What if I told you that in an effort to promote weight loss a hospital refuses to provide food to obese patients? If they want to eat, they’ll have to purchase and bring their own.

Disgusting, right?

What if I told you that in an effort to promote contraceptive use a hospital refuses to provide sterile instruments for women desiring termination? If they want to have an abortion, they’ll have to purchase and bring their own.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#d32b2b” class=”” size=””]Lactimidation is both self-serving and unethical.[/pullquote]

An unconscionable violation of women’s autonomy, right?

Fortunately, those things haven’t happened.

But how about if I tell you than in an effort to promote breastfeeding the Countess of Chester Hospital in the UK refuses to provide formula to new mothers? If they want to feed their babies formula, they’ll have to purchase and bring their own.

It’s true!

The local newspaper report, Countess of Chester Hospital maternity shake-up means new mums will have to provide own formula milk explains:

Staff on the Countess maternity ward are advising expectant mums planning to bottle-feed their babies to include a pack of their own formula feed in their hospital bag, in keeping with other regional maternity units such as Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

Up until now the Countess has always provided ready-made bottles of the mother’s choice of formula, but this latest move is part of a drive to ‘encourage and support’ mums to breastfeed their babies…

Julie Fogarty, head of midwifery services at the Countess, said: “New parents either opt to breast feed or plan ahead and already bring formula feeds with them when coming into hospital.

It’s disgusting; it’s a violation of women’s autonomy; and it’s a prime example of “lactimidation,” the ongoing lactivist campaign to intimidate women into breastfeeding. It operates on the same principle as heckling outside abortion clinics. It’s meant to “encourage” women to breastfeed (or continue unwanted pregnancies) by shaming and browbeating them into making the choice that the intimidators approve.

Lactimidation is the latest battlefront in the lactivist campaign to oversell the benefits of breastfeeding. The truth is that in first world countries like the UK or the US, the benefits of breastfeeding for term infants are trivial, 8% less colds and 8% fewer episodes of diarrhea each year across a country’s entire population of infants. The other benefits claimed are based on research that is weak, conflicting and riddled with confounders.

But one thing is 100% certain, breastfeeding is a business, complete with salaries, products, marketing campaigns and lobbying groups. And the breastfeeding business is doing its damnedest to make sure it captures 100% of the potential market for its goods and services.

Moreover, it’s hardly a coincidence that the breastfeeding industry is dominated by Western, white women, well off women and that those most likely to choose formula feeding are women of color, young women, and poor women, those who have been traditionally underserved and discriminated against. The free formula in hospitals, which would be a trivial expense for most lactivists, represents a substantial expense for these women. That’s the point! It is so much easier to lactimidate poor women of color, and so much more satisfying to punish them for not emulating their “betters.”

Lactimidation is a central tenet of “baby friendly” initiatives to promote breastfeeding among new mothers. As a matter of principle, these initiatives seek to make accessing formula within hospitals as burdensome as possible. Whether that means locking up formula, subjecting women to lectures exaggerating the “benefits” of breastfeeding, banning formula gift bags, or making women buy and bring their own, lactivists intimidate women to enforce conformity with THEIR values about how women should use their own breasts.

Oh, but they’re doing it for the children! NOT!

As the article about the Countess of Chester hospital notes:

But staff strongly emphasise that they will not allow anyone to go without nutritional support and advice for their baby while under their care…

So the hospital is going to stock just as much formula as it ever did. The nurses are simply going to lactimidate women into not requesting it or shame them when they request it anyway.

That is both self-serving and unethical.

The Countess of Chester hospital may be leading the way with its new policy, but it is hardly alone in its efforts to lactimidate women into using their bodies in the lactivst approved way. So called “Baby Friendly” Hospitals in the US have made lactimidation a cornerstone of their policies in order to shame women into breastfeeding whether it is the right choice for them, the right choice for their babies, or even (in the case of women who don’t produce enough breastmilk) when it is an unsafe choice.

Lactimidation is an abomination and it MUST stop.

How can we put an end to lactimidation within hospitals? Suzie Barston, the Fearless Formula Feeder, is assembling lists of hospitals that do and don’t encourage lactimidation so women can make informed choices.

Ultimately, though, women will have to fight back against lactimidation by sharing their stories and exposing the unconscionable pressure applied to new mothers and the harmful results of starving, dehydrated babies, and shame and guilt wracked new mothers.

We need to name these policies for what they are: naked, ugly attempts to intimidate women into breastfeeding.

I’d be grateful to anyone who wishes to share their story with others. Just tag it with #lactimidation on Facebook or Twitter and we will be able to find it when we search.

393 Responses to “Lactimidation”

  1. Kath Glover
    January 15, 2016 at 3:49 am #

    Formula shouldn’t be free on the NHS, if mothers choose to feed that then they should pay for it. Those individual pre-made feeds are expensive as hell and our NHS is in financial crisis thanks to our idiotic Conservative government.
    The UK is not the same as the US, here we have a minimum wage that applies to everyone and a mostly reasonable benefits (welfare) system for those out of work due to ill health. For now anyway!

    • CanDoc
      January 18, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

      I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I appreciate that it there are cost saving when women who are planning to formula feed from the start to bring their formula of choice with them to the hospital. On the other hand, hospitals FEED PATIENTS. At least in Canada. After I had my kids? My husband didn’t have to go the cafeteria or bring me food at home. Meal trays showed up, for me, with food on them. Why wouldn’t we make sure there was food on hand for EVERY hospital patient? Also, what if you are planning to breastfeed but your child develops severe jaundice or loses more than 10% of their weight, at which point formula is MEDICINE? Do you need to send your partner or family out to buy formula?

  2. CSN0116
    January 10, 2016 at 10:02 am #

    I’ve often thought that we’re in need of something called “The Second Pro-Choice Movement”. The government decided decades ago that I possess autonomy over my uterus. My breasts are no different. My body; my choice. Anyone who does not support that should be framed as “anti-choice” and “anti-woman”. I realize it’s a dramatic comparison, but the violations that are starting to pile up via lactimidation are beginning to prompt such a vocabulary. And progressive is just as trendy as crunchy to many 😉

    Also, while abortion may be abhorred by certain people/groups of people, it *is* to be supported by health care professionals whom women trust with their care. Meaning, a woman cannot (should not) be treated like shit for her decision; attempt to be wooed out of it; bullied; mocked; or ostracized by the very people put in place to treat her with care and compassion.

    COMPLETELY opposite – these very same health care professionals are not only permitted, but *encouraged*, to treat non-breastfeeding moms in all of these ways. So, these women catch shit from society writ-large, AS WELL AS their health care teams. There is (next to) no safe space for them. It’s disgusting.

    • Madtowngirl
      January 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

      I can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I was when my daughter’s pediatrician didn’t bat an eye when we told him she was exclusively formula fed. The pediatrician we saw the day of her hospital discharge made some snarky comment about how some breast milk was better than none (when I was still pumping like a madwoman, trying to get my milk to come in), so I was terrified that we’d get some guilt trip about it.

      • CSN0116
        January 10, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

        Our ‘pediatrician’ is actually a PCP who we all see. He’s the best. Never an ounce of any propaganda from him regarding anything. He actually asked me after the birth of our third, “so are you breastfeeding or regular feeding her?” He caught himself and kind of rephrased but I was already laughing.

        I have an awesome hospital, but I must also let off an air because I have never received an ounce of shit from anyone in the medical profession about exclusively formula feeding my five children (who are all under the age of seven, so these are very modern experiences). I actually had a lactation consultant come to “visit” me while I was inpatient after the birth of my twins. I had it noted upon intake that they were to be formula fed starting immediately and that I would not be breastfeeding – to which that nurse just checked a box and shut up. She came to show me how to bind my breasts and told me about other ways to limit my milk from coming in. No negativity. My OB pats me on the back for my decision, tells me that his postpartum breastfeeding moms are amongst the most depressed and anxious he encounters and “his wife didn’t do it either,” and a WIC “breastfeeding peer mentor” accidentally entered my hospital room once and after I quickly informed her that I was not interested we discovered that we both had twins, lived close to one another, and actually shared a lot in common. We chatted for over an hour and I actually hang out with her from time to time to this day. I did have a young, male pediatrician do a routine visit with my fourth in the hospital. He was sweet. He asked how I was feeling, how I thought my baby was doing, etc. When he realized the baby was formula fed he asked if I was interested in breastfeeding. I said no. He said OK and we continued to talk for a little while. He was the only doctor to go out of his way, and his attempt was nothing.

        My favorite are the interns who have to follow the Papa pediatrician like ducklings lol. They offer me literature and “advice” on how to help my older children cope with the new baby, how to sleep the baby, etc. I have five kids. Five. These interns *are* kids. Their hands shake as they “instruct” me and hand over pamphlets. Haha I love it. And I’m never mean, I swear 😉

        I know my experiences are rare. I fully believe all the horror stories I read, as I’ve even seen them with my own eyes regarding others. It’s sad. But it doesn’t have to be this way. I’ve been treated with nothing but respect by the medical community regarding my “refusal” to breastfeed, and that’s the way it should be. While lactivists are real, I feel like a lot of the OBs, nurses, peds know “breast is best” is all bullshit and couldn’t really care less either way. They just spout rhetoric :/

        • Amazed
          January 10, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

          I am always fascinated with the literature and all the attempts to help older children accept the new addition to the family. I wonder if the problems in this regard aren’t kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, like the ones in A Song of Ice and Fire – you put so much effort into preventing your kids from trauma that they start accepting the very situation as a traumatic one.

          I was 4 yo when my brother, aka the Intruder, intruded in my world. No one ever try to make me love him or include me. Why should they? He wasn’t this interesting. In the beginning, I accepted him like another piece of furniture, although this one screamed from time to time. When he became interesting, I became interested. No trauma at all. My parents just didn’t ignore my needs, kept playing with me and teaching me to read and it all clicked in place.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            January 10, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

            My parents tried to ease the transition of having a little sister in my life as gently as possible but I will admit I was an absolute little shit when I was a kid. XD

            I was also four when my sister came along. I was actually very excited that I had a little sister! And then I asked when she was leaving. My parents said she wasn’t. I didn’t talk to Mom for a month.

            I was smart enough to know that Mom being pregnant.meant she brought this sister thing here but not quite smart enough to know Dad had a hand in this intrusion being something perminant. Therefore, Mom was entirely responsible lol.

            My sister and I are on much better terms now. I was actually sad when she moved out of the town we both lived in and can’t just hop.over to see her whenever.

          • Amazed
            January 10, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

            See? No lasting trauma.
            I think that the older kid wanting to get rid of the newcomer was considered normal when I was a kid. Not troubling, just a part of life. I know some of my mom’s friends had a hard time to believe I never said anything of the sort.

            He was a veritable ball of energy. After running around all day long, he’d start hitting his head on the pillow in the bunk under mine. Not conducive to sound sleeping for his long suffering big sis! When my mom exclaimed that she couldn’t take him and his energy a moment longer, I used to say, “Come on, Mom, get a grip! He could have been a twin!” I love him to bits but the thought of two of them is enough to give me headache.

            Oh, and when I was about 15, I reached the wise conclusion that no matter how much we wanted to send him back, no chance in hell. We’ve been utilizing him for far too long.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 10, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

            There are six years between my kids.
            Since she has been asking for a sibling every birthday and Christmas from the age of two and got the brother that she wanted, it has been plain sailing here.
            Two weeks after #2 was born, she actually told us to stop asking if she was OK “I love my brother, I know you love us both the same, I don’t want to send him back, stop asking me if I’m OK!”

            The six year gap was longer than we wanted, but it seems to have worked out. Certainly I have no plans to have another any sooner than 3years, and got and implant when #2 was 8 weeks old just to be sure…

          • Amazed
            January 10, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

            Yeah, I got the vibe when you first wrote here after you and the new addition went back home. Your girl was doting after the little one even then. Happy that things worked out so well for all of you!

          • Dr Kitty
            January 10, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

            She does dote on him. Made up a special song to sing him and everything.
            It seems to have worked out ok so far, although I expect when she is 12 and he is 6 and when she is 18 and he is 12 we may have some challenges!

          • Megan
            January 10, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

            I think any age gap brings its own challenges. I know life will be very crazy very soon in my house with two under two.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 10, 2016 at 8:13 pm #

            There are six years between my husband and each of his two older siblings, 14 months between me and my younger sister, and then six years between me and the youngest sister.

            While I don’t remember a time before my younger sister was born, I’m much closer with baby sis, and DH gets on best with his oldest sister even though she left the parental home when he was six.

            From our experience, it has a lot to do with personality types, and less to do with age, but you always love your siblings.

            Bigger age gaps mean less competition, although it is quite a shock to the system going from a child who can get herself dressed, get her own milk and cereal and turn on the Disney channel without waking us to the hellish nighttime schedule of a newborn…

          • demodocus
            January 10, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

            Maybe, but there are 10 years between my brother and i and we generally got along pretty well at every age.

          • demodocus
            January 10, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

            We are reading some new baby books to our 2 year old, but mostly to give him a vague idea that his own intruder will be along in a few months. AND THEN FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE, MWAHAHAHAHAH

          • Amazed
            January 10, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

            Oh an intruder can be a wonderful thing! Mine is giving me a niece in a few weeks (fingers crossed SIL makes it to January 20th). And older kids can be great in sleeping a sibling teething away. All in all, it can be a lovely deal.

            I guess my parents read me some baby books as well but I don’t remember any of it. My first memory of the Intruder is turning blue the very moment they brought him home from the hospital – he was this hungry and this vocal. My second memory is me throwing things in his playpen for him to catch. Clearly, quite a long time had passed between those. He just wasn’t interesting enough to be memorable.

          • CSN0116
            January 10, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

            Yes, not really sure when this became a “thing” either. Perhaps when ultra-child-centered parenting became trendy? I don’t know. We are by no means stellar parents but have effectively brought five Intruders into the house and the problems that we deal with are fights over: who gets to feed the baby; “she got to put butt cream on before I got to wipe;” and “it’s my turn to hold her, you already got a chance.” My children over-love their siblings. They naturally take to wanting to care for each other. And of course when they’ve had enough of each other for the moment – that’s enough.

          • Amazed
            January 10, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

            Hehe, of course sometimes enough is enough. I don’t think expecting a house full of happiness all the time is a realistic goal but frankly, no one should tend to every bit of unhappiness all the time either. Life is riddled with grumpy, miserable moments and sometimes the best thing one can do is not make the grumpy person focus on them. Everyone is entitled to a moment of self-pity!

            Your kids sound lovely.

      • CSN0116
        January 10, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

        And oh the “some is better than none” argument. Such a tired one. Actually, a child full-on exclusively breastfeeding for months upon months, when compared to similar children, shows no notable “betters.” Sigh.
        I have a dear friend who is smart as can be. She’s a prosecutor with a sky-high conviction rate. This girl can critically think and formulate a solid argument (quickly) along with the best of them. She’s highly educated, and again, a trained critical thinker.
        She has her first baby. She HASSSSS to breastfeed him. Well she also has to get back to that pesky job. So baby goes to daycare and she goes to work 9 hours a day (plus commutes). Baby starts picking up colds here and there as children will when exposed to lots of other children. While she was in the process of ceasing breastfeeding, because the demands of work and home were exorbitant, she decides that busting her ass to pump at work – only resulting in about 2-4 oz of breast milk per day – will somehow help stop her child from getting sick. So, out of roughly 30 oz of milk that this baby received each day, about 2-4 oz of it is breast milk, which she kills herself on lunch breaks to produce, because she feels it will help the baby from getting daycare-related illness. That 2 oz of breast milk somehow has the power to do this.
        It hasn’t helped.
        The ability to dupe women of this intellectual capacity, and convince them to convince themselves to make their lives much more difficult than need be, all for the sake of “better” – well it astounds me. It freaking astounds me.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          January 12, 2016 at 4:15 am #

          Would it help if you pointed out that children who are in daycare have a lower risk of childhood acute leukemia and the reason for this lower risk is thought to be exposure to multiple antigens at a young age? In other words, the colds may be protecting the baby from later leukemia.

  3. Azuran
    January 7, 2016 at 9:32 am #

    So, at what age will they start feeding your kid? If your formula fed kid has to be hospitalized, say, at 2 weeks old, do you still need to bring your own formula?

    • Sarah
      January 7, 2016 at 9:42 am #

      Assuming you mean the baby had gone home and then had to be readmitted rather than having to stay in for a fortnight after birth, a 2 week old would almost certainly be in paediatrics rather than the maternity/postnatal ward. They don’t say anything about this applying anywhere other than the maternity ward, so presumably not.

