Is choosing C-section the easy way out … or the hard way?


Ideological consistency has never been a hallmark of the natural childbirth movement, (childbirth is painful/no, it’s orgasmic; I didn’t need any pain relief/I couldn’t have done it without the birth pool; I am a warrior birth goddess who can withstand any amount of pain/I can’t bear to have a heplock), but it often seems that the inconsistency reaches its apogee around the issue of C-sections.

The phrase “too posh to push” suggests that choosing a C-section (for breech, after a previous C-section, without a medical indication) is the easy way. It implies that women who choose C-sections are lazy and can’t be bothered with the hard work of pushing a baby out through the vagina.

Yet ask a natural childbirth advocates why she fears a C-section and will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid one, and she’ll tell you that it is because C-sections are so painful, and the recovery is so long and difficult that it compromises the ability to bond to and care for a newborn.

So which is it? Are C-sections easy or are they hard.

Lactivists seem to have a similar problem with the issue of breastfeeding. They can’t seem to decide whether breastfeeding is easy (I did it because it is soooo convenient; you never have to mix formula; it’s always the right temperature and amount) or it is hard (I never gave up even though my nipples were bleeding, my baby was screaming from hunger, I nursed every 2 hours and pumped every hour in between).

Lactivists have a similar problem with formula. It’s easy (don’t give women formula samples or they’ll use them because it’s easier!) or hard (all those bottles to wash! it’s so expensive!).

So which is it? Is breastfeeding easy or is it hard?

My theory is that the real dichotomy for natural childbirth advocates isn’t easy/hard, but right/wrong. Vaginal birth is “right” and C-sections are “wrong” and they will say whatever it takes to shame women into doing things the “right” way. So choosing a C-section is sometimes easy, sometimes hard, but always wrong. Similarly choosing to formula feed is sometimes easy, sometimes hard, but always wrong.

In both cases, advocates will say whatever it takes to sway the listener since advocates couldn’t care less whether a C-section or formula is easy or hard for a particular mother. They don’t care about her and they don’t care about her baby. They care only about themselves and their desperate need to validate their own choices by having everyone else mirror them back.

The truth is that individual women have individual circumstances that make individual choices easy or hard for them. Natural childbirth and lactivism have no room for individuality; they are all about conformity. Hence the ultimate ideological inconsistency: childbirth is natural, but you must read books, websites, hire a childbirth educator to teach you and a cheerleader (doula) to encourage you, use a birth ball, live blog and live tweet the event, hire a photographer and post the video on YouTube … just like they did in nature.

248 Responses to “Is choosing C-section the easy way out … or the hard way?”

  1. Jessica Schroeder
    January 1, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

    This article…thank you. I tried breastfeeding my baby for 2 months. I struggled with it the whole time. I eventually decided to switch to the bottle and got a lot of judgement from friends, WIC people…I felt horrible and depressed. I also had a an emergency c-section with my baby and am choosing to have another c-section this time around. Again, so much judgement and shaming. My midwife is amazing and supports me, but everyone else….

  2. Liz Leyden
    July 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Thank you so much for this. I had twins in March, and despite a pump and lactation consultants at 2 hospitals, I was unable to breastfeed. Both babies were premature, one needed heart surgery right after birth, and I was terrified of losing her (my father died after cardiac surgery). I ended up back in the hospital a week later, with post-partum pre-eclampsia. I went through Baby Boot Camp in a rented room hundreds of miles from home. I already had a lot going on. I decided that as long as my kids were fed, it was no one’s business how they were fed, ordered a case of formula from Amazon (Amazon Prime was a lifesaver) and took care of my babies.

    I’m on WIC now. When I go to pick up my monthly formula allotment, which is a Godsend, I have to wait next to life-size cutouts of women nursing, wearing pins that say things like “Breastfeeding is easy.” It made me want to cry the first time I saw them, and scream the next time. I know formula is expensive, and I understand why the state wants to encourage breastfeeding, but do they have to be so heavy-handed?

  3. Amy
    July 14, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Alpha Parent comes to mind when reading this post.

  4. CanDoc
    July 14, 2014 at 6:21 am #

    “They care only about themselves and their desperate need to validate their own choices by having everyone else mirror them back.” I know you say this again and again, but it never stops being absolutely correct.

  5. Bombshellrisa
    July 13, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

    OT:someone posted this today. I am sick of seeing stuff like this

    • Jessica S.
      July 13, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

      No kidding. The one statistic they leave off is the overwhelming percentage that if you do nothing, it will get worse. (And to me, woo = nothing.)

      • Bombshellrisa
        July 13, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

        woo=nothing is right!
        (Hope you are doing ok in this heat, I know you are in the same area as me and it’s heat wave time)

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
      July 13, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

      “90% of chemotherapy patients die 10-15 years after the treatment and the cause is never attributed to treatment”

      Because they died of cancer, of course. But if they died 10-15 years after treatment, then that means they lived 5 – 10 longer than they would have without treatment.

      Although I think the statement is bs, or is very misleading (how old are they, for example?)

      • Bombshellrisa
        July 13, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

        I was wondering the same thing.

      • Young CC Prof
        July 13, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

        Most cancer patients are over 65. So, living “only” another 10-15 years ain’t so bad.

        And the classic failure to comprehend how solid tumor treatment works: Surgery removes the tumor(s), chemo keeps other ones from growing.

        • Beth S
          July 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

          My sister in law is in her early seventies (she’s 20 years older than her husband and I’m 20 years younger than mine.) She’s a breast cancer survivor, and is grateful for the extra 10 to 15 years she got from chemo.
          My stepdad on the other hand is terminal and has decided that he’s much happier having quality of life over quantity I can’t fault him for that, chemo would only give him another year or two tops. Honestly I see the choice as to whether or not to take chemo as a personal choice much like birth choices.

          • Young CC Prof
            July 14, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

            Yes, there are definitely cases where chemo is kind of in a grey area, that a reasonable person in possession of all the facts might say yes or no.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            July 14, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

            But in those cases, the doctors tell you that explicitly. “We can go either way.”

            And then they tell you the pros and cons each option.

            So it’s not like they are hiding anything.

      • guest
        July 13, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

        I’m a hodgkin’s survivor and read an original research article a couple of years ago that I now have a 25% chance of a secondary primary malignancy (partially b/c of my treatment), which seriously bums me out. of course, without my treatment 15 years ago, I would be dead now…so well…sort of pick your poison, you know? Are chemo and radiation perfect and without risk? absolutely not. But it’s the best we have right now. I look forward to a day, hopefully by the time my daughter is an adult, where they have targeted treatments rather than the scorched-earth approach I went through. But I’m glad they had what they did, because otherwise, I would have died in my twenties.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          July 14, 2014 at 2:30 am #

          Um, sorry for prying, but you are getting regular screening for cancer and heart disease, right? Heart disease is pretty common in HL survivors as well.

          • guest
            July 14, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

            yes, i am followed by a cardiologist with yearly echocardiograms, have yearly mammograms (have considered adding breast MRI but hasn’t been recommended and haven’t bitten the bullet as of yet)…not sure what other cancer screening would make sense? I am loathe to get any more CT scans unless absolutely necessary (I have had 36 neck, chest, ab, and pelvic CTs when I was earlier in my HD followup and worry about glowing in the dark/increasing risk of malignancy as it is). Is there some other cancer screening I should consider?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            July 15, 2014 at 1:16 am #

            Pap smears. I’d at least consider starting colon cancer screening early, preferably colonoscopy but you could go for something less invasive if not ready for that yet. Skin exams annually. I don’t think there’s any real evidence that screening CTs work, so agree that serial CTs wouldn’t be particularly helpful. But jump on any symptoms (chronic cough, weight loss, change in a mole, etc) quickly. That’s all I can think of right now.

      • Liz Leyden
        August 3, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

        Having any type of cancer cancer increases your risk of getting other types of cancer.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      July 14, 2014 at 2:26 am #

      90% of chemotherapy patients die 10-15 years after the treatment and the cause is never attributed to treatment

      First off, it’s untrue or at least misleading Quite a lot of people treated with chemotherapy for hematologic malignancies are alive and well 10-15 years after treatment. Note figure 3, 25 year survival. And that these are out of date numbers. There are other examples, but this is one of the clearer ones.
      Second, it is known and widely acknowledged that chemotherapy has late side effects, including secondary cancers and heart disease. This is a problem under active study and there has been quite a bit of progress in the area. For some cancers, i.e. testicular or childhood ALL, reduction of toxicity is actually the primary focus because the cure rates, even in stage IV, are so good that there’s very little room to improve and the main issue has become toxicity.
      Third, if chemotherapy is being given it is because the person has a lower probability of surviving without it. Sometimes chemotherapy is given prophylactically, i.e. adjuvant chemo, but if so it’s because the cancer has a high risk of returning and the risk reduction with chemotherapy is enough to justify the risks and inconveniences of chemotherapy.

    • Sue
      July 14, 2014 at 6:42 am #

      Say all that to the parents of children with leukaemia – which is now largely curable thanks to chemo and bone marrow transplantation.

    • sdsures
      July 14, 2014 at 7:59 am #

      Does the last stat account for the baby boomers who will be getting elderly by then, and are thus part of the cohort (65+ years) who get caner the most?

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        July 14, 2014 at 8:12 am #

        That and people not dying of other things first. The rate of cancer mortality has actually dropped, slightly, over the past few decades. But the rate of heart disease deaths has dropped drastically. Some of the people who didn’t die of heart disease at age 45 or 50 or 60 are getting cancers at 50 or 60 or 70 instead. Or, for that matter, 90.

        • Amy
          July 15, 2014 at 12:13 am #

          Yup. My grandmothers both lived into their 90s. One was a chain smoker– first cigarette before breakfast and never stopped all day other than to shower. And she died of metastatic lung cancer. The other never smoked and ate a very healthy Mediterranean diet. And she died of metastatic bladder cancer. At some point, your body just doesn’t work as well as it used to.

    • Liz Leyden
      July 30, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

      So what do they suggest as an alternative?
      My father had cancer in his 20s. He was treated with large amounts of radiation, which damaged his heart, which led to the operation that ultimately killed him. In a roundabout way, radiation killed my father, but it also gave him 40 years to have a career, a family, and a life. That wouldn’t have happened if he’d refused radiation.

