Help me end the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative before more babies and mothers are harmed


Dear Neonatologists, Pediatricians, Neonatal Nurses, and the organizations that represent them:

Please help me help babies and mothers. The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is killing babies and you’ve got to stop it.

Nearly every day I get another email or Facebook message about a baby who has been injured seriously or even fatally by the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). And it’s not just mothers who are writing to me. It is postpartum nurses, neonatologists, pediatricians and other physicians who can’t believe what they are witnessing and seek my assistance in publicizing it and putting an end to these preventable tragedies.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Babies are being harmed and even die, yet the physicians and nurses who care for them feel powerless to help them in the face of the BFHI.[/pullquote]

In the last few months I’ve heard about multiple infants sustaining skull fractures by falling from their mothers’ hospital beds, multiple infants who have suffered brain damage from dehydration and greater numbers of hospital re-admissions to treat dehydration before it leads to permanent injury, and countless cases of poor weight gain and failure to thrive.

Babies are being harmed and even die, yet the physicians and nurses who care for them feel powerless to help them in the face of lactation professionals who have seduced hospital officials with the promise of saving money by implementing the BFHI.

What is the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and how is it hurting babies?

The BFHI is a hospital credential that is given to institutions that can demonstrate that they follow the ten steps of the initiative (and have given a big slug of money to BFHI to pay for it). It’s meant to encourage breastfeeding though there is evidence that it doesn’t even work.

You can find the Ten Steps here. The most dangerous steps are these:

  • Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated.
  • Practice rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  • Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.

This despite the fact that:

We KNOW that 5-15% of mothers will not produce enough breastmilk to fully nourish an infant.
We KNOW that judicious formula supplementation in the days after birth INCREASES breastfeeding rates.
We KNOW that there is no evidence that rooming in has ANY impact on breastfeeding rates.
We KNOW that there is NO EVIDENCE that pacifiers or artificial nipples reduce breastfeeding rates.

And most importantly:

We KNOW that the benefits of breastfeeding term infants in industrialized countries are SMALL.

No one can point to even a single term infant whose life was saved by breastfeeding whereas we can now point to many infants lives that have been destroyed or ended by letting a special interest group control infant care. And that doesn’t even take into account the suffering of mothers forced to endure their babies’ screams of hunger and are deprived of desperately needed sleep by the closing of well baby nurseries and enforced 24 hour rooming in.

Lactation professionals and the breastfeeding industry mean well. They honestly believe, in the face of copious evidence to the contrary, that breastfeeding has nearly magical health benefits, and that virtually any risk is worth taking to enforce breastfeeding among new mothers. But they aren’t medical professionals.

Neonatologists, pediatricians and postpartum nurses are medical professionals, and as such, are charged above all with ensuring infant well being. Outcome (a healthy baby) is far more important to medical professionals than any specific process like breastfeeding.

Neonatologists, pediatricians and postpartum nurses should immediately institute three specific measures:

  1. Easy access to infant formula and a low threshold for supplementation in the first few days.
  2. Routine access to pacifiers to soothe babies who are comforted by them.
  3. Mandatory access to well baby nurseries where every mother can send her baby for large blocks of time so she can sleep.

I don’t doubt for a moment that the breastfeeding industry is sincere in its beliefs, but babies are being harmed by those beliefs. We are experiencing an upsurge in serious adverse outcomes like infant skull fractures, severe neonatal dehydration, and even smothering deaths of infants left to sleep in their mothers’ beds because of forced rooming in. We should be tracking those adverse outcomes and doing everything in our power to prevent them.

I know that it is difficult to buck the hospital administration when it finds intellectual cover for financial decisions like closing well baby nurseries by insisting that it will boost breastfeeding rates. But babies have no one to defend them besides neonatologists, pediatricians and postpartum nurses.

Please, please stand up for them.

1,329 Responses to “Help me end the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative before more babies and mothers are harmed”

  1. Simon Pound
    March 16, 2017 at 4:57 am #

    I promote and support breastfeeding. However, to listen to the cries of newborn ravished with hunger is heart-wrenching and to listen the next day when that same infant’s cry sounds hoarse, I want to cry. I want to advocate for that child and say just give them 10-15 ml of formula, I promise that baby will breastfeed in 3 hours, you won’t mess up any blessed thing. I believe it’s neglect to make a child starve until your milk supply comes in. If I gave drops of food to a baby you would think the same thing!
    Post-partum nurse
    10 years

  2. Cidalia Martins
    March 2, 2017 at 9:03 am #

    I would like to see an end or at least an overhaul of the Baby Friendly Initiative. I almost killed my daughter because of the bad “professional” advice I got from nurses and lactation consultants (some who even came to my home). Advice that went against my own instincts and observations. My daughter almost died from dehydration and malnutrition while these idiots assured me that all was fine. Formula feeding was what ultimately and literally saved my daughter’s life and enabled us to resume and continue breastfeeding successfully for almost 3 years, contrary to bad advice I got.

    • MaineJen
      March 2, 2017 at 11:01 am #

      Wow…sadly, we are learning this is all too common.

  3. Kazine Phoenix
    May 28, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

    You are delusional.

  4. Nick Sanders
    May 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

    Oh look, 3 unregistered commenters all saying nearly the same thing in the space of less than half an hour. What a coincidence… :eyeroll:

    ETA: I would like to say to our three drop-ins, that this is an ongoing blog. Few, if any, posts are meant to be taken in a vacuum, but instead build upon previous posts. Dr. Tuteur has indeed provided the evidence you are asking for, in multiple previous posts. As this is an informal, rather than formal, publication, she is under no obligation to restate her citations with every new entry.

  5. Kay
    May 28, 2016 at 2:53 pm #

    Where is your evidence for the things we “know”? Where is your evidence for your claim of newborn deaths?

  6. Lindsay
    May 28, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

    Can you provide references to peer-reviewed papers and systematic reviews to back up your article please?

  7. Hannah
    May 28, 2016 at 2:32 pm #

    Hard to believe you’re medically qualified. Please cite your references to the scientific research to support anybody these claims. Perhaps then I might think about considering your bilge.

    • Charybdis
      May 29, 2016 at 11:16 am #

      Are you medically qualified, because then *we* might consider *your* bilge.

      • Amazed
        May 29, 2016 at 11:23 am #

        *I* won’t. Everyone can say they’re medically qualified. If she has the knowledge of Addi, Megan, CanDoc, fiftyfifty1 and our CNMs here (I am sure I am forgetting someone for which I apologize), she’ll first have to prove it to me.

        • Charybdis
          May 29, 2016 at 11:25 am #

          I’m in the same boat with you, really. I was returning snark fire…

  8. Lieve
    May 25, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

    breastfeeding DID save my son’s life over 12 years ago. doctors on intensive care gave all medication they could, but fresh-pumped breastmilk was the trigger to turn the negative flow he was in.

    • Azuran
      May 25, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

      Could be, could also be a coincidence. But if your baby had not made it it definitely would not have been because formula is bad for babies.
      I am sorry you had to go through the hell of having a sick newborn baby and it’s awesome that he made it through. However, you cannot extrapolate the needs of a sick newborn to those of healthy terms babies.
      Practically everyone here agrees on the health benefits of BM on premature babies and potentially on mature but very sick babies. But that’s still no reason to shame mothers for their feeding choices when it makes no difference for their baby.

    • CSN0116
      May 25, 2016 at 8:33 pm #

      Breast milk outperformed medication in a life threatening situation? I beg you to give details on that event

      • Lieve
        May 26, 2016 at 2:45 am #

        Outperformed? Not really. He needed all that medication too. But it didn’t enough. And it was the choice of the doctor in intensive care to give him fresh pumped breast milk in a last try to save him.
        My son was born with a congenital heart defect, which we didn’t know until he got bronchiolitis when he was 7 weeks young. I got sick too, a few hours later then him. He needed ventilation so he was transferred to a bigger hospital but his saturation still was bad. A cardiologist came and saw the rare heart defect. He needed urgent operation but that was impossible because of his lungs. In the days following, his condition was that bad that doctors told us he was about to die because of heart failure. They weren’t able to get the (viral) infection of his lungs under control. As a last chance they would try to give him a bit of the breast milk but we had to prepare for the worst. As i pumped my milk and stored a bit in the hospital (before i even didn’t know that was possible) and i was about to give up on that because i was very ill too at that time and i needed medications myself -sinusitis and pneumonia so i had to throw away the next milk because of the medication i really needed) so i asked to give him my last fresh milk.
        2 hours later his situation began to stabilize and in the hours following, it was even possible to lower oxygen. It was just a miracle. Doctors told me that the breast milk did just that little extra he needed. It took another 10 days to be strong enough for surgery but he survived.

        • Who?
          May 26, 2016 at 3:23 am #

          It’s great he’s okay, that must have been a terrible time for your whole family.

        • guest
          May 26, 2016 at 9:58 am #

          Perhaps it was the breast milk, or perhaps two hours later was just the timeline for his turnaround. There’s no way to tell. I’m glad things worked out well for you, but please don’t hold this up as an example of why BFHI should continue to harass mothers and put babies at risk of death from falls and suffocation.

        • fiftyfifty1
          May 26, 2016 at 11:23 am #

          Why did he get bronchiolitis in the first place if breastfeeding is so miraculous?

          • Sarah
            May 28, 2016 at 5:05 pm #


          • Mary Judge
            July 14, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

            Good question…

    • corblimeybot
      May 25, 2016 at 10:00 pm #

      What’s negative flow?

    • guest
      May 25, 2016 at 10:45 pm #

      The breastmilk did what with the who now?

    • Mary Judge
      July 14, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

      Really? That’s great! My grandson could’ve died from being breast fed and my daughter DID almost die. Her appendix burst in the hospital and no one knew. Her OB-Gyn, the lactate idiot specialist and her complete medical after care were so hands off. In the hospital they gave her morphine for the pain and told her it was up to her to feed her son. He in the meantime lost a pound and half. They sent them both home anyway, she had a low grade fever and was in terrible pain. They made her feel terrible but at least she was clever enough to compensate with formula. On the third day, being at home she phoned me, I took her to her dr. (whom I now call dr. hands-off) he said to go to the hospital (didn’t bother to call it in as an ’emergency’.) Her appendectomy operation took over three hours because she was in sepsis, turned out the general surgeon said her appendix burst while giving birth. I am thrilled that Dr. Tuetur and so many other doctors are coming to the conclusion that breast feeding is not the end all and at times could kill an infant. And; yes maternity wards must start being more attentive to mothers, why would any critic here have a problem with that. Glad your child is fine and breast feeding helped him. Horrified that you and a bunch of your friends are willing to put down a doctor for fighting for women in similar predicaments as my daughter and so many other women are in. Breast feeding is great when the conditions are appropriate, when they’re not it could be deadly.

  9. Dr Kitty
    May 23, 2016 at 9:28 am #


    I have two children, six years apart in age, both born at 39 weeks by planned CS. Both 9th centile on growth charts at birth and 25th centile at six months.

    I breast fed both without difficulty- good latch, good supply, no issues at all.

    But babies are not identical.

    My daughter slept through the night from five months, started solids at 6 months, largely refused bottles of EBM and was quite happy nursing only three times in 24hrs after six months. She never had a drop of formula, and I continued BF until she was over a year (16months- something like that).

    My son still wakes once or twice a night to feed at almost 9 months. He started solids at 4 months which led to a temporary improvement in his sleep, but then he started crawling at 6 months and the sleep and feeding schedule went to pot.
    He was taking 3 spoon feeds, breastfeeding 2 hrly between 8pm and 8am and 3 times during the day AND I was having to pump twice a day to get milk for his childminder (he was quite happy to drink EBM, and was guzzling 12oz a day).

    So, there I was feeding him 8-10 times every 24hrs, plus 2 pumping sessions, and both of us were losing weight, tired, grumpy and hungry.

    When I hit 40kgs I decided to cut the pumping sessions out and send him to his childminder with 12oz of formula. He also gets a 4oz bottle of formula with his dinner. At nine months he is still getting breastfed 3 or 4 times a day and when he wakes at night (down to once or twice…mostly), and eats three solid meals and two snacks a day.

    There was no difference in my supply, or support system, or goals.
    But I had different babies- one who didn’t crawl until almost a year, and just didn’t need as many calories and one who has been mobile since six months and DOES NOT STOP MOVING. He’s started pulling to stand and creeping along holding onto furniture in the last week, so I imagine he’ll be walking well before he turns 1.

    What would have been gained by continuing exclusively breast feeding him? Not on a population basis, on an individual basis- why would it have been better for me not to give him formula?

    I called time when we were feeding every 2 hrs, I had lost more than 10% of my bodyweight and the baby had gone from 50th centile down to almost 9th. What support would you have offered me that would have made things better?

    • Nick Sanders
      May 23, 2016 at 11:06 am #

      Good to see you again!

    • Sarah
      May 23, 2016 at 11:08 am #

      Probably a lecture on the evils of formula companies laced with a bit of scientific illiteracy.

    • moto_librarian
      May 23, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

      Don’t you know, Dr. Kitty? You should have quit working so you could do nothing but lay around and nurse your son. Never mind if you happen to be the primary breadwinner.

      • Dr Kitty
        May 23, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

        Never mind paying the bills, my emotional wellbeing pretty much depends on NOT being forced to stay home and care for an infant 24/7. I chose to do it short term, but after six months I was done. I need work for my sanity.

        • moto_librarian
          May 24, 2016 at 10:15 am #

          I completely understand. I am not cut out to be a SAHM.

    • Who?
      May 23, 2016 at 7:18 pm #

      I predict crickets from nikkilee.

      You do not fit her template, therefore you are not.

      • Bombshellrisa
        May 23, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

        She is a doctor plus her two planned (and enjoyed) c-sections. That is three strikes before she even got to the part about formula.

  10. May 23, 2016 at 12:43 am #

    I don’t really need much more than “Breast Feeding Industry” to get some serious red flags up in my brain.

    It sounds like DIY Healthcare – like somebody sees a way to save a boatload of money by cutting the Nursing Staff, and getting the patients to pick up the slack; then hiding behind a slew of blatantly self-serving rationalizations to shift the risks away from the Hospital / Insurance Corporations, in order to duck their liability.

    These Rent-Seeking Suits have no soul and no honor.

    • nikkilee
      May 23, 2016 at 10:52 am #

      You are right. And it has been so since Nixon made medicine a business.

      • guest
        May 23, 2016 at 10:55 am #

        A business that you are a part of.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        May 23, 2016 at 11:41 am #

        Nixon made medicine a business? What was it before that?

        • Charybdis
          May 23, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

          A profitable hobby? A noble calling?

        • MLE
          May 23, 2016 at 7:48 pm #

          It’s always such a relief when the “enemy” is something or someone so outlandish that you know you don’t need to marshal arguments against it. It’s a huge load off.

      • Who?
        May 26, 2016 at 3:25 am #

        A bit rich you mentioning that in a slightly pejorative tone when we consider your very business-like website flogging your many-ahem-‘services’.

      • momofone
        May 26, 2016 at 7:58 am #

        One from which you don’t benefit at all, right?

  11. Bombshellrisa
    May 22, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

    Just putting this up at the top: out of 27 hospitals in my state that have an L&D, only one MAY have a well baby nursery. It’s a five bed L&D. I haven’t checked every hospital, so there may be more well baby nurseries but none at the big hospitals.

  12. momofone
    May 21, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

    My son was born in the same hospital I was. When we went for the tour, I told my husband I was fairly sure nothing had changed, including the nurses, in the almost forty intervening years. I was furious during the tour when the nurse told me that my son would not be allowed to spend the night in my room for nursing; he would stay in the nursery and be brought to my room to be fed. Between the hours of 10 am and 10 pm he would be in my room, but at 10 p the nurses would take him back to the nursery so that I could rest. He was not allowed to be in my room if I was asleep. I was all into the breastfeeding woo, and did not want him to have sugar water (which she said was standard) or pacifier, because I was so afraid that either would doom our breastfeeding relationship. My husband made little signs that said “I’m learning to breastfeed; please take me to my mom instead of giving me a pacifier.” (I know, I know.) I was taken aback by how old-school the whole setup was. And then my son was born, and we had unforeseen complications. I wasn’t able to hold him for 24 hours, and it was quick; he had hemolytic anemia and severe jaundice and had to go back to his special care bed almost immediately. I wasn’t able to even try to breastfeed for almost a week, so I was pumping every hour and a half and trying to sleep in between, and see him every time they would let us in. The nurses gave him what I pumped, but also gave him formula, because he needed it. He had a pacifier, and as it turns out, he loved it. The nurse I was so upset with made a special concoction to help with his awful diaper rash and took equally good care of my son’s scared, exhausted parents, making sure we slept and ate. All of that to say that I had no idea how fortunate I was to be in a place where my well-being was considered just as important as my son’s, and where my being able to sleep was considered a priority by the people caring for us. I would never have said this then, because I was too ignorant to know how well I had it, but thank goodness we didn’t have to deal with the BFHI.

  13. sara
    May 21, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    As both a family practice physician who has seen patients bullied and a soon to delivery my first at a *sigh* baby friendly hospital, I’d love some specific ways to do this – somewhere bigger than my local hospital (or potentially, their PR team)? Who is the force? Newspaper editorials? Ideas? I’m not enough into the activism end of things.

    • Charybdis
      May 21, 2016 at 9:20 pm #

      Ways to fight the BFHI edicts while you are in the hospital?

      • nikkilee
        May 23, 2016 at 10:54 am #

        There is formula in BFHI hospitals. Not everyone is breastfeeding. The difference is that the formula is ethically purchased the way everything else a hospital buys is purchased.

