Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative: powerful women punishing powerless women for not emulating them

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There are a lot of things wrong with the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), a series of measures designed to promote breastfeeding. Chief among them:

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Whatever happened to maternal choice?[/pullquote]

1. It is shaming, implying that women who choose formula don’t care about their own babies.

2. It is punitive. Women who prefer formula are subjected to hectoring on the benefits of breastfeeding; providers are prevented from using their clinical judgment to recommend supplementation; poor women are deprived of free formula samples; and all women and babies face deadly harm from the closing of newborn nurseries.

3. Worst of all, it doesn’t work; there is no evidence that it improves breastfeeding rates.

However, the ultimate irony is that the BFHI recapitulates the ugliest aspects of patriarchal medical care; it’s about the powerful suppressing the powerless for their own benefit. The breastfeeding industry is overwhelmingly female, white, and relatively well off. Women who choose formula feeding are much more likely to be non-white and poor. Rich white women are trying to force poor black and brown (and white) women to emulate them and punishing them if they won’t.

What’s the difference between doctors banning fathers from the delivery room and lactivists banning babies sleeping in well baby nurseries? There was never any evidence that keeping fathers out of the delivery room had any benefit for babies and there’s no evidence that forcing 24 hour infant rooming in by closing well baby nurseries has any benefit for babies. Fathers were banned from delivery rooms because doctors liked it that way; well baby nurseries are closing because the breastfeeding industry likes it that way.

What’s the difference between doctors mandating enemas in labor and lactation consultants mandating that formula be locked up? Neither benefits babies.

And who benefits from banning gifts of free formula samples? It certainly isn’t mothers since they are losing something valuable to them, and there’s no evidence babies benefit either.

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative represents a profound power imbalance. Lactation consultants believe their motives are pure; they know better than mothers themselves what’s good for babies.

I’ve written before about gender scholars Annandale and Clark. In their widely quoted paper What is gender? Feminist theory and the sociology of human reproduction, they note:

If we conceive of power as a fundamentally male preserve we are led to gloss over ways in which women may exert power over others, including other women…

They are writing about midwives, but the same questions can be asked of lactation professionals. They can’t point to even a single term baby whose life has been saved by exclusive breastfeeding yet they use their power to enforce it within hospital settings. They can’t point to a single healthcare dollar saved by exclusive breastfeeding of term infants, yet they insist on the expenditure of millions of healthcare dollars to promote breastfeeding.

Natural childbirth advocates railed against obstetric paternalism in banning fathers from delivery rooms though doctors believed it to be better that way. They advocated maternal choice and they were right to do so. We are currently approaching an apogee of lactation maternalism when well baby nurseries are being closed in an effort to force mandatory rooming in of infants because lactation consultants believe it to be better that way. Instead we should be advocating and supporting CHOICE.

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative deliberately deprives women of choice, substituting the judgment of lactation consultants for the judgment of mothers. It was wrong when doctors used their power to deprive women of choice and it is just as wrong when the breastfeeding industry uses its power to do the same thing.

  • sara

    As a family practice resident, I was disciplined by hospital brass for offering a mother a pacifier for her baby while the hospital was trying to get Baby Friendly certification. Never mind the fact that even if we are going to force breast feeding, there’s no evidence that a pacifier has any adverse effect on it (and may prevent SIDS).

    Don’t even get me started. In the US, Baby Friendly is a marketing gimmick. It was originally designed for areas where clean water and birth control are not widely available and at a population level, this would make a difference for child spacing and diarrhea related deaths.

    In addition, in that city we cared for a population from a small Asian country who firmly believed in the newborn nursery – that it was unhealthy for a woman who just gave birth to do much infant care herself. Nurses would routinely “tell on” the mothers who had asked for their babies to be removed from rooming-in overnight. And this in one of the most liberal, “culturally sensitive” hospitals in the state…

    Are some of their goals good? Yes – brand name formulas should not be given in hospitals, just like Januvia, the expensive statins, or any other medical product. But the agenda and the way that it is set up (to “ding” the nursing and medical staff for not pushing women hard enough) is patriarchal, and counterproductive.

    • sara

      Also, I was interested in your tongue tie report. We certainly do it a few times a month in clinic when there’s trouble and the family thinks it is related, (seems like sometimes it helps, sometimes not) but I never had even heard of billing for it. I’m pretty sure we just billed a regular well baby visit for that. Had no idea that it was big business. I wonder if administration has any idea that an $800 30 second procedure is going unbilled.

      Just another way that I see that the values of modern medicine and I are essentially incongruous.

  • As a doctor, surely you are aware of the importance of mom (or parent) rooming in with the baby? There is scientific evidence that show the reduction of SIDS due to regulation of breathing and even heart rates. Surely, you’ve seen enough newborns in your career to have observed their erratic breaths?

    Is this a farce? I really can’t tell.

    • guest

      Where are you figures that show SIDS happens in hospital nurseries with attentive nurses who are not trying to “sleep while the baby sleeps”? The recommendation for rooming in does NOT mean that if mom sleeps, the baby must be with her. It means that *if* there is no one else to watch the baby while mom sleeps, it’s better to have baby in the same room. There’s no reason to deny mom (and dad) some rest the first couple of days after delivery.

    • Irène Delse

      Are you saying that new parents aren’t allowed to sleep while at the maternity? Or that it’s the job of a mom to bring someone to watch the baby while she catches a few hours of sleep? What if she is alone and/or can’t afford to hire someone? Do you see the privilege in this kind of assumption? Do you see the trend in hospitals to economise at the detriment of patients, here mothers and babies? No nursery means the costs and work of watching over a newborn is transferred from the hospital to the parents.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      There is scientific evidence that show the reduction of SIDS due to regulation of breathing and even heart rates.

      Cite sources.

      • demodocus

        i wonder what’s the percentage of SIDS in the first few days

    • momofone

      So you support rooming in at all costs? Even when the mother is on pain medication and has no one with her?

    • moto_librarian

      I really want to see some evidence for these claims.

    • AA

      Unfortunately, some infants have had erratic breathing–from exhausted mothers while bedsharing.

      http://www.firstcandle.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Thatch-Deaths-and-Near-Deaths-Bed-Sharing-on-Matermity-Wards.pdf

    • Charybdis

      So what exactly are the Very Important Reasons the baby MUST room in with the mother?

    • DaisyGrrl

      Are you aware of the importance of appropriate help for women who have just given birth? There is scientific evidence that shows babies who are forced to room in with exhausted, medicated mothers are at an elevated risk of suffocation or being dropped (with resultant death and injuries). Surely, you have enough common sense to see that leaving a vulnerable newborn alone in a bed with an exhausted drugged mother is a recipe for disaster?

      Is this a farce? I really can’t tell.

  • Tokyobelle

    Kinda sorta OT, but how would this jive with BFHI in Georgia. It’s a push for hospitals to be more proactive in preventing SIDS incidents by educating parents about the “ABC’s” while still at the hospital.

    http://dph.georgia.gov/blog/2016-02-29/dph-calls-georgia-hospitals-reduce-infant-sleep-related-deaths

  • sdsures

    From what I’ve read on here, in the UK there is no option BUT rooming in, even if you are FFing or combo-feeding. It’s TERRIFYING me because it will not give me a little time to recover and be a better mom after I have a CS.

  • Babychu

    I have given birth in three different hospitals, in two different states, in the last few years and just recently this past Christmas. all “baby friendly”, all csections and I never experienced all this malarkey you are talking about. Non had nurseries but if I needed to all of them were able to take my babies when I needed, to the nurses pod. And all gave me formula and pacifiers on request. And the formula helped me breast feed. Not one mention or guilt trip about formula feeding or cheerleading about breastfeeding. At most I was just asked how I was feeding baby. No judgement from any lactition consultant and I utilized them all three times to correct latch, etc.

    The only problem I ever saw regarding rest was the 50 bajillion times someone was coming into your room to take vitals or empty trash or give medicine. That is why I never got sleep!

    • demodocus

      Good! We like sensible hospitals. My first’s hospital was fine too, though I had a bit of a personality clash with the LC.

    • MaineJen

      I agree; they would come in at midnight and take the baby out for weighing/hearing test/what have you. Then an hour later for my vital signs. Then an hour after that for something else. Sheesh!!

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Hospitals are TERRIBLE places to try to get some sleep. I checked out a day early because, while I could like with the 6 am vital signs, I found being woken up at 6:30, just when I’d gone back to sleep, by someone asking if I wanted any ice to be just a bit too much in the way of “customer service”.

      • Babychu

        Yes! I almost almost lost it one time on someone that just came in to ask if I needed anything.

    • indigosky

      Where are you? That seems to make all the difference. Here in California, it’s breastfeed or be shamed, even in the non baby friendly hospitals.

      • Babychu

        New York City and Georgia

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Hmm. Roosevelt St Lukes by any chance? In NYC, I mean.

          • Babychu

            No, it was NYU Downtown which got swallowed up by New York Presbyterian

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Do you think that those who have reported such problems are lying? Or if they are not lying, that it’s ok that they were treated that way?

      I’m glad your experiences have been good, but they do not negate the negative experiences that others have had, nor make them acceptable.

      • Babychu

        Nope, just never heard of it and never experienced it myselfout of the 3 hospitals I have had kids in. So maybe it’s a hospital culture issue and not necessarily “baby friendly” status. This last one I buzzed the desk to come change diapers, hand me the baby because I couldn’t get out of the bed. And when I had a SOD flare up and needed rest they took her to hang out with them at the nurses station until my mother got there. Just asked if it was okay to give her formula or sugar water. I bet they cussed me, but they were nice.

    • Nick Sanders

      Whether you personally experienced them or not, those are the rules set forth by the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative:
      https://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/get-started/the-guidelines-evaluation-criteria

    • meglo91

      Count yourself lucky then. I am truly glad to hear you never experienced this bs.

    • Lizz

      If you were nursing I don’t expect that you’d have run into a lot of the issues mentioned in the picture up top for example. I realize you said you were supplementing but even that would have been a big issues that follow this strictly such as ones with a waiver system for “unnecessary” supplementation. I wasn’t at a baby friendly per say but I’ve run head long into issues with things like banning the bags or having your head bit off when you tell the nurse you’re formula feeding. In hospitals with staffing issues they really don’t want to hear from you every time you need someone to take the baby or even to help you move around much post surgery.

      I’m one of the people on here who felt the need to lie just to get the LC out of my daughter’s room at the NICU even though I was marked formula feeding on her chart. Your good luck with things may have been that you weren’t in an area with 80-90% exclusive breastfeeding rate and if the nursing pod was fine with watching your baby you weren’t in an overly packed OB unit.
      I never found the vital checks very annoying because I learned how to sleep through them but being asked in a total daze if you want and know what your meds are(I’m sure there’s a safety reason somewhere for it but it sucks at 4AM) was truly awful.

    • Hannah

      Count your lucky stars.

  • BeatriceC

    Random conversation at the ice arena today:

    Another mother and I were talking about various things, and the topic of body piercing came up. I mentioned my ears hurt way more than my nipples, but then wondered if that had anything to do with the fact that I nursed/pumped for three (four really, but the fourth was unintentional) babies. She laughed and said she wouldn’t know, her daughters are formula fed. The kid in question is a high level figure skater at the ripe old age of 7 (high for her age: she’s not yet into the national competition stuff yet), smarter than most kids I know, is almost never sick, skates about 4 hours per day and is generally a joy to be around.

    • momofone

      Wow, just think what she could have been if she’d been breastfed!

  • Madtowngirl

    It occurred to me that feeding a child formula is much like an adult drinking a nutrition shake. Both provide adequate nutrition that you could get from other sources, but no one ever screams about how nutrition shakes are poison. In fact, dieters are often encouraged to use them as meal replacements. They’re even made by “big pharma.”

    • Health Nut

      And as it were, they are also a bad way to lose weight long-term, and they often come with warnings that they aren’t supposed to be the only thing you consume. Your argument underappreciates both breast milk and whole foods.

      No one is saying that formula is poison, because it’s not – it doesn’t kill all babies that consume it. What research clearly shows is that formula is inferior as a source of infant nutrition and that using it also carries risks of the child getting sick. There are many degrees between ‘poison’ and ‘the same as breastmilk’. ‘Not poison’ does not equate to ‘same as breastmilk’. Setting the bar for formula at ‘not poisonous’ seems ridiculously low.

      • DaisyGrrl

        What research are you referring to? The best studies available seem to show that breastfeeding healthy term babies protects against colds and gastric upset, but not much else. Many studies don’t address confounders adequately and thus give the appearance of breast milk being super magical.

        Breast milk is clearly superior for preemies, but other than that, the evidence seems to be equivocal.

      • Megan

        “it doesn’t kill all babies that consume it”

        Can you name ANY term baby it’s killed?

        • Steph858

          Jiao Zizhou.

          • demodocus

            Little Zizhou was one of the victims of that Chinese scandal a few years back? That was a bloody travesty.
            However, I suspect Megan was refering, as most of the commenters and Dr. T. were, to developed nations with high quality control, not nations where people often bring foreign formula back from overseas holidays. http://breastfeedingwithoutbs.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-white-gold-rush-why-chinese.html

          • Steph858

            Oops, looks like I forgot to use the tags. I was trying to subtly (too subtly, it would seem) make the point that good quality unadulterated formula is so far from the poison that woos claim it to be that it takes the outright addition of poison to the formula by corrupt CEOs to make it into actual poison – that is, something that will kill a term baby.

            The story also shows, IMHO, the importance of regulating and ensuring access to good quality unadulterated formula (and the water needed to make it up) for people in developing countries – that’s what we should be concentrating on, not pushing breastfeeding at all costs.

            This is one case where I disagree with Amnesty International; if ever there was a case where the death penalty was justified, this was that case.

          • Azuran

            Really? you are bringing up China as your proof? Like, one of the worst country in the world when it come to human rights and one of the most corrupt one?
            Find a baby that died from real baby formula that was well prepared formula and made with clean water. Not some baby poisoned by a corrupt Chinese industry.

          • Amazed

            Eliza Jane Scovill… wait, it was breastfeeding that killed her, wasn’t it? Or her mother’s refusal to even try and give her better chances of not getting AIDS prenatally. Either way, she was killed very naturally. Isn’t it your trump card? Proselytizing about natural on the very unnatural internet.

      • Isilzha

        But breastfeeding HAS killed and/or sickened plenty of babies usually when women have bought into the whole “formula is death” claptrap and refuse to recognize that their milk supply is inadequate to support life.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym


        What research clearly shows is that formula is inferior as a source of
        infant nutrition and that using it also carries risks of the child
        getting sick.

        What studies would those be and what exactly did they show and in what population? The benefits in term infants are minimal and the causal connection dubious.

      • Daleth

        Cite the supposed research, please. Otherwise you’re making unsupported claims.

        Also, FYI, formula does not harm babies in the slightest. True, mixing powdered formula with polluted water is harmful, but ready-to-drink formula doesn’t carry that risk.

      • Michele

        Nutrition shakes also are used when people are getting inadequate nutrition from other sources of food. For example, medical nutritional shakes kept my dad alive when his Crohn’s disease flared and he couldn’t keep most “whole food” down. Much like formula helps babies who would be getting inadequate nutrition from breastmilk. Infant formula isn’t the equivalent of a can of Slim Fast, it’s the equivalent of a specialized medical nutritional drink that is designed to be either supplemental -or- sole-source nutrition for an adult.

      • Roadstergal

        “they are also a bad way to lose weight long-term”

        Well, yes. Babies losing weight is a bad, bad thing.