      • Bombshellrisa
        July 30, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

        Herbal remedies, any clinic in Tijuana especially the Biomedical clinic. My husband’s mother had Hodgkin’s lymphoma and took something called the Greek Cancer cure instead of getting proper treatment. She was 30 when she died, leaving behind her two kids. My husband was two. Accepting real treatment might have given her the opportunity to be here today, helping me with a six month old baby who looks just like her son.

        • Mishimoo
          July 30, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

          Laetrile is popular too. I offended someone recently by telling them that the Nazis used a form of it with a 100% success rate as no one that inhaled it ended up dying of cancer.

  6. Who?
    July 13, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    This is ot, South Australia is turning its eye to Lisa Barrett again.

  7. Jennie C
    July 13, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    what an self contradictory piece. ‘Natural Childbirth’ holds different opinions at different times and different circumstances because but their all about conformity because they don’t all say the same thing all the time. Actually there is no such person Natural Childbirth, it’s amy’s straw horse to beat up anyone who loosely adheres to a low-intervention, low-tech approach, so how can he or she be consistent? Amy Tuteur on the other hand is a person, so her self contradictotry statements are more ironic.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      July 13, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

      Straw horse?

      • Bombshellrisa
        July 13, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

        “Straw horse”
        I think it’s funny someone is trying to explain to you what natural childbirth is!

      • Trixie
        July 13, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

        It’s a Trojan horse made of the withered husks of bad metaphors.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          July 14, 2014 at 4:47 am #

          Or maybe it’s a horse you can beat without guilt and without it ever becoming a dead horse?

          • auntbea
            July 14, 2014 at 11:42 am #

            I don’t think a straw horse would stand up to much beating, frankly. Before becoming a straw…pile.

          • Siri
            July 14, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

            Thus creating a tempting snackaroo for other, non-straw horses…

          • Trixie
            July 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

            Straw piles are great for mulching your organic kale.

        • Siri
          July 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

          The strawhorse-strawmen of the apocalypse?

        • MaineJen
          July 14, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

          Hey, you know what they say: beware parachuters bearing gifts in a straw horse’s mouth…or something. Whatever, your meen!!!1!

      • Sue
        July 14, 2014 at 6:45 am #

        Not just any straw horse, but a straw horse to beat up!

      • Danielle
        July 14, 2014 at 10:22 am #

        If you ride in a straw horse, can you ride out on it too?

        • Siri
          July 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

          Only if you’re a straw man.

        • Trixie
          July 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

          You can lead a straw horse to water, but you can’t make it drink because it’s not really alive.

      • Beth S
        July 14, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

        Dude, I live in the south and have heard some seriously weird sayings, but straw horse, one that you’re beating up as well isn’t a southernism lol. And with said straw horse, do you ride astride, in a saddle or bareback.

    • Bombshellrisa
      July 13, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

      So if natural birth can be different circumstances and opinions, then why doesn’t it include giving birth with an epidural?

    • Jessica S.
      July 13, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

      So how do you know what intervention is too high?

      • Bombshellrisa
        July 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

        Or which technology is overused (wait, don’t tell me, it’s EFM)

    • MS
      July 14, 2014 at 2:20 am #

      You see, some natural childbirth advocates demonize C Sections, and tell you to avoid them at all costs (which is silly, because most people want to avoid a section because it means that there is something wrong). Indeed, many Natural childbirth advocates criticize women who have had C Sections. However, C Sections save lives and are incredibly safe, so these natural childbirth advocates have a hard time explaining why the procedure is so evil.

      Dr. Amy advocates for informed consent and choice. If you are fully informed and can give consent, you can choose to birth in whatever way you like. Nobody here cares, least of all Dr. Amy (I even heard she had I unmedicated births herself!! The IRONY!!). Go give birth in a tree with squirrel midwives, whatever. But try to scare a pregnant woman away from a C Section when she desperately needs one? Or try to make her feel bad that she had one when she needed/wanted it? Then you’ve crossed a serious line.

      Do you criticize women who have had C Sections? Do you make them feel bad, tell them they took the easy way out, or were duped by their doctors? No? Then this post isn’t about you.

      And whatever you do, PLEASE do not “quote” an ideal C Section rate. I’m tired of reading about how those figures were debunked.

    • Box of Salt
      July 14, 2014 at 4:13 am #

      Jennie C “amy’s straw horse”


      You did spell “Tuteur” right.

      • Trixie
        July 14, 2014 at 8:19 am #

        I think “contradictotry” might actually be a useful new word. For when parachuters try to contradict Dr. Amy, but then their straw horse goes down in flames.

        • wookie130
          July 14, 2014 at 9:37 am #

          “Straw horse” sounds rather glorious, actually. One can parachute in, leave an awful grammatically and philosphically-incoherent response that leaves the reader’s eyes crossed, and ride off on a flaming straw horse of glory. Yeehaaaaaw!!!!!!!!

    • wookie130
      July 14, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      Jennie, this response made absolutely no sense…it is so grammatically terrible, and so incoherent, that whatever point you were trying to make here simply gets lost in poor writing mechanics. Absolutely awful. And please, do not blame it on your tablet or iPhone.

  8. Ash
    July 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    I sometimes participate in a forum about personal finance for individuals. Relatively frequently, there are posts that essentially say “First baby on the way, income is X, mortgage is Y, loans are Z, retirement contributions are B, health insurance plan rates are A, how should we change how we allocate our funds since we’ll have a baby soon?”

    Someone always inevitably replies “breastfeed” as one of the primary points of advice.
    What, can breastmilk be used to refinance mortgages now?

    • Young CC Prof
      July 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      See, you asked for financial advice. But because you’re going to be a parent, anyone can give you unsolicited parenting advice, and you need to say “Thank you.”

    • Cobalt
      July 13, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

      There’s a lot of money in selling breast milk. Illegal in some areas, I’m sure, but that doesn’t mean the market doesn’t exist. Yes, there are people fanatical enough about “formula is poison” that they will buy breast milk from strangers on Craigslist.

      • Daleth
        July 14, 2014 at 11:47 am #

        Hepatitis, anyone?

      • AccieCat
        July 22, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

        If you are a milk cow, like I was, and you live near a/some large hospitals with NICU’s you can often donate extra milk for sick infants whose mums aren’t able to provide milk. Sometimes it’s quality, sometimes it’s quantity, sometimes they have other health issues that preclude nursing. It happens. Sort of like how nursemaids used to suckle infants, except without actually nursing someone else’s child. I always had bags and bags of extra milk in the freezer.

    • Trixie
      July 13, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

      If you already are staying at home, and breastfeeding is easy for you, then it does potentially save some money.

      • Somewhereinthemiddle
        July 13, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

        Yes, this was the case for our family. Three kids with me staying home + only a handful of cans of formula for child #1 = Money saving. I guess the argument could be made that I ate enough extra food to virtually eliminate the savings from formula. The food consumption when nursing full time was astounding!

        • Trixie
          July 13, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

          Yeah, that’s going to vary quite a bit. If you’re cooking your own food and being careful to reduce wasted food, then the extra calories might not add up to much extra expense. Plus you’ve got your excess pregnancy weight to burn through, or at least I did.

          • Mac Sherbert
            July 14, 2014 at 8:46 am #

            Oh, I had plenty of pregnancy weight to burn through. It didn’t keep my cravings at bay. With a baby that kept me tried down to nursing nearly 24/7 there was nothing I could do to distract myself. (Normally, I would workout or go do something!) I ended up eating while nursing because I was bored and the cravings were just crazy. To make things even worse anytime I ate anything other than bland starchy foods my baby would have serious gas issues. Honestly, if I had another baby I would combo feed right from the beginning. I actually have veins on my legs that showed up after pregnancy which I attribute to the amount of time I spent sitting nursing a baby.

      • Box of Salt
        July 14, 2014 at 4:43 am #

        No. Due to the fact I spent all my time breastfeeding the baby, I could not go out and buy and cook food, No! I ate all the savings and fed it to the baby.

        Not kidding about the first kid for the first 2 months.

    • Kupo
      July 13, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

      I’m informed that BF babies poop less, so need less bum wipes. If you are also EC, need less nappies.

      • Young CC Prof
        July 13, 2014 at 11:14 pm #

        My baby pooped a greater volume when FF, but more often when BF, so I think I used more total wipes when BF. (Yes, I realize we’re not being completely serious here.)

        • July 14, 2014 at 1:43 am #

          When my children were in diapers, disposable wipes were not available in Israel. Somehow, we all survived. Come to think of it, disposable diapers were rare and expensive enough they were saved for use on trips. I did 10 loads of laundry [European washing machines were half the size of US ones then] and I survived that, too, even with two kids in diapers at the same time.


        • Medwife
          July 14, 2014 at 2:25 am #

          I don’t remember exactly how long this lasted but it was more than a few days: every time I nursed my son, he pooped. Every. Single. Time.

          So much fluoresce yellow poop…

        • Mac Sherbert
          July 14, 2014 at 8:36 am #

          Yep. That was my experience too. Totally crazy to say BF babies use less diapers. For my babies, it had more to do with baby preference. 1st baby would have worn same dirty diaper for days….2nd baby change immediately!!!

      • Box of Salt
        July 14, 2014 at 4:33 am #

        Kupo “I’m informed that BF babies poop less”

        Nonsense. My EBF’d Kid1 pooped daily. EBF Kid2 pooped much less often, but peed a lot – which does save on diapers, nor wipes. Since neither EBFkid1 nor EBFkid2 had predictable bladder habits, EC was not a viable option.

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
          July 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

          I don’t know if the total poop is more or less, but in our experience, they sure as heck poop a lot as newborns.

          Now, I remember when our older guy was a few months old he would go a week without pooping, but when he did, it was an absolute mess on everything, so you weren’t saving much in terms of wipes, since it was an 18 alarm fire for him, place another 10 for the changing table. And a load of laundry.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      July 14, 2014 at 3:51 am #

      I don’t know about anyone else’s experience, but I’m pretty sure the money we saved by not having to pay for Small One’s food was lost in the extra amount that I ate during that time period. I was constantly hungry while breast feeding and ate everything. Those 500 or so calories a day have to come from somewhere…

      • KT
        July 14, 2014 at 10:52 am #

        I always rather relished the fact that I got those 500 extra calories for me. Call it selfish (because it is), but I’d rather spend money on tasty food for me than formula. The fact that BF, while hardly my favorite thing to do, came relatively easily after those first six weeks made it a no-brainer.