        • guest
          May 23, 2016 at 10:57 am #

          Since when is it ethical to make health care and hospital stays cost more on purpose?

          • Megan
            May 23, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

            When your goal is to make sure only the desires of the privileged are met.

          • guest
            May 24, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

            Well, there’s that. But it’s not ethical in my view, and that includes cutting off free formula samples that really help some poorer families.

        • AllieFoyle
          May 23, 2016 at 10:59 am #

          I think we all know there is a bit more to it than that, nikkilee. Let’s not be disingenuous here. Formula is technically there, but many women have difficulty accessing it without lecturing, hectoring, misinformation, or judgement.

        • Sarah
          May 23, 2016 at 11:11 am #

          There is formula in BHFI hospitals, yes. The issue is with whether women will be allowed to use it and, if so, whether they will be permitted to do so without being subject to some jobsworth doing a big shit all over their right to accurate information and to choose. Obviously.

        • Irène Delse
          May 23, 2016 at 11:24 am #

          You mean “the formula is locked up and if a baby needs it, the mother had to beg for it, get misinformation, beg again, sign a formulary as if it was some controlled substance. Basically, be treated as someone irresponsible that the hospital can’t trust to make an informed choice.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 23, 2016 at 11:27 am #

            It’s easier to get a controlled substance in the hospital. You ask they bring it. I never had to sign anything saying that I was poisoning myself.

          • Megan
            May 23, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

            Yup. No one made me sign for Dilaudid.

          • guest
            May 24, 2016 at 9:51 pm #

            One time I didn’t even have to ask. A nurse looked at me and said “You know, I can bring you another painkiller if you like.” And lo, I have not become a habitual user in spite of her offer and my acceptance.

        • Charybdis
          May 23, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

          Ethically purchased. What does that even mean? I would assume that anything consumable in a hospital is “ethically purchased” from their contracted suppliers or directly from the manufacturer, with appropriate discounts for bulk orders. Even if formula is given to the hospital for free by the manufacturer, so the hell what? The baby must eat.

          There are only 2 ways to feed a baby: breast and bottle, or breastmilk and formula if you prefer. The baby has a right to be fed and if breastfeeding/breastmilk is not available for whatever reason, then formula MUST be used.

          Wishing it wasn’t so, making formula nearly unattainable for a new mother in the hospital and demonizing formula manufacturers as deviant bullies out to undermine and destroy the breastfeeding utopia lactivists fantasize about will not make formula vanish from the marketplace. Because what else is there to feed a newborn baby if nursing isn’t working?

          That is what sticks in the lactivist’s collective craw; there will ALWAYS be a market for formula and many, many mothers will opt to use formula, no matter how hard “breast is best!” is pushed on them. I daresay that the heavy-handed, overbearing and myopic insistence on breastfeeding in BFHI and LC’s has made a lot of women determined to never breastfeed with subsequent babies and embrace formula from the get-go.

          • nikkilee
            May 23, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

            Formula industry gives away its product in order to make friends and sell product, aiming for brand name recognition. When parents buy the name brand used in the hospital, the industry gains another $700+/year in profit. However no formula sold, according to the FDA regulations, can be inferior to another; they all have to meet regulations.

          • Heidi
            May 23, 2016 at 3:58 pm #

            So, my baby had a tag in his bassinet that said MEDELA on it and “I’m a breastfed boy!” And then without my consent, some Medela equipment was brought to my room. But I guess that’s a totally different thing. Oh, wait, it’s not!!!

          • nikkilee
            May 23, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

            It’s totally the same thing.

          • Nick Sanders
            May 23, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

            That has nothing to do with Charybdis’s question.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 23, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

            And this is different how, ethically, from Medela giving me a free tote bag, and Lansinoh stocking said bag with nipple cream and breast pads? That bag didn’t make my milk come in sufficiently or punctually, and nor did it force me to keep breastfeeding once it became clear that it was causing both of us far more harm than good. For that matter, while I used Similac to supplement via an SNS in the hospital, I cheerfully bought generic formula for the remainder of DD’s infancy because cheaper-yet-identical.
            Again, it’s almost as though, despite the fact that I’m a woman, I’m capable of making my own decisions based on the best solution for me and mine even if someone says “oooh, free shtuff!”

          • nikkilee
            May 23, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

            There’s no difference. Pump companies can act unethically too.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 23, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

            But how is it unethical?
            There are a lot of companies out there that make pumps/nursing accessories, as there are several companies who make formula.
            There are also lots of companies out there that make burritos, or frozen pizzas, or protein shakes; is it unethical for a Costco staffer to say “want to try some pizza?” when you walk through the store?
            The fact that they’re nice enough to say “hey, we like our product, and we think you will, too, so have some on us” doesn’t mean they’re unethical. Quite the contrary, I should think: they’re letting you judge the product for yourself, apart from cost factors, and while you may like their product, you may also make the now-informed decision that either you don’t like their product, or that the generic version is just as good. It would be unethical for them to, say, arrange to have a law passed that only allows you to eat Sally’s Frozen Pizza, but that simply isn’t the same thing as someone offering you a bite or two of Sally’s Frozen Pizza for free.
            Come to think of it, one could even argue that it suggests a modicum of corporate responsibility to stand behind one’s product to that extent: it means that they care enough about what their public think about their product that they want feedback and that they’re willing to take a risk of people not liking it in order to get that feedback.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 23, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

            Spot on!!
            Come to think of it, Motherhood Maternity gave me free coupons for a nursing pillow, nursing cover and they gave away Avent bottles. Mixed message or just a nice “hey, these are things parents might need, have a couple of these things and thanks for buying ridiculously overpriced but insanely comfy maternity panties from us”.

          • Megan
            May 24, 2016 at 9:20 am #

            If you signed up at Motherhood, that’s how you got free formula samples. That’s how I got mine.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 24, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

            The mystery is solved! Well, I appreciated it. I had gotten 1 bottle of ready to feed for just in case and the samples came in handy when I was faced with an infant who couldn’t nurse. I was pretty tired when I got home from the hospital and I didn’t feel like running to the store the day after we got home. Yay free stuff!

          • Megan
            May 24, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

            Come on, face it. You had planned to breastfeed but those sneaky SOB’s at MM colluded with Enfamil AND Similac to undermine your efforts and you just couldn’t resist the siren song of a free sample. Your milk dried up immediately as soon as you popped that baby open, amiright? 😉

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 24, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

            Oooooh, so that’s how they got my info! Note to self: sign up at Motherhood for future pregnancies, even if I don’t need much in the way of their clothes.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 24, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

            But those maternity pants could be used around the holidays. Think of them as thanksgiving pants

          • guest
            May 24, 2016 at 9:50 pm #

            I love this idea. Thanksgiving pants, ha.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 24, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

            Pie. Pie. Piepiepiepie.
            I like the way you think!

          • Roadstergal
            May 25, 2016 at 11:27 am #

            I try to wear my UA compression pants around Thanksgiving to slow myself down. :

          • demodocus
            May 24, 2016 at 10:10 pm #

            I’m still not sure where Demo was signed up that *he* got the formula samples this time.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 24, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

            Oh dear, that might stop him from breastfeeding!

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 1:19 am #

            Some people will look for any excuse….

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 24, 2016 at 7:46 pm #

            And oddly enough, MM’s kind gift of gift cards for the aforementioned free nursing pillow, cover, a sling, and a carseat canopy did *not* persuade me to nurse this kid, any more than their gift of an Avent bottle (yay, same brand/style I use!) forced me to bottlefeed.
            In a simply *shocking* turn of events, I was able to accept the gift cards, genuinely thank the cashier, and then mail them off to a friend who, unlike me, breastfeeds/regularly babywears and was delighted to get them. I’m sure I’m the single, strongminded outlier though–no other woman would be capable of such self-control!
            I suspect that “ridiculously overpriced but insanely comfy” is MM’s unofficial slogan. 😀

          • demodocus
            May 24, 2016 at 10:09 pm #


          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 24, 2016 at 10:49 pm #

            With a glass of milk! *drool*
            Or in soft serve ice cream! *drools even more*

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 25, 2016 at 1:01 am #

            A blizzard or McFlurry-I just realized I can do that at home. I got ice cream for family dinner this weekend!

          • BeatriceC
            May 25, 2016 at 1:11 am #

            Buy mini M&M’s. They work better for and ice cream topper. At least in my opinion. YMMV.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 25, 2016 at 1:58 am #

            Toddler and I might have to go buy those tomorrow. We are going to feed the ducks and the store is on the way home. I wonder what he will think. He likes chocolate.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 25, 2016 at 1:00 am #

            I bought m&ms, you made me do it! It’s just like when there was the lasagne discussion and I ended up asking my mom to make lasagne for me.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 25, 2016 at 6:21 am #

            I remember those lasagne discussions, I made the best Squash lasagne after that. 🙂

            Advertising works!

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 25, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

            I have the recipe you sent me for that!
            Yeah, I must be a weak minded sheeple. They give me formula samples, I end up using them. Free laundry detergent samples and I end up loving the brand. Someone mentions lasagne and I lust after it.

          • demodocus
            May 25, 2016 at 8:14 am #


          • BeatriceC
            May 25, 2016 at 1:10 am #

            That’s kind of mean you know. June 7th can’t come fast enough. I’m pretty sure I can’t live without chocolate much longer (and if it is a chocolate allergy, I’m going to get very grumpy.)

          • demodocus
            May 25, 2016 at 8:16 am #

            Sorry. I don’t have any chocolate, either. Or ice cream. or pastry. *sniff*

          • BeatriceC
            May 25, 2016 at 1:09 am #

            I dunno. I took that Pampers sample and gave it away. I discovered with my first I liked Huggies better, so that’s what I used with the rest of them, despite the samples and coupons in the gift bag.

          • Mishimoo
            May 25, 2016 at 8:41 am #

            I loved Huggies too, but then the only store that had them ran out and so I tried the Aldi ones. No more nappyrash after the switch, so I was sold on that brand thanks to the lower cost and more comfort for the kiddos.

          • BeatriceC
            May 25, 2016 at 9:49 am #

            Funny how different babies do different things. Buggies were the ones least likely to cause diaper rash with my oldest. I never used anything else with the other two, so I don’t know about them.

          • guest
            May 25, 2016 at 10:41 am #

            “Buggies” sounds like the worst brand of diaper ever.

          • BeatriceC
            May 25, 2016 at 10:51 am #

            Ugh. You’d think Apple’s programmers would figure out major brand name product names.

          • guest
            May 25, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

            Maybe they knew how much I’d need that laugh at just that moment.

          • demodocus
            May 25, 2016 at 9:26 am #

            I went with pampers for the first several months. Still had pregnancy nose and they had the least offensive scent to me when used

          • BeatriceC
            May 25, 2016 at 9:47 am #

            I don’t know about today, but at the time pampers had a plastic outside that was sticky and irritating to both the baby and me. Huggies had a more cloth like exterior which was less annoying. Plus OK got terrible diaper rash with pampers.

          • guest
            May 25, 2016 at 10:40 am #

            I’ve still got two in diapers and have used 6-7 different brands over the past three years. None have a plastic outside anymore (the brands I remember using: Fisher-Price, Huggies, Luvs, Pampers,, and Parent’s Choice). They all felt pretty much the same to me, and for whatever reason, they all worked the same on both of my kids (boy and girl). I buy what’s cheap. Luv’s are the cheapest, but they are perfumed. I hated that, but it didn’t irritation anyone’s skin so we used it. Other than that, the main difference seemed to be the print on the outside. Plain white is hard to get! Most of them are branded (gasp! advertising!) with cartoon characters.

            Anyway, the only things that influenced my choice of diaper were: A) low price B) no leakage, and C) no diaper rash. As long as those three conditions were met, no amount of advertising wetness indicators and whatever else mattered. If I had more money, I’d’ve tried the ones that claim to have less of an environmental footprint.

          • Box of Salt
            May 25, 2016 at 11:20 am #

            ” Luv’s are the cheapest, but they are perfumed.”

            I bought them once. After I opened them, I had to spread the whole pack on my patio to air out before I could bring them back inside my house. And they still stunk.

            No amount of cost savings would entice me to buy their brand ever again.

            They also leaked for my kid. This was back in 2006 or 2007 when they had a money back satisfaction guarantee. I used maybe half of them (until I had the opportunity to go back to the store and get something else) and got my money back. They discontinued guarantee shortly afterwards.

          • guest
            May 25, 2016 at 11:17 pm #

            The smell really is awful. And why is the cheapest brand the perfumed one? Surely Luv’s could eke out a little more profit by not buying the fragrance. The Fisher-Price diapers are harder to find, but they were one of the cheapest and worked well. Those were my favorite. was the go-to, though, because it’s hard to beat reliable next-day delivery when you have twins, but you don’t have a car.

            Anyway, when I can manage it, I don’t buy Luv’s, but sometimes cash is tight and toddlers are pooping and resisting potty training, so…

          • demodocus
            May 25, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

            Definite change in diaper styles, none I’ve tried have been sticky at all, but then your babies are a few years older than mine.

          • Charybdis
            May 25, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

            We were Pampers all the way. I tried Huggies and Luvs, but the Pampers fit DS better and he didn’t get diaper rash with them. He did with Luvs (really bad) and milder cases with Huggies. I used a lot of what I called “The Whip” butt cream with him. It was a mix of zinc oxide, Mylanta and a little bit of athlete’s foot cream. Worked like a charm and cleared up his worst rashes damn near overnight.

            It’s that sensitive redhead skin…

          • nikkilee
            May 23, 2016 at 10:09 pm #

            It is unethical because nothing is free in a hospital, not even an aspirin. It is not ethical to treat one product differently. Free samples are a marketing strategy. The mission of hospitals is to give healthcare, not marketing.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 23, 2016 at 10:20 pm #

            As I understand it, the hospitals aren’t funding the formula samples or the breastfeeding gift bags; the companies are. These are items that new moms can and often must use: a breastfeeding mom will often leak in the early days (and sometimes later), or need a breastpump (I got a free manual Medela), while formula-feeding moms may very well want to try different brands and see which one Junior does best on without dropping $25+ for a container of the stuff only to find that Junior spits up more on Infamil than on Similac.
            The options are a) tell everyone they must bring all their own supplies in anticipation of all possible events (I assumed, for example, that I wouldn’t need a pump, would nurse easily from the start, and of course, would never need formula–wrong on all counts), and if you don’t plan for every contingency, guess you and baby are screwed, b) charge everyone, many of whom can’t afford healthcare to begin with, for stuff that companies are willing to provide for free, or c) say “cool, thanks!” when a company offers to provide free samples of Useful Products, albeit without showing preference for brands of Useful Products beyond expecting them to meet a common standard–i.e., no cyanide in the nipple cream, please and thank you, and no goats’ milk instead of actual formula.
            Would you prefer that hospitals contract with a single breastpump provider and ditto a single formula provider to provide these things for the moms who need them? I wouldn’t. That would at least imply, and probably lead to, a strong conflict of interest for the hospital and the healthcare staff. Saying “hey, Lansinoh and Lact-Aid and Medela and Infamil and Similac and Boppy and who-knows-all: you want to give moms free stuff? Go for it. If one or more of your competitors also offers moms free stuff at our hospital, mom gets asked if she has a preference, and we respect it” does not.

          • swbarnes2
            May 23, 2016 at 11:06 pm #

            So you are saying that hospitals should only use non-branded cloth diapers, because using Pampers is wrong? Is the new mom recovering from PPH or pre-e or whatever supposed to be washing them out, or are you going to do it on behalf of the nurses?

            Or do the babies just go commando?

          • Elizabeth A
            May 24, 2016 at 6:37 am #

            So, when the nurse in radiation handed me a fistful of samples of aquaphor, was that unethical? The pediatrician who supplied me with lanolin samples – what’s your stance on her? I’m still buying aquaphor, that stuff is a miracle. And oh gosh, that one chemo nurse who phoned me up a wound care specialist and sent me home with a stack of tagaderm dressings, no charge, what kind of monster was he?

            When my children were born, we left the hospital with a package of newborn pampers both times. Those one piece hospital pacifier’s are so awesome that they sell them in CVS now, and no one charged us explicitly for those.

          • Roadstergal
            May 25, 2016 at 11:22 am #

            (Tangent – I am another victim of a free Aquaphor sample. It was so unethical of them to demonstrate to me how awesome that shite is!)

          • momofone
            May 24, 2016 at 9:50 am #

            Then how exactly do you describe your job? Because it sounds like you market the hell out of breastfeeding. (Let me guess–that’s different.)

          • nikkilee
            May 24, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

            Education about biologic process. . . available to most. I am one part-time grant funded LC for a whole city; formula industry made $55 billion globally last year, of which they spend 10%-25% (depending on what source you read) on marketing. Marketing means selling a product.

          • momofone
            May 24, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

            Sometimes, as with breastfeeding, the product is an ideology.

          • May 24, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

            Marketing can and often does mean selling an idea, not a product. You’re selling your idea, that breast is best, and you’re getting government funds to do so. How is that fair?

          • Guest
            May 25, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

            Wait, wait, wait! When I ordered lunch trays during my postpartum stay and asked for clear soda, they gave me a NAME BRAND SPRITE!! How dare they promote Sprite over 7-up? And I got NAME BRAND Nabisco cookies. What on earth were they thinking trying to manipulate my food choices? In damaged forever!

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

            Infant feeding choice versus choice of soda are two completely different things. One is a matter of health and the other isn’t.

