Pity The Milk Meg, whose self esteem resides in her breasts

56280679 - pathetic word on red wall

When you frame an issue, you control the discourse. That’s particularly true in politics (Make America Great Again), but it’s also true in healthcare.

That’s why lactivists have owned the breastfeeding debate for the last decade or more. Their frame — Breast Is Best — was meant to be the beginning and the end of all breastfeeding discussion. But now Dr. Christie Castillo-Hegyi and veteran NICU nurse/lactation consultant Jody Segrave-Daly have reframed the issue and it’s driving lactivists to distraction. Their brilliant frame — Fed Is Best — has placed the focus back where it ought to be, on the outcomes for babies, not process.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Resting your self esteem on your ability to lactate is pathetic.[/pullquote]

Lactivists don’t realize they’ve been outplayed and they’re fighting back as hard as they know how. Consider The Milk Meg who appears to think that her only accomplishment resides in her breasts.

There is this huge push to bring awareness to the “accidental” starvation of breastfed babies to further push the “fed is best” campaign that’s floating around. You know, the one that assumes us “lactavists” are all just sitting around trying to find ways to MAKE women breastfeed even if they can’t make enough… because ya’ll know that is what we do, right? *sarcasm*.

That is what you do, Meg Nagle, and no amount of whining changes that reality.

Well by saying that just simply being “fed” is best, completely takes away any sort of importance attached to HOW we are feeding our babies. When the reality is that yes, it actually does matter how we feed our babies.

No, the truth is that it DOESN’T matter. There is no demonstrable difference between term babies who are breastfed and those who are formula fed. Sure, in large populations you might notice 8% fewer ear infections and 8% fewer episodes of diarrheal illness across the first year, but most babies will derive NO obvious benefit from breastfeeding.

Of course that hasn’t stopped lactivists from lying about the benefits, from promoting weak and poorly done research, or from refusing to acknowledge the deadly consequences of relentless promotion of breastfeeding — the injuries and deaths of babies from dehydration and starvation, and the relentless guilt occasionally leading to depression and suicide of mothers.

But what’s a bunch of dead babies and a few dead mothers compared to lactivists’ desperation to imagine themselves as better than other mothers? Not much, apparently.

Meg is still framing, still trying to take back the moral high ground.

Breastmilk is a living tissue which has been referred to as “white blood” as it is always changing depending on what your child needs, the entire time you breastfeed for. A living, changing tissue.

That claim is simply nonsense since the evidence that breastmilk changes in response to babies needs is exceedingly thin. It also rests on the bizarre notion that breasts, out of all the many organs in the human body, are the only ones that always work perfectly. Claiming that breastmilk is always perfect is like claiming that no one ever gets anemic because blood itself is a living tissue.

But according to this piece in the American Family Physician:

The prevalence of iron deficiency anemia is … 9 to 12 percent in non-Hispanic white women, and nearly 20 percent in black and Mexican-American women.

Now imagine that same percentage applies to breastfeeding. Would it be acceptable for anywhere from 9-20% of babies to starve for lack of breastmilk?

No less a lactivist authority than Alison Stuebe, MD of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, has publicly acknowledged that 15% of babies can benefit from formula supplementation, especially in the first days of life.

Moreover, though calling breastmilk “white blood” sounds cool, but we don’t feed our infants blood, do we?

Meg insists:

These cases of the “accidentally starved” babies are stories of negligence within the health care system from the women and babies’ health care providers and the utter lack of support and information we give new mothers.

Why is accidentally starved in quotes? Does Meg imagine that these babies are not suffering from dehydration and starvation? Does Meg imagine that the babies who died aren’t really dead?

She’s right about the negligence, though, and most of it can be attributed to lactation consultants who commit malpractice when they tell women that low milk supply is rare when, in fact, it is quite common. The lack of support is also attributed in large part to lactation consultants who are so obsessed with the process of breastfeeding that they fail to support the HEALTH of babies and mothers.

Lactivism has very little to do with babies and a great deal to due with a subset of women who think their greatest accomplishment resides in their breasts. If breastfeeding isn’t as important as they insist, then they aren’t as superior as they wish to believe.

