Milk Meg and the marsupialization of mothers

Isolated kangaroo with cute Joey

Maybe it’s because she lives in Australia, but Meg Nagle, the Milk Meg, appears to believe that mothers are marsupials.

Human beings, like nearly all mammal species, are placentals. We have relatively long pregnancies during which we nourish our young through the placenta. The placenta is a complex organ that allows for indirect communication between the baby’s bloodstream and the mother’s bloodstream. The baby gets its oxygen and nutrients, not to mention antibodies, from the mother’s circulation and dumps its carbon dioxide and waste products back to her for processing and removal.

If you want to mother like a marsupial, go for it! But don’t judge other mothers for refusing to imagine they are marsupials, too.

The marsupials (like kangaroos) do not have a complex placenta and have a very different gestational process.

According to Wikipedia:

An infant marsupial is known as a joey. Marsupials have a very short gestation period (about four to five weeks), and the joey is born in an essentially fetal state. The blind, furless, miniature newborn, the size of a jelly bean, crawls across its mother’s fur to make its way into the pouch, where it latches onto a teat for food. It will not re-emerge for several months, during which time it develops fully…

A marsupial joey is unable to regulate its own body temperature and relies upon an external heat source. Until the joey is well-furred and old enough to leave the pouch, a pouch temperature of 30–32 °C (86–90 °F) must be constantly maintained.

In other words, a human baby relies for gestational growth on the placenta and uterus. A joey relies on the teat and the pouch. A human baby is born far more developed than a joey, and although it cannot care for itself, it can be successfully cared for by the father, siblings and members of the extended family. A joey can only be cared for by its mother.

But lactivists like The Milk Meg prefer to imagine human infants as marsupials with the teat, in this case the breast, serving as the center of infant existence.

A joey must, for itself survival, maintain continuous contact with the teat for months. A joey, because it cannot maintain its own body temperature, must stay within the embrace of its mothers pouch for a year or more. For both these reasons a joey must sleep with its mother.

The Milk Meg insists that human babies have the same needs as joeys. This is expressed by her belief that human babies can and should be in continuous contact with the breast for years.

In this meme, for example, Meg declares:

img_1715

Comforting your child with breastfeeding is not creating bad habits, it is mothering THROUGH breastfeeding … because breastfeeding is about much more than just milk.

Here Meg insists:

img_1717

Your baby is not “using you” as a pacifier. A pacifier takes the place of what normally happens at the breast.

She is telling mothers that their breasts not merely ought to be used as pacifier, but are pacifiers.

Consider this advice on how to get your baby to sleep more:

img_1642

Breastfeed them …
Do “breastsleeping.” Pull out the boob, latch baby on.
Offer cuddles and breastfeed as needed…
Cuddle, breastfeed, repeat.

In other words, let your baby attach to your breast and never let go … just like a marsupial.

Except humans are not marsupials.

Consider:

Joeys stay in the pouch for up to a year in some species, or until the next joey is born.

A mother kangaroo is usually has only one joey in her pouch at a time. Her older offspring are physically independent. But human children requires the care of their mothers for more than a decade. With the exception of the first child, a human mother is always caring for other children who need her just as much as the infant needs her. They too have physical and emotional needs that must be met in order to ensure optimal development.

Lactivism makes no provision for meeting the needs of older children (unless they want to breastfeed, too) and, of course, it makes no provision for meeting the physical and emotional needs of the mother beyond increasing and maintaining her ability to lactate.

What’s wrong with that?

Nothing so long as it is your choice to mother as a marsupial.

Where I disagree with Meg is in her insistence that human babies have the same needs as joeys do. I disagree with her conviction that good human mothering is the same as good marsupial mothering.

Human babies are placental mammals. They do NOT need to be attached to the breast. They do NOT need to use the breast as a pacifier. They do NOT need to be in constant physical contact with the mother. It is not merely untrue, but it is cruel to insist that human babies need to be treated like marsupials.

Why is it cruel?

Because human mothers aren’t marsupials, either. They have different needs, desires and demands on them than kangaroo mothers. It is cruel to tell women that their babies physical and emotional health depend on behaving like marsupials when it doesn’t; that belief requires sacrifices that, as placental mammals, we AREN’T designed (or evolved) to make.

If you want to mother like a marsupial, go for it!

But don’t judge other mothers for refusing to imagine they are marsupials, too.

  • Anne Catherine

    Another great post, and great parallel

  • StephanieJR

    OT, but aren’t baby kangaroos and wallabies super cute?

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      They are!!!
      Went to a local rodeo last year which featured, among about fifty-seven-thousand other attractions, a petting zoo. DD, naturally, HAD to pet all the critters, and I was nothing loathe. Imagine my surprise when I investigated a canvas bag hung on a hook on one of the walls and found the loveliest, softest, sweetest little wallaby you could imagine! He adored the nose scritches I offered. Apparently, you can own one as a pet–who knew?

      • Who?

        Dunno…they grow up big and can be quite aggressive. Their tails are like another limb and their claws are sharp.

        It’d be a trick fencing them in, what with the jumping…

        • Azuran

          Well, Wallabies are small. A few species are actually very small. Although I’m not sure how high your fence needs to be. I’m not really sure about their qualities as pets either.
          But yea, Kangaroos are gigantic aggressive a88holes.

      • StephanieJR

        Awww! There’s a documentary series called ‘Kangaroo Dundee’, about a guy hand rearing orphaned ‘roos, really interesting. As well as cooing over how cute the babies are, he talks about their care and is a pretty great man mum.

        I need to start on a list of animals I want to pet one day. I think my number one is manta rays, but there’s so many I just want to snuggle!

  • Dr Kitty

    Sometimes, if kiddo # 2 falls asleep on my lap, and I have an hour to spare, I’ll let him nap there while I read or watch TV. If not, into the cot he goes, and he gets put in the cot to nap if he is still awake at 12. He might fuss for 5 minutes, but that’s it and he’ll sleep for much longer in his cot.

    Neither of mine took dummies, but it wasn’t for want of trying.

    “Breastsleeping” works for tiny babies, but is a recipe for backache and maternal sleep deprivation after a year. Toddlers snore, kick and punch in their sleep. Bedsharing is also not ideal for those of us who enjoy using the marital bed for recreational purposes.

    After some controlled crying when he was about 1, I have a kid who has a 10 minute bedtime routine (brush teeth, change nappy, pjs on, into baby sleeping bag, night time bottle, storybook, cuddle, lullaby nightlight on, lights out) and sleeps for 11-12 hours solidly in his cot, usually without a peep.

    His older sister was much the same.

    Milk Meg’s advice assumes that you are happy to co-sleep, to spend hours every day getting your baby to sleep and to wake multiple times during the night. If you want your bed and evenings and nights to yourself, I suggest you ignore her.

    • Krystle Dolbow

      Just to add to your post- “Breastsleeping” is also a recipe for death. Especially for babies 4 months and younger. Meg promotes “safe bed sharing” (hint- there’s no such thing) yet every picture that her or her followers post shows the exact opposite of “safe” bed sharing. Multiple blankets, pillows, high chances of wedging, etc. Breastsleeping- well, the breast, alone can cause accidental suffocation.