          • demodocus
            May 26, 2016 at 9:33 am #

            True, drinking nothing but soda is bad for you, but a 3 month old drinking nothing but formula or breastmilk is exactly what they’re supposed to be doing to be healthy.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 26, 2016 at 9:50 am #

            But the store brand soda is cheaper, and the overall profits of the soda industry increase when hospitals buy name brand soda. Why isn’t the hospital going to Costco for store brand ?

          • Roadstergal
            May 27, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

            I don’t know how I missed this comment, but it might be the first true thing nikkilee has posted – but completely backwards. Sugared sodas are indeed a health concern, as they can contribute to health issues in those pre-disposed to obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, and therefore choosing a sugar-free option is indeed a matter of heath. Whereas feeding properly prepared formula vs ideal breastmilk*… isn’t.

            *Yes, I’m making that caveat. If there isn’t enough milk, if it’s too watery, if the baby can’t efficiently get it out or keep it down, etc., it’s worse than formula. Compare like to like.

          • Charybdis
            May 24, 2016 at 9:56 am #

            Formula is FOOD, the fact that you don’t want to treat it as such is beside the point. It is no different than the liquid food they use to feed people with a feeding tube, except that it is going into a baby via the oral route.

            My doctor gives me samples of prescribed medication so that the pharmacy bill is not as big, nor am I constrained to the artificial limits placed on prescriptions. (I would get a big bag full of various triptans for my migraines when we were hunting for something that would work: injectable Imitrex, Amerge, the powdered one you mix with water, etc) and I’ve been given cough syrup samples, Singulair samples for DS, etc.

            The dentist hands out free toothbrushes, toothpaste samples and floss samples each time I go for a cleaning.

            Hospitals DO provide health care, but often times that care is transferred to the patient when they are discharged and by providing the patient with enough supplies so they can survive a couple of days while they are getting prescriptions filled, products bought (crutches, braces, bandage supplies, nutrition shakes/supplements, etc) just seems like a good idea. You then have extra, in case of emergency, or have enough to get you through a short span of time until permanent measures can be put in place.

            Hospitals have to get their supplies from somewhere, and giving patients extra is NOT a bad thing.

          • Angharad
            May 24, 2016 at 12:42 pm #

            When I left the hospital with my daughter, I received (for free or included with the room, but they weren’t listed separately on my itemized bill):
            A baby shirt with the name of the hospital and the words “Special delivery”
            Two nose-sucking bulbs
            A small package of newborn diapers
            A small package of wipes
            Three pacifiers
            A diaper bag
            The hat my daughter had been wearing
            A sample of the narcotics I was prescribed for pain
            Coupons for diaper cream, wipes, and diapers
            Five 2-ounce ready-to-feed bottles of formula
            Please advise why only the formula was unethical to provide for free, or what could have been gained by making me pay for all the other items I received.

          • nikkilee
            May 24, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

            Parents don’t pay; their insurance does. Hospitals often bundle charges so insurance pays one big fee.

          • momofone
            May 24, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

            Are you saying that hospitals are charging insurance for the samples provided by formula companies?

          • Irène Delse
            May 24, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

            This is not what Angharhad was asking. Why do you change subjects? Here, let me remind you: of the various samples and coupons from the hospital, why single out the formula? Why aren’t you incensed about diapers and wipes (think of the environment)! Why not the coupons, where the parents are supposed to make actual purchases to redeem (pushing consumerism)! And so on.

          • nikkilee
            May 24, 2016 at 9:15 pm #

            Because hospitals should be marketing health, not being used by industry to sell product. Because free formula samples undermine breastfeeding: this is a research conclusion and the reason that industry gives the samples. Because hospitals buy food: eggs, orange juice, so they should buy formula.

          • Azuran
            May 24, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

            And formula is a perfectly good and healthy way to feed a baby. Supporting women who want to formula feed is a healthy practice.

          • guest
            May 24, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

            Meh. Free samples of Lansinoh nipple cream and pump flanges doesn’t undermine bottle feeding. Get over it already.

          • momofone
            May 24, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

            So should they stop doing breast reconstruction (and therefore being used by the implant industry to sell product) and instead insist that their patients with breast cancer should just be healthier?

            I really wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt, but clearly I have done that in error. You do not listen, because what you hear would force you to question the line you’ve swallowed–and marketed the hell out of–and you are not willing to do that.

          • guest
            May 24, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

            Let me get this straight: If an egg distributer exec wanted to do something charitable and approached a hospital about donating some amount of eggs to help lower their food costs, the hospital should turn this down as unethical?

            That’s just twisted.

          • CSN0116
            May 24, 2016 at 10:23 pm #

            Undermine = damage or weaken.

            How does the presence of formula damage or weaken the physical act of breastfeeding? Do you mean it’s a convenient out when women realize what a pain in the dick breastfeeding is? So what?

            You people talk about formula like crack. If you have to breastfeed with a blindfold on and earplugs in as not to be wooed away, then that shit isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The “exclusively breastfeed or bust” rhetoric is really tired. More women would nurse if they were taught that combo feeding from birth is totally acceptable and possible.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 12:25 am #

            I started to reply to nikkilee but you said it all, only more pithily that I would have.

          • demodocus
            May 25, 2016 at 8:00 am #

            “breastfeed or bust” giggles like a junior higher

          • demodocus
            May 25, 2016 at 8:02 am #

            My love of the Red Sox has been undermined by the Indians onsie! (Which I’m guessing was advertising given to the hospital rather than bought by the hospital.)

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 11:26 am #

            I had my baby too early for a Red Sox onesie (they didn’t have that contract with the BoSox yet). But daycare did carefully teach my children which team to root for.

          • Charybdis
            May 25, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

            Or, on the other hand, maybe they need to give out samples from ALL formula brands and varieties: brand name, generic and store brands, soy, hydrolyzed, etc. That way, they can’t POSSIBLY be creating favorable market share for any one product.

            This is ridiculous. It is the fact that formula is FOOD for infants that is upsetting you. All the other freebies (breast pads, manual pumps, nipple cream, diapers, bottles, milk storage bags, wipes, pacifiers, onesies/t-shirts, blankets, etc) apparently are all fine and good to hand out willy-nilly. But the second you put FOOD not from a breast into the mix, then the gift bags need to be banned from a lactivist perspective.

            Breastfeeding is also undermined by the rabid “breastfeed at all costs-it’s easy and it’s free!” mentality shoved onto a new mother. You are forced to do it in the hospital so their EBF numbers look good, but the second they leave the hospital, quite a few will stop breastfeeding immediately because of the browbeating and guilt, some will combo feed and some will continue to EBF. And when these women are asked about their breastfeeding experiences, they are not listened to, much as you are not listening now, nor have you been for the past several days.

            Quite a few of us have given our stories and circumstances in regard to breastfeeding, explained in detail exactly how pumping is *NOT* free if you work and explained, again in detail, how formula feeding can be less expensive than breastfeeding. You aren’t listening. You might be hearing what we are saying, but you are not truly listening.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 8:36 pm #

            I hear those stories too, about women being bullied into breastfeeding, and harassed for not doing it. I am but one person, and I promise to do something with all the truths you are all giving to me. It has already changed my teaching, so I am grateful for the comments. My profession has a lot to learn.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

            See, you don’t count what you do as bullying because you would characterise it as coming from a place of kindness.

            That may be so.

            But it also comes from a place of ignorance-about how our bodies work, about the practical realities of many people’s lives, about financial constraints, about mental health, about support, and who knows what else.

            You. You have a lot to learn. Heaven knows about the hard science, but also about respecting what other people honestly tell you about their lived experience.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 25, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

            Maybe the place to start is to acknowledge that whilst the are good things about breastfeeding, there are bad things about it too. And when women tell you about their experiences, believe them.

            No one here is anti-breastfeeding. But we acknowledge that it has costs, and that we don’t get to decide for other people which costs are worth it and which aren’t.

          • Amazed
            May 25, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

            Yes, just like giving out free chocolate to those who don’t have it undermines healthy eating habits. I should know. I lived in a time and place where we didn’t have almost any chocolate. Not in a single freaking shop. Instead, we had soy sweets. When my father returned from abroad with two huge BAGS of chocolates, it would be a great day for all the kids in the neighbourhood. It didn’t turn us into chocolate whores. It was just a nice prop to have, underlined by the sad lack thereof in our everyday life. I didn’t think of eating chocolate every day.

            You know what undermined my healthy eating habits? When, finally, chocolate appeared in the stores. It was so great to finally have it that I couldn’t stop buying it. Now, I still enjoy it often but it isn’t a need like it was after it miraculously appearing after so many years of only having it when my dad returned.

            What can undermine breastfeeding is the fear that your baby might starve at home like they did in the hospital because you and your ilk only cared about not undermining breastfeeding. I imagine there is a good chunk of women thinking, “Starving my kid again? No way! I’ll top up with formula just in case.”

            Stop being such a hypocrite. Your second sentence says it all: all you care about is breastfeeding being undermined, starving babies be damned. And then, you go into concealing mood again: oh, it isn’t ethical for hospitals not to BUY that formula.

            News to nikkilee: no one here believes for a moment that you care whether formula comes for free, from the market, or from Mars. You just hate it that there IS formula available.

          • Irène Delse
            May 25, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

            Indeed. And I’ll add that I find the admonition that “hospitals should market good health care” kinda funny. They don’t have to market it, they provide it!

          • guest
            May 24, 2016 at 9:46 pm #

            Yes, I got a six pack of formula nursettes (because BFHI or not, they were adamant that preemies need to be fed, no matter what), two pairs of scissors, a couple of rolls of tape, two thermometers, two packs of newborn diapers, two hats, one pacifier, one baby blanket, two hospital branded t-shirts, two sets of breast pump flanges, bottles, and tubing, some random extra bottles for pumping into, samples of nipple cream (Lansinoh, of course – because advertising), hospital socks, chux, some plastic measuring containers used to heat bottles in hot water, and I don’t even remember what else. It was a lot of different supplies that I got to take home.

            In terms of what was “free,” I can tell you that even when you factor in the reduction in salary that comes with having employer-provided health insurance, my out-of-pocket expenses were still nowhere near the something like $150,000 in combined treatment the three of us got.

          • momofone
            May 24, 2016 at 11:27 pm #

            Does the hospital bill for your services?

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 25, 2016 at 12:47 am #

            She probably doesn’t do her cranial therapy, homeopathy or aromatherapy for free either (she does all those things).

          • Roadstergal
            May 25, 2016 at 11:18 am #

            Of course she does… :p Man, I wish I had fewer ethics, so I could make a living off of bullshit.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 6:24 am #

            If you mean are LCs paid by the hospital, the answer is yes, just as are diabetes educators, nurses, housekeeping etc. This becomes part of the general overhead for a hospital and turns into a foundation for billing.

          • momofone
            May 25, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

            Maybe there should be a formula consultant too then? To keep things ethical.

          • Irène Delse
            May 25, 2016 at 11:56 am #

            This is an interesting statement, since people are not on the hospital for their pleasure, and while they’re there, they have to eat, drink, get clean, and get the necessary medications. All that stuff is going to be supplied, and it’s cheaper for the hospital to get it in bulk than for everyone to bring in their own food, soap, toilet paper and aspirin. And some of that stuff, yes, is going to be recognisable brands. Often because they’re brands that people already know and trust. The hospital isn’t interested in buying, say, lots of yogurt that nobody likes and that they’ll have to throw away.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 8:38 pm #

            I don’t know about that. . .generally, no one goes to the hospital expecting or getting good food.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 26, 2016 at 9:48 am #

            Mores the pity on that one. Hospital food can impair recovery quite badly.

          • Irène Delse
            May 24, 2016 at 7:40 am #

            That’s a good point: offering the customers to try for free and judge for themselves is more ethical, after all, that just making promises about the product through advertisement.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 23, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

            Free stuff: somehow we are getting free things from Seventh Generation. They are deliberately undermining my homemade laundry detergent. Is it brainless of me to buy Seventh Generation laundry detergent because I found out it takes out stains like nothing less, since without that sample I would never have known that? They included a pack of coupons too.

          • momofone
            May 23, 2016 at 6:34 pm #

            Well, sure, if you just want to play right into The Man’s hand!

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 23, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

            Gullible me, I wanna do the extra work and spend more so I can say I make my own laundry detergent.
            I did the math and between the sale and the coupons, a big bottle of seventh generation detergent will cost $3 and the dish soap will cost 91 cents.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 23, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

            Well, being but a weak-minded woman, you couldn’t help but fall prey to the Evil Corporate Machinations of Seventh Generation. I mean, once those coupons and samples entered your mailbox, you were doomed, DOOMED I SAY, to buy from them! (Which leads to the hilarious mental scenario of what would happen if you also got samples/coupons from Tide, All, Purex, Downy, and Clorox: would you be forced by the Evil Corporate Overlords to buy the 128-ounce extra value size of each of those products every week, too?)

          • momofone
            May 23, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

            Huggies did the same thing for me. Are you going after them?

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 25, 2016 at 12:52 am #

            Pampers and Huggies also do those points programs and some of the things you can trade points for are pretty fun.

          • Kelly
            May 24, 2016 at 12:38 am #

            Umm…. I have no clue which brand my hospital gave me. I do know that they gave me Pampers diapers each time because I really like them and continued to buy them. Once, we were past the newborn stage I cloth diaper and buy my diapers from Target. I started with one of the brand name formulas and then once it ran out, I used my leftover Target formula from the last baby, and then I started using Sam’s Club because it is the cheapest for me. I made my decisions on formula before my baby was born. There are some people who are brand concious but most people aren’t, which is why off brand formulas are still around.

          • Irène Delse
            May 24, 2016 at 7:33 am #

            I don’t get this obsession with “OMG free formula samples will undermine women’s will to breastfeed”!
            Yes, companies want people to be aware of their brands and try their products, because they compete with other brands for market shares. But even if I try stuff that’s given for free doesn’t mean I’ll buy it for months on! Like for instance, my pharmacist gave me some samples of toothpaste. I tried it, but I’m not going to switch brands, I like my usual brand better.

          • An Actual Attorney
            May 24, 2016 at 9:22 am #

            My dentist always gives me a toothbrush and sample size toothpaste and floss. I still don’t floss.

          • Who?
            May 24, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

            You really should. Your teeth are your best friends. Takes 2 minutes. The little tear of happiness in your dentist’s eye when you go for your next appt, along with your enhanced gum health, will be your reward.

            And it does feel kind of good when it’s done.

          • An Actual Attorney
            May 24, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

            I know I SHOULD, I just don’t.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            May 24, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

            As Who? suggests, one of the biggest benefits of flossing is that the dentist loves you. When I am flossing, I don’t dred the dentist at all, because I know they aren’t going to make me feel guilty about anything. I could have 10 cavities, but because I floss, the dentist loves me.

          • An Actual Attorney
            May 24, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

            Yes, but I derive my self-worth from doing exactly the opposite of what the educated medical professional recommends. That’s how you know I’m not a sheeple, I’m an educated mama. Do your research.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 12:06 am #


            But try the flossing-for funsies.

          • guest
            May 25, 2016 at 10:21 am #

            I never used to. Then I had a dentist tell me that, really, if you can do it every other day it’s just as good. This may have been a lie, but it worked to get me started flossing, just every other day. And eventually every day.

            I still allow myself about 5 cheat days a year, because I still hate flossing.

          • An Actual Attorney
            May 25, 2016 at 10:36 am #

            OK, OK. Sheesh. You all can get on me next about exercise.

          • Eater of Worlds
            May 25, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

            My teeth are incredibly clean. So much that it takes them about 3 minutes to scrape the tiny bit of tartar off my teeth and the dentist was asking me what I did to keep my teeth that clean. And yet, they are rotting out of my head. Age has done that.

          • Roadstergal
            May 25, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

            Have you considered worlds that are lower in sugar?

          • Eater of Worlds
            May 25, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

            Yeah, but I didn’t have a single cavity until I hit 40. My teeth are very tight together and even the dentist struggles to get floss between them.

          • guest
            May 25, 2016 at 11:10 pm #

            i don’t know about Eater of Worlds, but you can pry my sugar from my cold, dead hands.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 11:41 pm #

            Age, the shape of your teeth, the state of the enamel.

            I have two kids, one no fillings, one a mouthful. And she will likely need at least one crown before she’s 25. Teeth are individuals, just like people.

          • Squillo
            May 25, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

            IIRC, there has been some recent research that suggests that flossing isn’t that important. (I have no idea how reliable it is.) Of course, I love to floss and have amazingly healthy teeth. N=1.

          • Heidi
            May 24, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

            I’ve read that first article over and over and I can’t find the actual percentage of women who received samples that quit breastfeeding versus those who received none ANYWHERE. Am I missing something? Are they leaving it out because it’s fairly underwhelming?

            The CDC thing says 7 of 11 studies found a correlation which means, I guess, that 4 didn’t.

          • swbarnes2
            May 24, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

            This is the Pubmed entry for the article reference in the first link, but I can’t read the journal. It’s awfully confusing, in part because the “intervention” of not giving formula wasn’t followed very well. The key sentence in the abstract is this:


            “In post hoc analysis, receiving no take-home formula in bottles from the hospital was associated with increased exclusive breastfeeding in control (P = .02) and intervention (P = .03) groups at 10 weeks.”

            But without the greater context, I’m not sure what this means. Maybe the exclusively breastfeeding mothers didn’t remember getting formula, or left it behind, and said they didn’t get it? Maybe the mothers who wanted formula were asking for it, so of course they got it and then went on to use it?

            And how much of an increase? This study is small, so you couldn’t reliably detect a 2% increase, but maybe it causes just a 10% increase?