Meg’s desperation — and the fact that this is about Meg and her fragile self esteem — shines though:

This is about people paying attention while also being honest and truthful that breastmilk DOES MATTER. Because breastmilk and formula are not the same. Breastmilk matters. Breastfeeding matters. Women matter. Babies matter. The only thing that is “best” is what’s best for mother and baby. This might mean supplementing or switching to bottles. This might mean breastfeeding a four year old like me. It does not mean that we have to start spreading information that suggests WHAT we feed them doesn’t matter. Because for millions of us, how we go about feeding our babies does matter. A great deal.

So let me make it perfectly clear to Meg. The fact that you are obsessed with your breasts and what comes out of them does NOT make you a better mother than anyone else. And no one said it doesn’t matter what we feed babies. No one is suggesting that we feed infants anything other than breastmilk or formula. Fed Is Best acknowledges that there’s NO significant difference between breastmilk and infant formaula.

The only way we might be able to determine if you are a superior mother is to wait for your children to grow up and see how they turn out. And even then we won’t be sure because good mothers can raise criminals and bad mothers can raise Nobel Prize winners.

For all we know, Meg, you might be an abysmal mother, regardless of the fact that you shove your breast into your child’s mouth on a regular basis. Ask any child, teenager or adult; I’ve yet to meet anyone who thinks infant feeding has anything to do with good or bad mothering.

Please, Meg, find another source for your self-esteem that is more realistic and less fragile. Resting your self esteem on your ability to lactate makes as much sense as resting your self esteem on your blood count. It’s not merely foolish; it’s pathetic.

105 Responses to “Pity The Milk Meg, whose self esteem resides in her breasts”

  1. LH Smith
    February 14, 2017 at 11:26 am #

    Milk of any sort cannot be a “living tissue”… I think Meg is scientifically deficient. The cells of milk are not replaced as they die. Therefore she’s flat wrong in her weird analogy.

    (plural living tissues)

    (biology) Any tissue of a living organism containing cells that are being replaced when they die

  2. BeatriceC
    February 13, 2017 at 1:47 pm #

    OT: Today is the one month mark of no smoking! Yay!!!!

    I did gain 20 pounds, but I’m less worried about that right now. My goal for the next month is to not gain any more.

    • Eater of Worlds
      February 13, 2017 at 5:16 pm #

      I wish my mother had stayed smoke free for 6 more months. If she hadn’t started up again when she found out she was pregnant with me, I likely wouldn’t be deaf.

      • Siri Dennis
        February 14, 2017 at 8:01 am #

        Is there a connection between smoking in pregnancy and deafness?

        • Eater of Worlds
          February 14, 2017 at 2:17 pm #

          Yeah. One is from a recent study that hearing loss in adolescence is linked to smoking loss in pregnancy. I had a huge dump of hearing at that age.

          I also had terrible jaundice when I was born and I was hospitalized for nearly a month. I’ve spoken to a few neonatologists and the consensus is that smoking likely caused that. It was so bad I have brain damage (kernicterus) from the jaundice, which is why my auditory nerves are fucked and I have a slight learning disability that no one caught until graduate school.

          So I had hearing loss from birth (though loss isn’t a good description of never having something in the first place) that took a major dump in high school.

          Kernicterus isn’t so common anymore because of different ways they deal with jaundice.

    • mdstudentwithkids
      February 14, 2017 at 11:38 am #

      That is great! A huge congrats on making it a month 🙂

    • Sean Jungian
      February 14, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

      Oh wow, has it been a month already? Look how good you’re doing! Keep it up!

    • shay simmons
      February 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

      Having clean lungs makes daily walking that much more fun though…right?

      (says the couch potato who wouldn’t get any exercise at all if she didn’t have German shepherds. On the other hand, they’re a pretty effective aerobic workout).

      • BeatriceC
        February 15, 2017 at 2:50 pm #

        This is the walking I get. It’s not quite so intense as with German shepherds.


        • shay simmons
          February 15, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

          It’s definitely easier on the shoulder muscles!

          (Okay, is that macaw real?)

          • BeatriceC
            February 15, 2017 at 6:44 pm #

            That macaw is Charlotte, my one-winged wonder bird. She also has a major plucking problem. We rescued her at the end of July and at the time, she was so violent that we had to wear protective gear to even get near her. Now she’s a love bug. She still has a long way to go for a full, to the extent of her abilities, rehabilitation, but she’s come a lot farther than we expected this fast.

