

    • PeggySue

      It’s not like your life is utterly devoid of stress or anything, right? So I hope you can be kind to yourself. I read further down where you are having a lot of physical symptoms–that happened to a friend of mine who was livid because something she was doing for her health made her feel like warmed over crap. Anyhow, we are pulling for you and you’re doing your best!

    • RMY

      It’s good to not use the gum, my wife’s been lectured by doctors for over five years because she can’t give up the gum.

    • Jo

      Have you tried an n’joy, or something like that? My husband has tried the fancy vape setups a couple times, and they’re okay, but I was able to quit with the far easier pre-made drugstore vapes. I was the worst kind of smoker – I’d have a few (and eventually more than that) at night and it never occurred to me that I was a smoker, because it was “just a couple”. Then I started having emotional episodes – I’d get angry, despondent, depressed, and after a month or so, it finally occurred to me that I was a smoker and these episodes were nic fits. Duh. Once I understood, when I got that feeling – which was never a distinct “I’d like a cigarette now,” but just an overall feeling of being totally overwhelmed and wanting to die (not suicidal, just wanting to quit it all, if that makes sense) – I’d puff on the n’joy and give it a minute, until I felt better, and eventually I didn’t need it any more.

      Hope that helps, and isn’t just annoying advice!

    • Kq

      I was able to come down from 1 5 – 2 packs a day to around .5 pack a day with a vape. But it’s hard to maintain. I’m scared to quit because it’s so huge for my anxiety to smoke.

    • Christina Maxwell

      Please consider getting yourself a good e-cig. I’m sure they are not as healthy as nothing at all but they are very, very much safer than real cigs specially if you avoid some of the more ridiculous e liquids and always buy from a reputable supplier. Even Public Health England and the BMA have dialed their rhetoric right back! They are actually talking about making some e cigs available on prescription. I personally don’t see the need for that as they are so much cheaper than smoking anyway.
      I am about to celebrate 3 years (real) cigarette free and the joy of not coughing and not living in a house that looks and smells like it’s been used to smoke kippers is almost indescribable. Good luck!
      PS I can’t do patches either, the gum is disgusting, the lozenges make my tongue burn and the nicorette inhaler is a camel designed by a committee who I suspect never smoked themselves.
      PPS Husbeast and youngest daughter have also managed to give up, for 2 years each 🙂

  • Ms. Sweaterfan

    Hi all! I was a lurker on this site a couple of years ago but eventually had to scale back because my work geared up a bit, anyway now I’m just about 18 weeks pregnant with my first baby and I’ve found myself coming back to look through the archives. I’ve been reminded of why I loved it here before – Dr. Amy and you ladies (and gents) in the comments are so intelligent, and well read and supportive of mothers. Dr. Amy’s posts and the comment threads have really helped me remember to chill out a bit about the things I won’t be able to control (whether I need a C Section, whether I’m able to nurse, etc.) and have reminded me that ultimately the right choice is anything that results in a healthy baby.
    I don’t think I ever would have chosen a homebirth, but I do come from a bit of a crunchy family and my mom is really judgmental of women who use pain medication in childbirth or who don’t nurse. In fact, my older sister had a completely unmedicated labor and delivery and my mom still made snide side comments to me about how low my sis’s tolerance for pain was :/
    Well, before coming to this site I was definitely drinking the crunchy koolaid (that sounds gross lol) but after reading about the science and about many other people’s experiences, I feel a lot more confident to do what ends up being right for me, rather than what anyone might be trying to indoctrinate me to believe is right.
    Anyway, I’m definitely not as well-versed in this stuff as many of you so I may mostly continue to lurk, but I wanted to introduce myself and thank Dr. Amy and all of you for creating this wonderful space on the internet in a world where it’s really difficult to find anywhere to talk about pregnancy and motherhood that isn’t infested with woo.

    • MI Dawn

      Welcome back. Dr Amy’s posts are great, but the commentariat are also wonderful!

    • moto_librarian

      Glad you’re back! And if your mom can’t be supportive during delivery, I’d tell her she doesn’t get to be there.