            And what if 70% of the mothers who got formula gave their kids formula once a week, or twice a month, as a respite, and breastfed the rest of the time. Is that really so hideous? Why is that a situation that needs to be avoided at the cost of denying mothers safe food for their babies?

            We know that there are lots of women who supplement in the first week or so, and then go on to breastfeed for a long time. Those women would not be counted here as success cases, and that’s stupid.

          • Charybdis
            May 24, 2016 at 9:40 am #

            This is a bad thing how, exactly? No one is saying one brand of formula is better than another, nor is anyone saying the generics and store brands are inferior to the brand name formulas. The companies that make formula are competing for market share for their product. I’m fairly sure (correct me if I’m wrong) that the specialty formulas (Elecare, Neosure, Nutramigen and Alimentum, etc) don’t have generic equivalents, so one is stuck paying full price for it or is dependent on manufacturer’s coupons, discounts, samples, rebates, etc for any savings.

            The formula contained in the lovely diaper bags they gift away are *not* full size containers of product, they are samples. I got one from both Similac and Enfamil when I left the hospital. Guess which formula DS wound up on? Good Start was the brand he did the best on. I had gotten a sample of it from my pediatrician.

            Again, we are back to the food element of the gift bags being the lactivist’s main issue with them. The changing pad, coupons for diapers, wipe samples and couple of diapers inside the bag were lovely. Apparently Medela provides bags with breast pads, nipple ointment, a manual breast pump, etc in THEIR bags and these are just fine to hand out, according to the lactivists, because there is no food in them. It “encourages and supports” breastfeeding.

            Why are they so damn determined that some babies not be fed sufficiently? A formula sample is no more a slippery slope than a free manual breast pump and milk storage bags.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 24, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

            Economically, the claim that the formula industry gains $700+/year when parents buy the name brand used in the hospital doesn’t really make sense.

            The name brands used in the hospital vary from hospital to hospital. Some parents will look at the prices and eschew name brand formula, but many are not price sensitive about this – they buy what they’re familiar with, or what they see ads for, or what they remember a friend using – all name brands. Industry profits don’t increase because the name brand is Enfamil instead of Similac or vice versa. If they did, those profits would average out nationwide, and probably remain flat.

            I’ll note that parents who choose breastfeeding aren’t terribly price sensitive about their feeding choices either. They choose to take the hit of the cost of the mother’s time (which can be quite high – I’ve given my $130/week example in this thead already).

            Families who are price sensitive wind up on store brand formula, which is just as good and a whole lot cheaper, but which many families are discouraged from using by factors that sometimes include criticism from LCs about the bargain choice.

          • nikkilee
            May 24, 2016 at 9:11 pm #

            I am still curious how pumping could cost so much. Women aren’t paid to pump; they are to use their break and meal times. The $700 figure comes from the literature on the topic. Some hospitals have gone to Sam’s Club or Costco to purchase generic formula, because it is nutritionally equivalent and way cheaper.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 24, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

            Did you not read her reply? She had 5 hours of unpaid pumping that she could have spent working and earning. Do you think she’s lying? Why are you dismissing her experience?

            You say you will support a woman’s feeding choices, but you minimise people’s experiences when it doesn’t fit with your ideal reality. That is not support. In fact it’s skirting close to gaslighting.

          • An Actual Attorney
            May 24, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

            Not all women are paid hourly. I bill out at $700/hour. Like most lawyers, I bill in tenths of an hour. If I spend 6 minutes mucking about putting milk in a fridge, washing parts, redressing, that’s $70 I don’t bring in. And, because of the way we bill, if I spend 7 minutes, that’s $140 foregone.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 7:11 am #

            Literally liquid gold.

          • guest
            May 24, 2016 at 9:59 pm #

            I don’t get breaks, Nikkilee. I am salaried. I have an amount of work that I am expected to complete, and then on top of that I’m expected to exceed that amount in order to advance in my career. I can’t put an exact number on lost wages from pumping at work, but it would have made it difficult to complete the amount of work I needed to complete in a reasonable amount of time. If I stay late to finish it, that costs extra in childcare (more than the cost of a can of formula by far).

            On top of that, if I have to walk through my office carrying used pump parts for washing, or make a colleague wait to talk to me because he or she comes at an inconvenient pumping time, I risk losing status in the office. It should not be this way, but it is. I risk being seen as unprofessional, disgusting, or uncommitted to my career, and all of those things can potentially hold me back from advancing, which means lost future wages.

            I don’t want it to be this way, but it is this way, and pumping at work was not for me.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 6:22 am #

            Awful, and I get it about why you couldn’t do it. It’s too hard to fight uphill all the time.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 6:36 am #

            This is, in many of our opinions, a much bigger barrier to breast feeding than formula marketing, or anything that happens at the newborn stage, but it often doesn’t even show up as a possibility on multiple choice surveys. I winds up stuck under “lack of community support.” (No, my community did not support breast feeding. I had less than 3 months of protected parental leave. Workers for my current employer get 8, because they’re too small for fmla.)

            It’s as though, since we have a right to those pumping breaks, LCs have decided pumping at work can’t possibly be a problem, and gone back to signs on the subway, slogans on the cans, and making sure no one gets a free diaper bag.

          • guest
            May 25, 2016 at 10:19 am #

            Do diapers bags coerce women into formula feeding too now? I guess breastfed babies don’t shit.

          • guest
            May 25, 2016 at 10:18 am #

            So why are your trying to guilt women into doing it anyway? Focus on securing paid maternity leave and better wages for all workers.

            Because the thing is, while I didn’t find pumping at work practical, my job gave me 8 months of paid leave (not all maternity leave, but still 8 months off at full pay), and that is not the norm. I shouldn’t feel guilty for not doing enough – I should feel privileged to have had more support than most American women.

          • nikkilee
            May 26, 2016 at 7:40 am #

            How will society change without hard work?

          • guest
            May 26, 2016 at 10:38 am #

            Shaming women is not “hard work.” Asking women to sacrifice themselves and their families for your ideal isn’t “change.” It’s oppression.

          • demodocus
            May 26, 2016 at 11:01 am #

            Who said the change was for the better?
            Personally, I love it when people assert things about history, societies, and other cultures when they didn’t study any beyond high school. A minor version of what mds and scientists face. *eyeroll* Oooh, 7 babies survived Dachau? Another question is how long had their mothers been there? The deportations didn’t cease in 1943.

          • Squillo
            May 25, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

            Amen. And it isn’t always about lack of support or time. I had all the things that are supposed to make pumping work: An office with a door, a salaried position and discretion over my schedule, enough income to buy a hospital-grade pump and all the storage items, a suitable place to wash pump parts and store milk, and supportive co-workers.

            I couldn’t pump enough to feed my son through his 8 hours of daycare. The 8 oz. or so I was able to pump through multiple sessions just wasn’t worth the effort and loss of productivity. So he got formula at daycare and breastmilk at night.

            Pumping was fine by the time my daughter came along; I wasn’t working and could pump enough over several days to have a slight cushion of stored milk if I wanted to be away from her for a few hours. So she never got formula. All it cost was the six figure income I gave up to be a stay-at-home mom.

          • guest
            May 26, 2016 at 10:37 am #

            Yes, I had colleagues who tried to be supportive, a chair who was willing to schedule my classes so that they worked with my childcare (though it helps that morning classes are better for that, and not many people want morning classes), and my own office with a door. I wouldn’t call our shared kitchen suitable for washing pump parts since no one ever cleans it, but all in all, support was there. It just still doesn’t work sometimes.

          • CSN0116
            May 24, 2016 at 9:59 pm #

            Most women need to pump 2-3 times per 8 hour shift. Each session is 20-30 minutes to get to the pump room, setup, pump, store, cleanup, and get back to the workplace. I don’t know where you come from, but most employees get one 1/2 hour lunch break; sometimes this is unpaid and their work day is elongated to 8.5 hours long.

            A $10/hour worker stands to lose $10-$30 per day doing this, as that time will have to be made up. The law does NOT require the pump session time be paid time – haha, no. And we’ve already been over the fact that even built-in breaks are not necessarily paid. If she works five days per week, that’s $50-150 per week in lost wages; $200-600 per month. And when her workday is extended, it’s likely her childcare expenses are as well. Tack on collection bags, bottles, coolers, additional pump parts, etc.

            Fuck that noise. My baby formula feeds for $40 per month, no hassle, and the same fucking outcome.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 6:20 am #

            How is a month of formula only $40?

          • CSN0116
            May 25, 2016 at 6:49 am #

            I have EFF five children.

            I use Target’s Up and Up brand, extra large tubs, 5% Red Card Discount, $10 off when I buy 3 at once, Cart Wheel App, and (sometimes) coupons in addition to.

            $40 is the max per month. I spend less the first month and last two months when intake is lower.

            I EFF for ~$500 per year.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 6:53 am #

            So far I’m at 100% accurate prediction of crickets from nikkilee-she won’t engage with stories that don’t match her narrative.

            I foresee crickets here.

          • CSN0116
            May 25, 2016 at 7:48 am #

            Pssssh. A large 1020 gram container makes 232 reconstituted ounces of liquid formula. My babies take 24 ounces per day (four, 6 ounce feedings), so that’s 10 days worth of feeding for $23.99 full retail price.

            I don’t pay retail. (Though even retail would only be $72 per month.)

            I pay ~$15 per container after all the Target discounts. You can’t fight facts. And I swear I’m going to write a book teaching people how to do this 😛 A lot of people don’t qualify for WIC but struggle. I just grew up crazy poor and ‘came up’ but can’t detach from my roots, so I’m cheap as fuck.

            And I hear that Sam’s Club is even cheaper per reconstituted ounce, and they give bigger bulk discounts. I’m missing out! But I don’t have one near me 🙁

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 8:09 am #

            I’m sure that’s right-my point was you won’t hear from nikkilee-she only engages with details she can ‘rebut’ with her nonsense.

          • CSN0116
            May 25, 2016 at 9:30 am #

            Well I’d love to entertain her, and teach her some things too! 😉

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

            While I have no doubt whatsoever as to your skill as both an entertainer and educator, I doubt nikkilee is open to being entertained or educated on this topic.

            And, as predicted, she hasn’t responded to you. Despite making time to note above that breastfeeding does not cost mother any calories, so breastfeeding women don’t need to eat more than they usually would.

          • CSN0116
            May 25, 2016 at 7:49 pm #

            Doesn’t every source say contrary? Even weight loss apps have you identify as a nursing mother so they can alter your caloric requirements (increase).

            Ahhh but that would hurt the “breastfeeding costs nothing” thesis. Extra calories are needed, and they cost extra money to purchase, and they put additional strain on the environment to produce.

            She’s probably cut from the same cloth that says all breast milk has the same caloric and fatty content, and just because mom ate a piece of toast and a handful of almonds all day, and her milk is so watery you can shine light through it – well it’s irrelevant and that milk is nutritious 😉

          • momofone
            May 25, 2016 at 8:24 am #

            That’s impossible. Formula feeding is horrendously expensive and incredibly hard! Right, Nikkilee?

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 25, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

            We were very poor until I was 12–I learned from that too and in a good way. I think it can make you more resourceful. I always look at the ads, clip coupons (our local library gives away free Sunday papers, so my coupons are free and I get all the ads that way) and comparison shop. We check Slickdeals a couple times a day. I am part of my local Buy Nothing chapter. Toys, kids clothes, baby gear and even formula are offered up for free. We also do the Target cartwheel app and buy so we can get the gift cards and roll them onto our next purchase. The savings add up.

          • demodocus
            May 25, 2016 at 7:54 am #

            generics, discounts, couponing, and sales. Combine them and you can get a wedding dress for $35. (granted, it was 2nd hand, but I wasn’t complaining. It was almost perfect anyway and it 1 day to make the adjustments.)

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

            I had no idea. My profession has no idea. Thanks.

          • demodocus
            May 26, 2016 at 9:01 am #

            Well, you did ask. Maybe your area’s sales and generics are more expensive, but considering the number here who’ve gotten formula that cheaply in the US, it’s not a uniform thing.

          • Who?
            May 26, 2016 at 9:09 am #

            Obviously had never, in all her forty what years of doing this, thought to ask about the cost of formula, in between preaching how expensive it is.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 26, 2016 at 9:23 am #

            Nikkilee, perhaps your profession should make a habit of looking into these things because you hold yourself out, professionally, as an expert but appear staggeringly clueless about a startling number of basic issues.

          • fiftyfifty1
            May 26, 2016 at 9:25 am #

            “I had no idea. My profession has no idea. Thanks.”

            I think this pretty much says it all.

          • D/
            May 27, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

            I have an idea … If you’re educating folks on costs of infant feeding, that information should be common knowledge.

            I taught the breastfeeding classes at my hospital for about 19 years. I knew exactly how much an average year of infant feeding straight off the shelf was locally because at least every other year I would price formula at Target, Walmart, and Kroger— the three major formula brands plus store brands for each, as ready-to-feed/ concentrate/ powder, including both standard cow’s milk based and specialty formulations (Alimentum/ Nutramigen)— and breast pumps at local vendors and rental stations.

            Stuck it all on a chart and mentioned couponing/ bulk purchases/ etc for potential additional savings. IIRC there was over $1200 per year cost difference between Walmart/ Target standard store brand powdered formula and grocery store name brand standard ready-to-feed formula … I let the prices speak for themselves. Did the same with breastpump purchases vs short-term or long-term rental.

            I haven’t taught a breastfeeding class (or paid much attention to formula prices) in 4 or 5 years, but for fun I glanced at store brand powder as I was running through my local Walmart tonight.

            Here’s an example of a food cost comparison of the most expensive pumping option and least expensive formula option at current local-to-me prices: If you wanted/ needed to rent a hospital grade breast pump long-term from me for a year, I’d be ethically bound 😉 to charge you ~$65 less/ year than a year of Parent’s Choice 35 oz powdered formula tubs would run you . Then add the $(500+calorie) extras *many* breastfeeding mothers find themselves needing to include in their own grocery bills.

            Breastfeeding (and/ or pumping, especially if your insurance provides a pump that works well for you) *may* save money, but *only* if it goes well, you make plenty of milk, and it doesn’t compete with the ability to earn needed income. Anyone having to purchase a decent retail pump for back to work and spending even $5.00 per week on extra groceries is going to spend **at least** as much as those Target formula super deals that Heidi and CSN0116 have down to a science!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            May 26, 2016 at 10:07 am #

            Why not?

            Seriously, I mean it. Why doesn’t your “profession” know this?

            Think about that for a while. Then maybe you will understand why we have such little respect for people like you.

          • Charybdis
            May 26, 2016 at 10:40 am #

            Probably because they *don’t* want to know, because it calls their worldview into question.

            Breastfeeding = always free, always easy, pumping allowed everywhere, something, bonding, something, most natural, healthier, beautiful, insufficient supply is so rare that it really doesn’t need to be mentioned, ever, yadda, yadda, yadda.

            Formula feeding = prohibitively expensive, mixing errors, formula can be contaminated, time consuming (boiling water! sterilizing bottles!), toxic sludge, results in fat, unhealthy babies that will grow up to be a burden on society, force feeding baby, nipple confusion, something, coercion by hospitals, conspiracy with formula manufacturers and hospitals, blah, blah, blah.

            If they actually LISTENED to women’s experiences, then they would see that there are pros AND cons on both sides and that women will do what works best for their individual circumstances and that EBF isn’t the bee’s knees, wasp’s nipples, or any other erogenous zone on an insect. Then their entire self-image and self-worth is called into question. Can’t have that.

          • Irène Delse
            May 26, 2016 at 11:07 am #

            I was thinking that there is a lot of woo in adult nutrition, but at least professional dieticians take an evidence-based approach and that you can usually trust what they have to say.

          • fiftyfifty1
            May 26, 2016 at 11:32 am #

            “Then their entire self-image and self-worth is called into question. Can’t have that.”

            Well that and $$$. In nikkilee’s case, it’s much more than just her ego, it’s her livelihood.

          • Charybdis
            May 25, 2016 at 11:38 am #

            How is breastfeeding *always* free?

          • Heidi
            May 25, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

            So I was looking at my Target order history. On average, I order 3 tubs of 40oz. of Up & Up formula every seven weeks. It’s $24 a tub. (Even if you live in a state with higher prices, it’s all the same online.) But since I get three at a time, I get a $10 Target gift card every time, which I usually apply to the next formula order. So it starts out at $72, but with my giftcard it’s down to $62. Since I have a Redcard, I get a 5% discount on the remaining $62 which brings it down to $58.90. It ships totally free. This lasts 56 days. That means daily formula costs me $1.05, which for 30 days costs $31.55. Now most days I can manage with a lot of time and effort to squeeze out 8 oz of breast milk a day so that might be around a quarter of my baby’s daily intake. If I didn’t breastfeed, that would bring it up to $39.44. However, I could be more judicious with my formula use. I have a Baby Brezza that makes the bottles in 2 oz. increments. If he is only going to take 3 oz., I could put the fourth ounce in the fridge, but most the time I don’t. I could be paying even less for formula. On the average day, I’d guess I throw 4 or 5 ounces out.

          • CSN0116
            May 25, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

            I get giggly happy just thinking about it 😀 Well done!

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

            Thank you.

          • momofone
            May 24, 2016 at 11:25 pm #

            Did you not read her answer? She lost work time in order to pump. This is the intersection of how things work in theory and how they work in reality.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 12:04 am #

            ‘Break and meal time’: so women who have the statutory entitlement to a break don’t get one, because they are pumping (and depending on how much they are pumping, may end up with not enough break time to pump); and professional women who aren’t entitled to a break, and for many of whom time is money, neglect their professional responsibilities to pump.