        “inferior as a source of infant nutrition”

        It’s slightly inferior to abundant, nutritionally dense breastmilk from a woman with no health, time, or emotional issues around feeding and a baby who can efficiently extract it.

        Anything else, it’s not inferior.

        Tell me, what other substance on earth is as close to ideal breast milk as formula is?

      • Sarah

        There are very definitely people saying formula is poison. You’re right that it’s not, but that doesn’t stop people claiming otherwise. Google it.

  • Megan

    Somewhat OT: tried to search for resources re:combo feeding tonight and literally every link is about how you’ll ruin breastfeeding if you supplement. My plan was just to put baby on the breast and then if she seemed hungry give formula. I know the amounts of formula suggested if you are EFF but wasn’t sure what amounts are suggested for combo feeding. Anyone have any specifics or good resources for this? It’s so frustrating that everything has to be littered with breastfeeding propaganda. I know there are plenty of cultures who do pre-lacteal feeds, for instance. Where is the guidance on this?

    • Mishimoo

      I wasn’t able to find guidance on it either when I was looking to try combo-feeding my youngest, but I tried 50ml at a time because that was the smallest amount to easily make up at a time (1 scoop per 50mL of water) and let him self-regulate based on the idea that if he was hungry, he would eat. Of course, he had other ideas which involved breastfeeding to 9 months and violently refusing formula, along with demanding solids at 4 months, but at least I tried.

      • Megan

        Our formula is one scoop for one ounce so I guess I could do that. I wasn’t sure if that was a good amount. I guess it’s just trial and error. Man, wouldn’t it be nice if it were possible to get education on this topic in the hospital??

        • BeatriceC

          When my oldest was a newborn my mother all but forced me to use a little bit of formula to calm him down while he learned how to latch. If I recall, I used about a half an ounce then tried to latch. Sometimes that was enough. If he was still wailing and frustrated then I’d give him another half an ounce. He could almost always latch after the second half ounce. Then he’d nurse until he was in a food coma.

        • Sarah

          Of course not, that would UNDERMINE MAGIC BREASTFEEDING.

      • Young CC Prof

        During my son’s first few months, I had to measure his bottles carefully because he had the stomach of a smaller-than-newborn baby and the appetite of a velociraptor. If I let him eat as much as he wanted, he’d vomit all of it back up. But if I cut him off too soon, he’d wake up hungry again even sooner, and I’d get no sleep at all.

        So, (things first-time parents do) we got a kitchen scale and a box of tiny flip-top containers almost like film containers. And I would measure the formula into the containers, by the gram, so I could make up bottles in any size I wanted and increase his feeding size 5mL at a time.

        It wasn’t as crazy as it sounds, it only took about 20 minutes to portion out a whole can of formula, and then we could make bottles really fast for the rest of the week.

    • Young CC Prof

      insufficientbreastfeedingdangers.blogspot.com

      By a doctor whose own son was severely harmed due to lack of timely supplementation. The links on the right bar of her blog are guidelines for weighing, weight loss and supplementation. They aren’t validated by a committee of any kind, but that’s because even AAP isn’t brave enough to publish something like this.

      Newbornweighttool.org is a calculator for determining whether baby has lost too much weight during the first few days of life. Weight loss is the most reliable objective measure of intake.

      Those resources are both aimed at preventing harm from insufficient milk during the first few days. Don’t have great resources for after that beyond the WHO growth charts, of course.

      • Megan

        Good call. I had totally forgotten about that even though I was lauding her feeding plan here not so long ago! I didn’t notice if it contained specific suggestions for how much to give so I will have to check it again when I’m on my computer and not my phone. Thanks!

        • Young CC Prof

          For a little supplementation during the first few days, 10 mL seems to work, unless your baby needs more due to something like low blood sugar. That’s what the researchers who found that early limited supplementation improves breastfeeding success found. Again, no strong evidence here, because this research is of the devil.

          • Megan

            So maybe I’ll make up an ounce at a time, give about half and store the other half in the fridge for next feed. I suppose I could draw up 10 mL in a syringe too…

          • demodocus

            Why fuss with a syringe?

          • Megan

            Because my bottles don’t have 1/3 ounce markings. I don’t know how else I’d measure 10 mL. That’s why I also mentioned just doing 1/2 ounce. I doubt it’d make much difference, 10 vs 15 mL, right?

          • demodocus

            I doubt it (though I can’t *know*). Megling will surely let you know when she’s full.

          • Babychu

            Because they don’t interfere with latch learning if she wants to breastfeed too.

          • demodocus

            Megan says it’s beause she wants to be precise on measurements, no mention that she’s concerned about nipple confusion. i was just wondering why she specifically was thinking about it.

          • Young CC Prof

            For a brand-new baby, it might be better to buy the ready-to-feed, especially if you’re going to be doing this in the hospital where you don’t have access to a dishwasher.

          • Bombshellrisa

            What about the tiny nursettes that are available? They were so helpful when my son was born. Ready to serve just shake and put on a nipple. They have marks to measure how much you have give too. Later you can get the similac ready to feed in a big bottle. That stuff made going out so easy for us. I just put one of those, a nipple and a burp rag next to the diaper and pack of travel wipes in my purse. Didn’t even need a diaper bag.

    • Babychu

      Sounds like your plan is good. Just go by your gut. Weight loss is a big indicator, fussing not always, but if they go to breast and seem fussy afterward or at the breast try burping or if not they might be hungry still. If they aren’t swallowing anything, sometime you can hear it. I combo fed three kids this last one just for a day in the hospital because I was sick with a GI problem but now she is breastfed only and fine.

      Babies have really small bellies at first so if you really want to BF, try that first it might be good enoug, if not 1 oz of formula or a half of that. takes a few days for your supply to come in but if your not nursing before then or stop at least pump. Mine took 3 days ish.

      But

    • Allie P

      YES! I couldn’t find any either, and not the hospital, OB, or any of the THREE LCs who gave me dire warnings about the behavior were able to help me out. My pediatrician and I finally worked out what you are describing, basically. I would feed the baby first. If she was still hungry, I’d give a bottle of 2 ounces. If she was not hungry, I would not give a bottle. If I was exhausted/sore/nursed out I would have my partner give a bottle. Some days she got no bottles. She went from being about 6 weeks old to about 3 months old with no bottles at all. We are still combo feeding at 8 months. I have read accounts where once the women went back to work, the baby would get formula at day care during the day, but she would still do night feedings (and she would not pump). What works for you. Think of it this way: you aren’t measuring amounts for your breastfed baby, so think of it as just “topping her off” with whatever formula she might need on top of your breastmilk day to day. Good luck!

      • Allie P

        Also wanted to add that I have no idea how one makes a 1/3 of an ounce of formula. The ready to feed come in no smaller than 2 oz bottles, and all formula instructions/scoops are for making 2 ounces at least.

        FWIW: we use almost exclusively RTF enfamil. If you subscribe and save at Target it’s almost as cheap as buying the powder. (Still more expensive than generic brands, but since we’re only supplementing it ends up costing about $30/month)

        • Babychu

          The have syringes or bottles that measures in milliliters. You can make the amount a head and measure out the rest or eyeball 1/3 of an ounce.

    • Allie P

      Also: while I suppose there are some babies who can get nipple confused, I think generally it’s a myth. The syringes and SNS were IMO, a messy wasteful torture device.

    • Hannah

      The Momtivist Facebook page. She literally has a protocol for combo feeding so mums get at least 5 hours of sleep consecutively in a day.

  • samsaunt

    While I’m not fond of the BFHI I want people to know that their babies do not sleep for the most part when they go to the nursery. Babies are awake at night, it’s normal, it’s how they are programmed. Before we dropped the nursery (more of an issue to save money on staffing than anything) there would often be 15-22 babies in the nursery during the night, many of them screaming their brains out and 2, count them 2 nurses taking care of them. Can you say assembly line?? There is an increased risk for mistakes, missed feedings, cross infection, (can I tell you how many times staff would go from crib to crib without washing hands just to quiet the babies?) I have no problem in offering a respite nursery so mom can sleep a couple of hours but by no means should babies be spending 8 hours/night separated from their mothers in a nursery. But guess what, staffing levels most often do not allow for even that.
    And please know that I am not giving this author any credence once so ever, what she posts is inflammatory and many times ignorant.

    • Chi

      She’s an OB who has worked in multiple hospitals and seen the rise of the baby-friendly initiative and yet she’s ignorant??? She has posted links to studies that show that babies have DIED when moms are forced to room-in with their babies.

      Troll corner is over there. Go sit with Brooke, you two should get along famously.

      • samsaunt

        She let her medical license lapse in 2003, does that make her any kind of authority?

        • Who?

          Do you think her brain was automatically emptied of all her learning and experience at that point?

          If Dr T was advocating a position you agreed with you would be crowing about a Harvard obgyn agreeing with you.

          • samsaunt

            People like you are the activists and pushers. I have no problem how mom chooses to feed her baby. I don’t push them one way or the other but I do educate and support them in caring for their babies and if they want to breastfeed I help with that too. But I have worked in this environment for 30 years and have seen changes come and go but I am glad to see more moms and babies together. There has to be a balance somewhere. Do I think we are cruel to our new moms/babies? Yes, but separating them and having that all night nursery environment is not the way to go.Not having hourly rounds where they are constantly being woken up would help tremendously. Not having so many routines that don’t take sleep into account would help as well. Having a full, poorly staffed nursery is downright dangerous.

          • Chi

            I was told I was poisoning my child, stunting her growth, tanking my own supply, that I didn’t try hard enough, that I had to push through the pain, that the depression was all in my head, that I needed to pump more, etc etc etc.

            But sure. Those of us who advocate for mothers to have ALL the information (such as how to safely prepare formula, how dangerous homebirth is, that c-sections aren’t the devil, that co-sleeping can be dangerous for babies etc) instead of being forced into ONE choice by the ones providing care for both baby AND baby’s mom, sure we’re the pushy ones.

            And by the way we’re not suggesting babies go to the nursery ALL night, that’s unreasonable as both breastfed and formula fed babies do still need to eat fairly regularly, but a COUPLE of hours so mom can grab a nap? Surely that’s not unreasonable.

          • rh1985

            The nurses formula fed my daughter in the nursery overnight. They were happy to do so, since I was not in a very good condition when she was born.

          • Who?

            I’m sorry you apparently didn’t read my first response to your original comment. We in fact agree on the major issues, but you are a white knight and I am an activist and a pusher. Both of which you seem to think are pejorative terms.

            And now we apparently have to hate anyone who says a word not in pure harmony with our position.

            Very sensible.

          • Amy

            So you think separating them is cruel. Is the hospital FORCING women to leave the babies in the nursery? Or does it leave it up to the women?

            See, I think forcing an exhausted post-operative patient to care for a newborn with basically no help and no sleep is what’s cruel.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Not having hourly rounds where they are constantly being woken up would help tremendously.

            Sorry, but no. Hourly rounds to note if the patient has any problems save lives. Patients don’t have to be woken, but someone needs to check frequently to make sure that people who are on opiates or whoozy from blood loss or just exhausted haven’t fallen out of bed or had other problems. Like, say, falling asleep with the baby in bed and being at risk of suffocating them. Patients do not have to be woken during these rounds–I never once woke when the nurse came into my room to check on me, for example–but they need to be done and documented.

            Do I think we are cruel to our new moms/babies? Yes, but

            Once you’ve agreed that a policy is cruel, the next word should not be “but”.

          • BonBon

            You’ve worked in the environment and you’re advocating against hourly rounds? You’d let an hour lapse without checking in on your post-partum patients? Are you kidding? A huge crowd of doctors, nurses and students etc. aren’t going around every hour on the hour 24/7 waking up Moms and unnecessarily poking and prodding them – your nurse can often check in on you without waking you up. Your vitals are taken as per doctors orders. Some patients might require more frequent monitoring than others. If that’s case for you, your doctor has ordered it for a reason, based on your individual health condition(s).

        • Chi

          Just because she’s not actively practicing doesn’t mean she loses her title of ‘doctor’. She earned her medical degree and I’m sure she still knows a hell of a lot more about the subject than you.

          You are a walking lactivist bingo card. You believe in the ‘biological norm’ the ‘if moms were more educated it would be eaaaaaaasy’ and of course the ‘hospitals are in it to make money’ fallacies.

          Guess what? LC’s and midwives are in it for the money too.

          Taking away options like formula or the respite nursery is NOT giving mothers a choice. I don’t know how much more clearly I can spell that out. It’s forcing them to capitulate to what YOU think is best for them and their babies and YOU have no right to make that decision for THEM!

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Since you brought it up with the implication that only an active, practicing OB has any authority in this situation, perhaps you could tell us where you are licensed to practice medicine and when you last passed the OB boards.

        • Isilzha

          Yes, she has education (generally 10+ years in college), she practiced as a doctor, she taught at Harvard, and, she’s had kids of her own (that doesn’t really matter or we’d prevent men from becoming OBs). But, nah, you’d rather think someone with a high school education, who took a crappy correspondence “course”, and watched a birth or two is an actual authority on the subject.

        • Sarah

          Yes. Next question.

    • Who?

      Just as babies are awake at night, sometimes they are also crying, day or night, and not particularly susceptible to being comforted. When everyone’s home, the family has to deal with that-surely in hospital, if mum needs a break, she can get one.

      I take your point about infection and errors, and agree that seems more like a staffing issue than anything else.

      It’s cheaper for hospitals to not provide the service you describe as ‘respite’ and it happens to suit a particular current view around the value and importance of breastfeeding.

      Recognising that and calling it out is fair enough. Maybe in the end people will have to pay a little more to be provided with a little more service. Care as a commodity is an increasing feature of our corporatised world.

    • Bombshellrisa

      I know they don’t sleep, that is why I wish I could have sent them to the nursery!

      • Inmara

        Preach! What I remember from my hospital stay is three nights full of desperate attempts to soothe crying baby so we don’t disturb other moms and babies in our room; all while I had 2 hours of sleep a day (in the 4-6 AM hours when baby finally fell asleep). He was sleeping during the day but I couldn’t because of check-ups, visitors and having to take care of myself. If only I could give him to nurses and get at least another 2-3 hours! But in our floor there was no nursery at all, and I was too sheepish to demand that I get that option.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Your hospital failed to properly staff it’s nursery so the solution is to force 15 – 20 mothers who would like a nursery to go without?

      That’s an odd business model.

      “We have too many people who want to use our service. Therefore, shut it down.”

    • swbarnes2

      I don’t know how many people here are suggesting leaving the baby in the nursery for 8 hours, but maybe if Charlotte Bevin’s kid had been in a nursery for 8 hours so the mother could rest…

      But it’s not just about sleep, it’s about treating the mother like she is a patient herself, not a piece of inexplicably demanding support equipment for the real patient.

    • Rachele Willoughby

      Brilliant! Why trust our precious babies to understaffed nurses when they could instead be cared for by exhausted women on opiates who are often recovering from surgery?

    • furious

      A couple hours of sleep… after hours of labor or a c-section (which you would, no doubt, describe as major surgery when trying to talk women out of it). Two or three hours of sleep… Tell me, if someone has their appendix removed, how many hours of sleep do they get? If someone has any other type of surgery other than a c-section, what sort of work does the hospital put them to as soon as they’re out of the surgical theater? What other patients are only allowed a few hours sleep before putting in many hours of childcare WORK? Or would you say that taking care of a newborn is not work?