          • Empress of the Iguana People
            February 15, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

            do you take all of them on walks or just Charlotte? Your neighbors must ‘ve been very amused the first time they saw you guys doing that, lol

          • BeatriceC
            February 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

            We take 1-2 at a time. It’s difficult to keep everybody safe when you only have two people. And Charlotte still isn’t fully rehabbed, so if we’re doing something even a tiny bit different we prefer to just take her, and then take the others at different times. I’m also working with Leo and Oscar to accept flight harnesses so I can let their wings fully grow out and teach them to fly, but still keep them safe outside. Both Oscar and Leo came to me with clipped wings. I don’t like clipped wings as a general rule. MrC keeps Goofy’s wings clipped under the direction of the vet as an exception to the general rule based on past issues, and cannot get more than a controlled fall, so he’s not a flight risk.

          • BeatriceC
            February 15, 2017 at 7:02 pm #

            Oh, and yeah, if you ever need a crap load of attention, go take a one winged, naked macaw for a walk on a baby stroller. My neighbors are used to it now, but we do certainly get a lot of attention when we go to a park.

          • shay simmons
            February 15, 2017 at 7:05 pm #

            Your rescues are a great deal more colorful than my rescues.

          • BeatriceC
            February 15, 2017 at 7:17 pm #

            Probably louder and more obnoxious too. I love my birds, but man can they be trouble! And you can hear Charlotte and Oscar (goffin cockatoo) several blocks away when they get going. Leo (senegal) an Goofy (yellow nape amazon) can be heard about a block away. I do make sure to start teaching them manners straight away, but they’re still birds, so they do flock call during sunrise and sunset hours. My house is not anything close to quiet.

  3. Ayr
    February 12, 2017 at 7:03 pm #

    Every time I read an article or blog on this subject, I can’t help but think of my poor friend who nearly starved her son, because she wasn’t producing enough and she didn’t even realize it. It wasn’t until he was almost four months that she made the connection between that her pediatrician telling her she should give her son formula to help him gain weight. She is apparently not the brightest crayon in the box and highly unobservant when it comes to her body. Her first clue should have been that when she pumped she couldn’t get enough for one feeding. But she bought into the whole breast is best idea. Her son finally started walking at 18 months and barely weighs 25 lbs.; if there are any other repercussions as far as mental development, those have not manifested yet.

    • momofone
      February 12, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

      That is scary. I wonder if she was hearing that the pumped amount is not reflective of what a baby gets through nursing directly because the baby is more efficient at removing milk. I heard that ad nauseam when I was pumping and not able to get much.

      • Empliau
        February 12, 2017 at 8:26 pm #

        I was a complete failure at pumping. I rented a hospital-grade pump but could never get more than half a bag at a session. My daughter grew quite well, though (I was able to take some time off work so I was home with her for a good while), so sometimes it’s true about the baby being better than the pump.

        • momofone
          February 12, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

          My son wasn’t a newborn by then, so it wasn’t quite as big a deal (though I thought it was then), but I saw lots of people whose babies weren’t growing well get the same advice. It was true for me too, which I learned via a very expensive trip to a “breastfeeding doctor,” but this was in the vein of “just trust the magic.” It came from the same people who, when someone would say her partner was expressing concern about the baby’s lack of growth/concerns about breastfeeding, would say something along the lines of “You’re the mama! This has nothing to do with anyone but you and your baby!”

        • Heidi_storage
          February 13, 2017 at 8:43 am #

          Sometimes it isn’t, though; in my case, Medela and Ameda were much better at sucking me dry than were my first two kids. But your daughter growing well is the important indicator, right?

          • Empliau
            February 13, 2017 at 8:29 pm #

            I think so. It was sixteen years ago – she was always petite, but so is her dad’s side of the family. And she was healthy and met all her developmental milestones. (I say was because we are struggling with a chronic illness now – unrelated to both how she was fed and that she was/is fully vaccinated!)

          • Heidi_storage
            February 14, 2017 at 1:18 pm #

            Sorry to hear about the illness! Nothing wrong with small kiddos; my first two are little, despite drinking copious amounts of pumped milk as infants.