      Also to be honest, if a child is sick enough to be readmitted to hospital, on a purely practical level I’m not sure paediatrics would want parents to be arsing about with formula, particularly if they bring powdered rather than ready made. One of mine was briefly sent back to hospital by the community midwife (false alarm) a day after discharge from the postnatal ward, and we were given hospital formula and asked to use that. Easier all round to know that a baby is being given what you want them to have, when you want them to have it. However this is the same hospital I delivered in that provided formula for my newborns no questions asked. But I don’t think this particular brand of lunacy is as prevalent amongst paediatric nurses as it is amongst certain sections (NOT all) of the midwifery community.

      • sdsures
        January 7, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

        I’ve heard of full-term baboes being sent to the NICU in some cases, rather than pediatrics. I don’t know what would be involved in deciding which was best for them.

    • Dr Kitty
      January 9, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

      At least in the local NHS paediatric hospital I am most familiar with, the hospital supplied 3 or 4 brands of ready made formula and requested parents use those if a FF baby was admitted. If child was BF mum was entitled to hospital meals and a hospital breast pump. Of course medical formulas and fortifiers were supplied if needed.

      The main issues were if the baby was on a weird brand of formula and the parents didn’t want to switch, or the baby wouldn’t accept the disposable teats that come with the ready made bottles, because no one really wanted the parents messing with cooled boiled water or sterilising tablets and similar for health and safety reasons.

  4. The Computer Ate My Nym
    January 7, 2016 at 5:59 am #

    Personal anecdote: I breast fed my small one exclusively for >6 months and overall for >2 years. I’m the poster girl for milk production. Could have been a wet nurse in another life. Sorry I didn’t realize I could have donated my milk–I had plenty of extra, but didn’t realize it would be wanted.

    Anyway, if the hospital where Critter was born hadn’t had formula, that might all have been different. I was dehydrated right after her birth and didn’t immediately produce enough milk. Therefore, she got dehydrated and had a low grade fever. She recovered completely after one bottle of formula and about a bottle and a half of pedialyte, I got some fluids, and we breast fed happily ever after after that. But if that one bottle hadn’t been there, she might have ended up in the ICU, I might have been too traumatized to drink enough to get lactation started (not to mention the disruption of the ICU), and she might have ended up on formula.

    In short, shouldn’t the hospital at least have some formula available for unexpected emergencies? You can be planning to breast feed and have life take a different turn, temporarily or permanently. A competent hospital should be ready for that. I smell a “cost-saving” measure here: they’re trying to spend less on formula by making the parents bring their own.

    • guest
      January 8, 2016 at 12:59 am #

      The hospital absolutely has formula on hand. Mothers die sometimes, and what if she didn’t bring formula with her? They’re not going to send the bereaved father out to buy formula. Or if they do, they should be very, very ashamed.

      You will also get mothers who forgot, mothers who are in recovery or ICU for various reasons, babies brought in from car accidents and abusive situations with absent parents (not to the maternity ward, but to that hospital), etc., etc. Those babies all need to be fed, and the hospital will have formula on hand. They’re just going to be asses to women who come in without formula, and make a spouse or visitor go out and buy it (my bed is they’ll sell the stuff somewhere in the hospital, even). It’s stupid.

  5. nata
    January 7, 2016 at 5:32 am #

    This is no news – in our hospital in Kent the women are told they need to bring their own formula. Formula is not medication, it is food and I guess it makes sense to take your preferred formula along with the baby clothes and nappies? :/ The hospital still holds formula , as well as donor’s milk and some special milk for unwell babies. It is offered if needed, including some cases when the parents change their mind on the spot and have not brought the formula with them or the baby needs some supplementation.

    • Sarah
      January 7, 2016 at 7:19 am #

      The problem here is that they’re basically saying it won’t be offered if parents change their mind, though. That’s news.

      • nata
        January 7, 2016 at 8:16 am #

        well officially we would not either, but if it’s 5am noone is going to keep baby hungy

        • Sarah
          January 7, 2016 at 9:20 am #

          That’s what I think too. It’s not a workable policy. It is news, though.

    • Azuran
      January 7, 2016 at 9:38 am #

      I you want to bring your own formula, that’s ok.
      But seeing as every single hospital provides food for their patient, then it’s only logical that they should also provide formula to anyone who wants it. The baby is their patient as well.
      You either give food to everyone who needs it, or make everyone responsible for their own food.
      Singling out formula feeding mother that way is discrimination and nothing else.

  6. Guest
    January 7, 2016 at 3:19 am #

    I understand and agree with the point being made here about the breastfeeding/formula debate but I am very disappointed by the comparison to abortion. Women formula feed for a variety of reasons ranging from medical necessity through to convenience. Either way, and even if they are bullied over it, it cannot be compared to the trauma of having an abortion. Yes, in both instances there should be free choice for the woman, but it was dealt with very insensitively and the comparison is not the same. Don’t compare having to source your own formula with the ability to have an abortion, and they rarely happen as a result of people being slack with contraception! I expected more from skeptical OB!

    • SporkParade
      January 7, 2016 at 4:12 am #

      I actually think it’s an apt comparison for a few reasons: 1) Both anti-abortion activists and breastfeeding advocates believe it is acceptable to lie to women and to require medical professionals to lie to women in order to prevent them from making the best choice for themselves; 2) Both anti-abortion activists and breastfeeding advocates believe that “My body, my choice,” is insufficient justification for abortion and formula feeding, respectively; 3) Anti-abortion activists want to prevent abortions from being performed at hospitals, where they belong; breastfeeding advocates want to stop hospitals from providing formula except when medically necessary for the baby.

      Short version: I was pretty disappointed to realize that my fellow liberals stopped respecting my bodily autonomy the moment I decided to become a mother.

      • Stephanie
        January 7, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

        Formula sustains life… abortion ends a life. The two are not the same thing at all. One has to eat to survive… smh.

        • Roadstergal
          January 7, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

          Shake your head all you want, but if you want my body to be forced to gestate an unwanted baby to term, risking my health and life in the process, you’re taking some pretty hefty liberties with the body of someone you’ve never met.

          • moto_librarian
            January 7, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

            Having complications during my first birth was a stark reminder of just how dangerous it really is. My body, my choice.

          • Stephanie
            January 7, 2016 at 6:10 pm #

            And where did I say I think it should be illegal? Or is it not enough for prochoicers for me to personally oppose it? Am I supposed to agree with abortion?

          • Roadstergal
            January 7, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

            “I am prolife and am against abortion in cases of rape or incest.”

            “Pro-life” is the term used by those who are against abortion being legal, with “pro-choice” as the term for those who think it should be legal, whether they personally are opposed to it or not. If you’re pro-choice legally but personally against abortion, you’ll want to ditch that ‘prolife’ label, as it miscategorizes you.

          • Stephanie
            January 7, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

            I am prolife from conception until natural death. That means I am against abortion, assisted suicide and capital punishment.which is known as a consistent prolife ethic. You might want to look into what being truly prolife really means. I am not pro choice because to put myself on that label, would mean that I condone abortion. I do not condone elective abortion, under any circumstances. If abortion is made illegal ( with the exception to save the life of mother in an emergency) it would not bother me. I prefer to focus on reducing the need by making contraception more readily available and social safety nets, then the legalities. Which is the case for many women. I really think pro choice is a way of sugar coating the stance of those who support abortion rights. Even if they would not have an abortion themselves, but support the choice, then they support abortion. I am not ashamed of being labeled anti abortion, because I am against abortion. Perhaps I should have clarified that and time we get past this PC culture of sugar coating. If one is pro choice than one is pro abortion.

          • Guest
            January 7, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

            It isn’t sugar-coating anything. There isn’t a single person who identifies as “pro-choice” who is somehow unaware, or is pretending somehow, that this doesn’t mean that they support access to abortion for those who might need, or who so choose, to access abortion. That’s why people use the term when discussing abortion access instead of when discussing pizza toppings.

            And in case this is somehow ambiguous to you, I’ll say it more clearly: I do support abortion rights. I support abortion rights the same way I support birth control, c-sections, divorce, heart surgery, chemotherapy, and a host of other topics a number of people find uncomfortable. They aren’t a necessary evil that I tolerate because of not valuing [insert whatever institution, often religious but sometimes the cult of nature here]; they’re a safety valve that help to prevent, or at least mitigate, terrible outcomes, and I’m thankful every day that I live in a place where we know about them and have access (although I want to expand access until it becomes unrestricted to everyone, not merely those of us with means) to them.

            It would be great if people didn’t need as many abortions; not because of any moral ambiguity, but because it would mean fewer women (and non-women female-assigned at birth people generally) had to deal with the stress of whatever situation led to the pregnancy, or the physical stress of being pregnant for whatever period of time they were until they had access to abortion, or that, as statistics show, fewer had to make the decision of not bringing what would be an otherwise wanted child into the world due to financial or safety concerns.

            I’ll further add this: you might not be ashamed of being labeled anti-abortion, but you should be ashamed of believing that pregnant people, and people who can become pregnant should have worse access to health care than the rest of the population, and that they should lose control over their bodies and their lives over issues that have been settled by basic biology and by U.S. law for over forty years. People die for lack of abortion access, people who do not neatly fit into the category of “mother’s life” when those determinations move from the pregnant person and their doctor to a host of other people who have no relevant training or stake in the decision.

            And if you can’t be ashamed of that, then you have no right to lecture others about empathy or misplaced priorities.

            For a last addition: you don’t get to claim whatever sympathy or moral credit you’re attempting to claim by saying that you don’t think abortion access should be made illegal or restricted, while at the same time claiming that you’re fine with it being made illegal. There are situations when indifference and hostility are morally distinct, but this is not one of them.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            January 7, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

            It’s definitely a Simpson’s clip kind of day.


          • Azuran
            January 7, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

            There’s a simpson clip for everything isn’t there XD

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 7, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

            and there’s a South Park clip for that

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            January 8, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

            Probably! I don’t know if it’s hilarious, sad, or both that so many of the clips from episodes that premiered in the 90s with pointed social commentary are still applicable to today.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 8, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

            They did that on the Simpsons! Ha! Treehouse
            of Horror! Episode 4F02! The Genesis
            tub. Lisa loses a tooth, and the bacteria
            on it start to grow, and makes a little
            society, and they build a statue of
            her thinking she’s God! Ha! Hahaha!


            …Yeah. So?

            Dude, the Simpsons have done everything
            already. Who cares?

            Yeah, and they’ve been on the air for
            like, thirteen years. Of course they’ve
            done everything.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            January 8, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

            I will admit though that I haven’t watched the new episodes of the Simpsons since around 2008. >.>

            Once you’ve done everything all that’s left is the bottom of the barrel.

          • Nick Sanders
            January 8, 2016 at 7:37 pm #

            Heart surgery?

          • Stephanie
            January 9, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

            I dont need your ” moral ” credit. I support restrictions that are on the books. I dont support killing human beings. So your opinion of me carries no weight. If my my egg donor had her way. I would have been aborted. she tells me every time she sees me , that I was a mistake and should have been aborted. And people think she should have been allowed to kill me.. so fuck you.

          • Sarah
            January 10, 2016 at 5:16 am #

            Fuck you, you arrogant, woman hating pro rape hypocrite.

          • Amazed
            January 10, 2016 at 7:23 am #

            Wow! So no one is allowed to have opinion about Sainted Stephanie being potentially “killed” before she was born but she gets to claim the moral high ground defending the right for other posters’ lives to be potentially ruined?

            Scurry away, pro rape cockroach.

          • Azuran
            January 10, 2016 at 10:10 am #

            so… egg donor do you mean that she carried you in your uterus or that she gave eggs to another women who carried you?
            Because in the second situation, an egg donor cannot, in any situation, force the woman carrying her egg to have an abortion. No one thinks that she should have had that right.
            If it’s the first case, did she want you and then later changed her mind after you were born for whatever reason or did she wanted to have an abortion while she was pregnant, was denied that right and forced against her will to carry you to term?
            In that case, then both of you are the perfect example of the pain, psychological effect and suffering that can be caused by forcing women to carry babies they don’t want.

            If any one tells your to your face that you shouldn’t have been born, you should push them out of your life. But don’t generalize pro-choice people as being personally against that fact that you are living right now. Abortion has been illegal for most of humanity. The earth is full of people who might not be there if abortion was legal. We don’t go around telling those people that they shouldn’t have been born. We simply want women to have the final say on something that is going to change their lives forever.

          • Daleth
            January 10, 2016 at 10:58 am #

            by egg donor do you mean that she carried you in your uterus or that she gave eggs to another women who carried you?

            She’s pretty clearly using “egg donor” the same way she used “sperm donor” (to describe her rapist)–as a way of describing a biological mother or father who does not deserve the honor of being called mother or father.

          • Azuran
            January 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

            I feel there should be another way to address those people. Its confusing and makes real sperm/egg donor look bad.

          • Daleth
            January 10, 2016 at 10:57 am #

            I’m sorry your mother is an abusive asshole. She sounds horrible, and I wish for your sake that she had given you up for adoption to a loving family.

          • Megan
            January 10, 2016 at 11:50 am #

            I am adopted and yes, my mother could’ve aborted me too. But you know what? I still respect another woman’s right to an abortion. You are not the only one who has had life experiences that are not all sunshine and rainbows. It doesn’t make you arbiter of all other’s decisions. Make whatever decisions feel right for you but keep your nose out of other people’s decisions.

          • Roadstergal
            January 7, 2016 at 7:17 pm #

            “I really think pro choice is a way of sugar coating the stance of those who support abortion rights.”

            It’s not. I think ‘pro-life’ is a way of sugar-coating the negative physical and mental health outcomes of women forced to undergo pregnancy, particularly minors. A ten-year-old pregnant girl raped by her stepfather (not a hypothetical, an actual case where Huckabee applauded her inability to access an abortion) is a vile circumstance.

            I see a need for an abortion as a failure – whether a failure of contraception, a failure of our economic system, a failure of our culture, a failure of or social safety net, or some combination of the above. We should work to reduce those failures, and I do – but if you think the physical and mental cost of those failures should always fall on the back of the woman affected – either by proactively working to reduce her options, or by standing back and saying, “Yeah, that’s fine” if her options are reduced by others – you are not a virtuous person.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            January 7, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

            I really like what you said with your second point.

            There has been some kind of failure somewhere that has caused a need for legal access to abortion. Some of them are preventable failures like failure to provide effective birth control and sexual education, failure to protect a person capable of conceiving from abuse, or failure to care for the poorest among us.

            Some are failures that can’t be realistically prevented. Failure of a fetus to develop the frontal lobes of their brains, failure of our own genetic code to be perfect and cause severe genetic defects, failure of a body part to receive an adequate blood supply and so the fetus now has a deformity that may be incomparable with life. It’s up to the individual to decide what the most merciful path is.

            If there were a way to eliminate these failures then there would be no need for abortion. But pregnant mothers in Sierra Leone will be infected with Lassa fever and the only way to even attempt to save their life is therapeutic abortion since Lassa loves a good placenta. The child, even if close to full term can almost never be saved. It’s a 95% mortality rate for the fetus. A woman with Lassa has an 80%+ mortality rate in the third trimester of pregnancy. Depending on how soon after symptoms develop that a mother can get access to an abortion, her odds of survival can be improved. She may survive.

            Most of these mothers already have other children. Do you condemn this woman to die because of your idiology when she could possibly be saved and not leave her other children motherless with an abortion?

            We want something like abortion to be black and white so it can be easy to oppose or defend. But that’s just not how it works. Do you let a clearly unstable woman threatening suicide after being raped with the pregnancy being an obvious trigger to this have an abortion where one life is lost but another is saved? Or do you refuse and risk losing two?

            Abortion isn’t something a necessarily agree with for myself unless it’s extenuating circumstances but I won’t block a person’s ability to have one. Their choices are not mine and I haven’t been designated their morality police. They will have enough to weigh for or against an abortion in their minds and hearts and my words aren’t needed except “Do what is right for you. You’re my friend and I’ll be here when you get back from whatever you choose.” They don’t need me casting stones at them.

            My mom’s friend had an abortion as a young woman and she agnoized over the choice. She got very ill with the flu and ended up in the emergency room with a multitude of drugs to keep her stable. She also had terrible nausea and vomitting. A few weeks later she found out she was pregnant. It wasn’t an issue in the ER because she didn’t think she could be pregnant and her lab values were borderline enough that they took her word for it. Because of that the doctors didn’t know to take precautions to prevent issues with an embryo they didn’t know was there. She didn’t know what to do. She wanted the baby but a lot of the drugs she received in the emergency room could have dire consequences for the baby developmentally and with the extended bouts of vomitting depleted her of a lot of vital nutrients. She felt like either way she had killed or at least maimed her baby. Eventually she did have the abortion done but it wasn’t an easy choice. Sometimes, decades later, she wonders if she really made the right choice. My mom doesn’t judge her for the choice because it’s not an easy situation to be in.

