Lactivism and viciousness


The dirty little secret about lactivism is that it has nothing to do with babies or even with breastfeeding. It’s all about lactivists and their desperate need to feel better than other mothers.
Lactivism is about hating and hurting. How else to explain the breathtaking viciousness of contemporary lactivists?

When it comes to viciousness, the Alpha Parent has no equal. Her recent endorsement of a guest post by James Akre on analogizing breastfeeding is a tour de force of the genre.

I like using the ordinary to approach what is commonplace for some but still unfamiliar for others. The purpose is twofold: to show how everyday analogies, images, metaphors, similes and symbols can be used to see breast milk and breastfeeding from a fresh perspective; and to suggest how this approach in turn can help others see breast milk and breastfeeding in ways they would surely never have imagined…

English to English translation: I’d like to beat you about the head with all the ways that I am better than you.

You must, must, must read the entire post. There is so much delicious venom that it would be a shame to miss a drop. However, in the interests of brevity, I will summarize:

Analogy # 1 Of pleasure and pain

You are so selfish that you willingly take on the pain of wearing high heels, but you can’t be bothered to endure the pain of breastfeeding?

Analogy #2 Flying civilly

Formula is like those oxygen masks that drop from the ceiling when an airplane cabin depressurizes in flight; useful in emergencies but inappropriate at any other time.

Analogy #3 Break glass only in case of emergency

The accompanying image says it all:

break glass formula

Analogy #4 The sky’s the limit

If we were to decline to provide our children with the nutritional equivalent of a plush suite in a five-star hotel by feeding them artificially, we would do well not to kid ourselves into believing that, by giving formula, we’re somehow at least replacing the suite with adequate three- or four-star accommodation. In fact, our children still end up eating in the basement.

My breastfed baby gets The Ritz. Your bottlefed baby gets the pits.

Analogy #5 Holding hands with history

When a mother who, herself, has been breastfed breastfeeds her child, she at once completes and forges historical links of great consequence.

Historical significance? Really?

Analogy #6 Row, row your fashion boat

We can easily afford to provide our children with the finest in tailor-made nourishment, and this for a fraction of the price of even vulgar mass-produced synthetic nutritional frippery.

Analogy #7 Just do your best, Dear

It’s true, some parents deliberately opt to provide their children with nutritional mediocrity; but rich or poor, top-of-the-line elite nutrition is accessible to all.

Analogy #8 Kinky accoutrements

A bottle of formula is just a kinky accountrement. What does that even mean?

Analogy #9 Before you buy shoes, measure your feet

In a critical piece of ground-based navigation software one development team had used Imperial units, i.e. inches, feet and pounds, while another had used metric units. Since the software hadn’t been told to do any conversions, it appeared that the Orbiter got its trajectory wrong and crashed into the Martian surface. Meanwhile, the Mars Polar Lander reached its target at the beginning of December 1999. After 11 months of traveling some 35 million miles (more than 56 million kilometers) in space, the $165 million craft was a mere 130 feet (40 meters) from landing when disaster struck, or rather both the Lander and its piggybacking Deep Space-2 probes were likewise destroyed when they struck the surface…

Formula, rat poison, it’s all the same. If you feed your baby formula, he or she will be destroyed in a spectacular flame out.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. This sewage spewed forth by Akre and Dixley has nothing to do with what’s good for babies. It has nothing to do with babies at all. It’s self-serving viciousness for those who love to hate.

Here’s my analogy:

These people are vipers in the grass: all natural, and deadly. Their goal is to bite you and eat you alive, for the fragile self-esteem of lactivists is not supported by breastmilk; it is nourished by venom.

245 Responses to “Lactivism and viciousness”

  1. James
    March 22, 2014 at 2:07 am #

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  2. August 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    k I was checking out formula ingredients at the store and ‘sensitive’ formulations have corn syrup solids as the first ingredient. Some have sugar as the 2nd.

  3. maria
    August 17, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    Lactivism is about Ego. Only about Ego.

    The mothers who emphasize breastfeeding at all costs and judge the ones who choose formula, they all feel they are superior, they are better mothers, in other words it’s about their ego and nothing else.

    Do you think they really care about health? If that would be true, they would never judge the others.
    The truth is they only care about showing everybody how awesome they are, and more important, how superior they are.

    I know my comment will make many feel angry, but I am only saying the truth and I know this will hurt many big egos.

  4. Larilyn Mitchell
    August 16, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

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    • Jennifer2
      August 17, 2013 at 12:21 am #

      Totes on it. I want someone who will come prepare food, bed, and hide under bracket in my life.

  5. Amy Tuteur, MD
    August 11, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Check out the second case:

    • FormerPhysicist
      August 11, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      OMG. The columnist should immediately be fired. At least the commenters are sane and squarely against this nanny-ism.

  6. Karen in SC
    August 9, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    OT but related: Yesterday, I met up with two friends and spent the day at the zoo in a large metropolitan city where I grew up. One friend had her two month old, a very happy boy. During the six hours, she nursed three times and fed premade formula once. She said she always travels with a formula bottle – sometimes for convenience, other times the baby just won’t wait for letdown and screams in frustration.

    Amazingly, I never noticed that anyone stared at the nursing while we were there, though the mother reported she had gotten some dirty looks on occasion. Some people did notice the cute baby though! Scores of other babies were in attendance, in strollers and carriers and wagons. I was more interested in the animals, as were most other guests.

    • R T
      August 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      Horrified you were at a Zoo! my baby will never set foot into one! I can’t believe in this day and age, zoos and circuses still exist. It’s heartbreaking!

      • Karen in SC
        August 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

        I’m a frustrated zoologist, so sorry, no guilt here. Most of today’s zoos are extremely important to keep species from extinction. Over the last few decades, so much more is known about how animals socialize so there will be family herds, bachelor groups etc.

        • Box of Salt
          August 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

          Karen in SC, I thought R T was joking until I looked at her link. I am amused at the fact that PETA berates the San Diego Zoo for having an elephant exhibit, while ignoring the fact that the same zoo has the most successful Panda breeding program which returns animals to the wild in China.

          • I sing to Andy
            August 10, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

            I went to the SD Zoo as part of our babymoon. I want to be reincarnated as an animal there. They have it made.

          • Box of Salt
            August 10, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

            I have their pandacam bookmarked.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 10, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

            Thanks-now I am going to look at that every day.
            If I was going to come back as a zoo animal, I would love to be a polar bear or panda at the SD zoo

          • R T
            August 11, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

            Hmmm, I’d rather come back as a wild animal free in my own natural environment unmolested by humans.

          • Wren
            August 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

            And where exactly do you think that happens?
            Even if you manage to be unmolested by humans, you’d have to face a whole lot of other problems.
            Personally, I’m a fan of zoos that treat animals well and promote conservation.

          • R T
            August 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

            I’m a fan of nonprofit animal conservation programs. Facing problems in the wild is part of life and what makes all animals have a reason to live. I’m sure my infant son will face his share of challenges in life. I’m not going to keep him in a cage to avoid them. He would most likely become depressed and die.

          • Wren
            August 11, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

            Actually, most young children are effectively kept in cages, or do you plan to leave doors wide open and let him wander around the area around your home at will?
            Most zoos, at least good ones, no longer keep most animals in small enclosures. I know my local zoo doesn’t. They aren’t left to wander in the wild, no, but neither are they abused.

          • tim
            August 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

            I don’t really have a problem with most well maintained/well designed animal habitats at zoos or other parks regardless of their for-profit status. The exception to this is higher order mammals – apes, dolphins, orcas, etc. Those I have huge problems with wrapped up in those animals intelligence.
            For Apes, as long as it’s something where they are keeping them in an enclosure large enough to simulate a real territory/habitat (the Disney animal kingdom gorillas come to mind – their habitat is massive and sprawling. feels plenty large enough to simulate a natural territory for those animals) Apes in smaller enclosures I feel terribly for.
            Orcas and Dolphins, there is simply no way to have a “park” that is large enough to give them a proper sized habitat. We’re talking about animals that roam vast swaths of the ocean, and are extremely intelligent. It’s beyond wrong to keep them the way we do. I can’t justify it at all.

          • Wren
            August 12, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

            I basically agree. I guess I am willing to make an exception for animals who are injured and would not survive without human intervention.

          • amazonmom
            August 10, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

            We did too. We also went to the cheetah run at the wild animal park. All the raptors at the show were birds unable to survive in the wild.

          • R T
            August 11, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

            For those animals unable to survive in the wild there are special rescues. There is no reason to create captivity for profit for a wide range of other animals.

          • amazonmom
            August 11, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

            We just aren’t going to agree on this.

          • R T
            August 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

            I understand that, but its important for me to discuss it when the situation presents. My husband remembers a time when the local department stores had monkeys, and other animals in cages in the middle of the store. Hopefully, some day zoos will be as unacceptable and outdated of a concept!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

            The improvements in animal welfare that have occured have NOT come from the efforts of PETA

          • auntbea
            August 11, 2013 at 10:02 am #

            The thing I found HORRIFICALLY offensive at the San Diego zoo was the “cultural” aspects where they brought in some Masai and had them sit there and do crafts or sing. None of them spoke English and couldn’t communicate with the people who were staring at them.. It seemed very, very much to me like they had brought in actual humans to be exhibits in the zoo.

          • R T
            August 11, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

            So it’s okay for them to rip other animals from the wild because they have a Panda breeding program?

          • R T
            August 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

            What about the surplus animals they sell who end up as a mantle piece?

          • LibrarianSarah
            August 11, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

            You linked to PETA and you are talking about the San Diego Zoo killing “surplus animals?” You do realize that PETA kills most of the animals that they “rescue” right? Also most Zoo’s are not for profit organizations.

        • R T
          August 11, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

          For profit businesses like zoos and Seaworld love to claim their for profit animal exploitation is really conservation. Animals in confinement do not behave as they would on the wild, if you want to learn about wild animal behavior study them in the wild. Programs to save endangered species can be done in different circumstances than a zoo. It’s an outdated and in humane idea under the best of circumstances.