  4. Gæst
    February 12, 2017 at 12:57 pm #

    OT, but I’ll never find the post this came out of: Someone here recommended I try belly dancing as exercise given some physical limitations I have (I need no or very low impact and can’t afford a gym membership), and today I finally tried it. Definitely a workout. But my four year old son did NOT like me doing it AT ALL. He tried to convince me to turn it off ten minutes in, then tried to sit on me, then threw couch cushions into my dancing space, at which point I banished him to his room where he wept himself to sleep. At all times, I invited both children to *join* me and tried to make it fun. I don’t know what his problem is, but if mom doesn’t get in shape my chances of living with him forever (his frequently stated desire) are pretty slim.

    • Ayr
      February 12, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

      I use Gaia to watch/learn belly dancing. It is definitely a workout, even though I do yoga, very light due to arthritis, everyday, I was sore for three days after only twenty minutes of belly dancing. Your son’s reaction made me laugh, I’m glad my son can’t talk yet and still takes multiple naps.

    • Sean Jungian
      February 13, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

      I cut my hair very short and stopped dying it (letting it go its natural silver & gray) 8 years ago and my son STILL hasn’t really forgiven me for it lol.

      I have very limited mobility as well, and recently started doing “chair calisthenics”. They really give me a workout! My (now 15-yr old) helps me by timing my repetitions, so your son will get there lol.

      • Gæst
        February 13, 2017 at 1:11 pm #

        My hair is steadily going white as well, but so far no one has objected to that.

        I’ll look into chair calisthenics. The belly dancing did work well, too, at least for my current level of fitness. I have muscles that just ever so slightly sore today.

        • Sean Jungian
          February 13, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

          I got my first gray hair at age *14*!!!!! By age 30 I was salt & pepper and by 35 I was almost completely white lol. I dyed but it’s a lot to keep up with, and I preferred having it professionally done which is spendy. When I got laid off I had to give it up, and just never went back. The only downside is, I am often “mistaken” for my son’s grandmother rather than his mother 😉

          • Empress of the Iguana People
            February 13, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

            I’ve been mistaken for my son’s grandma and I only have a dozen or so!

          • Mishimoo
            February 15, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

            I started getting them at 10 but now that I’m nearly 29 and not living in an abusive situation they’ve disappeared? It’s weird, I didn’t mind the greys and now I kind of miss them.

          • Sean Jungian
            February 16, 2017 at 8:14 am #

            Wow, 10!

      • MayonnaiseJane
        February 17, 2017 at 9:03 am #

        I’m told I objected quite strongly as a toddler to my father sans-moustache. He’s never had it since though, so as an adult, looking at him in old pictures WITH the mustache, he looks almost comical. (Picture Juan Valdez, the Colombian Coffee dude.)

  5. StephanieJR
    February 12, 2017 at 10:46 am #

    When she said ‘white blood’, I heard ‘white blood cells’.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but, isn’t that what turns into pus?

  6. Tori
    February 11, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

    Look Meg, I liked it when you said that both women and babies matter, and what is really best is what is best for mother and baby. But then a few sentences later you bring it back to you breastfeeding your four year old? Way to make it all about you..

    • Sue
      February 11, 2017 at 10:41 pm #


      I thought that “breastfeeding a four year old like me” meant that SHE is the four-year-old. SO confusing 😉

      • Tori
        February 12, 2017 at 3:19 am #

        Or someone else’s four year old.. 😉

  7. Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild
    February 11, 2017 at 11:39 am #

    I thought mammaries were modified sweat glands. So breast milk is sweat, not blood.

    • myrewyn
      February 11, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

      That’s my understanding as well. Mmm sweat.

      • mabelcruet
        February 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm #

        It’s mum sweat, not mmm sweat!

  8. myrewyn
    February 10, 2017 at 11:07 pm #

    “Breastmilk is a living tissue which has been referred to as “white blood” as it is always changing depending on what your child needs, the entire time you breastfeed for. A living, changing tissue.”

    Everyone is grossed out by the milk is like blood part and completely ignoring the sentence ending in a preposition, followed by a fragment. There’s a definite pattern with the woo pushers not being able to write.

    • netrolller3d
      February 12, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

      As Churchill would’ve said, this is the kind of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.