      My son is 14 months and I’m trying to find a good routine for controlled crying, etc that would work for us to get him to sleep comfortably in his own room. He’s still in a pack n play in our room and I’m so anxious to move him lol. Any suggestions?

      • Heidi

        I was in a similar situation. Sleep training worked for us. We tried it in the past and we just couldn’t get it to work, but it seemed to just take at ~12-13 months. A few weeks ago we’d already put up with several interruptions a night but the final straw for me was him crying at 2am. I stomped out mad and took a breather on the couch, then I heard my husband say, “Baby’s name, please shut up,” so I took my collected self and got the baby. I held him for a while but then he started the crying all over again and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I stuck him in his crib, closed the door, and turned the monitor volume down. I felt like husband and I were on the verge of having a breakdown from nights of interrupted sleep. I can’t honestly say how long it took him to fall asleep because with both our bedroom doors closed his cries are pretty muffled. The next day, I put him down at 1pm for his nap and got him up at 3pm. Then he went to bed at 8pm (gets up at 8am). I think he cried for an hour, but maybe less and then fell asleep. He still cries when we put him down, but for about 10 minutes, and he still wakes up and whines a few times until 10pm when he’s out until 8am. He naps easily, too – cries maybe 5 minutes before he’s out. I had been holding him for his naps on the couch and it was so very boring for me. reddit.com/r/sleeptrain is a decent place for advice.

        • Krystle Dolbow

          Thank you so much!

  • Tilly

    Off topic, but parenting advice here is reasonable here rather than on mommy forums! 18 month age gap between Baby 1 and Baby 2 might just be happening. It seemed like a great idea when it was a theoretical possibility but now I’m concerned for my older child who will essentially still be a baby. Early days so anything possible, but any advice for successfully navigating this should it eventuate?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Our guys are 20 mos between them and it was awesome. And they get along great.

    • CSN0116

      #4 and #5 are just barely 18 months apart, it’s great! I thought the same as you. Our twins came first, so that doesn’t count and then we waited 2.5 years after them for #3. So, #4 and #5 were far closer than anything we’d done before, and our 18-month-old was still so baby-ish – we actually announced our pregnancy with #5 on his 1st birthday with him holding the ultrasound pic 😉

      Anyway, to your question. It was really important to me that #5 did not utterly bombard #4’s life. I was determined to still be with him, a lot, without the baby constantly there as some ever-present reminder that I can only give him part attention. So, I schedule my babies from birth. As a result, my newborns sleep a lot and at very predictable times. And they sleep in their cribs. Honestly, #4 saw so little of #5 for the first few months due to her newborn sleepiness that it was a much easier transition than I anticipated. I always let him “feed” her (on the Boppy with me mostly holding the bottle), burp, replace a binky, sing her a lullaby before naps, etc. And when she went to her crib for one of her several naps, it was our time together. Another thing I did for me(!) was overlap the newborn’s nap with #4’s afternoon nap. That way I was without children for 2-2.5 hours every afternoon. I also staggered bedtimes. Newborn would go to bed about 20 minutes before #4 so that I got some one-on-one before bed.

      They are BFF’s now (16 months and 33 months). It’ll all work out. No worries 😉 And congratulations!

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        With our guys, when they started daycare, they went 3 days a week. Older guy went MWF and younger went MThF. So mom had one day a week 1 on 1 with each

        • CSN0116

          Genius idea!

    • Heidi_storage

      Mine have the same age gap, and I freaked out at the thought of having a toddler and newborn. It turned out okay! The new little one fit right in, and my daughter was a very good older sister. Today, her now-almost-two-year-old brother annoys her, but she still plays with him and wants to be with him.

      CN0116’s advice is very good. If you can make one-on-one time with your toddler, that will help him/her feel special.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Ours are more like two years apart, but something that has helped a LOT is that when I’m giving the baby a bottle, I will have the older kid climb up on the other arm of the giant rocking recliner in which I feed baby, and we’ll snuggle/read a story/I’ll sing them a song/etc while baby is having his bottle.
      We also got her her own baby doll and bottle some time before DS was born, and if she didn’t feel like rocking with me, she’d often steal the Boppy pillow I’d usually use to help prop baby up on my lap in order to “feed” her baby doll while I fed her baby brother.
      I third the one-on-one time, too: it’s REALLY tempting to use time that the baby is sleeping to clean/fold laundry/nap/etc yourself, but I try to set aside part of one of DS’s naps to do mommy-DD time: we dance, or color with crayons, or, as we just did, rock in the chair while reading Angelina Ballerina six times in a row. I’ve also sometimes left the baby with DH and taken DD to the park to climb the jungle gym with her.
      ETA: I also had DD “help” with DS a lot in small ways: getting him his paci, holding a bottle with me during feeds, picking out which diaper or outfit DS was going to wear, that sort of thing. She liked the feeling of both helping and being in charge–ooooh, brother’s wearing the outfit *I* decided he would wear, I’m so proud!

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        We also got her her own baby doll and bottle some time before DS was born,

        We even did that with our older guy. He still likes his doll, and considers it his, and he’s 8.

    • Megan

      Mine are 17 months apart and the best thing I did was to completely babypropf/toddler proof a room so that if I had to change baby’s diaper, fix lunch, etc I could do it and know toddler would be safe playing. I also worked very hard to schedule our day so that at least one of the baby’s naps was at the same time as toddler’s so I’d have a moment of reprieve, even if it was short. That continues on now and it has been a lifesaver. They are now ages 27 months and 10 months. My 10 month old is still not mobile yet and for that I am thankful. Things will really get crazy when that happens…

      • blargh

        My brother was already done napping during the day by 18 months old. It might have been younger, that time is a sleep deprived haze for my mother. We are 14 months apart. My mother thought she’d go crazy trying to get my brother to nap until she just instituted quiet time. He could do whatever the hell he wanted in his safe room (like the one you described for your toddler) while I napped and my mother took some time to herself. This period didn’t last long for her because I also stopped napping at the same very early age, but we both were sleeping for a solid 12-14 hours a night depending on our age and she found that easier given our than trying to get us to rest at the same time during the day. She also got a solid block of sleep at night instead of sleeping in chunks of time so that was healthier for her too.

        I think if you’re prepared for the sleep deprivation/weird sleeping hours you might end up with, then having kids that close together is fine. My mother didn’t want to have me so a lot of those issues went into how difficult she found having kids so close together. She never accepted having kids that close together even when the reality was there.

  • Montserrat Blanco

    OT: thanks to all the regulars. I followed your advice today and it worked wonders.

    My two-year old was basically whinning and nagging and trying to climb the kitchen countertops and trying to get a knife to play with while I was trying to open a tuna can and finish to cook our dinner. Due to some health issues my hands are not working as well as they used to, I was the only adult in the household and the tuna can was not opening properly either. I was going mad. So instead of pulling the sanctimommy and continue to speak to him in a neutral tone or losing my temper and start to shout at him I washed my hands, checked that he was well and left him inside his crib, went back into the kitchen, opened the can, finished our dinner and went back to him to get him and have dinner together. He cried a little while on the crib, I do admit, less than two minutes, and then he was amused with his teddy bear and he was fine for having dinner together. It was by far my best parenting decision of the day.