        I did once see someone do a cost estimate on the total cost of breastfeeding versus formula feeding that included extra calories for mom, nursing attire, and pumping gear. I think at 3 kids BF-ed for a year it was about $1000? So not drastic, but not nothing. But yes, nothing near what many would have you believe, given that’s not much more than $300/kid.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          July 14, 2014 at 10:57 am #

          Heh. I enjoyed them myself, but the fact is, I still had to pay for them. Of course, the fact that I tended to get them by stopping at the expensive pastry shop on the way home probably didn’t help anything in terms of the expense…

        • Daleth
          July 14, 2014 at 11:46 am #

          That actually makes a lot of sense to me, that it would be nicer to spend money on tasty healthy food for yourself so that you can BF the baby, rather than spending it on white powder to mix with water when you’re half asleep in the middle of the night.

          I am looking forward to the high calcium and protein content of triple-fudge ice cream with nuts… organic, obv 🙂

          • Amy M
            July 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

            Pro-tip: If you end up needing to formula feed/supplement your twins, you need not mix the white powder with water while you are half asleep. Mix up several bottles, or a big ol’ pitcher of formula before you go to sleep (at your “bedtime”), enough for the next several feeding sessions. If you need to warm them, pop in microwave for 5-10secs, SHAKE WELL, voila, done. If your baby will take it cold (probably not newborn, but older baby might), awesome. Also: you can bottle feed two at once, enabling you to take shifts with your partner, if you are both so inclined.

          • Daleth
            July 14, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

            Thanks for the tip! You can tell from my comments that I have no parenting experience, haha. Well, that will soon be remedied…

          • AccieCat
            July 22, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

            Oh, and a small crock pot makes a great bottle heater, especially at night. No microwaving. I pumped and BF so the hubs could help out and so I could go back to work. At the daycare, they would keep a cockpot 1/2 full and on low. As long as you check the temp is usually won’t get too hot too fast. We did the same but at the house. Turn it on at night, with fresh water each night and it’s easy to heat up breast milk or formula. No messing with a complicated warmer, or gasp, doing something chancy like microwaving stuff.

          • Liz Leyden
            July 31, 2014 at 12:33 am #

            When I was in a rooming house with my son, 2 floors away from the kitchen, I put water into bottles at (my) bedtime. When he woke up to feed, I would grab a bottle, added powdered formula, shake, and serve. My son ate plenty of room-temperature formula, and thrived.

        • AmyP
          July 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

          But it’s so sad to give up the yummy calories once you’re used to them!

          Once I started tapering off breastfeeding last year, I started gaining around a pound a week. So sad!

          • MaineJen
            July 14, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

            Me too! It was a rude awakening when all my clothes started getting tighter, and I realized that I couldn’t just eat anything I wanted without consequences any more. 🙁 It’s ironic that it’s only now, when I’m pretty sure I’m done having kids, that I have to struggle with losing the baby weight. I will never forget how *hungry* I used to get when I was BFing…like I could never possibly eat enough. Good times…

      • Ash
        July 14, 2014 at 11:54 am #

        For some women, BFing can result in a decrease in income, I imagine especially if they are SES and the sole source of income. The 3 most common categories of employment in the US are retail employees, cashiers, and food prep/servers, all of which are occupations that do not make it easy to pump.

        Some more analysis here:

  9. sdsures
    July 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    “The phrase “too posh to push” suggests that choosing a C-section (for breech, after a previous C-section, without a medical indication) is the easy way.”

    How much leeway are women given in their choices, assuming one of these situations is at play? Wouldn’t a doctor advice a RCS in the first place, and then the “choice” would be irrelevant?

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
      July 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      No, those women are just fooled by their doctors, apparently.

      • Young CC Prof
        July 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

        Fooled into choosing the easy way! Smart women choose the hard way.

  10. Beth S
    July 13, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    OT but kinda not. There’s a country song called Alyssa Lies about child abuse that never fails to make me cry, every day in this world hundreds of thousands of kids are abused by parents, gaurdians, etc.. Why can’t NCBers focus on putting an end to these sorts of atrocities, rather than focusing on shaming those of us who don’t give birth the same way they do.
    Why not focus on making sure children aren’t buried the first time instead of burying homebirth loss stories twice.

  11. Beth S
    July 13, 2014 at 1:29 am #

    Honestly I don’t see why it matters to anyone how a woman gives birth, feeds her child, etc… Sometimes it seems to me as if sanctimommies use their birth stories to feed their own egos. I mean you can’t be a warrior momma without having that four day labor and delivery at home, with all your friends around and no meds. You also have to breast feed right away, and god forbid you be too tired to clean up your house later.

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
      July 13, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

      Sometimes it seems to me as if sanctimommies use their birth stories to feed their own egos.


      • Beth S
        July 13, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

        Okay you’re right they use their birth stories to feed their own egos as well as make those of us who don’t have the exact same experience feel less than them. It’s an egotistical power trip.

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
          July 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

          they use their birth stories to feed their own egos as well as make
          those of us who don’t have the exact same experience feel less than them

          Both toward the same end, of course. Because, by belittling others, they can make even the most mundane activities feel like an accomplishment.

          It’s interesting, once you recognize this is going on and start listening to conversations with that filter, you can really hear it.

          • Beth S
            July 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

            I think part of it comes from the fact that as early as the start of the twentieth century getting all of your children to adulthood was an accomplishment in and of itself, especially if you didn’t die in the process, these days losing a child or a mother is the exception rather than the rule so if they don’t use their birth stories for mommy cred, they don’t have anything.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            July 13, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

            The question becomes, however, who are these judges of “mommy cred” in the first place? As you note, successfully raising a child, in the past, was based on a fairly objective standard (did they survive? Live a successful life?)

            Nowadays that we don’t have these clear lines, suddenly we need judges to evaluate within those levels of success. So who are the judges? It’s mostly among peer groups, I would figure, which means mom’s own friends.

          • Beth S
            July 13, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

            There are so many other people today that have a shot at judging how you raise your child. From other mothers and fathers to teachers and internet child raising gurus everyone seems to think they should have a say in how parents raise their children.
            There are groups of women out there that think it’s child abuse and neglect to not breast feed your child. Within some groups working moms are letting day care raise their kids, in others stay at home parents are nothing more than bon bon eating drains on society. Where do we draw the line on judging the way people parent their kids? And who says who gets to choose that line?

  12. Stacy48918
    July 12, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    Here’s a real “birth warrior”. A mother, paralyzed by a stroke just a week before her due date, still has a vaginal delivery of a baby boy.
    Take that “epidurals-slow-labor-til-you-need-a-c-section” crowd.

  13. Deena Chamlee
    July 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    Legonaire disease from home waterbirth. First in the country.


    • Courtney
      July 12, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

      It’s really pretty amazing that this is the first issue with that type of tub. I thought of all the horrible bacteria and infections people have picked up from the recirculated salon foot tubs… pretty gross. I feel sorry for the baby, they are always the ones that suffer.

  14. AmyP
    July 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    A c-section is the easy way out…for the baby.

  15. Anna T
    July 12, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    “Lactivists seem to have a similar problem with the issue of breastfeeding. They can’t seem to decide whether breastfeeding is easy (I did it because it is soooo convenient; you never have to mix formula; it’s always the right temperature and amount) or it is hard (I never gave up even though my nipples were bleeding, my baby was screaming from hunger, I nursed every 2 hours and pumped every hour in between).”

    I don’t think there is necessarily a contradiction, on this particular subject. Breastfeeding can be hard, especially at first, especially for first-time mothers. There are typical “beginner issues”, such as problems with baby’s latch, nipple pain (often caused by wrong latch), feeling uncertain about whether the baby is getting enough, short frenulum that might go undiagnosed and cause a lot of trouble, painful engorgement complete with a plugged duct, etc. However, once you get through the hurdles, it usually gets easier (please note I’m not using words such as “all”, “always”, “must”, or other absolutes).

    I got through the hard so I could get to the easy. It was a cost/benefit thing. And, since I’ve breastfed for so long (15 months with my first, 27 months with my second), the easy completely and totally eclipsed the hard, in the long run. The convenience of long-term breastfeeding made dealing with the issues I had to face now and then very, very worthwhile.

  16. Cat10
    July 12, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    I am currently 35 weeks pregnant and I have opted for a repeat planned C-section at 39 weeks plus 2 days. My first C-section was necessary because my baby was in breech. I spent a very long time thinking about trying VBAC and my OB/GYN was very good at answering questions, explaining benefits and risks of different birthing methods and giving me absolutely free choice in what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, some of my well-meaning friends (some of them gave birth at home) suggested to me with a lot of religious zeal that I “owe it to myself and my baby” to try VBAC. One even suggested I try a VBAC at home! I must admit that I do not know the exact statistics but I do remember my OB/GYN mentioning that roughly 30% of women who do a trial of labor will end up with a c-section – an emergency c-section, that is. So the suggestion I try a VBAC at home was completely outrageous to me.
    In the end I made my choice based on the fact that my first C-section was virtually pain-free (I did great postpartum and was out and about in no time), I bonded beautifully with my little girl from the moment I first held her, and I had a very easy time breast-feeding. I do not hold back with my perceptions about my first c-section or about my choice to have another one. The expression on the faces of NCB advocates is, however, priceless.

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
      July 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

      some of my well-meaning friends

      I mentioned this the other day, that I find the characterization of “well-meaning” to be pretty much meaningless.

      And I have to say, in regards to your friends, I don’t buy it. They aren’t “well-meaning” in terms of looking out for the best for you. As you say, they are pretty much ideologues, and they are trying to push their religion. That is NOT “well-meaning”, there is a very self-serving underlying agenda.

      • Cat10
        July 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

        Since they are my friends and have many other wonderful qualities I am pretty sure they were well-meaning or at least concerned for my well-being. I don’t blame them for being brain-washed by the NCB movement. We live in a liberal college-town in the Midwest and natural birth, organic food, and not vaccinating your child is de rigeur here (don’t let me get into the latter one, I personally think that is another rather uninformed choice). To me it just shows that having a high level of education in the population (the town has the highest density of PhDs in the country and an excellent university healthcare system) does not protect against irrational thinking. My home birthing friends were all lucky and nothing terrible ever happened to them. As a friend you have to give each other some leeway. Fortunately, I am my own person and can make my own choices.

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
          July 12, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

          Consider a christian who tells a Jew that they need to accept Jesus as their personal savior or they will go to hell.

          Who’s interests do you think they really have in mind? The other person’s? Or their religion’s?

          Yes, they brain-washed into the NCB movement which is why they think they have your interests in mind, but they don’t. They have the interests of the movement as their main focus.