            I’m glad that a scared girl has a clean facility with trained medical professionals to safely perform the procedure when she feels she has no other choice than her being taken in by some crook that doesn’t know the first thing about sterile procedure and having her die or be injured for the rest of her life.

            It’s not a perfect solution. But we don’t live in a perfect world.

          • Stephanie
            January 9, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

            “I’m glad that a scared girl has a clean facility with trained medical professionals to safely perform the procedure when she feels she has no other choice than her being taken in by some crook that doesn’t know the first thing about sterile procedure and having her die or be injured for the rest of her life.”

            We have one abortion clinic in the town I live in. it has been cited for many health violations. Including not sterilizing instruments, not properly disposing of medical waste etc and it is still open. My vet for my cats is subject to more inspection than regulation than the town abortion clinic. They have also been cited for not complying with the state parental consent/notification and doing abortions on minors. A former friend of mine had an abortion there.. she ended up having complications and developed and infection. Because they most likely did not use sterile instruments and she had retained parts of the placenta.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            January 9, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

            I don’t know what part of the country you live in but in my part, even though it’s extremely conservative and anti-abortion, people in need of an abortion or have an incomplete miscarriage go to the local hospital or their gynecologist. The health services in this area except for the free clinic because duh, offer steep discounts to uninsured patients who pay for any labs or procedures up front.

            Your part of the country needs help if what you say is indeed true and somehow not shut down yet.

          • Sarah
            January 10, 2016 at 5:16 am #

            Yes, I’d be interested to know where Stephanie claims to live.

          • Box of Salt
            January 9, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

            Stephanie “cited for many health violations”
            I agree that’s atrocious. But don’t you see that your attitude will result in violations becoming the norm for clinic, rather than the exception?

          • Amazed
            January 10, 2016 at 7:19 am #

            All hail Stephanie and the studies she’s conducted! Her anecdotes are the Truest Truth! The abortion clinic in her town is the abortion clinics all over the world! The pro-choicers she’s encountered are all the pro-choicers on God’s green earth.

            And of course, other people’s experience with pro-lifers doesn’t count because Stephanie the Scientist says they aren’t REAL” pro-lifers and Stephanie knows best.

            You know what, oh wise one? I’d never condemn a woman who decided to keep her child conceived in rape. A child is a child is a child. But to me, about me, from where I stand thinking about my own circumstances, giving up a child who’s already born is a decision that makes me more uncomfortable than abortion. Fortunately, it’s up to the individual woman what she wants to do with her baby-carrying body and I support it this way. Unlike Your Holiness, I’ll be VERY concerned if women are forced to have abortions instead of giving birth to children they know they’ll give up for adoption. Including thingies like you. Who abandoned their children and then boasted that they popped them into this world. Giving a child for adoption is one thing. Picturing yourself as this great benefactoress because you chose to give birth to it instead – quite another. But then, it looks like the choice was out of your hands due to the late discovery of pregnancy. Is this why you insist that everyone else is deprived of a choice as well?

            While I’m sorry for what you’ve been through – I’ll never wish it upon anyone – I think Box of Salt is right. You want to project your own suffering onto everyone else, forcing them to go through the same experience, as proven by your scrambling to assert yourself as the Authority while rejecting other people’s experience. And that is not OK in my book.

            Your views are monstrous. I don’t know if you were born this way or your experience made you so but currently, you’re just a vile, pro rape human being.

          • Amazed
            January 7, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

            You should be ashamed. In my life, I almost became a victim of molestation twice. The first time I was too young to know what was being attempted to me; the next time, I was 12 and I have had my menstruation already. If things had progressed differently, I might have found myself a mother at 13, under your benign eye, since it wouldn’t have been either a rape or incest to clear me in your pro-life eyes. By the way, what kind of contraception would you have recommended to Slutty Slut Me, aged 12? Since contraception must be failproof in your world. Even for those who don’t know it exists – and by the time my mom found out, it would have been too late to give it to her slutty girl.

            Who the hell do you think you are, prolifer? Who do you THINK you are to tell me that I should have ruined my life, this hypothetical baby’s life and my parents’ lives by forcing them to take care of a third kid if I hadn’t lucked on parents who were watchful enough to catch the trouble in time?

            You aren’t ashamed? You dare speak of sugar-coating when you’re sugarcoating your own cheering on aborion being made illegal? You should be VERY ashamed indeed. How many lives are you ready to watch being ruined to satisfy your golden bleeding heart?

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

            Can I like your post a million times? I’m a molestation (childhood) and sexual assault (adulthood) survivor.

          • Amazed
            January 7, 2016 at 7:39 pm #

            It’s sad that posts like mine are even needed. I am sorry for what you went through. It must have been horrible. I understand that many of the issues with my two not-quite-molestations aren’t driven as much by the events themselves – in other words, they weren’t as bad as they could have been – but the inadequate reaction in a society like ours. In fact, I am surprised that my mom even detected what was going on since we were all just so unaware. What you went through was far worse.

            I just saw Stephanie’s post and I saw red. I wrote this before I even noticed that the point had already been made by others.

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 7:43 pm #

            *massive hugs* It was horrible because there was no physical evidence left in either case, so charging the perpetrators wasn’t an option. I guess you could call them “almost” molestation cases, but my adult date-assault, I initially thought to myself, “A bad date isn’t against the law”, and I didn’t know any better to know that I could have objected to what he was doing to me. I just kept quiet and hoped if I did that he wouldn’t hurt me worse. I never reported the adult incident, and my mother never believed me when I was a child. I recently found out that she had known all along but had done nothing.

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

            Don’t get me wrong – I love my mom very much. But she never helped me or my sister.

          • Amazed
            January 7, 2016 at 7:49 pm #

            She knew all along and did nothing? That’s beyond terrible.
            Mine was extremely inadequate but again, I must point out that in our world, such things simply did not happen. She hid my dad’s keys when he wanted to leave and beat their friend – former friend – black and blue. Then, I kid you not, she decided that his wife should never get to know because she’d leave him and how was she going to support herself and two teens on a nurse’s salary? It sounds weird but the thought that he might try with another little girl never occurred to her. Not once.

            The end result? It included a worse grade than the one I could have had at the university. One of our professors loved Lolita and had us watch the movie and discuss both movie and book for too many hours. I HATE Lolita. I started skipping classes. At the end, he chose to give me a grade on… you got it! Lolita!

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 7:52 pm #

            *shudder* I studied Russian language and literature at uni, so I know all about Lolita. The clothing line named after her really disturbs me. Having said that, I admire Nabokov as a writer (his novel “Mary” is not disturbing, but is about unrequited love, IIRC), and I think Jeremy Irons is a fantastic actor.

            My ex-stepfather also sexually assaulted several teenaged women who worked on our farm for free, but because they were from low-income families, and sociopaths are charming, my mother believed his lies, and nobody would believe the girls.

            My mom actually wrote down the events in stories on her computer, and I surreptitiously made copies for myself in case they could ever be useful in showing a psychiatrist for my own PTSD treatment.

            Mom knew every disgusting detail and did nothing. Why?

            As a result, I developed primary vaginismus. I have been happily married for 7 years, but my husband and I have never been able to have penetrative sex. We’re working with what we can. (If you would like to continue this conversation in email, if Dr Amy feels it’s inappropriate for this website, please let me know.)

          • Amazed
            January 7, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

            I guess Lolita has its merits but I can never see them. I suspect that the older man must have felt something similar. But I was no freaking Lolita!

            In fact, I think part of my problem was the fact that I developed early – back in the day, you didn’t get your first period at 11, unless you were Amazed – and I got all the curves required well before their time. But my face, my expression stayed childlike until I was into my 20s. For a certain type of men, that’s very attractive. It would have been better if they had been attracted when I was a woman already but I wouldn’t have been innocent then. I would have known what was going on.

            Personally, I’ve always liked my boys to look like boys and my men to look like men. I can’t understand people attracted to the Virgin Mary type – that’s what an art professor at the uni defined me as – but they exist. Sometimes, they get attracted to very young girls. And according to Stephanie, we don’t get the right of abortion. Sucks for us but such is life!

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

            I also developed early because of my hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is characterized by increased intracranial pressure, which can cause damage to the brain shortly before, during or after birth. Sometimes, it causes the brain to bleed. One thing that this damage can cause is precocious (early) puberty, defined as beginning before ages 8-9. “The pattern and timing of the steps in the process are otherwise normal.” (Mayo Clinic website)

            So, school was sometimes an uncomfortable experience. I do remember my pediatrician being very helpful, kind and supportive to both my mom and me as I went through this. When I found out he had died in 2011, it made me sad because I’d only learned of his death in 2015. He had an identical twin bother, also a doctor. Bill Bowman, my doctor, always wore bow ties, and his brother always wore long ties – that was how people told them apart.

          • Daleth
            January 10, 2016 at 10:56 am #

            I love the long tie/bowtie thing. My mom also had a doctor who had an identical twin who was also a doctor and worked in the same town! They were women, though, so the tie thing wasn’t an option.

          • sdsures
            January 12, 2016 at 9:25 pm #


          • Amazed
            January 7, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

            Will do so if needed. I just hope we won’t have a reason to explain again about being a child and not quite aware of what’s going on and why one deserves to have lives that are not defined by their offender and the possible children coming out of it. (I guess the Stephanies of the world can always suggest adoption, though.)

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

            To throw a wrench in the gears, my name is also Stephanie. 😀

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 7:44 pm #

            “I just saw Stephanie’s post and I saw red.”

            Can’t say I blame you. That was quite close to my own reaction.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 7, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

            If I say that I wish there were no abortions ever, is that pro-anortion? Because it’s true. I wish no one would ever have an abortion.

            However, I also do not believe it is right to prevent women from making their own decisions. So I am not pro-abortion, but I am pro-choice. Your last statement is thus shown to be wrong.

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

            Do you even hear yourself?

          • Megan
            January 7, 2016 at 8:38 pm #

            What about the consequences of a denied abortion to the unwanted child? What about the consequences to a child who is severely deformed and will never have any semblance of a normal life or will suffer their entire lives (or die painful deaths shortly after being born or in childhood) due to congenital anomalies? The reasons for abortion are so variable and the mother is not the only one affected when she does not have access to one.

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 9:51 pm #

            How lucky you must be to have never watched a loved one suffer a protracted, agonizing death.

          • Stephanie
            January 8, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

            I watched my aunt die of cancer. It was agony and suffering. I was the one who was at her bedside during her final days, when it was too much for the others. I also watched my grandmother do the same. So do you care to retract that comment? I also had to go identify my brother’s body in 2013 after he was murdered. BEFORE the morticians are called and before they do their restoration work. Death is no stranger to me.

          • Box of Salt
            January 8, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

            Stephanie, “I am against abortion, assisted suicide and capital punishment.”

            Myself, I am against prolonged suffering. Especially when it can be prevented.

            If, as you say, “Death is no stranger to me,” why are you not against prolonging suffering?

          • LeighW
            January 8, 2016 at 9:17 pm #

            And I watched my grandmother beg her doctors to kill her because the pain was so bad. I watched one of her nurses, who’d known her for 20+ years, break down in tears because there was nothing more they could do to ease her pain.

            Why should someone have to suffer that kind of pain and trama because of your feelings? Her mind was clear, but her body eating itself from the inside out, it should have been her decision.

          • Stephanie
            January 9, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

            Doctors take an oath not to give any deadly drug or take a life. You do not have the right to ask another person to kill you. That is harsh, but that is the truth. Palliative care… even if the pain medications may hasten death is an ethical and moral alternative. My aunt took her pain meds and sleeping pills and killed herself. I had to find her. She had a week or so left at the most. Do we really want to go the way of Holland. Where disabled babies are being euthanised and now they are talking about doing to Alzheimers patients…who can no longer give consent? Where do we draw the line?

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            January 9, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

            Oregon and Washington beg to differ with their Death With Dignity Acts.


            The patient gets the prescription in a lockbox and someone they trust, usually their spouse if living, has one key to the lockbox and the patient has the other. The FAQ can explain the rest.

            A friend of the family had the key for his brother who had ALS. The brother eventually did go through with it.

            It’s, at this point in my life, not something I would partake of if I had a terminal illness but a lot of that is because I’d rather volunteer myself for experimental treatment if I’m going to die anyways. But that’s me and my beliefs.

            You appear to want to force your morality onto others via guilt and martyring yourself. It’s not going to get you the results you want. Just an FYI.

          • LeighW
            January 9, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

            “Yet paradoxically, even as the modern oath’s use has burgeoned, its content has tacked away from the classical oath’s basic tenets. According to a 1993 survey of 150 U.S. and Canadian medical schools, for example, only 14 percent of modern oaths prohibit euthanasia, 11 percent hold convenant with a deity, 8 percent foreswear abortion, and a mere 3 percent forbid sexual contact with patients—all maxims held sacred in the classical version. The original calls for free tuition for medical students and for doctors never to ‘use the knife’ (that is, conduct surgical procedures)—both obviously out of step with modern-day practice. Perhaps most telling, while the classical oath calls for ‘the opposite’ of pleasure and fame for those who transgress the oath, fewer than half of oaths taken today insist the taker be held accountable for keeping the pledge…”

            Mar. 27, 2001 – Peter Tyson 

          • Who?
            January 9, 2016 at 11:43 pm #

            What you describe as ‘truth’ is just the current legal position. There is nothing inevitable or necessarily right or good about it. Just like driving on the left or right, depending on the country you’re in, is an accident of history.

            There is a lot of unavoidable suffering in the world. Why add to it by refusing palliation to those lucky enough to have access to it?

          • Sarah
            January 10, 2016 at 5:14 am #

            Why do you get to decide what one individual has the right to ask another to do?

          • Amazed
            January 10, 2016 at 9:04 am #

            I do not have the right to ask for my suffering to be ended?

            Every post of yours I read reveals you as a bigger asshole than I thought possible. How do you walk around in the rain without drowning from all the water down your nose, you self-conceited, self-absorbed, judgmental beast?

          • Azuran
            January 10, 2016 at 10:36 am #

            Which oath are you talking about? Because the Hippocratic oath has been modified over and over again and is often different in many school.
            Where I live, veterinarian take some sort of Hippocratic oath as well. Yet, euthanasia (and even some time termination of gestation) is a daily part of my job.

            So, why do you think it’s ok for patients to overdose themselves in secret, alone and away from their family (and maybe miss themselves and cause themselves more pain) and then having unsuspecting family member find them in the morning than having them ask their doctor for a safe and effective way to end their suffering while they are surrounded by their loving family?

            In case you didn’t notice. We are the ones making the rule. And rules
            change with the time. We decided long ago that a Doctor doesn’t have the
            right to kill you, but we can decide that it’s no longer the case. And
            that’s what is happening. Because we figured out that letting people who had no chance of surviving suffer for days or week or months against their own wish is inhuman.
            As for where we draw the line? Well, that’s what we are trying to figure out. will mistake be made? Probably, but the only way to avoid mistakes is to stay static. Whenever you want to progress at anything, you have to take chances.

          • Daleth
            January 10, 2016 at 10:51 am #

            You do not have the right to ask another person to kill you.

            You don’t have the right to FORCE someone to kill you, but you certainly have the right to ask. And in some places–Oregon, Washington, Switzerland, etc.–doctors who are willing to grant your wish are allowed to do so, legally.

            So the question is really, why is that only allowed in some places?

          • Dr Kitty
            January 10, 2016 at 8:36 pm #

            How do you feel about your aunt’s suicide?
            It obviously goes against your own belief in allowing natural death while abhoring euthanasia, and what you describe was clearly suicide, not hastened death by double effect.

            Are you OK with suicide, but not doctor assisted suicide or euthanasia?
            Because that is very much how you post reads. That you accept your aunt’s right to end her life, but don’t believe she had a right to ask a Dr to end it for her.

            Which means you think suicide is OK, but people paralysed from the neck down are shit out of luck, because they simply cannot end their lives without assistance.

            Where do you, personally, draw the line for a physician to give assistance?
            Is it telling someone what dose of medication is likely to be lethal?
            Prescribing enough medication to enable an overdose without explicitly informing a patient that the medication could be used in such a way?
            Or is it only a physician administering a lethal dose of medication?

            I’ve never had a palliative patient end their life with drugs I prescribed nor request my assistance to do so, and I’ve certainly never done anything to deliberately hasten death, but that certainly isn’t because I took an oath (my medical school doesn’t incorporate that particular ritual into our graduation ceremony).

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            January 8, 2016 at 4:34 am #

            I am prolife from conception until natural death.

            I take it then you’re against doing CPR and cardioversion. That’s reversing natural death–very bad, right? Not to mention organ transplant: taking organs from people who are still “living” (brain dead but with heart, lungs, and other organs functioning), must be bad in your world.

            I do not condone elective abortion, under any circumstances.