    • LH Smith
      February 14, 2017 at 11:24 am #

      Milk cannot be a living tissue…

      (plural living tissues)

      (biology) Any tissue of a living organism containing cells that are being replaced when they die

  9. Squirrelly
    February 10, 2017 at 9:40 pm #

    This is the problem of turning what should be an academic issue into an emotional one. When people get emotionally (and financially!) invested in one outcome they have to resort to nonsense statements to defend it against criticism. If we are going to argue about breastfeeding let’s argue about the quality of data available or whether we are drawing the right conclusions from that info. “Women matter. Babies matter.” Um…yes? Now you are just making up random slogans.

  10. Stacey
    February 10, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

    And of course she slips in that she’s breastfeeding a four year old. Might as well toot your own horn while making a point about what matters.

    • Roadstergal
      February 10, 2017 at 5:55 pm #

      _A_ four year old, I noted, rather than _her_ four year old.

  11. Sean Jungian
    February 10, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

    Just for the record, calling it “white blood” does NOT sound cool.

    At all.


    • Sue
      February 10, 2017 at 9:19 pm #

      Since it’s a secretion from an exocrine gland, it’s more like sweat and tears than blood,

    • mabelcruet
      February 11, 2017 at 5:34 am #

      So if it’s white blood, does that make babies lacto-vampires?

      • mabelcruet
        February 11, 2017 at 5:35 am #

        And if its full of living maternal cells that they are cheerfully chomping down on, then they are also zombies. Lacto-vampiric zombies. I always knew babies were evil.

        • February 11, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

          I feel a costume idea for Spawn coming on….. 🙂

          • StephanieJR
            February 11, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

            How’s he doing? (I’ve been offline a little and haven’t read anything here in a while, thus missed any updates)

          • February 12, 2017 at 6:47 pm #

            He’s doing wonderfully. He’s down to a nasal cannula of oxygen now. The last thing he needs to do before coming home is learn to eat from a bottle. His rate of breathing per minute is too high right now to safely start having him eat from a bottle, but he’s having longer and longer periods of slower breathing everyday. I feel like we are certainly in the home-stretch although it will probably be several weeks to a month before he’s ready to come home.

          • mabelcruet
            February 13, 2017 at 6:34 am #

            Brilliant-I love hearing about Spawn. In our local neonatal intensive care unit they have a system where the babies getting better are moved out of the main central area and into ‘fattening up’ rooms (I’m sure their real name isn’t fattening up room!). Once you’re in the fattening up room you’re on your way out the door nearly! They don’t allow too many visitors into the main NICU, but whenever I visit the unit I can go and ogle the babies in the fat rooms.

          • Gene
            February 13, 2017 at 8:33 am #

            Officially we call it the level 2 nursery. Unofficially, it’s the garden: where babies feed and grow!

          • Amazed
            February 13, 2017 at 8:35 am #

            So happy to learn of Spawn’s progress. Thanks for the smile! Just a little more patience, you’ve been so patient already.Thumbs up for all three of you – and the extended family!

  12. Amazed
    February 10, 2017 at 3:15 pm #

    I suppose women who faced sufficient trouble to breastfeed might be more challenged to prove that it was worth it. God knows that my SIL feels like, WTF, everyone told me that she was supposed to be the healthiest kid around because I EBF? She didn’t really expect some superbaby but she didn’t expect a bunch of allergies either! And that’s with her having a good maternity leave and tackling breastfeeding soon enough. I feel for the women who faced greater problems to breastfeed and feel driven to prove the inherent worth of it. They might be particularly vulnerable to the Megs around.

  13. Empress of the Iguana People
    February 10, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

    anyone can call stuff anything they want but just because Dad called cow’s milk “moo-fruit” doesn’t make it the equivalent of a bowlful of grapes

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      February 10, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

      That “white blood” comment made my skin crawl

      • Amy M
        February 10, 2017 at 7:30 pm #

        Makes it sound like food for vegetarian vampires.

        • Seattle Mom
          February 11, 2017 at 1:50 am #

          I was reminded of choosing pizza with white sauce instead of red, or white wine instead of red.

      • Gæst
        February 12, 2017 at 1:03 pm #

        In the current political climate, I couldn’t read it without racial overtones.

  14. Kelly
    February 10, 2017 at 3:02 pm #

    I know that there is still a lot of work to be done but I am glad that the tide is starting to change at least in the media.

  15. Sheven
    February 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

    Remember when Meg wrote a post called, “You’re offended? You Feel Judged? Here’s Why I Don’t Give a Shit.”