    Thanks for the advice of putting the baby on a safe place and leave it until you feel well enough to come back.

  • CSN0116

    Dear friends of ours just gave birth to a baby with VACTERL association. Baby’s heart needs immediate attention (and esophagus), but he was born with only one, very small kidney, so, sadly, surgery is not possible. They are being discharged tomorrow and bringing him home to wait for him to pass there 🙁

    They will be hosting a birthday party every day, and are encouraging anyone and everyone without a respiratory illness to come and see him, and enjoy his presence. I admire their fortitude.

    On an uplifting note, I decided to buy them a personalized baby blanket and baby hat off Etsy – which are all the rage right now – that he might wear them and then his parents will have permanent, personalized items to remember him by. The Etsy seller is working 8 weeks out, but when I explained the situation to her she agreed to expedite the order and it will arrive in ~10 days. Very sweet.

    No purpose in sharing. Just yet another reminder that my problems are beyond trivial :/

    • Dr Kitty

      That’s very sad, but what a lovely way for them to spend the brief time they have with him, and much better for him than futile and painful treatments.

      The family is in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Heidi_storage

      Oh, that is so sad. I’m terribly sorry. What a nice idea you have.

    • Gatita

      I’m so sorry. Peace to you and to the family. That gift sounds lovely.

  • OkayFine

    I breastfeed, (sometimes) co-sleep, and baby wear all because it’s convenient for me but her description of “how to get your baby to sleep” sounds HORRIBLE. Not to mention the fact that my children indeed to sleep much better in their own room in a crib beyond the first few months. I would lose my mind after 24 hours of her “advice”. I’m sure there are people out there who have followed her advice and are miserable because of it.

    • Heidi_storage

      Yeah. Most parenting advice should be “Do what works for you and your family.” Obviously, basic things like car seats, vaccines, etc. are exceptions.

  • Kelly

    I am not entirely sure that formula was the best choice for my youngest as she walks around bumping into things with a blanket on her head. We may have ruined her.

    • Christina Maxwell

      My youngest insisted on living in a cardboard box for nearly a year. Must have been the formula.

  • Banrion

    Giraffes give birth standing up and let their newborns freefall 10 feet to the ground. Instead of a pat on the back, we should just throw all newborns out second story windows to open their airways ‘naturally.’

    • Azuran

      I propose that we also start parenting like rabbits. You put the baby in his bed, and you only go see it twice a day for feeding and changing. The rest of the time you just ignore it and do whatever you want, even go out with your friends for a few hours.

  • Guest

    My 2 month old gets PISSED if I try to feed her instead of giving her a pacifier, when she just wants to suck. Ditto if I give her a pacifier instead of feeding her when she’s hungry. She wants her milk when she wants it, and will actually scream if it’s offered when she’s uninterested in eating but wants to suck on something. Milk Meg’s recommendations would be a recipe for misery in my household, but maybe I’m just a shitty mom for putting effort into finding out what my kid actually wants. #shitmom4lyfe

    • yentavegan

      You are tuned in to your child’s healthy development. You are creating for her the environment that will lead to a well adjusted ego.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Yeah, instead of just hanging the kid on the boob all the time, these folks should try some “attachment parenting.”

      Or at least the myth of AP, where it is about “responding to your child’s needs”

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      (congrats!)

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Are there women who actually do this? Do they eventually just lose all feeling in their nipples? It seems like it would just be horribly uncomfortable all the time otherwise.

    Also, if breasts are like pacifiers that aren’t pacifiers like breasts? What is so wrong with using one over the other? A pacifier doesn’t have anything else it could be doing with itself, a woman and her boobs do.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      First question: yes. Second, also yes. A friend lost all sensation in her nipples after one particularly rabid nursing baby. I did not consider this a selling point for nursing, personally. :p

    • LeighW

      But how can a woman prove she’s a good* mother if she doesn’t devote every single waking (and sleeping) moment of her day to her baby?

      It’s not like a woman’s time is worth anything

      (*better than other mothers)

    • Melaniexxxx

      it doesn’t hurt if you ACTUALLY love your baby 😉

  • CSN0116

    OT but funny: #thatsourbrooke really does spend all of her days trolling. She recently pissed off one woman in particular who came to her personal FB page to basically call her insane (she basically admits to it). It’s so funny to read, and confirms that she is compelled to provoke people to treat her like shit no matter the topic. We fill a big void in her life.

    • EbbyBee

      I’m not sure what Brooke’s deal is. It seems like either she’s got mental health issues, general stupidity, or is just a miserable person. I’m not sure which one is the most charitable explaination.

      • OttawaAlison

        For some people any attention is better than no attention. It sucks to be that way since there are so many online communities that have people with the same beliefs as her. Yes I don’t agree with their beliefs and find they’re an echo chamber, but she could make some friends that way.

      • CSN0116

        I only check her FB out now and then when she gets really vocal on Dr. A’s FB page and it’s convenient click on her. The shit that she leaves open for view never disappoints. Basically, this woman was going off on her for purposefully coming to a page that held opposite views of her own (sound familiar?) and ranting and raving. Apparently, this is serial behavior for her. Brooke also shares on this post how numerous psychiatrists have confirmed that she is, in fact, not mentally ill. And she recently made the decision to quit therapy. Hmm.

        • Dr Kitty

          People who deliberately misuse coping strategies (denial, projection, rationalisation etc) in order to manipulate others in order to get whatever reaction they seek may not have a mental illness, but often meet the criteria for diagnosing a PD. PD is not a mental illness.

          Of course, I’ve never met Brooke and this is a general comment about maladaptive emotional coping strategies, rather than any specific diagnosis relating to her.

    • Heidi

      And there Sour Brooke goes again! No, Brooke, World Breastfeeding Week isn’t like gay pride or black history month! Those aren’t about ablelism and celebrating privileged people being able to do privileged things!

  • WintarRoze

    Too bad a mother kangaroo will throw the joey out of her pouch if she is running away from a threat.

    http://www.northgeorgiazoo.com/zoo-am-i-blog/ask-a-zookeeper-sacrificing-babies

  • Empress of the Iguana People

    I have to say, kid two shows a definite preference for fingers over nipples or pacifiers. Those have also been available since the beginning.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    OT: great discussion of pregnancy-caused hearing loss over here

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2017/01/my-pregnancies-cost-me-my-hearing.html

    Mostly reasonable, but could use some informed discussion of epidurals (particularly, epidurals causing longer labor and more tearing)

    • RMY

      I had never heard about that.

  • CSN0116

    OT: A loon from Dr. A’s FB page posted this abstract in reference to the whole “saliva contains secret codes that make breast milk more special.” What is this? I looked at the figures and it looks like sample sizes range from a whopping 3 to ~20. There is the saliva of a bunch of species included. Just, what? What is this paper actually discussing? The final figure shows statistical insignificance.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26325665

    • Roadstergal

      Wow, that’s an amazing disconnect between title and content. Yay PLOS.