      • Michele

        …or hours of labor AND then a c-section

      • guest

        I slept 14 or 16 hours a day the first two days after my appendix was removed. The pain meds had that effect on me.

    • Monkey Professor for a Head

      If an adult hospital ward was understaffed, and someone suggested that, instead of improving staffing, patients or their families should take up the slack, there would (rightfully) be outrage.

    • CSN0116

      My hospital had no problem carting my newborns off at 9 pm and having me pick them up around 7 am. The nurses would come lurking around 9, encouraging me to get sleep and assuring that baby was in good hands. I gratefully waved bye-bye. It was such NON trouble for them that they came ASKING ME if I wanted the relief. Why, yes. Yes I did. Five babies all got shipped off for 10 hours every night they were in the hospital 😀

    • indigosky

      And why is the hospital not properly staffed? Why is the mother, A PATIENT, required to be doing the job of the nurses?

    • Allie

      It’s “whatsoever,” not “once so ever.” Also, that should be two sentences, or at least separated by something stronger than a comma.

    • MaineJen

      Why is the hospital not willing to provide more qualified staff? Why are mothers and babies the first to suffer when the hospital needs to cut its budget? Your post horrifies me, but not in the way you intended.

    • rh1985

      My baby spent 8 hours in the nursery at night, every night during my 5 day hospital stay, and we had no trouble at all bonding. I was very ill when she was born, and had surgery, and truly needed uninterrupted sleep to recover. What about the mom who needs more than two or three hours of sleep if she is going to be well enough to care for her baby once they go home? Shouldn’t that be the goal of the hospital stay – let mom recover so she is able to care for her baby at home? Not deprive her of sleep to the point where she isn’t able to recover at all before going home?

      There weren’t very many babies in the nursery (because nursery use for BF babies was strongly discouraged, and most moms were trying to BF). She got a lot of attention from the nurse since there were so few babies in there. They bathed her a couple of times before bringing her back because there were only a couple babies in there, so they had the time to do that.

      Oh, and she slept in her own room too from the day I brought her home. I can’t sleep with a baby in the same room as me. I just get started wide awake by every little sound. So she was only with me every three hours when she woke up to eat.

      • sdsures

        “Oh, and she slept in her own room too from the day I brought her home. I can’t sleep with a baby in the same room as me. I just get started wide awake by every little sound. So she was only with me every three hours when she woke up to eat.”

        Quite understandable!

    • Sarah

      Whereas leaving babies with exhausted mothers who’ve just given birth and barely slept has no potential for mistakes at all, of course. The solution to these ‘problems’ you highlight would be better training and practice in the well baby nurseries, not forcing women to care for newborns regardless of whether they’re fit to do so.

    • Allie P

      My baby was sleeping fine, she was just coughing up amniotic fluid every few minutes, so I wasn’t sleeping, because I was so afraid she’d choke. two hours of sleep (between their recommended feeding schedule) made all the difference to me.

    • guest

      “by no means should babies be spending 8 hours/night separated from their mothers” What, not even when mom is in ICU or seriously ill? Now NICU babies should be removed from lifesaving treatment so that they aren’t “separated” from their mothers?

      • OBRNC

        Now that is just an idiotic statement. Those situations are totally different than a healthy mom and baby.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          So babies of sick mothers develop superpowers that allow them to be separated from their mothers, but babies with healthy mothers can not be separated or…or what, actually? Can you look at a kindergarten class and pick out the children who roomed in as newborns from those who spent time in the nursery?

        • Charybdis

          So you’re saying that if you have a healthy mom and baby, they can’t be separated so the mom can get some uninterrupted sleep? What is the reasoning behind this edict?

          • Irène Delse

            Yeah, I don’t understand. First the advocates of BFHI tell women that rooming in is easy, they can sleep when the baby sleep; then when people complain that you can’t really do that, hey presto, now rooming in is justified by watching over baby’s sleep and breathing, which means mothers can’t sleep at all!

    • momofone

      “but by no means should babies be spending 8 hours/night separated from their mothers in a nursery”

      You can absolutely decide that when you are the mother and the baby is yours. Otherwise, not up to you.

    • Daleth

      Before we dropped the nursery (more of an issue to save money on staffing than anything)

      Thanks for admitting that. The BFHI is BS–just a way to cut costs while pretending it’s good for babies and mothers.

    • rosewater1

      Excuse me? I work in a hospital nursery. Your post is unbelievably offensive and inaccurate. Yes, babies do sleep in the nursery. Yes, some fuss. No, they are NOT LEFT TO SCREAM OR CRY. If they can’t be soothed, they are taken back to the mother. Feedings are carefully charted. Cross infection? Show me the statistics.

      In terms of inflammatory ignorant posts? Pot meet kettle.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      That sounds like an argument for better staffing, not closing the nursery. Maybe it’s time to stop with the ridiculous “cost-cutting” measures and just accept that medicine is expensive and we need to use a lot of resources to do it right.

    • fiftyfifty1

      Weird. That was not my experience at all. The babies in the nursery mainly slept at night. Sure, they woke sometimes, but they weren’t constantly awake. When they woke, they got a bottle and went back to sleep, or if they were breastfeeding got taken in to the mother to be fed and then brought back. I never once saw a baby scream its brains out…

      Besides, if newborns were constantly awake all night long as you imply, that would be all the more reason to provide a staffed nursery, no? Many women have already missed an entire night’s sleep while in labor. To have them miss 2 or 3 in a row is a recipe for psychosis. Literally.

    • Irène Delse

      When I was born, my mother passed out from exhaustion shortly afterwards and spent more than 8 hours sleeping. Thankfully, this was a time when hospitals could afford a large staff and the nurses let her sleep as long as she needed, only bringing the baby in when she was fully awake and aware.

      At least this commentator says it frankly: the push to close nurseries is largely about making economies.

      Though I wonder also about lawsuit avoidance: if a SIDS death occurs while the baby is in the same room as an exhausted mother it’s tragic but the hospital can’t be taken to court for failure to monitor the baby, since that job is now on the parents’s shoulders…

  • Megan

    Update: CS is scheduled now for Thursday morning. I was allowed to go home on labetalol and I’m resting most of the time and resisting the urge to do too much around the house. Trying to enjoy the precious time I have left with my daughter as an only child. I get teary eyed (OK, flat out crying sometimes too) at the thought of how much I’ll miss her while I’m in the hospital for 2-3 days.

    Oh and as a slightly on topic aside, I will be taking my own formula to the hospital and plan to supplement til my milk comes in. Since little lady will be delivered at 37 weeks I hold no illusions that my milk will come in quickly, if at all. This baby will not be allowed to lose so much weight like my older daughter did.

    • Monkey Professor for a Head

      Best of luck for Thursday!

    • Chi

      Good luck. Hope it all goes well for you ^_^

    • Mishimoo

      Good luck! Snuggle your kiddo a bit extra, it’ll help. Try not to feel bad about crying, it’s normal. When I went in to have my second baby, I printed out recommended portion sizes and wrote out the eldest’s daily schedule along with a list of her favourite things and foods, just in case things didn’t go as planned. It really helped me feel better and less anxious, and helped her have an easier time while I was away.

      • Megan

        Thank you! I did write out a detailed schedule for my sister in law, who will be watching her. She has watched her a lot so I totally trust her, which will help my anxiety. I think overall I’m just sad that the relationship DD and I have is about to change. I know she will probably love her sister (and obviously, so will I) but I will miss our seemingly unlimited one on one time. Hubby knows that it is very important to me that I maintain at least some special time with her though and is committed to helping me with that. Actually it’s one of the reasons I’m combo feeding…

        • Mishimoo

          The one-on-one time is important, and it’s not selfish or favoritism to enjoy it. So glad your hubby understands and supports it! Mine does too and it really makes life easier. (Along with making sure I get some me-time)

        • Roadstergal

          It’s so funny to think back on all of these things. My mom had a special relationship with each of us – she didn’t love me any less than my oldest sister, but she definitely had a different _kind_ of relationship with my oldest sister than she had with me. I would struggle to put it into words.

          Hope it all goes smoothly!

    • Good luck!

    • PeggySue

      Good luck! Wishing all of you well!

    • Bombshellrisa

      Don’t forget to pack some good moisturizer and lip balm. Hospitals make your skin dry out! So happy your newest tea party buddy is going to be here soon.

  • firsttimemom

    May I ask a slightly off-topic question regarding this post? I am going to be delivering at a hospital that is not baby friendly, but has no nursery though the nurses will take them for a few hours if needed and “highly-encourages” breastfeeding though I was told during my tour that they support formula feeding – after I listen to a lecture and sign a form that petty much states formula will kill my newborn and the hospital is not liable for that.

    How do I:
    1) Get them to not do the lecture, or to ignore them?
    2) Get them to not make me sign the form and still get formula?
    3) Keep the LCs and nurses from harassing me?
    4) Get them to actually take my baby if I need them too?

    I am highly confrontational and have no tact, but fear my lack of giving an eff will disappear while on an epidural and hormonal from birth.

    • lawyer jane

      Wait, you actually have to sign a waiver of liability to get formula?? OMG. I would just bring my own formula and tear up their form. Put a sign on your door that says LCs are not invited and just tell them to go away if they come in.

      • Who?

        This. Maybe make a paper crane or something else useful or attractive with the form? Shame to waste paper.

        • demodocus

          Paper airplane

          • Who?

            That would work too. But then if you throw it you can’t get it back-oh silly me, you can get up and walk, right? You’ve only just had a baby!!!

            How are you doing?

          • demodocus

            taking a break from trying to dig my driver’s license out of the portable ac unit. So far I’ve pulled 2 old bus passes, my quilt guild membership card, and a business card. Toddlers.

          • Who?

            Love toddlers…

          • BeatriceC

            Most of my “can you believe he did that!” stories from when my boys were toddlers start with “Well, I had to go to the bathroom”. It’s amazing how much trouble the little shits can get into in such a short amount of time.

          • demodocus

            yeah, i fell asleep by accident 1st trimester, only just found his stash

          • Who?

            Highly developed fine motor skills. He’s obviously very advanced.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I’m dreading the day that minimonkey learns how to escape his playpen. No more solo bathroom trips for me then.

          • Bombshellrisa

            It’s true, you will never use the toilet alone. I actually put mine in the tub (no water) and let him play with his toys in there while I closed the curtain and used the toilet. It was the only way to make sure he was safe.

          • Kelly

            Yes! My middle child has flooded the bathroom, eaten the powdered formula for the baby, and gotten into the butt cream all in one day. When I sat down to recover during their naps, I found out that my oldest ate all my chocolate while I was cleaning up the water. I almost cried. My first one was so easy…

          • Bombshellrisa

            I am howling here! Today my two year old got into the butt paste while I cleaned off my contact lens. There was a piece of fuzz on it and it felt like a dagger in my eye. When I got that situation under control, I realized that it was quiet, and his bedroom door was shut. He had squeezed butt paste all over his jeans and his hands. Since he has woken up from his nap, he has run over the 1 inch by 1 inch square of brownie I gave him (he has a cozy coupe), tried to throw the entire bottle of laundry detergent into the dryer while he was helping me load it and hidden my car keys under the seat of his Thomas the tank ride on. He also tried to dump to my bottle of Chinese five spice onto his dad’s chair and get the bottle of tonic water out of the fridge so he could have some. Sigh.

          • Who?

            Oh dear. Toddlers. There are some things I really don’t miss. The endless washing and cleaning up are two of those things.

          • Kelly

            That makes me feel so much better. As I am telling my friends this I feel like maybe I am at fault for not watching her enough. When she gets caught she just smiles at me too. It is so cute and devilish at the same time. The other day, she threw out all the eggs on the floor and then later that day, we ended up finding an egg in a cup in the cupboard. She is lucky she is cute otherwise I might have to sell her.

          • BeatriceC

            The very survival of the species depends upon toddlers being too cute to strangle.

          • Who?

            Funny, and true.

          • Mishimoo

            What is it about eggs?! My nearly 3 year old loves bringing them to me ever so carefully like he’s giving me a present, which is nicer than his older sisters who smashed them for the dogs.

          • Kelly

            I don’t know. This is the first time that either of them have gotten into them but I have had to stop buying chocolate in front of them because they search until they find them. When I had my third I kept saying how much easier it was then going from one to two but now I am in the thick of it, I feel like I am going crazy.

          • Mishimoo

            I have to hide my chocolate too!! It’ll get better, especially when the youngest starts going to kindy or daycare. It really has made a huge difference to my energy levels and patience, and I no longer feel over-stressed even though I’m studying while they’re out. You really need and deserve some me-time, it makes mothering easier.

          • BeatriceC

            Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I still have to hide my stash of treats, and my kids are 16, 14, and 13. I have shelves in my bedroom closet where I stash the mommy treats. We call it the “Cookie Protection Program”, though it covers more than just cookies.

          • Kelly

            I am so glad to hear that because I seem to hear all the problems parents with older children have and it has made me feel like it will never get better. I am taking a class right now and it is so nice to go early and do what I want for an hour. I have told my husband that even when this class ends, I am still taking a night where I can do what I want for a few hours. It has been quite refreshing.

          • Mishimoo

            Mine are 9,7, and nearly 3. I think we lucked out temperament-wise because even though they’re extroverts, they’re really easy-going and happy to play with each other instead of needing direction. They’re also mostly polite and try to be considerate. So even though I have to enforce boundaries and make sure they’re kind to each other at times, it’s easier than I thought it was going to be. I even find the sassing from the eldest amusing at times (though I do tell her off when she’s being overtly rude or inconsiderate) because it’s nice that my kids feel safe enough to be rude or cheeky instead of fearing me. I do expect the teenage years to be a lot tougher because they always are.

          • demodocus

            That’s my boy, easygoing extrovert. His little sister’s is, of course, still unknown.

          • BeatriceC

            Wait until they spray your kitchen floor with cooking oil so they can “skate”.

          • Mishimoo

            Or share the water from the fishtank with the cat and the dogs. Somehow, none of them got sick.

          • demodocus

            he likes carrying them about for some reason. Raw of course. *shakes head*

          • Kq

            I firmly belive children are cute – especially when asleep – so we don’t twist their darling little heads off in frustration.

            I also believe this is true of husbands.

          • Hannah

            I worry I am totally negligent, too. Glad to see I am not alone.

          • momofone

            When my son was three, he got a bicycle for his birthday. He also had pinkeye, so we managed to get in to see the doctor before his office closed for a long weekend (Easter, maybe?), then made it to the pharmacy just before it closed. I went to the bathroom and walked into his bedroom to find him proudly polishing his bike with the whole tube of eye ointment. Around the same time he ate part of a tube of diaper rash cream and we had to call the poison control center. We began to doubt whether the hospital should have let us take him home without adult supervision.

          • Hannah

            Yesterday my 20 month old:

            *Pulled the dog biscuits out of the cleaning pantry, poured them all over the floor and started eating one in the time it took me to pee.
            *Found a watercolor pencil and drew over our entire hallway walls in the time it took me to empty the top dishwasher drawer.
            *Poured two cups of uncooked quinoa all over the kitchen. I am yet to work out how she got them off the MIDDLE OF THE KITCHEN ISLAND while I got a saucepan out of the drawer.
            *Climbed on top of her diaper table 0184yt5081 times.
            *Blocked her daddy on my phone somehow resulting in him spending two hours on the phone to T-Mobile with all their ‘best minds’ troubleshooting why he and only he was blocked until I cottoned on and suggested that might be the issue.
            *Put every measuring spoon we own inside the subwoofer that has been moved to the kitchen so she doesn’t use it to climb onto the top of her KidKraft play kitchen.

