No excuses for being a sanctimommy

No excuses concept

Allison Dixley, self-proclaimed “alpha parent” offered this charming suggestion on her Facebook page.

Referring to an old newspaper article entitled No excuses for being fat, say Tories, Allison recommends:

Read this article and exchange ‘obesity’ for ‘formula feeding’. No excuses.

I have a better idea. Read the article and exchange ‘fat’ for ‘a sanctimommy.’

Sanctimommies were told today there are “no excuses” for being obnoxious.

Tell sanctimommies that something is “natural” and they are offered the one thing we have to avoid: an excuse for being insufferable.

As it is, women who see more sanctimommies around them may themselves be more likely become sanctimonious. Peer pressure and social norms are powerful influences on behaviour and they are classic excuses.

See, Allison, no excuses for being a sanctimommy!

134 Responses to “No excuses for being a sanctimommy”

  1. Kara
    December 17, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    I despise the Alpha Parent. The worst thing on the internet.

  2. anion
    December 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    I love the number of comments that call formula feeding a de facto cause of obesity, like, oh, of course if you formula feed your child will be obese, and will grow into an obese adult, no matter what. It doesn’t matter what they eat after the first year or two, or what their genetics or metabolism are like, formula = fat and that’s the end of it.

    Not sure how that explains the fruitless day I just spent trying to find jeans with a small enough waist to fit my twelve-year-old daughter, who was formula fed, is as tall as me, and is so narrow and thin that she can still fasten pants made for kids half her age. Also not sure how that explains the abundance of thin children and adults in previous generations who were all formula fed because breastfeeding was considered wrong or gross or low-class, or the countless thin children and adults today who are also (including myself).

    • FormerPhysicist
      December 16, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

      Or why I’m fat, since my mother breast-fed me.

      • anion
        December 16, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

        No, no. The only reason you could possibly be fat is formula feeding. Your mom lied to you, duh.

        (Just in case…that is totally sarcasm. And I’m sure you’re lovely.)

        • Certified Hamster Midwife
          December 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

          My mom is fat because of breastfeeding. She stopped nursing me but kept eating as if she were.

    • Young CC Prof
      December 16, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

      That actually describes my husband, at almost 40 years old. He so skinny, he buys his pants in the kids’ department. Then he lets out the hems, and then tucks them into his boots so no one can tell they’re still too short.

      He was formula-fed, too.

      • siri dennis
        December 17, 2013 at 8:55 am #

        He sounds like a true sartorial genius! With a unique style that’s all his own. I shall do the same from now on as a tribute to all the skinny-but-ingenious people in the world. :-b

    • OttawaAlison
      December 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      My mom and I struggle with our wrights and we were breastfed. My daughter was primarily formula fed and is slim. Even if she did have a weight problem, I doubt the formula would have caused or exacerbated it.

    • Spamamander
      December 16, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

      My son is the only one of my three that I didn’t even try to breastfeed, and at 14 he’s 5’6″ or so and about 112 lbs. So called “Skinny” jeans on him still tend to droop at the waist. Obviously the formula made him obese.

    • December 17, 2013 at 10:14 am #

      Even if it were true it wouldn’t make everyone who uses formula obese.

    • Anka
      December 17, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

      Heh–I was talking about combo feeding with my dad, who mentioned that my grandmother always felt bad for formula feeding him (in order to be a proper American 1950’s mom and not an immigrant who does “primitive” things like breastfeeding), but that he wasn’t sure why. I told him about the current propaganda warning that formula feeding will make you obese and asthmatic and allergic to things. My father is rail-thin and not asthmatic or allergic to anything–he has an iron constitution that has taken years of alcohol and tobacco and other substance abuse to wreck, and even then he’s not made that much of a dent. So we had a good laugh.

      • Anka
        December 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

        Also, my son is 85th percentile for weight and way off the charts for height, and his width is (comparatively) skinny to his length. Though I suppose these people could argue that it’s the 15% breastmilk he’s getting, LOL.

    • Karyn Croushore Hodgins
      December 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      I remember when I asked my mom once if I was breastfed and her response was a shocked “NO! We could afford formula!” Amazing how things have changed and come full circle…. btw… I WISH I could have afforded formula when my kids were little… who can afford it?? lol

  3. OttawaAlison
    December 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    Tis the season, donate a can of formula To a local food bank if you can for every 5/10/100 or so negative tweets/Facebook statuses/memes she makes shaming formula feeding.

    • Certified Hamster Midwife
      December 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

      On the one hand, I like this idea. On the other hand, that would mean reading her stuff. Can someone keep a tally?

      • OttawaAlison
        December 16, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

        I don’t intentionally read her stuff, but her more offensive stuff gets shared on places I visit.

  4. Just A Guest
    December 16, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    My neighbor and I were pregnant at the same time. Our babies came just a few days apart. Both of us chose breastfeeding for all of our babies. Thank goodness they have modern blood testing today because both of us also chose the standard newborn care options for our babies. Her baby had galactosemia, even though none of her other children had ever had it and she did not know that she and her husband had the genetic trait for it. Her baby would have died if she had not stopped breastfeeding. She had to feed a soybean formula to the baby. I suppose life-threatening conditions aren’t an “excuse”, no?

    • fiftyfifty1
      December 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

      She should have pumped for 12 months and shared her milk with foolhardy, er trusting, people from an on-line milk sharing group!

      • siri dennis
        December 17, 2013 at 2:44 am #

        12 months?! 12 YEARS you mean. Or she could set up a breastmilk stand in her front garden. Haven’t you heard the famous song – A duck walked up to a boobiemilk stand…

    • Zornorph
      December 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

      No excuses; her baby might have lived but its IQ will be permanently damaged by formula feeding. Is that worth it?

      • anion
        December 16, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

        Yes. The sanctimommies seem to share with the vaccine deniers the vile Triumph of the Will philosophy that you’re better off dead than somehow “imperfect.”

        • Zornorph
          December 16, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

          Indeed; I don’t know why they don’t throw C-section babies right into the trash so the mother can begin working on her ‘healing’ VBAC right away.

  5. December 16, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    Rather ironic the things for which there are legitimate excuses and the things for which there aren’t – seems all kind of 1984 to me. It’s excusable to be a completely sociopathic individual, but inexcuseable to not breastfeed, or not deliver vaginally, or to become fat or too skinny…. Somewhere, somehow we lost sight of things, those things that were valuable and actually mattered.

  6. theNormalDistribution
    December 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    I’m sorry, is her profile picture actually a cartoon of a mother with a halo? A HALO?

    • rh1985
      December 16, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

      It really should be a cracked, crooked halo.

    • Squillo
      December 17, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      This is what gives me hope that it’s an elaborate Poe. Which would be fabulous and might get her a lot more attention once she came clean about it.