            Way to have a productive work day.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 6:25 am #

            I did answer that question, and so did you, right here. “Women are not paid to pump.” I was working hourly at the time, and my work time was constrained by daycare hours, so 20 minutes spent pumping was not replaceable. I couldn’t arrive early or stay late to get more billable time in.

            Five hours a week of lost income cost me $130 at my then current wage.

          • Heidi
            May 25, 2016 at 10:51 am #

            In the real world, breaks don’t always happen. I worked as a tech in the ER. It was way too hectic to get 2 paid 15 minute breaks. If I did take my breaks, I’d be putting my work onto a co-worker. That co-worker sure wasn’t getting compensated for taking on my duties or my patients. I got a 30 minute lunch break which involved either getting my food from the cafeteria or warming it up. How is one to fit in a 30 minute pumping session? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t illegal either because of the nature of hospitals. And when on the rare occasion that ER wasn’t packed to the gills, and I got a rest, I really wanted to take a breather, not attach myself to a pump if I had been lactating at the time. I also used to work as a paralegal where every single minute I was at work had to be billed to the client or the law firm. Even the time I spent in the bathroom had to be billed to someone so my 15 minute breaks were considered the time I’d get up to go potty, make a coffee, etc.

          • BeatriceC
            May 25, 2016 at 11:29 am #

            I was a teacher. My contracted time was from 7:45 to 3:55. Classes were from 8:15 to 3:30. I generally got to school around 7:15 in order to get ready for the day since I had some sort of duty (meeting or drop off duty) from he start of my contract time to the first bell. Once my students were in the classroom I had to be there. I had 5 minutes between classes in which I was expected to stand at my door and supervise students as they left my classroom and the new ones came in. I had a 25 minute planning period twice a week, and that was usually taken up by meetings. On the rare occasion I didn’t have a meeting, I did silly things like plan lessons, grade papers or make copies (rare, since I could only make 300 copies per year and had to go to a copy store and pay out of my own pocket for the rest). I didn’t even have a duty free lunch. I was expected, along with my colleagues, to eat lunch while supervising the students. After the last bell I was expected to supervise dismissal until the last minute of contract time. I rarely had time to even pee. Pumping was impossible. I did pump after dismissal and before I started all the rest of the stuff I needed to do, but that just delayed my arrival home, and I wasn’t getting laid for that time anyway. Thankfully I was blessed with a massive oversupply and my body got used to the schedule. If I was normal as far as supply goes it would have been impossible.

          • demodocus
            May 25, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

            You mean you *didn’t* want to help “normalize” breastfeeding in front of 25-35 students. For shame!

          • Amazed
            May 25, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

            Well, the lady who did that was a professor, IIRC. Your average teacher isn’t that enlightened.

            Don’t worry, Beatrice. We know it wasn’t your fault. We still like you, right, Demo? RIGHT?

          • demodocus
            May 25, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

            Um, yup, what you said 😉

          • BeatriceC
            May 25, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

            Closer to 40-45 (And one notable year, 52 in one class), but no. I don’t think so. 7th graders. Do I need to say more?

          • demodocus
            May 25, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

            Ah, my urban student teaching experience was at a school with an average of 30 kids. (I don’t know how long they’ve been calling it urban but it’s the same low SES city communities)

          • BeatriceC
            May 25, 2016 at 5:51 pm #

            Some schools are really overcrowded. Mine got better when the state put in a class size law, but not great because they could count aides as part of the ratio. A friend of mine who used to teach in a Las Vegas high school had classes over 60 students.

          • demodocus
            May 25, 2016 at 6:48 pm #


          • Bombshellrisa
            May 25, 2016 at 1:44 pm #

            If you worked in the ER, I will bet that there were shifts where you never even got to use the bathroom because you were so busy. I have worked double shifts on a med/surg unit where I only got to go to the bathroom twice. You would think Nikkilee would know that because she was a nurse at one time, but she is the typical tune people out lactivist.

          • Heidi
            May 25, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

            I worked on Med/Surg before ER, and yep, it was a super busy nightmare, too, especially if you had a night with a code or two or even three thrown in and then ER decided to send up all the patients instead of diverting them to other ERs despite the fact there wasn’t enough staff to cover the current patients. Yeah, try pumping when you are a nurse with 10 high needs patients or a tech with 15 of them.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 25, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

            The two (or more) code night! Even if it’s not your patient, the entire floor is affected. Or if there are multiple 3am admits from ER (our medical side closed down at 3:30am for four hours, so they are always making room by admitting people). Or if a patients needs a one to one and a tech or nursing assistant has to be pulled from the floor to do that and everyone else has to scramble to rearrange the patient load. Running a blood transfusion or drawing blood cultures is also another way to run far behind. I can’t imagine trying to pump with those circumstances.

          • Heidi
            May 25, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

            In my working years, I’ve worked as a paralegal, a med/surg tech, an ER tech, and then with a place that served those with severe mental disabilities. The latter was the least stressful. But I couldn’t have even pumped then. The person I worked with had to have someone one on one with her at all times. We had to be within 8 feet of her at all times. It was illegal for whoever was responsible for her to be responsible for anyone else. There were other patients that lived in the same house who had similar restrictions. Again, no way pumping was happening for any employee who worked there.

          • nikkilee
            May 26, 2016 at 7:38 am #

            Nope. I know what it is like to run around for a shift and never have time to eat or pee; this is what makes pumping at work virtually impossible for healthcare professionals. . . .unless hospitals hired enough staff, which they don’t.

          • Who?
            May 26, 2016 at 7:56 am #

            Well that bit of sleep has changed your tune-trying to rehabilitate yourself?

            Next you’ll be running around deleting your more foolish remarks.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 26, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

            Then act like you understand it! Hospitals should staff better, but the reality is that having many duties and multiple people who need you as part of your job will reduce the likelihood that you will get large amounts of time to leave those duties and people to pump.

          • D/
            May 25, 2016 at 3:03 pm #


            I am currently employed at a hospital with an HR policy providing lactating mothers reasonable PAID break times throughout the day for pumping. The policy for non-lactating employees, however, is ‘breaks are scheduled as the workload allows.’

            I suppose the moral imperative of sacrificial pumping, especially as a lactation consultant with such “generous” workplace accommodations, would require me to somehow alter the reality of my daily workload … many shifts extend hours past what I am scheduled, my workload allows a now-drive-yourself-home break when the day’s done, most (normally unpaid) meal breaks are paid because multi-tasking a simultaneous lunch while charting or returning phone calls allows the day to end 30 minutes sooner, and *every* day requires me to triage out *many* mothers and babies who need/ want my help.

            While technically my employer would pay me to pump (if I had breasts at this point capable of producing anything other than perhaps a puff or two of dust, that is), my need to introduce combo formula feeds after returning to work (just as I did over 25 years ago) would not have been eliminated by an unrealistic pretense of generous pumping accommodations … **in the real world**.

          • Azuran
            May 25, 2016 at 11:44 am #

            I’m one of the lucky few with fixed salary. I have a yearly salary divided weekly. In exchange I have a work to do, I do it as fast or as slow as I want and when I’m done, I can leave no matter what time it is. So technically, pumping wouldn’t cost me any salary.
            However, putting aside the fact that if I take pumping breaks like that during the day I am dumping a massive amount of work on my coworker to compensate for my breaks. And that I’m probably causing everyone else to have to stay later because I’m slowing down the whole hospital.

            Logically, if I take 1h of break through the day to pump, then that’s 1 more hour of my time I’ll have to spend at the job. That’s 1 less hour I get to spend with my baby and my family. That’s possibly 1 more hour of daycare I have to pay, 1 hour I’m not spending doing chores around the house or making dinner. So in term of salary, maybe it doesn’t cost me, but that’s still 1 hour of time I’m losing, and my time isn’t worthless.

            But luckily for me, I live somewhere where mothers are valued and I get 1 year of paid maternity leave.
            Pumping at work isn’t even something that happens where I live.

          • corblimeybot
            May 25, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

            You’re an incredibly privileged person if you can’t even guess why pumping is expensive. You live in a world of security I can only dream of.

            I don’t get breaks or meals, even if I work 13 hour days. Should I be legally entitled to them? Probably, but that’s a fantasy world.

            I work in an office that requires exactly two employees on duty at once. Company policy, no exceptions. No more, no less.The only way I could have pumped at work, would have been to:

            -clock out of work entirely
            -have someone come into work to cover for me for 45 minute to an hour
            -go back to work and clock in
            -kick out the person who came in to cover for me.

            Realistically, that would never happen. If I tried to take a pump break and someone had to come in to cover for me, my boss would have just sent me home every time. Half a days wages lost for the entire time I’m pumping. Does that sound like pumping is free or cheap?

            Also, thanks for your unquestioned belief that women should give up their meal breaks to pump. I haven’t had a real work lunch break in my entire life. I guess you’ve had plenty of real lunch breaks, from your obvlious tone.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

            I pumped for a year for a friend; it cost me $300 to rent a pump for a year, but that was a friendly discount.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 25, 2016 at 6:03 pm #

            Why bother replying to her post without actually addressing anything she said. Just because you have pumped doesn’t mean that other women’s experiences were the same.

          • corblimeybot
            May 25, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

            Thanks for confirming to me that you are, in fact, insanely privileged.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 8:27 pm #

            Pumping at work is expensive in terms of time, and I never did think of it be costly in money. Many healthcare professionals, physicians included, want to breastfeed and start. And they can’t sustain, because who can leave surgery in the middle, or leave the floor leaving another overworked nurse to cover all one’s patients. From my perspective, we have fought so hard to get the laws to change that we (breastfeeding workers) feel excited about that. But still, it seems that in the long run, the working mother is suffering just as much as ever. I am humbled. Thank you for sharing your story.

          • CSN0116
            May 25, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

            No. Women are suffering more than ever because there is no acceptable reason NOT to perform at this level. No logical excuse exists and the need for better maternity leave has been eroded. The technology (pumps) and policies have been taken care of …never mind the mental, emotional and physical strain.

            You have all done women a huge disservice with this moral pet project you just had to conquer.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

            You worked so hard-right through your lunch break, probably, for which you were paid-so other women would have the right to do what you thought it was important that they do.

            Very noble of you.

          • Charybdis
            May 25, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

            Time consuming, yes, as is breastfeeding itself. How can you claim to know that pumping/breastfeeding is expensive in terms of time but deny making the connection that it is expensive in terms of money?

            And that formula feeding is not the major, prohibitive expense that you seem to think it is? Plenty of people here have provided you with their circumstances, either with the cost of pumping itself and the lack of time and facilities to pump, as well as how the cost of formula feeding can be reduced to $50 or less a month. Yet you still argue the point with the typical lactivist zeal; we don’t know what we are talking about, provide outdated studies show incorrect/inconclusive results and generally ignore what you don’t like to hear because it challenges your version of the “truth”.

          • Heidi
            May 25, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

            How much do you think the average woman spends on extra food to make breast milk? I was told to eat an extra 500 calories at least. So that’s about an extra meal every day. It’s not that crazy to spend $2 on a meal, and that’s not a super expensive one. I mean, ideally you want to eat foods that are high in vitamins and minerals. You could eat your extra calories with almost nutritionally empty food that is really cheap, but then you’d start bankrupting your own body.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

            Don’t need extra food to make breastmilk. Cows and dairy goats need extra food, but not humans.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 25, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

            Then why the hell have I been starving for the past 11 months?

            Where do the calories in breastmilk come from if not from the mothers body? You’re just making stuff up now?

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            May 25, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

            Are you joking?

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 8:54 pm #

            Copying a post from above. . .this thread is long..

            Your metabolism is at one end of the spectrum. I’ve had clients that couldn’t gain weight no matter what. (Now I would send them to have their thyroids checked out. . . just to see if that would make a difference. Then, I didn’t know about the important role of the thyroid in human milk making and moving.) The other end is exemplified in the 7 healthy thriving babies that were discovered when the Allies liberated Dachau. All the moms breastfed, 2 moms breastfed another baby besides their own. All the babies grew up, married and had their own children. During the WWII siege of Leningrad, when people were eating bread made of sawdust, some women had so much milk that a milk bank was started to feed the babies whose mothers had died. Humans have a wide range of variability.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

            Still irrelevant no matter how often you copy and paste it.

          • Roadstergal
            May 25, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

            Mommies break the laws of thermodynamics!

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 25, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

            Breastmilk is so magical that it can be created out of nothingness!

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 27, 2016 at 10:40 am #

            That’s “mamas,” I believe. 😉

          • Azuran
            May 25, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

            That is an absolutely ridiculous statement. It’s the first rule of thermodynamics lady. You cannot create breastmilk out of nothing. If you don’t eat extra food you will lose a dangerous amount of weight.

          • BeatriceC
            May 25, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

            And this is where you show that you clearly have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. This is middle school science level stuff you’re trying to deny.

          • Azuran
            May 25, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

            Really, I’m curious. What is your logic for saying that women don’t need to eat more but that other animals need to?

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

            I don’t know; some think that domestication for millenia play a role. We certainly make cows produce way more milk than they would for one calf; that is calorically costly.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

            But you argue above that a few overproducing women could feed unknown numbers of babies without extra calories during the siege of Leningrad.

            Your math doesn’t work at all. Logically, if producing 10x the milk that an organism’s actual offspring needs has a caloric cost, producing exactly the amount of milk an organism’s actual offspring needs should have 1/10th the caloric cost. If the caloric cost to feed one child is 0, the caloric cost to feed ten should also be 0. If the caloric cost to feed 10 is 100, the cost to feed one is 10. AND SO ON.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

            Oh I think I can predict nikkilee’s response to this entirely logical application of her entirely ridiculous assertion.


          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 9:20 pm #

            I might have preferred crickets.

            Hold my earrings. I’m going in.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 9:22 pm #


          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

            The Leningrad story came from a colleague who toured in Leningrad, whose tour guide was a baby saved by that milk bank. An example is NOT an argument. Of course women shouldn’t starve; women should eat and drink. But the actual caloric costs of human lactation are less than the 500 calorie number that has been floating around for years, cited over and over again in different studies.

          • Amazed
            May 25, 2016 at 9:20 pm #

            And my uncle was a baby who was fed cow milk, goat milk, bread soaked in wine and whatever came their way during WWII because my grandmother’s milk dried up at day 40. He was the very picture of thriving health all the way through my childhood. Magical breastmilk didn’t do anything for him because it wasn’t there. But he survived. That’s the only thing that matters. He survived on whatever they had. Since you’re so big on anecdotes, won’t you take this one as a proof that if feeding a baby with anything that could keep him alive without being choosy because you couldn’t afford it worked so gloriously, then surely human-infant-adjusted, strictly regulated formula would yield even more glorious results?

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 10:20 pm #

            A story is an example, and not meant to be recommended practice. I have a similar family story; the great-uncle in question lived into his 90s. And, as you say, this is not recommended practice. And yes, formula is better than this. And yes, babies do best of all on breastmilk.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 25, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

            You stated that breastmilk contains 16-50 calories an ounce. The average baby needs roughly 25-35 oz a day. So that would equate to 400 calories a day at very least, probably more. Plus it takes calories to actually manufacture the milk. So I’d be very surprised to find that the lactation actually commonly costs less than 500 calories a day. These calories have to come from somewhere. There are three options that I can think of. The mother can eat more – and food costs money. The mother can use her fat stores – not everyone has excess fat stores to use. Or the mother can lower the metabolism in the rest of her body to compensate – which is going to have effects on her health and wellbeing.

            It is completely disingenuous to pretend that breastfeeding is without any sort of cost. I think you are so fixated on breast feeding being a good thing that you can’t accept anyone saying anything in anyway negative about it. Breastfeeding does not need to be perfect in order for it to be a good thing for many women. And the fact that it is a good thing for many women does not mean that it has to be a good thing for all women.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

            A woman’s metabolism does change when she is lactating. Some women burn themselves up to make milk; they’ve told their stories on this forum. Other women adapt without making major adjustments to diet. And some actually can’t loose weight when lactating. Humans have a wide range of responses.

            I never said that breastfeeding was without cost. We are discussing the costs, and disagree, respectfully.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 25, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

            Women on this board have told you the costs involved for them (both financial and otherwise) of breastfeeding and formula feeding, and you have questioned them and told them that you find it hard to believe their stories.

          • An Actual Attorney
            May 25, 2016 at 10:34 pm #

            You are just spitting out words. You have finally agreed that the calories come from somewhere, the food she eats. It doesn’t magically appear because the gods love tits so much they made them a special exception to the basic laws of physics.

            So why did you claim that wasn’t true?

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

            I didn’t, I questioned the 500 calorie figure.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 10:37 pm #

            Rinse and repeat:

            4(ish) hours ago

            Don’t need extra food to make breastmilk. Cows and dairy goats need extra food, but not humans.

          • An Actual Attorney
            May 25, 2016 at 10:44 pm #

            You do know that we can read the words that you type.

            You stated that women don’t need to eat extra food to make breast milk. Remember that?

            Do you think that there’s another magical source of energy in boobs? Yes, there are some women, myself included, who have stores of energy in fat cells, but that only gets you so far. So women have to eat more food, and they have to pay for it.

            Or does manna fall from heaven for the women who pay you?

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

            So you now admit that there is an actual caloric cost. Scientists all have it wrong, though. Do you have an estimate about what it is? Perhaps it also varies, based on the volume of production and the caloric content of the individual woman’s breastmilk.