      They noted a higher concentration of certain metabolities in the saliva of a subset of neonates vs adults. Even in those neonates, it was only elevated at 1-4 days post-delivery. They showed no information on the variability or LLOQ of those assays.

      They mixed 1:1 volume of pooled neonatal saliva diluted 1:3 with pooled diluted colostrum (unspecified dilution). If you incubated them for ~10min or longer, you saw some peroxide generated.

      They mixed colostrum with ‘simulated neonatal saliva’ for 24 hours and saw some very minor effects on the growth of two strains of bacteria.

      They then clamed that this has any relevance at all to breastfeeding.

      • CSN0116

        OK so it _is_ as shitty and off point as I suspected then. 😉 TY

        • Roadstergal

          I mean, if your kid normally holds a mouthful of breastmilk for a full 24 hours, then gargles with S. aureus, then… well, it’s still a bit tangential.

    • Heidi

      Someone linked this one https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22865647 I’m curious what they thought it said. Because the title literally gives it away.

      • CSN0116

        A lot of use of the word “potential” and using stem cells found in breast milk as a “model.”

      • Roadstergal

        They centrifuged cells in breastmilk, and found that a subset of cells expressed genes associated with stem cells (it varied from sample to sample from ‘a lot’ to ‘basically none’).

        You could culture those cells in very artificial conditions and get them to show signs of differentiation into certain sorts of basic cells.

        It’s important to note:
        -this is basically incidental sloughing of cells from remodeling processes in the breast. They noted that the highest level was in a woman who was both pregnant and lactating.
        -The cells are going to get digested by the baby just like the cells in our food does. The stem cells are just a teeny tiny source of a tiny bit of protein and fat.

        The context is that there are often political barriers to embryonic stem cell research, so researchers are always very interested in getting cells that have some capability for self-renewal and pluirpotency from adults. That’s what they’re going for here.

        If this turns out to be an important source of stem cells, it will become selfish to feed them to your baby instead of donating them to science. :p :p

        • Heidi

          Of course, it’s likely the same set of people that claim there are fetal stem cells in vaccines and that’s bad, bad, bad and causes whatever they claim it causes.

          • Mishimoo

            The stock excuse as to why one thing is acceptable while the other causes issues is “These are being digested as they were meant to be, not injected directly into the bloodstream!!11!1!!”

          • Heidi

            Just give it some time and I betcha there will be someone who naturally “vaccinates” by injecting their kid with a syringe full of breast milk.

          • Roadstergal

            They’re already squirting it into ears for ear infections and eyes for conjunctivitis.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            I’d definitely be annoyed if anyone tried to do that to me. 😛

          • yentavegan

            I am shouting into a vacuum trying to warn my fellow lactavists against this behavior. Mothers with sore cracked nipples keep being told to rub a little breastmilk into the sore…No I say that is feeding the fungus!

        • CSN0116

          It was published 5 years ago now so… Guess it wasn’t an earth shattering discovery after all.

          • Roadstergal

            Or maybe it’s just too expensive to buy breastmilk on Craiglist these days. :p

          • Someday, it’ll be like Star Trek.

            “Replicator, more breast milk. You know what? Just leave the breast.”

          • Roadstergal

            “Breast milk. Warm.” /Picard

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      That kind of sounds like an experiment a school kid might come up with.

  • Heidi

    Since I used Aeroflow to get my ACA-approved breast pump, I now get an email about “supporting breast feeding rights.” I support the right of a woman to breast feed sure, but I don’t support lies or exaggerations of breast feeding. This is the article I received in my inbox from Aeroflow/Meghan Bausone: https://medium.com/@meghanbausone/breast-milk-is-a-human-right-a82b9efd40a#.dzp86hxij which includes lies and/or exaggerations like this, “Breastfeeding strengthens immunities to illnesses like pneumonia and diarrhea, which are two of the main causes of infant mortality worldwide. Long-term benefits of breastfeeding include a reduced risk of diabetes, asthma, and childhood obesity. On top of all this, breast milk is free and saves working families from the burden of paying for formula: a cost which can add up to over $2,000 per year.”

    There we go with that breastfeeding is free trope! Someone should explain thermodynamics to these folks.

    While I personally am for the ACA coverage of pumps (and even reasonable lactation consultants!), maternity leave, and a right to feed your baby an appropriate food anywhere, I can’t sign a petition like this.

    • CSN0116

      “…pneumonia and diarrhea, which are two of the main causes of infant mortality worldwide.”

      “Worldwide” is a *pretty* critical word in that sentence…

      • Heidi

        It reminds me a little bit of being in 2nd grade and not eating the cafeteria food sometimes. My teacher thought she could convince me to eat my food by the old trope, “There are children in 3rd world countries who would love that food!” I told her to send my lunch to them then. Even at 7, I thought that was some pretty faulty logic. Regardless if I ate my food or not, it wasn’t going to feed another child.

        • Daleth

          I had that exact same thought process around that same age when my grandparents used that line on me. “Well, put my food in an envelope and mail it to them, then! That would be better than me eating it, right?”

      • Roadstergal

        And what BF does is not ‘strengthen immunity,’ but lower exposure to pathogenic organisms in the water supply. Which is not an issue if those pathogenic organisms are not present in the water supply.

        • yentavegan

          I suspect you are correct. It is not so much that mothers milk is magic but that untreated drinking water is toxic.

  • C.

    Well, this is timely. I just had a ‘breastsleeping’ session with my baby, and I was thinking about how it needs to stop happening. She’s nearly a year old so I don’t feel too unsafe with it, but it’s honestly not my favorite. We do this a lot in the mornings, because she wakes up before I’m ready to and I don’t want to sit up with her and fall asleep and drop her. She usually has a regular nursing session and then goes back in the crib, but sometimes she will fall asleep after a few minutes and sleep-nurse for 15-30 minutes per side. Sometimes I can take her off and get her into the crib without any fuss but sometimes she wakes up so I put her on the other boob and then we both fall back asleep. This isn’t really ideal because afterward we both tend to sleep too long. Today I needed it but I know she’s going to be nap-resistant. If she could just wait another hour to get up that would be much nicer. She sleeps through the night other than this and from what I’ve read it seems common but I haven’t seen any real suggestions for stopping it. I mean, I like cuddling with her but I have a dopamine deficiency and I realllllly need that uninterrupted sleep to be fully functional. Anyone have any advice on this?

    P.S. I would bet most parents who want their baby to sleep longer during the day are having that concern because they don’t have enough time to get anything done while the baby naps, so napping with the baby isn’t going to really solve that.

    • Guest

      How soon after she goes to bed do you go to bed? If there’s a big enough time disparity (1+ hours), you can try going in to her, kissing her, patting her back, just interacting with her enough to disturb her sleep slightly but not wake her up. This may break up her sleep enough to get a little extra in the morning, since it sounds like she’s nursing to go back to sleep more than to get food, and rousing her slightly in the night kind of works toward teaching her how to soothe back to sleep on her own when she wakes at night.