  7. December 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    I hope I get a warning if linking to one of my blogs counts as spam. I really don’t want to offend anyone or wear out my welcome in this space. Please let me know if you want me to stop. I started an ex-natural childbirth blog and would like to make it known for people who are like me (who were into NCB and later quit). Here’s my latest post:

    for people interested in my case, I’m filing my appeal tomorrow. I will get a trial de novo (a brand-new trial!) so the ‘expert testimony’ won’t be very credible. We have mandatory mediation before that, so hopefully a settlement can be worked out. Wish me luck! thanks again to everyone who has given me such amazing support on this website.

    • Dr Kitty
      December 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      I wish you the best and hope that the outcome is what you hope for.

    • anion
      December 16, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

      Best of luck to you! I’ll be thinking of you.

    • December 16, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

      Please keep us posted!

    • Kat
      December 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

      I was just about to post on something you wrote for updates! Thanks for giving them. I really hope you reach a settlement, too, so good luck. I’m rooting for you.

  8. Guest
    December 16, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    Women who nurse do deserve a pat on the back. It’s hard work! Also, it’s not for everyone. It’s a lot more difficult emotionally than people realize, whether there’s pressure from outside sources or just your own nursing goals.
    No one should be criticized for how they chose to feed their child (nursing vs bottle, home made baby food vs jarred baby food). You need to do what’s best for you and your family.
    What is terrible is being told that “you can’t do that here!” when trying to nurse in public. If that’s when baby needs to eat, that’s when they need to eat. Being asked to nurse in the bathroom is really demeaning as well. No one asks bottle feeding parents to bottle feed in the bathroom. Maybe if we make nursing more normalized instead of shunning nursing mothers, everyone would be more okay with it and we wouldn’t have the “rabid nursers” or the “breast police”. Then we can all just do what’s best for our families.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      December 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

      How “normalized” does it have to be?

      If someone is nursing in the mall, and 99 people walk by ignoring her and one person gives them a dirty look, which do you think she is going to notice?

      I’d like to see the evidence that “shunning the nursing mothers” is the norm, as opposed to the opposite?

    • Guest
      December 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

      I nursed three babies eighteen months each — so about four years, total. In that time I was only given a hard time about it twice. My friend bottle fed her kids and said it actually got to the point that she would dread taking out a bottle in public because someone ALWAYS commented. (“Oooo, bottle, huh?” or “Were you able to breastfeed at all?”) Breastfeeding is glorified, bottle feeding is demonized. I think the goal should be that as a culture we start minding our business and not think that a woman is public property either way.

      • EclampMama07
        December 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

        ‘Er, no. I gave birth under general anesthesia, had a grand mal seizure in recovery, was bagged, promptly followed by three days in a medically induced coma, and pumped full of all sorts of potentially damaging meds for my kid, but life-saving for me.’ (My last memory before they took me out of the coma was leaving for the hospital). Then there was that pesky subarachnoid hemorrhage. No colostrum for you! And sorry ’bout that hat, kiddo. /hangs head in perpetual shame.

        Considering she was born in one of the Crunchville centers – Berkeley, CA – the only people I can remember who said anything directly to me were the La Leche reps. The pressure was insane during my one week recovery in the hospital. Choosing not to BF was one of the most unnecessary difficult decisions in my life, but the relief after this was, dare I say,exquisite. Best Is Best!!! … Except when it’s not.

        • thepragmatist
          December 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

          Yes! I love that. I use that all the time. Breast is best: except when it’s not. Except when your child has FTT (or is close, like mine was at 4 months). Except when you are sick. Except when you need life-saving medications and you don’t want to expose your child or choose between your health and your child’s health (looking back, being completely unmedicated for Bipolar post partum because I didn’t want a mood stabilizer due to not wanting to expose him through milk was NUTTY– not sure if I would do it again or not). Except when you have been through a hugely traumatic birth. Except when it makes you feel icky because you have DMER. Except when you don’t have enough glandular tissue. Except when you have PCOS. Except when you get very bad mastitis and end up on IV antibiotics in hospital and it’s all you can do to lift your head from the pillow (happened to my mother). Except when you have no maternity leave. Except when your child needs supplemental formula because they have health issues. Except when you have to live on an intensely restrictive diet that doesn’t provide the caloric or nutritional intake required for a nursing mom and baby. Except when you just don’t damn well want to.

          Breast is not best. I like your typo actually: BEST IS BEST. I would add to that: And STFU about it because it ain’t your business!

          • EmclampMama07
            December 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

            Snort. I didn’t know I did that until you pointed it out! Lactivists drive me nutty. Many thanks to Dr. Amy and the commenters for helping me – six years later! -to let go of the lingering guilt.

            A friend of mine, who successfully BF both of her first two children, was having a difficult time with her third, not gaining weight, etc. and agonized over whether she should supplement with formula. I’m grateful that my experience, along with others, helped her make the right decision for her and her baby. He’s now a thriving, ‘chunky,’ super happy, well-adjusted toddler. I’m also grateful that none of my friends ever pressured me to do what wasn’t right for me or mine. 🙂

            *edit to add* All of said friends were exclusive BFers, too!

      • thepragmatist
        December 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

        Yes, that was my experience. If I bottle-fed in public I got GLARED at and accosted verbally. I was only once bothered about breast-feeding. An old lady gave me the stink eye from across the aisle of a family diner because I was feeding my son at the breast. Most of the time, I fed him in the family room or in the car because he was a “natural nurser” (in AP speak that meant that he preferred to nurse tummy to tummy in bizarre position) and because had a tie that prevent a good latch, so he was hard to latch and hard to nurse. This said, that was the only time. The rest of the time I was often congratulated, especially as he got older. The rest of it were people nosily asking me why I wasn’t nursing, and giving me bad looks as I popped those cans of ready-made formula.

        Only now, as he is nearing three, am I getting flak from family and some friends about nursing him, but I comfort nurse him and have very little milk, and he’s been through a lot of trauma in the last year, so f*ck them. If he wants “his boobies” then that’s fine by me. I know that I’ve got the weight of the professionals in my life behind me, like my own docs. If I started to lactate, like really produce milk, I’d have to change my whole medication routine again, and I never want to go back to the meds I took while nursing as they were way less effective. I don’t worry about the 0.00001% of the medication he may get from a ten second comfort nurse to assure himself that indeed, I’m still his and he can still have that special thing with me, and probably smell me/taste my milk/everything that goes with that comfort, but he also knows the rules: not out of the house (not entirely true, I did comfort nurse him once out of the house) and on MY terms, as in its a shared experience, he has to ask first, he can’t just drag my boob out anytime as he was for a bit, etc. But holy crap, you should hear the things people say to me about it. The worst being that it’s sexually abusive. I was sexually abused. No way and no how is nursing a toddler close to sexual abuse and those comments sting hard. If it were sexual abuse, then why would the infant development worker and child psych say do it? Give me a break. The other ones are just stupid. “He’ll be too attached to you,” and “You’re not letting him grow up.” My child has just learned how to cook eggs from the beginning to end, successfully. I didn’t teach him. He taught himself out of stubborn insistence and watching me do it. He insisted. He’s very good at it. Makes a great scrambled egg and I see a lot of cooking in his future. He is potty-trained where many of his peers are not around me. He is QUITE independent and he still needs the security of sleeping with me and having a lot of physical closeness. So what? It’s a false dichotomy in that case. A child can be intensely and securely attached and derive comfort in that attachment and ALSO need to still be a baby sometimes. The other night, while sick, he told me he didn’t want to grow up yet. I said, No worries. All the time in the world to be “grown up”. Besides which, he will always be MY baby. His favourite book right now is “I Love You Forever”. He likes the idea of always being Mama’s baby but don’t tell him that when he’s making eggs. Haha.