    That was when the slogan “Breast is best,” was king and she was arguing from a position of power. Now “Fed is best,” is gaining ground fast and that power is slipping away. The fact that Meg is now feeling judged and is offended is very important.

    Lactivists can do wonderful things. They can put pressure on employers and on public spaces to make breastfeeding and pumping easier to do for women who want to feed their babies that way. They can donate money to fund lactation counselors for poor women who want lactation counselors. They can fund rigorous studies to show what does and does not promote lactation. (One of the major complaints from women is that one lactation counselor tells them one thing and the next tells them another.) Focus on that and the self-esteem will come whether you can breastfeed or not.

  16. lublyjubly
    February 10, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

    OT-regular contributor, but I’d rather post this as a guest. I heard today of an absolute disaster. Stand alone midwife unit, 60 miles from the nearest medically led unit. Healthy prim-midwife recording fetal heart tones, feeling the vertex, head descended nicely, everything going OK…oops, what’s this…a pair of testicles. Undiagnosed breech (very well documented vertex for hours and days before hand). Ambulance called, mother arrives at the medical unit, baby delivered in ED, not even time to get to delivery suite-flat on delivery. No response to resus. Evidence of infection (going through the notes-maternal pyrexia of 38.5 whilst in the standalone unit, written off because they’d turned the heating up because it was so cold out).

    • Heidi
      February 10, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

      That is incredibly sad.

    • Amazed
      February 10, 2017 at 2:35 pm #

      So very sad.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      February 10, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

      It just keeps happening over and over again.

    • swbarnes2
      February 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

      So the baby actually flipped? Or the midwife lied about the baby being head down?

      60 miles away…and no one in the building thinks about the ramifications of being more than an hour from the hospital?

      • Lublyjubly
        February 10, 2017 at 3:45 pm #

        No, we think the midwife failed to recognise the breech from the start and imagined she was feeling the head.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          February 10, 2017 at 4:47 pm #

          Ya think?

        • MaineJen
          February 10, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

          Or she just flat out lied on the medical record. I wouldn’t put it past a CPM to go “Oh, it’s perfectly safe to deliver a breech at home…we’ll just put ‘vertex’ in the record *wink wink* to cover our butts!”

        • Dr Kitty
          February 11, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

          I bet this was a system where women only get a booking scan and a 20 week anomaly scan and there is no imaging after 20 weeks.

          Clinical examinations for lie are not infallible.
          My OB in my first pregnancy and my MW in my second *both* mistook the bony butts of my babies for their head and told me the lie was breech, only for them to be proven wrong when they scanned me or tried to locate the foetal heart with a Doppler.

          Ignoring maternal pyrexia is just negligent.
          Even in a 28C room, you shouldn’t have a 38.5C fever.

          • swbarnes2
            February 11, 2017 at 4:31 pm #

            Seems to me when the hospital is an hour away you need to use the tech that gives you the right answer 100% of the time. If for no other reason to have the photographic evidence of “see, the baby was vertex and it turned, we didn’t negligently or deliberately try to do a primip breech birth”.

          • mabelcruet
            February 11, 2017 at 5:08 pm #

            I was involved in a case a few years ago-maternal death due to haemorrhage 36 weeks. Mum had presented on several occasions complaining of dizziness and collapse episodes. On each admission she was scanned-the placental location was recorded each time, there was adequate fluid, bump was measuring to dates, all seemed normal. Until she collapsed and died. At the autopsy, it was a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, the placenta was wrapped around the bowel and mesentery, the baby was encased in a decidual shell, absolutely no fluid anywhere.

            I have no idea what they thought they were seeing on scan, but it certainly wasn’t an intrauterine placenta and baby.

          • Dr Kitty
            February 12, 2017 at 5:50 pm #

            Uhhhh- was that a Northern Irish case? There was a very similar one here.

            Because the changes they brought in to prevent that happening again is that locally obstetric SHOs aren’t allowed to scan women in admissions unless a Reg or Consuktant supervises.

            But sometimes that means women don’t get scanned at all…

            So… not necessarily better…

          • mabelcruet
            February 14, 2017 at 5:31 am #

            Yes, we had a cluster of maternal deaths in a very short space of time, thankfully none recently. A couple were indirect-berry aneurysm and SAH, disseminated malignancy (mum complained of back ache during pregnancy which turned out to be bone mets), but also direct deaths-placenta percreta and massive PPH, sepsis, and a thrombotic microangiopathy that led to arrest).