      • MichelleJo
        August 11, 2013 at 10:42 am #

        Peta exist for themselves, not for the altruistic reasons they claim to. Sorry, I’m even going to click on the link. They are very much like our friends the lactivists.

        • MichelleJo
          August 11, 2013 at 10:43 am #

          Correction, Sorry I’m NOT even going to click on the link.

          • amazonmom
            August 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

            Neither am I after having to be weapons checked and ID matched to a list after PETA broke into the Vet college at Cornell, releasing hundreds of animals into the wild that were all found dead in the woods later.

          • Wren
            August 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

            A lot of PETA types seem to be incapable of grasping that wild animals generally have pretty short and violent lives, especially when released into an environment they aren’t native to.

        • R T
          August 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

          PETA is extreme but they have an important place in protecting animals. Zoos, circuses and sea parks contribute to the mistreatment and exploitation of animals around the world. In addition, surplus zoo animals are sold to brokers who then sell them to hunting ranches, taxidermist or unaccredited zoos. It’s sickening.

          • Box of Salt
            August 11, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

            R T, the PETA page to to which you linked is deliberately misleading about the San Diego Zoo. In addition to forgetting about the pandas, they conveniently ignore the fact that this Zoo’s breeding efforts successful brought the California Condor back from the brink of extinction:
            They wail about the elephants, but leave out the fact that the exhibit includes animals who were rescued and rehabilitated from serious mistreatment at a circus – animals who otherwise would have been put down (I don’t have time to dig up the full story on line right now; yes I am a member and read about it in Zoonooz).

            It irritates me that you fall for PETA’s misinformation.

            Yes, zoos are not perfect. I visited the SD Zoo back in the ’90s during the changeover from cages to habitat, and, yes, I saw the polar bears back when they ended up with algae in their fur in their tiny exhibit. But implying that this is still the norm for this organization is like berating OBs for delivering babies now with the moms under twilight sleep.

    • MichelleJo
      August 11, 2013 at 10:38 am #

      The majority of people do mind their own business. The problem is that those who don’t make an awful lot of noise. I bottle fed five babies over eight years and encountered just *one* comment in all that time. Basically, nobody batted an eyelid. The only person who bothered me was the nurse in the well baby clinic, who had to know what I was feeding the baby, (maybe she thought it might be beer?), and why. To the why question, I said ‘because’. (Any Ivrit speakers out there, it sounds better how it actually went, “Lama? Kacha!” A very firm way of ending any discussion).

  7. Clarissa Darling
    August 9, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Positing this here so it doesn’t get lost: The talk of food deserts has got me thinking, would EBF’ing still be “better” than formula if the mother didn’t have access to a healthy diet? I’ve heard breast feeding advocates say that it doesn’t matter what the mother eats, her baby will still somehow get everything it needs but, I don’t know if I buy this. Just curious so, thought I’d see if anyone could weigh in with a medical opinion.

    • The computer Ate My Nym
      August 9, 2013 at 10:31 am #

      A breastfed baby can’t get what’s not in the mother’s body. If she’s vitamin deficient her milk will be vitamin deficient. Breast fed babies are somewhat vulnerable to vitamin D and iron deficiency, even in a perfectly healthy mother with no vitamin deficiency. And, of course, if the milk supply is inadequate the vitamin, mineral, and protein/calorie levels will be inadequate.

      • Clarissa Darling
        August 9, 2013 at 10:40 am #

        Well so much for the lactivist extremists who say “diet doesn’t matter, look, poor women in Africa breastfeed all the time and their kids are fine.” Yeah, I actually read that somewhere and wondered if they’d ever seen a save the children commercial. It didn’t ring true to me that nutrients for the baby would just magically appear if they weren’t present in the mother. Low income people in the US are usually better off than low income people in Africa but, that doesn’t mean they’re getting the recommended daily amount of anything. The issue also crossed my mind because I have IBS and sometimes struggle to maintain a balanced diet because of it. I can afford supplements though so that’s not really a barrier to BF for me but, I imagine it would be for those that can’t afford it.

        • The computer Ate My Nym
          August 9, 2013 at 10:52 am #

          Children in Africa are NOT fine. Depending on where in Africa you’re talking about (it’s a big continent with many cultures and a lot of variation in socioeconomic and political conditions), the infant mortality in Africa can be as high as >150/1000, i.e. more than 15%. This is not, of course, all due to poor nutrition from obligate breast feeding by poorly nourished mothers, but some of it is.

          In short, pretty much what you said, but people saying “but kids in Africa do fine” inevitably sends me off into a rant, even when the statement has already been dissected.

          I don’t think IBS is in itself a reason not to breastfeed, but it’s best to ask your doctor about it and decide with him/her what is best for you and your baby.

          • Clarissa Darling
            August 9, 2013 at 11:23 am #

            Just to clarify (not b/c I’m feeling defensive but, just for
            accuracy sake) IBS isn’t the reason I’ve decided not to breastfeed. I wouldn’t want anyone reading this with IBS who is considering BF to think that I’ve gotten any such advice from a doctor. However, my issues with IBS were what first prompted me to consider how diet might affect breastfeed infants and that’s what ultimately led me to that revolting Africa comment. Even with IBS, I’m aware my diet is vastly superior to what poor women’s in Africa and even those who live US in food deserts would be.

      • Antigonos CNM
        August 10, 2013 at 7:37 am #

        We were taught that the composition of breast milk remains pretty constant unless the mother is SEVERELY malnourished, such as when there is real famine. Her body is stripped of every available nutrient, though, before the milk quality really deteriorates. There used to be a proverb “a tooth for every child” because women were not getting enough calcium in their diets when nursing and lost what they had from bones and teeth. So the baby can thrive, while the mother becomes deficient in essential nutrients.

    • Meerkat
      August 9, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      I was thinking the same thing!
      Dollars to donuts the formula is MORE nutritious than the milk of a mother with a very bad diet.

      • yentavegan
        August 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

        Moms with really crappy diets like existing on chips, diet soda and cheese-doodles probably still have nutritious breastmilk, but zero energy or patience or stamina. Eventually moms body would become depleted. But lets be honest, moms with deliberately substandard diets struggle with all kind of parenting issues irrespective of whether or not they are breastfeeding.

  8. Sue
    August 9, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    ”some parents deliberately opt to provide their children with nutritional mediocrity; but rich or poor, top-of-the-line elite nutrition is accessible to all.”

    What an odious assertion! Well some people just seem to choose to be insightless, arrogant ideologues.

    • Kalacirya
      August 9, 2013 at 7:59 am #

      Odious is a great word for the Alpha Parent overall.

    • auntbea
      August 9, 2013 at 9:54 am #

      By definition, only very few can be extraordinary. The rest of us are stuck with mediocrity. Might as well get your kids used to it from the get-go!

  9. nomnominous
    August 9, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    Is The Alpha Parent for real? There can’t be a real human being behind the blog who’s honestly upset because she saw a picture of a baby bottle, right? I’m pretty sure it’s some cross between trolling and performance art for the sake of ad revenue. There’s no way she believes her own crunch.

    • wookie130
      August 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

      Sadly, I think she’s real, yes. As real as the moron that told me outright on a parenting forum yesterday that I was feeding my child “garbage” and “poison” and “American crap”, because I formula-feed. I asked her if she had any better ideas, seeing as I have a genetic condition that prevents me from producing breastmilk. I’m still waiting on that one.

  10. Sue
    August 9, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    So, apparently James Akre grew up on a dairy farm and used to be an advisor in animal husbandry. Ah – now I get it.

  11. August 9, 2013 at 1:11 am #

    So there are currently no comments on the post, which I find a little unlikely. I wonder if they’ve all been deleted or unapproved for being disgusted by the content.

  12. Sue
    August 8, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    I was going to ask whether there is any actual research about the outcomes of supplementation and bottle use on BF rates, but I thought I’s take a look myself.

    The first relevant paper I found was in the European Journal of Pediatrics October 1997 : ”UNICEF/WHO baby-friendly hospital initiative: does the use of bottles and pacifiers in the neonatal nursery prevent successful breastfeeding?”

    This study looked at the question ”how do restriction of supplemental feedings and ban of bottles and pacifiers affect long-term breastfeeding performance?” They randomised 602 healthy newborns from ten centers to either to a UNICEF group with restrictive fluid supplements and avoidance of bottles and pacifiers during the first 5 days of life, or to a standard group with conventional feeding practice. Breastfeeding was encouraged in both groups. The main study endpoints were the prevalences of breast-feeding on day 5, and after 2, 4 and 6 months. Of the newborns 46% violated the UNICEF protocol, mostly because of maternal requests to give a pacifier or supplements by bottle. In the standard group, the drop-out rate was 9.7%. No significant differences in breastfeeding frequency and duration could be found: (UNICEF vs standard) day 5: 100% vs 99%; 2 months: 88% vs 88%; 4 months: 75% vs 71%; 6 months: 57% vs 55%. Inclusion of drop-outs due to pacifier use did not alter the results.”

    On the other side is this article from Pediatrics 2008: ”Effect of Maternity-Care Practices on Breastfeeding”, looking at the effects of the components of the ”Baby Friendly” initiatives. They looked at breastfeeding for <6 weeks postpartum. They controlled for ''demographics, prenatal maternal smoking, number of friends and relatives who breastfed, mother's prenatal intentions to work after birth, and prenatal attitudes toward breastfeeding (ie, strength of agreement or disagreement with the following statements: “Infant formula is as good as breast milk” and “If a child was breastfed, he or she will be less likely to become obese”. The data was self-reported by survey.

    That study found ''early breastfeeding termination was associated with younger age, lower education and income, being unmarried, primiparity, smoking prenatally, having fewer friends and relatives who breastfed, intending to work after birth, and having less-favorable attitudes toward breastfeeding.''