        As to which was easier: definitely bottle-feeding.

        • Wissa
          December 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

          I have family that let their kiddos have pacifiers at nap and night time until they were 4. Did this hurt them in any way? I don’t think so. The pacifiers were for comfort just as you nurse for comfort. Of course, a lot of people would have negative things to say about an older child having a paci too. In fact, I’d bet that some of the comments would be the same ones you get because you nurse an older child.

          I’ll admit I don’t want to be nursing a 3 year old, but my baby nurses for comfort and she just might nurse forever if I let her.

          • December 16, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

            My three year old still comforts himself with bottles. He was ebf for 6 months and combo-fed until he quit at 11 months.

      • Renee Martin
        December 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

        “…and not think that a woman is public property either way.”

        So great it needed repeated.

    • Carolina
      December 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

      I nursed pretty openly in public for over a year and never once had a problem. I live in a major city, but in a fairly conservative part of the country. Based on what I read on the internet, I thought I was going to have to battle to nurse in public all the time. It did not happen. Ever. I suspect it has been pretty normalized, but one or two jerks dicussused online somehow get conflated with all of society.
      Re “hard work” – I didn’t particularly think so. I joke that I stuck with it because it was so easy on me. I didn’t every have to think about carting around formula or making bottles. Given my inability to pack a decent diaper bag, this was a plus.

      • me
        December 16, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

        “Based on what I read on the internet, I thought I was going to have to battle to nurse in public all the time.”

        I went through something similar with my first – I anticipated negative reactions and allowed that to make me feel a lot more stressed and self-conscious than I needed to be anytime we went out. I would go to restrooms, quiet corners, my car…. or even cut outings short because I was afraid of other people’s reactions. Fast forward to babies number 2 and 3: I nursed anywhere I needed to. Who’s going to try to nurse in a cramped bathroom with a toddler (or two) in tow? Why would I cut short my older child(ren)’s trip to the park or wherever, simply because the baby has to eat (that would be really great for sibling rivalry… not).

        I learned to just not give a crap. As someone mentioned above, I “owned” bfing. No apologies, no scuttling off to hide in some corner, no trying to feed a baby in a cramped car.

        And you know what? I never really got the awful reactions that are so prolific online. Once or twice maybe someone looked at me funny (tho, who knows what they were looking funny at me over – the bfing, or the three children under 6? I’ll never know, lol), but overall most people either didn’t notice, didn’t care, or actually smiled as if they thought it was a good thing.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure some women have/do get confronted in a negative way about public nursing. And that’s wrong, no doubt. But spreading these stories as if they are commonplace does far more harm than good.

    • moto_librarian
      December 16, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      I am really happy when a mom who wants to nurse is able to do so. I know that for a long time, it was difficult to breastfeed in public, and I”m glad that it is becoming destigmatized. Do people still run into judgmental assholes? Of course, but I think that pretty much everyone now knows that “breast is best.” I’ll be that you’ve never been accused of poisoning your child or asked to justify why you breastfeed, yet that’s the massage that formula feeders are getting all the time.

      Doesn’t every parent deserve a “pat on the back” for doing the best that s/he can?

      • JC
        December 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

        “Doesn’t every parent deserve a “pat on the back” for doing the best that s/he can?”

        Yes, thank you. I’ve breastfed and bottle fed. You know what? It’s all hard. None of it is easy. The only nice thing with bottle feeding is you can have your husband help out at 3 a.m. But if you completely bottle feed, you deserve the same credit as a mom who exclusively breastfeeds. I’ve had friends brag about how ridiculously easy nursing was for them. None of the mastitis, cracked bleeding nipples, clogged ducts and sever engorgement that I got. Not all moms consider it “hard work.” Many think bottle feeding is harder. Every woman/every woman’s experience is different.

        • Guest
          December 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

          All parents deserve a pat on the back, absolutely. But the friends I have that bottle fed insisted that it was way easier. I think because they had so much trouble nursing (for various reasons), so for them it was much easier.
          I had a tough time with nursing at various points, but we kept at it and nursed until she was ready to quit. I always enjoyed the thought that I was able to provide nourishment for my child. Very empowering for me. I can’t speak to bottle feeding as mine wouldn’t take a bottle, but again, parents, be proud of the job you do! Having children is an amazing experience!

          • moto_librarian
            December 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

            I guess that it boils down to this: how much are you willing to suffer when breastfeeding isn’t going well? I was recovering from major blood loss and a cervical laceration after my first son was born, and he was in the NICU for TTTN. I tried to breastfeed him and it was an exercise in frustration for both of us. My milk NEVER came in, and I spent the first three weeks of his life feeling tremendous guilt that we couldn’t get nursing to work. Knowing what I know now (that breastfeeding offers minimal benefits over formula feeding for full-term infants in the developing world), I would not have persisted in this enterprise for as long as I had. When my milk failed to come in for the second time, I let it go and switched to formula within in a week.

            I guess I’m not seeing the benefit of continuing to breast feed if it is extremely difficult and/or painful. If you really enjoy it and can work through the problems, that’s great, but I think we should be beyond martyring ourselves for something like this. I think that women should be able to say that they don’t WANT to breastfeed, and that should be reason enough not to do it. We don’t need to compete about whether or not bottle-feeding is “easier” than breastfeeding. It’s not a competition!

          • Guest
            December 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

            Mommy guilt is a horrible thing and we need to stop shaming each other over our choices!
            You’re right. It’s not a competition. People who are on the extreme, either for or against, drive me crazy!

        • Zornorph
          December 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

          Well, I don’t have any basis for comparison with breast feeding, but I have certainly found bottle feeding to be easy. I mean, I guess washing the Doc Brown bottles would be a pain if I thought about it, but I just do it – I bought enough so I don’t have to do it every day.

        • Renee Martin
          December 16, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

          I found FF and EBF easy, but pumping a nightmare.

          • moto_librarian
            December 17, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

            Pumping is the worst of both worlds. I spent a lot of time on the pump after my first was born, trying to get my milk to come in. The first two weeks at home were a never-ending cycle of pumping, cleaning bottles (because we had to supplement with formula), putting baby to breast, etc. I barely slept at all. It was awful.

    • amazonmom
      December 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

      Breastfed in public yesterday, right in the middle of Bellevue Square mall. Probably a few hundred people saw but didn’t blink an eye. Breastfeeding is fully normalized in Seattle. In DC I had 3 breastfeeding moms in 3 years as a NICU RN. I had plenty of moms ask about it but it was assumed since they were poor and/or teens they wouldn’t be offered the chance. How do we even things out? I don’t really know.