            That’s one day. And my husband wonders why I want to enroll her in preschool.

          • Kelly

            Yikes! I have determined that kids like this are scary smart in a street smart way. I bet they will do well if we allow them to make it to adulthood. My friends daughter put their keys in the sub woofer. It took them almost a year to find them. Unfortunately, they had to take it apart in order to get the keys.

    • Are you nuts

      As soon as you check in, I would tell your nurse exactly what you wrote here. I would probably agree to sign their stupid form, but request no lecture as you have already given the topic plenty of consideration. It’s a fine line between being assertive and being a pain in the nurse’s you-know-what which I believe can have consequences. You’ll probably have to tell your postpartum nurse as well.

      • firsttimemom

        I won’t sign it. It pretty much says that if I give formula, any medical issues that may pop up will be attributed to the formula and that means the hospital will have no liability if something happens to my baby while there. It’s the only hospital in the area with an L/D so I have no choice but to use them.

        • Who?

          That is plain rude. Absolutely no signing that nonsense, not that it’s worth the paper it’s written on. I’m so sorry you’ve got that on top of everything else. At least it means you shouldn’t have to listen to the talk, if you don’t plan on signing the form anyway.

          Please don’t let the worry about this spoil the next few weeks-I saw you said you’re coming up to 32w. I’m all for going to meet trouble, but if you have a plan, as it seems you do, trust that will be enough. Take some pre-made formula with you, keep up the ‘I’ messages, and concentrate on the end goal-taking your well fed baby home. Can I say I’d be more worried if you were determined to breast feed-at least this way the worst that can happen re feeding is you have to listen to some nonsense-not for the first time, probably.

          It will be difficult I’m sure, particularly if your husband isn’t with you, but you will get through it.

        • Young CC Prof

          I can’t imagine how that could fly legally. That’s completely crazy.

        • momofone

          Oh gosh, I retract my earlier suggestion about signing ahead of time. I wouldn’t sign it either.

        • Inmara

          That form says WHAT?! Jerk move, totally. I think your best option is to bring your own formula and after you have been discharged tell them exactly where they should shove such papers.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Forms like that are literally not worth the paper they’re printed on. They have no legal standing at all and their only purpose is to intimidate you out of suing. Tell them to shove it.

    • Megan

      I second the taking your own formula. Then no one can tell you what to do. It’s your formula.

    • Chi

      I recommend taking a support person with you, someone who can advocate for you if you’re tired/doped up/whatever. Make sure they know what your wishes are and that way they can deal with the pushy nurses/LC’s whatever.

      I was lucky, my brother and husband traded shifts while I was in hospital. The only time I was alone was at night and the LCs only worked during the day.

      • firsttimemom

        That’s going to be a problem. My husband is active duty, we just moved 2000 miles from both sides of the family and I know no one here. He may not even be here for the birth.

        • Chi

          Wow. That is tough. Okay. Big sign on the door saying no LC’s please. And when they give you the form to sign, tell them firmly but politely that you have already researched the topic and do not need any further information, thank you kindly.

        • Who?

          That’s really hard-how long until the baby arrives?

          • firsttimemom

            I’m 32 weeks on Friday.

          • demodocus

            Good luck, and here’s hoping your DH is off duty, and your relative will be there soon.
            If you’re at all religious, a chaplain might be helpful… (THat depends greatly, i know. my minister is a really sweet and is *very* liberal. I’ll be calling on her if i go into labor before my sister gets here. On the other hand, i will *not* be calling one Ted Cruz would approve of.)

        • Erin

          Are there any baby &toddler groups you can join? Here women are welcome whilst pregnant and depending on time to delivery might get you some friendly support.

          • firsttimemom

            They are all on base, and if my husband is going to be gone, so will their spouses. Unless someone would watch their kids while they came to the hospital with me, which I highly doubt.

    • BeatriceC

      This is exactly why the more I think about it, the more I think that my half-joke, half-serious statement a while back about forming a support groups that will support formula feeding moms in hospitals, free of charge, of course. Sort of like a postpartum doula, but for formula feeding.

      • LaMont

        There are networks in place for volunteers to walk into clinics with abortion patients and run point against protestors, etc. I’d happily volunteer for the analogous position here helping new moms run LCs and anti-formula-feeders off! Down with the anti-choice brigades in all their forms, I say.

        • Kq

          Me too! And in Crunch Valley, Oregon, it’s a needed service.

      • Charybdis

        I’d join and help! I think that is a great idea.

        • BeatriceC

          Now we just have to figure out how to start something like that. I have no idea. I’ve never started a support group from the ground up. I know there’s a couple of Californian’s here, but nobody in the San Diego area. Even LA is at least a two hour drive (though it’s taken me as long as 5 in really bad traffic). Most of the people from CA that comment here are in the Bay area, and that’s really far away.

          • Who?

            Hate to be a spoiler, but will they even let you in the front door? Peddling tolerance and choice, as you will be?

          • Charybdis

            They let the lactation bullies in, even when they are not wanted. We can bring in a basket of goodies….hats, pacifiers, etc. All in the name of informed choice you know.

            Although that may be the second phase of the plan.

          • Who?

            I like your optimism.

          • Charybdis

            I’m an optimistic cynic. I really hope for the positive outcome, even though I know things really never work out that way. Oh, and a reverse anorexic…..I think I’m thin….

          • BeatriceC

            My thought is that we would be brought in by the mother as a “visitor”, and then sit in a corner and read/knit/play phone games/chat with mum until we’re needed. Of course there’d have to be standards of behavior, work done to figure out how best to talk to hospital staff and things of that nature. I figure if moms are allowed to hire doulas, then they could “hire” a support person of a different nature as well.

          • Who?

            Very true.

            I wonder how many hospital staff would in fact welcome it: I can’t believe all hospital nurses/midwives are in complete agreement with the breast at all cost ideology-someone calm and friendly putting the other perspective might give them some cover.

          • Bombshellrisa

            The whole baby friendly concept is based on the idea that the mother will have a support person there the entire time. That is what the pamphlet said in the BF hospital, that the room was equipped for it and it was expected that the mother would have someone to help her during her postpartum stay.

          • BeatriceC

            Ohhhh! If we’re really lucky we can snuggle with the baby while mom naps! Even *gasp* give baby a bottle!

          • Who?

            That’s, with all due respect, mad.

            Clearly they are after a very particular class of patient.

          • Bombshellrisa

            The hospital looks like a fancy ski lodge and it’s in a very nice area. Very upscale. They have a Starbucks in the lobby and fancy boutique stores that sell really expensive stuff. There is also a brochure for a doula service in the OB’s office. Clearly if your partner or spouse can’t be with you, they expect you to hire a postpartum doula at $27 an hour. The OB practice also has a required reading list for patients, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is on the the list. I chose the hospital because my doctor had recently moved there from the big hospital downtown, I didn’t want to fill out another intake form (thanks MyChart!) and it is the closest OB practice and hospital to my house.

          • Who?

            Sounds like Stepford Wives. Nice little earner re doulas, I wonder how much those women get out of the $27p/h, I guess the hospital will take its cut?

          • Bombshellrisa

            It’s not part of the hospital, they just let you know that there is a service available. The over night shifts require a four hour minimum commitment. The nurses kept asking if I would have someone overnight to help me every night when my husband left. Nope, just me.

          • Who?

            That is so wrong. The list of things wrong with it is too long to think about.

          • Allie P

            GAG.

          • Erin

            The Uk is full of baby friendly hospitals and support people get thrown out at 9pm on average. That’s 12 hours of shoddy (in my experience and that of my friends) midwife care whilst you try and cope with a new born, any wounds you may have acquired, any mental breakdowns you might be having all whilst on a shared ward so even if you get your own baby to sleep…you cant because odds on someone else’s baby is screaming.

            When I came home sleep deprived, there was one night my husband thought he was going to have to call an ambulance because he couldn’t wake me up, no amount of shaking, screaming, prodding or crying baby had any effect.

          • Dr Kitty

            You know, after baby#2 I was in a private ensuite room.
            Apart from midwives doing 4hrly BP checks and medication rounds (8/12/4/8/12/4) I was left completely to my own devices and told to push the call bell if I needed anything.

            I was fine, obviously I can’t imagine everyone is, but I’m sure it makes life easier for the staff on shift with no babies to care for and just to wait for the call bells.

            I declined the invitation to watch the breast feeding video, the shaken baby video and the safe sleep video, and after that I got even less attention. They show all those videos in the communal area, and I just said I was happy in my room, was happy with the information I had and wouldn’t be coming as I preferred to stay with my baby.
            “We really like mums to see these”
            “You may, but I’m not going to.”

            Also the “no opioids on discharge for BF women” argument.

            In the end I told the MW she had two choices, to put me down as BF and send me home with opioids regardless, or to put me down as FF with decision to stop BF as a direct result of insufficient analgesia on discharge, and send me home with opioids, but I would continue to BF on the drugs once I got home.
            Same outcome, but one made her BF stats look bad.

            Unsurprisingly, I went home with “exclusively BF” on my record, and a 7 day supply of opioid analgesia.

          • Erin

            I’m pretty sure that after my first six or seven hours on the ward no one checked my blood pressure. Although given that it must have been okay (basing that on the fact that I’m still here) that’s probably a blessing as it was being checked so often during the last 12 hours of labour because it was all over the place I had two huge wrap around bruises on both arms to the point that sleeves hurt. Oddly enough clothes hurt there but the great big wound in my abdomen was fine.

            Glad we didn’t have the videos.. or at least glad they couldn’t find me to make me watch them if we had such a thing.

          • Bombshellrisa

            That is horrifying! During the hospital tour here, the person leading us kept saying how important it was to have a person to help. They also said if you didn’t have that support person, you are expected to do things like wheel the bassinet into the bathroom while you use it because baby isn’t to be “left alone”.

    • momofone

      I think I might go in pre-labor and explain that I know this form needs to be signed, and that I want to get that done, minus the lecture (and that I am perfectly happy to sign something verifying my refusal). It might be easier when you aren’t in the throes of labor or recovery. Also, it may help just to make sure your doctor/pediatrician know too, so they can back you up if needed. (And it’s ridiculous that it might be needed.)

      • Roadstergal

        I don’t know if I’d sign a form that sounds like it says the hospital will use the excuse of administering a well-regulated and perfectly safe foodstuff for any negative outcomes…

        • momofone

          That’s a good point. I guess I’m coming from my experience of refusing colonoscopy videos etc; I just walk in and sign refusal, then we proceed.

    • lilin

      This may be antagonistic, but I would print out several forms with these demands on them, sign them, and give them to people when they bother you. (Also, maybe print out a sign that says No LCs and put it on the door.) Take a note pad and pen (maybe in iPhone if you have one) and if someone gives you trouble, write down their full name, the date, time, and a note of what they did. You can take their picture if you’re too tired. Tell them that if they persist you’ll talk with a supervisor when you’re feeling stronger.

    • Charybdis

      Hi and welcome! Have you chosen a pediatrician yet or are you still shopping for one? If you are still shopping for one, make an appointment with one of the candidates on your short list and go in with a list of your questions. Stuff lilke “do you allow non-vaccinating babies/children in your practice?” “Do you support formula feeding mothers or do you push breastfeeding?”

      If you get answers you like, then ask for the pediatrician for a formula feeding order`(it can be written on a prescription pad or the doc might have an actual form for it these days) so you can take it to the hospital with you. I would make copies of it and have those handy, in cases the LC’s/nurses try to claim that the order has been “lost”. When you are admitted to L&D, present the formula feeding order and request that it be placed in your chart so it is easily seen and read by anyone who picks up your chart. Tell your OB that you intend to formula feed and have them note this in your records.

      I would tell the nurses, politely but firmly, that you intend to formula feed and that both your OB and Pediatrician are on board with that decision. You understand that they *have* to give you the spiel that breastfeeding is *best* and highly preferred, but you do not want to sit through the propaganda video, so can you just sign the form now please. Make a note on the white board in your room and make a No LC’s Admitted sign for your door.

      Take some of your own ready-to-feed formula with you, but don’t volunteer that you have it. You have a doctor’s order for formula, so the hospital should provide it. It is your emergency stash, in case you get stuck with a particularly obstinate lactivist,

      If at all possible, have a support person/persons lined up to help you, especially at night when everything can look bleak.

      • firsttimemom

        I have no choice on a ped, I have to use the one the military has. They don’t have a L/D ward or OBs, so I am in the civilian world for that. I will talk to my OB next week.

        And as I stated below, I only have my husband, and may not even have him. I am 99% sure I will doing this on my own, at least for 3-5 days until a relative could possibly get time off and stay with me for a week or two.

        • Charybdis

          Definitely get your OB on board; he/she might write the formula order for you and write it up in your medical record. Tell them you are essentially on your own for the birth and that you intend to make things as easy as possible for yourself and a big part of that is formula feeeding with no harassment from the staff.

          I also second the idea of keeping a record of the who, when, what and why of anyone who gives you trouble. Also, have the patient rights advocate/patient satisfaction person on speed dial and report any and all comers who try to insist on breastfeeding.

          Also, if you are so inclined, some pointed social media postings regarding your treatment in the hospital will probably get something resolved pretty quickly too.

          • AA

            The OB wouldn’t be the one ordering formula, I would think–it’s the one who is the the admitting provider for the child (family medicine or peds)

          • Bombshellrisa

            The OB was the one that got the ball rolling for me, during a visit they asked if I would be breastfeeding or not and checked a box in the chart. Since it was electronic, everyone at the hospital could see the choices once I was there to deliver.

          • Charybdis

            True, but if the OB states that they have talked about breastfeeding and the mother has opted to formula feed and does not want any further *education* on the topic and that they (the OB) supports the mother’s position, that can get the ball rolling.

    • Bombshellrisa

      You could write a birth plan and have that be the only thing on it! Tell them that they are not to discuss breast feeding with you unless you initiate the conversation. Nobody is to touch your breasts, mention any risks associated with formula feeding (or “benefits of breast feeding”) or talk about their personal experience in a way that is meant to excourage you to consider breast feeding. It’s not negotiable and you have to tell them you will report them to the nursing supervisor if they engage you that way. It’s sad that you have to think in terms like this, but it’s easier to take a hard line and nip it in the bud. Since birth koans usually include things that can’t be controlled, yours with a feeding plan for baby onlh might actually be welcome.
      Not sure how to get them to take the baby for you, if there is no nursery.

    • DaisyGrrl

      In addition to the excellent suggestions below, I recommend finding out who the patient rights advocate/patient satisfaction coordinator is for the hospital and putting them on speed dial. If you are in the US, then the hospital will likely be very eager to provide a positive experience since there is competition for your health care money. Should you get any push back, call the patient satisfaction person and explain the problem. They will likely fix the problem pronto.

    • Michelle Singleton

      Since that policy is illegal (given your post further down about what the form says), can you try calling the commander? Or the TriCare patient services? Maybe even call JAG. Our last duty station was Ft Drum and we had to use the dr’s on post for regular dr visits, but they didn’t have a “hospital” so we could go to the civi one. I never had a major issue with anything there so I don’t know who you would call.

      • firsttimemom

        I will call TriCare. Fat chance they will do anything though. Or by the time they do, I’ll have given birth and be at home.

        My husband is Coast Guard, and we are partially utilizing Air Force services, so I have no clue how I would get in touch with anyone or whom to even get in touch with.

        • Michelle Singleton

          I dunno either. If you want, I can ask my bestie. He was AF and would know.