    In terms of the "BF" interventions, ''Of the 6 “Baby-Friendly” practices, 4 (breastfeeding initiation within 1 hour, only breast milk given, breastfeeding on demand, and no pacifiers given) showed a significant protective effect against early termination of breastfeeding (ie, <6 weeks) in crude analyses (Table 3). Results remained significant for 3 of the practices (breastfeeding initiation within 1 hour, only breast milk, and no pacifiers) after controlling for the other “Baby-Friendly” practices''

    I found a RCT in Pediatrics 2003: "Randomized Clinical Trial of Pacifier Use and Bottle-Feeding or Cupfeeding and Their Effect on Breastfeeding Howard, et al. Pediatrics 2003; 111:3 511-518'' They randomised 700 breastfed termnewborns into 1 of 4 intervention groups: bottle/early pacifier (n = 169), bottle/late pacifier (n = 167), cup/early pacifier (n = 185), or cup/late pacifier (n = 179). "The cup/bottle intervention was invoked for infants who received supplemental feedings: cup (n = 251), bottle (n = 230). Data were collected at delivery and at 2, 5, 10, 16, 24, 38, and 52 weeks’ postpartum."

    This study found ''Exclusive breastfeeding at 4 weeks was less likely among infants exposed to pacifiers (early pacifier group; odds ratio: 1.5; 95% confidence interval: 1.0–2.0). Early, as compared with late, pacifier use shortened overall duration (adjusted hazard ratio: 1.22; 95% confidence interval: 1.03–1.44) but did not affect exclusive or full duration.''

    THEN, a study on restricting pacifier use, that found that early pacifier use could be beneficial for EBF – though it was a retrospective study without controlling confounders. ''Restricting pacifier distribution during the newborn hospitalization without also restricting access to formula was associated with decreased exclusive breastfeeding, increased supplemental formula feeding, and increased exclusive formula feeding.'' (Pacifier Restriction and Exclusive Breastfeeding (Pediatrics 2013)

    So – mixed findings. Has anyone looked in detail at this evidence?

    • Antigonos CNM
      August 9, 2013 at 6:07 am #

      The problem with studies purporting to show that breast feeding and pacifier use are related is that one has to be very careful in setting up the parameters. How big are the nipple holes in the bottles? How long is the mother nursing at each feed — and I can think of a few other considerations. if a bottle fed baby finishes his meal in10 minutes, while a baby is nursing for three or four times longer each time, it doesn’t surprise me in the least that a bottle fed baby wants to suck more. In reality, the nursing mother is functioning, at least in part, as a pacifier.

      • Jennifer2
        August 9, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

        Exactly. My son would chug his bottle and then show signs of being full but still wanting to suck. We quickly learned that once he was down to about an ounce left in the bottle we should make sure he could see his paci, and he would switch when he was ready.

    • Dr Sarah
      August 10, 2013 at 3:44 am #

      Sue: That’s an interesting topic, and one I’ve done a fair bit of reading on, although I’m sure there’s a fair bit of reading I would still have to do before considering myself expert on it.

      In a nutshell, I think the big problem with the evidence is the ‘correlation is not causation’ thing. Yes, there does seem to be an association between early supplementation and increased likelihood of stopping breastfeeding. But is that, as lactivists believe, because the early supplementation *caused* the early breastfeeding cessation? Or is it that many of the factors that lead to early breastfeeding cessation (poor milk supply, poor support/help available to the woman, or a ‘Meh, let’s see how it goes but I’m not too fussed’ attitude vs. ‘MUST BREASTFEED AT ALL COSTS! MUST KEEP BREASTFEEDING! PRIORITY!’) are also likely to lead to an increased likelihood of giving an early bottle? I suspect the latter, and studies don’t really seem to differentiate between the two possibilities.

      Interesting recent study by Flaherman et al in Pediatrics looking at the effects of deliberately giving supplementation to infants who were losing weight at a faster-than-average rate but hadn’t yet hit the stage of needing supplementation according to guidelines. Babies who were eligible (and whose mothers agreed) were randomised to either a very small amount of supplementation with syringe rather than bottle, or to the usual attempts to avoid supplementation. The women whose babies received supplementation were *more* likely to continue breastfeeding. While I’ve seen lactivists pick that study apart six ways from Sunday, I think it does present a very important challenge to the ‘any supplementation will instantly cause your breast function to enter an irreversible downward spiral! Avoid! Avoid! DOOOOOOOOOM!!!’ dogma that we often get.

  13. Courtney84
    August 8, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    While we’re all feeling chatty, totally OT. I saw the new OB. I thought she was great. Her nurse seemed fine enough. I am thrilled knowing I don’t have to be pregnant more than 40 weeks and zero days before I can be induced. Vanity of vanities I want to make sure the baby is born in 2013 for tax and insurance purposes. more importantoy, I don’t feel any need to wait around worrying something will happen to the baby. (My good friends lost their son at 38.5 weeks the week we found out we were expecting.). I was also impressed that her nurse called me a couple days after my appointment to make sure I’d been offered a quad screen at my old practice, and see if I had still neede/wanted the test done because my window of opportunity was closing in a couple days.

    • rh1985
      August 8, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

      I hope my doctor will do the same. I really, really do not feel comfortable going any longer than 40 weeks. I’ve only had one appointment so far though, and I’m 11 weeks, so that hasn’t come up yet.

    • amazonmom
      August 8, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

      I want a repeat c/s at 39 weeks because I want to be healed enough to travel for Christmas. I also have had to respond to too many uterine ruptures to want a VBAC.

    • Ainsley Nicholson
      August 9, 2013 at 12:16 am #

      My OB is planning to induce me at 39 weeks, if I don’t go into labor before then. Apparently that is now standard protocol for mothers over 40. I don’t object in the least.

      • Courtney84
        August 9, 2013 at 8:08 am #

        I’ve heard that for adv matern age. Have you gone into labor prior to 39 weeks in the past?
        I am not adv maternal age, and my OB said she’s willing to induce on a favorable cervix at 39 weeks if it’s what the mom wants. For reasons of religion, and possibly superstition, I won’t induce before Christmas unless there’s something going on medically that says we should get the baby out.
        (We tried for over a year to get pregnant and stay pregnant. We skipped a month a few cycles in trying to avoid a Christmas baby. LO and behold, here we are 1 yr and 20 weeks later with a edd of 12/27. We feel like we have to (within reason) give the baby the opportunity to be born on Christmas even though I rationally know babies don’t pick their birthday.)

        • Ainsley Nicholson
          August 9, 2013 at 10:44 am #

          Yes, my first was born at 38 weeks and my twins were induced at 36 weeks due to pre-eclampsia (the induction went very smoothly, so I must have been ready). So I have every reason to think that this one might be a tad on the early side also.
          I have a grandmother and a cousin who were born on Christmas day- neither one liked it very much because their birthday kinda got lost in the general excitement. You could consider doing a “half-birthday” celebration for your lil one (in June).

          • AmyP
            August 9, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

            Yeah, my sister’s birthday is right after Christmas and it’s just as bad even when your birthday doesn’t fall exactly on Christmas. I’m afraid that anybody with a birthday between about December 20 and Jan. 1 is going to get short-changed.

    • R T
      August 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      Oh good! I’m glad you’re more comfortable now! I think if you have even a second of doubt about your healthcare provider it’s time to find a new one!

  14. Sue
    August 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    James WHO?

  15. Zornorph
    August 8, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    It’s funny to know I crash-landed my baby on Mars. I was comparing the nine months of pregnancy as a launch with the birth being achieving orbit. While everyone considered BFP to stand for ‘Big Fat Positive’ on a pregnancy test, to me it was ‘Blastoff From Planet’.

  16. KarenJJ
    August 8, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Spot on. How much of breastfeeding education is about how superior breastmilk is and less about how to overcome the issues. Priority number one should be to make sure baby and mum are happy healthy and thriving. Baby shouldn’t be going hungry and mum shouldn’t be miserable and the answer to overcoming breastfeeding issues shouldn’t be – hole up in your bedroom and feed constantly. Neither realistic for most people nor is it healthy for a miserable mum and hungry baby.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      August 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

      How much of breastfeeding education is about how superior breastmilk is and less about how to overcome the issues.

      This is a very insightful comment. It’s not “education” it’s “preaching”

    • Jennifer2
      August 8, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      But if breastmilk isn’t really superior in some way, then how many moms would persevere through things like tongue tie or thrush or mastitis or even more common things like being tired or sore nipple or just dealing with the leaking and the lack of a break? Would we see 70%+ breastfeeding initiation rates in the US when formula is readily available, clean water is readily available, financial assistance is readily available for low income parents? Or would we see the 25-30% initiation rates of the 1970s or something inbetween?

      • Antigonos CNM
        August 8, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

        I wonder how “breast feeding initiation rates” translates into perseverance for 3 or 6 months of breast feeding, which is of course the only real statistic which counts. Two or three days in hospital, or a couple of weeks at home, before switching to a bottle is really not worth counting. My home visiting experience in the UK was that the majority of the women [remember, this was mid-70s] nursed just long enough to make the visiting midwife happy. Once her visits stopped, the bottles emerged.

        • EllenL
          August 9, 2013 at 12:45 am #

          “Initiates breast feeding” doesn’t tell the whole story. The rates of breast feeding drop off over time.

          For the U.S.:
 (see page 4)

          For the U.K.:

          • Jennifer2
            August 9, 2013 at 9:27 am #

            These numbers fascinate me! The South has so much lower rates of breastfeeding across the board, and the highest rates seem to be in “crunchy” states like Oregon and Vermont and California, but then also places like Wyoming, Hawaii, Utah. One thing I’m curious about is whether practices like rooming in and skin-to-skin have a causal effect on higher breastfeeding rates or whether cultural norms that support one also support the other. It also seems that in most of the US, women have gotten the message that they should breastfeed and are at least trying it. But then the rates of exclusive breastfeeding drop off pretty sharply at 3 months (old enough to account for the end of most maternity leaves but not so old that solid food is likely a factor) and 6 months (not too surprising since most people are probably starting solids by 6 months. And the rates of any breastfeeding drop off a lot too. So I think women are getting the message to breastfeed loud and clear everywhere except maybe the South. But then what is keeping them from continuing to breastfeed? Even in the states with the highest initiation rates, only half or so are still breastfeeding exclusively at 3 months. Is it really poor education and support about how to breastfeed, is it practical considerations like returning to work, is it questions of adequacy of supply, or is it moms who just decided breastfeeding wasn’t for them and switched to combo or formula feeding?