            But I do worry about scans and about sequential measurements. 70% of our stillbirths are either small for dates or growth restricted. And yet the vast majority that come to me are not recognised as such, or their weights are over estimated. I get the personalised growth charts, and it’s common for the bump to be measured along the 50th or the 75th or whatever, and the actual weight turns out to be less than the 3rd. I don’t know if folk are just going along with what the last person thought, and I’ve not had a clear answer as to what happens if the weight is significantly over estimated. I know bump measurements aren’t an exact science, and it’s harder in the third trimester and with obese mums, but sometimes the babies are weighing 1000 g less than their estimate. Is it a training issue? But in some units if the bump is ok, the mum gets no further scans. If the bump isn’t being picked up as being small, then we are going to carry on missing IUGR.

          • Who?
            February 14, 2017 at 5:48 am #

            Back in the early nineties I was promised a nice 6lb or so baby-twice-and went ten days overdue and got 8lb6oz and 8lb8oz. Lucky for all of us I’m from what is referred to as ‘a line of good breeders’ and everyone was okay.

            The scans back then weren’t as good as they seem to be now, but back when measuring was all they had, they got it wrong. 100% of the time, in my case.

          • Karen in SC
            February 12, 2017 at 7:08 pm #

            OMG, could the baby had lived had there been discovery and a timely c-section earlier? How tragic.

          • lubyjubly
            February 11, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

            Got it in one-no scans done other than the routine anomaly one.

          • Dr Kitty
            February 13, 2017 at 7:59 am #


            A study of 1633 participants in an Australian tertiary obstetric clinic at 35-37 weeks found clinical examination alone missed 30% of non-cephalic presentations…

            “Ultrasonography identified non-cephalic presentation in 130 (8%) women, comprising 103 (6.3%) with breech and 27 (1.7%) with transverse or oblique lie. Sensitivity of clinical examination for detecting non-cephalic presentation was 70% (95% confidence interval 62% to 78%) and specificity was 95% (94% to 96%). The positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 55% and 97%, respectively.

            Clinical examination is not sensitive enough for detection and timely management of non-cephalic presentation.”

            In other words, “a surprise breech” may genuinely have been a surprise to the MW involved…

    • fishcake
      February 10, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

      Horror and heartbreak.

    • myrewyn
      February 10, 2017 at 6:24 pm #

      There was a stand alone birthing facility SIXTY MILES FROM A HOSPITAL??? I thought the point of those things was supposed to be easy transport to a medical facility.

    • Squirrelly
      February 10, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

      That is so awful and so very unnecessary. That poor kiddo and family.

  17. Amazed
    February 10, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

    And of course, Jaye Hines is there, whiteknighting her hero. She wouldn’t say anything when there are other matters discussed but she’s lying in waiting, ready to leap at the milky woman’s defense.

    Meg saved her sanity? Might it be because Jaye is the same crazy asshole as Meg? She comes across as a Meg wannabe.

  18. Guest
    February 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm #


    Just saw this, might be of interest to the community here – Propublica and NPR are trying to investigate why maternal mortality is rising in America


    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
      February 10, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

      Possibly they should start here: https://www.acog.org/-/media/Departments/Public-Health-and-Social-Issues/Maternal-Mortality-In-The-US.pdf?la=en

      Note also that maternal mortality in the US is higher among African America women, irrespective of education level or income level

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
        February 10, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

        Of course there’s also the fact that in 2003 the death certificate form was changed to add a specific question that asked if the person was or had recently been, pregnant. SO data started being captured that had not been captured before.

    • MaineJen
      February 10, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

      Saw that in the news this morning…I’m not going anywhere near that comment section.

  19. Roadstergal
    February 10, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

    “The only thing that is “best” is what’s best for mother and baby.”

    Now, if only there were a catchy slogan to capture that sentiment, Meg. Oooh! How about ‘fed is best,’ which leaves the details of the feeding to what’s best for mother and baby?

  20. Madtowngirl
    February 10, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

    “You know, the one that assumes us “lactavists” are all just sitting around trying to find ways to MAKE women breastfeed even if they can’t make enough… because ya’ll know that is what we do, right? *sarcasm*.”