    • Dr Kitty

      Congratulations!
      As long as you keep an open mind, seek advice from medical experts you trust and make choices that you feel are right for you and your baby, you’ll be fine.

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      Congrats!

    • Roadstergal

      “In fact, my older sister had a completely unmedicated labor and delivery and my mom still made snide side comments to me about how low my sis’s tolerance for pain was”

      Wow, that is Mom Fail. I hope that’s a good indication that trying to live up to someone else’s standards never works out, and you should do whatever makes you comfortable and happy in labor (insofar as nature allows).

      • Ms. Sweaterfan

        Agreed! And it was 30-some hours of back labor 😮 My sister un-invited everyone from the delivery of her second child and had an epidural with no regrets.

        • Sean Jungian

          Ha! Good for your sister! I had an epidural and never considered going drug-free, and I’m glad I did. I hope you get the support and knowledge you need to make the best decisions for your baby and yourself. 🙂

    • Jen

      Congrats! I agree with other commenters to set boundaries early. Only those that can be supportive of you and your right to safety and comfort during delivery belong in the delivery room.

    • Sarah

      I suggest telling your mother you had a section, even if you didn’t.

    • Who?

      What an exciting time for you! I’m sure your mum means well and just wants what is best for everyone. That said, we’re all familiar with the paving on the road to hell. And you have no obligation to indulge her beyond the occasional nod as your eye and mind is elsewhere.

      Glad you’re feeling confident and have your eye on the prize-healthy you, healthy baby. Enjoy this glowing bit of your pregnancy.

    • Sue

      Thanks for poking your head out and sharing your news. As you can see, many people here are long-stayers who really value this community. (Thanks Dr Amy!)

      Best wishes for your adventure!

      I would be tempted to pre-empt your mother’s judgement by boasting in advance that your pain tolerance is even LOWER than your sister’s, and talking repeatedly about how great epidurals are!

  • CSN0116

    OT:http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/nutrition/giving-peanut-based-foods-to-babies-early-prevents-allergies/ar-BBxVg8E?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

    “The new guidelines from the National Institutes of Health mark a shift in dietary advice, based on landmark research that found early exposure dramatically lowers a baby’s chances of becoming allergic.”

    There was NEVER any “landmark research” to initiate the recommendation to delay peanut foods. “Landmark” consisted of a paper, IIRR that did not even properly control for parental and sibling peanut allergies, which are huge risk factors. It was dumb as fuck to EVER recommend the delay except that it further bolstered the cause to give babies nothing but breast milk for 6 straight months of life.

    It was pure evil what they did to an entire generation on such flimsy evidence. Rant over.

    • Jennifer

      Totally agree and was waiting for someone to post.

  • CSN0116

    Oh, God. We just went round and round with Nikkilee for days over the fact that breast fed babies can be, and are, seriously maimed by starvation-related issues in much higher rates than their formula fed counterparts. This fell on deaf ears for Nikki, of course. Any permanent brain damage is dwarfed by those pesky ear infections and gastro illnesses to her.

    The studies on the Fed is Best website are appalling. Rather, the fact that this modern evidence of harm from underfeeding exists and BFHI and all breast feeding advice (dogma) remains as is. It’s as if evidence-based practice means nothing.

    I cannot weigh in on the autism link whatsoever, but I am 110% certain that starvation-induced brain damage, of varying levels, IS influencing the sudden rise-in-droves of special needs and developmentally disabled children nationwide. Timeframe speaking, it all coincides so neatly.

    I commend the work of Fed is Best all day long.

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      yeah, i’m having to ignore that thread most of the time. They can’t see the problem

  • Anj Fabian

    As a parent to two special needs children, I have no problems both advocating for them and advocating for policies that can prevent disabilities.

    Fortunately, my advocacy doesn’t have much to do with breastfeeding so I’m spared the denial and scorn from that camp. It’s more “Ultrasounds won’t hurt your baby.” “Continuous fetal monitoring is the best strategy we have to detect fetal distress in time to help the baby.”.

