Lactivist heartlessness on full display during Hurricane Harvey

4065889 - the phrase omg wtf done in letterpress type

Pardon my language, but what the fuck is wrong with these people?

Millions in Texas have lost everything; they are crammed into shelters, wet, dirty, hungry. They are desperately trying to comfort and care for small children ripped from their routine with no idea when anyone can go back to their homes or if there is anything to go back to. Lactivists, observing this tragedy, have decided that this is the perfect time to … GLOAT.

Consider this abomination from La Leche League International:

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Flooding? Power Outage?

Breastfeeding is perfect for all kinds of weather and can save you from having to go to the store during a flood or dangerous wind conditions. When power and water supplies are impacted in an emergency, breastfeeding can be a lifesaver.

Or how about this lie packed gem from a Facebook page set up specifically to “protect” breastfeeding during Harvey?

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Actually stress CAN cause milk supply to drop precipitously. So can limited access to food and water.

Moreover, women running for their lives don’t have time to breastfeed continuously and may — shocking I know — have other children as well as disabled or elderly relatives they need to provide for as well.

In the midst of tragedy, lactivists have decided that this is the perfect time to gloat.

The motto of the Facebook page is S.A.F.E.: Support, Assess, Feed, Empower.

Pardon my language again, but have they lost their fucking minds? In the midst of a natural disaster, the priorities should be Rescue, Feed, Shelter. It doesn’t matter how babies are fed in a natural disaster, only that they ARE fed.

What are lactivists trying to accomplish?

It isn’t feeding babies. Babies that are aren’t being breastfed and currently starving for lack of formula can’t get breastmilk since breastfeeding isn’t a faucet you can turn on and off at will. It isn’t protecting breastfed babies whose mothers have experienced a decrease in supply because of the extraordinary stress of life threatening events since they don’t have access to anything that could help them increase their supply. And it isn’t protecting breastfed babies who are doing well with exclusive breastfeeding since they don’t need any help.

The folks at LLL and Safely Fed USA are gloating, imagining that their babies would be protected from hunger during a natural disaster. It’s the equivalent — in heartlessness and self-absorption — of boat manufacturers chiding those who are drowning for lack of a boat: Boats are perfect for hurricanes and can save you from having to be rescued by others. In the midst of this hurricane don’t you wish you had a boat?

And pardon my language one more time, but what the fuck is wrong with the folks at the American Academy of Pediatrics?

They’ve given us this piece of garbage.

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Pro tip: The middle of a natural disaster is not the time to wax poetic about the virtues of breastfeeding. Pediatricians should not be supporting breastfeeding; they should be supporting babies.

Advocate for optimal feeding options for orphaned infants, including HIV- donor milk.

Have the folks at AAP lost their collective minds? When people are drowning in the streets, there is no way they can access donor milk. It’s the equivalent of insisting that starving older children an adults should restrict themselves to organic food or not eat all while homeless.

… Powered formula is a last resort.

Bullshit! Powdered formula prepared with clean water is equally effective as breastmilk in keeping babies in disaster areas alive.

Lactivists, LLL and the AAP should be ashamed of themselves!

Here’s a thought: if lactivists are so concerned about babies being deprived of breastmilk during Harvey, why don’t they head down to Houston area shelters and breastfeed as many babies as you can.

Male or not currently lactating female? Learn to lactate. No doubt you could do it if you try hard enough.

Oh, right. You’re not interested in sacrificing to help others, just gloating in the face of those experiencing tragedy.

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    Whole Women’s Health is donating free abortion services to survivors of Hurricane Harvey whose plans were disrupted by the storm. This includes any traveling or lodging costs to get to one of their clinics located in Austin, San Antonio, McAllen, or Fort Worth.

    https://jezebel.com/whole-womans-health-is-offering-free-abortions-to-women-1801959195

  • Are you nuts

    I live in Houston and am in lots of Houston moms groups. The good news is, none of this garbage made it to any of the groups I follow. I did see several moms ask for advice on supply that had dramatically dropped. I also saw dozens if not hundreds of people asking where they could drop off water, diapers, formula…

  • KeeperOfTheBooks

    One last thing:
    “HIV negative donor milk.” Really?! So, not only have you lost everything you own in these floods, and quite possibly your job as well, but you also need to drop $4/ounce at the milk bank for your kid’s food. When oftentimes, you don’t even have a way to store it.
    In what universe are these lunatics living?!
    Re concerns about formula contaminations: all of the local shelters have hot, running water, and so much bottled water that they’re literally turning more away for the moment. While RTF formula is, of course, a better option than powdered in this scenario, powdered isn’t itself a bad option for someone in any Houston-area shelter I’ve heard of.

  • KeeperOfTheBooks

    Okay. I live in the Houston area. My house is less than a mile from where they were hauling people out of 8′-10′ of cold, filthy flood water (yes, I, DH, and kids are just fine, and no, we weren’t personally flooded). I was down at the high water rescue point for hours last Monday, bringing food, blankets, etc to people getting offloaded from rescue boats with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Many were barefoot. All were cold, wet, hungry, and more than a little shell-shocked.
    What the flood victims need is the help offered by the awesome people I saw at the high water point:
    Grandmotherly types wrapping the kids in blankets, giving them cookies (oh noes, the sugarz!) and telling them everything was going to be alright now.
    The elderly white Texan gentleman who gave an African immigrant father of two a hug as he got off the boat, and begged him and his family to come back to his house a few blocks away–“I’m all alone in that big house, plenty of room, you can get hot showers and I’ll make you all a meal, you have to come!”
    The civilians who, even after the fire and police departments had to stop doing S&R due to the current capsizing their relatively small boats, launched their own, larger boats in order to risk their lives to save those of complete strangers.
    The Chinese family who kept their restaurant open every single day during the hurricane, and singlehandedly saved a LOT of people’s food and medicine when power went out in some subdivisions by running their ice maker nonstop and distributing bags full of it.
    These people have been through more than enough (literal) shit without getting preached to by some assholes (no doubt writing from a nice, warm, dry office) on how they’re Being Flood Victims Wrong. They don’t need preaching. They need food, shelter, counseling, and a return to as-normal-as-possible-as-fast-as-possible, as well as being surrounded by the sort of wonderful people I described above who will, unlike these breastfeeding nutters, actually offer practical help and a kind word when it’s needed.

    • namaste863

      Hells to the yes!

      *I am glad that your home and family are unharmed.

  • Allie

    OT: Dr Amy, did you see this discussion in The Guardian? I believe Mariella goes wrong as she fails to differentiate between the levels of risk involved in VBAC (acceptable under medical supervision in hospital) and HBAC (crazy dangerous). Maybe you could weigh in? https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/03/my-nephew-is-disabled-and-its-all-his-mothers-fault-mariella-frostrup

  • CSN0116

    OT: can we please expedite the Fed is Best message and mission?