      • Bombshellrisa
        December 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

        You are amazing-the place is a mad house right now!

      • Guest
        December 16, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

        That’s great! I’m always so happy for women who aren’t asked to leave when they nurse in public. I have friends who have been asked to leave Toys R Us of all places! A store with a baby section! Shocking.
        A friend was also asked by a woman “Do you think you’re in a barn?” when nursing in the mall. How cruel!

        • December 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

          when my mom was breastfeeding people kept asking her if she was poor.

          • Gene
            December 16, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

            Both my grandmothers were shocked/offended that my mother BF my sibling and I. Apparently, in the 70’s, only the poors breastfed.

        • Guest
          December 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

          I have a friend who feeds her child formula. In her particular place of worship, there is very much a stigma against formula feeding. It’s to the point where she has, on occassion, bottle fed the child in the restroom just to avoid confrontation from the self-righteous lactivists. She has been the recipient of some truly horrible remarks. No one should be treated that way.

          • Guest
            December 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

            That’s terrible that what should be a a tolerant place isn’t tolerant.

          • OBPI Mama
            December 16, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

            Ugh… I can relate… in a new group, us moms were sitting around talking and my baby needed fed. I pulled out the bottle and formula and mixed it up. A lady near me asked (in a ridiculously high pitched squeal), “YOU DON”T BREASTFEED????? Why on earth don’t you breastfeed?”. The shame I let myself feel at that moment still can choke me up. And then I felt the need to go through the whole scenario about how my milk glands are underdeveloped, I starved my first son to the point of lethargy before I decided to take him to a hospital for advice instead of relying on my midwife’s advice of “it’ll come in time”, and so on. How I took every medicine suggested, ingested every herb and tincture and tea that could possibly make me produce more milk, pumped, used the SNS device (that thing is the pits), nursed on demand, etc. Then when I was finished, I felt so annoyed with myself as to why I had to justify why I was feeding my baby the very thing that enables me to keep my babies alive. Grrrr…
            By the time I had my 4th baby, I toughened up some… but being a part of a more “crunchy” group, this is a huge sore spot with me.
            The next would be the shock people have when I tell them that I milk cows, but still buy my formula from the store (instead of making it)… yep…

        • Siri Dennis
          December 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

          Does that mean that if a farmer is bottlefeeding a motherless lamb you should ask him, Do you think you’re in a mall?!

          • Guest
            December 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

            Hmmm…not really my point, but okay. I don’t think any woman wants to be compared to a cow, even if we feed our babies the same way.

          • siri dennis
            December 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

            Twas meant to be a joke… or as we say in Sweden, It was meint to be en jøk.

          • Guest
            December 16, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

            There really needs to be a font for sarcasm and jokes. It always seems to get lost when you type!

        • fiftyfifty1
          December 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

          “I’m always so happy for women who aren’t asked to leave when they nurse in public.”

          Why bless your heart! You must be an extremely happy person then!

      • Bomb
        December 16, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

        I have 3 kids and breastfed all over the country in every situation you can imagine, urban, rural, gas stations, grocery stoes, malls (most of which have breastfeeding areas where you can sit back and relax. When I hear how haaaard it is to breastfeed in public I just call bullshit. Period. Grow a pair and deal with the odd stare or request to leave. It is such this BS mommy victim complex. I got way more nasty snippets from people when I was feed pumped milk in a bottle.

        • mindiloohoo
          December 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

          But it’s not…it depends on where you are, how you’re built (I find it difficult to be discreet with my H cups, and am not comfortable baring my boobs for my OWN comfort, not others), and your baby’s temperment. Good for you, though, for finding it easy. You must be better than everyone.

          • Anka
            December 17, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

            I replied and then immediately afterwards saw what you wrote! I’m also an H cup, and can relate!

        • Anka
          December 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

          I don’t know–I think I’ve gotten more censure (mostly in the form of death glares and mutterings from pairs or groups of women) when I bottle feed in public (this is a very upper-middle-class, somewhat crunchy area). I’m waiting for someone to actually tell me that Breast Is Best so I can call the police and tell them I’m being harassed.

          But I’ve also gotten flak when breastfeeding. I had some serious trouble at first, with insufficient supply, a giant baby, small hands with “mommy thumb,” and giant boobs. I did my best to keep the feeding boob under wraps at any given time, but it’s not always possible, especially when your boob is significantly larger than your hand. People would laugh in horror to each other, discuss it in my hearing, and–if women, would tell me that there ARE nursing covers available. (This last from a very small-breasted woman in my moms’ meetup group.) At that point, it was nearly impossible to get my baby to latch at any given time, I had to see the process, and nursing covers were just not useable under the circumstances–he hated them anyway. I don’t give a sh!t anymore, and just breastfeed whenever (and noticed a distinct decrease in nursing cover usage in the moms’ group after I started, so there’s that). But it was pretty demoralizing at first when I was feeling more vulnerable:”hey, I’m in X cafe, and this chick is whipping her giant tit out–like a COW! I’m gonna try and get a photo.”

          The only breastfeeding advice on the internet if you have large breasts that I’ve found is, “be discreet.” Which, unfortunately, in this society, amounts to, “don’t have large breasts.”

          Which is connected to the whole way the sh!ttier part of society sees the issue of women feeding babies: If you feed them formula, you’re an unnatural monster. If you feed them bottled milk, you’re a semi-unnatural monster (since bottles are Bad, and you COULD be feeding them formula, because who knows what’s in that sinister bottle!). If you breastfeed, you are an Angel in the House, doing exactly what is expected of you, and atta girl–the patriarchy will pat you on the head! Except G-d forbid you do it outside of the house, and if you DO do it outside of the house, you have to do it in such a way that nobody really knows what you’re doing or is reminded of the fact that you have breasts. (Otherwise you’re veritably ‘asking for it’ in their minds.) Even so, I think the waves of poisonous disapproval when I bottle feed are worse and much more common then the occasional rudeness when I breastfeed. Having done both, I think bottle feeding women have it worse than breastfeeding women, even if nobody has it good.

          • Anka
            December 17, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

            (Sometimes the patriarchy is disguised as matriarchy, though.)

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      December 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

      Wait! Is breastfeeding hard or easy? Lactivists insist it is easy, so why should we impressed when they do something easy?

      • Guest
        December 16, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

        Lol. Nursing might be the most natural thing in the world, but even La Leche League teaches that it’s not the easiest. There are a lot of problems that can come up. A lot of problems can be over come, so support is the most important thing that a lot of new moms need. I’m not sure what word to use, but for me I used stubbornness to stick with it when it gets tough. Once we over came our problems, clear sailing and easy nursing! Not every woman can or wants to, and that’s okay. I’ve also talked to moms who said it was very easy for them, so just like with pregnancy and labor, every woman and every baby is different. WHO recommends breast milk exclusively for 6 months, continuing to 2 years or beyond with complementary foods. Most experts agree that how ever long you can is great since baby gets antibodies from you, but of course babies thrive on formula as well. Yes it’s scary when there’s a recall on formula because babies have gotten sick, but that’s no reason to criticize those moms who don’t. I will nurse all my children, but won’t rag on my friends who don’t.

        • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
          December 16, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

          It can be hard, but so are many things that we just do without expecting to be praised. I’d just as soon praise a mother for putting down the breast pump and making peace with formula, which can be just as hard if not harder, than struggling through breast-feeding problems that are causing her undue suffering.

        • araikwao
          December 18, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

          Has WHO updated that recommendation yet? As I’m sure all here are aware – in areas where clean water etc is not an issue – introduction of solids is recommended between 4&6months to reduce the incidence of allergies. It just irks when the BF mean girls keep parroting the 6 month thing (I mean, haven’t they done their research? 😛 )

      • Renee Martin
        December 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

        I found it super easy, even though I hadn’t planned on even trying. It’s a bodily function, Im not sure I really deserve a pat on the back, but, I will take one if it’s forthcoming.

        I live in a city where BF is normalized. Unfortunatley, this was done at the expense of FF moms, who now get to hide or face glares or mean comments. Neither should have to hide, and if making one thing normal causes moms using other methods to be treated badly, there’s a problem with the approach taken.

      • fiftyfifty1
        December 16, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

        Here’s the rule: Breastfeeding is hard for unnatural women but easy for natural ones. That’s how we can tell if you are a good mother or not. There is only one loophole to this rule: IF you find breastfeeding TORTURE-level difficult AND you continue breastfeeding anyway AND you blame your difficulties on some birth intervention that you accepted by mistake, AND you publicly denounce your former unnatural self (e.g. as if you were in a Communist re-education camp) THEN you can be declared an acceptable person even though you found breastfeeding hard.

      • Guest
        December 17, 2013 at 10:56 am #

        I think people say it’s easy because: no bottles to sterilize, no formula to make sure you’ve mixed properly (they warn you right on the can to make sure the mix is exact), no guessing about whether the water you’re using is safe, not having to warm the milk since it’s always warm coming out of you and without supply issues, it’s always there and available. Those were the things I found easy and convenient about nursing.

    • Guest1
      December 16, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

      I’ve nursed everywhere for many years. Grocery stores, movie theaters, restaurants, public transportation, airplanes, beaches, swimming pools (sitting poolside, feet in the water, yeppers). Once you get good at it, nobody knows what you’re doing anyway, so why should anyone care? I seriously have only once been asked to nurse in the bathroom and I just said no. I am proud of breastfeeding like I’m proud of the fact I have never actually throttled a toddler going through a whining phase. It’s just part of being a parent.

      • Mishimoo
        December 16, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

        I’ve only had one incident too – an elderly couple stormed out of McDonald’s after realising that I was breastfeeding the baby that they had cooed over minutes earlier as we walked past on the way to a booth. I was using a cover and being discreet, so I just laughed it off.

    • DiomedesV
      December 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

      Why should anyone get a pat on the back for feeding a child in the manner they deem appropriate to their situation and that matches their inclinations, whether formula feeding or breastfeeding?

      Children don’t ask to be born. Once they’re born, they need to be fed. They can be nursed, formula fed, or fed both. Either way, it has to be done, and it’s the parents’ responsibility to do so. I don’t owe anyone any gratitude or congratulations for feeding their own offspring. That’s the bare minimum that should be expected of any parent or caregiver.

      • wookie130
        December 17, 2013 at 6:53 am #

        I could not agree more with this statement, DiomedesV.

        And TAP is once again using her attacks on formula feeding to denigrate women who choose to do things differently than herself.

        The big issue is that babies get fed SOMETHING, whether it comes from a breast, or from a can. It really is the bare minimum, and it is not the end-all-be-all of motherhood…in fact, it’s really just a tiny snippet of parenthood.

    • Dr Kitty
      December 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

      Own your choices.
      BF comes with public nursing. If you cannot deal with people being offended by public nursing BF is not for you, because the current culture means that someone will probably give you a dirty look or ask you to move.

      Your options are to ignore the looks and go about your business (and where I live you gave a right to BF anywhere that you can lawfully feed a child with a bottle), or do the “poor me, nobody supports my AWESOME choices” routine.

      Changing the culture could be more effectively achieved by telling the people who actually ASK BF women to move to take a running jump, than by bullying FF women.

      • anion
        December 16, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

        I breastfed my second for seventeen months, and never once did I do it publicly. I don’t think one can say they absolutely go together, period.

        • Dr Kitty
          December 17, 2013 at 2:36 am #

          I had a baby that fed every two hours during the day and slept through the night.
          Public feeding was a given, and I’m not a believer in pumping for the convenience of others, so pumping to have bottles for use in public didn’t appeal.

          I think it is safer to assume that as a BF mother at some point you will have to feed your child while out of your home than the converse.

          • Trixie
            December 17, 2013 at 7:56 am #

            Yeah, I had real frequent nursers, too. If I didn’t nurse in public I literally would never have gone anywhere. But I got so good at nursing in a sling that most of the time no one could really tell.

          • Wren
            December 17, 2013 at 8:39 am #

            Yep. I nursed in public in the UK, in the US and in Spain, not to mention on planes getting from one place to another. Nothing keeps a baby happier during take off and landings in my experience.
            My second was pretty amazing at nursing in a sling and it tended to go unnoticed. My first wasn’t so discreet.
            I had a few friends who were only happy breastfeeding at home, at least early on, and it really limited them and made the transition to parenting very hard.

          • Trixie
            December 18, 2013 at 9:10 am #

            I’ve always had my babies in car seats during takeoff and landing and anytime the fasten seat belts light was on, and they never took pacifiers either, and the change in pressure never seemed to bother them. I have nursed on planes many times, though, without issue. Even sitting next to strangers. Because, let’s face it, would you rather sit next to a quiet baby, or a screaming one?

          • anion
            December 18, 2013 at 6:50 am #

            *shrug* I pumped to up my supply, with the added benefit that my husband could give the bottle or we could take it when we went out. It had nothing to do with the convenience of others, it was all about my personal convenience and the fact that A) it’s hard to walk around while nursing; B) I personally don’t like popping my boobs out in public, even if people don’t really see anything; and C) Again, upping my supply/relieving pressure and enjoying having bottles in the fridge or freezer if needed. I never thought of them as being “for use in public” so much as “Oh, it’s nice to have those, huh?”

            We didn’t go out that much, either, at least not in the first couple of months. Once she had a longer interval between feedings we scheduled our outings accordingly.

            I’m not saying anything else is wrong, just that breastfeeding doesn’t have to automatically “come with” public breastfeeding. It’s perfectly possible to exclusively breastfeed a child without having to do it in public, and women out there who, like me, do not *want* to publicly breastfeed or don’t feel comfortable doing so, should know that it is possible–and pretty easy.

    • Maria
      December 16, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

      I breastfed in public fairly often and nary a negative word was ever directed at me. Nor did I get (or notice) and angry stares or anything like it. As far as I am concerned, it is normalized in my part of the country. I know many people who have discussed with me how they don’t like seeing women breastfeed in public, but they would never actually comment on it or do anything about it. They have an opinion, but are polite enough to know not to share it.