          • auntbea
            August 9, 2013 at 10:00 am #

            My anecdata: There is a strong cultural norm in the (rural) South that breastfeeding is kind of squicky.This is especially true for teenagers, who are much more likely to give birth in the South and who generally want to go out and enjoy life without having to pull out a boob. Many are also still in school, which is not conducive to breastfeeding. Also, at least where I lived, almost everyone qualifies for assistance, and WIC pays for formula.

          • stacey
            August 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

            In my laypersons opinion: moms that would like to BF, don’t because of practical considerations 95% of the time. Ones that don’t care either way also stop for such reasons. Ones that have zero intention to BF do so for many reasons, but practicality is always the most prevalent.

            Lactivists like to pretend that anyone can BF if they just try hard enough, that all jobs can be made BF friendly, and supply/pain issues can be solved/endured. We all know this is not true.

            I also think that having male partners that co-parent, often spending as much/more time with baby as mom does, increases FF. Mom can sleep all night when she has a partner that stays up to help feed baby, and isn’t attached to a pump when she has to work! This is attractive, for obvious reasons.

            Personally, if I have another kid, I will BF if I am a SAHM, but FF if I have to work. I had pumped for my NICU DS, and tried to EP for him while working. Never again! I EBF DD, because I am always home with her anyway.

          • yentavegan
            August 9, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

            …or maybe the breastfeeding rates drop at 3 months because Mom says okay enough of that. Time to move on from infant style mothering to baby style mothering and that includes bottles and formula.

          • EllenL
            August 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

            Actually, mothers could be saying “enough” earlier. We don’t know the rates at 1 month, or 6 weeks. I’ve known a lot of moms that stopped around 6 weeks. They felt they’d done what they could, their maternity leave was ending, etc. I’ve known moms who quit after a few days.
            I would like to see data for those early weeks.

          • Mac Sherbert
            August 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

            I’m in the South and everyone I know has at least attempted to breastfeed. The low numbers may be due to teens or those in poverty. Of course, the women I know also do not care what the crunchies have to say on much of anything. It’s kind of like why don’t you just stay in Portland and we will all happy. Thanks for dropping in, but your advice is not welcome.

          • KarenJJ
            August 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

            “Thanks for dropping in, but your advice is not welcome.”

            Bless your heart?

          • Mac Sherbert
            August 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

            Exactly. Bless their hearts, they think we need them to tell us how to raise our children. Bless their hearts they never get to have a night out…Bless their hearts they don’t know what women went through before formula…Bless their hearts don’t they know children are starving…

            I rarely see women BF in public. Even the women I know who BF often don’t BF in public. They/I go to great lengths to avoid it. I’ve spent hours in the back of my van BF while my older child watched some leapfrog video. Women often start out BF, but move to bottles to keep from being stuck in the house all the time or they have to go back to work. It’s not like anyone says anything about BF in public or even cares, but it’s just not the norm.

      • KarenJJ
        August 9, 2013 at 6:31 am #

        “moms would persevere through things like tongue tie or thrush or mastitis or even more common things like being tired or sore nipple or just dealing with the leaking and the lack of a break? ”

        If it’s making mum and baby miserable, do we want them persevering? It’s great that there are benefits, but we shouldn’t be manipulating people into something if the benefits are something they are happy to live with and they are unwell or suffering because of it.

        • Jennifer2
          August 9, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

          Oh, I absolutely agree with you. I just think that some of reason that breastfeeding’s benefits are overstated so often is that women who *did* persevere through significant struggles feel like they have to have some reason to justify it.

          • KarenJJ
            August 10, 2013 at 3:13 am #

            Good point. I know a couple of mums that have stated that they didn’t enjoy breastfeeding but feel like they’ve given their kids a good start in life. They’ve also been curious about my decision to not breastfeed my second and wondered whether breastfeeding was really worth it. I didn’t really say much though, just that someone looked at the risks/benefits from a medication perspective. I think some women would find it difficult if the benefits did not eventuate somehow.

          • rh1985
            August 10, 2013 at 3:27 am #

            I am glad I had the foresight to think it through and realize the negatives of breastfeeding would make it a bad idea for me and my child. A lot of people don’t seem to understand how I’ve decided already at 11 weeks but the reasons I decided will never change. I would hate to be a worse mother as a result of extreme frustration from breastfeeding but feel like I had to keep going because I didn’t know any better. I would have to consider pumping if I had a NICU baby at risk for NEC, but the risks v benefits v whether I could use donor milk instead due to my medications would have to be discussed with my doctors and the baby’s doctors.

  17. stacey
    August 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Not only is she a total jerk, but she is DRIPPING with privilege when she pretends that BF is available to all, rich or poor. Total nonsense.
    Like the whole post.

    • Clarissa Darling
      August 8, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      Kind of reminds me of a comment I read once on an article
      that was discussing how so called food deserts in poor neighborhoods contribute to obesity. Some lady commented she didn’t understand why people couldn’t just go to their local farmer’s market and buy healthy fresh produce for only $60 a week like she does. That’s a significant portion of your income if you’re making minimum wage! Some people are so clueless. Let them eat cake indeed!

      • JoannaDW
        August 8, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

        No joke. My budget allows me to spend a whopping $50 a month on food. I buy my food for a dollar or less at the Dollar Tree. Granted, I make sure I get all my nutrients and with a little finesse, you can make some pretty tasty, creative meals. But do the math. $60 a week, $50 a month, big difference. Even if I ditched my cable bill, I sure can’t spend that extra money on food. I could use that for my medical bills that I’m always getting or my car. Privilege indeed! And don’t get me started on how everyone can breastfeed. Really? Do you think women who work in retail or fast food can just walk off the sales floor during Black Friday Blackout and pump indefinitely?

        • Clarissa Darling
          August 8, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

          Employers are required to provide reasonable break time to pump but, not to compensate you for it. Even if they let you off the sales floor, who could fault these women for choosing their paycheck over pumping? Oh that’s right, the Alpha Parent could!

          • JoannaDW
            August 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

            Then there are those women who view pumping as inferior anyway, because you’re not “bonding.” You’re taking the “easy” way out by having a life and a job while being a mom instead of hovering 24/7. What a wimp! In which case I’m a failure all the way around.

          • DaisyGrrl
            August 8, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

            Retail jobs are also often part time without any guarantee of a set shift or number of hours. If a woman insisted on pumping, management would likely cut her hours and start giving her all the crap shifts. If that doesn’t work for her, well, there’s the door. Maybe not legal, but definitely reality.

          • Antigonos CNM
            August 8, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

            Because employers are “required” does not always mean they do it.

          • Clarissa Darling
            August 9, 2013 at 12:24 am #

            Good point. And if they don’t, most low income women aren’t going to have the time and resources to pursue any action. Say the company does what DaisyGrrl said and cuts her hours. She files a complaint and when the bureaucrat who’s responsibility it is to look into these matters finally shows up the company will say “we didn’t cut her hours because she was breastfeeding, we just didn’t need that many people on the floor at this time”. In order to try and prove the company discriminated against her because of breastfeeding she would have to spend time and money she can’t afford on a lawsuit. And while that’s going on she’ll be working 5 hours a week and that’s assuming the company didn’t just outright fire her. Yeah, outside of lactivist fantasy land, it’s really not realistic to expect these women to go through all this hassle for a little breast milk.

        • BeatlesFan
          August 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

          I had intended to return to my previous job after my daughter was born- I didn’t, but if I had, pumping would have been impossible. My entire workload (outside the house) consisted of driving to pick up a kid in foster care, driving said kid to the parent(s), supervising the entire visit, and driving the kid back. I usually ate while driving from one visit to the next. If I was lucky, I occasionally had time to stop at a gas station and go to the bathroom. There’s no way I would have been able to pump. I wish lactivists would realize that not every woman has a job which will cater to her every need.

          • BeatlesFan
            August 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

            Of course, to add insult to injury, I ended up staying home instead of returning to work, and I STILL didn’t breastfeed! Sign me up for the Worst Mother of the Year award!

        • Antigonos CNM
          August 8, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

          Do you think women who work in retail or fast food can just walk off the sales floor during Black Friday Blackout and pump indefinitely?

          Try being a NURSE in a busy hospital unit and doing that! You often have to skip lunch or other meals, work overtime, and are told to report for duty even when sick because staffing is cut to the bare bone. [The paradox of working in the health industry and being told you can’t take sick time has always amused me, but it’s true too often]

          • Dr Kitty
            August 9, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

            Oh the fun I had pumping as a junior doctor working in a paediatric ER!
            Usually pumpng while eating a Mars bar and drinking a can of Sprite, and they were the only nutrition I’d had in the previous 8hrs, and hoping to God there wasn’t an ambulance on it’s way in.

          • amazonmom
            August 10, 2013 at 1:41 am #

            We don’t even have a private place to pump at my hospital. You have to sit in someone else’s office or in the middle of the L and D break room. The OR sleep room kicked the pumping moms out because we were sitting on their clean beds. Management finally got the pumping moms an old fridge for EBM because people didn’t want “gross things” in the staff fridge. I spend all day teaching NICU moms how to BF and I know my supply will disappear under my working conditions! If you know where I work you know how horrid that is…

      • Bombshellrisa
        August 8, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

        Not to mention that farmers markets aren’t every day, and are often at strange hours that don’t work if you have to work during the day. The closest one here is on Tuesday afternoons from 2:00-5:00pm.

        • JoannaDW
          August 8, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

          Hahaha! Who has time off during THOSE hours on a weekday? Not me.:)

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 9, 2013 at 1:02 am #

            And what about the fact that most farmers markets aren’t open year round? We have a produce stand that is just down the road and open from march to October. When it’s open, we have reasonably priced produce but the rest of the year we are stuck going to the grocery store like everyone else.

          • BeatlesFan
            August 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

            I live in New Hampshire- our local farmer’s market is open from mid-or-late-May until September or October. Even our grocery stores don’t stock a lot of fruits during the winter, and when they do, they are outrageously priced and not worth buying. I don’t know where the lady who made that comment lives, but clearly she’d never tried to obtain strawberries (organic or otherwise) in New England in mid-January.