    This one took the cake for even me today: I provided a formula feeding consultation to 3-week-old twins who were down 17% (SEVENTEEN PERCENT!) of their birth weights. They had been to the pediatrician repeatedly and mom told, “they’ve lost a lot but look healthy; keep nursing.”

    I shudder to think of the long term ramifications of these 3 weeks on these boys’ lives. Mom was beyond happy to begin formula top offs, which in her case is about 25% breast milk and 75% formula.

    My heart hurts that this happens in the US in 2017.

    • yentavegan

      We can examine the misinformation conspiring to have tricked parents into allowing their 3 week old twins to dip so far below their birthweight. Let’s start with the lie that maternal iv fluids during labor artificially inflate the newborn birth weight.

    • MI Dawn

      The pediatrician told them this??? OMG. I would definitely have a talk with that office staff and MD.

    • Amazed

      SEVENTEEN percent? What the whatting what? A new pediatrician is in order, methinks, before this one manages to finish her kids off next time with inadequate advice on something else.

      Sorry but I’ve come to regard woo believers as generally untrustworthy. Who knows what scam they will fall for next time? Am I supposed to Google educate myself each time I need a service they provide so I would know if they are fucking me over with their vulnerability to woo?

      I am reminded of Dr Becky Whathername was who took pride in reducing formula feeding mothers to tears. I would never trust such a provider with ANYTHING.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        SEVENTEEN percent?

        At three weeks!

        You know, the point where they should have recovered any initial losses and be gaining on top of their birth weight.

        The babies were starving!

        • Amazed

          But they looked healthy! Exactly what a well-meaning, a little dim old lady would say. It’s horrifying to hear it come from a pediatrician. They LOOK healthy?

          You know, about a week ago I had my eyes checked for a new glasses. One look at the machine, and the doctor said, and I quote: “Eye inflammation, low BP, constant headache”. My jaw dropped. She got the BP and headache thing just by looking at the machine checking my eyes.

          Err, isn’t the USA supposed to be first world? This pediatricial should have better tools for assessment than his “obviously faulty” eyesight?

          • CSN0116

            Yep. Who looks at a baby and deems it medically healthy?!

          • Amazed

            A woo believer. In this case, one who happened to be a pediatrician. The very idea makes me shit my pants.

          • Empliau

            I have a low BP and near-constant headache. Have been 90/55 for decades. Is there something that can be done about this?

          • Amazed

            I am not sure. In fact, my headaches are considerably less numerous, now that I wear brackets. Turned out that the orthodontist was right. I guess it’s now just the BP screwing with my head. I’ve never been prescribed any drugs for low BP but my love for coffee and salt might be just my body trying to make the best of the situation.

            Actually, the ophtalmologist told me that I should keep myself adequately hydrated. I opened my mouth to tell her that I always have… and realized it had not been the case this summer at all. Anyway, good hydration is unlikely to make the problems disappear. It never did before.

            I’m now using the moisturing eye drops she prescribed. Hope they help. If you find something that might relieve the condition, please drip a word.

          • Empliau

            I have been this way all my life. Are we twins? I have been drinking coffee since age 3, and a friend caught me sprinkling salt on potato chips at age 5. Migraines started before kindergarten, also, but I had a couple concussions before that so who knows. I do hydrate obsessively, since I live in a hot climate. Doesn’t make a dent in the headaches.

            I haven’t found much help for low blood pressure – since it doesn’t seem to kill you, no one seems to be studying it. I have heard elsewhere that it’s linked to headache, but no one seems to know if it’s causation or correlation. Oh, and my eyes are weird – I’ve had anisocoria since birth (it got better, but recurs during migraine). My ophthalmologist wants an MRI of my brain, but the insurance doesn’t want to pay for it, so no.

      • CSN0116

        This mom was non-woo. She’s a first-timer and wanted to breastfeed, in some capacity, but was always open to alternative arrangements. She was simply too trusting of her health care providers. To a fault, she knows that now, but couple sleep deprivation, with first-time jitters, with being overwhelmed — and it’s plausible.

        And the shit advice didn’t come from a lactation consultant or a mommy blog – this is a board certified pediatrician at a large, mainstream practice. When the twins hit 17%, the pediatrician scolded her for letting her babies cry too much and burn too many calories (“the crying caused the weight loss”). The pediatrician still never told her outright to supplement with formula, just to feed them to get them to stop crying.

        At that point she felt compelled to feed formula on her own and reached out to me.

        • Amazed

          I was not talking about the mom. I was talking about the woo believer. The pediatrician. He/she is fucking dangerous and once they could shit on their medical education like this, I can never know what else they will shit on it for.

          A new pediatrician is in order.

          • CSN0116

            Ahhh, I see 😉

            The fact that lactivism has permeated pediatrics to this extent is sickening. And I know her story is but one of thousands.

          • Daleth

            A new pediatrician is in order, and so is:

            (1) a letter to the pediatrician’s practice (assuming she’s not solo) stating what she did, why it was wrong (e.g., a 17% weight loss is not ok per APA guidelines — can someone here point us to the exact guideline that’s at issue here?), and that that’s the reason the patient left; and

            (2) a complaint to the licensing board, also referencing that 17% weight loss is NOT OK per guidelines.

          • Amazed

            Oh yes. Definitely.

    • Heidi

      Can we see about not letting that pediatrician practice?! I can’t even imagine our pediatrician letting my son drop to under 5 lb 5 oz, which is what a 17% loss would have been. He started out on the small side, which twins usually do too. The combination of starting out small and losing 7% got us weight checks every couple of days. The doctor wasn’t dramatic or anything about it, but he did want to make sure my child gained. He was all about quantity of appropriate nourishment, and never made us feel bad for needing formula.

      • CSN0116

        She is leaving the practice. The long-term effects that will not be known for years scare me.

    • Merrie

      That is so awful, those poor sweet babies. 🙁 I hope this doesn’t cause any long-term problems for them.

  • mabelcruet

    OT, but Cathy Warwick is back in the news again today, claiming that we have frightened women into believing that its too risky to have babies when you’re older. So does that mean she’s going to consider a 50 year old expectant mum as simply a variant of ‘normal’?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4849528/Stop-scaring-older-mums-risks-having-baby.html

    • Heidi_storage

      Far be it from me to disagree with Ms. Warwick, but the most prevalent message I see nowadays is that having children when you’re older is a normal, good thing.

      Anyway, telling women about the greater risk of adverse outcomes is not “frightening” them, but empowering them with accurate information. (I do not believe in “empowerment” that is based on lies.) My mom had me at 43 and she and I were both fine, but I absolutely do want to know the risks of getting pregnant in my upper 30s/40s so that I can make an informed decision about my family planning, prenatal care, etc.

      Now, any doctor (or midwife) who tells a 40-year-old woman that she’s too old to be a mother is stepping way out of line…but do doctors really do that much nowadays?

      • Dr Kitty

        No, but we do tell primiparas who are over 45 that their chance of needing a CS is over 50%…which is probably *not* considered empowering.