    • AA

      When patients are admitted (this includes newborns), there’s generally an order set. The order set will include things like “consult to lactation consultant.” BFHI now has formula as an order, similar to medication, as opposed to how staff orders a diet (general diet, no restrictions, etc). Tell the provider for the baby (family medicine, peds, whoever it is) that you decline breastfeeding and you are aware of potential risks and benefits of your choice. Ask the provider to cancel the order for lactation consultant and enter an order for the remainder of baby’s stay for formula.

      Here’s an example of an order set for newborns:

      http://peds.stanford.edu/Rotations/scvmc_picu_wards/documents/MICCnewborn_nursery_orders31208.pdf

      You can see how a provider can UNCHECK the breastfeeding one and check the formula one.

      • firsttimemom

        No way am I saying that I am aware of the “risks” of formula feeding – there are NONE! The only risks to them not letting me formula feed is them getting slapped with a huge lawsuit.

        • AA

          Amendment: Say that you are aware of infant options and give informed consent to feed only formula and that you decline breastfeeding counselling.

        • Roadstergal

          You should tell them you understand the risks of breastfeeding and have decided to formula feed. :p

  • mabelcruet

    It’s the same in the UK. I was reading through the maternity notes of a woman who was mother to one of my cases. There was a leaflet in there about feeding your new born baby. It started out as ‘we will fully support you in whatever choice you make when feeding your baby’, and then went on for 2 pages about how breast milk is basically the miraculous fountain of eternal life. There wasnt a single mention of formula, bottles, which teats are best etc, it was all breast feeding. So much for supporting mothers in the choice they make, when they don’t actually acknowledge all the choices the mother has.

    • Chi

      And it’s not just hospitals either. It’s GOVERNMENT FUNDED antenatal classes. In mine we spent almost an entire class talking about breastfeeding and how awesome it is, but when I asked about formula and safe formula preparation, I got brushed off and told very firmly that ALL women can breastfeed.

      How is a woman supposed to make an ‘informed’ choice in this scenario? It’s a classic tactic – keep women ignorant so they automatically default to the choice they know the most about which you then make sure is the choice YOU want them to make. But really, do they honestly think women are so weak-minded that they’ll choose formula because it’s ‘easier’? (Well clearly our good friend Brooke does). Maybe some will, but again, who the hell are they to decide that that mother is ‘wrong’ to make that choice because it’s easier for her? You don’t know the mother in question, you don’t know her history, or what’s going on. So how the hell are you even qualified to decide what’s right for HER, her baby and her family??

      By refusing to provide information about ALL the options, you are NOT supporting a woman and her choices. You are not allowing her the benefit of assuming she is an intelligent being capable of rationally analyzing information and drawing her own conclusion.

      In other words, you’re denying her choice to push your own agenda, and as Dr Amy has said time and time again – that is distinctly anti-feminist.

      • Amy M

        Formula was easier for me, with my twins. I don’t care what Brooke, or anyone else thinks about that. Why wouldn’t I make the easier choice, when in this case (formula), it was perfectly safe and nutritious? Motherhood doesn’t have to be martyrhood, and I never saw a reason to make things more difficult than they need/ed to be.

        • Michelle Singleton

          With my twins I tried to BF. I knew we were going to have to supplement and I didn’t care. All I wanted was for them to be healthy. I couldn’t get either one to latch right so I pumped. After 6 weeks, I went to my LC and cried. She sat there and listened. Then she asked me what was going on in my life besides having newborns.
          When I was 16 weeks along we found out that, despite assurance from Superman’s CO, we would be PCSing. Because “they” wanted him to deploy “one last time” before he retired. So we had to try to sell our house. We knew we would be moving when the girls were 3 months and he would deploy when they were 5 months.
          My LC looked at me and said she was proud of me for working so hard at BFing the girls. She also told me that because of the stress I was under, my supply had dried up.
          So I switched to formula. I’m pretty sure the commissary was excited to see me come in every month and buy 8-10 cans at a time…

    • Erin

      Mid mental breakdown in between sobbing my eyes out, I explained to what I thought was a caring midwife that I didn’t think breastfeeding was for me because it was cementing the link I’d already got from the flashbacks during delivery, making my son a trigger for my rape trauma. She waited til I’d finished, gave me a tissue and told me to stop being selfish.
      It’s only a choice when you choose “right”.

      • Who?

        This is making my rage stroke come back.

        And is, btw, the least likely way to achieve her goal, so it’s stupid as well as vicious.

        I’m so sorry you were treated that way.

      • cookiebaker

        That is unspeakably cruel! I’m so sorry you had to go through that. You are a better mom for choosing your mental health over breastfeeding.

      • Sarah

        You should’ve hatted the bitch for that.

      • Allie P

        Do. Not. Like.

    • Sarah

      I was discharged from hospital with literature about normal feeding frequency and duration for a breastfed baby, which is fine, but nothing about how much a formula fed baby should be having. Information on both is necessary.

  • Lindsay

    Forced rooming in is awful. I had not considered why it might be a bad thing until I was forced to care for a newborn while alone, exhausted and in pain. I fell asleep while holding her repeatedly. I’m so lucky that I didn’t drop her or smother her. Who the hell would think this is a good idea?

    • Chi

      It’s awful. Here in NZ, babies ‘room in’ with their mothers, but are provided with a clear-sided bassinet that sits next to the bed. Although to be honest, I wonder how women who have had c-sections are supposed to cope with that as they bassinets sit really high up and so lifting baby in and out could be very painful for them.

      • demodocus

        or loopy from assorted medications.

      • Lindsay

        I had the clear plastic bassinet next to the bed. I didn’t have a c-section, but I had severe tearing. Getting my daughter out of the basket was a huge production every time. The more I think about my experience, the angrier I get.

        • Chi

          I wound up having an episiotomy and thus had stitches. I had also lost quite a bit of blood during labour so was light-headed and dizzy whenever I stood up. I also had tachycardia (110bpm resting) and was told I wouldn’t be discharged till it was back under 100.

          So it was awful having to stand up and get her out to feed her/change her. I usually wound up leaning against the bed and panting for breath. And not one of the nurses seemed willing to help. When I struggled to feed her, I was given a syringe and told to hand-express into it.

          I wasn’t given a nipple shield until the last night (I had inverted nipples) because they didn’t want my daughter ‘becoming dependent on it’.

          If I get pregnant again, I am going to be doing SO many things differently. Epidural for one. And I’m bringing formula and bottles with me to the hospital. Because I know I’d probably have to beg for them there so I refuse to be put in that position.

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        I know that in my hospital here in Oz, they had bassinets that could be pulled over the bed for c section mums. Still must be a struggle though.

        I had a very similar experience to you I think. Trying to get in and out of bed with stitches and postural dizziness was a struggle. I’ve told the story here of how I nearly fell over with my son in my arms when I went looking for help in the middle of the night. I didn’t know how bad I was until I had a blood transfusion and realised that this was how I should have been feeling.

      • Sarah

        It’s not necessarily even possible. Took me a couple of days before I could get to ‘painful’.

      • Allie P

        We have the clear sided bassinets in the BFH in the USA. They don’t just leave us with the kid and a hat. But the little clear bassinets are high up and roll away, and so if you are in pain after surgery/tearing/etc., they are tough. Generally, it’s a lot to expect from a HOSPITAL PATIENT.

    • indigosky

      Forced rooming in forgets that the mother is a patient too. I have questioned this multiple times, and get the snide response that women will have to do this on their own when they get home, so to start them now. That completely disregards that they may have a spouse who could help for one, and that this is one of the first generations where women are not supported by female relatives or other females in their community. Women *never* “went it alone” ever, in any time in history until today.

      • LaMont

        Also, yeah, once they’re not *hospitalized for potentially painful and debilitating conditions* they can be expected to shoulder more, surely? Why “start them now” when their condition is markedly different from what it ought to be post-hospital-discharge? Plus, for women who *want* to room in and have the support to do so, is anyone advocating stopping them from doing so? Oy gavult.

      • Young CC Prof

        They’ll have to do it when they get home, so of course they can’t get any rest now, while hospitalized for the potentially life-threatening condition of childbirth. Can’t give them 48 hours to just focus on their own health before being given full responsibility for a brand new totally helpless person.

      • Amy M

        Also, rooming in is not forced at home—you can put the baby in its own room

      • BeatriceC

        “They’ll have to do it when they get home”

        Which is why it’s so important for the mother to have a chance to rest and recover in those first few days, so that she’ll be capable of doing it when she does get home.

      • Hannah

        YES! The mother being a patient seems to stop the second baby is born. It is beyond messed up. It’s cruel.

  • Inmara

    It seems to me that association “low income -> formula feeding” is very U.S. specific, or at least specific to countries with poor social security policies where mothers have to return to workforce or else they can’t sustain family and children. Where I live, long maternity leave is guaranteed for everyone, and even women who haven’t worked previously (like university students) are entitled to some monthly allowance from government. So there are no socioeconomic obstacles to breastfeed and actually for low income families it’s the most feasible way of feeding. What I find interesting (and actually disturbing) is that our breastfeeding rates are comparably low (data from 2011: 92% until 6 weeks, 76% until 3 months, 53% until 6 months and 22% until 1 year) but there is almost zero information about formula feeding (safety, types of formula, feeding protocols etc.) in public space, including leaflets issued by hospitals or health institutions. Apparently, all responsibility goes to pediatricians who follow baby’s growth and health (or almighty internet).

    • Young CC Prof

      The only countries with high breastfeeding rates are ones so poor that for many families formula is simply not an option. When formula is a reasonable choice, a lot of families choose it. Right or wrong, that’s just the way it is.

    • Sarah

      And yet there’s a strong correlation between income and breastfeeding in the UK, a country with a welfare state and 9 months paid maternity leave. Indeed, women who don’t have jobs are some of the least likely to breastfeed. Whatever is influencing their choices, it’s not jobs.

      While we certainly have a great deal of social inequality, we are not a country where women are formula feeding because they need to return to the workplace asap.

  • Brooke

    Since when are you a low income woman of color?

    • DaisyGrrl

      Since when are you prepared to take a reasonable approach to anything?

      • lilin

        You’ll have to forgive Brooke. She can’t conceive of anyone caring about someone other than themselves.

    • demodocus

      My color’s only beige, but i can tell you about being a woman with low income. Dr. T. isn’t far off in my experience. What’s your experience that puts you in contact with as many low SES folks as your average doc in a big city?

    • mythsayer

      I’m sorry, what? Are you suggesting people can’t call out policies that disproportionally affect women of color and/or poor women unless they fall into those categories themselves?

    • indigosky

      Hey Brooke, I am of color (half white/half Mexican). Dr. Amy is spot on. So take your yoga pants wearing, Pumpkin Spice latte drinking white girl butt somewhere else and stop concern-trolling.

      • CSN0116

        Brooke is not who you think she is whatsoever. I had stereotyped her wrong as well. She’s far from privileged. She is from the less-recognized lactivist category: the “wanna-be’s,” shall we say. No Uppababy Vista and high priced soy lattes for her. She’s a real-life fuck up trying to live vicariously through an ideology.

        I would label her the, “I can’t afford to buy into the whole country club, but if I try to act like the cool girls – do what they do, talk like they talk, copy and paste from their websites – I’ll be asserting some level of superiority over fellow humanity, because God knows I don’t personally possess anything earned and tangible for which to boast about” category. 😉

        • indigosky

          But is she forced to work two jobs where pumping, much less breastfeeding is impossible? Or is she still at least privileged enough to be a SAHM and be able to breastfeed?

          • CSN0116

            Given the amount of time she spends on here – and obviously taking in woo – I’m gunna go with she’s somehow “at home” in some capacity, despite being partner-less and without dual income…

          • demodocus

            Maybe she’s really good at selling Tupperware?

          • Amy

            More like Young Living or DoTerra essential oils.

        • Mishimoo

          I think some or all of it might be the whole noble poor thing. “I care more about my kids than you do about yours, so you can’t judge me for being poor because I breastfeed, cloth diaper, attachment parent, grow and eat organic food, don’t vaccinate because it’s healthier, etc. If I can do it, anyone can and everyone should.”

          • Chi

            Mostly I think it comes down to a pathological narcissism. Because her entire identity is caught up in these ‘better’ (read: harder) choices, anyone who chooses differently and does not mirror those choices back to them must be attacked and bullied into getting back into line with what’s ‘right’.

            I really am sick of this mentality that in order to be a good mother you need to sacrifice everything for your kids, including your bed, your sleep and your body.

            Can’t have women thinking for themselves, otherwise they’ll all use formula/disposable diapers/separate rooms etc.

            God forbid the idea that all women are individuals with brains and what is right for one woman may not be for another.

          • CSN0116

            That is a phenomenal analysis!

          • Mishimoo

            It’s only because I very nearly fell into it myself (minus the antivax angle) for similar reasons, but then I did the cost-benefit analyses and saw that it really doesn’t stack up unless you class the mother as worthless. It’s nice to think that there is virtue to doing things the hard way, instead of having to be frugal in order to survive. We’re comfortable now and we’ll be better off once I’m working, but that’s down to sheer luck rather than any particular virtue on our parts.

          • Box of Salt

            I care about my kids more because I vaccinate.

            There’s nothing “noble” about keeping yourself ignorant.

          • Mishimoo

            Of course not, but it’s part of the woo sales pitch to lower income earners, and has the added bonus of “You’re saving money* and your child’s health.” which when someone is poor would be a huge drawcard, especially when they get ‘points’ from the cool (rich) mums.

            *Not vaccinating in order to save money is a false economy. It costs more to treat the illness, not to mention the cost of the caregiver’s time, than it does to pay for a vaccination.

    • namaste863

      oh, right, because Jewish people have never faced discrimination (Sarcasm, in case it’s in any way unclear)

    • momofone

      Since when are you an expert on the ideal c-section rate/breastfeeding/formula use?

    • guest

      Since when does anything your write make sense? Oh that’s right, it never had and never will.

    • Sarah

      Since your face.

  • Madtowngirl

    Speaking of choice, Mayim Bialik posted a “this is why your doctor won’t let you be too posh to push” article on Facebook today, and the comments, many from c-section mothers, are downright nasty. Apparently women shouldn’t be able to choose a c-section. I wonder what these pearl clutchers think about women like me, who have no interest in a VBAC.

    Also, I find it very interesting that so many of these women are pro-choice when it comes to abortion and reproduction rights, but not when it comes to c-sections and breastfeeding.

    • rh1985

      To these people, being “forced” to have a CS = horrible horrible trauma that will ruin their relationship with the CS born child FOREVER!!1111!

      Being forced to have a vaginal delivery = no big deal, no matter how traumatized the mother is

    • rh1985

      Also, the hypocrisy of these women is just astounding. Women shouldn’t be allowed to have c-sections because it’s too “risky” for the baby due to potential breathing problems from not being “squeezed” on the way out – but the same women would likely defend the choice to have a home birth, which is extremely risky for the baby.

  • Amy

    Breastfeeding mothers benefit from those formula gift bags, too. I loved the bag itself, and I was able to donate all of the free formula to a food pantry. Everybody wins.

    • CSN0116

      Slightly OT: But does anybody know what ‘law’ dictates that my beloved formula must tell me ON THE CAN THAT I JUST BOUGHT that I should be breastfeeding instead?! It’s the most insulting (and false) counter-marketing tactic ever.

      • Erin

        http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1995/77/regulation/13/made

        This is the UK version, I imagine it’s similar in the US/Canada.