      Might be worth a shot at least. You might also start offering something like a half ounce of water instead, you can put it by your bedside before you go to bed; if the process becomes less snuggly, your daughter may rely on it less to sleep more in the morning.

    • lawyer jane

      Ferber’s advice (not on CIO, just on establishing schedules) is to just declare it to be morning when they wake up around morning time … yeah I know, not what you want to hear! But if you get up when she wakes at 5:30 or 6 then you’ll have a better time regularizing her nap schedule. For your sleep, you’ll just have to go to bed earlier or learn to nap when the baby does. (Easier said than done, I know. But I did learn to nap eventually.) Even though it sucks to wake up so early, I found it ultimately better to be on a regular schedule. Eventually when the schedule is regular, you can start tinkering with it to see if putting her to bed later at night results in a later wakeup in the AM.

  • ForeverMe

    Dr. Amy:
    Maybe edit this part??

    “But human children requires the care of their mothers for more than a decade. With the exception of the first child, a human mother always caring for other children who need her just as much as the infant needs her. They too have physical and emotional needs that must be met in order to ensure optimal development.”

    Edit to add: maybe edit the first 2 sentences of that paragraph, too?
    “A mother kangaroo is usually has only one joey in her pouch at a time. Her older offspring are physically independent. “

  • Indeed. Not marsupials – nor does treating women as such necessarily lead to better parenting outcomes or better outcomes more generally. I suspect, for those for whom “it works” the outcomes are fine, but as with anything, imposing it on those for whom it “doesn’t work” likely has heavy adverse consequences. Mothering (humans at least) has to be far more nuanced than what is proposed, as humans so quickly need so much more than a boob to suck on.

  • Madtowngirl

    Breastsleeping sounds like a totally safe sleeping practice. /sarcasm

    • CSN0116

      It’s fucking nuts.

      How many safety violations in the name of beast feeding do we get to commit before formula is less dangerous? Hmm.

  • kilda

    it’s kind of too bad we’re not marsupials actually. Birth would be so much easier, babies would never get stuck, and C sections really would be unnecessary. I’ve always thought marsupials had evolved a much better solution to this whole birth thing.

    • Chant de la Mer

      and they get to care for their baby hands free for a few months too!

    • Mishimoo

      They can also hold their offspring in a kind of stasis until the environmental conditions are optimal!

  • MaineJen

    Is this the origin of the infamous “breast crawl” babies are supposed to do immediately after birth?

    • moto_librarian

      I would not be surprised.

    • fiftyfifty1

      I was taught about the “breast crawl” about 20 years ago, and they did talk about marsupials.

      • MaineJen

        WTF. People do not know how to science.

    • Roadstergal

      That always sounded like some kind of stereotypical Sparta ‘culling all but the strongest boys!’ bullshit. If your _newborn_ can’t locomote correctly towards food, it doesn’t deserve to live!

      I want to be there when a newborn craws to the sandwich dad is holding.

      • Kristi Berry Pedler

        Doritos. Has to be doritos.

    • Sean Jungian

      I’ve never heard of this, holy smokes people are stupid.

  • CSN0116

    So my babies never needed this much food, sucking or attention. I specifically remember having newborn twins and everyone assuming that I was exhausted and too overwhelmed to host visitors. I would gladly welcome them in (for company!) and it would be silent and my house and clean enough to perform surgery.

    Why? Because newborns (mine) sleep all. the. time. They would wake, I’d feed them (formula), interact for 30 *maybe* 40 minutes, swaddle them up, and they would lie down in their cribs and sleep for 2-3 hours. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I would sit there and twiddle my freaking thumbs, calling people to come visit me out of loneliness.

    Five children later, the newborn stage was the easiest time by far out of all their baby-hoods. Babies, especially newborns, are blobs who want food. They don’t care what it is or who it comes from. They just want enough of it until they are satisfied. Then they will leave you alone. If a baby is as fussy as this woman describes, my guess is it is starving and cannot settle due to hunger.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      one of my sisters kids was this fussy, until he was about 4 months. Colicy was what my mother and grandmother called it. putting his baby seat next to the washer on spin cycle or next to the dryer, or taking him for a car ride seemed to help some…or running the vaccum.

      • CSN0116

        Awww that sucks 🙁 there are many factors and apologies for oversimplifying. I just don’t deem it normal/necessary for a baby to NEED a boob all the time. Like, investigate other issues, no?

        But I’m a “selfish cunt” – I could not and flat-out refuse to ever spend that amount of time to feed/comfort a baby, despite the “benefits” of “magic milk.” Just, no. And I’m utterly unapologetic,

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          He seemed to suddenly grow out of it, was very weird. her other 3 kids were very easy newborns…And yeah sometimes she would just make sure he was dry, fed, clean and burped and put him in his playpen in what ever room she was in and let him grizzle (sometimes having the radio in the background helped). With 3 other kids she just could not spend every moment trying to get him to stop crying…

      • Sean Jungian

        Washing machine/car ride also settled my kiddo on the few occasions that he was inconsolable.

      • mabelcruet

        My sister did this (I have no kids, just cats). She had 3 in 3 years, home births, fully paid up NCT member etc-she lived in a very old and very solidly built cottage. When they were screaming and she had checked the usual stuff, she would shut them in the utility room with the tumble dryer and washing machine going. They always fell asleep within a couple of minutes-it was magical! She also tried the vaccuum cleaner, leaving that going by the side of their cot-that worked too.

        From a medical point of view it definitely makes some sort of sense-in utero, the baby is in a very noisy environment-heart beat, bowel sounds, all the sounds around the mum. It must really freak the kid out that after all that racket that they are put into a completely silent bedroom and everyone is tiptoeing around-constant noise seems to settle them (well, N=3).

    • J.B.

      Oh, my kids wanted to be held and to suck on things all.the.time. At a point it had nothing to do with hunger, as they would happily keep eating and then puke it all up (not just spit up, an entire stomachfull), and their pediatrician at the time yelled at me for overfeeding them. They could be passed OUT and wake up 10 minutes almost to the dot after being laid down. They are both very very active people now.

      • Erin

        I had one of those. My son was on the 19th percentile when he was born, made it to the 50th by his 8 week check up and everyone was happy with his growth so I don’t think he was starving at any point.

        Yet he wanted to feed or at least be latched all the time. Between 6pm and midnight he would spend all six hours latched, any attempts to de-latch him when I thought he was asleep was met by eyes flying open and yelling until he was successfully replaced on the breast. The rest of the day wasn’t quite as bad but he would eat until he was sick and then repeat, nap for an hour if lucky and then repeat. Any attempts to put him down had to be carried out ninja style otherwise we had to redo the feeding, over eating, the cleaning up of sick, re-feeding and attempting to lie him down carefully again.

        He’s now a very active sleep avoiding toddler and I’ve got my fingers firmly crossed that his sibling will not share the same feeding habits.

        • J.B.

          Good luck. And physical activity, lots and lots of it!

        • J.B.

          Also, our poor babysitter recently facetimed his mom saying “What do I do? I can’t get her (3 year old) to stop crying!” His mom’s answer was “well, she’s 3”. And a limit tester.