      I will say I did have a few people come up and congratulate me on breastfeeding and frankly that creeped me out way more than a negative comment would have. I suppose they were trying to “support” my decision, but it is my baby, my body and I was totally comfortable with how I was feeding my baby (same goes when I switched to formula at 9 months). Their opinion mattered little and they were invading my space!

    • Gene
      December 16, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      I BF both my children for over a year. My favorite incident was when I took my first to a sushi restaurant in a VERY crunchy area and the table next to us (filled with a bunch of college students) ended up having a light hearted and spirited debate about BF’ing in public (most were pro). The worst was some random woman who came up to me in some thrift store and, during the conversation about babies, said, “Now, you’re breastfeeding, RIGHT???” in a quite accusational tone. Very weird. ALso had some guy oggle me while I was BF’ing in the aisle at Home Depot, but I get oggled even without kids (since I’m female and know my way around a toolbox).

      I’ve also pumped in very random places (my favorite was in a staff lounge at the airport (Thank you SOUTHWEST!).

  9. FormerPhysicist
    December 16, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    Squillo’s response on “no excuses” from Maria Kang still holds.
    In here pretty far down:

    What’s the etiquette on my re-posting the comment here?

    • Renee Martin
      December 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

      Do it, Squillo is awesome.

      • thepragmatist
        December 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

        I think it’s a compliment. But that was me! I blushed for two weeks. Haha.

        • FormerPhysicist
          December 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

          I came up in my discus saying squillo. Apologies if the attribution is incorrect.

          • 12 days ago
          What’s Ms. Kang’s excuse for not being a Nobel-winning scientist? A Pullitzer-winning journalist? The CEO of a multi-national corporation? The founder of a billion-dollar philanthropic organization?

          What’s that you say, Ms. Kang? You’re not interested in doing those things? They’re difficult to attain because some combination of genetics and your environment/education/socio-economic circumstances put them out of your reach? No excuses. How dare those without significant intellectual or cultural accomplishments expect to be accepted and treated without discrimination?


          • 12 days ago
          I want to know what her excuse will be for not being able to help her boys with their calculus homework when the time comes.

  10. Lynnie
    December 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    Are you sure that the Alpha Parent blog isn’t a parody? I mean, some one can’t HONESTLY feel that way. For those who don’t know I am referencing this

  11. Mel
    December 16, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Allison Dixley,

    You need a new hobby. In case this is a new idea to you, a “hobby” is an activity that you find enjoyable that does not cause pain or suffering to others. I think that adding some hobbies to your life will improve it in the following ways:
    1. You will have an activity that you can find meaningful without demeaning others. For example, I crochet hats for local homeless people. I make mittens for family members. I raise chickens. I feel good about myself without insulting other people.

    2. You demonstrate self-esteem based on your own achievements rather than a warped sense of superiority. Examples: I like wearing the mittens I make and feel happy that my husband has warm fingers. I don’t say “Ha, ha, ha! All of you non-crocheting people suck! Related idea: Is this how you want your kids experience life? Which sounds more sane:
    A. “I got an A on my test! You got a B? Good job!”
    B. “I got an A on my test! You got a B? NO EXCUSES! YOU SUCK!”

    3. You can develop an identity that is partially independent of your children. (And this will pay off in spades when your kids are teenagers. Believe me. I spend my days around teenagers. Emotionally co-dependent parents have really toxic relationships. The health(ier) teens rebel. The unhealthy teens become emotional limpets unable to function away from you.)

    • Amy M
      December 16, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

      Yeah, how old are her kids anyway, that she is still obsessed with breastfeeding? I know she’s been around at least since mine have been born and they are almost 5. I realize some extended breastfeeders will continue until their children are 5yrs old, (though by then it is clearly not a main food source or constant thing) and also that she may have had more babies in the intervening years. But yeah, if worshipping at the altar of breastfeeding is still her hobby when she’s a grandma, that’s kind of sad. And I know that’s a judgemental statement and I don’t care.

      • thepragmatist
        December 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

        Yeah, I have already lost interest in debating breast vs. bottle and so on. I come here because I like the posters here. I enjoy the content. I am vaguely (now) interested in keeping abreast (har har) of the politics of birth and breastfeeding. But my focus has certainly moved on now that I don’t have an infant at the breast all the time. It was never a hobby and I was exposed to all the debates on support forums.

    • thepragmatist
      December 16, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

      I married one of those emotional limpets, who is still struggling to be a grown man at near 40. His mother bailed him out of everything because she could never stand to see him suffer. I really find their relationship TOXIC. Me, I had an emotionally intrusive mother, near sociopath (possibly a sociopath) and I rebelled by 5. I figured out something was seriously wrong with her. I think, over all, I did okay given the terrible circumstances that fate brought me, and am doing great as a parent. My son is not afraid to express his anger, sadness, and negative feelings to me. The ex-husband who is a narcissist can’t get the child to emote to him, and the child comes home from visits all messed up and confused. The MIL is even worse. My child recently confided he didn’t want to go visit her anymore. He’s starting to pick up on the reality that, at her house, negative feelings are not allowed because they upset the grown ups, and that there is something fishy going on there, that’s not happening at home. When they had him (they tried to suggest I was a negligent parent and TAKE HIM), he became an emotionally-withdrawn, angry child who would hide under furniture and refuse to leave from home to go back there. His speech regressed. He became unable to express himself. He started to hit himself and others. It was horrifying. I had always protected him from her, precisely because I constantly heard the comments like, “Oh come on, don’t be pathetic, that doesn’t hurt/feel bad…” and “What a little baby you are today,” and so on. What it really says is: “I don’t love who you are for what you are.” It’s so insidious and completely undermines a child’s sense of self. I can just imagine Alpha Parent asking her children what their “excuse” is.

      The horrifying thing is that when I got sick, his family called my illness an “excuse”. Again and again they demeaned and gaslit me. It drove me crazy until I didn’t know my own reality. BECAUSE at the same time as they do this crazy-making invalidation, it’s combined with codependent pacifying behaviours. In that family, they use food. Candy, cookies, and so on are used to pacify children who are “acting up”. Affection and care is not given freely but on the adult’s terms and only with good behaviour. So, when I was very sick, for example, if I didn’t say please when asking for my medication (at times bed ridden) or if I was using the wrong “tone” then food and medication and care would be withheld.