        • Inmara

          Here in Latvia too (probably some EU-wide policies or directives, I’m too lazy to look it up because EU legislation websites gives me headache just from looking at them). Also, on all the baby food which is intended for children from 4 months there is warning that “Health professionals recommend exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months”. Never mind that European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition has stated that GI system of most infants is ready for solid introduction from 4 months.
          But the most insulting thing happens when you try to visit website of formula manufacturer. Try this and tell how you liked the pop-up window before you can proceed to site it http://www.aptanutrition.com.au/our-products/aptamil-gold-plus-1-infant-formula.aspx

          • Tokyobelle

            That popup is obnoxious!

          • Ceridwen

            The thing with telling you not to introduce solids before 6 months is really starting to piss me off as evidence mounts that from an allergy perspective introduction between 4 and 6 months is likely ideal. We’re putting breastfeeding on such a pedestal that we’re ignoring sound scientific evidence about solid introduction in favor of what exactly? In what possible way are children being harmed by introduction of solids at 4 months instead of exclusive breastfeeding?

            We waited until just over 5 months to introduce solids to kid 2 for a variety of reasons (unrelated to the “exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months” stuff) and man was he freaking ready when we started last week. Kept yelling if my husband wasn’t fast enough with the next bite.

          • Inmara

            Yeah, that allergy thing is serious, and people can’t get to believe an actual evidence when for previous years advice has been to delay allergens as long as possible. Also, risk of iron deficiency for EBF babies that gets overlooked – and if mothers are worried about it then there’s always a crunchy mom on discussion board who will say that she has EBF her baby until 12 months an he wasn’t iron deficient. Okay, your baby wasn’t, but others will.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I’ve been having some major struggles getting my 9 month old to eat (he pretty much refused all solids when his top teeth started coming through) and he’s only slowly started to eat solid food again. I’m scared to look for advice online because I know it’s going to be so breastmilk focused. Yeah, he’s getting all the calories he needs from breastmilk, but I’m sure he’s not getting enough iron from my iron-deficient self.

            I’m sure there are lactivists out there who would be horrified to hear that I’m trying to limit nursing to no more than four hourly (a long gap for my bottomless pit for a baby!) so that I can get him to eat solids in between.

          • Chi

            I’m still having a hell of a time getting my daughter to eat ANYTHING solid. She’s nearly 2.

            And she refuses to try things and I hate trying to force her because that just turns feeding times into a war-zone.

            So whilst I’d prefer it if she had a more varied diet, I’m still feeding her ready-made stage 3 baby food because at least that way I know she’s getting veges and minerals and other nutritional needs.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I was a really badly fussy eater as a kid. I only really came out of it in my twenties, and I still have some food issues. I pretty much ate no vegetables growing up. I will eat them now, but only certain veggies prepared in certain ways. I’m really scared that I’m going to pass on my issues to my son. I’m trying to eat more and eat in front of him so that its normalised. I agree with not forcing foods, I remember involuntarily gagging when made to eat certain foods as a child, and I think it only made my issues worse.

            I think most of my sons solid food at the moment comes in the form of rusks and rice crackers – not ideal, but they’re iron fortified and at least it gives him practice chewing.

          • Chi

            Yeah I’m the same, I am a pretty picky eater, especially with veges, especially since my mother used to again try and force them down our throats and I don’t want to do that so I’m possibly a little more lenient than her.

            It’s really hard to have meals at the same time as her too because she usually has her dinner around 5-5:30pm and both my husband and I have various evening activities (He has Taekwon-Do 2 nights a week and I do Zumba 2 nights a week) which makes early dinners for us unfeasible. We need to try harder on weekends but those usually wind up being booked pretty solid too.

            I’m hoping once she gets a little more vocab and more reasoning skills I can convince her to try new things.

          • Who?

            Adolescence fixed my fussy eaters-the boy put on 15kgs in 12 months.

            For years we provided meals, with something everyone liked, let them serve themselves from bowls/platters in the middle, and no fuss if things weren’t eaten. No remarks about ‘good eating’ or anything else, just nice dinner conversation about the day. Our diet was less varied than I preferred, mainly because I’d get upset if I went to a lot of trouble and things didn’t get eaten. I’d do an ‘adults’ dinner on the weekend to try new recipes, kids welcome to join or have their own things. Fruit bowl always available. Eventually hunger made them try new foods, that they found they liked.

            They are both fit, strong healthy adults who eat and cook a wide variety of food.

            But it took a long while.

          • Chi

            Thank you. It’s good to know that others have been through this and that time and patience will hopefully make it better.

            I’m really not overly concerned because as long as she keeps eating the premade food pouches I know she’s getting a good mix of nutrients and minerals.

            It’s just hard because this is the one area of parenting where hubby and I seem to be on different pages. He wants her to have a more varied diet and I’m more willing to be more patient.

          • Who?

            There are some very good paediatric dietitians around who can help with fussy feeders, if that’s where you decide you’ve got to at some future point. Sometimes it is a texture/mouthfeel thing which can get tricky.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Thanks for that, it’s early days yet, but it’s good to know that help us out there if we need it. I’m hoping that we’ll be moving to Brisbane at the start of next year, so there should hopefully be plenty of resources available there.

          • Who?

            There’s a v good one over Fairfield way, plus others I’m sure.

          • Inmara

            At least you are aware of the problem! Did your pediatrician offer to check baby’s iron levels? If they go towards deficiency, iron drops can be prescribed.
            Here’s good article with practical feeding tips to increase iron intake http://scienceofmom.com/2011/08/28/does-my-baby-get-enough-iron/

          • Chi

            Not to mention that by 4 months what little iron bub has stored in their body from in utero – birth has been rapidly depleted and it’s been shown that they do NOT get enough of it (and Vitamin D too I think) from breast milk alone.

            So breast milk is hardly a ‘perfect’ food when it gets to the stage that it is NOT providing everything a child needs to grow.

            We introduced solids at around 4.5 months, because my daughter started trying to snatch things off my plate and out of my mouth.

          • Megan

            Of course, according to lactivists, your daughter didn’t *really* want the food. She just wanted to do what you were doing. The fact that she ate it and enjoyed it is totally not the point.

          • momofone

            I remember seeing this exact response. A woman posted saying she had doubts about waiting until her baby was six months old, because baby reached for anything the mother was eating. Lactivist response: “Well, of course s/he does. S/he’d reach for your car keys, too, but that doesn’t mean you’d let him eat them.”

          • Kelly

            I waited this time until my baby was five months because I they suck at eating at four months. She is six months now and loves to eat. I would not made her wait that long. She was staring at my food and hated when we ate in front of her.

          • demodocus

            This, as always, depends on the kid. Mine didn’t walk until 14 months but he was trying to eat my apples before he was 4 months old and demanding “BLUE!” (blueberry muffin) by 6 or 7 months.
            His mouth is precocious…I’m going to be in such trouble when wise-acre-ness kicks in, lol
            eta: it helps that he liked purees

          • Kelly

            I completely agree. I really just waited out of laziness because I did not want to waste food or clean up. I figured she would be mature enough by five months to be better at it.

    • Brooke

      There are two ways of looking at this, one is that if formula is just sitting there in a diaper a bag new parents are going to be more likely to use it. Especially if they run into problems breastfeeding or are suffering from sleepless nights with a newborn baby. The second way is that it is kind of a matter of we know that formula is not the best thing for babies if their mothers can breastfeed. So why would a hospital that is supposed to be about doing the best for people’s health, give away something that is not the best for someone’s health? Especially if that person has already made the decision to do the healthier thing? That would be like if you went to the dentists office and had no cavities and as you were leaving they offered you a free soda. When you politely declined they said “well just take it anyways in case you get thirsty”. Um ok? That doesn’t make much sense and free formula bags do not make much sense either. Also as a low income person it irks me that people feel as if we should be oh so grateful for free stuff even if that free stuff is really bad for us. Like I guess eating highly processed foods is better than starving but…its kind of like, ah well, you get to avoid starvation now but enjoy being overweight or obese later!

      • lilin

        “Like I guess eating highly processed foods is better than starving but…its kind of like, ah well, you get to avoid starvation now but enjoy being overweight or obese later!”

        Holy shit. That is some grade-A cluelessness right there. I mean, my god, Brooke. I wish I could show your responses to more people to show them how privileged, stupid, and heartless natural birth and breastfeeding advocates are.

        Also, just so we’re clear–giving formula to women in case they need it, so their babies don’t go hungry, is the best thing for people’s health. Think of the dentist giving you tap water instead of bottled water, not soda instead of water.

      • indigosky

        Hey guess what? Women who want to give up breastfeeding have something called a “grocery store” they can go to and get formula as well. So not giving it to them will not stop them from getting it.

      • Wombat

        Diet and exercise is arguably better at managing low-level weight related health problems (it saves money! it has small side benefits!) than medications. Guess what? A lot of people don’t want to diet and exercise, or have other restrictions on their ability to do so (time, money, availability of foods, etc). A statin (one ex) is better than nothing to try to keep their problem from getting worse and improve their quality of life.

        So why have statins available at the hospital for people who want to try them or doctors who find them a better match for their patients? It might encourage a few people perfectly capable of diet and exercise (forget if they -want- to) to be lazy! And clearly those drug manufacturers are just pushing them to make money! Never mind all the generic alternatives.

        And brand name samples!?? Never mind that doctors and nurses usually use them as an opportunity to help out low-income patients, or at worst give them to someone who will most likely move to a cheaper alternative once they run out.

        Samples and drug reps are marketing smarminess at it’s worst: they are still able to be used for good. Banning them without duplicating that good some other way (hospital provides generic formula starter free of charge upon request) just becomes punitiveness for punitiveness sake. In an ideal world we might not have any advertising. This ain’t even close to an ideal world and acting like it is because it easy enough (doesn’t hurt you directly) is just damn self-centered.

      • Taysha

        “So why would a hospital that is supposed to be about doing the best for people’s health, give away something that is not the best for someone’s health?”

        to save money. Source – I work near a hospital.

        “well just take it anyways in case you get thirsty”

        At which point you’re welcome to hand it to the homeless guy on the street.

        You don’t think much of women, do you, to believe they’re easily swayed by things just “being there”

        • demodocus

          I know, right? I totally just use my husband’s screen reading program so i don’t actually have to read this blog. Hey, it’s there!

          • Taysha

            Yep. Watch me drink a bottle of whiskey because, well, it’s there, and no one is reminding me that I don’t like it.

            I mean, c’mon. If my husband didn’t hold my hand, how would I ever manage? /s

        • lilin

          You make a good point about how this affects people who have less money, but we don’t want to buy into an argument that’s not true.

          Dentist: “Here’s a bottle of tap water in case you get thirsty.”

          Patient: “Tap water is second best! I only let my family drink bottled water.”

          Dentist: “Um. Unless you live somewhere that doesn’t have a decent public water supply or have a medical condition, tap water isn’t really any different from bottled water.”

          Patient: “WHY are you giving me something that’s not ALWAYS best for my health?”

          Poor Woman: “I’d like a bottle of tap water very much. Anything that helps me save some money and provide for my family helps me out. Thanks.”

          Patient: “Don’t you give her that! It’s not best for her health!”

          Dentist: “You lunatic.”

          • Nick Sanders

            I’m sorry, I can’t hear you, I’m too busy engaging in a perfect solution fallacy.

          • Young CC Prof

            Actually, a dentist will tell you the tap water is better, in smart cities anyway. Yay fluoride!

        • Azuran

          Maybe she’s projecting her lack of inner strength on all of us. She probably can’t get out of her house without buying all the candies out there and eating fast food so she thinks we are all as weak as her.

      • mythsayer

        Omg you’re like food babe! Do you follow her, too?

        “Don’t get one of those free turkeys at the grocery store for thanksgiving because you’ll get cancer!”

        “But food babe, some people wouldn’t get a turkey at all without one of those free ones!”

        “Ehhh…they can just eat some organic vegetables or something.”

        WTF Brooke? For someone who is low income, you sure sound privileged.

        • CSN0116

          It’s because she spends her days reading the musings of privileged people.

      • momofone

        I know this is going to sound crazy, but I’ve even heard of people LEAVING HOME in the middle of the night to go a store and purchase formula when they run out. Obviously it’s addictive!

        Also, people get to decide whether they use formula, whether it’s on a shelf, tempting them like the seductress it clearly is, or not. The bag of formula we were given at the hospital sat on a shelf for about a year, and then we gave it away. We were somehow able to resist its siren call.

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        I have an unopened tin of formula that has been sitting in my pantry for the last 9 months. I sent my husband to buy it the day that minimonkey and I left hospital. I did this because if my milk did not come in, I did not want to be stuck with a hungry baby and no way to buy formula overnight. I didn’t end up needing it, but I’m glad that it was there just in case.

        I also think it’s ridiculous to compare the second best food for babies (and in some cases, the absolute best food) to soda.

        • Michele

          I am of the opinion that all households with breastfeeding infants should have an emergency source of food for that infant with their emergency supplies. If something had happened to me, I wanted my husband to be able to feed the baby. It could cover many situations, but living in the Midwest US my specific concern was always severe weather potentially stranding me at work and husband & baby stranded at home. You can’t count on frozen breastmilk if the power goes out. Sealed tin of formula & bottled water? Means baby is still going to be able to eat.

          • Allie P

            I have a go-bag, not because I’m an apocalyptic prepper, but because I grew up in a place with weird horrible weather. It has formula ready to feed bottles in it.

      • Azuran

        Have you ever tasted hospital food? I’m pretty sure it was far from what was not ‘the best’ for my health.
        And comparing soda and formula is just a bad comparison, you are an idiot if you think it’s the same thing.

        • Dr Kitty

          Hospital food here is a relentless procession of cold toast and cups of tea.
          I had my husband bring me Tom Yum soup from the nearby Thai restaurant. The nurses did not approve, but it made me feel so good!

          • BeatriceC

            The hospital I basically moved into while I was pregnant with my youngest two kids actually had pretty good food. Well, at least the breakfast and lunch options were good. The dinner options were acceptable; no worse than a low end buffet restaurant like Golden Coral (and sorry, I can’t think of an equivalent anywhere outside the US).

          • Roadstergal

            When I worked at the UW, I’d eat at the café at the medical center. It was fine, good enough to keep me from brown-bagging. 🙂

          • Who?

            I have a theory that the salty, processed food at the local hospital is a giant scheme to drum up business for the medical system-in case it isn’t already overworked enough. We take our own if anyone’s in, just easier and less mysterious and unpleasant.

          • Kelly

            We had to add our own salt. I always just ate at the hospital because I never felt like eating after I gave birth.

          • Mishimoo

            Mine had some really good sandwiches, but that was about it.

          • Allie P

            I am a ravenous beast after giving birth. I had my husband bring me sushi and miso soup AND burgers and milkshakes from the foodie paradise strip mall across the street from the hospital, AND I ate the hospital food, AND I finished my older daughter’s panera lunch.

      • MaineJen

        Formula is not “really bad” for babies, Brooke. Comparing it to soda? How divorced from reality are you, anyway?

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Let’s do an experiment:

          Compare adults who drink nothing but soda to those who drink water or other “healthy” liquids. What would you find? Would the soda group be noticably different? More obese, maybe? Other health problems like diabetes (but that is obesity related, of course)?

          Meanwhile, do the same comparison with babies, breastfed vs formula fed.

          Fortunately, the latter comparison has been done. Answer? Nope, no difference. FF babies do not end up, inter alia, more obese than breastfed babies.