        • yentavegan

          I suggest being open to the idea of using a pacifier to address the infant’s insatiable urge to suck even after a full feeding.

      • maidmarian555

        Oh God I had this with wee man when I first brought him home. He just wanted to be attached to my boob 24/7. The midwives and health visitor told me it was just clusterfeeding “haha all babies do this”. By week 3 I was actually going insane. I couldn’t even put him down for 10mins so I could eat during the day. Luckily, my MIL very gently suggested that maybe trying a dummy wouldn’t be a bad idea. I was a bit resistant as I’d been told to absolutely not introduce a dummy by the HV but caved in. And I’m bloody glad I did. He just wanted to suck something. Wasn’t actually bothered whether it was me or the dummy. I got to eat a meal without him wailing continually for the first time since he was born. It was amazing.

        • Cody

          My son would not take one. I’ve started sobbing thinks about now, lol. It was hard.

          • maidmarian555

            Oh God you poor thing. I’m so sorry. I’m very glad my MIL intervened when she did. I don’t know if he’d have taken to it so well had I left it much longer before I introduced one.

      • Cody

        I’ve been there. That was my son, over eat, barf, clothing change, cry, repeat. Or feed less, cry, cry, cry, feed more, barf, clothing change, cry, repeat.

    • Sean Jungian

      This was similar to my experience. I was on paid maternity leave, and my house has never been as clean, neither before and certainly never since, my DS was a newborn-to-3-month old. Eat, look around sleep. Eat, look around, >clonk< asleep.

      I was pretty lucky, he was always a really good sleeper. Oh how I loved those 2-hour morning and 3-hour afternoon naps!!

    • guest

      This was my experience with my first. I was bored out of my mind. My second wanted to be held all of the time, but still was on the same type of schedule – eat, play, sleep for 2-3 hours. I just put her in a baby carrier and I was free to give all my attention to the toddler for 2-3 hour chunks of time. So, still bored out of my mind, but stuck entertaining a toddler.

    • My first took a four hour nap every afternoon. Without fail. I was working from home, 20 hours a week. Anyone can easily see 4 hour nap x 7 days a week gave me more than enough time to do work. (She also took a morning nap)

      People would say, “how can you work at home with a baby?” and I’d give them a strange look. How could you not, with just one baby?

      My second wasn’t as regular of a sleeper as she was but he took his long nap in the morning. My older child was in morning kindergarten. I’d put her on the bus, put him to bed, and then work for 4 hours. I had a babysitter come twice a week in the afternoon, but I still had those morning hours to work.

  • Paula

    Possible typo: “a human mother always caring for other children who need her….” I think there should be an “is” between “mother” and “always”.

  • KeeperOfTheBooks

    *sigh*
    I’m reminded of a post by a rather frantic first-time mom in a parenting group I’m in. She wanted to know how we moms managed to shower with a newborn. Most of us said some variation on a theme of “feed/change baby, set on playmat/bouncy seat/ or in a swing/pack-n-play, go take a shower cos hygiene is a basic human need and even if Junior fusses, he simply will not die or be traumatized by mommy taking a five-minute shower.”
    Then the local Sanctimommy chimed in to tell frantic first-time mom that what she really ought to do is get a shower-usable wrap and wear Junior even in the shower, because, well, *she* couldn’t IMAGINE leaving her helpless newborn to cry alone just because she wanted a shower, but maybe that was just her…
    *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

    • Amazed

      What… the… I do hope it was just her.

      I’m really appreciating the Intruder right now. He might have watched us like a hawk in the hands when Amazing Niece was a newborn to make sure that we handled her the exactly exact way but his attitude to crying was, “No panic here. Of course she’s crying. She’s a baby.” Another precious moment was him and SIL walking on me as I tried to amuse their baby who just wanted to be carried around (she was placed on the sofa). Their reaction was like, “Are you OK?” Because they knew it was dangerous for her to be carried around by someone whose arms would fall off, or at least who felt like they would.

      And that’s a baby who rarely cries. Even with such a smiling little one, turning “Not let baby cry for no reason at all!” into a must was not feasible. Let her cry until you’re ready to safely make her stop crying again.

      I can’t imagine the logistics of handling a newborn under the shower and actually, you know, showering.

      • Heidi

        Yeah, you’d drive yourself crazy not letting a baby cry sometimes. But that’s an understatement really. Physically and mentally a crying baby will take a toll on anyone. Sometimes you put the baby down in a safe place, like a crib, and walk away for a few minutes or you call for reinforcements. This martyr mom (and only mom because omigod she has the magic, all purpose boobs!) crap is so dangerous. A crying baby who is left alone for a few minutes is much better than a shaken baby or a smothered baby or a mom who is driven to suicide from the pressure.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          All babies cry. When the kids would cry as babies, I always considered their basic needs: fed? Changed? rested?

          If the basic needs are attended to, I tried comforting, doing everything I could. And sometimes I could, and sometimes I couldn’t. And when I couldn’t, it sometimes go to the point of setting him down and stepping away. I figured, you can cry with me holding you, you can cry with me not holding you. If I’m not holding you, it is easier on me.

          Of course, I didn’t have a boob to stick in their mouths, but we tried pacifiers, and those didn’t work, either. That wasn’t what they needed. I still don’t know what they needed.

          • BeatriceC

            Sometimes they just want to complain.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            Sometimes the WORLD is hostile!

        • Spamamander, pro fun ruiner

          My mom told me that they won’t die from crying for a few. If I was stressed to the point of losing it, it was better to set the baby in a safe place (the crib) and step outside to take a breather. It was a literal lifesaver for a mom with PPD.

        • FormerPhysicist

          The baby project at DD high school drives me insane. If the plastic baby cries, they have to attend to it within 5 minutes or the “abuse” detector goes off. I was furious.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Yes, these fake baby projects are bad for so many reasons. Reason #1 being that they don’t do what they were designed to do: reduce pregnancy rates.

          • Heidi

            We just finally really implemented sleep training here and a few nights or naptimes involved more than five minutes of crying, but now we have our lives back! He sleeps through the night, he naps in the afternoon, and his clinginess went away! He’s so happy and we are happy. It was far from abuse.

    • Heidi

      Um, what?! I remember when I experienced let-down, my armpits would start making more sweat. I felt like my hair was greasier than usual, too. Sometimes I took a couple of quick showers a day. Even with regular hygiene and deodorant, I felt sweatier and stinkier than usual. How do you even wash your pits wearing your baby? How do you not get water in the baby’s face?

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        When I’m postpartum, I sweat a LOT. Like, clothes-soaking night sweats. YUCK.
        I used to tell both babies “look, kid, you’re going to be snuggled up with your face next to my armpits. Trust me, this shower is for your own benefit as much as mine!”