          • July 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

            Well, THEY think they are urging conversion in the other person’s best interests since THEY know what a terrible thing it is to be damned. The fact that the Jew might not think their type of “salvation” is worth anything is unthinkable to them.

            I’ve often noticed that some of the most gung-ho NCBers, when questioned, turn out to have had unusually easy and/or short labors. They think every woman has a similar experience. Ditto the rabid lactivists. One of the benefits of my career is that I learned very early that there is such wide variety in OB that it is impossible that “one size fits all”.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            July 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

            Well, THEY think they are urging conversion in the other person’s best
            interests since THEY know what a terrible thing it is to be damned. The
            fact that the Jew might not think their type of “salvation” is worth
            anything is unthinkable to them.

            Exactly. I’m sure they all think they are acting in your best interest. Very few people actually are deliberately acting to harm others.
            Everyone else thinks they are doing what’s best. That doesn’t mean they

            Heck, Hitler thought he was acting in the best interests of the world. As I said, it’s a meaningless concept.

          • Anna T
            July 13, 2014 at 1:01 am #

            Indeed. Christians have tried to convert me, and though it drove me nuts, I had to remember that according to their faith, I’m facing eternal damnation if I don’t accept Jesus as my savior, so they see it as their duty to persist. It saved me from the urge to throw something.

          • July 13, 2014 at 9:00 am #

            You’re nicer than I am 🙂 . When missionaries want to give me the “good news” I commiserate with them, telling them I am truly sorry that because they have chosen to worship a man instead of God, which is idolatry, their fate will be truly dire. That usually shuts them up.

            Ditto when someone wants to express their sympathy that I “had” to undergo three C/Ss. I don’t explain why I had the operations, just that it was a great way to avoid labor. That usually leaves them speechless.

          • Amy M
            July 13, 2014 at 9:25 am #

            I’ve never really been harassed by these people, but I knew a guy in college, who, when asked by proselytisers if he found Jesus, would answer “No, but I wear pants.” and then close the door, or walk away while they were confused.

          • Trixie
            July 13, 2014 at 10:10 am #

            I once spent a good amount of time debating some JWs. I had them pretty thoroughly confused, but after that, they sent children to my door instead of adults. It was horrible, the children looked so scared and miserable and like they’d get in trouble if I didn’t take the copy of the Watchtower. So after that, I realized it’s better not to engage them at all because then they’ll send in the children.

    • July 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

      You made the same choice as my daughter. She could not see any point in possibly hours of labor culminating in the OR. Her recovery from her first C/S [primip breech] was easy, and this one was even easier [somewhat to her surprise]. Hope it is the same for you.

      What she and I found amusing was that several of the staff midwives thought it necessary to assure her that “a C/S is also a real birth”.

  17. guest
    July 12, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    OT: Did anyone see this? – all you morons see you safe it is? (don’t look at the case reports, don’t look at the case reports)

    (sarcasm, of course)

    • Trixie
      July 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

      We talked about it in the comments on the previous day’s thread. I hope Dr. Amy tears her a new one next week.

    • Anj Fabian
      July 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

      She tediously wades through every single study but doesn’t manage to come up with the one useful thing that she could have:
      a list of best known practices

      When there isn’t enough evidence to establish exactly how safe or risky something is, there often is evidence enough to show what the known risks are and how to avoid them.

  18. Ob in OZ
    July 12, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    This may make my top ten posts. The hardest part in counselling patients of this type is they are so inconsistent and at the same time so sure of themselves. They aren’t just right, they are better than everyone else as well. Perhaps the worst part about explaining the increased risk they have chosen, supporting them in the decision, and then if it all works out (which is what is still expected let’s say 97% of the time instead of 99.9%), they then give you ” I knew it all along and you’re an idiot” attitude.

    • araikwao
      July 12, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

      …and they’ve probably run off to quote you on “My OB Said What”. :/

  19. Mittstamp
    July 12, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    I had no choice in having a c-section–I had wanted a “beautiful homebirth” like my crunchy friends but my ob rightly played the “dead bay card” and told me that under no circumstances would he permit a TOL. I actually cried for hours for the loss of my “dream” birth complete with kiddie pools, a photographer, candles, cheerleading, doula, etc. Yes, I was completely woo-infected. And all my crunchy “friends” mourned with me. Fortunately I got over it and was just thrilled to have my healthy son, but even now, some of the “Feminist Breeders” in my circle talk to me about “unnecessarians” and willl actually say, “It”s so terrible you missed out on the miracle of birth.” Or they accuse me of being “too posh to push.” That was 16 years ago, and really, I’ve gotten over it, but I think the next they start on that, I’ll ask them about their tears, incontinence, and “the finger empty.” Does it really matter your child was born? At times it seems downright creepy to see how much these people focus on their birth stories to the exclusion of the fact that their kids are living in the here and now–it’s almost a fetish.

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
      July 12, 2014 at 10:45 am #

      At times it seems downright creepy to see how much these people focus
      on their birth stories to the exclusion of the fact that their kids are
      living in the here and now–it’s almost a fetish.


      I have to say, in real life, I have NEVER met anyone with kids who are older than maybe a month who still talk about their birth stories, except in the context of sharing with someone else with a newborn or expecting.

      If everyone’s kids are older than that, the discussion is, understandably, about what THEY are doing. The baby starts smiling at one month old, and who cares how it was born anymore?

      • Mittstamp
        July 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

        Tell me about it. First of all–it’s my business & no one else’s. But to give this some context, I live in a community of “Feminist Breeder” types–educated women who are crunchy, woo-infested, mostly homeschooling SAHMs who view their kids almost the way you’d view a new Lexus. And every man jack of them seems to have a copy of “Spiritual Midwifery.” Hey, it’s on Kindle now!

        The Mommy Wars are alive and well here. I’m thinking of developing a severe case of agoraphobia–I’ll just have to work harder and recite my affirmations…

      • Beth S
        July 13, 2014 at 11:47 am #

        My older DD’s birth story is so funny that I do tend to tell it now even years later, however it has nothing to do with bragging and everything to do with my stepdad who’d never held a baby in his life and wasn’t planning on helping me birth the kiddo being drug into the ambulance and scarred for life.

        • Young CC Prof
          July 13, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

          Indeed. Truly funny or interesting birth stories, especially inadvertent out of hospital birth, are the exception.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            July 13, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

            But in that case, whether it was a VB or ended up in a c-section is irrelevant to the story. You can tell the whole good part of the story, finish with “and then the baby was born” and it doesn’t change anything

          • Beth S
            July 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

            I end mine with “and I looked at my precious daughter and said “I gave birth to a baked potato.” because they handed her to me wrapped in one of those mylar blankets that look like aluminum foil.

    • Trixie
      July 12, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

      So…people still care about a thing that did or didn’t happen with someone else’s vagina over a decade ago? Wow.

      • Beth S
        July 13, 2014 at 11:44 am #

        Yep, I’ve been told that my eldest DD would never bond right to her adoptive parents because her mother couldn’t breast feed. Sixteen years later her mother is her best friend, and she adores her Daddy.

        • Amy M
          July 14, 2014 at 7:56 am #

          Ugh, my husband got into an internet argument with someone and ended up leaving an internet group because of this sort of thing. Someone tried to tell them that men are biologically less capable of bonding to their children than women, because the women carry the child in the womb and breastfeed it. He was able to easily refute it of course, though I doubt it would make a difference to the other person, but he was so enraged that he bowed out of the whole group.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            July 14, 2014 at 11:06 am #

            Good for him. Unfortunately, I doubt it did any good for the morons left behind.

          • Beth S
            July 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

            Yeah tell that to my older daughter, she’s a huge Daddy’s girl. It’s funny, both her Dad and her stepdad are her favorite people in the world. I’m just the mean Mommy that tells her no when she wants to do something fun like play superhero and jump off the top of the dresser and onto her bed.
            I guess that’s what I get for not being able to breast feed lol

          • Mittstamp
            July 16, 2014 at 11:11 am #

            My stepsister, who turned me on to this blog, is an adoptive mother of a son slightly younger than mine. Our mother does not consider her to be a real mother, because she never gave birth. She once told me “You know how different it is, you can’t really love a child that’s not your own.” I pointed out that my nephew is my sister”s “own” and while I have never adopted, I know that within a few days of the placement my sister and BIL were as bonded to my nephew as I am to my son. My mother hemmed a bit and said, “Well, maybe it’s different if you don’t have any children of your own.” The funny thing is: although this woman raised me from the age of four, she is technically my stepmother and my sister’s natural mother! Seems like there’s an inconsistency here.

          • Beth S
            July 16, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

            My eldest daughter was placed for adoption at birth, and I’ve always considered the family who adopted her to be her real parents. I’ve been lucky enough to see her grow up through pictures and contact with my child, but her mother and father are the parents who’ve raised her from birth and I dare anyone to tell me or anyone else otherwise.

    • Smoochagator
      July 14, 2014 at 8:13 am #

      “the finger empty?” What does that mean?

  20. Amazed
    July 12, 2014 at 4:19 am #

    Hey, is it just me, or have Jen Kamel and her admins actually made a purge deleting the evidence for their decision to make their group private or secret, or whatever they called it because Jen’s sensitivities were too tender for cruel things like demanding that she proved her point with something other than empty rhethorics?

  21. the wingless one
    July 12, 2014 at 2:51 am #

    OT, I think I’m hoping for some reassurance…my best friend just called to tell me she had had an emergency c/s at 29w. Apparently baby had not grown since the last ultrasound a month ago and the heart rate was low (I didn’t ask how low), and they rushed her for an emergency c/s, didn’t even have time for a spinal, she had GA. She hadn’t seen the baby yet when we spoke but they told her he needed some chest compressions but they got him breathing. They also told her he was the size of a 25w (but also mentioned he was over 2lbs which sounds bigger than most 25w to me but what do I really know about these things).

    Anyway, I know that normally 29w would be far enough along that you wouldn’t have to worry about certain things as much as you would with a micropreemie, but does it change the calculus at all because he was IUGR? Does him being smaller put him at higher risk than a non-IUGR 29 weeker? Or does his small size not really matter and he should have the same general chances as any other 29 weeker?

    • Box of Salt
      July 12, 2014 at 3:05 am #

      wingless one, no advice here – just best wishes for your friend and her baby and the family.

    • Mishimoo
      July 12, 2014 at 6:06 am #

      No advice either, but sending best wishes.