        However, most people who are having their first baby at 45 have usually gone down a long, hard road full of disappointments first, and want a *baby* not a self actualising birth experience, so it goes down a lot better than Cathy might think.

        The only time I can think of when OBs were actually very much “this is very risky, this is looking very unlikely to have a good outcome” in an older mum was a lady 47 year old lady pregnant for the first time with IVF high order multiples*- all of whom appeared to be growing at very different rates, and I’m afraid the gloomy predictions turned out to be correct.

        * I do not have kind thoughts about private IVF clinics in Eastern who implant more than two embryos.

        • Empress of the Iguana People

          Oh man, that poor woman and her family. She must’ve been so desperate. Hope she and at least one of her babies survived ok.
          Yeah, IVF has advanced enough that my docs at least only do 2 at a time.

    • Lilly de Lure

      Oh great – for someone who claims to be on the side of women Cathy Warwick doesn’t seem to trust us to handle reality does she? Any information that could conceivably reflect poorly on her chosen method of doing things should not be presented to women lest it scare us but anything that reflects poorly on choices she looks down on – why women MUST have that in order to have “all the facts”. A cynic might almost believe Mrs Warwick is less interested in women’s health and well being than in propagandising for her pet cause.

  • Zornorph
    • Chi

      Wow. What a bunch of self-righteous drivel – the columnist, not the woman asking the question.

      She says that no one could have predicted the outcome. Um yes, yes they did. It STATES that the person’s sister in law CHOSE a homebirth AGAINST recommendations from her doctor.

      Also I want to know where the columnist is getting her bullshit stats from. Homebirth has been PROVEN to be much riskier than hospital birth. But hey, don’t let facts stand in the way of self-righteousness right?

      Ugh people are fucking crazy.

      • Lilly de Lure

        If you look closely she’s played a bait and switch – her stats actually refer to VBACs in general (including those in hospital) NOT HBACS which this was. Dishonest and shockingly blase about lifetime damage done to a newborn – I can’t help wondering if she would be so defensive if the mother had chugged down a bottle of wine, strapped the kid into the back seat of the car to drive him home and he had been brain-damaged in the resultant crash?

        • maidmarian555

          I found the information that the hospital sent me out was like that though. All the info relating to VBACs and safety are only actually relevant if you’re in a hospital, having CFM and are able to be literally wheeled into surgery at a moment’s notice. It isn’t clear, unless you really look into it, that none of this applies to any other sort of birth experience. Also, none of the provided stats apply to individual risk. There was vague mention that if you were over 35, had a BMI of over 30 or had ‘other issues’ that your chance of having a successful VBAC might be reduced but no indication of by how much and just that you’d need to speak to your provider (who may or may not be an NCB loon). It wouldn’t surprise me if the mother, referred to in the OP’s letter, didn’t actually know how risky a homebirth was. Sure, a doctor may have advised against it, but did the community midwives? Did she even get to see a consultant more than once? Was she sent unbiased, factual written information? Or was it recommended that she visit pro-VBAC, pro-homebirth websites and ‘make her own mind up’? Having been through all of this and having had to really fight for information and for an elective c-section, I actually have some sympathy for the mother. Without knowing everything about the individual case I can say with some certainty that the system certainly encourages mums to opt for VBACs and homebirth. Mariella is just parroting the party line, I doubt she’s done anything other than a quick Google of VBAC stats and has churned out what you’ll find on the surface if you don’t bother to dig deeper.

        • Dr Kitty

          She’s just using the risk of uterine rupture for a start, not the 20-30% risk of requiring an emergency CS in any VBAC, nor the increased risk of foetal distress in VBAC, nor the risk foetal distress won’t be detected with intermittent monitoring, nor the risk that once the foetal distress has been detected the delay in getting from home to OR and CS will lead to disability is much higher…

          • Azuran

            They always do that. They generally only talk about 2 things: Their lower c-section rate (because c-section are evil and avoiding them is the most important thing) and death rate. Because death rates are generally low no matter what you do (thanks to the possibility of transfer) and even when they do admit their higher death rate, they immediately dismiss them as ‘extremely low, so it won’t happen to you’.

            But they don’t explain that their still ‘low’ rate of death is because OBs often manage to safe those babies in spite of the horrible care the midwives gave. It would be much higher if all homebirthers stayed home until the end no matter what. They don’t tell you about transfer rate and how long and excruciating it can be (just transferring from the bed to the gurney was horrible, and I had like 5 people helping me, I can’t imagine transferring from home) They don’t tell you about rates of disability. And they don’t do individual care or risk assessment. To them, everyone has the same success chance of VBAC regardless of why they had a c-section, Doesn’t matter if you have GD (not that they’d test you for it) breech, twins, ridiculously large babies, 1,2 or 5 previous c-section. Everyone is the same.

        • Sarah

          I was coming here to post this! Wondering if it was dishonest or a genuine mistake.

        • lsn

          Or even just not bothered strapping him in because “it was just down the street and the odds of crashing were really low.”

          Yeah I can’t see the columnist being so “well it was the mother’s decision and you need to put aside your anger issues and just get over it” about that one.

    • Lilly de Lure

      Indeed – I think she knows she’d get one too – normally guardian advice columns like this are open for comments but not this one . . .

      • lsn

        There’s definitely comments on the piece, I’m halfway through reading an impassioned argument about how all this could have nothing at all to do with homebirth, it’s a medical conspiracy to make women afraid of birth! and I’m only on page 2 of 43.

        • Lilly de Lure

          Ouch yes – they must have opened them up after I posted.

          • Yes, I wanted to comment, but at the time it was impossible.

          • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

            They’re gone again. Or very well hid.

    • Who?

      Mariella is tedious beyond words.

      It’s an impossible situation though, and being cranky at the mother, while ignoring her sibling’s part in the decision and outcome, is not a useful way for the letter writer to spend her life. How she moves forward is her choice. Which is where M was going with the advice, before veering into irrelevancies and landing where she did.

      That actress from Pretty in Pink was much better at advice, IMO.

      • lsn

        I felt that the aunt was justifiably (assuming her story is accurate) angry and also possibly channelling grief about her nephew’s disability into anger. She’s looking for someone to blame, and unfortunately there is someone readily available. Agreed that long term this is not going to help going forward, and I wish the columnist had focused on pointing the LW in the direction of services she could talk to to help come up with strategies to deal with it and mend her family relationships.

        • Azuran

          Well, she’s not really ‘looking’ for someone to blame. The parents (although generally, choice of birth are mostly the women’s choice, so I understand that she blames the mother) are very clearly the cause of her nephew’s disability. Her anger toward the mother is just as justifiable as if the mother had willingly put her baby in a car without a car seat and crashed into a tree.

          That being said, that poor kid is going to need all the help and support it can get, and constantly hating on the mother isn’t going to change anything or help anyone. There isn’t an easy solution to this, overall, if she wants to be a part of her nephew’s life, she’s gonna have to forgive and forget.