        • Heidi

          Oh yeah, I had forgotten about the ol’ post-partum night sweats.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            This time around, a friend made the following (brilliant) suggestion about PP night sweats: for the first 2-3 weeks PP, keep a couple of beach towels by your side of the bed. Lie on one–like, spread it out under you as though you’re at the beach. That way, when you wake drenched in some revolting combination of bodily fluids (yours and/or baby’s) at 2 AM, you can just change clothes and swap towels rather than stripping/remaking the bed.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      I talked to my sister in law when my daughter was born (she has 4 adult kids) she said feed the baby, put her in a clean diaper and onsie/appropriate newborn clothing and put her in her crib. Go take a shower. Crying in their crib for 5 or even 10 minutes will not harm the baby(actually the way my SIL put it is: If they’re crying they’re breathing). You need to be able to take care of yourself without feeling like you are a bad mother, that includes relieving your bladder/bowels, showering, eating, etc. It never seemed like a good idea to have a baby attached to me while I tried to do everything (cooking? cleaning the toilet? yeah NO!) I love my daughter, snuggling, bottle time, reading time, just lying on her blanket on the floor and making faces at her. But I never felt I had to have her strapped to me 24/7 for her to know I ‘m her mother and I love her.
      Also she started fussing early if you were holding her and she wanted to be looking around(not always fun, having a 4month old who crawls on all fours in nerve-wracking, they don’t know enough to be afraid of anything)

      • Heidi

        I got a cheapie carrier, mostly for the purposes of things like grocery shopping, when he was too small to sit in the cart so I wouldn’t have to try to juggle a stroller and a shopping cart. But I had it in my mind I was going to get all the housework done and get back to cooking fancier meals when he was still a newborn because I was gonna be able to multitask! It did not work. I realized I couldn’t bend over, I couldn’t really chop vegetables because he was in the way or cook without risking burning the baby, and it really wasn’t comfortable. As soon as he was sitting in the grocery cart, I gave my carrier to charity. It served its purpose, but I was done with it.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Oh, so very much TMI, but…
        The antibiotics they give me during the C-sections really, really mess up my stomach. Now, I’ll take an unhappy stomach over sepsis any day of the week, thankyouverymuch, but the fact remains that, well, unhappy stomach.
        So, at one of the worst points with my PPD, I’m up at oh-GAWD-o’clock AM and rocking DD, trying to get her to just. go. back. to. sleep. My stomach informs me, my having literally avoided–ahem–“going” for the last few days lest I (horrors!) set DD down for two minutes straight, that I Need A Bathroom. Now. If Not Sooner.
        I still remember setting DD down and racing to the bathroom while sobbing, semi-hysterically, “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry!”. Why? Because I SET HER DOWN. Worst mom ever, right there, what with relieving myself and all while DD sat in a rock-n-play. It would probably compromise my milk supply permanently and damage her emotionally. (Sad thing is, I honestly believed that.)
        Never mind that just setting her down apparently got her to chill out a bit, and when I returned she was cooing happily to herself, probably about what a nut she got as a mom…

    • AnnaPDE

      I dunno, my usually quite carrying-junkie kid (preferably on shoulder/arms, carriers are the enemy unless inconvenient to wrap) was reasonably fascinated by the sight of me taking a shower to not cry on his blanket and later bouncinette. And when he wasn’t, I’d just wait for him to take a nap, or put him in his crib anyway.

      • Mishimoo

        The Duck Song is amazing.

        • Christy

          *runs off to find ‘the duck song’ on youtube*

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        *giggles madly*
        I had never heard the duck song before; thanks!
        DD’s favorite was by a not-too-well-known British folk singer. For the record, “Circles in the Air,” by George Papavgeris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZbybHeqJLA

    • Gene

      Reminds me of when my friend was sleep training her baby. She posted on FB asking for tips. I recommended industrial grade ear plugs.

    • Mel

      Having a kid attached to my chest while showering sounds terrible!

      Um….how would you shave your legs? I can’t think of a way to shave my legs without having a baby dangling upside down from my chest.

      • Sean Jungian

        Oh, oh, I know this one!!

        Don’t shave your legs! 😉

        signed, Sean, boaster of prodigious leg- and armpit-hair since 2000

      • Empress of the Iguana People

        Heck, washing your privates would be a trifle complicated. Not to mention under the boobs, which if you’re a G like me is kinda important

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Presumably, anything beyond the bare minimum (erm, awful pun not intended) of soap up/wash off would also be grossly selfish.
        I remember not shaving my legs for 2 weeks after DD was born. Haven’t felt so gross since I don’t know when. Let’s just say that I passed DS off for a snuggle with someone the day after he was born so I could take a REAL shower, and yes, that included shaving.
        (Obvious disclaimer of “I couldn’t possibly care less if someone else shaves or doesn’t shave as long as she’s happy, I just HATE having unshaved legs *on me.*”

        • Amazed

          Yeah, it’s weird how the legs we mostly see are our own, isn’t it?

          Disclaimer: Never shaved mine. Figured I’d rather put up with the 20 fair hairs I have on them. I am a sticker for shaving my armpits and especially in winter, with temperatures being what they are, the only people to ever see them have been the respective boyfriends of the time and yours truly. That’s where gross comes in. It doesn’t matter who sees them, they ARE gross if unshaved and mine.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Ahhh, so jealous! My body hair is really dark and really coarse, and that combined with very fair skin means that I far prefer the way my legs look shaved. And as today’s high in my particular area of the US was in the 70s (24C, for you non-Yanks)…well, let’s just say that these legs are bare just about year-round! 😀

          • Amazed

            24C! I could cry. You cruel woman… Motherhood didn’t turn you into a saint, did it? DID IT?

            It’s so much under the 0C here that my air conditioner froze and started rattling. A disgusting sound. Since my concussion from a few years ago, I can’t stand some noises and THIS qualifies! I don’t even want to think what I subjected my neighbours in the block here before I knew there was a problem. Currently turning it on just for an hour or two because oh the noise! And the specialists didn’t exactly tell me that I was stupid but made me aware that I just needed to wait for the thing to unfreeze on its own. In a few weeks or so. ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!

            Actually, I am surprised that it still WORKS. Most of my friends aren’t this lucky. I knew it was good when I bought it but I had no idea it was THIS good. And here you come talking about 24C… do you have some more chocolate?

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Ahhh, but in August, when it’s regularly 35C here with 95% humidity, you can smirk endlessly at me. 😉
            How about some dark chocolate infused with orange peel?

        • Sean Jungian

          Shave away! I got rid of panty hose in 1989 and swore I’d never have a job where I had to wear it again; I gave up shaving my legs and armpits about 2 years later. I WAS seized with the desire to shave my legs when I went into labor, but that went very poorly and half-assedly (due to my huge pregnant self being unable to bend over easily).

          I’ve had a number of partners (also a husband and live-in spouse-adjacent personage) and none of them ever said anything or indicated any kind of disgust. But then again, they knew I was kind of a dirty hippie when they met me!

          It helps that my body hair tends to be light, and as I age it gets more and more sparse.

          BUT BUT BUT I’ve got nothing against shaving if you like it! I always liked the feel of clean sheets against shaved legs, just not enough that I want to do it lol.

      • MayonnaiseJane

        Lasers are wonderful things. Didn’t get rid of it completely, but what’s left is pretty much negligible. I hardly ever shave my legs anymore, and when I do it’s in the bath because I’m really really pampering myself. 🙂

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          If I ever have the extra cash, I would hand it over to almost never have to shave again! That, or Lasix…I truly detest contacts and glasses!