    I finally listened to BOBB last month and was stunned that they managed to gloss over Abby laboring at home with a preterm baby. And then again when the baby was breech. The final thunderclap was when the baby was just over three pounds, which meant their featured midwife utterly failed to notice serious IUGR.

    That’s how zealots work.
    If everything is fine, they take all the credit.
    If things are not so great, but everybody lives – then there was really no problem.

    Preterm, breech, IUGR, laboring at home – that’s a problem.
    Babies being admitted for dehydration and jaundice – that’s a problem.

    If the problem results in serious consequences – it wasn’t the concept, it was the execution.
    A baby suffers brain damage because the parents are trying to do the right thing “keep putting baby to breast, your milk will come in, demand will increase supply” – and suddenly it’s the doctor’s, hospital’s, parents’ fault. Breastfeeding is blameless!

    They won’t say “Oh, yes. If that happens you should definitely supplement with formula”. I’d give them credit if they would readily admit, without prompting or coaching, that formula supplementation is acceptable to prevent jaundice, dehydration and brain damage. Extra points for asserting that it is effective at doing that. Come on breastfeeding fans, you can do it. You can say “Formula works.”.

  • Cartman36

    I absolutely hate was happened to Dr. Castillo-Hegyi’s son but her foundation is doing such great work. I had my youngest at a BFHI hospital 5 weeks ago and when my baby was crying inconsolably after nursing for 1.5 hours and getting NOTHING when I hand expressed, I demanded that the nurse bring formula. My baby ate a quarter of an ounce and fell asleep. The nurse had tried to tell me how small a baby’s stomach is, so no need to supplement but I knew from this blog and the Fed is Best site, that the baby was hungry and not getting enough from me. Fast forward to 5 weeks and I now produce enough and baby has no nipple confusion. He can take breast or bottle and doesn’t seem to care either way. And he is the cutest baby ever 🙂

    • Montserrat Blanco

      Congratulations on your baby! I am so glad everything is going well.

      • Cartman36

        Thanks!

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      Congrats! Yep, my older kid had no confusion, either, and eventually preferred boob or open cup. younger kid is eff for mom’s psych reasons.

    • Sean Jungian

      Congratulations on your new baby! I’m glad you had the confidence to ask for formula when it was needed. My son never experienced “nipple confusion” either – breast, bottle, whatever he was happy as long as he got fed.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Sorry, I must object. He cannot be the cutest baby ever. At best, he is the third cutest baby ever..

  • Trixie

    While I absolutely agree that feeding babies is best, I find it a bit confusing that Dr. Castillo-Hegyi’s assertion throughout the Fed is Best website that starvation leads to autism goes totally unchallenged here. Lactivist is bad, but shouldn’t everyone get the same skeptical eye?

    • Azuran

      Indeed, I don’t know if there is definite proof that what her baby’s problems are related to the incident.
      However, it’s 100% certain that the hyperbilirubinemia, hypernatremia, seizure and hospitalization were caused by improper food intake. And there is a lot of scientific evidence that those can cause brain damage.

      Obviously, this should be studied more. There is a lot more evidence that this could cause all kind of neurological problems than there ever was about the debunked autism/vaccine links.
      However I have a feeling that research looking into the risks and negative impact of breastfeeding are not popular and are not getting the proper attention it deserves.

      (I’ll also point out the hypocrisy of Jennifer, she is accusing Dr. Castillo of doing exactly what anti-vaxxers have been doing for years)

      • Trixie

        Right, which is why it’s so odd that Castillo-Hegyi bothers to continue to link autism to starvation. There’s plenty of stuff to be outraged about without dipping our toes into the woo. I’m not sure why that claim is currently getting a free pass here.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          I don’t agree with Christie about that and I’ve told her so. I do agree completely with the mission of the foundation.

          • NinjaMama

            I have wondered about this, too, and am glad to see that you have expressed your disagreement with this aspect of Fed Is Best.

          • Trixie

            I’m glad to hear that. I was very surprised to see you quote that particular sentence.