            And maybe those numbers, just maybe, indicate that the laws of physics are not magically suspended for human (but interestingly only human) breastmilk.

            Personally, I think that anyone committed to helping women breastfeed should be starting with basic questions like “Can I get you something tastier than the hospital’s tuna salad?” But you’ve been pretty keen on disregarding things I say, Nikkilee. You ignored my statements about the monetary cost of breastfeeding. You’re busily discounting my report that I was hungry and lost weight while breastfeeding – you acknowledge that it happened, which is an improvement, but you move right along to saying that it’s very strange even though a little math about calories makes it appear very logical.

            You prefer the story you heard from a colleague who heard it from a tour guide.

            I am driven – as I often am – to wonder whether better food on the post-partum floor might have a greater impact on breast feeding rates than lactation consultants. If all LCs are as interested in disregarding what’s in front of them as you are, I think it would be wise to replace the lot with a varied menu of high-quality takeout. Banh Mi and lime soda certainly did more to help me breastfeed than any LC ever has.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 27, 2016 at 10:38 am #

            A tour guide who, with no offense whatsoever meant to the tour guide, I wouldn’t believe any more than I’d believe a North Korean tour guide who wanted to tell me all about how every North Korean has had and will always have plenty to eat at all times, and any information to the contrary is just evil capitalist propaganda. People in dreadful regimes who get roped into those sorts of roles don’t have a whole lot of choice about being honest; it tends to lead to their, and their families’, prompt deportation to forced labor camps–if they’re “lucky.”

          • An Actual Attorney
            May 25, 2016 at 9:57 pm #

            And where do those 500 calories come from? The average adult requires about 2000 calories a day to maintain. If a woman eats no extra food, what happens to her needs?

          • swbarnes2
            May 25, 2016 at 11:55 pm #


            Why didn’t you cite this far more recent, and better documented story?


          • Azuran
            May 25, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

            So you make ridiculous claims that contradict basic laws of physic and biology and all you can come up with as an explanation is ‘I don’t know?’
            How every disappointing.

            For your info: Obviously, the more milk you produce, the more extra calories you are going to need. So yes, the cows with the high production need even more calories. But every single lactating mammals need an increased amount of calories in order to make breastmilk.

          • guest
            May 25, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

            Dude. I produced way more milk than was needed for my two babies. Surely we’ve bred cows to select for those who do this well, and surely those cows need to eat to support their production. AS DOES EVERY LACTATING MAMMAL. Breastfeeding takes more metabolic energy than not breastfeeding. Either you’re burning fat stores, or your eating more calories than normal, or both.

          • Heidi
            May 25, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

            What?! Breast milk has 20 calories an ounce. You can’t make that 20 calories out of thin air. I’m sure it takes a few calories for the body to synthesize that milk in addition to the 20 calories.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

            Human milk varies in calorie content from 16-50 calories an ounce. Example: a participant in my class was pumping for her baby in NICU. Her milk had 21 calories/ounce in the morning, and 39 calories/ounce in the evening.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 25, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

            Where do those calories come from? From the mother. Where does she get them from? She either has to eat more, use up her fat reserves, or lower the metabolism of the rest of her body to make up for her breasts.

          • An Actual Attorney
            May 25, 2016 at 9:39 pm #

            And where do you think those calories come from?

          • Azuran
            May 25, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

            So? Those 16 to 50 calories still have to come from somewhere.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

            All this thoughtful experience and information and this is the brainsnap you come back with?

            You’re embarrassing yourself.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

            You can’t make anything from nothing. While pregnant with my son, I gained 33 pounds. While breastfeeding, I lost 47 of them.

            I was starving hungry the entire time, and the one day I forgot to pack along snacks, I was a snarling wreck by ten a.m.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

            Your metabolism is at one end of the spectrum. I’ve had clients that couldn’t gain weight no matter what. (Now I would send them to have their thyroids checked out. . . just to see if that would make a difference. Then, I didn’t know about the important role of the thyroid in human milk making and moving.) The other end is exemplified in the 7 healthy thriving babies that were discovered when the Allies liberated Dachau. All the moms breastfed, 2 moms breastfed another baby besides their own. All the babies grew up, married and had their own children. During the WWII siege of Leningrad, when people were eating bread made of sawdust, some women had so much milk that a milk bank was started to feed the babies whose mothers had died. Humans have a wide range of variability.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 8:52 pm #

            So those few women are the source of your sweeping remark that extra food is not required to make breastmilk?

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

            Nikkilee, please compare the 7 thriving babies in Dachau with the number reported to have died of starvation there. Repeat the exercise for the siege of Leningrad, while comparing the number of infants served by the milk bank to the number of mothers donating.

            And then stop spouting these stories as though they mean anything to the women you work with. If you are telling your clients that they should be able to breastfeed even if they are starving to death, you are doing them a massive disservice.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

            No. . .it was merely an example of the range of human capacity.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

            AND IT’S DAFT.

            Not sorry for yelling.

            Look – those very sturdy specimens at Dachau and Leningrad (about which citations are violently needed), were OUTLIERS. EXTREME ONES. They don’t mean that the vast majority of women don’t need to eat more food than usual in order to reliably produce an adequate supply of breast milk for their child.

          • Amazed
            May 25, 2016 at 9:25 pm #

            Oh I wouldn’t take the Leningrad story too much to heart. The guide might have believed it himself but the regime was very good at creating myths to elevate the spirit of its people and make them feel a part of the crowd. Their crowd, of course. Brainwashing is still strong wherever there was such a rule, it’s insane and Leningrad was in the heart of Stalin’s empire. I wouldn’t trust anything that is not verified with documents when it’s about that era.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

            ANy story that involves bread made from sawdust should be carefully examined.

            As a first step, I suggest gathering up some sawdust and trying to make bread out of it.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 25, 2016 at 9:46 pm #

            I could accept the idea of flour being cut with some sawdust to bulk it out, but there’s only so much you could add before the bread would become inedible.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

            Well it wouldn’t be bread so much as sawdust pie.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

            Right – sawdust does not behave like flour milled from grain. Too much sawdust and you go from “unpleasant bread” to “unbakeable glop.” If you’re starving, you’ll eat sawdust, but that’s true of anything.

          • Amazed
            May 25, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

            Oh for truly hungry people it wouldn’t matter. As long as they could put it in their mouth, they would eat it.

            The problem is, is breastmilk this stupid to let itself be deceived that such a loaf is real, edible, calorie-packed food? I thought it was smarter, knowing how to regulate just to the needs of a certain infant… as well as a host of newborns and toddlers mom happened to be donating to. I thought it knew how to stop flowing when a nursing baby was full? Which one is it? Is breastmilk this wonderfully wise or this inherently dumb?

          • demodocus
            May 26, 2016 at 9:19 am #

            well, she did say it was alive several days ago, so maybe it does know but makes its own sacrifice. /s

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 10:34 pm #

            Civilians in the city suffered from extreme starvation, especially in the winter of 1941-42. From November 1941 to February 1942 the only food available to the citizen was 125 grams of bread per day, of which 50-60% consisted of sawdust and other inedible admixtures. For about two weeks at the beginning of January 1942, even this food was available only for workers and military personnel.[citation needed] In conditions of extreme temperatures, down to −30 °C (−22 °F), and city transport being out of service, even a distance of a few kilometers to a food distributing kiosk created an insurmountable obstacle for many citizens. Deaths peaked in January-February 1942 at 100,000 per month, mostly from starvation.[63] People often died on the streets, and citizens soon became accustomed to the sight of death. (from the Siege of Leningrad, in Wikipedia)

          • Elizabeth A
            May 26, 2016 at 9:18 am #

            Nikki, I 100% believe that people starved at the siege of Leningrad.

            I don’t believe that more than a very few babies in Leningrad were saved by donor milk from a few women who overproduced through thick and thin.

          • momofone
            May 25, 2016 at 9:25 pm #

            I wonder if there could have been any other factors that affected survival or lack thereof in the concentration camps.

            Nahhhh. Probably just breastfeeding.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 25, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

            I’d be very surprised if multiple other prisoners weren’t making sacrifices so that the breastfeeding mothers could get more food.

          • Amazed
            May 25, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

            Most likely. In most camps, there were such sacrifices for various people.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 25, 2016 at 10:00 pm #

            But let’s ignore those sacrifices in favour of “Breastfeeding = Magic!”

          • fiftyfifty1
            May 25, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

            And “sacrifices” is an understatement. More like stopping eating entirely knowing they would die. Sisters, mothers, cousins, friends, strangers…all choosing to starve to death for the sliver of hope that a hidden baby might live.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

            Lapka Sherpa summitted Everest six times. That’s an example of the range of human capacity.

            Doesn’t do a whole lot for my issues with running more than 5k at sea level.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            May 26, 2016 at 9:52 am #

            At some point, I am going to try to understand her arguments about populations vs individuals.

          • Charybdis
            May 26, 2016 at 9:55 am #

            If you do manage to understand it, would you mind explaining it to the rest of us? It would be greatly appreciated.

          • Azuran
            May 26, 2016 at 10:43 am #

            I think it goes something like this:
            If on a population level it’s good, Then you have to push it on an individual level because it’s good for everyone.
            If it didn’t work on an individual level, it’s not an excuse to not push it on everyone anyway.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 26, 2016 at 11:04 am #

            I advise (re)reading Connie Willis’s “To Say Nothing of the Dog”, and embracing its inconclusion on that point.

          • fiftyfifty1
            May 26, 2016 at 11:29 am #

            Oh her argument about populations vs individuals is easy enough to understand: If an individual has an experience that refutes your assertions, then wave your hands and mumble something about the importance of populations. If population data refute your assertions, then talk about Dachau.

          • CSN0116
            May 25, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

            Well fuck me running. You need to tell the WHO and UNICEF and numerous orphanages in developing countries that there’s no need for thousands of infants to die each year from insufficient breast milk from their chronically malnourished mothers. It’s all imaginary and they just have to believe in the bullshit you’re spewing hard enough.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

            I would love to see a citation about this.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

            I may die laughing.

          • CSN0116
            May 25, 2016 at 9:14 pm #

            About starving babies in developing countries?

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 25, 2016 at 9:19 pm #

            Also babies who are preterm and can’t nurse well. 7.6 million in Africa and Asia per year.

          • CSN0116
            May 25, 2016 at 9:40 pm #

            Does this helps you visualize what a privileged fucking moron you are?


          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

            How does this heartbreaking picture of one example of two people starving to death answer my request for a citation?

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 10:15 pm #

            How does you false sympathy take the place of actual knowledge about the topic you’re apparently paid to teach, and your false concern for women trying to feed their babies?

            Admit you were wrong. Breastmilk does take calories to make.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 10:30 pm #

            Did I ever say it didn’t?

          • fiftyfifty1
            May 25, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

            “Did I ever say it didn’t?”

            Yep. Here is your exact quote:

            “Don’t need extra food to make breastmilk. Cows and dairy goats need extra food, but not humans.”

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            May 26, 2016 at 9:51 am #

            You misunderstood. She is saying that women don’t need _extra_ calories. They can just rely on their reserves (and waste away, if needed)

            And she’s teaching nurses…

            In the words of baby Elphaba: “Horrors”

          • fiftyfifty1
            May 26, 2016 at 11:14 am #

            Horrors indeed. Lactating mothers can just rely upon their reserves, and if they don’t have reserves why then certainly some magic will come along that will “lower their metabolic rate” even though lactation is a metabolically very costly process. And if mother and baby just starve to death, like in the picture above, why then she can chide them about the Dachau example and tell them to step up their games.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

            4 (ish) hours ago

            Don’t need extra food to make breastmilk. Cows and dairy goats need extra food, but not humans.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 26, 2016 at 9:53 am #

            You EXPLICITLY said it didn’t!

          • Irène Delse
            May 26, 2016 at 10:14 am #

            Oh yes you did. Quote: “Don’t need extra food to make breastmilk”. At this point, you should stop twisting and spinning, and just go do some learning. After all, you’re the one paid to help people with feeding infants.

          • CSN0116
            May 25, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

            Nikki millions of children die each year from malnutrition and its related complications. Only a fraction are orphaned, so they have live mothers who are unable to sustain them. Google your ass off for citations galore. This is known fact.

            God you are pompous.

            Does the fact that infant mortality rates are highest in countries where breastfeeding rates are also highest not present as a giant red flag to you?

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 10:28 pm #

            Topi 10 in Infant mortality

            1 Sierra Leone 107

            2 Angola 102

            3 Central African Republic 96

            4 Somalia 90

            5 Chad 89

            6 Congo, Dem. Rep. 86

            7 Guinea-Bissau 78

            8 Mali 78

            9 Nigeria 74

            10 Lesotho 73


            Top 10 countries in Breastfeeding Rates:

            1. Rwanda
            2. Sri Lanka
            3. 3-way tie: Cambodia, Nepal, Solomon Islands
            4. Malawi
            5. Peru
            6. Eritrea
            7. Uganda
            8. 2-way tie: Egypt, Iran
            9. Bolivia
            10. Madagascar

            I don’t see any overlap. Where are you looking?

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

            Really?? “4. The authors ignore history. There was a time when 100% of infants were breastfed … and the infant mortality rate was astronomical because the benefits of breastfeeding are really limited.” So if a breastfed infant dies, from a fall or from cholera or from malaria or any insect born disease or from measles (a leading cause of death of children in the 1900s) . . .it’s because breastfeeding didn’t work?? I’m going to bed.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 10:46 pm #

            Nice flounce.

            That’s your entire response? You’ve asserted that no extra food is required by women who breastfeed; that formula feeding is outrageously expensive and inconvenient; that all sorts of special ingredients are included in breastmilk that science can’t yet identify, but about which you can speak with authority.


          • Azuran
            May 25, 2016 at 10:53 pm #

            The whole point is that the breastfeeding industry will never shut up about how breastfeeding will save kids from everything and shames formula feeding women.
            Well the graph shows that breastfeeding didn’t protect any of those kids from anything. Breastfeeding does not have any noticeable effect of child health and survival.
            It’s just not that important as long as you use a safe substitute.

          • momofone
            May 26, 2016 at 7:21 am #

            Oh wait–you mean breastfeeding didn’t provide immunity from malaria and insect-borne disease and measles? And it wouldn’t provide protection from a fall, as in from an exhausted mother’s arms when she’s been forced to care for him or her after a difficult birth?

          • CSN0116
            May 25, 2016 at 11:21 pm #

            Per “These facts are based on women who have exclusively breastfed their babies for six months.”

            Nikki, women in the poorest nations, with the highest infant mortality rates, will not pop up the “exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months” measurement, which is a very poor one to use. Why? Because they begin supplemental feeds nearly from birth – water, ground up rice mixtures, and so on. Why? Because they do not have an adequate supply to sustain the infants.

            I’m depressed to be having this conversation with you. You actually think these people don’t exist and that breast fed babies don’t starve to death around the world. I’m done.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 11:27 pm #

            I think the challenge in discussing this with nikkilee is that her world view is so narrow. She can’t deal with anything that doesn’t support breastfeeding. Though I note she did concede that if someone had to feed a baby bread soaked in wine, formula would be preferable.

            It’s scary to think she teaches nurses. Not because of her ignorance in her area of ‘expertise’, but because of her lack of curiosity and intellectual shallowness.

            Let’s hope she isn’t responsible for marking or grading any assessment, it’s hard to imagine anyone not parroting the party line getting a passing grade.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 26, 2016 at 1:22 am #

            Wouldn’t you know it?

          • Who?
            May 26, 2016 at 3:01 am #

            Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear.

            Professional looking website. Shame the same effort hasn’t gone into the product.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 26, 2016 at 4:25 am #

            Her blog actually talks about her visits here. She doesn’t name the actual blog, but it’s not hard to figure it out with the description she gives and how she described her interactions with us.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            May 26, 2016 at 9:59 am #

            Does she mentioned that she has learned something and that her initial views were incomplwte?

          • Azuran
            May 26, 2016 at 10:33 am #

            It’s sad that whenever someone comes out as a nurse it doesn’t really mean that you can trust them to know what they are talking about any more.
            It’s as Nikki says in her blog: She became a nurse because her mom told her too because it’s an assured job.
            Nursing classes are sadly very easy to get into and easy to pass where I live. Becoming a nurse is like the default option for everyone without any better idea of what to do with their lives.
            I’ve met many wonderful and very good nurses. Many in my own family. But I’ve also sadly met a good number of nurses who clearly are not in the right place. And many of them sadly are just in the spot where they know a lot of stuff, but they don’t yet realize all the of stuff they don’t know.
            I’ve seen many nurses seriously hurt or kill their pets because they thought that because they were nurses, they knew what they were doing.

          • Heidi
            May 26, 2016 at 9:53 am #

            I just picked one country out of her list that has the top breastfeeding rates, Cambodia, and found that 45% of children under five are malnourished and their growth is stunted.

          • CSN0116
            May 26, 2016 at 10:23 am #

            I can’t even with her nonsense anymore. How you can look at the numbers, and look at the pictures of those starving babies, and come to the conclusion that breastfeeding always works, and it requires no calories to produce breast milk, is beyond me. It’s offensive.

            If all of those babies could have a year’s worth of safe formula, they would ALL survive that year. If their moms could all well be well-nourished, most of them could survive that year (as some women will still fail to lactate properly regardless). They have access to neither and they die or are permanently harmed.

            Which brings me to another reason that they don’t pop up on the dumb ass measurement she cited of “exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months” — because they’re DEAD by six months of age. The mothers’ attempts at dismal breastfeeding and supplementing with food that is not nourishing and inappropriate has failed and they have died.