    • Young CC Prof
      July 12, 2014 at 9:42 am #

      An IUGR 29-weeker will have somewhat more trouble than the average 29-weeker, but the organs, including the lungs, still develop at the same rate. Ironically, the deprivation sometimes acts like steroids, ripening the lungs faster, though it doesn’t work out that way for all babies.

      I don’t have any stats, but just based on my message board, things look pretty grim for a severely growth restricted baby under 27 weeks gestation, but once you get to the third trimester they tend to do OK. It’s going to be a long NICU stay, but his chances are good.

      • Haelmoon
        July 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

        My 29 weekend was at the 2nd percentile when she was born (chronic abruptions amid placental insuffiency). She was a bit of a super star in the NICU. Six weeks in hospital only, good feeder and no long term deficits. I also delivered a 29 weaker who was 520g (very small), who at one year do age is meeting milestones. Unfortunately the other 500g 28 weeker didn’t do as well. There is good hope for a normal outcome, first week will tell you a lot (it looks better is there are no IVH bleeds. I wish your friend luck. This is not a fun time for her!! Hugs and easy to warm up foods in the microwave were the best things I got during that time.

        • Young CC Prof
          July 12, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

          Only six weeks? Wow! How big was she when she came home?

          • Haelmoon
            July 12, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

            4 1/2 pounds. She remains a super star to this day. She was successfully bottle feeding at 32 weeks, and on the breast within a week of being home. She does work with her brother who is fifteen months older. People think they are twins given she even has a better vocabulary (they are four and five now). I figure it was sibling riveraly, she had to do better than her siblings. The oldest was 32 weeks, cord prolapse and the had NEC. The second (my boy ) was slow to breath at 33 weeks, slow to feed so he was almost still in hospital by his due date. He also needed surgery at nine months old. We have been through a lot of pregnancy and neonatal complications, but are lucky to have three healthy children now. Oldest has mild ADD, middle some learning difficulties, but we are learning how to help him and a completely normal ex-29 weeker. It’s tough in the NICU, but really the whole first year is a bit of a wait and see if they continue to meet their milestones. We had a scare with the youngest because she couldn’t sit independently on her first birthday (9 months corrected). Turns out she is stubborn, the pt/of showed us some exercises to help her develop her core muscles. Our world changed for the better when she walked a week latter!! I won’t wish a stay on NICU on anyone, but it is worth it if you get to eventually take you bah home.

        • the wingless one
          July 13, 2014 at 1:32 am #

          I really appreciate all the replies, it’s so good to hear positive outcomes at a time like this. Unfortunately I spent the day at the hospital with my friend and the news today wasn’t good as his first brain u/s did show signs of a large bleed 🙁 He is also having some other serious issues so we don’t really know what his chances are at this point, but trying to stay hopeful. Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers.

          • Mishimoo
            July 13, 2014 at 5:21 am #

            Aww poor kiddo! Thinking of you all.

          • Haelmoon
            July 14, 2014 at 12:07 am #

            I hope that your friend’s baby still beats the odds, although it is looking like a very rocky road ahead for the both of them. I wish the family hope and happiness.

          • the wingless one
            July 14, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

            Thank you for all the positive thoughts but sadly the baby passed away 🙁 They are understandably heartbroken. If anyone has any suggestions on what friends can do to support when something like this happens, I’d welcome them.

    • Brittany
      July 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

      Size isn’t everything. Now, I am NOT a doctor, but I had a quite large 32-weeker (4.5 lbs), who still had a six week NICU stay because of apnea, followed by 7 months on an apnea monitor and caffeine therapy. We had issues with everyone thinking we were overprotective crazy because he looked like a normal baby (it got a tad embarrassing to visit our chunk 6 pounder in the NICU as well). FYI, the book, The Preemie Primer by Jen Gunter (who is an OB) was a great help at explaining everything. Someone sent it as a gift when I was still in the hospital.

      • Renee Martin
        July 13, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

        LOL on visiting your chunky NICU baby.
        DS was born 9.2, but still got 4 weeks of NICU because of HDN and related issues. He was 14# when he left.
        One of the nurses asked if my baby ate one of the other babies, bwahahahaha.

    • AmyP
      July 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

      A friend had premature twin girls at 28.5 weeks–they were both over 3 pounds. So, yeah, 2 pounds at 29 weeks sounds small to me.

    • MS
      July 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

      I faced a similar situation, but I cannot offer anything more than what’s been said, other than my best wishes and prayers for your friend and her family.

      FWIW, when experiencing a pregnancy that no longer provides a healthy environment for baby, there was something reassuring about having her fed, treated, and monitored directly, rather than through me (which wasn’t working, hence the early delivery). It was really scary to have her so early, but it was also amazing to see how well she responded to getting everything she needed that she couldn’t get in utero. I hope your friend gets to experience that too.

  22. Ducky7
    July 12, 2014 at 12:50 am #

    Great post. Don’t know why I find that faceless woman so creepy!

  23. MS
    July 11, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    I had a well-meaning friend who expressed a little jealousy that because I had an IUGR baby at 33 weeks with a c section that my body didn’t change all that much. I got to recover while my daughter was in the NICU, so physically, childbirth wasn’t bad, even with the “major abdominal surgery.” Of course, when I gently reminded her of the emotional upheaval that came with a bad pregnancy, underweight baby and extended NICU stay she could see the error of her statement. Trust me, no one who knows us would ever consider that we took the “easy” way out. (FTR I also got a pass on formula this way–when your 2 pounder needs high-calorie formula people tend to give you a pass on nursing).

    Childbirth is easy for some, and difficult for others, regardless of exit point. Even IF a c section delivery is physically “easier” it doesn’t mean that the circumstances were not extremely emotionally and psychologically difficult. Anyone who says otherwise is full of it and insensitive.

    • Beth S
      July 13, 2014 at 11:53 am #

      You didn’t take the easy way out, you had to worry about your baby surviving those first weeks of life, try to recover from surgery and deal with raging hormones on top of it.
      I just don’t understand why any mother needs a “pass” on anything to do with the birth and health of their child. It’s your body, your choice and the “well meaning” friends need to shove it.

      • MS
        July 13, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

        You’re right, I didn’t need a pass for formula feeding. I came to that decision in a thoughtful manner, and it wasn’t anyone else’s business why I made it. I think I just meant that she was under so much medical supervision, no one dared question our decisions. I was nervous that someone would confront me about it, though.

        And regarding your statement above, regarding the time and effort put into things that don’t matter rather than focusing on the real issues facing children, I absolutely agree. ITS ALL SO STUPID!!! It’s like the law of diminishing returns–once you’ve reached a certain threshold of safety and care, it doesn’t much matter what you do, your child will grow up to be healthy and happy. The effort and resources WASTED on convincing women to forgo and complain about legitimate medical treatment (NCB), or bullying them into strict parenting practices (lactivism and the like), when there are families that can’t meet their child’s basic needs, is disgusting. They are completely missing the big picture.

        And regarding “well meaning” friends, it’s a delicate balancing act, isn’t it? Sometimes we say things that are clumsy and stupid, and sometimes we say things that show our true colors. I am lucky to have some very supportive friends, many of whom helped us a great deal while our daughter was in the NICU. And then I have some that will just never get it. I have told someone to shove it before, only I language was a bit more colorful. Now I keep a running tab in my mind, and there are some friends I only trust with certain discussions.

  24. BlaqueKatt
    July 11, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    I hate that women feel the need to make up “excuses ” for their choices. You made the choice based on your situation, own it, be proud you were able to make the choice, and anyone second guessing is full of it, they aren’t you and don’t know your situation. I say this because I breastfed my son for almost two years, my choice, I own it. My best friend switched to bottles and formula after a month or so with both kids and felt the need to use the excuse of “too fair skinned to breastfeed”. Which seems silly, because humans would die off were that true, but she felt not wanting to continue “necessitated” a reason beyond “not for me”, and it doesn’t.

    • KarenJJ
      July 11, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

      It would be great if we felt we didn’t need “excuses”, but why was the breastfeeding friend giving an “excuse” and your decision to choose CNM care a “reason” for not getting the c-section. I’ve encountered this before about “owning choices” and giving “excuses” and in my experience it was an accusation specifically levelled at formula feeding mothers who were explaining their “reasons” for swapping from breast feeding to formula feeding. The reasons for changing from breastfeeding to formula feeding are legitimate (whatever they may be) and not “excuses”. Not sure if you meant it in that way, but that’s how I’ve encountered it from more judgemental breastfeeding activists.

      • BlaqueKatt
        July 12, 2014 at 5:49 am #

        Because there’s no physiological reason skin tone would effect breastfeeding*, and she later admitted it was because she wanted to return to work. I should have had a c section, but the CNM didn’t “believe” in ultrasounds, she was convinced they were harmful, and also convinced that pain management was harmful. I ended up with 3rd degree tears because my son’s head measured 13cm, he spent 5 minutes “stuck” before she got an OB to help. The hospital I gave birth at had specific staff assigned by day, as there were never more than one or two births. I didn’t have a choice as to who attended my birth, it was the CNM ‘ S contracted day. The OB spent 20 minutes screaming at her for “incompetence that almost cost two lives”
        And offhand, you just proved my point, you made a judgment (reason vs. Excuse) with limited knowledge of the situation, and I had to explain why the choices were what they were.
        I’m angry I got substandard care because of my provider’s beliefs, and I’m angry my friend was made to feel inferior because of something that should be a non issue, as long as the kid is fed safe, healthy, appropriate food, as decided by the parents and health care provider, who cares?
        *the fair skin is from Victorian and pre civil war times, when rich white women exploited slaves as wet nurses, often causing the death of the slave children.

        • anion
          July 12, 2014 at 7:18 am #

          I don’t think KarenJJ was making a judgment of you, she was pointing out the difference in your own wording and tone, and thus the judgment inherent therein: according to you, your friend had an “excuse” but you had a “reason.” Your friend later “admitted” that the “excuse” you thought was “silly” was indeed false, but ask yourself why she felt the need to make that excuse to you (and later that admission) especially when you’re so defiant about your decision to breastfeed for two years–a decision you “own” and don’t need to excuse, which is nice except it’s pretty much what women are pressured and encouraged to do so is hardly rebellious or necessitating an excuse to begin with. I breastfed my second for seventeen months; I don’t think that makes me a rebel.