        • Azuran

          I don’t think she’s really getting a free pass. I don’t think she should be advocating this specific point, but at this point, I’d give her a right to think it’s possible.

          After all, unlike the autism/vaccine link, I don’t think there has been a large number of study that actually proved that early starvation couldn’t be a factor in autism. A few other posters here have said they believed that hypoxia at birth might have caused their child’s autism as well.
          We have no proof it does. But we don’t have proof it doesn’t.

    • Sue

      I agree.

      Hypernatraemic dehydration is definitely not good for you, and nor is severe jaundice, or profound hypoglycaemia, but there is no evidence that any of these cause autism.

      There does seem to be a general tendency for parents of severely disabled kids to look for an external locus of blame – especially when the cause is poorly understood. This is the basis of a large part of the anti-vax community.

      • fiftyfifty1

        “Hypernatraemic dehydration is definitely not good for you, and nor is severe jaundice, or profound hypoglycaemia, but there is no evidence that any of these cause autism.”

        Actually there is good evidence that it can cause it. There are other causes, of course, because autism is not just one monolithic entity. Dr. Castillo-Hegyi (elsewhere) does go into why she has good reason to believe her son’s dehydration/hypoglycemia/hyperbili caused his brain damage, or at least was a significant contributor. She never claims that neonatal starvation is *the* cause of autism, just that it can be *one* of the causes.

        • Sue

          Thx – I’ll look it up. Any references?

          I guess I’m thinking of autism as a behavioural/perceptual state, as opposed to global developmental delay.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I am not an expert in the field but there is some evidence of correlation between autism and hyperbilirubinemia although it is conflicting. In any case huperbilirubinemia in the neonatal period has been determined as a cause of neurological problems in later life, it is not surely the cause but it is probably related to at least some of the neurological problems like fine and gross motor skills delays.

      I am posting the papers I have found on autism and hyperbilirubinemia:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/27335973/?i=4&from=autism%20hyperbilirubinemia

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/27669736/?i=1&from=autism%20hyperbilirubinemia

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/25353277/?i=5&from=autism%20hyperbilirubinemia

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22085436/?i=7&from=autism%20hyperbilirubinemia

      And the best one is this, in my very humble opinion as a non-expert in the field. It is a recent meta-analysis published on a very good journal regarding the risk factors for autism:

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21746727/?i=9&from=autism%20hyperbilirubinemia

    • swbarnes2

      I agree that it’s unfortunate that she links autism to what happened with her kid. She has quite a list of medical issues if she just drops that one.

      As of right now “autism” is quite a catch-all diagnosis, and there might be a lot of different medical issues with different causes that are currently all being diagnosed as “autism”. Is her kid brain damaged? Sadly, the answer is probably yes. Could that damage be causing the symptoms that led to the autism diagnosis? Maybe, maybe not. Do most autistic people suffer from what can reasonably be called brain ‘damage”? I’m pretty sure the answer is “no”, and I think it sucks that as a kind of public figure, she is linking “brain damage” and “autism” together. That’s not exactly helpful to the autistic community.

  • Madtowngirl

    Ugh. I don’t even have the words to express how ridiculous it is to tell the mother of a child who has suffered that she essentially needs to “shut up and suck it up.”

    • Spamamander, pro fun ruiner

      I’ve heard it about my disabled daughter. “She’s alive and healthy, stfu” (not in those words, mind you). Completely dismissive of the experiences families go through and the desire to not see it happen to anyone else’s child.

      • NinjaMama

        I am sorry that anyone has been that much of an asshole to you.

      • Madtowngirl

        That’s horrible, and I’m so sorry it has happened to you.

  • Young CC Prof

    Don’t support car seat safety. Support accessibility for people with mobility impairments instead, because obviously trying to prevent disabilities and trying to make life better for people who have disabilities are mutually exclusive goals.

  • Mel

    There is a MASSIVE difference between “viewing parenting a child as horrible” and trying to prevent another kid from going through the same thing.

    • Sarah

      You mean kale lungs.

      • PeggySue

        Maybe organic iron lungs. Iron is nacheral.