            Then you’re pro-rape. I’m sorry, but there’s just no difference between forced use of the vagina and forced use of the uterus. You can lie to yourself all you like and claim that you want to “save babies”, but that’s what it always comes down to for the anti-choice side: a will to enslave and torture women.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            January 8, 2016 at 4:47 am #

            Okay, I’m going to stop talking about this. I’m getting obnoxious. Personal crap. Sorry if I went over the line.

          • Charybdis
            January 8, 2016 at 9:44 am #

            Yeah, they’re all about the “Abortion stops a beating heart” and “Save the Babies” propaganda lines until you actually have the baby. Then you become a raging slut who can’t keep her legs closed and a drain on the system by being a single mother who possibly may need government assistance of some sort. LIke the CPM/NCB folks who think the birth of a baby and the mother’s experience of said event is the only thing that matters, the pro-lifers only care about the baby while it is in utero. Once it is out, you are dropped like a hot potato covered with Ebola virus.

          • Stephanie
            January 8, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

            That is not true. A woman should be able to use government assistance to get back on her feet and parent her child. Anyone who has that mentality is probirth, not prolife. Life starts in the womb, but it certainly does end there.

          • Nick Sanders
            January 8, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

            And? It’s the commonly used definition of “pro-life”. It’s how situations like Mississippi having at one point been ranked first in pre-natal care and last in post-natal happen. “Pro-life” voters electing “pro-life” politicians.

          • Charybdis
            January 9, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

            It is true, at least in my neck of the woods. The raging pro-lifers who insist that “every baby deserves to live” and that “abortion stops a beating heart” and are violently and vocally opposed to any effective contraception that interferes, in their understanding, the implantation of a fertilized egg. They are ALL ABOUT the protection and rights of a baby in utero, but once the baby is born, it all changes. These are the same folk who want to have mandatory waiting periods BEFORE an abortion procedure, transvaginal ultrasounds with the mother forced to look at the screen and hear the heartbeat and be told, in detail, about what the procedure entails. These are the same fine folk who harass doctors and nurses who provide abortions, block public areas of access to the clinics, and have been responsible for murdering the doctors that provide abortions. They have also thrown a huge tantrum fit about a chemical (non-surgical) abortion procedure. These same fine folk have damn near succeeded in making “abstinence only” sex education the only thing taught in schools and fully support the conscience clause that allows pharmacists to refuse to fill contraception prescriptions that they are religiously oppose to dispensing and refuse to sell Plan B over the counter as they should.

            These are the religious wing-nuts and fruit loops who think that THEIR morality should be legislated

          • Who?
            January 9, 2016 at 11:37 pm #

            Upvote this.

            Bear in mind these nutjobs will execute a child or a person of limited intellectual capacity without so much as missing a beat. Once out of the womb, so far as they are concerned, people are on their own.

          • Stephanie
            January 8, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

            Am I pro rape? I am a rape survivor who had a child conceived from rape. Punish the rapist, not the baby. It is pro choice people who called my daughter ” demon spawn” “rapist baby”,” monster” etc. That is worse than the rape itself. Her life was worthless because of her sperm donor? Prolifers have told me that she was worthy of life and dignity. It is also prochoicers, along with the father’s rights movements in this country, that oppose legislation that strips rapist of their parental rights. Rapists have parental rights in 32 states.. that is more of an outrage to me. It is leaving rape victims with only the choice of abortion, if they do not want to be tethered to their rapists for their rest of their lives. So how is that a choice? Do you oppose stripping rapist of their rights? Should a woman who chooses to keep her child or surrender for adoption, have to consult with the man that raped her?

          • Roadstergal
            January 8, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

            “It is pro choice people who called my daughter ” demon spawn” “rapist baby”,” monster” etc.”

            I’m sure somewhere, if you survey the depths of the Internet, you could find someone who identifies as ‘pro-choice’ and who would say something like that, just like you could find literally anyone saying anything. If the percentage of those amongst all of those who identify as pro-choice is not < 1, I'll eat my keyboard. It is not a mainstream stance.

            The reason why people adopt the term 'pro-choice' rather than 'pro-abortion' is because the choice to go ahead and have a baby is supported as much as the choice to not. Similarly, "Planned Parenthood" is all about helping you plan your desire to parent or to not parent, which is why they offer prenatal care.

            I would guess I am not alone on this board in thinking rapists should not have parental rights. It's sort of really in keeping with the bodily autonomy focus that leads one to be pro-choice.

          • Box of Salt
            January 8, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

            Roadstergal “I am not alone on this board in thinking rapists should not have parental rights”

            What about parental responsibilities? Financial support for the child? What about cases of incest, or (for lack of better terminology) date rape? I would argue that this is a muddy issue.

            One should be be allowed to profit from one’s crime.

            And one should be held accountable – in ways that are appropriate.

          • Daleth
            January 10, 2016 at 10:47 am #

            What about parental responsibilities? Financial support for the child?…One should be be allowed to profit from one’s crime.And one should be held accountable

            Here’s an idea: every man convicted of rape, whether or not a pregnancy resulted, has to pay some lump sum or percentage of his paycheck (prison paychecks and paychecks after release) into a fund that is used to pay for children in need. Women who conceived in rape and are raising those children would get money from that fund, but so would mothers who are simply poor–that way women don’t have to out themselves as rape victims in order to get compensated.

            I’m sure we could brainstorm any number of other solutions. Point is, rapists can be made to pay and rape victims can be compensated without creating a legal and financial link between a specific rapist and his victim.

          • Sarah
            January 10, 2016 at 5:13 am #

            Yes, you’re pro rape. We live in a world where pregnant women cannot be guaranteed a section, so if you support forced pregnancy and birth as you do, you are supporting forcing women to have their vaginas commandeered against their wishes. That’s rape. You’re a rape supporter. Stop trying to detract from this by railing against what pro choicers supposedly advocate.

          • Daleth
            January 10, 2016 at 10:43 am #

            Stephanie, it was assholes and lunatics and abusive nutjobs who called your daughter those things. Their political leanings or views on various issues, abortion included, are irrelevant because the fundamental problem is that they were horrible, abusive, heartless people.

            I am adamantly and forever pro-choice. Your daughter’s life had worth and dignity. How she was conceived has nothing to do with her own worth and dignity as a human being.

            And like I said above, no, of course rapists should have no say whatsoever in parenting or adoption plans for the children conceived through their crimes.

          • Roadstergal
            January 8, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

            “there’s just no difference between forced use of the vagina and forced use of the uterus”

            Given that maternal request C/S is often not allowed and/or not covered by insurance, forced pregnancy is usually going to end up with forced use of the vagina. The parallel to rape is really nasty.

          • Stephanie
            January 8, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

            I would also like to add that women who choose to parent their rape concieved child are shunned. The child is often stigmatized. If a woman chooses life, she is open to having her credibility question. She can and has been accused of lying about being raped. Because in the pro choice mindset.. a woman cannot possibly love or want to raise the baby conceived from rape. I understand why some want to choose abortion in cases of rape. I understand why some have had abortions. I think it it is a damn tragedy. I dont blame the woman in those cases, I blame the man who put her in that position. I did not have a choice with my daughter. I found I was pregnant at 6 months. Too late for a legal abortion. I supported the rape exception for many years, until I was in reunion with my daughter. ( I buried her in July 2014 btw. ) I was pissed when I was told I had to have ” his ” baby. I tried to hurt both of us. Given that rapist had tortured and raped me and did other things for 2 days… I escaped with my life. Had surgery to repair injuries he did to me and spent a month in hospital. I decided to put her up for adoption, another decision I now regret. If society did not stigmatize women who carry the baby and those who want to parent, perhaps I would have had more support to parent my daughter. But the precedent is that a child conceived in rape is worth less than those who are not. Their mothers are viewed as pariahs and face discrimination. An example of this discrimination is if she needs state aid … she has to name the father. Because the state will go after him for child support. In that case.. she will be forced to have to make a parenting plan with her rapist. He will be entitled to visitation and custody. So she is less likely to pursue help to parent her child. This is the law in most states, hence the law and society really does not give women a choice, other than abortion. A rapist often has to consent to an adoption plan as well. My rapist had my daughter placed with his brother and sister in law. They were good people, but he should not have been able to make that choice. So rape victims really dont have a choice.. they have to choose abortion, which for some ( not all) can lead to further emotional trauma. Or they can choose to be tethered to their rapists for 18 years. Rape victims are really screwed either way by the law and society. Meeting my daughter changed my life and POV on this subject dramatically. She was not responsible for what her sperm donor did to me. She did not deserve not to have a chance at life, because of something he did. We dont execute rapists in this country, why should the child have to die for their father’s crime? That logic just no longer computes with me. I am glad that the law was in place to protect my daughter at that stage in pregnancy. I have met other women who have chosen life in this cases. I have met other children concieved in rape and they are no less human than you or I. I know that my POV is not popular and I have been called a plethora of names. I am used to it and it does not bother me.. people are entitled to their opinion on the issue. You will not find me yelling outside abortion clinics. You will not find me calling women murderers, sluts or whores. It is counterproductive and does nothing to reduce abortions or help women in a crisis pregnancy situation.

          • Guest
            January 9, 2016 at 3:46 am #

            Stephanie, I understand that you have had some really awful things happen in your life. However, I believe that has skewed your judgement as others have pointed out mine may be biased due to my circumstances. I am the OP of this thread and I have had an abortion. To clear up a few things: I do not personally link trauma with shame. I feel no shame and have not at any time. I grieve for the loss of the potential life, yet I am absolutely behind choice for women. I believe more support should be offered women before and after the decision without trying to influence their decision. To have put me in the position of not having a choice could have (as time went on to show) put my family in major financial difficulty, however this was not even a factor in the decision as we could not see into the future. The hardship you would have put my family through by forcing me to continue the pregnancy would have been immense due to our personal circumstances. We need to offer women support in all circumstances for all decisions and back off with wanting our personal choices to be made mandatory for others.
            I still stand by my original comment that in this instance skeptical OB was insensitive. If it is indeed true that 95% of women feel relief (I also felt relief it is possible to feel both) I still feel that the other 5% are worthy of more sensitivity. If 5% of my friends were of a different culture to me I would not make insensitive comments as 95% aren’t worried. I still stand by needing to bring your own formula if choosing to ff not being comparable to choosing (or needing) an abortion.

          • Poogles
            January 10, 2016 at 4:04 am #

            “Because in the pro choice mindset.. a woman cannot possibly love or want to raise the baby conceived from rape.”

            Yeah, no.

            I am proudly, absolutely, pro-choice. I also have a cousin, whom I love dearly, who is a product of rape. Her mother loves her dearly and I would never expect otherwise.

          • Sarah
            January 10, 2016 at 5:08 am #

            ‘We dont execute rapists in this country, why should the child have to die for their father’s crime?’

            Because the mother’s right to dominion over her own body is more important than the right of the foetus to continue using it. I am sorry to hear what happened to you, but that doesn’t make the things you are saying in this post ok. Make whatever decisions you want about your own body and any child you bear conceived from rape. But you don’t get to do that for other women. And that’s what you’re doing when you say their ‘children’ shouldn’t have to ‘die’. That’s no different to the mindset you criticise. You (rightly) demand respect for your own right to hold views and to decide, well you need to do the same for other women. Immediately.

          • Amazed
            January 10, 2016 at 9:25 am #

            Great strawman. No one here ever called rape-conceived children less than human. You’re just making it up as far as WE are concerned because how else are you going to feel the persecuted victim if you address our real points?

            Correction, though: IMO, children conceived in rape are definitely more human than you. A human being cannot wish on a rape survivor or a molested girl to go through the hell of giving birth to an unwanted child. A human being cannot claim, “You cannot ask for anyone to assist you out of your suffering.” A human being cannot demand that babies with anomalies incompatible with life be born so they can spend their short lives in suffering.

            Only vile things like you can.

          • Daleth
            January 10, 2016 at 10:39 am #

            I’m really sorry you went through that. FWIW, I don’t know anyone who would shun a woman who was pregnant by rape, or the child conceived that way. I find it horrifying that your rapist had any say in who adopted the child and I totally support laws that would cut rapists out of parenting rights, consent for adoption, etc.

            That said, I also am pro-choice because many women (most?) who conceive through rape absolutely do not want to carry the child to term, and would be re-traumatized and pretty much re-raped if we as a society forced them to. I honor the decision of any woman in that situation–whether she wants to keep her child, or birth it and place it for adoption, or abort it. It is not my place–or anyone’s–to make that decision for other women.

          • AllieFoyle
            January 10, 2016 at 4:13 pm #

            You have been through some pain in your life — and it makes sense that you would feel the way you do after what you’ve experienced.

            What I would say to you though is that there is a difference between the idea of a potential person and an actual baby. Once you were born, you and your daughter became people — you were conscious, could feel happiness and pain, relate to people, learn, develop relationships — but before then you really only had the potential to become people. And the process of carrying and giving birth in such difficult circumstances causes so much pain, for so long — why would you force that on someone? I respect the human dignity and worth of anyone who actually exists here now, but at the same time, I wish no woman had been raped or forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy; that no child had to be born into such a situation. Ensuring that women maintain autonomy over their bodies does not detract from the dignity or human worth of any existing person.

            What happened to you was terrible, painful, and wrong. I don’t know why your mother(?) would say such awful things to you, except that she must be mentally ill in some way — it sounds as though her feelings come from trauma, perhaps at not having not been able to control what happened to her own body — but it has no bearing on your value as a person. It must be incredibly difficult to hear such things, and I hope that you have the support to cope with the pain I’m sure it causes, as well as the ability to distance yourself for your own well-being.

            As difficult and painful as your story is, it makes me that much more sure that we must never restrict women’s abilities to decide when and how to bear children. The consequences of forcing women to bear children when they aren’t ready and willing are too serious.

          • Sarah
            January 10, 2016 at 5:11 am #

            If one is anti choice, one is pro rape and pro slavery. There’s no term for that other than filth. I’m not into PC sugar coating either, you see.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 10, 2016 at 8:59 am #

            Denying abortions to women who are carrying pregnancies affected by fatal abnormalities, or who are pregnant by rape or incest AND WHO DO NOT WISH TO CONTINUE THEIR PREGNANCIES has been found, over and over, to be an abuse of their human rights.

            Every woman can continue her pregnancy if she wishes, even if it will kill her or destroy her physical or mental health. However, to be FORCED to continue a pregnancy, against your wishes, and to have your health and wellbeing destroyed by the process is a very cruel and unusual punishment.

            Your internal logic is consistent, I’ll give you that, but your view lacks nuance and compassion.

            I live somewhere with stupidly restrictive abortion laws.
            It just means women take risks to end pregnancies, surrounded in shame and silence, or have babies they hate and resent and are unable to properly care for.

          • Sarah
            January 10, 2016 at 9:25 am #

            Or pay to get over to England, frequently taking a couple more weeks to scrabble together the money thus forcing the abortion to happen at a later gestation than necessary. But hey, the budget airlines do very nicely out of it. So that’s ok.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 10, 2016 at 10:23 am #

            Worse for the ones who can’t afford to fly or stay overnight.
            Imagine experiencing a medical abortion (essentially a miscarriage) alone on a coach or ferry back from Liverpool.
            The abortion clinics advise Irish women who can’t afford to stay overnight after their abortions to go to the cinema until it is time to go to the airport. It’s dark and warm and relatively private and they can sit with their feet up and rest.

            Abortion Support Network does good work. They can offer money or a free spare room to stay in.

            Of course, more and more women are opting for illegal drugs, hopefully from sources like Women On Web ( which, while illegal at least has some safeguards and sends genuine medications) and not dodgy online pharmacies.

            Facing life in prison as a possible consequence of helping a desperate patient doesn’t give me warm fuzzies about the legislature’s deep respect for human rights or fill my heart with joy at all the unborn lives being saved.

          • Sarah
            January 10, 2016 at 10:27 am #

            Indeed. Mine and my husband’s relatives and friends in Ireland know they’re welcome to stay with us in England if they need to come for an abortion. Of course, not everyone has a pro choice contact with a spare room. This, like so many health issues, is a class thing.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 10, 2016 at 10:28 am #

            I hate living in a world where Women on Web needs to exist, because women everywhere should be able to get those drugs the same way they get any other needed medicine, but I’m glad it does.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 10, 2016 at 10:30 am #

            If I became pregnant again, and learned that the child had a terminal diagnosis, I would get an abortion. Because I’ve already experienced one term pregnancy and delivery, and I would not go through another one for the sake of a baby who will never experience any of the good things in life. Because terminating ASAP would mean being able to conceive another, hopefully viable child much sooner. Because however my toddler learns about death it will be too soon, but it should not be by meeting and losing a newborn sibling. Because my first pregnancy had some scary moments, and I’ve already been through going around with that cute bubble belly, dealing with everyone’s smiles and chatter, when inside I want to curl up and cry every time I think about the baby.