          • Heidi
            May 26, 2016 at 10:44 am #

            Because we live in places where safe formula is readily we available, I think a lot of us don’t even realize how great we have it. I didn’t make enough milk and my son was truly born with hypoglycemia, despite what Nikki Lee might tell you. It really didn’t and still doesn’t seem like something that major because I got some RTF bottles, his sugar went up, I continued to supplement with formula that I can easily find made with water I don’t have to think twice about. In some of these very poor countries, this would have been a death sentence. Either he would have died of low blood sugar, been seriously injured if he did survive and then would have likely drank contaminated water and a very subpar nutritional substitute which would have been his ultimate demise.

          • Irène Delse
            May 26, 2016 at 10:28 am #

            I Googled “countries with the higher infant mortality”, and Wikipedia comes up with the numbers for 2015.
            I noticed that the top ten are not the same: it’s Afghanistan at the top 10 Sierra Leone, for instance. And it helps to see that even in the top ten countries forre breastfeeding rates, infant mortality is ten to twenty times higher than in western industrialised countries.

          • Heidi
            May 26, 2016 at 9:52 am #

            Yeah, Cambodia looks like a utopia!

          • Heidi
            May 26, 2016 at 9:57 am #

            “Cambodia has the highest infant and under-five mortality rates in the region, at 97 and 141 per 1,000 live births, respectively. Vaccine-preventable diseases, diarrhoea, and respiratory infections are among the leading causes of childhood death. Maternal mortality is also high.

            Malnutrition affects most Cambodian children: 45 per cent show moderate or severe stunting.” – according to that UNICEF link I posted.

            Seriously. Also your link shows infant mortality AT BIRTH. This has NOTHING to do with breastfeeding. How would breastfeeding prevent a stillbirth?!!!?

          • Amazed
            May 25, 2016 at 9:14 pm #

            Well, there was this boy in my grandfather’s village who everyone wanted to make to eat more, he was so lean. But he was in thriving health. So were many other youths who were of various built. And when they were all headed to the Communist concentration camp, our GULAG, as it’s now known, he was one of the very few who returned. Knowing what I know from another survivor, my grandfather, I’d say he was very, very lucky. Both of them were. It doesn’t mean that thet were healthier than those who died. It just means that they were lucky. They returned alive, although they both suffered from various, camp-acquainted ailments, including those of the back from dragging carts like donkeys. It doesn’t mean that the other men who were more sturdier were unhealthier.

            Do you even realize what a cynic you’re being? Comparing extreme cases from the almost most inhuman camps in history (the centres for destroying in Poland made by the same Nazis were worse, as were Stalin’s camps from whom Hitler borrowed the idea) to guilt women into thinking that even if there it was possible for mothers to make enough milk, then THEY surely can if they’re mothers enough?

            Oh, and taking one extreme, in this case the women who made too much milk for the conditions they were placed under to argue philosophically over human variability when lives and health are on the line doesn’t make you smarter. It just makes you heartless.

            If you can’t say, I find it monstrous that you’re using concentration camps – CONCENTRATION CAMPS! – to aid your agenda. I can totally see you coming over to tell my grandfather’s friends – those nice men who I remember from my childhood without a single one being unchallenged, health-wise – that they should just try harder, their bodies were made for dragging carts and look, my grandfather and the other skinny youth did it without suffering consequences THIS hard.


          • An Actual Attorney
            May 25, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

            But where do you think those calories came from?

          • fiftyfifty1
            May 25, 2016 at 10:33 pm #

            Those rare mothers were either in the process of digesting themselves to death or they were being sustained by the donations of others. Pretty heartbreaking to think of, no? The other prisoners sealing their own fates by giving up their meager rations to the nursing mothers to try to save the babes. But Nikkilee with take the results of their sacrifice and use it to bully mothers. Sick.

          • Azuran
            May 25, 2016 at 10:46 pm #

            And I suppose you have some kind of proof that all those breastfeeding women were at top health and that none of them had lost any weight during the whole ordeal despite not eating anything.
            Here’s my guess: Sure, they produced enough breastmilk for the baby. But probably at great cost to their own health, they probably lost a lot of weight doing so. Maybe those women also actually got extra shares of food since they were lactating. But they didn’t produce the milk out of thin air.
            I’ve seen many very emaciated lactating dogs with a littler of very well fed puppies. Sometimes the body just will just keep on making breastmilk no matter what.

          • guest
            May 25, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

            Yes, one wonders how many other prisoners in the camp gave their food to the lactating women. I find Nikki’s choice of example in pretty poor taste, frankly.

          • fiftyfifty1
            May 25, 2016 at 11:00 pm #

            “Sometimes the body just will just keep on making breastmilk no matter what.”

            This is true. I do happen to have more experience with starving people than average due to practicing at an eating disorders center. The rule of thumb is that a typical woman loses her menses when she is 10 pounds below the minimum value of her healthy weight range. At that point the body shuts down the menstrual cycle because menses is metabolically costly, and to continue it would mean starving to death faster. But I have met a couple of patients who never lose their menses…not even at a BMI below 14. They continue like clockwork. Their bodies have a faulty safety valve I guess. The same can be true with lactation. Usually the body will refuse to catabolize itself any further, but some women may be abnormal.

          • Dr Kitty
            May 26, 2016 at 8:36 am #

            All the babies dying in Sudan and Eritraea and Ethiopia because their mothers AREN’T making enough milk on less than 1000 calories a day…

            Are they cancelled out because 7 babies survived in Dachau (and you DO know that those women were given extra food by the other prisoners, don’t you) ?

          • May 26, 2016 at 9:46 am #

            AND, how many babies died because their moms couldn’t produce enough milk in Dachau? There’s a reason those babies were seen as miracles, and it’s not because the average woman could feed a baby in those circumstances.

          • demodocus
            May 26, 2016 at 9:13 am #

            7 babies lived. How many died of starvation?

          • Megan
            May 25, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

            This statement makes me doubt you’ve ever actually breastfed.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

            Another evidence based comment from the Worthington-Roberts book. . .

          • Nick Sanders
            May 25, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

            I was not aware boobs violated the first law of thermodynamics.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 25, 2016 at 10:06 pm #


          • Charybdis
            May 25, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

            Some defy gravity….

          • Gatita
            May 25, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

            In addition to all the other things she doesn’t know, Nikki is apparently unfamiliar with the first law of thermodynamics.

          • Nick Sanders
            May 25, 2016 at 9:54 pm #


          • Irène Delse
            May 26, 2016 at 2:42 am #

            Humans don’t need to eat extra to make breastmilk? That’s a new one! You’ll have to tell that to other lactivists who cite “losing faster the extra weight gain of pregnancy” as a reason to breastfeed!

          • rosewater1
            May 26, 2016 at 8:29 am #


          • MaineJen
            May 26, 2016 at 9:20 am #

            I guess that is why I was so desperately hungry when breastfeeding that I ate like I had never seen food before, and still managed to lose weight.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

            The 500 calories a day is an average, meaning that some women will need more and some will need less. (Butte et al. 2001). The Institute of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board says, “No prescription for a set calrie level is usually made.” Lactation increases the body’s efficiency in the use of energy and the uptake of some nutrients, like calcium.

          • Nick Sanders
            May 25, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

            “No fixed amount” ≠ “nothing”.

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 10:00 pm #

            Of course. Women will eat.

          • Nick Sanders
            May 25, 2016 at 10:01 pm #

            Despite your earlier statement that they wouldn’t need to, yes, they will.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

            Just another example of women’s selfishness, eating when they don’t need to.

            Honestly, the utter crap is strong with this one.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

            Copied and pasted just for reference:

            4 hours ago

            Don’t need extra food to make breastmilk. Cows and dairy goats need extra food, but not humans.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 9:57 pm #

            You are a piece of work.

            I really hope you take a little more rigour and thought, and a whole lot less laziness and hubris, into training all those nurses someone is careless enough to put you in front of.

          • An Actual Attorney
            May 25, 2016 at 10:07 pm #

            One more time, where do you think the extra calories, whatever the amount, come from?

          • nikkilee
            May 25, 2016 at 10:10 pm #

            Food that the mother eats?

          • An Actual Attorney
            May 25, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

            Ding Ding Ding!

            Now, can you please explain why you think human lactation doesn’t require that a woman eat extra food, that is more food than she needs to maintain her own weight?

          • momofone
            May 25, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

            And in terms of how that food is acquired, she either has to buy it or grow it, spending money and/or energy.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

            Which you denied was a cost of breastfeeding a few hours back…

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 10:26 pm #

            She asserted women didn’t need extra food at all. I’m sure nikkilee doesn’t begrudge their regular diet.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 25, 2016 at 10:27 pm #

            Just for reference. Again.

            4 hours ago

            Don’t need extra food to make breastmilk. Cows and dairy goats need extra food, but not humans.

          • Who?
            May 25, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

            She will never acknowledge it.

          • Heidi
            May 26, 2016 at 8:40 am #

            So if the body increases its efficiency in the use of energy, that means the woman burns less calories and her body is more sluggish. Could very well be for some women, but I wouldn’t call that a positive for first world women, especially when there are claims that breastfeeding will make the baby weight melt off. When your metabolism slows down you experience more tiredness, hair loss, depression, constipation, etc. These side effects end up costing lots of money even if she can save a few extra dollars on food. I wouldn’t even call that a benefit for women in third worlds!

            Also, they may not make a “prescription for a set calorie level” because so long as food is available, most women eat when they are hungry and will naturally increase their calories to compensate for breastfeeding. That doesn’t mean it isn’t costing them more money in food. In fact, I’m pretty sure WIC allows mother more food if she is nursing, so it’s costing someone money somewhere.

          • May 26, 2016 at 9:19 am #


          • May 26, 2016 at 9:23 am #

            I think my sister was EBF, but I honestly don’t remember. My mom wasn’t fanatical about it and would have stopped or slowed down if she felt her health was actually at risk, I just don’t know if it got to that point for her or not.

            I think my sister was EBF, but I honestly don’t remember. My mom wasn’t fanatical about it and would have stopped or slowed down if she felt her health was actually at risk, I just don’t know if it got to that point for her or not.

            What would you generally recommend for a woman who has lost so much weight she’s at risk of losing too much from breastfeeding?

          • Irène Delse
            May 26, 2016 at 10:04 am #

            First it’s “Don’t need extra food to make breast milk”, then “500 calories a day is an average”. Or maybe the goal is for the mother to not eat more and get hungry, maybe losing teeth and getting early osteoporosis, as in the days of yore? (In my country, there used to be a saying: One more baby, one less tooth.) Or, you know, buy more food for herself. Something to count when weighing the costs of breastfeeding vs formula.

            I wonder if some of your clients are reading this blog. They would be appalled.

          • demodocus
            May 26, 2016 at 10:11 am #

            maybe she’s thinking of all us fatties. /s

          • Irène Delse
            May 26, 2016 at 10:53 am #

            Heh. The next fad diet: the breastfeeding diet.

          • Azuran
            May 26, 2016 at 11:02 am #

            Well, you know how lactivist are always trying to shame BF mothers about their eating habits. How if you eat a hamburger when you BF you are poisoning your baby with your hamburger breastmilk?
            Well the next logical step is obviously to have all breastfeeding mothers and a breastmilk diet. After all, your breastmilk is what you eat, if you want real breastmilk you have to have a diet made of breastmilk.

          • demodocus
            May 26, 2016 at 11:02 am #

            It worked for me! I lost 3 times my weight gain!

          • Megan
            May 26, 2016 at 11:37 am #

            Ugh. Wish it had worked for me. I gained weight breastfeeding. 25 lbs. could’ve been the domperidone I suppose.

          • Azuran
            May 26, 2016 at 11:42 am #

            My mom gained weight with every single one of her pregnancy. Despite breastfeeding she never lost the weight she gained after her pregnancy. So she only became bigger and bigger each time.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            May 26, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

            Speaking of weight, my husband tripped across this last night and I think I’m going to die laughing. Sharing since I know there’s more than a few people here with Heavy Boobs:


            It’s fat. Women have fat. It’s hard to get rid of/distribute to the “desirable” places.

          • Azuran
            May 26, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

            XD that’s just awesome. And surprisingly really catchy. I’m totally sending this to my boyfriend.

          • demodocus
            May 26, 2016 at 11:53 am #

            I didn’t gain much in the first place because i only had anti-cravings. The loss was as much because i was too wobbly to get myself to the kitchen and make something . DH was trying, but he didn’t realize (and i didn’t realize he hadn’t) that I no longer had late pregnancy stomach capacity.

          • demodocus
            May 26, 2016 at 11:57 am #

            Plus, I was pretending to do a testimonial.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 26, 2016 at 11:01 am #

            To a much, MUCH lesser degree, of course, but I had an interesting discussion with a nutritionist I saw a year after DD was born.
            In discussing my nutritional/supplement needs (no, she wasn’t at all woo), we talked about if I was planning on getting pregnant in the next year and/or having more kids. I was a little surprised by the question, but answered that we were probably going to be TTC in the next 6-12 months, and that long-term, we would kind of like a bigger family, should that work out.
            I was concerned about perhaps getting some pushback (people do seem inclined to make rude comments about the size of your family, never mind how big it is–1 is too few, 2 are impossible or not enough, 3 is a big family or “unbalanced” due to gender, etc, etc), but she wasn’t going there at all. Instead, she merely said that I should be careful to keep taking calcium supplements, because pregnancy and, if I chose, nursing, would take calcium and other such things from me before they deprived baby, and she had had a number of women in her practice for whom large families and osteoporosis are commonly seen together because of this, and ditto dental issues.
            Of course, she was saying this to a woman who could trot down to CVS and purchase the suggested supplements and then take them with no concern for supply or how it would affect my finances. Rather different for many women in sundry developing worlds, I should think!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            May 26, 2016 at 10:13 am #

            Some may need less, but no one producing milk will need none.

            Moreover, those who are producing a lot will need more. As others have explained, the first law of thermodynamics are immutable. Increased production requires increased energy input.

            So you donors are going to need the calories to produce that extra milk.

            You better give this up. You are completely clueless.

          • fiftyfifty1
            May 26, 2016 at 11:20 am #

            Could it be cold fusion giving the illusion that a mother is producing something out of nothing (or maybe quantum physics, or fractals or something)?

          • Irène Delse
            May 26, 2016 at 11:36 am #

            Perpetual motion machines. Mothers have invented it since the dawn of time, but they won’t give up the secret to Big Energy! Oh no!

          • demodocus
            May 26, 2016 at 11:59 am #

            The hard part is the hamster wheels for all the toddlers

          • Busbus
            May 28, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

            Yes, it’s an average. So? We’re talking about averages here. If 500 calories is the average amount of food a fully breastfeeding woman needs in addition per day, and we determine the average cost of that to be $2, it follows that the average breastfeeding woman will spend about $60 per month on the additional food she needs. (Obviously, that’s not even taking into account the hassle and the time lost, either for work or for rest/breaks, as well as the time the baby doesn’t get to see his/her mother and she doesn’t get to see him/her because she has to stay longer to make up for the time lost.) That’s about what we spent on formula once I had stopped breastfeeding. Interesting thought!

          • Sarah
            May 29, 2016 at 3:56 am #

            That is not an answer to the question you were asked.

          • Who?
            May 29, 2016 at 5:27 am #

            nikkilee’s specialty is not answering the question she’s asked.

            Note that her remark here is a big change from her original assertion that women did not need any extra calories to make milk.

          • Sarah
            May 29, 2016 at 5:52 pm #

            Duly noted.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 25, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

            There are still people who have to pay out of pocket for the pump that will work for them. I couldn’t use anything but a Medela Symphony. $100 out of pocket per month. Plus storage bags and pump parts. Plus weekly visits to the LC.

          • Erin
            May 25, 2016 at 6:15 pm #

            The other issue with Pumping is a logistical one.

            I quit work before my son was born but had I not, pumping would have been an impossibility despite my Public Sector workplace’s excellent pumping policy. Technically I had a desk…didn’t see it very often though and when your day looks something like this: Crisis management meeting, home visit, trip to the Police Station, home visit, Child protection meeting, home visit, home visit, Case meeting with other professionals, home visit, 5 minutes at your desk on the way home, pumping doesn’t really fit. Do you pump during a home visit to someone who has just had her children taken off her by Social Work, or perhaps during a Child protection meeting or maybe at a working lunch with a bunch of policemen and firemen to discuss community safety.

          • guest
            May 25, 2016 at 10:14 am #

            Walmart Parent’s Choice formula for the win!

          • Roadstergal
            May 25, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

            I had a new-aunt friend grumble about how her sister was considering going with the cheap formula. She was astonished to hear how tightly regulated formula is. That’s the sort of useful information LCs should be giving out, no?

        • MaineJen
          May 23, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

          Formula is not medicine, it is food. It should not have to be prescribed by a doctor.

          • nikkilee
            May 23, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

            Everything used in a hospital (drugs, food, equipment) is purchased through a department using a purchasing system. Formula is now included in BabyFriendly hospitals.

        • momofone
          May 23, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

          Ethically purchased? So are you making sure diapers are purchased ethically? And IV tubing? Needles and syringes? Pillows? Cafeteria food? Or is it just formula that had that unethical taint?

    • demodocus
      May 21, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

      Sounds like good places to start. If you’ve the time, you might check out local morning shows and that sort of thing too. It might help if you can get a group of colleagues with you. Certainly diffuse the affects from the serious nutters out there on you personally

    • Elizabeth A
      May 22, 2016 at 10:01 am #

      While you’re in the hospital, you get to focus on taking care of yourself and your own. So don’t worry about activism. (Honestly, you’ll probably do plenty by talking to the staff about what you want from them and why, as your needs arise.)