      • August 9, 2013 at 1:18 am #

        I don’t believe most poor neighborhoods HAVE a local farmers market even in the middle of summer. That’s why they’re describing it at as a food desert. What an idiot.

        In Cleveland, we have a fantastic, year round market…AND I’m pretty sure some of the stalls take food stamps.

        Which matters not at all if you can’t get there.

        • Clarissa Darling
          August 9, 2013 at 1:40 am #

          If I recall someone brought this up in response to her comment and she came back with something like
          “well, the farmer’s market in my city downtown and there is plenty of public transportation that goes there” as if it’s super convenient to take the bus across town, possibly with kids in tow, to do a majority of your grocery shopping. *eyeroll*

          I grew up middle class and sheltered and yet I still managed to figure out that not everyone has it so easy. Why is it this concept just goes completely over some people’s head?

          • August 9, 2013 at 1:52 am #

            Yeah, and this might also be hard for her to grasp, but buses do in fact charge money.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 9, 2013 at 2:12 am #

            And it might take a couple transfers to get where you need to go. That bus ride plus shopping might well take you quite a few hours. Imagine doing that with your kids and having to stop to nurse them (especially if you are tandem nursing).

          • Jennifer2
            August 9, 2013 at 9:36 am #

            I don’t know why, but this was the thing that kind of shocked my awareness when I started working more with homeless clients. I know the bus costs money. I know that all of my clients are low income and some barely have any money and many have limited access to transportation or have to super-carefully budget their small income. But the number of people who got frustrated with me when I told them they needed to go someplace (like the Social Security office) and then asked if I had bus tokens because how did I expect them to get there. That hit me right in my privilege.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 9, 2013 at 11:10 am #

            As if it’s super convenient to take the bus across town, possibly with kids in tow, to do a majority of your grocery shopping. *eyeroll*

            I don’t frequent many farmer’s markets, but I have to say, can you really do the MAJORITY of your grocery shopping there? We get a pretty good load of produce every time we go to the store, but it’s never anywhere close to the majority of our groceries. Granted, our cart is usually filled with milk cartons…

      • auntbea
        August 9, 2013 at 9:40 am #

        $60 a week on PRODUCE? What is she buying? Organic hothouse heritage starfruit?

        • Clarissa Darling
          August 9, 2013 at 10:31 am #

          To be fair, I’m paraphrasing so I don’t recall if her comment was only about produce but, I do know there are a lot of grocery needs that aren’t covered by the farmer’s market (at least not the ones I’ve been to).
          Your comment made me chuckle–organic hothouse heritage starfruit sounds like the kind of snack my semi crunchy mom would have fed me as a kid!

        • stacey
          August 9, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

          I can easily spend this amount, and more, and not even on specialty or organic stuff. Having fresh produce at every meal, and for snacks, for a family of 4 is NOT cheap. At all. If we didn’t get SNAP we wouldn’t be able to have fresh food like this.

  18. OttawaAlison
    August 8, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    I wonder how much influence this man has had on WHO policy as he had worked there for years.

  19. LibrarianSarah
    August 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    This guy sounds like a misogynistic douchebag but I actually think that it is one of the reasons he might be so well accepted by lactivists. I was thinking about this morning that combined with the amount of misogynistic insults that were hurled at Amy yesterday along with the whole “silly women are so stupid that when a formula company sends them samples they will stop breastfeeding” argument that their appears to be a lot of internalized misogyny among lactivists.

  20. Yesacsection
    August 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    I have breastfed for 11 months. I wanted to stop at 6 months so my husband could share the load and I could sleep in once in a while and go back to a full time schedule and take care of myself too. The problem? My child, who once drank from the bottle on occasion, started solids then and now will only take breastmilk directly from me. I wish I had known that could actually happen before I started breastfeeding. It’s a bit of a challenge since my child has had some weight gain issues, so I’ve been unwilling to simply cut her off of breastmilk to try to get her to drink something else. Thankfully whole milk is coming along soon.

    I have had two surgeries since I delivered. It is very very hard on my child, husband and me because my child refuses to eat during the 24-48 hour recovery period. In addition to that, it has been very difficult to work around my physical limitations since delivery, maintain a career, and be a happy mom.

    I am supportive of breastfeeding. I am not supportive of giving up a professional career and personal sanity that I’d like my child to aspire to— for one year or two of tit-sucking. Sure, people do it, and post their boobs all over the internet, but they are ridiculous. For one, I don’t know a single person who was shamed for quietly feeding their child when the need arose, or shamed for having their nipple pop out from a baby getting frisky. Two, there are actually real causes that need attention that the “Mamas” brigade could actually zoom in on.

    I wore high heels once. It was painful. The thing about heels though, they are darn easy to take off and put away. Comparing that to the slavery I feel while breastfeeding along with the new limits my body has after pregnancy, all while loving my child intensely, to the pain of high heels, takes a special kind of dumbass. It takes an even bigger dumbass to believe that dumbass and post their message. Thanks to Alpha mom, I am reminded that incredibly stupid people continue to procreate. Thanks to this blog, I still have hope I’m not part of a Spaceballs film.

    • stacey
      August 8, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

      If someone cannot wait, you can fix this by using a feeding syringe, then transitioning to bottles. The feeding syringe is not a hassle either.

      • Val
        August 9, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

        My child used to accept bottles, but will no longer. I am not sure how a feeding syringe would help… Could you elaborate?

    • notahomebirthlactivist
      August 8, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

      ugh yeah, my daughter would not give up breastfeeding either. I actually had her having bottles from birth, usually one or two a day, with expressed milk, and then at around 5 weeks, she just refused to take a bottle. It’s hard for me to say how I feel about that. I enjoy breastfeeding, and I don’t think if I could go back I would do bottles only from the beginning.. for me, that’s not something which would have made me happy either, but I agree I wish I had known total bottle refusal was an actual thing, because mix feeding was my plan.
      On the other hand, I found by around 10 months, I could pretty much do my own thing anyway. She wouldnt take bottles but would drink from straw cups and eat food. For women in our position, we have to be able to trust that our older babies do not need to be demand fed continuously. I see on the kellymom board a lot of mums who are going “help my baby wont take a bottle and I really need to go away for a wedding, have a night out etc” and so many awful replies, encouraging the mother to take the baby, or go out for one or two hours max. This makes the mother feel like breastfeeding now is the only thing in her life! I am always the lone person who jumps in with “Your baby will be fine! Go have a night out.” For goodness sake, of course older babies will want to have that boob in their mouth all the time, but they can learn to be cared for by other people and go without. Back when my mum/mil had babies, you started weaning off the breast around 9-12 months routinely. My mums old edition of “what to expect” encourages it, saying if you don’t, your toddler will be much harder to wean. Im cool with breastfeeding a toddler, but I think we should realise that breastfeeding a toddler is not a necessity and that toddlers can and regularly DO get weaned off both breastfeeding and bottles without turning into psychopaths. if someone wants to breastfeed their child around the clock until they “Self wean” good for them, but some of us don’t want that.

      • Val
        August 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

        I am not sure why, but somehow disquis has me as Val and not Yesacsection. (sorry Val) Yeah, I don’t know if I would choose not to breast feed if I did it all again. But I would probably mix more than I did to try to make the transition easier.

        I hide a lot of nutrition in her solids via breast milk and formula. I just am irate at people like alpha mom who don’t acknowledge employment as part of fulfillment and feminsm.

    • August 9, 2013 at 12:34 am #

      Have you tried a small cup? A little messy, but I know my son was super excited to drink from a cup (he refused a bottle pretty much always and took a lot of convincing with a sippy).

      We weren’t able to introduce whole milk until almost 17 months, but once we did he pretty much self-weaned.

      • Val
        August 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

        I have some success at home with a cup, but daycare apparently cannot manage it. ( We finally got an opening at the other daycare, and now are changing day cares). About 1/4 of the expressed milk gets in through the regular cup and my child gets irate during the process, and I cannot keep up with the pumping to do it all the time at home. But, we do it in prep for the whole milk days to come..

  21. Meerkat
    August 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Can somebody please explain what Alpha Parent means by “the snobby side of parenting”? Is she feeling superior to parents who don’t parent the same way? If that is the case, what is the point of her blog? She presumably wants to convert people to her way of thinking, so how does snobbery fit into the picture?

    • Jennifer2
      August 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

      Remember the snobby girl in 5th grade who wore Guess jeans (or whatever was cool when you were in 5th grade) and who made it clear that Guess jeans were the best jeans and so very other girl in the class begged their mom to buy them Guess jeans? And every girl wanted to be her friend even though she was a little brat? That’s the Alpha Parent. Only breastfeeding is the new Guess jeans.

      • Jen
        August 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

        “On Wednesdays, we wear pink”

      • Zornorph
        August 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

        I thought it was Gloria Vanderbilt black denim jeans.

        • Bombshellrisa
          August 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

          International News sweatshirts, Keds and big hoop earrings. Ugh! I thought I was everything wearing those-I look back at the pictures and cringe

          • BeatlesFan
            August 8, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

            With my generation, it was Starter jackets and windpants.

          • Amy M
            August 9, 2013 at 7:57 am #

            You must be in your mid-thirties!

          • BeatlesFan
            August 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

            I turned 30 last month, actually. I was in junior high when those two fads hit. And yes, I had wind pants AND a Portland Sea Dogs Starter jacket 🙂

      • Meerkat
        August 9, 2013 at 10:00 am #

        I am so thankful my school had uniforms! I get that she feels superior to other moms, but why blog? Isn’t that so much time and effort? I dunno, if I had that much extra time and energy, I would try to do something constructive with it…

  22. auntbea
    August 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    Totally OT, but an interesting passage from an article on birth in Tanzania, where there are no doctors at the hospital, so mothers are opting to go back home.

    In Bugarama area there is a well known traditional midwives who assist pregnant women to deliver at home, her name is Ms Habiba Sitta (80). She resides at Buyangu village; she has been attending the pregnant women for more than ten years and has managed to help 260 live births. She started to keep records of newborn, premature, deaths of the newbornand mothers. The record shows that from 2005 to October, last year she has attended 282 pregnant women. Among them live infants were 270 and 9 deaths, premature were 10. While out of 282, three mothers died in her hands.

