Should hospital lactation support be prescription-only, restricted to those who have specific medical need?

Money Bag with money on background.

It is deeply unfortunate that many lactation professionals care more about the process of breastfeeding than the health of babies and mothers.

That’s why they come up with punitive schemes like infant formula by prescription and justify it with the belief that it is necessary to force poor women to pay for their “irresponsibility” in being poor.

The best way to highlight the viciousness of many lactivists is to flip their script.

Consider this bit of foulness from FABIE, the no-holds barred critic of the Fed Is Best Foundation, widely believed to be started by Australian Lisa Bridger.

Discussion question:

Is it OK to choose not to breastfeed but rely on formula through government welfare programs, or should free formula be available only for those who medically need it?

In my experience, the best way to highlight the viciousness of many lactivists and lactation professionals is to flip the script. When you turn their proposals back on them, it is easy to see the cruelty that motivated them.

So here’s my “discussion question”:

Should in-hospital lactation support be available only to those who have a specific medical need, documented by individual prescription?

Given that breastfeeding is natural, all other women who want hospital based lactation support would pay the going rate ($50-$100) out of pocket at the time of service. Only those women with premature babies — for whom breastmilk can improve mortality rates — would be able to access free in-hospital lactation support and only by individual prescription.

How loud and how long do you think lactivists and lactation professionals would howl about that proposal?

That makes it clear such questions are really about pressuring women to behave in ways that benefit lactivists and lactation professionals.

FABIE’s discussion question is meant to shame women who formula feed.

How dare a woman — especially a poor woman — imagine that she is entitled to determine how her own breasts are used? She should be required to justify herself to her doctor or midwife and receive the appropriate scolding for failing to adhere to her gender mandated role. And if she is poor, we can ratchet up the pressure by threatening to starve her baby unless she accedes to her own humiliation.

Don’t bother insisting that breastfeeding is what’s good for babies. There’s simply no evidence that breastfeeding has any impact on the mortality rates of term infants in industrialized countries. Lactation professionals can’t point to any real world evidence that a change in breastfeeding rates has led to change in the health of any but the most premature babies.

Who benefits by refusing to provide formula to babies on public assistance? It is certainly not those babies since pressuring women to breastfeed won’t change the fact that many women can’t physically nourish an infant fully, and many women must return to work and therefore can’t continue breastfeeding even if they start.

First, lactation consultants benefit by increased employment and income. If every women is shamed into attempting breastfeeding, and shamed if she attempts to stop, and shamed if she combo-feeds with formula, and shamed when she is seen bottle feeding, there will be greater need for lactation consultants. They would not benefit from a comparable scheme to restrict lactation support to those who have individual prescriptions for it and would oppose it with every fiber of their being.

Second, lactivists like FABIE benefit in the same way that those humiliating others always benefit, by enhanced self-esteem through feeling superior to the shamed.

Finally, FABIE and other lactivists benefit by reveling in ugly shaming behavior that is usually forbidden in polite society.

There is simply no limit to the cruelty of lactivists toward women who don’t or don’t want to breastfeed, and no limit to the delight that lactivists experience in sanctioned cruelty to other mothers.

FABIE proves it!