          • Amazed

            It’s still unclear if constant hating on the mother is going to be a constant trend. I was left with the impression that everything is very new to everyone involved. It’s only natural for emotions to run high, from all sides. If things keep going like this, then yes, there’s going to be a problem. Feel whatever you like but FFS, keep your trap shut when you no longer have the excuse of a fresh shock. After all, this is the child’s mother we’re talking about.

            This said, I really don’t understand why everyone insists that the kid is going to need all the help and support it can get as if he’s already older than a toddler and needs support other than his immediate family, so he’s incredibly hurt already. How many kids need help and support as babies? They need cuddling, changing, feeding, this kind of things. It’s parents who need support and help, not the baby who is too young to understand if, as far as I can gather, the damage is a brain one and not some problem with his body. Plenty of time for the shock to wear off and the relationship to be restored… if it was ever this good to start with. We don’t know this.

            All in all, my take of the situation was that we had a valid case of anger that in the long run needs to go away, and a columnist who sucks at her job and loves massaging stats. I actually wonder if MF has not said fuck you to medical advice as well and had a homebirth. She sounded like a homebirth zombie all right. The Guardian made a huge mistake with her and I’ll be very disappointed if the sucker did not get told off for sucking at her damned column.

          • Azuran

            I didn’t really meant that the baby needs support right now, I meant on the long term, depending on the severity of his condition. And if she destroys her relationship with the parents right now, it’s very doubtful that she’ll be able to just walk back into the child’s life, out of nowhere, in 5 years.
            Meaning if she wants to eventually be a part of this baby’s life, she’ll have to get over with, no matter how justified her anger is.
            In the long run, the mother is her step sister, while the baby is her actual blood relative. Although they are very nice and supportive, I don’t doubt that my step sisters and step mothers prefer my SO and my daughter over me, since I’m not a blood relative. My mother and grandmother also like my SO pretty much, but they sure cares a lot more about me and my daughter than they care about him. That’s just normal. So it’s normal for the aunt to be more concerned for her nephew (and be more forgiving of her brother) than she does about her step sister.

      • All Mariella had to say, really, is that, in certain circumstances, a trial of labor which results in a VBAC, in a properly equipped hospital is a reasonable plan, but there is NO way an HBAC should be attempted. That the SIL may not be able to convince her relative is entirely possible, and that her anger is justified, but the SIL is powerless beyond a certain point. What Mariella wrote gives the distinct impression that she does not understand even when a VBAC is possible, or the danger of an HBAC. In other words, she ought not to respond to such a question.

        • Who?

          She would have been better laying off the medical elements altogether.

          If she’d stuck to her knitting, acknowledged the horrible situation and stressed the importance of the big picture, she would have been closer to the mark.

          She can’t resist showing off.

          • Of course, in my day, no one who had had ANY medical or obstetrical problems in a previous pregnancy was allowed to have a home delivery, period. The woman would simply have not fit the necessary criteria for “low risk”.

          • Who?

            Better days, by the sound of it.

          • I think so. There were no direct entry midwives back then, everyone was a registered nurse doing a postgraduate course; the protocols for vetting patients was very rigorous, the standards of care were very clearly spelled out, and there was excellent emergency transfer and backup.

            In fact, it was not very easy to accumulate the necessary minimum number of homebirths during the three months we students were “on the district”, between having a lack of eligible prospective candidates, and the reluctance of many who had delivered previously at home to have another. It sounds very romantic, but most women found the resulting chaos after the birth exhausting, since one criterion was that only second, third, or fourth babies could be born at home, which meant an immediate return to childcare and housework. One woman declined, saying that she wanted a hospital birth “so I can get a bit of rest!”

    • Amazed

      She does. Then again, at Dr Amy’s Facebook page Dr Amy’s reaction wasn’t much different. The SIL was “self-righteous”. It simply isn’t possible for someone to be genuinely upset about a child not their own and OMG, going overboard! I guess it’s just because I am childfree and therefore incapable of unselfish love that I can easily see myself harbouring the same feelings towards my SIL AND my amoeba of a brother if they had caused a preventable permanent damage to Amazing Niece. I would have still taken care of her as I did the last two days when they needed rest, I would have still loved her all the same, but I would have been angry because I’m self-righteous, as Dr Amy puts it. Personally, I call it being her aunt and not a family friend, not a lady working in a children charity or actually, a concerned OB/Gyn from another country on the internet.

  • Interested in hearing people thoughts on Alex Wubbels, the Utah nurse that was arrested.
    How common is this kind of thing in the USA?

    • anh

      Not very, fortunately.

      But we face problems related to a lack of police accountability particularly when it comes to their actions against POC

      • Wasnomofear

        Don’t we ever!

      • Roadstergal

        Yes, for sure – when I saw that video, I was angry and horrified, but my second thought was – how often does this happen to a POC HCP and go undocumented and unreported?

    • Heidi_storage

      Yes–I think that the problem is gaining visibility with the ubiquity of video cameras and social media, which is good.

    • Gene

      Abuse of ED staff is INCREDIBLY common. Less common for a cop to do it. I’ve had a few police be snarky to me, but it’s rare.

      Abuse of staff by patients and family? Daily. And that means verbal, physical, and even sexual assault. It’s a dangerous job in many respects.

      • mabelcruet

        Abuse by family members is very common-one of my colleagues who worked in pediatric ICU was choked and threatened ‘You did my kid and now I’m going to do yours’. A nurse in our ED ended up with a ruptured spleen after being kicked in the abdomen by a drunk as she was trying to clean him up. Completely unacceptable, but aggressive behaviour from relatives is perhaps understandable given the heightened emotions, worry, fears etc. Generally the police here (UK) are very much on the side of the medics especially in ED, we’re all front line staff. Quite a few ED have emergency buttons connected to the local police station.

        For a police officer to behave like this-I’ve never seen or heard of anything similar, certainly not where I am. Complete over-reaction and abuse of position.

        • Gene

          I do understand, but the line is crossed when it becomes physical. I had a patient’s parent find me on social media (small footprint, but unusual name) and threaten to kill me. I get threats all the time, but this person went out of their way after the visit to find me. Police took a report, but insinuated it was no big deal. Hospital position is that I will still be required to see kid if family returns.

          Hospital administrators often brush off assaults on staff with similar platitudes: it’s a stressful situation…what do you expect working in the ED? Well, I expect a safe working environment where I am not physically assaulted by a drug seeker pissed off when not prescribed addictive drugs.

          • mabelcruet

            Yes, we have that same issue with hospital management not taking it seriously. We don’t have any hospital security guards, none at all. If any patient or family member kicks off, there is no immediate help other than from porters etc. There is a hospital policy about zero tolerance for aggressive behaviour but I don’t think we’ve ever prosecuted anyone for it.