            Some people do not feel that way. Some people would rather carry to term and then say goodbye. In the face of such a horrible situation, I’m not going to tell them they’re wrong.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 10, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

            You should have seen the midwife’s face at my booking appointment, when she asked why I’d requested it at 11 weeks instead of the usual 13.

            “I have spina bifida and am at higher risk of NTD. I want the best chance of ending this pregnancy in the first trimester if there is anencephaly, which you should be able to identify on this scan if you specifically look for it”. Clearly not what she was expecting, but we left knowing that #2 had an intact skull and spine.

            I lost a sibling from a major congenital anomaly. She was one day old, and her death was a blessing because her quality of life would not have been acceptable had she survived. There was no antenatal diagnosis, so my parents had no choice about what to do. Having seen what they went through, I personally would not continue a pregnancy with a fatal diagnosis. I’m lucky that I would have the resources to travel.

            I have supported and will continue to support patients who make that choice, and who choose to continue affected pregnancies, because I trust that they know what is best for them and their family.

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

            “Am I supposed to agree with abortion?”

            No, but while you keep on being against abortion, you also must accept that it is not your business to interfere with any woman’s choices other than your own.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 7, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

            Actually, “agree with abortion” doesn’t make sense.

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

            Maybe she meant “be pro-choice”. However, she’s already stated she believes that being pro-choice automatically means one is also pro-abortion, which most people know is incorrect.

          • Azuran
            January 7, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

            What does being ‘pro-abortion’ even mean?
            Going around yelling at random pregnant women to get abortion because abortion are awesome? Wishing there were more abortion in the world? Dancing naked under the full moon celebrating abortions?

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

            Beats me.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 7, 2016 at 9:11 pm #

            Yup, see my other response. I am clearly NOT “pro-abortion” because I wish there were no abortions at all.

          • Azuran
            January 7, 2016 at 9:17 pm #

            Wouldn’t it be awesome if we lived in a world where ovulation was on demand only so no one would ever get accidentally pregnant and no baby ever had any genetic/developmental defect.

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 9:50 pm #

            When the unicorn I’m keeping in my barn gives birth to a rainbow-coloured leprechaun, I’ll let you know.

          • Megan
            January 7, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

            Well we can control if we get pregnant or not based on what we want according to that one Republican senator right?

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

            “The body has ways to shut that thing down” guy?

          • Megan
            January 7, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

            Yeah. Forgot his name.

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 9:59 pm #

            Me, too. Best forgotten altogether.

          • demodocus
            January 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

            the fool

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

            Obligatory Monty Python reference:

          • guest
            January 8, 2016 at 1:04 am #

            Well, I have encountered some nasty people online who tell women in certain situations to get an abortion. Usually it’s related to providing benefits like WIC. “If you can’t afford to feed it, get an abortion,” etc. Disgusting, but I suppose such a person might be called “pro-abortion.”

          • Azuran
            January 7, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

            Be consistant in what you say.
            You say you are against all abortion even in the case of rape or incest, that it would not bother you if abortion was made illegal unless it was absolutely medically necessary.
            How can you even say you don’t think it should be illegal?
            So, which one is it, do you think it should be legal or illegal for a woman to have an abortion if she wants it?
            If you say it should be legal (or that it shouldn’t be illegal), than sorry honey, but you are pro-choice.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 7, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

            She won’t say it, because she knows that it’s an untractable position.

            The question is simple, Stephanie. Do you think women should be prevented being able to get an abortion?

            It’s not about whether you are pro-abortion, or “agree with abortion” whatever that means, do you agree with the statement that abortion should be illegal?

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 9:28 pm #

            Reminds me so much of the Savita Halappanavar case. Highly disturbing.

            Stephanie, do you know what happened to Savita Halappanavar when she was prevented from getting a medically necessary abortion? She DIED of sepsis, because she lived in Ireland, a Catholic country, and the hospital refused to abort her foetus because it had a heartbeat. She had been experiencing increasingly severe back pain and she and her husband feared she was miscarrying, so they went to hospital in Galway.

            Neither Savita nor her family were Catholics. But that didn’t matter to the hospital staff.

            “Halappanavar had demanded that her pregnancy be terminated after fearing the foetus was dead and likely to give her sepsis. Her request was turned down after medical staff said they detected a foetal heartbeat. She was 17 weeks pregnant and miscarrying when she fell ill.

            The 31-year-old [dentist], along with her husband Praveen, repeatedly asked for a termination because they believed her life was in danger.”

            She and her husband were Hindu, not Catholic, and told the Irish staff so. But that didn’t matter.


            An abortion would have saved her life.

            But if you think people are better off dying than having an abortion, by all means, continue in your insanity.

          • Stephanie
            January 8, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

            I am aware of Savita’s case. That is a case where the child should have been delivered, even with a heartbeat. The baby could not be saved. My cousin worked in the same hospital that Savita, was presented. She was on duty in the ER that night, she saw her, but was not involved in her care. The prolife approach is to try and save both. In this case, the death of the baby was inevitable and delievering the baby would have saved Savita’s life. Letting her die was morally and ethically reprehensible. It is not prolife to let both die, if one can be saved. That case is one reason I have been hesitant to an outright abortion ban. Do I think ELECTIVE abortions should be against the law. Yes, in a Utopian world I would like to see it be illegal and not needed. Being pragmatic. I prefer to reduce the need through access to contraception and have a social safety net in place for those, who feel that abortion is their only choice in an economic hardship.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            January 8, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

            You said earlier that you were prolife from conception until death. That’s a bit misleading to us when you now say that a fetus with a heart beat that would inevitably die was okay to abort. It wasn’t dead yet, though. But you say its okay to abort in that case while still going on about not sacrificing life. Do you see why we get frustrated? There can’t be a black and white judgment on this.

            What determines if a fetus will inevitably die? Does a woman end up doctor shopping until she finds a doctor that will agree with the baby being terminal when every other doctor has said it is at risk so she can get an abortion? Or on the flip side a woman knows she’s in trouble and her baby is dying and needs to have it aborted but she can’t find the one doctor who will agree the baby is terminal while it still has a heartbeat? Much like how those determined to have a home birth doctor shop until they find one to deem them low risk?

            There’s no way to “quality control” the whole thing. Which is why I consider it none of my damn business. My friends know where I stand on abortion and I know where they do. That’s about as far as I go into other people’s abortion business unless there’s something truely horrifying going on like back alley abortions that use the products of conception in some kind of cannibalistic demon summoning ritual with fetus puppets. That would make me a bit nervous.

        • SporkParade
          January 7, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

          What on earth are you talking about? A fetus isn’t a person, whereas lack of access to safe abortion is a leading obstetric killer of women in any country where abortion is banned or just not available.

      • Charybdis
        January 7, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

        Add to that a lot of the extra, window-dressing crap the prolife/anti-abortion faction want to pass into law: Transvaginal ultrasound mandatory, 24-48 hour waiting period before having an abortion, requirements to hear and see the beating heart and the embryo on the ultrasound screen, “counseling” about what an abortion is and what it will entail in detail. That sort of emotional blackmail is essentially the same shit the lactavists shovel, carefully constructed to sound like they have YOUR and your baby’s well-being in mind. But they are trying to get you to kowtow to their party line and fall in line with their ideology.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      January 7, 2016 at 4:34 am #

      the trauma of having an abortion.

      It should be pointed out that, while no one has an abortion for fun, the vast majority of women feel relief after an abortion, not trauma. Nor is there any great evidence that abortion contributes to long term psychological issues (unlike relinquishing a child for adoption, which is dangerous as hell psychologically). The one exception to this general statement is that when a woman is under intense external pressure to feel shame for her abortion, she is more likely to do so. So it’s actually pretty parallel: In the choice of abortion or continuing the pregnancy, like the choice of breast or bottle feeding, neither choice leads automatically to more trauma, unless outside forces tell women that they must feel traumatized by their choice. That’s where the trauma comes from: the shaming and judgement, not the choice itself.

      • Guest
        January 7, 2016 at 10:11 am #

        Have you had one have you? I’m sorry but your statement is entirely false. I can tell you from experience and talking to many other women who have also experienced this that the trauma is not necessarily tied to shame but to the devastation of having to make that choice for themselves or others that impacts on a potential life, a life that has come from yourself. It is not the same or comparable. Please don’t make statements you have no knowledge about

        • summer
          January 7, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

          I have had an abortion. I belong to a group of women who have also had abortions. NOT A SINGLE ONE OF US FEELS TRAUMA. The only shame we felt was shame for not feeling shame. That’s what our whole support group was about – feeling shame for not feeling trauma about having an abortion. 95% of women who have abortions feel relief, not shame. Just because you are in the other 5% don’t project your experiences on the rest of us.

          • sdsures
            January 7, 2016 at 7:35 pm #


          • LeighW
            January 8, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

            I had a friend ask me if it was bad that she felt relieved instead of guilty after her abortion. No. How you feel is how you feel. Some women feel guilty, some feel tramatized, some feel nothing, some feel better because a stressful situation is over with.

            Me, I was more upset when my cat was euthanized. Holding her while she was having seizures was much more tramatizing than having a relatively minor medical procedure.

        • Roadstergal
          January 7, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

          I haven’t had one – yay for access to reliable contraception and no bad luck – but I do personally know women who have, and they are generally in line with the research – they’re not delighted about their abortions, but think they were absolutely the right decision and are at peace, not traumatized, with it.

          I do feel sorry for the trauma you’re experiencing. I’ve had trauma over other things in the past, and found counseling to be massively helpful.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          January 7, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

          I have been fortunate enough to not (yet) need an abortion. However, there is an extensive literature that suggests that overall there are few, if any, adverse psychological consequences to abortion. For example:

          I’m certainly not going to argue with you about what you personally experienced since you obviously know that better than I do. However, I would say that that was your experience, not the experience of every or most women who had abortions. (Or, I should say, people who had abortions since trans men and some gender neutral people may find themselves in situations where they need or want an abortion as well.)

        • Taysha
          January 8, 2016 at 11:39 am #

          Just some food for thought: what you may perceive as a large majority or even the norm may be caused by your gravitating towards people with similar experiences. That is, if I hypothetically suffered trauma, I might search for “recovery from x” or “trauma sufferers from x” support groups.
          Not for “x is awesome” and “x changed my life” or “I’m glad i got x”

          I say this because I work on a very specialized center for very rare diseases. These things are so rare we only see 1 or 2 cases A YEAR. But I know hundreds of people who suffer from this disease. To me, it’s an abundant disease, and everyone has it. Simply because I work in a place where a very rare disease becomes concentrated.

        • Elisabetta Aurora
          January 9, 2016 at 1:11 am #

          I have. I’ve had two. The first was when I was 20, a sophomore in college. The termination happened around week 6. I felt nothing but relief. I have not regretted it or given it much thought over the years. I did come from an ultra-religious family and remember wondering if there was something wrong with me for not feeling bad. I even remember writing a paper in a college class, the theme being to explain a life changing event. I used the abortion because I couldn’t think of anything else. I got an A on the paper, but I was embarrassed because I knew I had lied. The abortion didn’t make me feel any different, nor was it life changing.

          The second was a planned pregnancy at the age of 34. I was 15 weeks along with a boy we had named Benjamin. Unfortunately, we learned that Benjamin had T18 and there was little left to do but to terminate. It was easily the worst thing that happened to me. I kept thinking the only thing that would have been worse is if I lost him as a baby.

          So is abortion traumatic? It is if the woman wants the baby but feels an abortion is the only solution out of a list of no solutions. I think this can happen too for women who are not facing inviability as well. For example, the number one reason women terminate is for financial reasons. If a woman really wants a baby but knows that financially she really can’t do it, then the abortion will likely scar her. Which is why if you really want to reduce the number of abortions (which is a goal I think everyone can get behind, pro-choice and pro-life) you’ll vote to make sure that social welfare programs remain strong, such as food stamps, WIC, assisted housing programs, affordable college tuition and job placement programs, and medical care for everyone.

          • Daleth
            January 10, 2016 at 11:08 am #

            So is abortion traumatic? It is if the woman wants the baby but feels an abortion is the only solution out of a list of no solutions. I think this can happen too for women who are not facing inviability as well. For example, the number one reason women terminate is for financial reasons. If a woman really wants a baby but knows that financially she really can’t do it, then the abortion will likely scar her.

            Yep. I had one when I was an illegal immigrant living on about $300/month (in a first-world country with first-world cost of living!) in a 250sqft studio apartment with an almost equally poverty-stricken, emotionally abusive boyfriend. (This was a European country, so he got government help with rent–otherwise our cash flow was such that we would have been homeless.)

            And despite having so little money and no health insurance (since I was an illegal immigrant), my first instinct, on learning of the pregnancy, was to want to have the child, take care of myself so it would be healthy, etc. But his reaction was… shall we say, NOT that.

            That is traumatizing. All the more so because I then proceeded to stay with that nerve-shredding, demoralizing, totally unsupportive man for another three years because I was trying so hard to get our relationship and our financial situation stable enough that the baby could “come back” to us and this time we could have it.

            But even so, I can see the benefit of having done it: I later found out that mental illness, up to and including psychosis, ran in his family (how incredibly horrible it would be to watch your own beloved child suffer from something like that!). And I also later returned to my own country, which would probably have triggered a transnational custody battle and god knows what else (parental kidnapping?). So it would have been a bad scene–a poverty-stricken, chaotic childhood, for a child who was already genetically at risk for mental illness (from both sides, actually–I had a really messed-up aunt).

        • CanDoc
          January 18, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

          The statement is quite accurate: masses of high quality research have been done on abortion. Although feelings are often mixed and varied, and nobody can tell somebody else what they should or do think or feel, the vast majority of women feel relief after an abortion. Although many or most may wonder “what if”, the majority, in long term follow-up, continue to express satisfaction with their decision. Long-term psychological morbidity is most definitely higher after placing a live-born child for adoption than after an abortion procedure. You may not like these facts, and just because they speak of the experience of the majority of women certainly doesn’t mean they represent every single woman, but they are the facts.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      January 7, 2016 at 4:41 am #

      Just going to drop this here as a reminder that abusers often sabotage birth control to make their victims pregnant and dependent on them. Abortion helps women escape their abusers and reduce the risk of abuse.

      • Stephanie
        January 7, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

        Or it can help a child molester or abuser cover up their crime…

        • student
          January 7, 2016 at 4:40 pm #

          “or it can help a CHILD molester or abuser cover up their crime”
          Do you really mean that abortion should be illegal so that children who are molested and become pregnant should be forced to have their abuser’s baby? Hopefully the doctor in either case is screening for abuse, so I don’t see how forcing a pregnancy on a child is supposed to help them. I find that thought appalling.

          • Stephanie
            January 7, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

            I never said anything about legality here. I am talking about cases where young girls have been taken to PP for an abortion by their molester or an older boyfriend. No questions are asked. In some cases they have been discouraged to omit information. Hence, they are sending thee girls back to their abusers for me. Get rid of the baby…get rid of the physical evidence. I am prolife and am against abortion in cases of rape or incest. Before you crucify me, I had a daughter conceived from rape. But no matter where you stand on the issue. Not abiding by mandatory reporting laws should appall anyone, no matter where you stand on this issue.

          • moto_librarian
            January 7, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

            I would like to see some documentation of this practice.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 7, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

            I’m sure it’s in the anti-Planned Parenthood literature.

          • January 9, 2016 at 3:34 am #

            The activist Lila Rose went to a Planned Parenthood clinic pretending to be a minor in just this situation with a hidden camera. What Stephanie describes did happen… as the video was edited, at least.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            January 8, 2016 at 4:29 am #

            Doctors and nurses are mandatory reporters of suspected abuse. If a girl comes in pregnant they are required to report the evidence of abuse and possible statutory rape (at a minimum.) Planned Parenthood also refers victims of trauma to counseling. The back alley abortionists you want them to go to instead would do neither. If any given employee is not doing the above, then they are violating PP policy and the law.

            If a rape results in a conception then the products of conception can be used as evidence, whether the DNA is extracted from the embryonic or fetal remains or from a cheek swab from a born baby. In fact, the only way you can get the evidence quickly and safely is from the embryonic remains since otherwise you’d have to do at least an amnio to get any DNA evidence. Amnios are safe, but not risk free.

          • Box of Salt
            January 9, 2016 at 3:26 am #

            Stephanie “Get rid of the baby…get rid of the physical evidence”

            How would forcing the girl to give birth (as you did) improve the situation for either girl or baby?

            Frankly, I see your “prolife” stance as “I suffered through this situation, therefore everyone else faced with it must suffer as much as I did.”

            My viewpoint will continue to be that human suffering should be reduced whenever possible.