    I get so tired of this lactivist gaslighting bullshit. They say formula should be available by prescription only, that CPS should be called on formula feeding mothers, that we’re “shit moms,” formula is poison, etc etc etc. But when you call them out, they’re “not saying moms should breastfeed even if they can’t make enough.” Bullshit. Bull freaking shit.

    • Gennie
      February 10, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

      What do you expect from a lunatic who boasts she hasn’t slept in over 10 years??

      • Amy M
        February 10, 2017 at 7:35 pm #

        I can’t understand that mindset, of “sleep is for the weak.” That’s just dumb. People need sleep. Going without doesn’t make you stronger or better, it makes you crazy. It really is sad that Meg’s entire self worth seems to derive from breastfeeding and martyring herself to it. Overdoing one bodily function and underdoing another.

        • Gennie
          February 11, 2017 at 3:28 pm #

          I agree. Lack of sleep is torture. When I sleep poorly, I complain. You won’t find me bragging. Meg boarded the crazy train a long time ago…

          • February 12, 2017 at 6:40 am #

            Lack of adequate sleep will affect milk supply faster than just about everything else.

        • Sean Jungian
          February 13, 2017 at 9:44 am #

          ‘I can’t understand that mindset, of “sleep is for the weak.”‘

          Ugh, me neither. I live in a rural area and it is some kind of competition among people out here to humblebrag about how little sleep they get. Every other FB post seems to be about that – and it is always women doing that. Usually these are “farm wives” who stay home. Which is weird because I don’t think anyone around here would say a farm wife doesn’t work.

          I love to sleep. I sleep a good 7-8 hours a night, and on the weekends there’s nothing I like better than going back to bed around 9:00 am for a second round. Nobody HAS to be *that* busy.

        • MayonnaiseJane
          February 17, 2017 at 9:09 am #

          I fear for her kids. You just KNOW she’s going to hang all this martyring over their heads later in life, as if it was something THEY demanded of her.

    • Young CC Prof
      February 10, 2017 at 6:43 pm #

      Oh, yeah, you’re allowed to breastfeed if you don’t make enough. They’ll just refuse to admit you aren’t making enough until the baby develops serious complications, then blame you for doing it WRONG and proudly proclaim that if you’d only had the right support, you would have made oceans of milk.

    • Emilie Bishop
      February 10, 2017 at 10:31 pm #

      That is my #1 complaint about Meg–she’s a passive-aggressive gaslighter extraordinaire. All her writings back track and wind all around horrible judgments against mothers who don’t breastfeed for years on end, then she claims she’s just doing what is best for her kids and why are people judging *her*? If she could be sincere about helping women navigate all available options or as out right nasty as her underlying message, at least she’d be consistent. But that will likely never happen, so…

      • Empress of the Iguana People
        February 11, 2017 at 7:48 am #

        There was an old commercial (shampoo?) where a woman said “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” I guess Mom had enough of it because she replied once “No, I hate you because you’re obnoxious”

        • fiftyfifty1
          February 11, 2017 at 7:59 am #

          The correct reply to “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” is “Don’t worry, there’s no danger of that.”
          But I like your mom’s reply too.

        • Empliau
          February 12, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

          Those old commercials were something. I have vivid memories of the Wisk commercials where someone (always a woman, I think) shames the Wife for her Husband’s *ring around the collar*. My mother used to yell at the humiliated and shrinking Wife, “TELL YOUR HUSBAND TO WASH HIS NECK!”

    • Petticoat Philosopher
      February 10, 2017 at 10:56 pm #

      Remember that part in Disney’s “Cinderella” when the wicked stepmother tells Cinderella that of course she can go to the ball if she gets all her chores done first. Then she piles chore after chore onto her so that it will be impossible for her to finish in time. But she never said she couldn’t go!

      Kind of a weird analogy perhaps, but that’s what hardcore lactivists like this remind me of. Of course they would never say that women can’t formula feed if they genuinely are physically unable to breastfeed or have low supply! They just scoff at and dismiss any woman who claims that that is her situation. It’s clearly not because she can’t, it’s just because she’s Doing It Wrong some how–not often enough, not taking the right supplements, giving up too early etc. But they would never say that a woman who genuinely can’t EBF shouldn’t use formula. If they ever meet such a woman, that is.

      • Ennis Demeter
        February 12, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

        That’s classic goal post moving.

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