Why did lactivist Lisa Bridger order the coroner’s report for another woman’s baby?

Disgusted and frowning young woman on white background

The new lactivist tactic is so vicious it defies belief.

It was pioneered by anti-vaxxers who target the mother of a child who has died of a vaccine preventable disease, claiming the she is lying or that she killed her child. Now lactivists are applying it to mothers whose babies have been brain injured or died as a result of insufficient breastmilk.

Consider Australian lactivist Lisa Bridger. She experienced her 15 minutes of fame back in 2018 when she boasted about breastfeeding her 7 year old autistic son.

Bridger is pathetic!

She received many negative and even hateful comments. You might think she would be sympathetic to mothers who deal with the brain injuries and deaths of babies due to insufficient breastmilk. You would be wrong.

In an effort to discredit Jillian Johnson, whose baby Landon died 8 years ago, Bridger posted this on Landon’s birthday.

Baby Landon’s story is commonly posted by the fed is best foundation stating that he died from starvation from insufficient breastfeeding. The problem is that this babies coroner’s report doesn’t say this. Landon sadly was born unwell. He was dehydrated at birth after a difficult delivery. He was admitted to intensive care and found to have pneumonia…

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None of that is true so how does Bridger feel confident in making such odious claims? She pretended to be a researcher and ordered the coroner’s report on another woman’s baby.

no I’m not personal involved. I saw the original story many years ago, it was then blasted all over via the fed is best foundation. Many people called out the inconsistencies within the two stories. Jillians original, Christie’s version, and what really happened. As a researcher I was interested, I chose to request, payed for the publicly available copy and have since done intensive research into it…

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She’s not a “researcher” and perhaps that explains why she thoroughly misunderstands what she read. The coroner’s report COMPLETELY SUBSTANTIATES Jillian’s story; Landon died from insufficient breastmilk.

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How do you read a report when multiple causes of death are listed?

According to the CDC guidelines in Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Handbook on Death Registration:

Part I is for reporting a chain of events leading directly to death, with the immediate cause of death (the final disease, injury, or complication directly causing death) on line (a) and the underlying cause of death (the disease or injury that initiated the chain of events that led directly and inevitably to death) on the lowest used line…

If an organ system failure (such as congestive heart failure, hepatic failure, renal failure, or respiratory failure) is listed as a cause of death, always report its etiology on the line(s) beneath it (for example, renal failure DUE TO Type I diabetes mellitus or renal failure DUE TO ethylene glycol poisoning).

Therefore, the coroner’s report on Landon’s death should be read as follows:

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encepalopathy (brain damage)

DUE TO

Cardiac Pulmonary Arrest

DUE TO

Hypernatremic Dehydration (dehydration accompanied by high sodium levels)

Nowhere does it say that Landon was born dehydrated or with high sodium levels. If such a thing were possible (I’ve never heard of it), it would be described as “congenital” and it’s not.

In fact, Landon’s tragedy is typical for cases of brain injury and death caused by insufficient breastmilk.

There are increasing reports on hypernatremia, a potentially devastating condition, in exclusively breastfed newborn infants… A total of 115 reports were included in the final analysis. Breastfeeding-associated neonatal hypernatremia was recognized in infants who were ≤ 21 days of age and had ≥ 10% weight loss of birth weight… In addition to excessive weight loss (≥ 10%), the following clinical findings were observed: poor feeding, poor hydration state, jaundice, excessive body temperature, irritability or lethargy, decreased urine output, and epileptic seizures…

Why does Bridger engage in such reprehensible behavior? For the same reason anti-vaxxers harass loss parents: narcissistic rage.

Wikipedia describes it best:

…Narcissistic rage is the uncontrollable and unexpected anger that results from a narcissistic injury – a threat to a narcissist’s self-esteem or worth. Rage comes in many forms, but all pertain to the same important thing, revenge. Narcissistic rages are based on fear …

My disgust for Bridger’s behavior is leavened by pity. Imagine the abject fear that drives her and other lactivists; their fear that they have been wrong all along about the perfection of breastfeeding and their rage that an innocent child dared to die in a way that exposes the hollowness of their ideology and fragility of their egos.

Bridger is pathetic and I’m not just talking about her fundamental ignorance of medicine, science and statistics.

  • demodocus

    It sounds vaguely plausible to me, but then I know nothing about it.
    It’s not too hard to see other laypeople reading her nonsense and
    believing her, especially if they’re prone to distrusting you lot. I am prone to distrusting people who think crystals or childbirth are actually magical.