  7. An Actual Attorney
    January 6, 2016 at 9:15 pm #

    Sort of OT.
    My mom sent me this link yesterday

    I don’t have enough background or bandwidth to look this study up and fully analyze it, but (a) it seems to imply that genetic variations that affect breast milk supply are pretty common and (b) I’m happy to know that real scientists are looking at this.

    • Megan
      January 6, 2016 at 9:42 pm #

      Cool! That’s my alma mater! Glad someone is actually doing useful breastfeeding research.

  8. sdsures
    January 6, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

    Could you please post the FFF link here when she publishes the list?

  9. antigone23
    January 6, 2016 at 4:47 pm #

    I don’t see this happening in the US. But I feel like having people bring their own formula would add a food safety issue. Hospitals provide 2oz nursettes with sterile, individually sealed, single-use nipples. Hospital rooms really do not have adequate facilities for patients to prepare and clean their own bottles and it seems like there would be higher risk than at home.

    • sdsures
      January 6, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

      Plus, how do the moms on the ward know whose formula is whose? Does it get labeled with the mom or baby’s names?

      • Mattie
        January 6, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

        probably they keep it in their bag/locker, along with their bottles and other personal items

        • sdsures
          January 6, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

          …which could get stolen.

          • Mattie
            January 6, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

            sure..just like anything else, the lockers do lock though

          • demodocus
            January 6, 2016 at 4:59 pm #

            we had an end table. It didn’t lock.

      • antigone23
        January 6, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

        Yeah I didn’t think about that. All our rooms are private.

      • Sue
        January 6, 2016 at 11:43 pm #

        Yep. Just needs an adverse event to happen and they’ll have to overturn the whole thing.

      • nata
        January 7, 2016 at 5:40 am #

        the moms are advised to make a bottle as you need one. Otherwise they keep the formula with them in the bay along with other personal items.

    • nata
      January 7, 2016 at 5:38 am #

      1 people are advised to bring the same ready made sealed 2 oz bottles to ease up first feedings
      2 there is a milk kitchen in postnatal ward: every baby has its own sterilizer (one with liquid), parents are shown how to use it. There is also hot boiling water available to prepare feeds if parents choose to use powder. It might actually be beneficial, as there is staff available to assist and educate parents on preparing feeds before they go home with their babies.

      • Megan
        January 7, 2016 at 7:32 am #

        Oh ok, so if they just provide a kitchen for patients, then I guess it’s acceptable to make all hospital patients provide their own food then?

        • nata
          January 7, 2016 at 8:22 am #

          This is a valid point: I think nobody looked at the issue this way.

        • momofone
          January 7, 2016 at 9:49 am #

          “Yes, Mr. Smith, we know you just had a colon resection. Your doctor has okayed clear liquids, and there’s broth and juice in the kitchen down the hall and to the left. And just think, if all goes well, in a couple days you can whip yourself up some pudding!”

      • Roadstergal
        January 7, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

        “It might actually be beneficial, as there is staff available to assist and educate parents on preparing feeds before they go home with their babies.”

        But why isn’t that part of the normal prenatal training? Even if you plan to BF, life happens, so why not teach all parents the basics?

        • guest
          January 8, 2016 at 1:13 am #

          This. I breastfed for six months. And then I switched and didn’t know all the things I was doing wrong with formula and bottles.

        • nata
          January 12, 2016 at 11:51 am #

          Bottle feeding is discussed, a little prenatally, then at discharge and during the first postnatal visit – next day after the discharge

    • guest
      January 8, 2016 at 1:11 am #

      It has happened, just differently. NYC proposed keeping all formula under lock and key, and having women who wanted to use it undergo a lecture on the dangers of formula FOR EACH REQUESTED BOTTLE before they could have it. There was a public outcry, and I believe they backed off a little. But still.

    • guest
      January 8, 2016 at 1:12 am #

      It’s also worth noting that my US hospital provided no clean facility to wash *breast pump* parts in either. I can’t imagine how that was safe or sanitary, to wash them with hand soap in a shared bathroom, when I was in a post-surgical condition that caused me to drop things constantly, but no one seemed to care.

  10. Sarah
    January 6, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

    Not that this isn’t outrageous age discrimination, but I don’t see that it’ll work in any case. If a woman isn’t breastfeeding and hasn’t bought sufficient formula, the hospital aren’t realistically going to withhold it from the baby. They’d have a negligence case on their hands pretty damn quick if they were to deny food to a patient and the patient then suffered because of it. Fortunately my local hospital in the UK didn’t pull this shit, but if they did I’d refuse to bring my own on principle.

    • Charybdis
      January 6, 2016 at 8:13 pm #

      I’d do the same… I can be quite obstinate about principle things at time.

  11. mostlyclueless
    January 6, 2016 at 4:13 pm #

    OT: This is the best birth plan I’ve ever seen

    • Roadstergal
      January 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

      “I’m a-let you finish, but my girl had the best gestation of all time!”

    • Megan
      January 6, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

      In our hospital we can actually order a beer for our patients. Not sure if we have wine (or how good either the beer or wine are).

    • sdsures
      January 6, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

      ROFL re cupcakes and wine! Can I print this off?

    • Erin
      January 6, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

      Slightly off-topic but someone asked me recently what music I’d pick for a c-section and my mind just went totally inappropriate. What would be reasonable and not annoying choices?

      • Roadstergal
        January 6, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

        The very first thing that came to mind is “Cuts like a knife.” The second was “She came in through the bathroom window.”

        • Erin
          January 6, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

          Ooh I like the second one. The first things which came to my mind were Mahler’s “Kindertotenlieder” and “The first cut is the deepest” which are probably best avoided. If I have another section, I’m going to have all 10 hours of this saved to something.

          Who knows it might be a complicated surgery or after the first five minutes they might suddenly decide that allowing me to a have a general anesthetic would be a good idea. Plus I love the song, my husband whistles it all the time.

          • An Actual Attorney
            January 6, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

            Mac the Knife.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      January 8, 2016 at 5:09 am #

      I don’t drink so I’m no judge of wine, but having read this I’d really like to bring the author cupcakes. But more than one hour after the section. No reason you can’t have privacy AND cupcakes.

  12. Suzanne
    January 6, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

    I’d just like to point out that when both of my children were born, both my husband and I worked for EVIL BIG PHARMA. And both of our companies made baby formula. My company sold the formula to employees at cost and his company gave it to employees for free. We could have had all the name brand formula we wanted for free!

    (In fact, our next door neighbor also worked for the same pharma company as my husband and their baby had terrible allergies and had to have that super special expensive formula, so talk about a financial blessing!)

    Anyway, 2 kids, and precisely one bottle of formula given. My coworkers also all breastfed, despite the cheap formula. (Our boss gave us 6 months maternity leave if we wanted! Best job ever.) Free formula does not cause formula usage.

    • Roadstergal
      January 6, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

      OMG, you can support breastfeeding and formula feeding at the same time? Heresy!

      • Suzanne
        January 6, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

        I know, right? I worked in the same building where the scientists worked on developing great formula. Oops. I mean less substandard ways of infant feeding.

        I imagine the people who worked in the formula factor were compelled to formula feed. It was probably part of the union contract.

        • Amy M
          January 7, 2016 at 8:23 am #

          Well, all that powdered formula flying around…it would cloud their judgement.

          • Michele
            January 7, 2016 at 11:14 am #

            My father retired from one of the ebil formula companies. He says babies always loved him after he got off work because he smelled tasty to them.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      January 7, 2016 at 6:11 am #

      OT, can I ask you how you liked working for Ebil Big Pharma? I’ve got this job interview coming up…

      • Roadstergal
        January 7, 2016 at 11:29 am #

        What sort of Ebul Big Pharma job are you interviewing for?

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          January 7, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

          Associate director in clinical research. Probably phase 2 trials in hematologic oncology. With immuno-oncology which is sexy as hell right now.

          • AA
            January 7, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

            what do you think of the proposed changes to the Common Rule?

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            January 7, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

            Answer #1: “I think I’d better have a good answer to that question. I’ll just look the proposed changes up…”
            Answer #2 (after skimming but not carefully considering all proposed changes): “The changes sound like pains in the butt that have to happen and it’s better that they happen before a disaster occurs rather than after.” I might have a better answer later.
            Overall, it looks like the changes will generate a bunch of paperwork but probably need to happen because of changes in the way people think about data security and genetic privacy and better they happen when the concerns are still theoretical than after something bad happens. Though, actually, some of the changes might simplify the paperwork by making the categories simpler…have to look into it more carefully.

          • Roadstergal
            January 7, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

            Very hoity! I might be reporting to you at some point. 🙂

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            January 10, 2016 at 8:16 am #

            Do you work for ebil big pharma? What do you do? How do you like it? How bad’s the sexism? (Had significant problems with discrimination at my last job, which kind of turned me off academia for now.)

          • Roadstergal
            January 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

            I’ve worked for two different Big Ebul Biotechs, one of which was more like pharma and the other (the current job) is solidly biotech. I was technically research with one and development with the other, but the job was the same – supporting biomarker development and execution, scope from late-stage research through Phase III. I also dealt with sexism in academe, and have not experienced it in industry. I don’t know how representative my experience is, but they have generally been majority-female groups; my current group is majority female, with a female Associate Direcgor and a female Senior Director of the group at large, and many are mothers. The current place has good maternity leave, mothers’ rooms for pumping, and near-site day care. I’ve never felt harassed or belittled, and feel generally respected and listened to.

  13. Brooke
    January 6, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

    Thumbs up for great satire but I think you’re a little old to be acting like a SJW? Aren’t those usually like college aged white girls not middle aged women with medical degrees?

    • demodocus
      January 6, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

      Oh, I was wondering when you’d show up.

      • moto_librarian
        January 7, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

        Well, study for the SAT is boring. And hard.

    • Megan
      January 6, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

      Your trolling has gotten so boring.

      • fiftyfifty1
        January 6, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

        Well, at least she acknowledges Dr. Tuteur’s medical degree. And she calls her a “middle aged woman”. Usually she gets called an old dried up cunt, or something similar. This is progress.

      • Sarah
        January 7, 2016 at 4:36 am #

        Yes, are you going to ban this dim twat soon Dr A? It grows dull. I feel we’ve had as much sport as we’re likely to get.

    • OttawaAlison
      January 7, 2016 at 10:05 am #

      Oh cute, getting mad at people into Social Justice – wow, such a burn…

    • AirPlant
      January 7, 2016 at 10:33 am #

      fun fact: The only people I hear complaining about social justice warriors are white dudes in their early twenties.
      Extrapolation is fun!

  14. Cat10
    January 6, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

    This is terribly OT but in case some of you were contemplating voting for Ben Carson in the next Presidential election, this will amuse you:

    • Nick Sanders
      January 6, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

      W pretty much ensured I will never vote Republican in my life, and everything the GOP has done since then has reinforced that decision.

      • DelphiniumFalcon
        January 7, 2016 at 11:36 am #

        I don’t want to be that person that doesn’t vote but I’ll be honest, I’m scared of what’s going to be our choices this year… Probably will just vote for an independent candidate or write one in.

    • demodocus
      January 6, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

      i’d rather have that basketball player in the extrememly unlikely event that I’ll not make it to a hospital on time. Sure, Dr. C has forgotten more than I’ll ever know about obstetrics just from the standard med school classes, but I think he may’ve forgotten everything.

  15. January 6, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

    The bigger problem I have with this is that often women do not know what their choice is, what is best for them in their own circumstance before hand because what happens in the time between being admitted to the maternity ward and the time of discharge has critical impacts on what choices are made. By pre-deeming formula feeding or caesareans as being “bad” there’s a strong message sent to women, and unfortunately this includes women for whom these things are what is “best for them”. There’s an epidemic of maternal mental health problems – some of which are attributable to telling moms who have caesareans and who formula feed that they are “bad moms”. The bullying must end.

    • Megan
      January 6, 2016 at 2:24 pm #


    • Chi
      January 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

      I can’t like/upvote this enough.

    • BeatriceC
      January 6, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

      Thankfully I never had any real problems nursing. My oldest took a little while to get the hang of it, and I combo fed for a few weeks to help him through. I was also battling a tiny bit of PPD. One of the reasons I’m so strongly opinionated about the BS that gets spouted to women is I can easily see how things could have gone from difficult but manageable to an utter catastrophe if I had to deal with the judgement and pressure new moms have to deal with today. A little support and a lot of nonjudgmental support is the reason why I successfully breastfed my oldest. I can see a sequence of events where I didn’t get that support and I quit entirely. I can see that also putting me off breastfeeding forever. One logical conclusion is that a a bottle or two of formula per day for a couple weeks preserved the breastfeeding relationship of not just the one baby, but all three.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 6, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

        My oldest took a little while to get the hang of it, and I combo fed for a few weeks to help him through.

        You can say this, but note that by the “Exclusive Breast Feeding for 6 months (or even less)” you failed.

        It’s goofy, I know. You can continue to breastfeed for 2 years, but because you combo fed at the beginning, you are considered a non-success story.

        • BeatriceC
          January 6, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

          Which is total BS, but what can you do? Even for me, that kind of absolutism is insane. And I’m a mathematician. I think in absolutes.

          Only one thing matters to me: My kids are healthy. At any rate, the health problems they have don’t have anything to do with how they were fed. Breastfeeding or not has no effect on which copy of the mutated gene they inherited from their father, which determines the presence or absence of the bone disease.

          Now that I think about it, I have had people wonder aloud if maybe I formula fed them and that’s why the disease is “so bad”. I tend to let that stuff just roll right through my brain without stopping.

          • Sarah
            January 7, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

            People have seriously said that to you?

          • BeatriceC
            January 8, 2016 at 3:23 am #

            Three times by three different people, all in vastly different circumstances. Once was actually a nurse in the post-anathesia unit after one of my youngest son’s earliest surgeries. People are idiots sometimes. I tend to shy away from online confrontations, but in person I’m a staunch advocate for my kids. I’m never rude or crazy, but I don’t let people push me around either. Those people got a very icily polite response from me and the nurse involved was barred from ever caring for my kids after a formal complaint and investigation.

          • Sarah
            January 8, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

            Good for you.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 7, 2016 at 1:47 pm #

            Which is total BS, but what can you do?

            What can I do? Bitch on the internet hoping to raise awareness.

            OTOH, what can the PTB do? Instead of counting one drop of formula as a failure, as they do when they use metrics like “EBF”, why not celebrate breastfeeding success, emphasizing things like, “Mostly breastfed” or “Partially breastfed.” Why should someone who EBF for maybe 3 months and then combo fed through the rest of the first year not be celebrated as a success story in terms of breastfeeding?

        • Roadstergal
          January 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

          What other health measure doesn’t include gradations? If you lose weight from being over, even if you’re still technically obese, that’s considered a plus. If you go from sedentary to even moderate exercise, that’s considered a plus. If you decrease your smoking frequency without fully quitting, that’s a plus.

          And that’s for things that have a real impact! This whole ‘even one drop’ thing is the most ridiculous bullshit ever.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            January 7, 2016 at 11:59 am #

            The one drop bs always reminds me of that one Simpson’s episode where one drop of alcohol flies into Marge’s mouth:


      • Megan
        January 6, 2016 at 4:18 pm #

        I know I practically have PTSD from my breastfeeding experience with my first. We’ll see how things go with my second but I will supplement and I won’t try that hard. The overwhelming pressure the first time around did really influenced my unwillingness to try very hard this time. I think lactivism can be very counterproductive.

    • SporkParade
      January 7, 2016 at 1:40 am #

      It certainly contributed to my postpartum depression. And I didn’t even feel guilty or like a failure because I combo-feed. It was the bullying by medical professionals and other moms, which made me feel really alone. It also probably didn’t help that my reaction to people being jerks is to get into fights with them as opposed to just ignoring them.

    • Madtowngirl
      January 7, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

      This. 100% this. I went into the hospital planning on breastfeeding and having a vaginal birth. I ended up having a c-section and my milk didn’t come in before i was discharged. I was so damn brainwashed about “The Best Choice,” that I wound up with PPD. We knew all along that I was prone to it – so did my postpartum caregivers. But it was totally cool to tell me I wasn’t trying hard enough when my milk wasn’t coming in, or suggest that I pump instead of sleep.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 7, 2016 at 1:41 pm #

        But it was totally cool to tell me I wasn’t trying hard enough when my milk wasn’t coming in,

        Milk coming in is a matter of trying or not trying?

        I think there was a post here once about the physiology of lactation (I looked, but couldn’t find it, but it’s hard to figure out a good search word). I don’t remember there being any conscious decision required. It was an issue of the uterus signalling certain receptors that set it all in motion.

        Gad I hate when medical people fail Anatomy & Phys.

      • LeighW
        January 8, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

        I had PPD after my first child was born, my milk never came, my shiteous Dr made comments about my breast size, telling me I should be able to feed every kid in the ward, her father was on me day and night about how expensive formula was. It was a really awful experience.