            Family doctors in the UK also face similar problems-there’s a ‘violent patient’ programme where patients with a history of violence against staff can be allocated and supposedly seen in a controlled environment, but it’s difficult to access-you can’t just refuse to see someone if they’ve been violent towards you, you have to give them a warning first, then get an incident number from police (which you get when you report the assault), but until they are allocated a space you have to keep seeing them as needed.

          • Sue

            In Aus, ED staff are now encouraged to seek charges against people who have assaulted them.

            Having said that, in the midst of influenza and gastro season, many staff have been more injured by infection than violence.

    • Mac Sherbert

      As for how common, I don’t know. I would think it’s low given the attention this has gotten (as in made news during a hurricane so must be out of the ordinary). I know some in law enforcement and they say this officer was wrong and out of line.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Police usually don’t piss off medical staff at hospitals that way since they always could get rolled in on a gurney themselves.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/us/utah-nurse-alex-wubbels.html

      The brutality & corruption seems par for the course. It’s odd only because the victim was a white “respectable” woman aka nurse.

      The guy they were trying to get blood from was probably the victim of police negligence. They were chasing a suspect at high speed & he rammed into the truck the victim was driving. Popular theory is that the cops were desperate for an excuse to victim blame so they wouldn’t be sued.

      https://jalopnik.com/heres-the-explosive-police-chase-and-crash-that-led-to-1798747687

  • Life Tip

    Thank you Dr. Amy. I live in Houston. This past week has been probably the scariest and longest week of my life. I’ve barely slept, and I’ve lost 4 pounds. Of course my breastmilk supply has taken a hit. It’s been miserable, and my body is physically exhausted.

    I’m grateful that I’m able to breastfeed during this disaster but it’s not stress-free. I’m worried about supply. I’m worried about being the only one who can provide for my baby. I’m also worried about a million other things. And to take the opportunity during a crisis like this to brag about breastfeeding is gross. If you are concerned about babies getting fed, donate formula and water. A sanctimonious Facebook post helps no one, and possibly hurts and scares a mother who is struggling to get the formula her baby needs right now. Trust me, we are all feeling bad enough at the moment. Offer real help or STFU.

  • Sarah

    Two weeks after birth I was using a pump more than nursing cause of poor latch nipple pain etc. I was shaking in my boots with a coming snow storm and power outage worries and you better believe I stocked up on similarc just in case. I truly can’t imagine what these moms are going through.

  • Madtowngirl

    I have no words for this shit, other than it is sick. Sick, sick, sick.

  • Busbus

    AAP brochure, point 2: “Create safe havens for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.” – seriously!!?

    How about: create safe havens for pregnant women, infants and their caregivers… Or do formula feeding mothers (and their babies!) not deserve your protection?? (“Not breastfeeding..? Sorry, you and your kids are out.”)

    • Madtowngirl

      No, no, no. The only people who deserve to be safe are the ones that mirror our choices.

  • Vast

    As far as I know, stress didn’t affect my supply… but I learned that it’s physically impossible for me to let down while having a panic attack. I’d be engorged but nothing would come out unless my husband cuddled me while I nursed (the nursing alone didn’t cut it when I was panicked). These lactivists thinking they’d be set in a disaster have no idea… it all sounds so handy, until your body won’t respond. Then you’ve got a baby who has never taken a bottle (you were afraid of “nipple confusion” as if that were the worst thing that could happen) and refuses them nearly to the point of starvation, further increasing your panic. I speak from experience here (but without a natural disaster, just postpartum panic attacks at 3mo PP).

    • Mel

      Stress kicked my supply in the teeth. I kept a daily log of my pumping totals. Recently, I took Spawn’s nurses’ report log – it’s an adorable, hand- written and occasionally decorated list they kept to speed up report – and lined it up next to my daily log.

      Oh, boy, if Spawn had a bad day, my supply dropped as much as 20% the next day.

  • Roadstergal

    The ableism has just been poking at the back of my mind all day. Can you imagine:

    “A pair of functioning kidneys is perfect for all kinds of weather and can save you from having to go to the pharmacy during a flood or dangerous wind conditions. When power and water supplies are impacted in an emergency, working kidneys can be a lifesaver.”

    I mean… sort of… but… what? Why? I feel no need to shit on people with diabetes or LN, just want to help them get what they need to survive – so… why?

    • momofone

      Well, obviously your priorities are out of whack. Wouldn’t you really just rather help the GOOD people?

  • Rachel

    Funny, donating cases of ready made infant formula was the first thing my family donated! This is what these mothers need! Why do they always forget ready made formula???

    • BeatriceC

      Oscar’s vet bills have been pretty high, so I couldn’t afford to send any significant quantity of formula, but I used Amazon Prime to send the Texas Diaper bank 100 single use nipples. Hopefully those will be almost as useful as the formula itself.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Yeah. Ok, in a disaster clean water is a premium, so powered formula is harder. But just send premade formula

  • Gæst

    They make me so mad. Breastfeed MORE? People are tied up trying to escape their home, locate relatives who may or may not have escaped there, they may not know when their next meal is coming, or if they will be moved to another shelter, they may be trying to find a way to care for family pets, sick family members, multiple children, but OH SURE, OBVIOUSLY women have time to breastfeed “more” in this situation. Just fuck lactivists, man, seriously.

  • MaineJen

    …I just. I have no words.

    No wait, I do. Who, exactly, are these crazy people preaching to? Surely not those caught in the midst of a disaster right now. They have no electricity, and therefore cannot access the internet to see these inane messages. So yes, these memes were made purely to gloat, and to pat themselves on the back. If caught in a flood, *their* baby would not starve.

    Disgusting.

  • yentavegan

    This disaster is threatening the health of insulin dependant diabetics who can not get to their medicine, and the health of people who need their medications but none is available or the drug stores are unreachable. Hopefully RTF formula has been airlifted in and free to all who ask for it.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      Meanwhile the city of Beaumont (population 118,000) just north of Port Arthur, has lost it’s water supply:
      “The pump station is located along the Neches River and draws water from the river as the main source of water for the City’s water system. The City has also lost the secondary water source at the Loeb wells in Hardin County. At this time there is no water supply for the City water system.”

      http://kfdm.com/news/local/city-of-beaumont-has-lost-its-water-supply

      They are evacuating the local hospital as they can not function without a water supply. I am hoping someone (Walmart?) bring an 18-wheeler or two of RTF formula…

      • Gæst

        Damn, I just donated to a food bank located in Beaumont. I hope they are still able to operate.

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          I hope so. It’s bad in Houston but people who have not been to Texas or do not know someone who lives there don’t understand the scope of this. It’s not just Houston, it’s Bayside, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Port Aransas, Crosby, Corpus Christi… And some of the places people would turn to for help are flooded themselves. Plus the rivers haven’t finished cresting in a few places and lots of places are still flooded (highways etc) so how do you get the donated food, fuel, water to the people who need it?

