Lactation professionals take a page from the Trump playbook as they prepare to attack Fed Is Best

Coach Drawing American Football Playbook Strategy

Lactation professionals are losing ground to the Fed Is Best movement. In their frustration they are preparing to lash out, taking a page out of the Donald Trump playbook.

How is the lactation leadership like Trump?

Let me count the ways!

They are thin-skinned, lack self-reflection, are monumentally aggrieved, project criticism, abuse the regulatory system and are exposed by whistleblowers.

1. They are incredibly thin-skinned.

Ever notice how lactation professionals — the same folks who have institutionalized shaming mothers through the “Baby Friendly” Hospital Initiative — are incredibly sensitive? They can’t take the kind of criticism that they routinely dish out to others.

They insinuate or even claim that women who can’t or don’t wish to breastfeed are lazy, self-absorbed and don’t love their children enough to do what’s “best.” They accuse health professionals who disagree with them of taking industry money even though they have no evidence of any kind. They create memes to demonize formula and humiliate the women who use it.

But if you criticize them they, like Trump, collapse into self-pity. They seem to think they are perfect and insist that those who criticize them are haters.

2. They lack the capacity for self-reflection.

Breastfeeding has become the leading risk factor for newborn hospital readmission, leading to tens of thousands of unnecessary hospitalizations per year at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a massive healthcare scandal and no lactivist organization denies this is happening. Shockingly, they are making no effort to do anything about it.

They won’t even engage in self-reflection. They don’t ask themselves what they are doing wrong, because, like Trump, they believe that they are incapable of doing wrong. Individual women are crying out to them to stop the pressure, yet they continue to ramp it up with gratuitously cruel tactics like formula “consent forms” and advocating that formula be available by prescription only.

3. A monumental sense of grievance.

When you cannot accept that you might be wrong, any criticism is perceived as persecution. Like Trump, they are always sure they are being treated “unfairly” by their “enemies.”

Someone sent me this to warn me about the impending attack:

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Is there anyone who has been targeted or harassed by Fed Is Best and has not contacted us yet. Please do so ASAP.

Real medical professionals (like real presidents) don’t view every criticism as harassment.

4. Projection of criticism.

I recently read an Op-Ed that claimed that everything out of Trump’s mouth is either projection or a lie. When lactation professionals discuss the Fed Is Best movement, nearly everything that comes out of their mouths is either projection or a lie.

They accuse feeding safety advocates of harming babies and mothers (without any evidence) when it is they who are responsible for the tens of thousands of unnecessary newborn hospitalizations and the soul searing guilt of new mothers. They accuse Fed Is Best and myself of profiting from advocating for safe infant feeding (a bald-faced lie) when it is they who are profiting from promoting UNSAFE infant feeding.

5. Abuse of the regulatory system.

Trump is a master of this, repeatedly attempting to subvert various government agencies to punish his enemies.

Lactation professionals are privately advocating for “reporting” various feeding safety advocates to their licensing boards. The recent treatment of Midwife Cath for daring to write the truth is a case in point.

The thing with lactation is we ALL can lactate but we ALL don’t lactate the same amount… don’t feel bad if you can’t squirt this much milk”.

The Instagram post continues, “Rather than babies going hungry or sitting on a pumping machine … remember that #fedisbest”.

Lactivist midwives subverted a regulatory agency to punish a woman who deviated from the party line.

6. Whistleblowers

There are many lactation professionals who are alarmed by the growing number of babies and mothers harmed by lactivist orthodoxy. They provide me and others with a steady stream of private social media messages that highlight the contempt in which lactation professionals hold women who can’t or don’t wish to breastfeeding, the stunning lack of self-reflection, the sense of grievance and the efforts to punish enemies.

I don’t know exactly what lactation professionals have planned for their forthcoming campaign but when it arrives I suggest you compare the attack to the types of attacks orchestrated by Trump.

Ask yourself:

Are the lactation professionals involved incredibly thin-skinned?
Have they avoided self-reflection?
Do they demonstrate a monumental sense of grievance?
Are they projecting?
Are they trying to abuse the regulatory system?
Were their actions revealed by whistleblowers?

In short, don’t let lactation professionals fool you with a page from the Trump playbook.

  • mabelcruet

    Another issue that they have in common with Trump is a firm belief in conspiracy theories. Lactivists appear to believe that there is a world-wide conspiracy led by formula companies and doctors to target them deliberately and undermine and try and turn the public against them. All the cries about being formula shills are based on conspiracy theory.

  • Sue

    Who has the motivation, training and resources to start a Newborn Nutrition Consultant profession?

    It could be a sub-specialty of nursing or dietetics or both. It would require expertise in the essentials of infant nutrition, including a good understanding of the research data (including confounding factors such as SES), skill in teaching both breastfeeding and bottle feeding techniques, use of pumps, types of formula, equipment choice and maintenance, training in spotting and referring for PND, assessment of lactating breasts and their complications, and general support skills.

    Wouldn’t that be a useful professional?

    AND nobody to shame or argue with, because the person would be useful to every family with a new baby.

    • Anna

      Maybe speech pathologists? I saw 4 different LCs, all completely befuddled by my daughters feeding. A speechie had it figured out in 5mins.

      • rational thinker

        I personally think all LC,s should be banned from diagnosing tongue ties. The average new mom probably does not know that this is something they cannot diagnose. Only a medical doctor or a speech pathologist should be giving that diagnosis or recommending surgery for it. There is an epidemic of babies having tie surgery and 97% of them do not need it. In the majority of these cases it was an LC who recommended it.
        I agree we should use speech pathologists more often for infants who have feeding problems that are ongoing.

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          I want to know how much actual MEDICAL training Lactation consultants have to have. Because if its None why on earth do they get to recommend a medical procedure?

          • NoLongerCrunching

            I had to take college level classes in anatomy/physiology, child development, and nutrition, and a class in medical terminology (this was in 2005). The problem in my opinion is not the amount of education, but the quality. I know a huge number of RN LCs who routinely blow off weight loss, jaundice, and hypoglycemia. Even pediatricians sometimes are so “supportive” of breastfeeding that they do not worry much about excessive weight loss and poor gain! I do not have a medical degree and take my scope of practice seriously.

    • alongpursuit

      I love this idea!

    • FormerPhysicist

      As I understand it, the primary qualification for being a lay leader like a la leche leader is to have successfully breastfed. I had NO trouble feeding my three, I had an oversupply. And one blocked duct that a hot compress cleared up. Am I qualified to help someone through breastfeeding difficulties? Emphatically NOT, if fact, a good bit less than if I had had to deal with any difficulties.

      Of course, I’d be good for the babies and families. Problems? Shrug. Try some formula and all of you get some sleep.