    Ms Sitta said that many deaths are of the premature stage and she
    uses local technique to save their lives. She said: “What I do to save
    their lives is boiling the cooking oil and apply it on the body of the
    infant and then cover it with blankets for the whole remaining days till
    it reaches the nine month.”

    • CanDoc
      August 8, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

      Those are amazing numbers for her circumstances. Super interesting, thanks for sharing.

  23. c
    August 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    “And speaking of short lists, “sore nipples” certainly sits up there with “insufficient milk” as among the most common reasons primarily Western women give for ceasing to breastfeed. However, if all the breastfeeding women I know are to be believed, breastfeeding and pain are not synonymous (from an evolutionary standpoint, how could they be?). Since pre-history nipple soreness is just one more thing that more experienced mothers typically assist less experienced mothers in preventing or correcting. But I can’t help but wonder how many women base their decision not to breastfeed at all on their fear of pain. So, maybe I understand a little better now what getting all gussied up in a tight skirt and high-heels means to someone who’s primarily motivated by being dressed to kill at any cost – welcome to the School of Silent Sartorial Suffering – and how important it is for a breastfeeding mother to receive elementary guidance on preventing sore nipples or worse.”

    Sore nipples are not possible from an evolutionary standpoint? Really, so if it doesn’t hurt bad enough to let your baby DIE, then you should keep breastfeeding even though there’s a perfectly acceptable alternative?

    And to generalize about woman, when speaking to woman, to tell us, hey, “I see the kind of stuff you CHOOSE to wear!” and to suggest that we should apply that same standard of silent suffering beyond just our vanity — it makes me really wonder why he’s the CEO of a pro-breastfeeding organization or involved in this topic at all. He doesn’t actually like women. Or respect them. Or want to help them. To him, they are much like the dairy farm he lived on as a kid, moo cows for milking, a means to an end.

    • yentavegan
      August 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

      Do women quit breastfeeding because of the pain? Yes. Is that anybody’s business? NO.
      Should a mother have to justify to anyone how she feeds her baby? That is her business alone.
      If a mother calls me and wants to know if pain during breastfeeding can be treated/corrected that is her inviting me into her circle. She is free to accept my suggestions or not. That is her choice as an autonomous human being.

    • multimom
      August 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

      Did I quit nursing when my baby was spitting up my blood from my cracked nipples. No. Would I judge any mother who did quit? Hell no. Although I do wonder about my sanity for continuing.

      When I have ALL MY SHIZZ in order, I’ll start worrying about other moms. Because I like my kids, and I like focusing on them. I’m too selfish to focus on other people’s kids. 🙂

      • August 9, 2013 at 12:52 am #

        Yeah I had mastitis. If I’d realized how long and agonizing recovery would be, not sure I would have stuck it out.

    • PJ
      August 8, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      “However, if all the breastfeeding women I know are to be believed, breastfeeding and pain are not synonymous (from an evolutionary standpoint, how could they be?). ”
      Somebody doesn’t understand evolution!

      • rh1985
        August 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

        why the heck is childbirth painful then? according to TAP it shouldn’t be!

  24. meglo91
    August 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Hey folks, off-topic but there’s a fun discussion going on at Jezebel over a new study out about gestational age.

    • Bombshellrisa
      August 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      Couldn’t read past the third comment. So doctors induce because “meconium is gross”? Yeah, I guess these people have never seen a baby in NICU fighting for it’s life after aspirating meconium.

      • KarenJJ
        August 8, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

        Ha! It’s not like doctors are squeamish around gross things…

      • amazonmom
        August 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

        Term Mec aspiration, some of the sickest.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      August 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

      I left a comment.

      • stacey
        August 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

        But but but, no inductions prior to 39 weeks! Or else!

    • Box of Salt
      August 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      FYI link to the study Length of human pregnancy and contributors to its natural variation:

      Full text appears to be free. I’ll be reading it later.

      • rh1985
        August 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

        hmm, one thought – if some babies are naturally done “cooking” at 37-38 ish weeks, but labor doesn’t begin because of something with the mother’s body not quite working right, then couldn’t the risks of going past 40+ weeks be even higher in some cases?

        • Box of Salt
          August 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

          I had the same thought after reading Science Daily’s summary quoting the author: “We found that the average time from ovulation to birth was 268 days — 38 weeks and two days.”

          • anonymous
            August 8, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

            Typically, gestational age is dated from last menstrual period, which is typically 2 weeks before ovulation. So what this study calls 38 weeks would typically be considered 40 weeks.

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            August 8, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

            They dated gestational age from ovulation determined by hormonal markers.

    • rh1985
      August 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      Oh great, more fodder for those who would judge women like myself who would prefer to be induced (even if it risks a c-section) at 40 weeks.

  25. yentavegan
    August 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    You can be a IBCLC and not be a lactavist
    You can be a LLLleader and not be a lactavist
    you can be a CLC and not be a lactavist.
    Don’t let the extreme fringe define who you are or what you believe.

    • mollyb
      August 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

      So true. One of my best and oldest friends is an AP mom and a proud LLL member. She has never shown any ounce of judgement against formula feeding moms (myself included) and even highly recommended a lactation counselor friend of hers to me because her friend was “reasonable” and “rational” unlike most LC she knew.

    • Allie P
      August 8, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      My BFing experience was saved by my local LLL leader who scoffed at the loony lactation consultant I hired’s advice that supplementing (on doctor’s orders) meant “giving up”. She was like “Feed your baby. Breastfeed her if you want, and then if she’s hungry, give her a bottle. Problem solved.” She was laid back and down to earth and was like “hey, breastfeeding is great, but you know what’s most important? That your baby not be hungry. FEED YOUR BABY.” I know some folks have had bad LLL experiences but mine (Silver Spring) was cool.

    • Sue
      August 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

      I listened to a radio talk-back show this morning about the experience of joining and participating in clubs (Radio National Life Matters, for the Aussies). One woman called about having formed a breast feeding club – which was essentially a play group that apparently also welcomed poison-feeders (my terminology) and fathers.

      So WHY, I thought, not call it BABY FEEDING CLUB – and make it clear that you welcome any parent?

  26. Amazed
    August 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    Alert message here! Yesterday, I visited my grandma. She was… no, it’s too awful to write it here, I can’t, really… Well, I’ll say it anyway. She was preparing bread soaked in milk for the four kittens her yard acquired a month ago because mother cat did not produce enough milk for all of them, in Grandma’s opinion. Although she, too, received additional food, milk included.

    I’ll never live it down. My grandma, an innocent kittens abuser.

    They are already suffering the consequences. The orange one was the first to greet me when I came in – before my grandparents. I only glimpsed a ball of bright fur before he bolted off. All day long, he came to peek at this new human, to jump and dance and then bolt off. Clearly, too stupid to realize that he was being abused.

    • Meerkat
      August 8, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

      They have kitten formula. I guess it’s “poison,” too. I fed it to one of my cats because his mom abandoned him. H grew up to be a gorgeous orange bruiser. And I really can’t tell a difference between him and his breast fed adoptive brother.

      • Amazed
        August 9, 2013 at 3:52 am #

        Really? Isn’t he a bit dumber? I don’t believe you!

        • Meerkat
          August 9, 2013 at 9:47 am #

          Haha! Well….. I have to be honest, he is a little bit dumber! I think it’s due to lack of mommy training. Mama cats spend a lot of time teaching their babies how to be cats, and he missed it. I realized it when I noticed that he really wanted to jump up on a chair, but didn’t know how to or was afraid. I had to teach him by pretending to jump up! We decided to adopt another kitten so he could gain a playmate and also learn how to behave like a cat.
          I guess this can be applied to humans, too. Reading and singing to kids is more beneficial in terms of higher IQ than breast milk!

      • auntbea
        August 9, 2013 at 9:49 am #

        He would have been a nice tortoiseshell if you had gone to the donor cat milk bank.

        • Meerkat
          August 9, 2013 at 11:22 am #

          Oh yes, and a Nobel Prize winner:) I can just picture mama cats pumping their milk while watching TV and munching on cat treats.

    • August 9, 2013 at 12:59 am #

      Not to be snarky, but doesn’t cows milk give cats diarrhea? Is that just older kittens (and cats)? I have a very vivid memory of finding a lost kitten with my best friend when I was seven. We decided to give it some milk before trying to find the owner.

      We ended up having to carry it door-to-door in a bucket. Strangely, no one claimed the kitten.

      • Amazed
        August 9, 2013 at 3:52 am #

        I’ve never seen a yard kitten with diarrhea from cow milk. Maybe because I never saw one where cow milk was their primary source of food. Or maybe because they weren’t newborns. Now, I cannot guarantee for cats – they do move, after all. Still, the ones I’ve been seeing for all those years were all quite cheerful and perky, running up and down at a regular basis.

        Mind you, we aren’t talking of someone who just decided to try something. In small villages, people have been owning yard animals for decades and managed to keep them through without getting them sick. It comes with experience and maybe because the food there is as organic as it can be under these circumstances. Not entirely, though.

  27. Bambi Chapman
    August 8, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    Good heavens. Sex is natural, breastfeeding is natural. If you are willing to work on your sex life, you should be willing to work on breastfeeding. Yeah. I don’t care how natural they are, they are NOT the same in any way, shape, or form.

    • guestK
      August 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      For one, you don’t have to have sex on-demand every couple hours for months on end. If that was the option I’d think a lot of people would choose celibacy.

      • Bombshellrisa
        August 8, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

        Especially if you were left in pain or bleeding.

      • T.
        August 9, 2013 at 7:01 am #

        This is probably what he wistfully wish for, though.

  28. Older Mom
    August 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    OMG…I totally missed it until I went to close the page with that ridiculous blog post on it. That was written by a MAN. Somehow, that makes me feel even MORE sick. What sort of perverted misogynistic pig is he? Breastfeeding is like SEX, using formula is KINKY, women should endure pain?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him on the sex offender registry some day. He is even more ill than I thought.

    I really do feel like I’m going to vomit.

    • Dr Kitty
      August 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      Here’s a thought, if they aren’t your nipples that are cracked and bleeding, and it isn’t your pain, you don’t get to decide whether it is worth tolerating or not.