          • Gæst

            Yes, this is exactly why I gave to the Southeast Texas Food Bank – the affected area is huge. I was trying to reach a local group that wasn’t as obvious as the Houston-based ones. I knew Beaumont was affected because my brother’s inlaws are out that way.

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
      • Madtowngirl

        What these lovely lactivists love to ignore is that fact that losing access to clean water WILL affect a woman’s ability to breastfeed, too. It’s almost like they really don’t give a shit about anything other than their agenda.

        Wait….

  • kilda

    so in an emergency, formula may be unsafe because of lack of access to electricity and clean water, but women should have no problem accessing properly screened HIV- donor milk.

    Sure. That makes sense.

    Also, stress will not make your milk dry up, but stress (such as not being at home with your preferred music, lighting and decor) can clamp your uterus shut and stop labor. Got it.

    • Roadstergal

      Also, HIV isn’t the only thing that can get passed through milk! It’s just one of the scarier ones. Got a comprehensive test kit just sitting around with a very low false negative rate?

    • AnnaPDE

      Also said donor milk will totally keep unrefrigerated without power. Just like RTF formula or powdered formula and bottled water do. Right?

    • Azuran

      Seriously….if you can access donor milk and all the necessary accessories to preserve and feed that donor milk to your baby, then surely, you can get everything to properly prepare formula.

  • critter8875

    “Nutritionally perfect”?

    • Roadstergal
      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        When our first was born, the pediatrician did the exam and declared him, “Practically perfect in every way!”

        My wife was pleased with the Mary Poppins reference. I was like, “What do you mean ‘practically,’ bucko?”

        • BeatriceC

          My first name, which I haven’t actually used in years (I use one of my numerous middle names), is Mary. When I was younger I made jokes about Mary Poppins being my alter ego, not because I love kids so much, but because I’m “practically perfect in every way.” When I was interviewing for jobs after I decided to leave teaching, one of the stupid interview questions was “If you could be any fictional character, who would you be and why?”. I didn’t even stop to think. I’d been telling the joke so long that the answer was out before my brain knew what my mouth was saying. I responded “Mary Poppins, because I’m practically perfect in every way.” There was a bit of a silence and the interview panel busted out laughing. I wound up actually being offered that position, though I took a different offer that was much better.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            If I could be any fictional character, I would be one of the unidentified kids at Hogwarts. It would be cool to be a wizard, but who wants to deal with all the drama of being one of the famous ones?

            Speaking of which (subtle!), did you all realize that today is the day that Albus Potter boarded the Hogwarts Express, as described in the Epilogue of Deathly Hallows? I say “boarded” because it left Platform 9 3/4 at 11 am in London, so quite a few hours ago.

            From what I saw on Twitter, in fact a lot of people showed up at King’s Cross Station to see him off….

          • Roadstergal

            That’s probably the (practically) perfect answer to a question like that. I mean, asking your favorite fictional character starts off awfully culturally loaded, and can go off of the rails from there… something tongue-in-cheek like your response is appropriately defusing, IMO.

            I’ve never been asked that question, and I’m glad, because I would go off of the snark rails right away. “I would be Tuco, because I really want to just beat the shit out of people I disagree with.” (Bonus – would work for Breaking Bad or The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.)

  • Heidi

    But, but according to all the breastfeeding advice, you practically have to drink your weight in water and also eat a lot of oatmeal to lactate enough. Again, I guess in emergency situations, the lactation rules change. In emergencies, women are camels.

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      explains the humps

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Send fennugreek!

      • Heidi

        Oh no. That nursing room would reek of pancakes and armpit sweat because I’m guessing multiple daily showers aren’t available during an emergency. At least, my experience with fenugreek was letdown of the armpit variety, not the boob kind.

  • Sarah

    Do me a favour and don’t encourage them to turn up and lactate in disaster zones. You know some of them will try it and end up causing a load of bother.

  • Gene

    I went through a natural disaster when I had a newborn. No power for a week (and no running water, no toilets, no phone, etc). My baby needed 24hrs of formula for medical reasons (jaundice). It was when I learned that he would happily take cold formula straight from a igloo filled with ice. So much for nipple confusion. He also BF’d for a year, so it didn’t “ruin” any relationship.

    It’s such crap. Magical thinking. If I’m a good person, nothing bad will happen. Bad thinks happen when you make bad choice, etc.

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      Igloo like the ice chest or the house?

      • Gene

        Ice chest.

        • Kerlyssa

          and here i thought it was like winter in maine, where you just leave cold stuff outside in an animal proof container when the power goes

          • Gene

            We did that during one week without power (the Halloween snowstorm 6y ago). The other was during the summer…

          • MI Dawn

            OMG. That snowstorm. I remember that one.

    • Mel

      Only marginally connected, but my son has always preferred his formula ice cold. We’d been warming it up out of a sense of parental obligation, but he was hungry after a walk on a hot day so I gave him a bottle right out of the fridge and he acted like it was the nectar of the gods.

      I thought it was a fluke, so I tried it again after his nap. I had a smiling, cooing baby who kept smacking his lips at me and guzzling the formula.

      When he started teething, he refuses it if his gums are sore and it’s not fresh out of the fridge.

      I love it.

      • Justanrph

        My baby prefers her pumped breast milk cold. If it is too warm or she has been outside, she refuses to nurse and cries until we give her a cold bottle. I’m a horrible mother that won’t force her to nurse and just gives the bottle! That last bit was sarcasm; baby is fed, loved, and growing.

    • mya

      Taught my baby to drink cold formula from the beginning. Made night feedings a million times easier as the bottles were pre-made and in the mini fridge in her room. I bless my SIL for telling me this while pregnant. It made that first year that much easier.

  • ModernistMom

    Little babies in a natural disaster is hard. We’ve also done it (Hurricane Issac). I was exclusively pumping while formula feeding. I evacuated with my entire freezer of frozen breast milk because 1) I had put so much time into pumping, I didn’t want to leave it behind and 2) what if I needed it? We also evacuated with a TON of bottled water and formula, a dog, a cat. The stress wrecked the little bit of supply I had and keeping bottles clean was a PIA. We came home to no power, an no ceiling in the kitchen and bedroom (water collapsed it). WE WERE LUCKY. A few things:
    1. Those Medela steamer bags for pumping parts were a saver for sterilizing bottles. Most hotels/shelters have microwaves. For those of you donating, I know that is a “breastfeeding” item, but I used them a ton for bottles during the storm.
    2. To anyone who says to anyone is a natural disaster, “Why didn’t you just…insert something asshole-like here?” Fuck off.

    As someone who lives in a city whose water supply regularly gets compromised (and then finds out hours after it happens), breast feeding would have been lovely. I hated having to keep TONS of bottled water on hand for 6 months at a time (my son was an infant during hurricane season, of course). But, it just wasn’t an option.

  • BeatriceC

    Slightly OT: Have you guys seen this disgusting piece of BS circulating around Facebook?

    http://www.khou.com/news/local/midwife-rides-inflatable-swan-during-storm-to-birth/154578641

    • Gene

      Yeah. I guess they were hurting for warm fuzzy crap.