          There’s no need to “envy” your sister for not feeling the need to justify or explain; just stop justifying or explaining yourself, and tell other women that you don’t need to hear their reasons or excuses because their decision or method of feeding or method of birth is perfectly legitimate on its own.

          Personally, I’ve never felt the need to justify or explain my c-sections*, and I don’t think anyone has ever asked me to–I don’t know if that’s because I’ve only come in contact with people who don’t feel such explanations are necessary, or because I feel perfectly happy with them and don’t automatically present excuses etc. But it’s not hard to simply not justify or explain something you feel should need no justification or explanation, and if someone questions you, you simply say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t know why that matters to you,” or “Thank you, I love being a mother,” and refuse to say anything else. It’s not hard to refuse to answer rude and invasive questions, or refuse to discuss issues which are nobody’s damn business. You wouldn’t tell these nosy parkers how it makes you scream when your husband does X in the bedroom or all about that day’s bowel movements just because they seemed to think it was their business, right, because some things are not for public analysis. You’d rightly just stare at them until they subsided, or change the subject, or tell them you don’t want to discuss it or you can’t imagine why they would want to know. It’s the same thing. You don’t owe people answers just because they want them, not on topics like these.

          (* I have discussed the reasons/my reasons for my c-sections on occasion, to share experiences or help others. But never in the “It was okay, really, because X” spirit.)

          Quit talking to women who judge you about this stuff, at least about this subject. You owe them nothing. Quit letting them make you think you do. Quit deciding other women’s reasons for doing or not doing things are “silly,” and if you do think it be careful not to show it.

        • NoLongerCrunching
          July 12, 2014 at 7:46 am #

          It is very common for fair skinned women, especially red hands to experience more pain while nursing. I have also heard that redheads usually need more anesthesia then non-redheads.

        • AgentOrange5
          July 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

          For all intents & purposes reasons/excuses are the same thing. What people choose to label them depends on their own personal feelings towards the subject. Even if 1 thinks a reason is a bad reason, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a real reason for the person who made it.
          BlaqueKatt, you say you didn’t have an ultrasound and had no choice in who delivered your baby, did you have any prenatal care? Normally, at least 1, if not 2 ultrasounds are given during prenatal visits, and if 1 has been getting prenatal care, then their provider of choice would deliver them at a hospital (or at least a provider in their group would.) I only ask, to make the point, you undoubtedly had reasons, that led to you being in a hospital with an incompetent CNM. Perhaps some of those reasons were out of your control, perhaps some people would scoff at your reasons as “excuses”, perhaps some of your reasons were based on incorrect information……the same is true for every action somebody makes. If they give their reasons afterwards, it may just be that they are trying to understand their own choices. Even if you don’t approve or if you disagree with their reasons, it doesn’t mean the other person is “making excuses.” With your friend, quite possibly she did have more pain due to being fairer skinned, but then backtracked when she realized you were judging her reason as an excuse. Even if she was wrong in her perception of being fairer skinned as the reason why she was having more pain, it doesn’t mean she was making an excuse, it would just mean she had incorrect information.

        • Guesteleh
          July 12, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

          I’m sorry you went through that. What a terrible experience. I hope your baby came through okay. If you feel comfortable, do you mind saying what country you’re in?

    • Guest
      July 12, 2014 at 12:57 am #

      People probably have a hard time “owning their choices” because even their own best friends are judging their decisions. (For the record, I am fair skinned and have breastfed all 3 of my children for a year, but I do think that having fair/sensitive skin can make breast feeding extra challenging in the beginning.)

    • Smoochagator
      July 14, 2014 at 8:19 am #

      After I chose to switch to formula with my son, I felt so much guilt and sadness, but finally about a month in I realized that I had a made a choice for a lot of good reasons and I just needed to own it and move on. End of story. Otherwise I’d miss out on how wonderful it was to be a new mom, and who wants to spend all their time down in the dumps when they have an adorable newborn at home?

  25. moto_librarian
    July 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    The “success” of a method of birth is only evident in retrospect. After a cervical laceration, 2nd degree tear, and pph, I knew that I NEVER wanted to have an unmedicated vaginal birth again. I seriously considered asking for a MRCS the second time. I ultimately had a second vaginal delivery, but with an amazingly effective epidural and only a 2nd degree tear. BUT…I am now struggling with pelvic floor problems. I have a rectocele, and while physiotherapy was helpful with urgency problems, I am having escalating problems with bng able to completely empty my bowels. It is embarrassing and depressing to be dealing with this at 36 years of age, especially since I know that it will only get worse as I age.

    • Anonymous Regular
      July 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

      Sorry to hear about your pelvic floor problems. I don’t know the details of your situation, but you may have some options. I have a slight rectocele (9+ lb baby) and I have had some improvements with additional coffee, dietary changes, the “Hab-It” pelvic video, and weaning my baby.

      I am honestly afraid of what baby #2 will do to my soft tissues. Sometimes I think I should have had a Caesarian for #1. OBGYNs know what big babies do to vaginas! NCB-ers are in complete denial about soft tissue damage. Perhaps because lay midwives don’t do pelvic restoration surgeries, they dont see the long term damage of pelvic organ prolapse, fistulas, incontinence, and sexual disfunction that can come from vaginal birth and certain unwise NCB practices (4+ hours pushing).

      When I hear about an 11lb baby born at home, I feel so bad for the mother and her pelvic tissues. I always think “An OB would have offered a section and saved her vagina.”

      • Medwife
        July 11, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

        Lay midwives don’t do care throughout the lifespan. Their perspectives are severely limited.

      • Beth S
        July 13, 2014 at 11:38 am #

        I’m the same way. My vaginally birthed girls were small (5 and 6 pounds each) however they were precipitous unmanaged at the second stage labors and both ripped me from stem to stern. I’m lucky the only real lasting problems I have are constipation issues and sciatic nerve problems.
        My youngest DD was a C-section, and I couldn’t believe how easy the recovery was, the hospital even let me take off the baby alarm and walk her up to right outside the pulmonary ICU where my father passed away to introduce her to him. We didn’t go in but it gave me a feeling of peace to think Dad was watching over us at the hospital and I could introduce him to his youngest grandchild.

    • fiftyfifty1
      July 11, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

      Howdy! I always send out a warm welcome when I run into other members of the POP Club (pelvic organ prolapse club). Some of my favorite people (including myself) crap their pants from time to time or do “the finger empty”. My personal experience is that now, 10 years later, it is actually somewhat better than it was in years 1 and 2 postpartum. My theory is that some of my nerve damage has partially healed and also I am getting more skilled in knowing how to manage my bowel patterns. Of course in a few years I will go through menopause and that may be a game changer. We will see. Anyway, I know it’s not a club you set out to join, but welcome anyway.

      • BlaqueKatt
        July 11, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

        OMG! I thought I was the only one doing the “finger empty”. I should have known since finding out minor incontinence is a common experience, that the other probably was too, but I never connected it with the birth issues.

        • fiftyfifty1
          July 11, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

          Oh you’re not the only one. All the best people do the finger empty 😉

          • Therese
            July 12, 2014 at 2:30 am #

            Care to share what doing the finger empty means or is it a club secret?

          • BlaqueKatt
            July 12, 2014 at 5:55 am #

            You can “assist” the muscles in pushing out waste because the vaginal wall is next to the rectal wall. It’s unpleasant, but sometimes necessary.

          • fiftyfifty1
            July 12, 2014 at 9:08 am #

            club secret!

      • moto_librarian
        July 14, 2014 at 9:43 am #

        Thank you, fiftyfifty1! It is somewhat encouraging to hear that your symptoms have improved somewhat with time. I am hoping that mine will as well. I am now two years postpartum, and we are not going to have anymore children.

        When I had my initial intake for physiotherapy, I took a questionnaire that asked about whether or not I had to “finger empty.” Honestly, it had never occurred to me that this could be done, so I answered no. My urinary symptoms are markedly better, and I have less urgency, but the emptying issue has gotten worse. I now do the finger empty fairly routinely, and I had an incident of bowel incontinence a couple of months ago. At work. It was unbelievably embarrassing, and while I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this problem.

        My husband recently asked me if, knowing that I would have pelvic floor problems, would I have preferred to have had c-sections rather than vaginal births? In retrospect, I would have seriously considered that option.

        • fiftyfifty1
          July 14, 2014 at 10:02 am #

          Ah yes, bowel incontinence at work. Many of us in the POP Club keep an extra set of undies and a pair of neutral slacks in the trunk of our cars just in case. My office manager is also a POP member and ends up using her backup kit fairly often. I almost never need to use mine, but it’s reassuring to have it on hand.
          I sure wish there was a good way of predicting future problems before the birth. Some risk factors are known (severe tears more likely with first births, short perineum length, big baby, Asian heritage) but still most cannot be predicted. If I had been able to predict I would have chosen a CS.

          • moto_librarian
            July 14, 2014 at 10:23 am #

            I am definitely going to bring in a backup kit. I was able to just ditch my undies last time, but it could have been worse.

          • theadequatemother
            July 14, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

            Reading about rectocele a it appears it’s a fascial, not muscular, defect. I’m not holding out hope that pelvic physio can improve it much. Do you have thought on that? The individual I saw between kids just waved her hand dismissively and told me not to get constipated…and this was a specialty pelvic floor clinic in Canada’s largest city. That’s the dismal level of help we can expect dealing with these issues from “experts!”

          • fiftyfifty1
            July 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

            What I understand is that pelvic organ prolapse(whether uterine, cystocele or rectocele) is not muscular in nature but rather ligamentous and/or fascial and cannot be improved through exercises. Vaginal squeeze strength and perhaps urinary incontinence can be improved by kegals but bowel incontinence cannot be. Pelvic phisiotherapy is effective for problems where there is lack of relaxation (e.g. vaginismus etc) but basically ineffective for problems of too much structural relaxation.
            I had a nice long talk with the pelvic floor specialist in our city. He was pretty clear that he feels very very limited it what he is able to repair even though he is a very skilled surgeon. The advice to keep your stools soft but avoid diarrhea really is the best he can do in a lot of cases.

        • theadequatemother
          July 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

          If I had been able to predict. And if I had known the NNT of cs to prevent symptomatic POP was only 7-8, I would have chosen cs too. I seriously underestimated how limiting poor pelvic floor function is. PT makes some of it better, but I do a ly of sports that use forces full porwerful movements and if I don’t pay attention and kegel and activate my core appropriately….well. I wasn’t counselled when pregnant and no one ever asked about how pelvic floor problems might impact my work (can’t run out of the or to the bathroom and sometimes I’m stuck in here for 6 hrs!), and my recreation (backcountry sports)..and I didn’t think there was a good way to prevent it because we were still taught in med school and residency that cs was NOT protective. I regret not asking. The idea tht women should just tolerate pelvic floor dysfunction and it’s this right of passage or price of having a baby seems highly antiquated to me. We have so much technology so much potential to improve this outcome.