      Unless the gentleman author has been wearing high heels and has Breastfed with thrush or a bad latch he doesn’t get to decide that the pain levels are comparable, never mind whether or not they are tolerable.

      • Mac Sherbert
        August 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

        No kidding. My kids doctor gave me the breast is best line then quickly added…”I’ve never breastfeed, so…”

      • Happy Sheep
        August 11, 2013 at 8:45 am #

        He doesn’t seem to realize that I can take my heels off and get relief instantly, but sore, cracked nipples can be excruciating indefinitely.

  29. Sorin
    August 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    My SIL is slowly turning into one of these nut jobs. I gave birth to a
    35 weeker about a month ago. One of the first things she texted to DH
    was “Don’t feed him formula!”

    Really? REALLY?!

    So you’d rather I let my 4lb 8oz, weak-sucking, late-preterm infant starve
    instead of providing him with much needed nutrition? Because every
    attempt to put him on the breast resulted in him expending a lot energy
    and cries of frustration before falling asleep from the sheer effort of
    it all (without eating anything). Fortunately, DH didn’t show me her
    ridiculous text until after we were discharged and my healthy 4lb 12oz
    baby came home with us. He knew reading it in the hospital while things
    were a little touch-and-go would cause me to fly into such a ragestroke
    that I couldn’t be held responsible for my actions. 😛

    I have since found out that when she was having trouble breastfeeding
    that she fed her infant untested donor milk from an absolute stranger.
    The very thought of feeding my child someone else’s bodily fluid makes
    me recoil in horror, and solidifies in my mind that SIL has completely
    gone off the deep end into crazytown.

    I’m happy to report that my little guy is slowly creeping toward 6lbs thanks to
    pumped breast milk, an occasional nursing session (yay!), and *gasp*
    evil, evil, disease-free, FDA approved formula

    • mollyb
      August 8, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

      Good for you! My oldest was 5 lbs 14 oz at birth (full term). She was supplemented with formula because it was our hospital’s policy for babies under 6 lbs at birth. One LC I worked with rolled her eyes and said “I think that’s silly. Most babies under 6 lbs will probably be fine with just breastmilk.” She seemed surprised when I was unwilling try to see if my much-longed-for baby would “probably” be fine. My little one had a tiny mouth and was a weak sucker too. She ended up being solely bottle fed after a few weeks. And now she’s a healthy, bright, happy little toddler. Good wishes to your little one and congrats!

      • mollyb
        August 8, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

        Edited to add: If/when you have more, it might be totally different. My young daughter (one of those ‘we’re infertile, no need to use birth control’ Irish twin situations, was a fat little butterwhale at birth and latched onto the boob immediately and never let go. Found out I totally preferred bottle feeding!

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        August 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

        I gotta agree. OK, “Most” will “probably” be fine. Great, but I don’t want MY baby to be the rare example that isn’t.

      • Pharmacist Sarah
        August 9, 2013 at 11:41 am #

        It won’t let me log in! Not nice! My first child was severely jaundiced, not even trying to feed, lost a ton of weight and was just generally not well. I had no milk. Our pediatrician instructed us to bottle feed. The LC told me, “You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to.” She also told me to pump every 2 hours around the clock, even though I was unwell and had an open c-section incision after a seroma (yuck!). My OBGYN wasn’t too keen on that and preferred I get some sleep and try to heal. We told the LC to take her leave and never looked back.

    • Ainsley Nicholson
      August 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

      My twins born at 36 weeks weighed about the same as your lil guy (4’13”), and they got mostly pumped milk from bottles until they were big and strong enough to nurse, which they proceeded to do for over a year. I don’t know where the idea came from that babies won’t nurse if they get bottles early in life, but mine are proof that a transition from bottle to breast is indeed possible.

      • stacey
        August 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

        Mine was 33W, and got NG and bottle feeds for the first 3 weeks, then mostly bottles and some BF for the next 2 weeks. She also had a paci this whole time.

        Once we went home, she was EBF. Still BF at 17 months. She also refused all bottles and pacis once she was able!

        The whole “one bottle ruins BF” is needless worry.

        • kumquatwriter
          August 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

          I will vouch – her daughter will throw the bottle across the room and howl “Booooooobbbbieeesss!”

        • KarenJJ
          August 8, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

          Mine just switched between the two easily for 6 months and then went to bottles full time. Pacifiers, on the other hand, were either ignored or thrown or spat out. No milk = bad, in her opinion.

  30. Older Mom
    August 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    I tried to read the blog post. Really, I did. But I honestly think the writer is crazy. I mean, actually, really seriously mentally ill. No normal person, no matter how petty or judgemental or mean, could come up with this crap. I mean really…kinky accoutrements??? Just skimming through the post and the nutty pictures made my head hurt. I’m done for the day.

  31. Antigonos CNM
    August 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    When lactivists reach this level of absurdity, I just tune them out. I really haven’t got any patience with the lunatic fringe any more.

  32. amazonmom
    August 8, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    I’m 6 foot 1 and have extremely high arches, heels don’t have any benefit for me and I never wear them.
    You don’t wait for a patient situation or your child’s situation to progress to the point of dire emergency if you can prevent it. Lactivists love to force children to starve to the point of illness before using formula so maybe that’s some weird drama queen fetish to equate formula use to oxygen masks on planes or breaking the glass.
    Formula provides complete nutrition for infants 0-12 months, it’s not the baby feeding equivalent of Mcdonalds no matter what she thinks.
    Historical significance? I think that is a delusion of grandeur and requires therapy/meds.
    Again she misses the idea that complete nutrition is complete nutrition, I don’t really care that she wants my family to give up the main wage earner (me) so I can feed my child from the breast. She’s nuts if she thinks I’m giving up a full time day shift job as a hospital nurse and full benefits. I find no value in paying for designer anything and drive a Kia even though I could afford more expensive things.
    Kinky accoutrements are kept in my closet away from my child. I don’t have an infantile fetish and neither does Amazondad. No bottles in there.
    The FDA and formula makers use the same units, I’m not worried about the Enfamil and Similac blowing up and killing my family.

  33. meglo91
    August 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Oh thank god for this site. Seriously. I am a working mother. I’ve been pumping breastmilk for my 5 month old for the last several months while back to work. It has sucked. But I’ve done it because it’s probably the best thing for the baby, however marginally. And also because I just enjoy breastfeeding her when I’m home. I now have several trips away from home scheduled in the next few months, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to start weaning her because continuing to breastfeed is going to be just too damn hard and stressful. If I believed tripe like the post you referenced, I’d never be able to do what is clearly best for me and for my baby.

    • stacey
      August 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

      If you enjoy BF, you may be able to just go down to comfort or night feeds after your travels. She can have FF when you are away, and during the day. At 6 months, you should be able to keep enough milk for this, even if you don’t pump a lot when traveling. I couldn’t travel and pump. Instead, I hand express, as its not much slower than the pump and much less annoying.
      No matter what you do, it will be fine. I hope it is not stressful for you! (I have one FF baby and one BF one.)

  34. EB151
    August 8, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    The Ritz? Overpriced couture fashion? Hurting yourself to wear shoes that sexualize you for the benefit of men? This is what breastfeeding is equatable to for this guy? YUCK.

    I spend a lot of time teaching my kids that materialism and sexualization are against their personal dignity. Sleep at the Ritz or in the a shack in the woods, it’s all the same. Just love where you are and be good to people. Sheesh, maybe shoulda aimed higher and encouraged them to wear spike heels so they can have some real self-esteem.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      August 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      I agree. I gotta say, this doesn’t do a lot to change the impression that all of this is a matter of convenience of privilege. Jeez, all he has to do next is make a comparison to a Coach purse.

      • Bombshellrisa
        August 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

        I was going to say Coach diaper bag

        • tim
          August 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

          We have a coach diaper bag :X

          I actually bought it for my wife as a birthday present after we had been dating a couple years, because she was looking for a nice weekend bag, and she didn’t really have any nice bags. I thought it was just an extra big purse, until she was unwrapping it and pulled out a changing pad. My family had a ball with that one.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

            You are awesome!

          • tim
            August 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

            The feeling of just realizing in front of a couple dozen people that you bought the woman you’re dating a diaper bag for her 30th birthday is spectacular.

          • Meerkat
            August 8, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

            Was she happy or shocked?

          • Tim
            August 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

            She thought it was hilarious – why do you think I married her? 🙂

    • amazonmom
      August 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

      This guy is a creepy pervert mansplainer. It’s grosses me out that Omega Parent endorsed this.

  35. guest
    August 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Just what women need, an old white guy mansplaining breastfeeding to us.

    • Box of Salt
      August 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      Absolute nothing he wrote there has any relevance to real life.

  36. OttawaAlison
    August 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Gosh the hierarchy for infant feeding must be as follows:

    1. Breast milk from the breast
    2. A mother’s pumped breast milk
    3. Donor milk from a milk bank
    4. Donor milk from a milk sharing group.
    5. Homemade formula
    6. Raw goat’s milk.
    7. Camel milk
    8. Organic non-gmo formula
    9. Conventional commercial formula
    10. Rat poison.

    Is Mr. Akre for real?

    • Amy M
      August 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

      Don’t forget cat milk, lovingly milked by hand! (…meet the parents…) I think these people might believe that rat poison is better than formula. Or at least that baby-led weaning in the direction of McDonald’s is better.

      • Courtney84
        August 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

        You can milk anything that has nipples…

        • LibrarianSarah
          August 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

          I have nipple Greg. Can you milk me?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      August 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

      Why is milk from a milk bank better than from a milk sharing group? You’d think that a milk sharing group would be more “natural” (women helping each other, as women used to breast feed infants of women who were not able to produce milk or who died during childbirth). And raw goat’s milk? Listeria risk, anyone?

      • Amy M
        August 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

        Well, those worried about BBPs would consider milk from a milk bank better. Those who think “natural is better” would probably lean the other way, BBPs be damned. After all, anyone willing to share breast milk couldn’t possibly be an IV drug user or anything like that.

      • Antigonos CNM
        August 8, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

        Listeria is undoubtedly “natural”.