    • MaineJen

      Oh yeah. That’s cute. We couldn’t, like, get the woman to a hospital instead?

    • Roadstergal
    • Merrie

      That was last year… But it is pretty stupid. Of course she is a CPM. Home birth would be way less safe in a disaster… time and energy should have been used to find mom a ride to the hospital, not to find the midwife a ride to mom’s house. What if there is a complication? “10 minutes from the hospital” is by car, not by inflatable swan!

  • anh

    This underscores such a huge problem at the heart of lactivism.

    For so many of us formula wasn’t a choice. We used it because we had to. I had to get real creative during Hurricane Sandy to keep my baby’s bottles clean. I would have loved to not worry about it. But I had no freaking choice because I couldn’t will my boobs to make more milk.

    Women often aren’t using formula by choice. We don’t stop breast feeding because no one told us that breastmilk was easier in a hurricane.

    I wish research dollars weren’t be frittered away trying to ferret out some marginal hidden benefit of breast milk. Maybe figure out what causes over or under supply and develop a safe medication to overcome those issues. Stop trying to convince us to breast feed. Help us do it if we want to do by figuring out evidence based solutions to our problems.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      I was lucky during the typhoon that hit Guam as I was using the Playtex disposable nurser bags(I know , really not environmentally friendly..) and RTF formula. I had to clean the nipples but I had a lot of nipples so it was a little easier for me. The worst part was having so many dirty clothes and no where to do laundry…the upside of living in Guam was, without A/C I could keep her in a just diaper most of the time…

  • JDM

    I like the boat ad analogy; people would express outrage if, say, Ranger boats made a big sales push right now with that theme. I haven’t seen anything like that, or the myriad other ad possibilities this disaster could potentially encourage. In fact, there’s only one other organization that seems to heartlessly use disasters as an occasion to sell: the NRA. Not good company, lactivists.

  • Sheven

    It doesn’t really matter if stress can or cannot dry up breastmilk. Either a woman has milk to feed her baby or she doesn’t. If she does, yay. If she doesn’t, get her formula and clean water. Telling women who can’t breastfeed that stress can’t ruin their milk supply is like telling someone whose house has been knocked down that it wasn’t the wind that did it. Who cares?

    • Merrie

      Exactly. This information is really not relevant in a disaster situation. The only people it might be even vaguely relevant to is those who aren’t in a disaster situation and *are* able to lactate and are considering whether or not they want to do so or continue to do so. “Potentially easier in a disaster situation” might be a weak pro for breastfeeding. It’s a sub-point of “Breastfeeding is convenient”… in that it’s not the case for everybody, but those for whom it works may feel the ease of just whipping out a boob is a factor in favor of breastfeeding. And there’s still always the chance that baby and mom might be separated. I’m exclusively breastfeeding, but I know I really should get some formula to have in my disaster kit just in case.

  • Azuran

    Because no one but babies need to eat during natural disasters. If you breastfeed, you won’t need to go to the store because mothers don’t need to eat or drink. Neither do fathers, grandparents or older, not breastfeeding kids.
    As long as that baby is on the breast, all your family can happily stay in your contaminated flooded house without food or drinkable water. Because you have breastmilk.

    Also, don’t worry about your supply. Stress from seeing everything you own being destroyed in a hurricane and flood has no effect on breastfeeding. Only stress caused by evil medicalized childbirth and medicine will negatively affect your supply.

    • LaMont

      If I read their stuff correctly, I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to feed *everyone* with breastmilk. Duh.

      • Azuran

        Yourself included, of course.

        • Roadstergal

          As the lactivists who drop in here from time to time love to tell us, breastmilk requires no energy to make. It’s a perpetual motion feeding machine.

          • Ozlsn

            No energy to make?! Are they freaking kidding? I was going through a pack of tim tams every other day and still losing weight! It was awesome!

          • Azuran

            It goes against their lie that breastfeeding is free. When we point out that the mother needs to eat more to make the milk, they lose their mind.
            I bet they think we make the baby out of nothing as well.

          • Mariana

            ROFL!
            Yes… the baby just magically knits itself in the mother’s womb…. didn’t you know?
            Lol

          • anh

            You literally just described my hugest wish on earth. I want nothing more than to gobble Tim tams while getting thin. I have never been so jealous

          • Steph858

            The pro-breastfeeding leaflet which was shoved in my hand as I left the hospital listed one of the benefits as ‘It can help you to lose your baby weight.’ So Lactivists admit that breastmilk takes energy to make when it suits their argument.

            In other words, if you’re short of food and already on the slim side, breastmilk needs no energy to make. If you want to lose a few pounds then breastfeeding will make your excess fat magically melt away. Your body is so clever that it will know when to flip the energy used/not required switch.

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            I lost 30 pounds with my bf’d kid. And 40 with my ffd kid. And gained it all back. Mind you, since I gained 12 and 10 in the first place. Anti-cravings. 🙁

          • Azuran

            I was told there would be weight loss….. Yet here I am, after 5 months of breastfeeding, at exactly the same weight I was when I walked out of the hospital, still 25lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight. Not gaining even more weight has actually been a challenge.

      • Casual Verbosity

        If you’re feeding everyone then you’ll surely have an abundance of breastmilk because supply and demand.

        • LaMont

          As a rising MBA2 in a business program, I can tell you that sure, why not, that’s exactly how supply and demand works.

          • Empliau

            No, no, Rick Perry made it very clear (I think in re coal): you provide the supply, and the demand will follow. Economics departments everywhere in the U.S. are revamping their curricula to reflect our new realities! Or were we just wrong before? My brain hurts.

          • Casual Verbosity

            Should have made it clear that comment was sarcastic. That’s how lactivists think supply and demand works.

      • mabelcruet

        Don’t give them ideas-next step will be that women in possession of lactating breasts will be commandeered by the disasters committee to man communal feeding stations.

        • kilda

          the lactivist version of the handmaid’s tale!

    • mabelcruet

      If you remember Jan Hocking, she was convinced that a bellyful of swallowed amniotic fluid was all that a baby needed to be able to keep going for days….

      • Azuran

        And by bellyful, they mean 5ml right?
        Or does the newborn stomach magically shrink to 5ml only when breastmilk in involved?

        • mabelcruet

          You’re forgetting that breast milk is imbued with magical properties. It doesn’t obey the laws of physics so once swallowed it becomes a supercompact fluid and that 5 ml contains literally gallons of momma goodness, and that’s why babies never, ever need supplementation because even the merest drop of white gold has all they need.

    • AnnaPDE

      No no no, you put a drop of breastmilk on the flooded house and it just cleans and dries itself because of the magical antibodies.

      • Azuran

        Of course!
        I feel so silly now. I should have been using my breastmilk to do my laundry, clean the dishes, keep the pool clean, brush my teeth… I even could have used it to cure my dog’s epilepsy!!!!!
        I really need to stop wasting all that precious gold on my baby.