  • Mel

    I always worry a bit when a native English speaker is swears they can read a medical report – but misspells a common irregular verb like “laid”.

    Well, this is a gross invasion of the family’s privacy – and patently absurd that a woman who starts “Landon was born dehydrated!” ends with a petty swipe at an ER doctor.

    Reminds me of a home birth gone wrong blog linked in the comments previously where a mother who 1)gave birth at home 45 minutes away from the hospital, 2) waited some time after birth before calling an ambulance while she was hemorrhaging, 3) had to be transported and was in such bad shape by the time she arrived at the hospital that she had to have a manual extraction of a placenta sans pain meds decided that she had placenta accreta because of the internet – oh, and the doctors managed her case wrong.

  • Sarah

    Why would anyone think a lactivist might be sympathetic to mothers whose babies died or suffered brain injuries from insufficient breastmilk?

  • fiftyfifty1

    Born dehydrated? Um no, that doesn’t exist.

    • mabelcruet

      Definitely doesn’t exist. In 25+ years as a paediatric pathologist, I have never had a case of congenital dehydration causing neonatal death or stillbirth. This crowd basically make it up as they go along-look at the stupid reasoning they put forward for babies losing weight after delivery. They claim it is ‘necessary dehydration’ ( in the words of that twit Jen Hocking), which implies they think babies have too much fluid on board, and that babies born to mothers receiving intravenous fluids are born waterlogged, so dehydration is a good thing to them. They are hopelessly scientifically illiterate, but that doesn’t stop them pontificating wildly. Its textbook Dunning-Kruger.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        they think babies have too much fluid on board, and that babies born to mothers receiving intravenous fluids are born waterlogged

        This is what I was thinking as well – I thought that babies had excess fluid? At least according to them….

        • mabelcruet

          Excess fluid is their reasoning for thinking a baby losing >10% of its birth weight is acceptable and not at all dangerous, because that 10% isn’t real weight, its unnecessary fluid. And remember the claims (Jen Hocking again) that babies don’t feel hungry after birth, they aren’t required to feed because a few drops of colostrum is all they need in their first few days, that and the stomachful of amniotic fluid they are born with. So food, eating, drinking, hunger and starvation are all completely alien to a baby in the first week of life because of the magical properties of colostrum. Idiots.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    The guy that used to bully me didn’t die from drunk driving, he died because his head smashed against the light pole (after flying through the windshield of the car that he was driving with a BAC of 0.14 when it smashed into the ditch)

    • Daleth

      See, drinking and driving is safe as long as you follow safe driving practices. This includes being careful not to collide with anything and above all, being careful not to fly skull-first through the windshield.

      Ha

  • MaineJen

    Such breathtaking Dunning-Kruger. First, that she thought herself entitled to this baby’s coroner’s report for no other reason than that SHE WAS CURIOUS (and she wanted to prove the mother wrong). Second, that she completely misinterpreted the form, and went on to spew ignorance all over the internet like she just proved something. (Dehydration in a newborn caused by distress in labor? How would that even work?)

  • StephanieJR

    How utterly vile, invasive and violating. I’m absolutely disgusted by this reprehensible behaviour; how do you get to the point where you’re looking at a baby’s coroner report just to argue with their parents? How dare you drag them through the mud to prove a point over their child’s death. You can no longer claim to be a good person if you’re willing to do something like this.

    • mabelcruet

      It’s a gross invasion of privacy, but I don’t think Bridger qualifies as a good person anyway, dating back well before she did this. In the UK, the only people that can access the coroner’s report into a death are those with a ‘proper interest’, basically the next of kin and the medical team. If you want a copy of an autopsy report, you have to prove you have a proper interest. There is no way a complete stranger could access a report in the way that Bridger did-the inquests are generally held in public, and are often attended by journalists (and technically can be attended by members of the public) so the findings are public, but the complete reports aren’t.

      • Ozlsn

        Coroner’s reports of findings here are publically available for download, although anything more than general description of medical information relevant to the death is not included. I read the findings of the maternal homebirth death here because I wanted to know who had been held responsible and why (what the reasoning behind it was) – so I can tell you in general terms about what the cause of death and contributing factors were but haven’t seen a death certificate. I am actually honestly amazed she was able to access the full report to be honest