      I have so far been able to, after fighting an intense legal battle, been able to keep my child home. Yeah, we’re not a normal family. But I am a loving and conscientious mom and I know he’s not being shamed, pacified, or invalidated. I don’t tell him these things and I don’t use these parenting tactics. He comes home from visits with them pent-up, acting out violently, and torn because the nurturing feels good (as they lay that on THICK) but there is a high price for it (ignoring one’s feelings, invalidation, obedience). The message being: “You’re not capable of asking and receiving what you really need. You don’t know what you really need. I do.” When I was sick, I was deftly abused the entire time by my MIL who undermined my own perception of being ill by telling me I was just focusing too much on it, should keep busier, and that my illness was making me “emotionally unavailable” to my child, which is the largest load of shizza I’ve ever heard. I was up and down all night with my baby when he was teething, and he spoke first to me and only me. He distrusted his father and one of the first things he told me was that “Daddy broken”. Now, nearing three, they are turning up the manipulative behaviour. He gets a present every time he visits, Daddy takes him for forbidden treats that make him sick (but who cares, because it’s not about baby, it’s about Daddy’s feelings) and the child is expected to perform for them even when sick. Bad feelings are NOT discussed. And they think my parenting is neglectful because I do not impose myself on my child’s playtime. My MIL thought it was horrifying that I would tell my son straight out that his eye surgery was going to hurt and that afterwards, it would be sore. She thought I should lie to him and tell him it wasn’t going to hurt. Guess what? When he came out of surgery it hurt A LOT. He was freaking out in recovery because his eye was really badly bleeding and sore. I came to him right away and gathered him up and whispered, “Remember, I told you this would hurt? And I would hug you and get you medicine if you needed it? This is going to pass.”

      Also, notable in the case of these codependent homes, the children are not allowed to have an identity apart from mother and the natural cleaving of child from mother, so necessary for individuation, is not permitted. The mother lives through the child and the child is a mirror of the mother: this is a boon for any narcissist like Alpha Parent. As Dr. Amy has remarked before and lots of posters, too, what are these parents going to do when the children naturally want to cleave, become their own people.

  12. Trixie
    December 16, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    Sort of OT, but this piece of idiocy just popped up in my news feed.

    • Amy M
      December 16, 2013 at 11:36 am #

      Oh Darcia N again, pounding her same old drum. Maybe she should go to an orphanage and spend all day practicing what she preaches, so she could save some babies.

      • thepragmatist
        December 16, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

        Isn’t she also childless? I’d love for her to have a child! I just yelled in frustration at my sick toddler (yes, I’m an asshole) because he would. not. stop. whining. and I can’t understand him and I’ve barely eaten today because he’s a slave driver when sick. Does that negate the last three days I’ve spent here laying on the couch with as he vomited and had diarrhea and I held him and comforted him? Have I permanently altered his limbic system? Oh dear, it’s probably better to just start all over.

        • Amy M
          December 16, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

          I believe she is childless. Not sure if its because no man can put up with her self righteous nonsense, or because she’s set her bar so high, not even she can meet her standards.

          Oh, and you are not an asshole. Too much Whinese gets to the best of us eventually. It is unfortunate about his limbic system though…..:)

    • Lynnie
      December 16, 2013 at 11:38 am #

      Well, my son is doomed.

    • SarahSD
      December 16, 2013 at 11:58 am #

      Wait, so children are supposed to have “glowing eyes”? Creepy.

      • Amy M
        December 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

        Children of the corn?

        • LibrarianSarah
          December 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

          Village of the damned.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        December 16, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

        Well, we can’t get a picture of our kids without having serious red-eye issues. Does that count?

        Then again, take a picture of the dogs and their eyes shine green. THAT is creepy.

        • SarahSD
          December 16, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

          Congratulations, your creepy dog and child are securely attached! You are now absolved of worrying about any of society’s problems except how other people raise their kids/pets.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            December 16, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

            I’ll just tell them to turn off the red-eye feature on their camera.

            Attachment Made Easy.

          • SarahSD
            December 16, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

            Just as easy as it is to ruin them permanently, according to Dr Narvaez!

    • Elizabeth A
      December 16, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

      Maybe one in 30 I see has glowing eyes, which I take as a sign of thriving.

      I thought it was a sign of lycanthropy.

      Seriously, I have no patience for Dacia Narvaez. This article is a classic for her – create an arbitrary standard, by which you personally can make a snap judgment on how well every baby you see at the mall is doing, fail every baby from the standard, clutch pearls about evolution. Collect your freelance fee for publishing an article. Repeat.

      • Jocelyn
        December 16, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

        Glowing eyes? Yeah, that’s bringing up images of all sorts of sci-fi monsters in my head. Not thriving children.

      • thepragmatist
        December 16, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

        Notice her references as well and the cluster of people she’s researching with. She’s created her own little echo chamber. The environment drives evolution. We respond to our environment by making changes to our behaviour. If Narvaez had her way we’d probably still be up in the trees and she’d be warning people away from walking on the Savannah!

        • Elizabeth A
          December 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

          In the imaginary hunter-gatherer tribal society Narvaez praises, I am dead. I bled to death without delivering the darling daughter who is currently reacting to my failure to allow her to initiate breastfeeding for “several years” by getting out of bed to tell me she saw a dog today. Last time I allowed this child to attempt to co-sleep, she lay sweetly down next to me and sang “The Farmer in the Dell.” She was unconcerned by my suggestions that we needed to sleep so we could get up in the morning – the nice ladies at pre-school just move her onto a mat if she falls asleep, and they’ll wake her gently at snacktime. If we were hunter-gatherers who spent more time outside, she’d be tireder at the end of the day and we’d have different problems, like freezing to death, or starving.

          • Amy M
            December 17, 2013 at 7:31 am #

            My boys have always shared a room with each other…does that count as cosleeping?

    • LibrarianSarah
      December 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

      Glowing eyed children eh?


      • Squillo
        December 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

        Is that measured in lumens or foot-candles?

  13. thankfulmom
    December 16, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    If this is all she spends her time expounding on, then she doesn’t have much going for her. I’m glad I wasn’t a sanctimomy when breastfeeding was easy for me. I nursed all my children, but my youngest was a preemie and I was on meds. that seemed to decrease my milk supply. I was only able to nurse for six months and had to supplement during those first six months. Thankful we do have formula so my little one didn’t suffer.

  14. Comrade X
    December 16, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    I’m going to be a double-dose of horror then. Fat AND bottle-feeding. And ashamed of neither.

    On the other hand, that dude was a Tory. What’s Allison’s excuse?

  15. moto_librarian
    December 16, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    My breasts are my business, period. In the developed world, the benefits of breastmilk over formula in full-term infants are miniscule at best (preemies definitely benefit from breastmilk since it helps prevent NEC). Even if breastmilk really was the magical elixir that lactivists believe it to be, they STILL would not have the right to tell me what to do with my body. I don’t need to give anyone a reason for how I feed my child. I am so very tired of biological essentialism being equated with feminism.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      December 16, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

      Even if your breast milk could save the world, end poverty, and cure the common cold, it’s still yours to give or withhold as you see fit.

  16. The Computer Ate My Nym
    December 16, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Wow. Just when you thought the Tories couldn’t get any dumber. Or the Alpha Parent.

    “Excuses” for being fat? Um…let’s see…millions of years of evolution optimizing for low resource environments? Poor access to good food? Working 15 hours a day and no time to exercise or cook nutritious meals? Stress due to poverty and prejudice increasing endogenous steroids? My excuse for being “fat”* is that the Tories are in power** and it’s stressing me out. Remove them at once!