        When I was pregnant with my second 10 years later and my new OBGYN asked if I was planning on breastfeeding, I said no. She asked if I had questions about it, I said no. That 30 second conversation was the first and last time it came up.

        I’m incredibly grateful that she didn’t push it on me, or make me feel guilty about not wanting to try.

        (I did end up trying, and unsurprisingly it was the same, but there was less pressure than the first time around)

  16. anh
    January 6, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    This is all over the UK. Big hospital in my area has the same policy

    • Sarah
      January 6, 2016 at 4:47 pm #

      Mine doesn’t, so it’s not universal. Luckily.

  17. January 6, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

    The hospital has recently reviewed its budget and determined that by not providing formula to babies who are not being breastfeed they can save money AND claim that their reason for doing so was to support and encourage moms to breastfeed. The NHS, like many government organizations – isn’t too worried about patient satisfaction, and are probably stretched a little beyond what is reasonable to begin with. After all, taxes pay for it – and no politician wants to increase taxes. Pretty sure the private hospitals in the UK would say that denying formula to babies would be a non-starter.

    • sdsures
      January 6, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

      I wish I could quote you.

  18. Megan
    January 6, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

    What is the hospital going to do if a mom just flat out refuses to bring formula or breastfeed? Let the baby starve?

    • Mattie
      January 6, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

      I mean, no, but what about when the woman goes home…is she gonna refuse to buy formula and hope it gets given to her then? I just don’t see the problem, women on low income/benefits get subsidised formula anyway, why is it a problem for them to go out and get it before they have the baby/for someone to go get it for them while they’re in hospital?

      • Roadstergal
        January 6, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

        If women on low income/benefits get subsidized formula anyway, what’s the problem with providing it?

        It’s a burden on a woman to bring in her own, especially as there’s a lot of stuff to bring in already, and as she doesn’t know if she’s going in ‘for reals’ or is going to be sent home. It’s a burden on a woman without a partner to fetch formula for her, or a partner who lives far away/works/takes care of the other kids/etc.

        It’s like saying – why should BF women be served meals? They can just get their partner to bring them in, or bring food in with them. I just don’t see the problem in not providing free food for women on the maternity ward.

      • Megan
        January 6, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

        Can you get subsidized formula before the baby is born? I’m pretty sure I’m the US at least, WIC won’t give it to you before you have an actual baby. Nor will they give it to just any person who walks in and says, my partner is in the hospital and we need some formula.

        • Mattie
          January 6, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

          Yes, the vouchers are for milk, fruit and veg, and infant formula milk (as well as some vitamin supplements) and are just sent to the person weekly, during pregnancy and until the child is four. Vouchers can be used in various shops and don’t have to be presented by the woman herself, they can’t be used on anything else (although some people do try, and some retailers do take them)

          • Megan
            January 6, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

            Do they provide vouchers for food for breastfeeding women? If so, then shouldn’t they have to get food in advance and bring it with them or have a partner go out and get their meals?

          • Shawna Mathieu
            January 6, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

            If you’re fully breastfeeding you get, in addition to all the other stuff, carrots and tuna. They were strict with me on the fully part – my son probably got 80-90% breast milk, but because he was getting a little formula, I couldn’t get the carrots and tuna.

          • Megan
            January 6, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

            My point is they are picking one subset of patients and not providing them with food. How is this acceptable?

          • Sarah
            January 6, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

            Exactly. It’s discrimination based on age. If I, as an adult, am admitted to hospital as an inpatient, I will be given meals free.

          • demodocus
            January 6, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

            They gave my toddler a meal after the anesthesia wore off. ‘Though he refused all of it. Sure some 1 year olds are into spicy fries, but not mine.

          • Nick Sanders
            January 6, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

            The utter lack of a meaningful social safety net in this country is an embarrassment. I’m sorry you were denied perfectly reasonable, healthy foods over something like a small about of supplementation.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 6, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

            “the vouchers are for milk, fruit and veg, and infant formula milk (as well as some vitamin supplements) and are just sent to the person weekly, during pregnancy and until the child is four. ”

            Nope. Formula vouchers are only given between age birth and 12 months. They are not given prenatally or after age 1. And in many states, the vouchers are not sent. You have to go monthly to the WIC office and pick them up in person.

          • Mattie
            January 6, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

            Oh ok, I just looked here never had to get them though, so could have changed?

          • Sarah
            January 6, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

            You still get £6.20 a week in vouchers from birth to 12 months, then £3.10 thereafter. Can be used for formula, cow’s milk, or fruit and veg.

          • Liz Leyden
            January 13, 2016 at 2:41 am #

            My twins have been on WIC since birth. They ate preemie formula for 6 months (which required a script from my pediatrician), so I had to pick up their formula at the WIC office. After the 6-month mark they went on regular formula, which was delivered to my door. My state is moving WIC to cards this year, so I could have bought formula at any supermarket (though not WalMart).

        • fiftyfifty1
          January 6, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

          “Can you get subsidized formula before the baby is born?”

          Nope, not until the baby is born. This is why it is so nice when low income women can be sent home from the hospital with some formula samples, especially if it is the weekend.

          • Megan
            January 6, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

            That’s what I thought too (in the US at least). Apparently it’s not that way in the UK. Not that that excuses not providing formula for a newborn hospital patient.

      • Nick Sanders
        January 6, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

        Because birth doesn’t always happen on a neat and orderly timetable?

        • Are you nuts
          January 6, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

          Right, and some moms (particularly moms who can’t afford formula) are unlikely to have a waiting room full of people to run out and get formula for her newborn.

        • Liz Leyden
          January 13, 2016 at 2:44 am #

          I had to be transferred by helicopter to give birth. I arrived with less than the clothes on my back. My husband, who does not drive, had to ride a bus for 4 hours, and could only carry a limited amount of stuff.

      • demodocus
        January 6, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

        I was born 2 months early. In a blizzard. Makes it tough to run out to whatever store was selling formula and preemie clothes they might have needed.

      • fiftyfifty1
        January 6, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

        “what about when the woman goes home…is she gonna refuse to buy formula and hope it gets given to her then? ”

        Well, that same logic applies to everyone then, doesn’t it? Next time you are hospitalized for whatever reason, the nurse should just tell you to bring in your own food because “when you go home are you gonna refuse to buy food and hope it gets given to you then?”

      • Sarah
        January 6, 2016 at 4:31 pm #

        The problem is that EVERY other patient except, apparently, formula fed babies, will be provided with suitable food when admitted to an NHS hospital. If a breastfed baby is in there as a patient, the mother will be given meals even if she’s not been admitted as a patient herself. If you’re ok with this, you’re ok with age discrimination.

        • Mattie
          January 6, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

          Are parents given meals if they’re just visiting? I thought they had to buy their own?

          • Kathmid
            January 6, 2016 at 5:16 pm #

            I got discounted food at the hospital canteen when my 2 year old was on the childrens ward for 6 weeks, after he fractured his femur. Still had to pay for it though.

          • Sarah
            January 7, 2016 at 4:14 am #

            Breastfeeding mothers of inpatients are fed, yes, as they are the food source. Other parents aren’t.

          • Mattie
            January 7, 2016 at 8:59 am #

            I just don’t agree that it’s age discrimination, any more than requiring mothers to bring clothes for their baby is age discrimination. Additionally your point about mothers who qualify for vouchers not getting them before the baby is born is incorrect.

          • Sarah
            January 7, 2016 at 9:20 am #

            Age discrimination= treating people worse because of their age. Older patients in NHS hospitals are given food appropriate to their needs. It is only babies who are not. This, therefore, is unarguably age discrimination. If you think it isn’t, please tell us how. Your clothing comparison is, if I may say so, ridiculous, because the NHS does not routinely provide clothing for all patients except those in a particular age group. If they did, not providing it for newborns would be age discrimination, but as they don’t then it isn’t.

            You’re right about just the one thing though, apparently Healthy Start can be claimed from 10 weeks pregnant.

        • guest
          January 8, 2016 at 1:17 am #

          Calling hospital food “suitable” is a stretch.

          • Sarah
            January 8, 2016 at 2:09 am #

            I had a feeling someone was going to try and say that but really, the point is that the NHS accepts on principle that inpatients should be fed. And actually, I was in for a few days quite recently myself and while it wasn’t gourmet standard, it was perfectly adequate.

      • January 7, 2016 at 4:04 am #

        During my year (1975-6) in the UK, I saw mothers switch to bottles the minute they were back home and the community midwife wasn’t around. And the pressure to BF, while present, was much less intense than it is now.

    • Mac Sherbert
      January 6, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

      What about mothers who have trouble BF and need to supplement? Are they are also required to bring FF? What about preterm moms with no milk? What moms that go into labor early and haven’t purchase FF yet? What about women who have a terrible labor/delivery and are too exhausted to BF? What about the baby whose mother has to go the ICU? Sounds kind of silly because if I was planning on FF having to bring it to the hospital is not going to change my mind.

      • Erin
        January 6, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

        If your baby is in NICU, they pretty much try and tie you down at the breast pump or depending on what’s wrong with your baby, they “support” you in breastfeeding directly.

        • Mac Sherbert
          January 6, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

          They could have tied me down all they wanted, but I don’t make milk until day 5 and even then I have to pump several sessions to get even one bottle.

        • Sarah
          January 7, 2016 at 4:21 am #

          Neither thing happened to me when one of mine was in there. In fact once her blood sugars had stabilised, I rather got the impression they were glad I was going to leave her on formula, nice and predictable.

      • Megan
        January 6, 2016 at 6:47 pm #

        I guess they’d “make exceptions” for them, but only after they fill out paperwork stating they’re horrible mothers.

      • Charybdis
        January 6, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

        Or God forbid, the mother dies. What do they do then? Wring their hands, wail and gnash their teeth?

  19. Megan
    January 6, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    My baby told me she wants formula. She specifically said, “When the lady from dietary comes by and asks about our meal choices for the day, please check the little box beside ‘formula’ for me, Mom”

    See? Some fetuses tell their moms they want to be birthed in Bali. My fetus requests formula supplementation. Who am I to question her?

    • namaste863
      January 6, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

      Jeez is that woman ever a wingnut.

      • Megan
        January 6, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

        I’d like to think my fetus is wiser. 🙂

      • kilda
        January 6, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

        funny how that fetus wanted to be born in Bali, not, say, Omaha or Trenton.

  20. moto_librarian
    January 6, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    So here’s my question: are babies no longer considered patients? I know that both of mine had to be discharged from the hospital. If a baby is indeed a patient and the mother is not going to breastfeed, why is the hospital allowed to withhold meals from the baby? Why are newborns being treated differently from every other patient in the hospital? Does any other developed nation tell patients that they need to bring their own meals to the hospital?

    • Mattie
      January 6, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

      That’s interesting, I do believe it could be to do with the way the budget is managed. Hospitals have limited amounts of money for food and the ‘per person’ cost of a meal is very low, formula is probably more expensive than their budget would allow. I do like this argument though, and it’d be interesting to see the hospital respond to it.

      • moto_librarian
        January 6, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

        I realize that it’s likely different in the UK because you have single-payer healthcare, but this just seems utterly ridiculous to me.

      • demodocus
        January 6, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

        Per kilo, yes, but how much formula is a newborn drinking?

        • Mattie
          January 6, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

          I mean, if you’re following the NHS guidelines then any left over milk must be thrown away, all milk must be prepared with freshly boiled water every time, milk cannot be stored prepared etc… it’s entirely possible they use more than you might at home per baby. I’m not sure. Also a lot of parents do already bring their own.

        • Charybdis
          January 6, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

          All I ever got in the hospital was those little ready-to-feed 2 oz nursette bottles. I wasn’t aware that the powdered variety was an option in the hospital….

          • demodocus
            January 6, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

            I don’t think so, but I was thinking of adding all the 2 oz bottles up and used kilo to be less confusing than pound.

      • Valerie
        January 6, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

        I would guess that they are banning formula samples, too, which would help to defray costs.

        • Mattie
          January 6, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

          I believe that formula samples have been gone for a while, although I could be wrong

          • Valerie
            January 6, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

            I think so, too. I just mean that it can’t just be about cost, because if it were, they would accept free product from the formula companies to dispense to the moms who decided to formula-feed.

          • Sarah
            January 6, 2016 at 4:33 pm #

            You’re right, they’ve been banned in the UK for ages.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD
          January 6, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

          Formula samples come directly from the manufacturer and don’t cost the hospital anything.

          • Valerie
            January 6, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

            Right- I meant that the hospital could give formula to mothers who opt into it free of cost if they allowed the manufacturers to provide samples, so it doesn’t make sense to make mothers bring in their own formula as a cost-saving measure. I assumed samples would be usable in-hospital. Companies go to considerable efforts to get customers to try their products, and it seems like it would be a worthwhile investment to pay for a few days of formula if some mothers decide to stick with that brand.

            In any case, I don’t think it’s about cost so much as adding obstacles to formula-feeding so more women “choose” to breastfeed.

        • Mac Sherbert
          January 6, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

          …but if you want free samples all you have to do is write the companies that sell FF…they’ll be glad to send you some. Maybe that’s what the companies should start doing for FF mom’s in the UK. Send some of those free little bottles.

          • Sarah
            January 7, 2016 at 4:25 am #

            They aren’t allowed to.

      • Are you nuts
        January 6, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

        How much could formula possibly cost as a percentage of the cost of the whole labor, delivery and hospital stay? Do hospitals provide lactation consultants for BF moms? I would be curious to see cost per baby of a hospital LC vs formula. I just can’t imagine cost is a factor in restricting formula.

        • Mattie
          January 6, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

          midwives are trained in breastfeeding as part of their qualification, so not many hospitals have additional LCs

          • Roadstergal
            January 6, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

            I thought midwifery shortages were a big deal in the UK right now? So the argument could be made that limiting the time midwives spend on LC support is more cost-effective than locking up the formula.

            And then just tell moms who want to BF that they can bring their own LC with them, or have their husbands run out to get one. :p

          • Erin
            January 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

            A midwifery manager told me that our local maternity hospital allows each post-natal ward to spend it’s own budget and that includes choosing to hire LCs rather than extra midwives. However during my 3 and a half day stay after my son’s arrival I noticed that the LCs tended to focus on the women who were formula feeding rather than offering any practical advise to the breast feeders.

            (That might have been due to the fact that I was possibly the only breast feeder in our subsection of the ward and in the middle of a rather messy mental breakdown with a baby in NICU… I wouldn’t have approached me either).

        • Kathmid
          January 6, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

          They have Infant feeding advisors, who may have an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) qualification.

      • Sarah
        January 6, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

        And yet the NHS provides meals for non-baby patients that are more expensive than they strictly need to be. It’s interesting that they’re choosing to try and make cuts here rather than, say, halal or kosher food. After all, people who are unable to eat meat unless it’s been slaughtered in a particular way could just eat veggie. Actually everyone in hospital could just eat veggie, it’d be cheaper than meat.

    • Megan
      January 6, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

      This was going to be my exact post.

    • theadequatemother
      January 6, 2016 at 4:09 pm #

      this is how I feel about the hospital refusing to take newborns to a nursery for maternal respite care as well. Well, hospital, if you aren’t willing to help look after it, maybe you should discharge it.

    • guest
      January 8, 2016 at 1:24 am #

      Well, they do treat the sick babies quite differently. I think of all neonates as patients, but perhaps that’s changing? But that makes no sense given the array of tests and procedures they do to a healthy neonate. Still, I was in a hospital that didn’t like to give out formula, discouraged nursery use, etc., etc., but with my kids in the NICU there was a supply of formula in their drawers AT ALL TIMES so that no feeding was delayed (this even though they were getting pumped milk), there were diapers (even a lot of extras to take home), thermometers, ointment, hats, scissors, bottles to pump milk into, breast pump parts, blankets – I came home with all kinds of things because they said I could have everything in the drawer. Free, except for the $60,000 per baby price tag on the NICU treatment.

    • sdsures
      January 9, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

      I would venture a guess that the baby isn’t considered a patient unless it develops some sort of medical problem before the mom takes it home.

      • Megan
        January 9, 2016 at 4:37 pm #

        In the US at least, all newborns are patients because they are all evaluated by a pediatrician/family doc and checked daily before discharge. That includes routine metabolic screening, hearing testing, hep b vaccine, physical exam, vitamin K shot, etc. They are “admitted” (when they are born) and discharged like any other patient. We wouldn’t be able to do any necessary newborn care if they weren’t considered patients.

  21. Amy
    January 6, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    And what about women who DON’T choose formula but NEED it? What about a baby who simply cannot latch, or a mother who’s not producing any milk after a few days, or a mother who’s had a mastectomy, or a premature baby, or a baby with pathological jaundice needing supplements?