      • Jennifer2
        August 8, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

        Number 3 is a wet nurse. Then re-number from there.

    • Sue
      August 8, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

      Yes – but 9 and 10 should be reversed. rat poison is digestible.

    • Poogles
      August 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

      You forgot the wet-nurse. Not sure if that would be #2 or #3 on this list…on one hand it’s not milk from the baby’s own mother, but on the other hand it’s “straight from the tap” so you can avoid the ebil bottles.

  37. auntbea
    August 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    1) I do not wear high heels. Because the cost outweighs the benefits. 2) I have never stayed at the Ritz, and have no need for my child to stay there either. 3) If I was formula fed, does that mean tradition and ancient wisdom will only be realized if I too formula feed my child?

    • Amy M
      August 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      I’m pretty sure we’ve got formula feeding going on for at least 3 generations now….

  38. auntbea
    August 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    I think you mean “their goal.”

  39. tim
    August 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    “If we were to decline to provide our children with the nutritional equivalent of a plush suite in a five-star hotel by feeding them artificially, we would do well not to kid ourselves into believing that, by giving formula, we’re somehow at least replacing the suite with adequate three- or four-star accommodation. In fact, our children still end up eating in the basement.”

    If that doesn’t just take the damn cake. I sincerely hope none of these women ever have to deal with real medical issues because their whole world will just fall apart. If you’ve gone that far towards convincing yourself formula is the “basement accommodations of feeding” , it will be earth shattering.


    • Kalacirya
      August 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      These people think that they and their genetics are perfect. And that all future ailments and disabilities can be prevented by a religious dedication to lifestyle factors. When someone around them does have something go wrong, they construct a fallacious set of reasoning to convince themselves that the other person didn’t do a good enough job. It’s kind of pathetic.

      • tim
        August 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

        That’s the saddest part because then that person is “shunned” out and has nobody to turn to when they need support the most.

      • KarenJJ
        August 8, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

        My genetic counsellor told me that people have 3-4 genetic ‘misspellings’. Some of them can be dire (I think many miscarriages are suspected to be due to genetic defects), some can be life threatening, some can be a nuisance (mine has caused early hearing loss) and some are the sort people just don’t notice.

        Eating slightly healthier foods was never going to stop someone’s DNA dividing differently during conception and once my DNA was affected there wasn’t going to be much that was going to stop my hearing loss until they invented a medication that stopped my cells doing what they were doing.

    • Bombshellrisa
      August 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      If they are faced with real medical issues, they start “doing their research” about CAM and how chiropractic can help. There was a blogger who was told her unborn daughter had some potentially serious cardiac issues and the only thing she talked about was having to “give up HER birth, with HER midwife, at HER birth center” and formulated a plan where she could labor and deliver at the CPM run birth center and then have her daughter taken to the hospital after she was born. It’s NEVER about the baby, whether we are talking about pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.

      • tim
        August 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

        Good god. We’re planning to have our next at Brigham for the explicit reason that we want our daughters cardiologists from Boston Children’s to be able to have immediate access to check things out, rather than having to wait for discharge and then bring the next one to the clinic. And that’s not knowing for sure if anything will be wrong or not, because we still don’t know if this was a combination of the two “possibly related” mutations my wife and I passed on, or a de novo mitochondrial mutation or what.

        KNOWING there are cardiac problems and still choosing to give birth at a birth center and then hope they get the baby to the hospital in time.

        There really is zero reality here. It’s like a Preston Sturges movie.

        • Bombshellrisa
          August 8, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

          I have had friends who choose a hospital a little further away precisely because of the level of care available for their baby should something go wrong. The homebirthers actually make a thing about that, saying that since they have to drive on the freeway and probably in traffic (hah! this is Seattle, there is ALWAYS traffic) that they are putting themselves and their baby at more risk because they “might get in a car accident”.

          • Jennifer2
            August 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

            They would love Iowa then. I live in a decently sized town by Iowa standards and your hospital has a basic NICU, but the better NICU is about 45 minutes to and hour away in Des Moines and the super-specialists are at UIHC almost 3 hours away. If needed, I totally would have traveled to either of those to deliver if it meant the difference between access to necessary care or not.

          • amazonmom
            August 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

            On my lord, really? They never will drive with the baby in the car? I find it to be much scarier to call 911, wait for EMS, ride to the hospital, then hope nobody has died during the delay in treatment if something goes wrong with the homebirth.

      • amazonmom
        August 8, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

        The cardiologists I know would call CPS if some fool was planning an out of hospital delivery for a baby with cardiac problems. That’s one of the most vile things I’ve ever heard.

        • Bombshellrisa
          August 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

          It’s indeed vile. It’s interesting you should say that, CPS did indeed get called, and there were quite a few blog entries devoted to that. She did give birth in the hospital btw, but she deemed it a waste since “nothing ended up being wrong” with her baby. I wish I could wade through the past entries and find the thread about this, she does mention the hospital and the midwives she wanted to deliver with-not strangers to you : )

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 8, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

            I’m sure she would then have no problem if I drove around with my kids not in car seats, right? As long as nothing ends up going wrong, it must be acceptable.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

            Exactly. And you can take them to the hospital if something DOES happen, so what is the big deal?

          • Tim
            August 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

            Yeah it’s no big deal. If your aorta and pulmonary artery are hooked up in each others place, you can totally just take an easy breezy ride to the hospital while zero oxygenated blood gets circulated around your body. (Just one peachy example)

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

            Hey, if you’re in Seattle, you could even stop by the Space Needle on the way.

          • Tim
            August 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

            And the baby needs to catch a seahawks game while you’re out and about. No rush. Breathing is overrated.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 8, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

            Maybe all that “good 12th man energy” is supposed to help.
            How in the world could anyone feel comfortable with the hospital being 10 minutes away in an urban setting? A lot of the people who live in the city have to park their cars on the street and not always right in front of their place. That is, if they have a car. Then you have to wait for the ambulance. Even being across the street from a hospital, when you are bleeding out or your baby isn’t breathing it might as well be 100 miles away.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

            Or the EMP-it’s sort of medical, being shaped like the inner ear.
            We have some awesome hospitals and Seattle Children’s is a place where miracles happen.

          • amazonmom
            August 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

            One of my past nursing students that I precepted for her Senior project is now an RN in the CICU at Children’s. We used to spend the slow days reading the Cove point Foundation website reading about different cardiac defects.

          • amazonmom
            August 8, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

            Yeah I’m sure that homebirth midwife has PGE and the ability to start an IV so you can ummm actually survive the ride to the hospital.

          • Tim
            August 8, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

            Maybe your kid will luck out and have a PDA or a huge ASD so they survive the ride, who knows. It’s worth it, who’s gonna shake your apples in the hospital?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

            But you know darn well she’d be the one calling CPS if she saw someone not using a carseat, even if “nothing went wrong”

          • amazonmom
            August 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm #


          • Tim
            August 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

            Yes, total waste. Thank god nothing was wrong because this sounds like the kind of person who would start giving their baby random supplements without telling the cardiologists because someone in her babycenter birth group suggested them.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

            There are SO MANY parents who would have gladly changed places with her.
            She might also have decided to have the naturopathic doctor/CPM care for her child instead of a cardiologist. You never know.

          • Beth
            August 9, 2013 at 11:38 am #

            It was such a waste to wear a seatbelt on the way to work today, since I didn’t get in an accident.

    • Amy M
      August 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

      I know right!? How about those children who don’t get to eat at all? Or those who get to eat some nutritionally devoid scrap that is contaminated by the unclean water supply near the hovel they live in? Those kids could really use the time and energy these loons expend on berating women in the Western world for not breastfeeding.

    • Jennifer2
      August 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

      It seems like the better analogy (from a nutritional standpoint only) would be that breastmilk is like the shiny new construction house with fancy kitchen and fenced in back yard. Formula is like the 1980s split-foyer with gutters that clog if it rains really hard, a front bedroom that is the hottest room in the summer and coldest in the winter, and a previous owner who had cats and when it’s humid the basement smells like cats. But both houses have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a nice yard, a roof, walls, a foundation, a working furnace and AC, all the necessary appliances in decent working order, etc. Everything else being equal, the 80s split-foyer isn’t as nice as the new construction house. So if you can get the new house, do it. But if an 80s split-foyer is the best you can do, you’re doing fine, the kids may never want to get a cat, but still, they’ll be fine. And everybody can be thankful they aren’t living in the bed bug infested apartment building a few blocks over (sweetened condensed milk plus corn syrup) or the old house with bad electrical wiring and lead paint (homemade raw goat’s milk formula).

  40. Amy H
    August 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    That’s strange…when I weaned my baby to formula somewhere in between 9 and 10 months, he seemed to be quite ok. I didn’t notice any marked decline in his advance toward milestones (actually his calendar lit up with milestone stickers at 12 mo when he went to cow’s milk). He still seemed to love me. He’s only gotten more cuddly as time goes on – perhaps because he seems neglected. He did go through a gassy stage, but I suspected his daddy sharing salsa with him contributed to that.

    • Sue
      August 8, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

      My daughter’s cognitive skills improved markedly after weaning. And vaccinations.

      • KarenJJ
        August 9, 2013 at 9:09 am #

        My first started walking within days of getting her MMR. Amazing!

        • auntbea
          August 9, 2013 at 9:53 am #

          I spilled tea on my daughter and she had to go the hospital for a few days and when she came back, said her first word — “dog” — at only nine months.

          I now encourage all parents to keep boiling liquid on low tables where their children can get it.

          • Dr Kitty
            August 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

            My daughter only said “mama” at 18 months- at which time she was able to use two words sentences and had been saying “dada” and “nana” since before she was a year.
            We later worked out that she had, in fact, been calling me “milk” for months, until she was weaned from the breast and worked out that milk came in cups and wasn’t actually my name.

          • auntbea
            August 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

            That’s so funny! I frequently wonder what we are going to retroactively realize my daughter is saying.

          • An Actual Attorney
            August 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

            To which I must post:

        • Amy H
          August 9, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

          Now that you mention it, mine took his first steps about four days later too. Shall we publish a paper?

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