    • Wasnomofear

      We’ve seen floods since the beginning of time! Hardly a stressor after all that time, surely! /S

  • OkayFine

    Meanwhile, the Fearless Formula Feeder has set up a way to buy formula on Amazon and send it to Texas. As an FYI for anyone looking to actually help instead of being a complete asshole toward women in need.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      Thank you, that’s a great idea. in the same vein the Texas Diaper bank could probably use some help:

      http://www.texasdiaperbank.org/ Also portlight.org which concentrates on disaster assistance strategies for people with disabilities. And the San Antonio Food Bank https://safoodbank.org/ I think the Houston one got flooded…

    • MaineJen

      Awesome. I will buy them some formula and some diapers as soon as I get paid tomorrow.

    • MaineJen

      I have been searching amazon and can’t find this. Any idea what keywords I need to search?

      • OkayFine

        If you look on the Fearless Formula Feeders FB page, there is a link to the amazon wish list.

  • LaMont

    OTish: Just saw a play the other day based on a real pair of twins, that opened with actual recorded audio of their mother. Paraphrase: “my daughter has Borderline Personality Disorder because when my girls were born two months prematurely and had trouble breathing, one was in more distress and the doctors separated them. The doctors were all about separating them. I wish I hadn’t let them do that. The doctors don’t know what’s right for these babies in a psychological sense, they don’t think about what happens when these babies grow up and become teenagers. I worry about this, I don’t know if it’s right what they’re doing, keeping babies alive in boxes and they’re so lonely. I breastfed you both until you were three to keep a connection with you.”

    At no point does anyone question that this poor woman has been completely fucked up by notions that her reproductive organs are equivalent to her worth as a mother. The audience is invited to accept that doctors do not care about the well-being of newborns.

    The play then goes on to demonize psychiatrists who do prescribe medication, psychiatrists who don’t prescribe medication, foundations working with mentally ill people, and also they imply that 100% of Borderline patients are women.

    I love art and I love science but artists do some shitty, shitty science sometimes. (I’m off to relisten to Tim Minchin’s “Storm” and then maybe try to find wherever “The Martian” is available streaming.)

    • Squirrelly

      It’s interesting that she would blame the personality disorder on being separated in infancy and not, say, on the fact the kid was a preemie with oxygen issues. I don’t even know if mental disorders like that are related to prematurity but it seems just as plausible a culprit as early separation.

      • Azuran

        Seems much more plausible.
        I mean….does a baby in-utero even has the capacity to understand that there’s another baby in there?
        Newborns basically think that their mother is just a part of themselves. Logically, they’d probably think of their twin as just another part of themselves. Even for identical twins, most have different amniotic sacs, so their interactions are pretty much limited to accidentally kicking one another. Not being with your twin is probably as mentally damaging as no longer having an umbilical cord, no longer being surrounded by fluids or not having a uterus to push against.

        • MaineJen

          See also: “Lotus birth”, or the woo belief that you can be psychologically damaged by being prematurely separated from…your placenta.

        • Mel

          They do have some evidence that twins realize that there is something else in the uterus with them and that they should be at least vaguely nice to the other blob.

          Namely that they’ve analyzed ultrasound footage to show that twins aim their kicks and punches at the torso and limbs of the other twin instead of the face. Also, when one twin is trying to explore the other twin’s face, they use much softer movements than if they are aiming for the torso.

          The main benefit to keeping twins near each other – I suspect – is the same benefit that preemies get from skin-to-skin. The babies are used to hearing Mom’s voice, heartbeat and tummy rumbles plus being shoved, poked and snuggled against their twin.

          If it works, it’s nice – but my twin and I were separated for months and we’ve both turned out fine.

          Being dead really messes with the relationship between infant twins.

          • Haelmoon

            I would be curious about that data. I scan twins a lots, and I don’t see this. I see lots of random punches and kicks and reflexive blocking from the co-twin. I see lots of kicks to the head when twins are breech/cephalic (or vice versa). Watching babies on ultrasound, I am not convinced they know their own body parts – if I see a baby grab its toes, it often reflexively kicks, perhaps because it doesn’t connect hand sensations with foot sensations yet and thinks something has grabbed it toes.
            However, I could watch twins on ultrasound for hours, they make the most random movements. One of the fun parts of my job.

    • Dr Kitty

      Oh I’d say the EUBPD is due to the genetic and social inheritance from their mother.
      Not least the implication the twins got- from their own mother- that being dead in each other’ arms would have been preferable to being alive in separate incubators.

      People with EUBPD have almost universally unhappy childhoods- but you know, the childhoods that matter, meaning the bits they remember, so after the age of 2 or 3 at a minimum.

      Medications don’t work for PD. DBT and some group therapies have an evidence base. Sometimes people “burn out” over time by learning better coping skills.

      I admit that I struggle with my PD patients.
      They are my heart sinks.
      I seem to collect them too.
      Often I just try to remember that if I feel awful after 10 minutes in the same room as them, how terrible it must feel to BE them 24/7.

      My least favourite day is when I come back after 2 or more weeks of annual leave. Because, guaranteed, all of my PD patients who I have kept on strict monthly or fortnightly review will have arranged to see me on my first day back, just to touch base and let me know how awful it was while I was away and how they felt abandoned, and how I must now see them more frequently to make up for it.

      I tell them how well they did without me, how proud I am of them for coping, and that we’re not taking a backward step…and just hope they don’t act out over the next week to make their point.

      • anh

        My sister has BPD and it’s really really hard an awful. We are currently in an idealisation phase which is soooo stressful because I KNOW what’s coming.

        She has a host of medical issues and I feel really badly for her doctors

    • Juana

      Ok, so both twins were kept separated from each other, but only one of them developed Borderline Personality Disorder. Clearly, the separation is to blame.

      • LaMont

        Well, one was able to go to Mom sooner, and got a blanket as opposed to a box for phototherapy. I can fully understand how this situation of having twins at seven months could traumatize a *mother*, but I can’t understand how this mechanism would work to permanently traumatize the children (apparently “the cortisol” was mentioned).

      • Gæst

        My twins were not only in separate incubators, but separate bays in the NICU. I wonder which one is going to become the serial killer?

        • AnnaPDE

          Both. But not cooperatively.

          • Mel

            ROTFL. Because twins are supposed to become cooperative serial killers. Let me go call my twin sister….

        • Mel

          *waves* Me, apparently! I need to go research serial killing now.

          My twin and I were separated in different isolettes AND they sent me home months before my sister. Clearly, we are doomed. Or doom’ed – the more dramatic form of doomed.

  • Empress of the Iguana People

    God, what horrible people. I told you sos are not the least bit helpful here. And that’s ignoring the parents who really can NOT breastfeed (not that lactivists believe -that- statement.) Besides, someone needs to drink the bottled water the baby will be consuming either first or second hand. No one drinks flood waters if they have any other option.