          Therefore, it is clear that formula feeding is definitively NOT like giving your baby soda to drink.

          Of course, that kills the lactivists and they won’t admit to it.

        • sdsures

          Wow. (at Brooke’s post, not yours)

      • Inmara

        If a woman “has made a decision” to breastfeed but doesn’t produce enough milk, that can of formula can save her baby from dehydration and worse.
        Oh, wait, I forgot that there is no such thing as not enough milk, she just didn’t try enough. /s

        • swbarnes2

          Some useful references:

          http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/1/e171.long

          The title is not helpful, but look at figure 1: 2 oz or more of formula in the hospital means a 10x fold reduction in the # of infants who lose more than 10% of their body weight. (Just giving dribbles of formula didn’t really help)

          http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=191546

          The OR for exclusive breastfeeding when it comes to rehospitalization from dehydration? 11! 24% of the control mothers were formula feeding at discharge, only 2% of the infants rehospitalized for dehydration were formula feeders

          In this paper

          http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/116/3/e343

          70 infants readmitted for hypernatremic dehydration, not a one was formula fed.

          Early formula feeding is HUGELY protective when it comes to preventing dehydration. One of those papers puts the incidence at 2/1000 babies, which means it happens 5 times more often than SIDS. Discouraging formula feeding will only move that figure higher.

          You know if lactivists could come up with any condition that breastfeeding works anywhere nearly as well to prevent in term infants, they’d be screaming it here non stop.

          • Inmara

            Actually, our central birthing hospital provides (and insists on) formula if baby is loosing more than 10% of weight while in hospital (standard postpartum stay is 3 days, if baby is unwell or loosing weight then discharge is postponed). As one could imagine, mothers are confused and hurt because all that they’ve heard previously is that breastmilk is superior and formula carries several risks for baby’s health. Nurses and doctors are busy and not always can find enough time to discuss feeding issues and reassure mothers that formula is fine and won’t ruin their breastfeeding relationship (unfortunately there is not enough actual breastfeeding help in hospital so some might end up with formula even if they wanted to breastfeed but that’s anyway better that to starve baby).

      • Dr Kitty

        No.
        I have three bottles of ready to drink formula.
        One in the bag that goes to my son’s childminder, in case the bottles of EBM get spilt, or some other disaster happens. Because I’d rather he have formula than go thirsty, and I don’t have the kind of job where I can drop everything to go and feed him if the milk is spilt or left out if the fridge too long.

        Two in the cupboard in case I ever have to pump and dump or if there is an emergency and my parents, husband or MIL have to look after him and there isn’t enough EBM. Hell, if there is a power cut and all the EBM in the freezer gets spoilt, I want options.

        He’s almost 7months. Never had a drop of formula yet.
        I have it, but having it doesn’t make me use it, and even if it did, one bottle wouldn’t be the end of the world.

        You should also familiarise yourself with the concept of food deserts.

      • moto_librarian

        Save us all some time and just tell us that you think formula is poison, Brooke. By insinuating that it’s as unhealthy as soda, you’re just about there. Go ahead and take it all the way.

        You’re an asshole.

      • guest

        “The second way it is kind of a matter of”

        In case you were wondering why no one listens to a word you say, Brooke, here’s an excerpt of your writing that might help.

      • Nick Sanders

        The second way is that it is kind of a matter of we know that formula is not the best thing for babies if their mothers can breastfeed.

        Who is this “we”?

      • Amy

        So you’re saying formula is like soda? Or are you saying that grown, adult women can’t be trusted with the “temptation” of formula because it’s “too easy”? Just trying to get things clear here.

        Formula is NOT like soda. The soda analogy would be more relevant if we were talking about, say, a place like Flint, where the water is literally poison, and you were being offered the soda in the event that water was unavailable. For one thing, formula may not be as “perfect” as breast milk, but it’s not BAD for babies. Millions of babies have been raised on formula and are perfectly healthy. What IS bad for babies is starving. So is the common lactivist advice to starve a baby into accepting a breast. (And trust me, it IS common.)

        You clearly don’t think highly of your OWN ability to resist temptation. If you give birth in a hospital and don’t want a free formula bag, you have two choices. First, politely (or not so politely) decline. You can choose to share or withhold the reasons why. Or, if you don’t want even that level of confrontation, you can accept the bag and then “forget” it when you go home. Then you don’t have to be tempted, or “insulted” by a free sample of something you insist is “really bad” for you.

        But all the lactivist insistence in the world doesn’t change the fact that formula for a baby is nothing at all like soda for your teeth.

      • Who?

        Get a grip, little one.

        And as a high income person, I’m grateful for free stuff because I know how hard it is to earn money. Doesn’t mean I always use the free stuff that comes my way, but I acknowledge it and use/regift/rehome it according to my whim.

      • FEDUP MD

        You know, each time I took the formula, and it sat in my cupboard for a year without somehow leaping into my babies’ mouth all by itself. Imagine that.

      • Kelly

        Please. My husband was raised on formula and has trouble gaining weight, is rarely sick, and is highly intelligent. He also, for a preemie, has the lung capacity of a marathoner. I have pumped for two kids and supplemented with formula for my first two and am now exclusively feeding formula to my youngest. I can’t wait for them to grow up and be no sicker or dumber than the exclusively breastfed kids because as long as you feed your child, it does not matter. You hear me. It does not matter. IT DOES NOT MATTER. I have taken my oldest two the the doctor once each so far because they were sick. My youngest is six months and has never been to the doctor for sickness. A woman I know has breastfed four kids and they are constantly sick. I mean sick to the point that they are in and out of the doctor and the children are missing weeks of school. It has nothing to do with the way they are fed. It didn’t protect them when they were breastfed and it sure does not protect them now. There are so many other factors to how sick or intelligent a child is. Formula vs. breastmilk is not a factor.

      • Charybdis

        If the baby is hungry and not being satisfied by breastfeeding alone (using that mommy intuition), what is the problem with giving some formula? Whether or not is is *there* or if you have to run out to Walgreens or someplace like that, it is an option.

      • Sarah

        PROBIT.

      • Allie P

        What? NO, it’s much more like if you were leaving the dentist office and they gave you a free toothbrush and you said, “no thanks, I already have a toothbrush” and they said, “well, just take it in case yours falls in the toilet, so you have something to brush your teeth with until you can get to a store and buy a new one.”

    • MaineJen

      I saved the formula I snagged from my doctor’s office (didn’t get any at the hospital), but ended up not using it for months. Brooke, how much of a crime is it for a breastfeeding mother (which I was) to keep a can of formula on reserve just in case she should want to–gasp–spend a night out at some point? Or heaven forbid, have her husband get up with the baby once during the night?

  • Zornorph

    I really wonder what will happen if I go for #2 and I wind up in a ‘lactavist friendly’ hospital. They probably won’t know what to do with more or I guess will try to get me to use donor milk.

    • DaisyGrrl

      Men can lactate, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t try! They will try to dose you with fenugreek and domperidone and give you a breast pump. If you’re a good father, you’ll have started this all well in advance of the anticipated birth so baby Z can benefit.

      • MaineJen

        Maybe it will come out of your armpits… :/

    • Cartman36

      I wonder that as well.

    • demodocus

      You mean you’re not hiring the surrogate to bf the child for 5 years?
      /sarcasm

    • Young CC Prof

      In their world, infants not in the care of their gestational mothers either don’t exist or don’t matter.

    • Sarah

      Trick question. Single dads of newborns don’t exist.

  • Tokyobelle

    It’s almost 1:30 a.m. here in Japan, and I’m feeding little man. But I can’t help but think that it would have been so much easier to have just stuck him on my breast and co-sleep with him so that I wouldn’t have had to get out of bed to make the bottle and then feed and rock him back to sleep. But, according to lactivists, I’m lazy because I didn’t want to do whatever it took to make breastfeeding work.

    • Brooke

      Oh, I thought formula feeding was so much easier because I could just hand my son off to his father (not around), nanny (ha hahahaha), my mother (haven’t spoken to her in 9 years)…No one thinks you are lazy for formula feeding or that it does not have it’s own set of challenges.

      • mythsayer

        Okay Brooke, I’m going to explain this to you in a SIMPLE way.

        BREASTFEEDING IS EASIER (assuming you can actually do it).

        I did both and formula feeding early on is absolute shit. I was so dead tired I could barely drag my self out of bed. I hated having to kick my husband to make him to do it bc we were then both exhausted. For the times she was in her crib, we actually just stood over her crib and fed her bc she was still asleep while she was eating. When she stayed in our room, I started to keep formula and filled bottles by my bed. Heated formula? Nope, sorry, kid.

        When I breastfed, I pulled her into bed with me and fed her. Then we both fell back to sleep within 15 minutes. No getting up, no wandering around the house at 2am.

        Breastfeeding was easier by far as far as sleep deprivation and not having to drag bottles and stuff around with me. But breastfeeding was FAR more stressful since I never made enough milk to EBF.

        So until you’ve tried formula feeding, shut up.

        • Inmara

          I can agree that during early weeks combo feeding was PITA because baby wanted to eat at unpredictable times and I had to prepare formula before starting to breastfeed because I was combo feeding by topping up after nursing. Then baby nursed for 30-40 min and continued with bottle for 15-20 min. Rinse, repeat after 2-3 hours. Passing off some feedings to husband did wonders to cope with sleep deprivation, but during the day it was all on me, and I couldn’t go anywhere with baby because feedings were so long and intervals between so short. But it all got better when baby developed some kind of predictable schedule, started to drink more formula at one feeding and slept for longer stretches. Now I hear from other moms that at 7-8 months they are feeding several times every night and feel like I’m a winner.

          • nomofear

            Jealous here! I’d planned on combo feeding, and did at first, but my milk comes in fast and furious, so I forgot about formula when it did. When I remembered, baby 2 absolutely refused it. Just now, at eleven months, I tried Similac go and grow, which she likes – it’s vanilla flavored, so the iron doesn’t stand out as much – but yeah, most nights, she’s nursing at 10 and 2.

          • Inmara

            2 night feeds are not that bad – my SIL nursed her youngest every.two.hours until 20 months (then BIL got fed up, kicked her out of bedroom and kid started to sleep through the night). Baby simply refused bottle (he drank bare minimum for a week while she was on antibiotics and had to pump and dump) and he was quite and anxious kid so nursing was necessary as a soothing method.

      • Tokyobelle

        Being that I didn’t produce a damned drop, I would never say that bfing doesn’t have its challenges-it clearly does. The base hospital doesn’t have a lactation consultant, so after receiving no support at the hospital other than “keep pumping”, once I went home (48 hours after a c-section), I went to the internet to see if there was anything I could do to make my body start producing. The only thing I could find were discussion board posts from your friends at LLL stating that the women who said that were lying as there was no such thing, and they were too lazy and selfish to do what was best for their baby. It was over a week later that a nurse who agreed to help me as best as she could told me that my hypothyroidism was notorious for inhibiting milk production.

      • Azuran

        Really Brooke, why is it so hard to understand that each women are different and what is best or easier for them is different for every women.
        For some, breastfeeding is easier, for other formula feeding is ever. And just because you have no one in your life doesn’t mean everyone else is as lonely. Other people will have husband/wife/sister/brother/parent/step-parents/godparent who might also enjoy feeding the baby.

      • Taysha

        I’m sorry your child’s husband is not helping you. I really am.

        But you get no pity because the rest of us have no nannies, no family around, and had to return to work pretty darned quick (guess what, our husbands worked, too). You don’t get cookies for having a challenging life. You’re not the only one, dear.

        • Taysha

          “child’s father” because eff if I don’t need more coffee and less meetings.

        • BeatriceC

          And let’s not get into the “My life is harder and has more obstacles than your life” argument. I generally win those, and I’ve never, ever used the crap hand I’ve been dealt as an excuse.

          Edited to be clear that I’m not ranting at you, Taysha, but replying to you because I have a rule not to reply to the actual trolls.

          • demodocus

            This makes me chuckle in a rueful way. After all, who wishes to “win” _that_ contest?

          • Tokyobelle

            I sure as hell don’t.

      • Who?

        Your child is not to be ‘handed off’ to anyone. What a horrible thing to write.

        And can you please get a grip on your apostrophes, it is beginning to affect my calm. Perhaps have a look at this-it’s catchy and helpful.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vc2aSz9Ficw

        • Roadstergal
          • Who?

            Love it-‘less’ v ‘fewer’ makes my husband’s head explode. In the bad way.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            You must be my wife

          • Roadstergal

            My husband has taken to using ‘fewer’ tongue-in-cheek when ‘less’ is appropriate because I get so rant-y about the opposite.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Between you and I….

          • Who?

            DO NOT!!!!

          • BeatriceC

            That one makes my head explode. What’s so difficult about “I before the verb; me after the verb”?

          • Amy M

            Or using “myself” instead of “I” or “me.” I hear that at work a lot. As in: Myself and Jim will be at the meeting. Or: Jim and myself will help you. It just makes the speaker sound silly, and I don’t understand the aversion to the proper pronouns.

          • Dr Kitty

            That one is common in Ireland, because it is more or less how you say it in Irish, and it carried over.

          • Charybdis

            But see, with the Irish accent, it sounds utterly charming and delightful.

          • Charybdis

            I hate that too. They are NOT interchangeable. “Can” vs “may” gets me twitched up too.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Fewer and less is a big one for me, but my biggest pet peeve is the unnecessary “at”

            “Where’s the food at?”

            The only time it’s allowed is in Blazing Saddles

          • Charybdis

            I hate that as well. “Where are you at?” No, No, NO!!!!! It is “Where are you”. *eye twitches*

          • Who?

            I’m a bit more relaxed, it’s only if someone is making me irritated anyway that kind of thing really bothers me. Though I do find myself speaking back using the correct words, which can be just a little insufferable.

            Lucky I’m otherwise delightful.

          • Chi

            My dad taught me the difference between those two at a very early age.

            Me: Dad can I…-insert request here-”

            Him: I’m sure you can, but you may not.

          • Who?

            Are you my sibling?

          • Chi

            I could be. Sounds like our fathers had very similar senses of humour lol.

          • Charybdis

            My dad taught me the following: You do things well, things smell and taste good. Can is the ability to, may is requesting permission. Fewer cars, less traffic.

            My mother had the habit of embarrassing me when someone would call on the phone for me. She would answer and the person on the other end would ask “Is Charybdis there?” Mom would say “Yes”, and then wait in silence until they said something like “Can/may I speak with her?”

            I find myself doing the same things with DS.

          • Chi

            My father totally did that with all my friends on the phone too!!

            Fortunately, they all learned pretty quickly to ask if they ‘may’ speak with me.

      • Who?

        Your child is not to be ‘handed off’ to anyone. What a horrible thing to write.

        And can you please get a grip on your apostrophes, it is beginning to affect my calm. Perhaps have a look at this-it’s catchy and helpful.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vc2aSz9Ficw

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        Breastfeeding and formula feeding both have advantages and disadvantages. Every family is different. For some people breastfeeding will work better, for others formula feeding, and for others combo feeding will work best.

        I don’t think that’s a difficult concept, but you don’t seem to be able to get your head around it.

    • Gatita

      Couple of suggestions: premake the bottles and keep them in the fridge so all you need to do is warm them. Or buy pre-mixed formula and keep it in the baby’s room to use for night feedings (you don’t need to heat it up beyond room temperature). P.S. Brooke, you’re a twat.

      • LovleAnjel

        Or, pre-measure powder into individual containers and pre-fill the bottles with water. Dump, shake, feed!

    • Who?