          • MayonnaiseJane

            Lasix is also lasers. Lasers are wonderful. 🙂

    • Dr Kitty

      Uh huh- I took the kids swimming when Kiddo#2 was about 9 months old, and while I was showering and helping his sister shower I put him in the play pen/baby cage *specifically* designed for this purpose. He was wrapped in a towel, he had a toy, he was fine.

      I came back 5minutes later to find a random woman shushing him while carrying her own baby in a wrap. I got a lecture about how “stress crying” was bad for babies.

      I smiled, thanked her for her input, but that I was brought up not to take advice from strangers.

      At 16 months the only safe way anyone can use the bathroom is to put him in his cot or the door bouncer. He’s not that impressed, but he’s a climber with boundless curiosity so having him unrestrained in the bathroom (or G-d forbid, if he makes a break for it and goes into another room) isn’t an option.

      • Amazed

        You were lucky, Dr Kitty. She was in a soft kind of woo. For real. She might have tried to soothe him by breastfeeding him.

      • Empress of the Iguana People

        Caught my mobile one going for the apples on the top shelf. He’d brought his stool from the bathroom, climbed onto the ironing board (!?!) and happily ate his apple standing there. Then he realized he couldn’t get down.

      • BeatriceC

        Most of my “I can’t believe he did that” stories from when MK was a baby and toddler start with “Well I had to go to the bathroom…”

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      Definitely just her. *eyeroll* If that sanctimommy is so worried, perhaps she needs to talk to a professional about her anxiety.

    • Mariana

      I always though my babies cried when I showered to let me know they were alive and breathing just fine. You know… As a basic curtesy to mommy.. Lol!
      I was a sleep-deprived mess… I wasn’t going to give up showers too!

      (Mostly I put them in the baby carrier with me inside the bathroom. They still cried… But I could see they were ok)

    • Steph858

      Someone should give her the attack of the vapours she so richly deserves by replying to her pretending to be my mum. My mum used to *gasp* leave me in a cot in a SEPARATE ROOM with the DOOR CLOSED to CRY IT OUT when she was fed up with me whingeing for no particular reason and needed some goddamn sleep.

      I didn’t go quite as far as my mum – I slept in the same room as my son (but with him in a separate cot, because a 6-week preemie with a smoking father doesn’t need any more risk factors for SIDS) – but if he woke up crying in the middle of the night I wouldn’t go and fuss over him straight away. I’d give it a few minutes to see it he’d settle himself; if it became clear he wouldn’t, then I’d go and do the usual soothing routine. He’s slept through the night since he was 6 months old; meanwhile, I know some crunchy attachment parents whose kids didn’t sleep through the night till they were nearly 3.

      Now, you’ll have to excuse me. It’s rather embarrassing; I’m afraid my schadenfreude appears to be showing …

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Heh. DS started sleeping 7-7, with a dream feed (gasp, horror, formula) at about 11 PM by the time he was about 3 weeks old.
        Since he was fat, healthy, and happy, the ped was cool with it, and goodness knows I was! He very occasionally wakes up at 4 to chirp and chatter for about 5 minutes (is it morning yet, mommy?), and upon deciding it isn’t, gets himself back to sleep. *obnoxiously happy sigh*

  • Heidi

    If your baby is comforted this much by breastfeeding then I think it is very likely that baby is very hungry, and your breasts aren’t making enough milk! At some point, you are negating the calories taken in with the calories burned by suckling.

  • moto_librarian

    Here’s the other thing, Meg. You apparently think that formula feeding involves putting your child in a cage and leaving him alone with the bottle propped. I don’t think that you’re actually that stupid, but how else could you assert your superiority as a mother without implying that breastfeeding is the only way that you can cuddle and bond with your baby? This is just another example of how lactivism is nothing more than a way for insecure, privileged white women to feel good about themselves.

    • Amazed

      OK, Moto. Are you really surprised? I have said it before but because of my sarcastic style the seriousness of it might have gotten lost.

      The thing is, they do believe it and I suspect that’s because they’re so lacking in adequately expressing their emotions the normal way, they resort to the most basic bodily things. I think the worst of them really have little to offer in the vein of closeness but bodily closeness, the rawer, the better. Breastfeeding and babywearing till their spine hurts might be the only way for them to “bond” with their children. (I hate the word bonding, BTW. I think it’s a new thing meant to produce mommy guilt, shove women back home to clear the workspace for men AND secure work for all kind of counsellors. Our grandmothers didn’t obsess over bonding and their relationship with their kids is just fine.)

      • moto_librarian

        No, I’m not surprised. I’m just so tired of this bullshit.

      • MayonnaiseJane

        I was thinking this yesterday, that “bonding” that’s so precarious isn’t the baby bonding to them, it’s THEM bonding to the baby. They have to resort to all this stuff to force the matter because they’re not feeling the motherly love that they were told was so inherent. How many of these people have a first child that they say they don’t love as much because their birth was too medicalized or whatever. The baby is going to them you regardless, their their mother. It’s THEM who aren’t “bonding” because their babies aren’t providing them the narcissistic supply they expected to get from them! My younger brother and I were both C-Sections, but because my mother held out a long time trying to do it “right” (thanks grandma, for putting that in her head) I spent my first night in the NICU (meconium in the amniotic fluid)… and I’ve always been second to my brother, whom she could hold right away. But I’ve always been waaaaay more of a mama’s kid than he is. So it’s not the baby who’s bonding is disrupted by being whisked away…

        • maidmarian555

          My mother is an enormous narcissist. It took my brother and I some years to work out what the problem was (we both grew up thinking there was something fundamentally wrong with us, rather than that our upbringing was terrible). I am 36 years old. She *still* to this day boasts about how long she breastfed us for. Like it somehow makes up for all the subsequent years of emotional neglect.

      • StephanieJR

        Whenever I hear ‘bonding’, I think of rabbits- bonding is basically the forced courtship and ‘marriage’ of a couple of rabbits, arranged by humans, to give your bunny a companion. So it always throws me a bit when I read it here.

        (I’m pretty sure my bunny is as ‘bonded’ to me as a bunny can be, she gets seriously clingy sometimes, I would never get anything done is she was human)

    • Sean Jungian
      • Roadstergal

        And again I have to note – the baby chimp bonded to the snuggly warm ‘mom’ even when it was being fed by the cold, sterile ‘mom.’ Lactivists get these experiments so totally backwards.

    • OttawaAlison

      I did tons of baby wearing and cuddling when my daughter was a baby. Heck she still gets lots of cuddles, but I guess we didn’t bond because I only breastfed part time for 3 months.

  • moto_librarian

    Here’s another hint, Meg: bed-sharing is a known risk factor for SIDS. Pacifiers are shown to reduce the risk by 90%. Your advice is going to kill someone.

    • OttawaAlison

      On the infant loss sites I belong to, they don’t worry about formula being a cause of SIDS, they worry about Bedsharing and unsafe sleep causing SIDs (increasing the risk up to 5x).
      I guess Nestlé paid them off.