          • fiftyfifty1
            July 14, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

            Yes, I had no idea of the NNT either. And we too were taught in med school that CS was “not protective”. However what was not taught is that the studies that say “not protective” have some important limitations:
            1. They looked at urinary incontinence only. They did not look at bowel problems or uterine prolapse.
            2. They have the wrong time length: Either they look at just the first few weeks postpartum or they look geriatric. It’s all fine and well to say that CS moms also have some urinary leakage immediately postpartum or postmenopausal. But what they DON’T have is what many vag-birth moms have to deal with: moderate to severe chronic incontinence during the prime activity and working years.
            3. They lump all CS moms together. A woman who has a pre-labor CS has a very different pelvic floor outcome than a woman who labors, pushes and ends up with an emergency CS.

  26. theadequatemother
    July 11, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    There is an undercurrent here, as you (Dr A) have often pointed out, that assumes that womanhood means being self-sacrificing, suffering, or limited by biology. Once you reject that you can be free from the influence of these NCB advocates and BF lactivists. We have some brilliant feminist thinkers, writers and scholars among the community here. I’d love to hear from some of you, if you have the time and the inclination, on the use of feminization of suffering to motivate and control women.

    • Amy M
      July 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

      I’m not a brilliant feminist thinker, writer or scholar, but just this morning, I was talking with another woman, about cooking. I said that unfortunately, my 5yr olds don’t like some of the food I cook, but when that happens, I tell them: “Here’s dinner, or you can have pbj. I’m not making another meal for you.” I joked about what a bad mom I am for saying that, and she started to tell me it wasn’t bad, because she thought I was serious. I had to explain that I felt absolutely no guilt at all. But someone who is under the influence of the NCB advocates might feel guilty OR might just cook separate meals for the children, and view my refusal to do so as bad parenting.

      • Trixie
        July 11, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

        No, if you’re a good mother, your children will always eat a variety of foods and never reject anything.

        • Amy M
          July 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

          OMG you’re right. I need to give my children up for adoption right away.

          • Trixie
            July 11, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

            You could have cared enough to wean them onto goat milk kefir and home-fermented vegetables. Too late now.

          • anion
            July 12, 2014 at 7:24 am #

            Yep. When that baby inevitably ends up in prison or in the gutter, we’ll know who to blame–and it’ll be the person who was too lazy to make her own yogurt and ferment her own veg. Why didn’t she just get a gerbil, if she wasn’t going to do mothering right?

          • Amy M
            July 12, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

            Oh we have a gerbil.

          • anion
            July 12, 2014 at 7:24 am #

            BTW, I LOLed.

          • Elaine
            July 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

            I did BLW because I personally found it to be very easy and I so did not have the patience for purees. But that’s just me. (I get the sarcasm in this post and I don’t think BLW is the “right” choice necessarily but I did find it to be the easy choice for me personally.)

          • Trixie
            July 11, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

            I had one who BLW’d herself by refusing purees and baby food. Another one who lived on purees and refused to put food in his own mouth. BLW would’ve starved him.

          • KarenJJ
            July 11, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

            LOL – same! One BLW who refused to let us feed her *she also held her own bottle from a very very early age) – little miss independence 🙂 To my second who was very happy to let us spoon feed him mush and even now at 3yo will try to get us to spoon feed him. I didn’t do anything to “make” them that way, their own temperaments came in to play. The eldest values her autonomy above all else (and it makes her very difficult to parent at times) and the youngest is a people pleaser who gets upset when others are upset and wants to make the world happy (much easier to discipline).

          • July 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

            Prepared baby food is expensive in Israel. I took whatever I’d made for supper [obviously, at first I did veggies/fruit, etc.] and dumped it in the blender. Looked absolutely disgusting when pureed, but the kid who ate it loved it [took me two previous children with all sorts of special cooking methods to get to this epiphany]. My daughter has a cunning little machine which steams a small quantity of food and then purees it, all in a matter of minutes, in the same bowl that held the steaming water. It came from Europe.

          • Trixie
            July 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

            They have those here too. I did it industrial-size with larger equipment and froze it all in ice cube size portions. I was really disappointed when my second rejected baby food, because I love making it so much.

          • Amy M
            July 12, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

            eh, in real life we did a little of everything…some baby food, once their digestive systems had a “taste” of solids and we’d established they didn’t seem to have any major allergies, I started giving them tiny pieces of regular food also. Maybe they didn’t need the purees—who cares? They liked them, and got their veggies, that’s for sure. that’s the only green beans they ever ate, was the pureed ones.

          • Elaine
            July 13, 2014 at 9:50 am #

            Good point. Obviously if this approach hadn’t worked for my daughter, I would have done something else… but she did well feeding herself, to the point where I couldn’t get her to eat from a spoon for a really long time.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            July 13, 2014 at 10:24 am #

            But if the baby wanted purees, how is that not BLW?

            That’s the problem with such pretentious labels.** If you call X “baby led weaning” it implies that Y is NOT “baby led weaning.” But if that is what the baby wants, how is it not baby led and weaning?

            **See also: attachment parenting

          • Trixie
            July 13, 2014 at 10:31 am #

            Yep. See also: my kids slept better in their own rooms. Guess we were attached enough to figure out their needs.

          • me
            July 13, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

            I used purees with #1, a combination with #2, and did “baby led weaning” with #3. Not because I became “enlightened”; because by the time #3 showed up, the only way we were going to be able to enjoy a meal together as a family was if the baby fed herself! It worked out very well, but she was the type that preferred to feed herself anyway. If she hadn’t wanted to feed herself I would have figured something else out.

          • fiftyfifty1
            July 11, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

            Don’t you hate the way a person can’t even slop some random food down in front of their kid anymore without it being given a self-important title (Baby Led Weaning, oh my!) and a whole philosophy and parental identity?

          • KarenJJ
            July 11, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

            Baby led weaning, Baby wearing and elimination communication are the most irritating labels used to describe the most basic of baby care tasks. If it is all so “baby led” why the heck is it all about things mothers must to do to encourage their child to be a certain way.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            July 12, 2014 at 10:54 am #

            If it is all so “baby led” why the heck is it all about things mothers must to do to encourage their child to be a certain way

            Let’s call it the Parent Assisted Baby Led Weaning

            No, it’s got to be Parent Assisted Baby Led Own-feeding, or PABLO

            I like it!

            (although if someone can come up with a better O, I’m open to it)

          • fiftyfifty1
            July 12, 2014 at 11:50 am #


          • Amazed
            July 12, 2014 at 3:09 am #

            I’ve always thought it’s some irrational desire to make children grow up faster. Or look more smart and mature or something,Well, at least at the time for Baby Led Weaning knocks at the door, the baby is old enough to know he and she have toes. Hopefully. Unlike those babies who are expected to know how and when to be born when they still don’t know there is a world outside mom’s body.

            Now, my mom jokes that cats are privileged since their babies are more self sufficient from en early age than human babies (she’s in love with the C-section gorilla baby who could fix her own oxygen mask, BTW). But for all her laments, she wouldn’t delegate a baby the responsibility to make nutritional choices.

        • Cobalt
          July 11, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

          I had one baby that I learned actually preferred cold bottles straight from the fridge (it was an act of desperation that became a revelation). Am I awesome because he didn’t reject the first cold one or awful because I never gave him another warm one?

          • Box of Salt
            July 12, 2014 at 3:03 am #


            Baby led, right?

          • Cobalt
            July 12, 2014 at 7:45 am #

            Baby demanded. He was screaming his head off and I couldn’t warm the bottle fast enough, so I gave him one from the fridge to pacify him while I got the first one warmed up. By the time it was ready he had finished the cold bottle and was cheerful as you please. Didn’t spit up either, which he had a lot of trouble with overall.

            I very sheepishly confessed my sin to the pediatrician, who said there really was no medical reason to warm a bottle for him, it’s just preference. I never looked back.

            My family was scandalized.

          • Beth S
            July 13, 2014 at 11:18 am #

            My grandmother was a little shocked when she realized I was giving my youngest munchkin cold bottles, until I explained that first of all it actually seemed to help with reflux and second it’s what the kiddo demands.
            Of course I’m also that evil parent who at two months is giving her kid a taste of things like mashed taters, ice cream and icing from cake.

          • DiomedesV
            July 13, 2014 at 11:21 am #

            Could it be that the cold bottle helps reflux because the baby drinks it more slowly? Just wondering.

          • Beth S
            July 13, 2014 at 11:29 am #

            I’m honestly not sure, I just know that cold bottles kept me from having to buy the expensive anti-reflux formulas so to me they’re a life saver. Not to mention we’re in the middle of the dog days of summer around here so I’m sure the cold formula feels good to her little body.

          • NoLongerCrunching
            July 12, 2014 at 7:52 am #

            My dinners are child-led. Either they eat it, or they lead their own asses to the jar peanut butter and make themselves a sandwich.

          • July 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

            In the US, in the 70s, there was a trend of giving bottles directly from the fridge as a means of preventing the growth of bacteria in them. We were told that the milk was body temperature by the time it reached the stomach. Dunno if that was true, but I never saw any adverse consequences from feeding cold milk.

          • Amy M
            July 12, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

            We did that, as soon as they took a cold one from the fridge too…never looked back. It made sense to us, because we started trying this when the weather warmed up, they were probably 4-5mos old already—and cold was probably refreshing.

          • Cobalt
            July 12, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

            That particular baby would fuss if you gave him warm bottles after that. He preferred cold and it really helped his reflux issues. Of course, that didn’t stop scandalized family members from trying to do it the “right way”. I heard so much crap, but got my giggles when he would refuse and then spit up all over them. They gave up pretty quickly after that.

            The right way is whatever works to get the baby what they need, short and long term.

        • Box of Salt
          July 12, 2014 at 1:05 am #

          * SNORT *
          Actually, I have one kid who pretty much eats anything, and one kid who . . . eats most stuff, but make it pretty clear what will not be eaten.

          Your comment does have a universal truth hidden in it:
          variety is key.