      How long have you been living in Japan? Love it for a holiday but I can imagine it’s a hard gig with a young family.

      The middle of the night is a conundrum-if you bf it’s always you; if you ff someone has to do the prelims and follow up. No advice to offer but he will be older soon and not needing night feeds at all.

      • Tokyobelle

        I lived here 3 different times, for a total of 10 years and in some ways it’s a challenge, and in other ways it’s fantastic-it really just depends on what you’re trying to do.

        I keep hoping he’ll soon sleep for longer stretches, he did for a week, but he hit his 6 week growth spurt and hasn’t upped what he eats with each feeding at all-he prefers to just eat more frequently instead and we’ve tried giving him more at each feeding but he’s just not interested. I’m sure it will change soon, but until then…

        • Who?

          I know, it feels like some of the challenges will never end.

          Sounds like you’re doing really well though, and soon this will be a memory.

    • Kelly

      We put the baby in the crook of our arm and lay down and feed the bottle with the other hand. It is somewhat dangerous because
      I have fallen asleep but she does start to get fussy because the bottle fell out and wakes me back up.

  • CSN0116

    I remember quite clearly (though not the specific details), some years back, there was a proposition in Texas(?) to force women seeking abortions to only be granted said abortion after they had viewed their fetus via ultrasound and observed the beating heart. They then had to have the risks of the procedure explained to them. If, after all of that, they still wanted the abortion, they would have their choice granted. People freaked the fuck out over it.

    How is this any different?! Per BFHI (I read it cover to cover), a woman who wishes to formula feed needs to first be asked WHY she’s making the decision; then she HAS to have the “risks” explained to her, as well as what she’s losing out on by choosing not to breastfeed; THEN, if she still wants to proceed, the staff must supply her with formula and its preparation/handling instructions. If the Texas example was being herald as a violation of civil liberties and bodily autonomy, how is this not a violation as well? It is an attempt to embarrass, shame, lie to, and coerce a woman into using her body in a way for which she does not want to use it.

    And if the problem is hegemony, and the powerful breast feeders attempting to control the poor formula feeders, well shit – I guess myself and my army of fellow white, well-off, educated formula feeders need to step out from the shadows and start counter-acting said attempt to control this population. There are PLENTY of very powerful formula feeding women in this country 😉

    • Tokyobelle

      Well stated. I’m not wealthy per se, but relatively comfortable enough to take 12 unpaid weeks off, white, have a masters degree, and we bottle feed. Although I dread the comments made by others about bottle feeding him, I am refusing to hide in my house in shame and if little man’s hungry while we’re out, out comes the bottle.

      • Cartman36

        I only can think of one instance where some made a comment when I brought out a bottle. It was a priest who told me I should be breastfeeding. I had to bit my tongue to not laugh in his face. I can’t think of anyone who would have less understanding of the real challenges of breastfeeding and less entitled to an opinion on my feeding choices.

        • Tokyobelle

          Nothing hurtful as of yet, but I’ve been warned to expect them and have my comebacks ready. Right now, the comments are of the “why aren’t you breastfeeding him” variety from everyone we know, and because they’re friends and acquaintances, I’m telling them the truth in that I didn’t produce a single drop. But when they come from strangers, I’m planning to tell them to FOAD in so many words.

          • Madtowngirl

            Is it common for the Japanese to ask about breastfeeding? Granted, it’s been years since I lived there, but most people kept to themselves about personal business, so that would surprise me. But I also was young, unmarried, and had no children.

          • Tokyobelle

            Oh, the Japanese probably never would. 🙂 But as we’re stationed on a US military base, other Americans would-our community is very pro-breastfeeding.

            Coincidentally, the only reactions I get from the Japanese are surprise that I’m leaving the house with such a small baby (typically newborns don’t leave the house here), immediately followed by a chorus of “kawaii’s” (cute) when they see him. When we went to the airport last week, my husband and I found ourselves surrounded by admirers more than once. They didn’t bat an eyelash at the bottle, just kept commenting on his hair and big blue eyes.

          • mythsayer

            I agree that the Americans tend to be VERY judgmental. And yeah…kawaii’s all over the place from Japanese. Thy also took her out of my arms many times. They love American babies and they like to hold them. I heard an American once get all pissy that the Japanese were taking pictures of her kids. I wanted to say “chill, lady. Nothing bad is going to happen to your kid and it’s just the way they are here.” They take pictures of EVERYTHING.

            Also…not only do newborns not leave the house…they tend to stay in the hospitals with their mothers for up to 2 weeks if the mother had a c-section. I suspect you had your baby at the military hospital, right? You missed out on the Japanese experience. I had the choice of spending a month in Yokosuka or just staying at home in iwakuni. I stayed home since my husband and I had been separated already for like 9 months of the prior year and he’s the kind of person who’d have stayed at work until his 10 days of paternity leave. So I figured might as well stay with him at home and get the full experience. In the end I requested a CS and got it so it ended up being the better choice for me since I know they’d never have agreed to it in Yokosuka.

          • Tokyobelle

            Yep-we’re stationed in Yokosuka actually, but yeah, it sucks for those from Iwakuni and Sasebo who have to travel up here and wait in the Storks Nest until they go into labor-whenever that may be. As I stated earlier, I didn’t want the CS, but it was strongly recommended for me, and thus I had the rare privilege of having an elective CS at a military treatment facility at 38 weeks.

          • mythsayer

            Anyone who comes from sasebo is crazy. That city is quite large and has very nice facilities compared to iwakuni (where the same Doctor delivered babies for over 40 years…he was 75 and fragile when my daughter was born…suspect he retired by now). My mom and I would’ve had fun running around Tokyo but it just made more sense to stay home and prepare for the baby. Plus I got my CS, lol. So I ended up loving my experience. My profile pic is actually from Tokyo Disney…haven’t changed it in years. Can you look me up on Facebook? If you put in my username, my profile should come up. I’m always up for having new FB friends….esp military wives.

            I tell you, if I didn’t have the kid, I would try to hop a space a plane tomorrow. My husband is deployed so I actually could. I am the space a guru if you ever need tips. I’ve flown to and from Yokota before instead of going to or from iwakuni. I sadly know everything. I miss iwakuni but the trick to staying sane there was to fly home as much as possible. We had NO American restaurants. They just got a Costco in Hiroshima after we left. Getting to go to chili’s or TGIF was a rare treat (no chili’s on base – we had nothing).

          • Tokyobelle

            I couldn’t find you by typing in your username… if you email me at texasbelle 76 at hotmail dot com I’ll give you my real name.

          • mythsayer

            And having to front the money until they pay you back. I know people who couldn’t go bc they couldn’t afford it.

          • Gatita

            Koreans are the same way with babies. I live near a large Korean community and when my son was an infant I regularly had Korean ladies gallop up to us and grab him without asking first. Threw me for a loop the first few times but then I found it endearing. They are delighted by children in a way you don’t see in the US.

          • Tokyobelle

            I believe it. I suspect the low birth rate is at play here-babies are rare! Also, I still go gaga over chubby little Japanese babies when I do see them just because they look so different from what I typically see.

          • BeatriceC

            I find stony silence combined with a disinterested glare to be the best “comeback” to stupidity.

          • Charybdis

            “Why aren’t I breastfeeding him? Neither his nor my breasts are hungry right now.”

            “My nipple piercings are infected and my pediatrician doesn’t want the baby ingesting blood and pus.”

            “It is contraindicated with my new tattoos.”

            “The scar tissue inhibits letdown.”

            “I drink to maintain my sanity and I don’t want the baby to become an alcoholic, spreading the family curse into the next generation.”

            “Why aren’t you minding your own damn business?”

            Just off the top of my head…..

        • Glia

          Did you ask him how he dealt with nipple pain when breastfed his own babies?

          • Roadstergal

            I would have gone to the ‘priests have put worse things in kids’ mouths’ route, but I’m an asshole.

          • BeatriceC

            I have a smilar instinct to say things that aren’t nice. This is why I keep “snarky and evil Beatrice” locked up in her cage and only rarely let her come out to play.

      • mythsayer

        To be fair, nobody cares how you feed the baby in Japan. They are huge on breastfeeding and those rooms in every store are awesome but I never got any flack for formula feeding in Japan. They definitely put her on my breast when she was born, but I was fine with that since I’d decided to try. But even at the hospital, they were formula feeding her and expecting me to write down how much she ate (I can’t say ounces since it’s not in ounces there but you know what I mean). I guess they’d have accepted times of feelings too but the form listed ml eaten and the time. And when she lost 13% of her birth weight, they sent in an English speaking doctor to make sure I knew I had to formula feed her to get her weight up.

        Surprisingly, even the crunches on the military base were super supportive of my formula feeding. I asked several for help with breastfeeding and they all helped but wereall totally cool with formula feeding.

        So the Japanese didn’t care at all and I got lucky with the other Americans. Maybe it’s different in Tokyo, though.

        All that said, can I come visit you, lol??? I miss Japan desperately. I actually consider my tiny town (150k is tiny lol…in the us it’s a good sized city) home. But I’ll happily visit Tokyo, too. My daughter is five and tells everyone she was born in Japan…it’s really funny.

        • Tokyobelle

          I agree-the Japanese don’t seem to care. It’s the crunchies (aka other Americans) on our base that are the issue. The woo is quite strong here with many moms.

          If you can find room in our 1000 sq. feet off base house that has been overtaken by an 8 week old, feel free!

          OT: My husband (6’6 and a red head of Viking descent) was born in the Philippines. When we went to China a few years ago, we thought we were going to be denied entry (or worse) as his passport resulted in official after official being called over to review and discuss his passport whereas I had breezed through. Eventually, one who spoke a little English came over with the passport, pointed to the place of birth that said “Philippines” and shook his head saying no. Understanding that they thought the doc was bogus, my husband explained that his dad was American navy stationed there. After they all understood the seeming contradiction, we were waved through happily.

          I wonder if your daughter/my son will have the same issue? I hope they don’t…

          • mythsayer

            Our apartment on base was only 900 sq feet. That’s the benefit of living in a small town. The off base housing was actually a lot bigger. If we go back, I’m seriously considering off base this time.

          • Who?

            We stayed in a hotel in Tokyo over Christmas where our not quite double sized bed touched three walls-and husband and I, neither of us big people, could not be up and moving in the room at the same time.

            Had a great holiday, but don’t know how bigger people, or people w lots of luggage-we’re carry on only wherever we go, and for however long we’re away-coped.

    • demodocus

      Oh, that TX idea was a grand one, wasn’t it? I had no maternal feelings towards those fluttery amoebas on that first ultrasound and I went to great lengths to have my 2 pregnancies. Take a rape victim, insist she needs a trans vaginal utrasound a month later so she’ll connect with her “baby”? Both cruel and ridiculous.
      Hell, considering the number of early miscarriages at that stage, God must be a particularly nasty piece of work, to ensoul that tiny amoeba just to naturally kill off a large percentage.

      • Erin

        A month after my rape I’d have cut my own throat before I allowed someone to stick anything in my vagina. As imaginative as Dante was I don’t think there is a circle of hell bad enough for whoever came up with that idea.

        I thought “Alien” at our first ultrasound (oh how accurate that turned out to be) but my husband fell head over heels in love.

        • demodocus

          lol, Still accurate? There’s a story there you can tease your alien with later, i bet. Mine’s currently a cross between a frog and a dragon.

          • Tokyobelle

            I thought mine was a squid, but after years of infertility and a missed miscarriage, I was head over heels in love with my squid. My husband (understandably) didn’t allow himself to bond until I was a few weeks into the 2nd trimester and by then, he looked like an actual baby.

          • Erin

            Don’t know if you watch Dr Who but there is a species called the Slithveen.. That’s essentially what showed up on my ultrasounds throughout pregnancy.

            He’s much cuter now (luckily)

          • demodocus

            Not often enough to keep most aliens straight, but i catch your drift. (The Daleks are easy)

        • LaMont

          Well, I’m sure lots of GOPers would say that they support exceptions for cases like yours. And since they’re up to their eyeballs in magical thinking, they would somehow instinctively know who fell into those excepted cases and wouldn’t make women slog through proof of their trauma before accessing basic medical care (the fact that right-wingers get credit for being “more moderate” for supporting “exceptions” to their anti-choice laws makes my blood boil – there is *no way* to regulate those exceptions, and as Todd Akin proved, no one supporting these laws actually thinks those exceptions ever happen).

      • Jenny

        One of my friends is a rape survivor and she chose to formula feed. A nurse (who had been informed of her history) harassed and insulted her so much that that she had to report the nurse to a supervisor. And our local hospital isn’t even on the “baby friendly” list!

      • Roadstergal

        I’ve had five TV ultrasounds for various reasons. They are not the sort of thing to do to someone without medical need. I am fully on board with the comparisons of that law to mandated rape – that wand doesn’t just go in you, it goes hard in and all over.

        • MaineJen

          Agreed. TV ultrasounds are no picnic. Decidedly uncomfortable.

        • Wombat

          Yes! They hurt. I swear when my new OBGYN (that I still need to find, *grumble grumble yay insurance*) mandates a fresh one while we continue to look at endo/pcos among others, I’m going to agree only if we do it on the steps of the state capitol – with a drape of course! Or maybe the rotunda…. at least then it might do some good /s

        • demodocus

          One of my techs was quite a good hand at it; she made it merely uncomfortable. Some of the others, not so much.

          • nomofear

            Wow! I never knew til now that my OB must have great techs, because mine never bothered me. That, or the hotdog in a hallway thing… 🙁

          • Roadstergal

            I have a weird kink reaction where I find it arousing, which is NOT A GOOD THING in context.

      • Sarah

        I like how forced transvaginal ultrasounds are a bit rapey too. We can’t have these slags getting any ideas.

    • Madtowngirl

      We had a similar proposition here in WI. People screamed about it, but applauded the “baby-friendly” status of the local hospital. It’s like they can’t connect that bodily autonomy applies to women once they’ve had the baby.

      • CSN0116

        The problem is that nobody knows what the fuck BFHI actually states. In addition, there’s the problem that even if they did know – many would still support it as to further their sense of superiority. But it would lose some support if people actually read the damn thing.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I agree. Hey, “baby friendly” – it sounds nice. Who can argue with being baby friendly?

          But then mention that it means that requires rooming and and eliminating the nursery, people will be puzzled. “Hmmmm, we had a nursery when we had our baby. Didn’t seem to be a problem. Were we really being unfriendly?”

        • nomofear

          Ha! I love seeing it mentioned on Facebook and elsewhere. I share my humble opinion, and links. Doing what I can 😉

    • Wombat

      People freaked the fuck out but sadly it’s still the law: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-center-for-choice/texas-abortion-laws

      Lawmakers answer to people who don’t like it? “Well just close your eyes”. I wouldn’t even be surprised to find there’s a piece of amendment lying on the cutting room floor somewhere mandating A Clockwork Orange style ‘eye-openers’. You know, just in case.

      • CSN0116

        Is it really law?! Wow.

        • Wombat

          Yep. Unfortunately not one of the provisions at question in the current SC case either, since it was part of an earlier legislative package :c

          The precedent in that case should help eventually (presuming the case rules against TX) but there is still PP v Casey to contend with.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      I’ve literally observed beating hearts sitting in dishes. Why should a beating heart make anyone feel…anything in particular…towards the amoeba that has the electrical activity?

  • Green Fish

    There is something wrong with this sentence, I believe:
    “It is a shaming, imply that women who choose formula as don’t about their own babies.”

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Thanks! Fixed it.