Milk Meg and the normalization of infant starvation and maternal exhaustion

word dystopia printed on paper macro

I have an advantage over most of you, including most lactation professionals. I’m old enough to remember when neither infant starvation nor maternal exhaustion were touted as “normal.”

I did my medical training — and I breastfed my four children — before promoting breastfeeding was deformed by lactation professionals into dystopian efforts to force women to breastfeed regardless of their wishes and regardless of the consequences.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]As the harms of aggressive breastfeeding promotion have become more common, lactation professionals have devoted themselves to normalizing those harms.[/pullquote]

What do I mean by “dystopian”? A dystopian society is one in which oppressive social control is required to support the illusion of perfection. Sadly, contemporary lactivists imagine that oppressive social controls are required to support the illusion that breastfeeding is perfect for every mother and every baby.

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (a truly dystopian name for an initiative that often harms both babies and mothers) is the paradigmatic example of contemporary lactivism. It involves mandatory education efforts, muzzling of providers, locking up infant formula and forcing women to sign consent forms detailing its “dangers.” Even worse, because lactivists cannot admit that breastfeeding is anything but perfect, it has led to a rise in serious iatrogenic complications including infant dehydration, starvation, brain injury and even death.

The BFHI is an institutional effort but the regime, like any dystopian regime, has many enforcers in the form of lactation professionals who make their money by promoting breastfeeding. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with the concept of lactation professionals. It is perfectly reasonable for some women to make money offering education and support that many women want.

The problem occurs when lactation professionals forget they exist to support women and babies and imagine they exist to support a regime of universal breastfeeding. Sadly, as the harms of aggressive breastfeeding promotion have become more common, lactation professionals have devoted themselves to normalizing those harms.

How do lactivists normalize infant starvation? They:

  • Lie about stomach size
  • Assert cluster feeding is normal
  • Insist poor weight gain is acceptable
  • Claim “one bottle” can destroy supply
  • Tell women to ignore pediatricians who are concerned

A hungry baby is one who cannot settle and wakes up repeatedly through the night to feed. Thus lactation professionals have been forced to normalize maternal exhaustion.

Meg Nagle has become a world leader in normalizing both infant starvation and maternal exhaustion. That effort is encapsulated in her motto, “Just Keep Boobin’.” It is meant to encourage women to keep breastfeeding no matter what happens, to never question whether a baby might be starving, and to always ignore her own needs in favor of breastfeeding.

Meg has a nearly endless supply of memes and I encourage you to look them over. Nearly all reflect her desperate effort to normalize infant starvation, maternal exhaustion or both.

Normalizing infant starvation

The frequency in which your baby feeds is not an indication of how much milk they are getting.


A baby who is unsettled after a breastfeed or feeding constantly will not autonomatically need formula…


Yes I’m eating but … You do know that I’ll still want to boob every five minutes right??


A schedule of breastfeeds every three hours is often not looked at fondly by your baby. Why? Because babies breastfeeding for so many reasons than just hunger…


The amount you pump is not an indication of how much you make or how much your baby receives.


Don’t worry about your baby’s … feeding cues. The second they make a peep … just breastfeed them.

Normalizing maternal exhaustion

Feeding your baby back to sleep. Not a mistake, the biological norm! Most babies will need a mid-nap breastfeed and frequent feeds during the night. For months or years.


I finally discovered the three easy steps to breastfeeding: Cancel everything else in your life. Lay down topless on the couch with your child. Stay there for 2 years.


Babies do not need to learn how to fall asleep on their own. They need to fall asleep with … some boobie.


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


Mothering THROUGH breastfeeding at night is the biological norm.


Instead of asking her, “Is your baby sleeping through the night?” try, “is your baby breastfeeding well through the night.


Is it normal for my toddler to breastfeed all the time day and night? Yes. The end.

It goes on and on and on and on. And just in case you were unclear that Meg is trying to normalize infant starvation and maternal exhaustion, she helpfully includes the word “normal” and even the hashtag #normalizenightwaking.

In the dystopian novel 1984, George Orwell introduced the idea that vocabulary has the power to control thought. In 1984, the government, in an effort to control citizens and force them into submission, perverts the meaning of common words and phrases to promote approved views and stamp out unapproved views. The classic example of this effort is the following quote:

War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.

In the current lactivist dystopia:

Frequent, frantic efforts to take in enough nutrients is “bonding.”
Sleep constantly broken by hunger is “soothing.”

Orwell also said:

Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

Meg and other lactation professionals don’t need to think; they’ve been told what to think in order to maintain the oppressive social controls required to support the illusion that breastfeeding is perfect for every mother and every baby. Lactation professionals reflexively and unconsciously normalize the abnormal … and that includes normalizing infant starvation and maternal exhaustion