          • July 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

            One of my daughters had to have her lips pried apart in order to insert a spoon; the other gleefully absorbed everything that came within grabbing range and looked around for more.

            As adults, the first one is now fond of all foods, while her omnivorous sister is the pickiest eater I ever met.

            It is experiences like these, and the fact that I breastfed one child, bottle fed #2, and combination fed #3, and ALL THREE are happy, healthy, successful adults, that make me highly indifferent to just about all parenting theories.

        • Renee Martin
          July 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

          Wrong! You will have kids that eat the wonderful food you make, and they will reject fast food, junk food, candy, and “kid” food (Mac n cheese, chicken nuggets).
          its not enough to have kids that eat well. They must be as zealous as you are.

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
        July 11, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

        We insist the kids TRY everything we’ve made, and then give them pbNOj.

        • Amy M
          July 11, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

          yeah, we do that too. 🙂

        • Beth S
          July 13, 2014 at 11:27 am #

          My older daughter will eat pretty much anything, except for fish, but that’s because I don’t eat it so it doesn’t get cooked in my house. My younger DD is two and a half months old so she gets the bottle and loves gumming on soft mashed foods like potatoes etc… I got lucky.
          My mom however had to get stuck with a daughter who has a raging tomato allergy so she always kept some sort of soup in the house for me for those nights when she wanted something with tomatoes in the recipe. I mostly out grew the allergy except for raw tomatoes, for some reason I still can’t eat those, but as long as I keep some Benadryl on hand I can eat tomatoes that have been processed to within an inch of their lives.

    • KarenJJ
      July 11, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

      I’m hardly a brilliant feminist thinker but I do think there’s some sort of line that gets crossed between celebrating womanhood and fetishising womanhood. There’s a lot about being a woman that is not valued (where would the world be without unpaid – mostly female – family carers?) but some of these rogue midwives seem to be a lot more about their own emotional (and sexual? I do wonder about that) needs. I don’t see anything feminist about a poorly trained, well-paid woman watching another woman in pain, giving birth to a sickly blue baby (or dead) and then going on to do it again and again.

    • Beth S
      July 13, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

      I’m not a brilliant feminist thinker by any means, just a SAHM with a creative writing degree, but I’ve thought a lot about the tendency for the “NCB” community to glorify outdated and patriarchal views on childbirth.
      I think a lot of the glorification of suffering has to do with the fact that in this world the only thing a woman can do that a man can’t is give birth. Historically women have been marginalized and pushed to the side in favor of a man, and even today childbirth is the one place where men have no say over what happens. So the more you suffer in the pursuit of the perfect birth experience, the more you celebrate mother warriors, the more feminist you are.
      Midwifery is still a female dominated industry, so in rejecting the “medical industrial complex” and the male dominated medical field the more you are embracing the sacred feminine.

    • alannah
      July 14, 2014 at 6:16 am #

      I think the primary motivation for this culture of total motherhood and suffering as a moral duty stems from unhappiness in other aspects of these women’s lives.
      The staunchest supporters are often women who were unable to develop themselves intellectually for any reason or those who had to give up important parts of their lives and personalities. For example, rumor has it the Alpha Parent used to be a lawyer before she turned AP extremist.
      The mother-martyr culture gives them a source of self esteem and authority over those who perform less well in the pain Olympics.

  27. Young CC Prof
    July 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    See, if you are a Birth Goddess (TM) then natural birth will be easy, and by comparison, a c-section will be hard. Also, since you are so pure and natural, the evil steel implements will steal your nature-magic. (But the Internet doesn’t steal your nature-magic, because that’s safe tech.)

    On the other hand, if you are not a Birth Goddess, natural birth will be very hard, and a c-section will actually be easier for you. And since you are obviously a child of technology and Big Pharma already, surgery will not further endanger your soul.

    There. I explained it. No, don’t breathe on my logic-house of cards.

    • Captain Obvious
      July 11, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

      I use Exparel when closing my cesareans. Mixing the 20 ml Exparel with 90 ml injectable saline gives me 110 ml of long lasting (3-4 days) analgesia. I inject the parietal peritoneum, fascia, and skin. Patients do so much better after cesareans. Most go home in 2 days and don’t use as much post OP oral analgesics. And they don’t need the burden of an abdominal wall pump and PCA pump that I used to use. Exparel and toradol and Norco works great for post OP pain.

      • fiftyfifty1
        July 11, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

        I really wonder what my OB and anesthesiologist used for mine. I should pull the records. Whatever it was was MAGIC. No pain, just some soreness. Sort of “Come on you guys, don’t make me laugh so hard ’cause my tummy muscles are still a little sore from my CS yesterday”.

      • Somewhereinthemiddle
        July 12, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

        This sounds really interesting. I had *no* idea that there were different post CS pain control options until I spoke with a friend who had some sort of pump that directly administered meds to her incision site. Can you go into more detail here about the post-op options here? I know lots of moms who would be interested in this info. And if I ever have another child and need a CS, I would *love* to be able to request some thing other than oral pain meds. My first (and only) CS recovery was terribly painful.

        And can someone tell me if these options are used regularly in the US?

  28. Zornorph
    July 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    I think it was John Calvin who came up with the delightful idea that anything that was fun must also be sinful. Somehow this idea has made it into the whole ‘natural’ way of having and raising children. If you are doing it the ‘easy’ way, you are sinning against your child (and more importantly, against nature).

    • Amy M
      July 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      Sure…the bigger the martyr, the more you love your children. No sacrifice is too great! If you aren’t willing to go to extreme lengths, obviously you are a lazy, selfish person not fit to raise a goldfish, let alone a child.

      • Zornorph
        July 11, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

        That reminds me; I need to buy some goldfish crackers for my LO. Though I suppose they are not natural enough for those people – I’m a bad parent for giving them to him.

    • KT
      July 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

      Sigh…why must Reformed Protestants always be credited with the very flawed, very wrong idea that anything fun must be sinful. No – that idea wasn’t Calvin’s. He and the Reformers believed in all sorts of fun, they just believed in putting boundaries on it, just like all other sane human beings. The question is which set of boundaries is best.

      • Zornorph
        July 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

        Sorry if I got it wrong; I always thought it was Calvin. Well, it was somebody because clearly that’s what the Puritans believed.

        • attitude devant
          July 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

          Don’t be abashed Z. It’s a common idea, derived from the fact that the Puritans were a group of Calvinists. Sort of believed they were the only true Calvinists.

    • LibrarianSarah
      July 11, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

      Actually some of the Calvinist religions were straight up freaky. The Puritans (or was it the pilgrims? I’m too lazy to double check) believed that the virtuous could have orgies with Jesus in heaven.

  29. Daleth
    July 11, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    Excellent points!

  30. SansH
    July 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    Nope. I’m lazy. I never ever, ever want to to go through childbirth again. I’ve done the C, I’ve done it natural, for the third and final time, I’m being safe and lazy and I’m secure in my decision and that I’ve nothing to prove to anyone. But I’ve got bigger and scarier cancer-related surgeries scheduled for the months following the C section, so maybe to me, this is a super minor issue to just get over with and move on to the cuddling of cuteness. 😀

    • Guesteleh
      July 11, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

      Good wishes to you and your new baby and good luck with your surgeries.

    • Jessica S.
      July 11, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

      Yeah, perspective is a funny thing, isn’t it? Good luck with the upcoming surgeries and enjoy your baby!

    • anion
      July 12, 2014 at 7:26 am #

      Best wishes to you, may your full recovery be easy and quick (for both issues)!

  31. Amy M
    July 11, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    You know what’s really hard? Having twins, where one is born vaginally and the other via Csection. (This did NOT happen to me, but I know it happens occasionally) Maybe those moms combo feed, further confusing the issue of whether or not they are lazy.

    • Carrie Looney
      July 11, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

      It’s Schrödinger’s birth!

    • Daleth
      July 11, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      That apparently happens in about 5% of twin pregnancies. Ugh! No thanks! That is one of the reasons I’m considering elective c-section for my twins.

      • Amy M
        July 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

        Excellent reason!

        • Daleth
          July 11, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

          Thanks! Another reason is that from the studies I’ve seen, if I do try for a vaginal delivery, my chances of needing a c-section during labor range (depending on the study) from 23% to 44%. So, ballpark, about a 1 in 3 chance that I’ll need an emergent c-section, which is much riskier to me than a scheduled pre-labor c-section, AND a 5% chance that I’ll have BOTH kinds of childbirth to recover from at the same time!


          And that’s without even factoring in that even if I have a VB, at my age the risk of pelvic floor damage is high. Ack again!!!

          • Amy M
            July 11, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

            I hear ya…I had my twins vaginally, but I thought they would be Csection babies until I arrived at the hospital in labor, they did a quick u/s and determined both of them were head down. My OB said all looked fine, so I could go for it. I was worried about a tough recovery with two babies to deal with, so I didn’t really want a C section, though of course I wouldn’t have hesitated if the OB said (at any point) that it would be best. In retrospect, the VB recovery wasn’t sunshine and roses anyway, so who knows.

            Anyway, good luck with your twins! When are they due?

          • Daleth
            July 11, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

            Early September.

          • Amy M
            July 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

            Oh, very soon! You must be so excited!

          • Daleth
            July 14, 2014 at 11:38 am #

            We are SO excited! Thanks! 🙂

          • FormerPhysicist
            July 11, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

            I had singletons only, but recovering from labor AND c/s was much harder than my pre-labor c/s. You choose what’s right for you!

          • Daleth
            July 14, 2014 at 11:40 am #

            Omigod you poor thing! I can imagine, having to recover from labor and a c/s sounds exhausting. Actually speaking of which, since most c-sections are done during labor, I wonder if what many women think of as “difficult recovery from a c-section, so much harder than vaginal birth” is really difficult recovery from X hours of labor plus a c-section… as opposed to recovery from an uncomplicated VB.

      • Theoneandonly
        July 11, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

        I just found out yesterday that my friend who had twins in January had this. First one ventouse, second ones heart rate dropped to 79, GA section.
        She has exclusively pumped and fed them ebm with bottles because her flow is too strong for them, and only just recently started supplementing with formula.

        • Daleth
          July 14, 2014 at 11:41 am #

          Omigod, your poor friend. Sounds grueling, but thanks to modern medicine she has two healthy babies now! Yay her.

  32. Amy M
    July 11, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    Uh oh…you broke their code.

  33. Renee Martin
    July 11, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    So true.

    • Busbus
      July 11, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

      I was about to post the exact same thing. Ha!

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