    • Mattie
      January 6, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

      I’d imagine people are welcome to bring their own formula, I think more than anything this is just a way for the unit to cut costs…it’s rubbish and unfair, but after they leave hospital they have to buy formula, most people buy some before the baby is born anyway. It’s just that the hospital won’t be providing it for free.

      • Megan
        January 6, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

        At least in the US, the hospital isn’t “providing it for free,” any more than mom’s meals are being provided for free. It all goes on the hospital bill and to the insurance company or the patient.

        • Mattie
          January 6, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

          yeh, I mean, it’s paid for out of the hospital budget, but the NHS is at a crisis point with funds atm so I guess when it comes down to it I’d rather people buy formula and that extra money can do to services.

          • Megan
            January 6, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

            By that logic, all hospital patients should buy their own meals then.

          • momofone
            January 6, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

            Maybe mothers who are planning to have c-sections should bring their own scalpels and drapes too.

          • Megan
            January 6, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

            And mothers who have vaginal deliveries should have their husbands go fetch chux pads and peri bottles.

            While we’re at it, dialysis patients should bring their own IV supplies and patients on telemetry should have to provide their on EKG electrodes. Man, think of all the money we could save the NHS!

          • Sarah
            January 7, 2016 at 4:30 am #

            And those wanting waterbirths can bring their own pools. And water.

          • Liz Leyden
            January 13, 2016 at 2:32 am #

            Or put coin-operated meters on the faucets, like some older British homes have with gas meters.

          • Roadstergal
            January 6, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

            Surely large entities like the NHS get better prices on bulk formula supplies than individual consumers?

          • Sarah
            January 6, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

            And will you be extending this principle to patients over the age of twelve months, or is it just baby patients who are to be denied suitable food in order to pay for services?

          • Mac Sherbert
            January 6, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

            The babies haven’t paid their taxes yet.

          • momofone
            January 6, 2016 at 8:15 pm #


          • Sarah
            January 7, 2016 at 4:13 am #

            Nor have quite a few of the adult patients, the correlation between illness and poverty being what it is!

          • Megan
            January 6, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

            Even then, that hospital budget is paid through taxes correct? So paid for by patients.

            So it’s ok for mom to pay taxes and then when she uses the services that said taxes paid for, it’s ok for them to deny her newborn baby, a patient of the tax-funded hospital, food during its stay?

    • Kathmid
      January 6, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

      There is a get out clause where formula can be dispensed if ‘medically indicated’, which would cover most of the scenarios you mention. It is an absolute ball ache to actually get your hands on some formula though. It is locked away, you have to fill in an A4 form, which is then audited to ensure it was appropriate.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
        January 6, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

        To ensure it was …appropriate… to feed a baby….
        I just don’t get it. I know the NHS is trying to save money, I know that people(politicians/administrators) who know nothing about proper patient care are making decisions that make no sense from a patient care aspect. But this seems ridiculous and somewhat draconian

        • Erin
          January 6, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

          I don’t know whether this is just about saving money on formula. Our Trust seems to have a bee in their bonnet about the terrible uptake of breastfeeding locally and how it’s contributing to everything from obesity, diabetes, bad outcomes at school, pregnancy complications when fat non breastfed baby girls get pregnant themselves… from at least one discussion I’ve had with people who should know better I think it’s more to do with the idea that if they make you climb Everest to access formula, you’ll give up at base camp and breastfeed thus ensuring your children barely cost the NHS anything as they grow up as healthy, thin, none diabetic, non smoking, productive adults.

          (Also it’s probably a “good” way of getting the “bed blockers” out. Make you have to beg for formula and you’re more likely to want to be discharged. I know that one of the women who was in the bed next to me didn’t want to go home until her Mother got here from Poland.. baby came early and they wanted to chuck her out less than 10 hours after she had given birth).

          I’m horribly cynical (have been since birth according to my Mother so that’s clearly something else you can “catch” from not being breastfed) but it drives me up the wall that Maternity Hospitals keep talking about how important mental health outcomes are to both Mother and Baby but yet they keep doing this stuff. Ignoring my own interesting foray into PnD/Ptsd following childbirth I’ve seen enough cases first hand professionally to know that Maternal mental health can have a proven and horrific effect on a child’s well being especially when compared to the “evidence” supporting breast feeding yet we’re backing the latter whilst actively encouraging harm to the former.

          Why can’t we have a simple system in which women are supported to fed their infants in a way which works for both Mother and Infant? Would probably save money too.

    • Liz Leyden
      January 13, 2016 at 2:31 am #

      What about a mother who is comatose in the ICU?

  22. Kathmid
    January 6, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

    This is pretty standard in any UK maternity unit that has or is working towards BFI accreditation. Not surprised really. The NHS has been tasked with making £22 billion in efficiency savings! In my unit women are no longer sent home with the standard paracetamol and ibuprofen they used to receive, as it costs more for the hospital to supply and dispense than it does for the woman to pick up from the local pharmacy.

    • moto_librarian
      January 6, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

      So are babies not patients in the UK? Because over here, they have to be discharged from the hospital and it seems a tad rich to withhold meals from them simply because they are newborns.

      • Kathmid
        January 6, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

        Women who wish to formula feed are advised antenatally to bring in their own milk and bottles. They are given a sterilising unit for the duration of their stay and shown how to make up bottles etc. If a woman decided that she no longer wishes to breastfeed I do not know of any midwife, nurse or doctor that would withhold formula from a hungry baby.

        • Megan
          January 6, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

          So they can have formula so long as mom gave it the old college try? Sounds a lot like Dr. Becky logic.

        • Sarah
          January 6, 2016 at 4:35 pm #

          Never happened to me, but then my hospital provide food for all patients not just those who aren’t babies. I would not have allowed them to get away with not providing formula to mine in any case.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
      January 6, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

      Because that’s what you want to have to do if you just gave birth..

      Is every new mother required to try breastfeeding, even if she doesn’t want to breastfeed? And what if she WANTS to combo feed because she is going to have to go back to work?

      • Kathmid
        January 6, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

        There is no enforced breastfeeding. If she wants to combo feed then she is still expected to provide her own formula. In my experience the majority of midwives breathe a sigh of relief if someone has already made a decision to formula feed. Not saying I agree, but the NHS has a finite budget and savings have to made across the board.

        • Megan
          January 6, 2016 at 1:47 pm #

          “but the NHS has a finite budget and savings have to be made across the board.”

          Then they ought to make all patients cut costs across the board and have them all provide their own meals, not just one subset of patients.

          • Kathmid
            January 6, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

            The budget per head is already incredibly low. I was told by a dietitian that prisoners are allocated more, per head, than NHS inpatients. Think I’d prefer to provide my own food if that’s the case!

          • Mattie
            January 6, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

            NHS hospital food is nasty =/ some places have a budget of £2 per person per day.

          • Megan
            January 6, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

            That would be your choice then. It’s not being forced on you.

            Sorry, but in my opinion, “that’s just the way the NHS is” is not a good enough reason to me to selectively not provide food only to one group of hospital patients, (babies of mothers who choose to formula feed). If the food is so terrible, how about breastfeeding mothers get takeout and babies can have formula. Everyone should be happy with that, right?

          • Kathmid
            January 6, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

            I’d take Chinese takeaway over reheated cod in parsley sauce with mashed spuds any day of the week!

          • Erin
            January 6, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

            Based on my experience in a Maternity hospital and my Father’s who has been hospitalized a few times recently (he has lung cancer), I will be bringing my own picnic plus hamper should I require a hospital stay in the near future. Cauliflower cheese…. under cooked cauliflower with a tiny nugget of hard cheese lurking under it and lots of runny jelly (me) and cold custard with every meal plus spotted dick with only one spot and a meat pie minus any discernible meat (Dad) has put me off hospital food for ever.

          • Sarah
            January 7, 2016 at 4:33 am #

            And nobody is stopping patients from doing so. But that doesn’t address the point that savings should not be targeted at one group by virtue of their age.

    • crazy grad mama
      January 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

      That reminds me of my experience giving birth in the US: two days post-C-section, I was released from the hospital with prescriptions for ibuprofen and Percocet. The path from the door to the pharmacy at my local Target was the longest walk of my life.

      • Kelly
        January 6, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

        My hospital had a pharmacy in it that allowed me to get my prescriptions there. I still had to pay for it up front but that meant I did not have to go to a store to do it.

      • Mac Sherbert
        January 6, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

        I was discharged after hours and had to find a 24/7 pharmacy. Thankfully, there was one close to the hospital and we were driving. When my DH went in to have it filled the tech said there was something wrong with the prescription and refused to fill it. I sent my husband back in to find out what the problem was and the pharmacist over heard the discussion and filled it. I wasn’t going home after a C-section without pain meds.

      • guest
        January 8, 2016 at 1:27 am #

        They are jerks, aren’t they? I had to send my mother to fill the prescriptions.

    • Sarah
      January 7, 2016 at 4:32 am #

      My local hospital has BFI accreditation. Unfortunately all those within travelling distance do, so I was denied the option of choosing a hospital not subscribing to that particular ideology (so much for choice). However, I’ve always been freely given formula for my babies whilst in postnatal. And my youngest isn’t yet one. So I’m not sure it’s quite standard, fortunately.

      • Kathmid
        January 7, 2016 at 5:12 pm #

        Depends on how far the hospital into it’s accreditation, as it ranges from just registering an intent to go ‘Baby Friendly’ to mothers being questioned to ascertain if mums have been given the ‘correct’ information, and then being reassessed on a regular basis. Giving milk out freely would mean failure at assessment if you have level 3 accreditation . As far as I’m concerned it is a farce, with staff being briefed before assessment on the answers to give. I am certainly not a policy maker but it seems that the powers that be see it as being highly desirable, and likely to become more widespread.

        • Sarah
          January 8, 2016 at 2:10 am #

          It has the full accreditation, but they do give out milk freely. I’m delighted to hear they’re subverting this bullshit system.

  23. AA
    January 6, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

    Let those babies starve-that’ll show them! Those women should know that as soon as a baby is expelled from their uterus, their breasts must be used in the Ways that are Expected.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 6, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

      I said it yesterday: “Better Dead than Formula Fed” is their motto.

  24. demodocus
    January 6, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    I did not feel more or less supported ’cause of how the lady in the next room was feeding her newborn. I’d have felt shy about baring a boob either way if we shared rooms.

  25. Commander30
    January 6, 2016 at 11:53 am #

    “but this latest move is part of a drive to ‘encourage and support’ mums to breastfeed their babies…”

    You can encourage and support something without completely demonizing and/or ignoring the other choice! Ugh, I just HATE this mindset!

    • AirPlant
      January 6, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

      Well I am wearing a red shirt today and I encourage and support you in your innate desire to wear a red shirt too. We all know that it is scientifically proven that red shirts make you 30% less likely to get hit by a car, and I know you love yourself enough to not want that.
      I hear that you are saying that red washes you out and you are more of a spring so you would like to wear a blue shirt if possible, but I think we both know that isn’t the right choice for you. Do you want to be hit by a car? Are you suicidal? What if I give you one of my red shirts to borrow until you can get to target? I promise that we have been over that bedbug problem for days now.
      Plaid does not exist and is an abomination.

      • Mattie
        January 6, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

        I mean, red shirts make you significantly more likely to die on Star Trek so I think you need to be wearing a yellow shirt. I will now do everything I can to ensure you wear a yellow shirt whether you like it or not.

        • AirPlant
          January 6, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

          That is pure propaganda by the yellow/blue shirt lobby. #Doyourresearch. #Openedeyes. #Followthemoney.

        • LeighW
          January 8, 2016 at 10:19 pm #

          Ahh redshirts…. poor bastards

      • Roadstergal
        January 6, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

        We understand if you have a genuine medical _need_ for a different-colored shirt, and might even consider unlocking the non-red shirts in that instance. But really, it’s a suboptimal shirt choice.

        • AirPlant
          January 6, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

          Does anybody really NEED a blue shirt though? There are some great youtube makeup tutorials that can help you make red a good color for you. Really you are just lazy or vain if you want to take the easy way out. #normalizered

          • Megan
            January 6, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

            Only 5% of women really need blue shirts.

          • Deborah
            January 6, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

            Blue shirts cause multiple sclerosis.

          • Megan
            January 6, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

            And obesity and leukemia and diabetes and asthma and allergies and SIDS and being dumb and…

            Plus, blue shirts inhibit bonding.

          • AirPlant
            January 7, 2016 at 9:40 am #

            Blue is a cold color, and distant like the sky. Red is the color of love. Think what message you want to send to the world.

        • Charybdis
          January 6, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

          I am a dark redhead, with pale skin and green eyes. Red does NOT look good on me and really, neither does blue. Can I wear a purple shirt, to combine the two colors?

          • Megan
            January 6, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

            Heavens no! The blue color will destroy the purity of the red!! Only exclusive red wearing will do! Plus, you could always change your hair color or get colored contacts.

          • Roadstergal
            January 6, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

            No! Good lord, do you want your children to suffer shirt confusion?

          • Charybdis
            January 6, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

            Considering DS was a scheduled CS baby, formula fed, a redhead with green eyes and left-handed, I might as well finish the job of screwing him up. Isn’t that some sort of Royal Flush: maternal request CS, formula fed, redheaded, green eyed and left-handed? So wearing a purple shirt while wearing red yoga pants should seal the deal for him being a devastated wreck of a human being, shouldn’t it? /sarcasm

          • AirPlant
            January 6, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

            OMG does formula cause left handedness now? That is, breastfeeding it is come hell or highwater.

          • BeatriceC
            January 6, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

            Is *that* why my oldest is left handed? Those few bottles he got the first couple weeks while we figured out the breastfeeding thing ruined him for life.

            (Never mind that his mother, three of his four grandparents and all but 3 of his 12 biological aunts and uncles are also left handed).

            Wait. I was exclusively breastfed and I’m left-handed. How did that happen?

          • Amy M
            January 7, 2016 at 8:32 am #

            One of my (identical) twins is a leftie, the other is not. Both were formula fed—HOW did this HAPPEN!?!

          • AirPlant
            January 7, 2016 at 9:27 am #

            Well obviously you loved one more than the other.

          • AirPlant
            January 6, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

            Will you really let your vanity dictate such an important decision?

          • Charybdis
            January 6, 2016 at 1:28 pm #

            I might. I really, really, REALLY don’t look good in red shirts. Can I wear my red yoga pants instead?

          • AirPlant
            January 6, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

            You should know that I am a ginger as well and I did not let that stop me. I mean, my red is a light auburn and my eyes are blue, and I actually think I look pretty banging in red but it is totally the same thing.

          • AirPlant
            January 6, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

            That just hurts my heart. Don’t you know that your body was made to wear red? Did your mother never show you how to wear red? It is so terrible that our traditions have not been maintained and the blue shirt lobby was allowed to move in and corrupt that which is most natural.

          • Charybdis
            January 6, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

            I don’t think the blue shirt lobby has had any affect on me….I don’t have blue shirts either. Lots of purple, green and teal shirts, though. Oh, OH, OH…..I have a pink shirt that doesn’t suck. Can I wear it?

          • AirPlant
            January 6, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

            As long as you embroider “I am too weak and vain to wear red” on the front. In red. 🙂

          • Charybdis
            January 6, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

            Like Hester Prynne? Wearing the scarlet lettering?

          • Charybdis
            January 6, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

            And according to my mother, only strumpets, harlots and “ladies of the evening” wear red…..

          • AirPlant
            January 6, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

            Lobbyists got to her. That was very common in the 50s. We know better now. Just the other day I read about a village in Malawi where all the women where red.

        • AirPlant
          January 6, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

          You know, I am just mad that they even mass produce blue shirts. Talk about undermining a woman’s choices! If someone really wants that badly to wear a suboptimal color they should buy the fabric and sew it themselves. That way they know that the shirt is as good as a blue shirt can be.

          • Roadstergal
            January 6, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

            If only lower-income women started wearing red shirts, it would do so much to raise them out of poverty. Sure, they’re harder to get, but isn’t it worth a little effort?

    • LaMont
      January 6, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

      Of course! I mean, some people insist on positive reasons *to* do something when you’re encouraging them to try your idea, but when that’s too hard…

  26. Madtowngirl
    January 6, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    Oh boy, a hospital operating on the argument that women will choose formula simply because it’s available. Seriously people, if a woman wants to breastfeed, she will, even if you place a giant tub if Similac right in front of her. We’re not weak-willed morons.

    I’ve seen many women say that supplementing with formula prior to having their milk come in helped save their breastfeeding relationship. Some of the more sane LCs out there even encourage supplementing while a woman tries to establish her supply. If this happens, isn’t the hospital indirectly harming the breastfeeding relationship?

    • Roadstergal
      January 6, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

      It’s a good point that has been brought up before – about how focus on ‘EBF’ as a metric interferes with breastfeeding long-term overall.

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