    And “excuses” for not breast feeding? Hello, how about HIV infection? Or being underweight? Or taking a medication that makes breast feeding dangerous? Or, shocking idea, deciding that the benefits of breast feeding do not outweigh the risks for you and your baby? Or you just flat out don’t want to and believe that your body is your own and what you do with it is no business of the Alpha Parent or anyone else?

    If the Tories really could remove all reasons for obesity–poverty, poor nutrition, depression, poor feedback signalling for satiety, etc, I’d be all for it. Similarly, if the Alpha Parent could really remove all disease that stops breast feeding from being practical, find a way to make every woman produce adequately, and find a way that it didn’t violate bodily autonomy for everyone to breast feed, sure I’d be fine with it. But what they mean by “removing excuses” is that they want to pressure people that they think are not behaving well into doing things their way. And that’s just wrong. It won’t reduce obesity, it won’t increase breast feeding, it will only increase misery.

    This has very little to do with your actual post, but I’m a bit rantish this morning.

    *Actually, thanks to a health problem, I am currently “normal weight”–but since I’m female and have significant fat, I’m sure that I’d be considered “fat” by the Tories’ standards.
    **I’m not British, but some of my friends are and their suffering stresses me. So the Tories must go.

    • me
      December 16, 2013 at 11:39 am #

      You forgot bad advice from a government that shouldn’t be giving nutritional advice in the first place. I don’t know about the UK, but in the US our population has, by and large, been following the USDA guidelines (consumption of fat, esp saturated fat, is at all time lows, we’ve replaced the so called “bad fats” with seed and vegetable oils, we’re eating more vegetables than ever before, we’re eating more whole grains than ever before), and we’ve been getting fatter and fatter, and sicker and sicker over the past 50 years since the govt started recommending these practices. Heart disease is at all time highs (higher even than in 1950 when smoking was extremely popular), and yet we are eating less arterycloggingsaturatedfat and more hearthealthywholegrains than ever before. Following the govt’s dietary advice has made us MORE likely to suffer a heart attack, despite there being far fewer smokers (that must be some pretty crappy advice, lol).

      Instead of looking at all of the rising obesity, heart disease, and diabetes rates and reconsidering their recommendations, they claim that we must be too “confused” (read: stupid) to figure out a pyramid, so now we have the same worthless info in a lovely preschool graphic….. But no one is stopping to say A. maybe the advice is wrong, or B. maybe the government shouldn’t be giving advice about health or nutrition in the first place.

      Oh, wait, with the ACA, just wait, they’ll start penalizing us for not following their stupid outdated advice… when the government pays for your health care, they can start making laws to enforce the stupidity… gak.

      End Rant

      • T.
        December 16, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

        Eating a lot of whole grain bread or olive oil is STILL worse than eating a little of white bread or butter.

        The concept of a US portion is two portion in Europe.

        • me
          December 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

          That’s definately part of the issue. Tell Americans to eat 6-10 serving of grains a day (and don’t give them any real guidance on what a “serving” is – the USDA says one thing, but packages differ based on what the manufacturer says a “serving” is (often they make the serving of packaged foods small enough to mask the trans fat content – many people won’t go looking thru the ingredients list to find ‘hydrogenated’, they see ‘0g trans fat per serving’ and think that means there isn’t any, when all that means is there is less than a half gram per serving…. and the manufacturer decides what a serving is…. isn’t that convenient?)).

          What is striking (to me) is that while we are told to cut fat in order to save calories and we are actually eating less fat now than ever before, now we are also eating more calories than ever…. I guess it didn’t work how they planned, lol. Fat leaves you feeling fuller, so you eat less overall, without going hungry. (yes, yes, it is possible to overeat fat, but low fat diets (like the one promoted by the USDA) are generally a bad idea) You eat the amount of carbs TPTB recommend and yes, you end up eating more calories – you’re starving!

          And no, I’m not carb-phobic, but not all carbs are created equal – the carbs in veggies? good. the carbs in breads, pastas, cereals, sugar, excessive fruit (excessive, moderate fruit is okay, but if you’re diabetic you may even need to watch that)? Not the best. I think the food pyramid, with it’s heavy emphasis not just on carbs, but on grains, is responsible for much of our health problems today. We followed it a little too well…

          • Young CC Prof
            December 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

            0 grams of trans fat means the serving size was carefully tailored so that there’s exactly 0.4g trans fat per serving, which rounds to 0.

          • me
            December 16, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

            Exactly. And it’s BS. If the USDA wants to mandate labeling nutrition facts, fine. But there really needs to be consistency in serving sizes, and they should be based on the USDA recommendations.

            This puts me in mind of a conversation I had with my SIL some years back. She made a comment of how she didn’t know how anyone could eat enough in one day to fill all the food pyramid requirements. Particularly the 6-11 servings of grains requirement. When I pointed out that the serving size on the package is quite often actually 2 servings of grain (according to USDA definitions of serving sizes), the light bulb went off. Yeah, Uncle Ben will tell you 1 cup of rice is a “serving”, but the USDA says 1 cup of rice is 2 servings. That cleared up a lot for her…. mind you she is naturally thin and I don’t think she was losing sleep over not being able to consume 6 cups of rice every day 😉

          • thepragmatist
            December 16, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

            Agree here. I eat a lot of protein and have never had a problem with obesity. The food pyramid is a mess.

    • Renee Martin
      December 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

      In the USA, we have a loud group that thinks the best way to get people out of poverty is by denying them any safety net, higher education, or health services. Food for your family obviously makes you a lazy moocher who wants to suck the teat of big government. All while giving away many billions to the most profitable businesses, and richest people, on the planet, and watching the population of homeless working families grow.

      But they wear the mantle of rightous religion, and claim to be pro-lif, er, I mean, for forced birth. And love jails and the death penalty. So they must be moral! (there is no way to make sense of their ideas, other than assuming they hate our people and our nation.)

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        December 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

        In their defense, giving a bunch of money to the billionaires doesn’t seem to have done them much good. Time for a little “tough love” and “independence” for the rich! Perhaps at the same time we can declare the people living on the streets “too big to fail” and give them some money to find a place to live.

  17. amazonmom
    December 16, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    If I ever had the severe misfortune to meet Allison Dixley I would have to fight the urge to hit her over the head with my Medela Symphony. Nobody cares what you did with your boobs Allison! Gotta love the premise that if you don’t use your boobs like she used hers that you are making excuses. Whatever, Allison.

    • December 16, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      She must be deeply unhappy though, right? Judgmental people are usually extremely critical of themselves (in addition to everyone else).

      • Renee Martin
        December 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

        Who cares if she is unhappy?
        usually I have a lot of empathy, but this woman has crossed the line, then burnt the bridge too.

        • Guest
          December 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

          But that’s the beauty of the internet and social media, like it or leave it. (I meant that slightly sarcastically) People can say whatever they want, post whatever their opinions are, whether we agree with them or not. She does say in the description that that page is meant to be controversial. Tons of blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are like that.

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