      Bring your own formula. Definitely.

  14. Anne
    May 20, 2016 at 1:15 am #

    My postpartum experience in a BFHI hospital evokes so many memories of pain, exhaustion and desperation. I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.

    So many issues:

    1. Breastfeeding exhaustion. Despite the breastfeeding classes, and the nurse and lactation consultant trying to help me with my latch, breastfeeding was excruciatingly painful for me. Despite my complaints of pain and exhaustion, I was told that this was all normal, and to keep persisting. The solution to the pain and poor latch and a hungry baby, was just to breastfeed more. I was breastfeeding every 1-2 hours, fortunately, with my husband taking baby in between so I could theoretically rest. However, baby basically just cried nonstop, so between the pain from my perineal tear, the breast pain, the baby relentless screaming in the same room and my equally exhausted husband unable to console her, I was a a physical and emotional mess.

    2. Jaundiced baby. When we saw the pediatrician at 48 hours, he was shocked by the weight loss and level of jaundice. Between birth and this appointment, I was attempting to feed q1h, despite it nearly killing me from pain (both from the bleeding nipples, and from deep, intense pains that felt like my breast were being macerated by ground glass)…and yet, between “feeds” my baby was sucking the air, still rooting, never ceasing to cry. I desperately kept asking the nurse if this was normal and she said, “Oh yes, you just have a difficult baby.”

    Wrong. After seeing the pediatrician, and we supplemented with our first bottle of formula, baby stopped crying. It was the first time I saw her, where she was awake and not crying. I cannot describe the immense relief that washed over me, then the anger and guilt from knowing that she had been starving for 2 days. My darling, after that, was the “easiest” baby. When my breastmilk finally came in, I still struggled with the pain of breastfeeding, but she was at least getting nutrition and at that point, was never fussy ever again! (Until toddlerhood, but that’s a different story)

    3. Pain. Despite having “just” a second degree tear…I was in an immense amount of pain. My stitches were also so tight that I had to constantly contract my perineum, so I would feel the taut stitches pulling and feeling like they were going to rip open. I had a fever, I had pain, I hadn’t slept. I was on opioids, which made the endlessly crying baby even more intolerable. I felt so much sadness and guilt for her, but it was difficult to care for her needs, when I was in so much pain myself.

    When, eventually, we found out she was starving…life got better because feeding her actually fixed her crying… However, the regimen I was put on for breastfeeding (To get her off the formula) drove me to sheer exhaustion. I was told to take milk thistle (which interacts with opioid metabolism…and resulted in apnea and me almost dying…but apparently milk is more important…), I was told to pump for 30 minutes after every q2hour feed. I didn’t have anytime to rest.

    4. Complications. Finally, when my fever was recognized…and I was placed on broad spectrum antibiotics for endometriosis, even as I was septic, volume deplete, suffering from intense orthostatic hypotension and rigors, which extended my hospital stay for a week…my baby was still kept in the same room as me, and the nurses would not take the baby! Thank goodness I had so much family support. Nurses kept coming in every two hours to make sure I was still pumping, despite being in a delirious state and wanting to just sleep.

    So yes…overall, NOT mother friendly or baby-friendly.

  15. Michelle
    May 18, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

    It sounds like from these comments that theres an issue with the hospital staff not BFHI. I had a great experience at our BFHI. 1. I didn’t want a pacifier anyway and my now 5 month has yet to be introduced to one, but the nurse at my prepare visit let me know if I wanted LO to have one that I would need to bring one, so they weren’t against them, just didn’t provide them. 2. They asked me over and over and over again if I was breastfeeding OR formal feeding. Again not against formula feeding just preferred breast, promoted and encouraged it. My milk didn’t come in for 5 days, but my baby got enough colostrum from being on the breast every 2 hours- never was even close to jaundice or dehydration, had plenty of pee diapers- I know this is not the case for everyone or every baby. I could tell though he would get a little frustrated and we had problems with latching but the nurses and LC were more than willing to help. 3. I was glad we roomed together, I didn’t really want my baby out of my sight. But the nurse the first night, a few hours after I had my son, took him with her so my SO and I could get a couple hours of sleep. They were also very much if you need help call us. Also my son’s bassinet was next to my bed so I didn’t have to get out of bed as some are saying they had to do? (which I wasn’t allowed to as I had a c-section, until late the following morning). It also had drawers with diapers and whatnot so I didn’t have to get up to get anything.

    • guest
      May 18, 2016 at 10:01 pm #

      Why do you assume it was the staff and not the policy that was the problem for so many other people? You wanted to follow all the BFHI guidelines, and you had no problems doing so. You therefore did not undergo the treatment that so many other women have. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem with the way BFHI is enforced with women who have challenges.

    • Megan
      May 19, 2016 at 6:26 am #

      So if you already want to do all the things BFHI requires and have no or minimal troubles doing so, BFHI doesn’t seem horrible. Shocker… /s

      Seriously though, none of us here is against not giving a pacifier, rooming in or breastfeeding if that’s what the mom/family wants and it’s working for them. BFHI pushes these things on ALL families. That’s the problem. And it’s not the staff. If you read the comments, many are FROM hospital staff who hate the things they’re required to do under the BFHI.

    • moto_librarian
      May 19, 2016 at 10:14 am #

      And what would have happened if the nurse hadn’t been willing or able to take your son so you and your SO could rest for a few hours? What if it took up to an hour for the nurse or LC to respond to your calls? That’s not uncommon in hospitals where nurse to patient ratios are too low.

      I think that because BFHI matched what you wanted to do anyway and because you got plenty of support, you think that this experience somehow exonerates BFHI. It doesn’t. When there is no newborn nursery nor staff to help care for babies, it’s going to be the luck of the draw. You were fortunate. Many other women here were not. Try reflecting on that for a bit.

      • nikkilee
        May 20, 2016 at 6:27 am #

        BFHI developed in 1991 because hospital practices were one of the top 2 barriers to breastfeeding; the other is formula marketing.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          May 20, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

          And how is it not a barrier to breastfeeding to not allow mom to BATHE, for God’s sake, meaning that she gets yeast infections in, among other areas, her breast ducts? I didn’t need to fill my prescription for pain meds for pain from my CS. I seriously considered filling it in order to keep breastfeeding, because breastfeeding was so agonizingly painful that I was biting the couch cushions to keep from screaming when DD latched on and off. The sensation was like having ground glass in my breasts.
          I was told that if baby cried, I needed to nurse her. Period. I needed to do skin to skin nonstop, or my milk would never come in properly. Between the incessant nursing and screaming, I couldn’t take a shower. Wet, sugary, unwashed areas=perfect breeding ground for yeast.
          Mind you, I seem to have had more than the average number of issues with breastfeeding; my supply was extremely low anyhow, so I don’t think I’d ever have been able to exclusively breastfeed, despite wanting to so desperately. However, putting mom in a position where she can’t so much as complete basic personal hygiene or wound care lest she–gasp!–not breastfeed for twenty minutes, or stop doing skin to skin, is completely inexcusable, and if that’s what it takes to succeed at breastfeeding, it’s not worth it. (I would LOVE to see a comparable study of maternal infection rates pre- and post-BFH initiative.)
          The suggestion from the LLL leader that I must not have wanted DD enough or my milk would have come in appropriately was icing on the cake.
          Also, I do love the implication that I’m so stupid that if I so much as hear the word “formula,” I can’t possibly resist its allure and will feed it to my baby.

          • nikkilee
            May 20, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

            It makes me sad, and ashamed for my profession to hear of such awful things. I know that they are true. I also know that more women and babies are successful with breastfeeding, for longer, than ever before. Still, lactation professionals need to learn to give service to the person in front of them. The only choices I can control are mine; I am a walk-on in her movie and this is her life.

          • guest
            May 20, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

            Except they are not. People have posted here that follow-up studies on BFHI shows NO increase in breastfeeding once women leave the hospital.

            If you want to assist women with breastfeeding, focus on maternity leave, not fascist hospital policies.

          • nikkilee
            May 20, 2016 at 10:17 pm #


          • guest
            May 20, 2016 at 11:58 pm #

            Oh, are we not talking, just throwing links at each other? Here then:


          • nikkilee
            May 21, 2016 at 6:59 am #

            Those were links to 2 studies, one from 2016, showing a positive impact on breastfeeding as a consequence of the BFHI. And, you are completely right about maternity leave.

          • fiftyfifty1
            May 21, 2016 at 9:37 am #


            Did you read your own link? Because it supports exactly what guest says. Hospital BFHI practices make rates look good in the short term, but don’t produce an increase in rates in the long term. What seems to influence long term rates, is practical support of breastfeeding women *in their communities*. Here, I’ll pull out the relevant quote for you:

            “Community support (step 10) appears to be essential for sustaining breastfeeding impacts of BFHI in the longer term.”

            But surprise, surprise! LCs don’t want to admit that all their hospital harassment counts for naught. So they tack on “community support” to their list of BFHI best practices and try to take credit for it!

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 21, 2016 at 9:40 am #

            Oh, there were “community support” lactation consultants in my area that I could have talked to after I was discharged.
            ‘Course, they also charged $400/hour, so it’s a bit beyond me how they could claim to be accessible to most people.

          • demodocus
            May 21, 2016 at 10:25 am #

            Do random strangers coming up to me to congratulate me count as support? Struck me as rude.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 21, 2016 at 10:41 am #

            As I understand it, in order to breastfeed you receive nonstop affirmation of The Correct Choice (TM) because the only reason random strangers don’t walk up to you to affirm your choice is, obviously, that they must all secretly hate, fear, and judge you, not that they’re minding their own damn business and thinking it’s generally considered inappropriate to comment on or inquire about a stranger’s body or sex organs.
            This also often applies to the more rabid natural birth types, FYI. I’m reminded of my best friend’s husband, who foolishly said, “Cute baby! Congrats!” to a mom at church he knew almost entirely by sight when she walked into the cry room with a newborn one morning. The poor guy then got a contraction-by-contraction description of the kid’s waterbirth, down to details regarding tearing and so forth. Apparently his stunned expression meant that he wasn’t supportive…I’m sure it had nothing whatsoever to do with not wanting to know the state of a near-stranger’s perineum!

          • Megan
            May 21, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

            Don’t forget about how “community support” also means strangers come up to tell you when you’ve made The Wrong Choice (TM). That’s the lactivist’s favorite kind of support, hence nikkilee and all of her BS about the inferiority of formula fed kids.

            You know folks, we won’t change nikkilee’s mind. Her income depends on it.

          • nikkilee
            May 21, 2016 at 10:01 am #

            More babies leave the hospital being breastfed in a BabyFriendly facility. What happens next is up to community. Community is friends, family, social networks and they are more significant in a mother’s life than any healthcare professional. That is why community networks are Step 10 of the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, the heart of the BFHI.

          • momofone
            May 21, 2016 at 10:03 am #

            “What happens next is up to community.” Or maybe the parents?

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 21, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

            Of course they breastfeed more in the hospital! If you had to sign a form saying that you understood you were causing your child irreparable mental, social, and physical harm by formula feeding, you’d breastfeed in the short term, too. If you had to listen to lectures about how only bad moms formula feed and all women make enough milk to feed their babies if they just try hard enough, you wouldn’t ask for formula, either.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 22, 2016 at 10:47 am #

            Interesting. So LC’s influence stops at the hospital door, and what happens after that is someone else’s fault. AKA we don’t need to examine whether we’re actually doing our patients a service, we’ve decided that what happens outside the hospital doesn’t count.

          • nikkilee
            May 22, 2016 at 12:53 pm #

            All hospitals can do is start things off right. Of course we need to examine what is happening in the hospital (poor management in hospitals keeps LCs in private practice in business. . . .I’d love if this went away!). . . . AND once she gets home, she (the mother) needs practical advice and encouragement to keep going. That’s outside the scope of hospitals.

          • momofone
            May 22, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

            “Right” meaning the way the hospitals want things to be, or the way the mother wants them to be? And what if–crazy idea–the mother gets to choose what she needs when she gets home, instead of having someone decide that for her?

          • D/
            May 25, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

            Yep, my partners and I have come to “affectionately” refer to the short term approach of a pin-hole focus on no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated (Step 6) as the ‘supplement at the flagpole’ plan. Nothing but breastmilk for the duration of the hospital stay, give a couple formula nursettes at discharge, and recommend pulling forward to the flagpole from the hospital’s front door and stopping feed your baby … because he needs it.

            Violá, increased rates of exclusive breastmilk feeding … *during the hospital stay*. JCAHO quality measure reporting solved 🙁

          • D/
            May 25, 2016 at 3:56 pm #

            Just to clarify, families would never be encouraged to actually stop in the drive-thru to feed their babies … they’re being encouraged to supplement as soon as they get home. We’ve just adopted the flagpole feeding codeword amongst the LCs for the babies that really shouldn’t be made to wait (and often don’t if mom just needs “permission” to go ahead and feed the kid while they’re waiting for discharge.)

          • demodocus
            May 20, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

            My plan was to bf long before I got pregnant. BFHI had no relevance. Neither did the zillion books and articles I wandered across while pregnant. This despite the fact that I only knew for sure of what one woman did to feed her kids because Mom had my brother when I was 10, and it was hard to miss. The LCs were …less than helpful. My son’s male pediatrician is the one who actually helped.
            Quite successful, in that he was a well fed baby, except that I grew to hate bf’ing with a passion equal to the heat of a thousand suns.

          • nikkilee
            May 20, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

            What about it drove you to hate?

          • demodocus
            May 21, 2016 at 8:51 am #

            A deeply personal question I don’t feel like sharing with you.

          • Charybdis
            May 21, 2016 at 10:02 am #

            I also intended to breastfeed, but I also wound up hating, loathing and despising it, even though I had a lot of breastfeeding “support” as you like to call it.

            What I wanted and needed, in hindsight, was VALIDATION that breastfeeding was hard, that it was not working out for me and DS and that it was okay to stop. Which I did not get. I got the LC/Lactivist party line of “feed more, pump more, lay in bed with baby and nurse, nurse, nurse, try some fenugreek, mother’s milk tea, oatmeal, nurse, try different nursing positions, use support pillows, constantly hold DS, etc”. All that did was piss me off, because I *had* been doing/trying all that and it was not working.

            I hated smelling like a milk machine. I hated that I couldn’t get a shower or anything else done, as I was always trying to breastfeed. I hated being sticky and that I couldn’t get any sort of routine established because of the constant breastfeeding that was not providing DS with enough to eat. I hated being the only person who could feed DS, I hated having a boob ornament attached to me at all times, I hated not having any personal space, not having 5 consecutive minutes to myself and no order to my day.

            I wanted someone to validate my feelings, tell me that it was okay to stop and that breastfeeding was not always easy, or not always possible for women. Instead I got the “99% of women can breastfeed successfully, just keep trying” garbage. Nobody in the “support” group ever gave a damn about my feelings and treated me like a milk dispenser that needed adjusting/fixing. I had supply issues and some letdown issues, as I’m pretty sure my milk never let down completely, ever. After about a month of insanity, I chucked in the towel and switched to formula completely. It was such a relief.

            If I ever have another child (unlikely), I will EFF from the start because my first experience was such a shambles. It would give me a perverse pleasure, giddiness even, to NOT contribute to a hospital’s BFHI exclusive breastfeeding rates.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 21, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

            The sensation of milk letting down felt like needles coming through my nipples. Every. Single. Time.

          • Erin
            May 22, 2016 at 4:41 pm #

            It was hugely triggering for me. Every time I put my son to the breast I saw my rapist, obviously not helped by the fact that he arrived with a full head of hair (which shouldn’t have been a surprise because I was born with lots of dark hair too). Yes, I wasn’t very well at the time but my obvious mental health issues were ignored because apparently breastfeeding even when it’s part of the problem fixes everything.

            I kept at it for 3 months, beating myself up, hurting myself physically afterwards, hating myself and him for being hungry.

            Then I berated myself because he was going to be obese, diabetic, asthmatic, stupid…

            If I have another, my plan will be formula from the outset and whilst I may change my mind if the second baby arrives in a less traumatic fashion, no amount of cheer leading from people who clearly don’t give a damn about me or my children will play a part in my decision making. When it comes down to health “care” professionals putting statistics ahead of the mothers and babies under their “care”, then something is hugely wrong with the system.

            I spent Friday with a friend of mine, her child is a few days younger than mine. The development gap is months apart though which when you’re talking 15 months old is massive.

            You want to know why…well it’s because of people like you. You see she lost over 25 percent of her birth weight in the days following birth because despite her PCOS mother’s concerns healthcare “professional” after healthcare “professional” kept telling her everything was fine. Only it wasn’t.

            By the time she was readmitted to the hospital some unrecoverable damage was done. They don’t know the full extent of it yet, but she can’t stand up by herself, let alone walk. She doesn’t vocalize but she has the sweetest smile. I held her for half an hour, whilst her Mother had a cup of tea and she’s half the weight of my son. A tiny little thistledown girl who deserved better.

            Her mother is a nervous wreck who spends half her time beating herself up and the rest panicking about what she’s going to screw up next. She deserved better too.

          • fiftyfifty1
            May 21, 2016 at 9:14 am #

            ” I also know that more women and babies are successful with breastfeeding, for longer, than ever before.”

            And yet, despite all the work that LCs do to try to increase breastfeeding rates, they still can’t come anywhere close to matching the rates of 2 major immigrant groups in my area. One group routinely and generously “tops off” all babies with formula until milk comes. The other actually believes colostrum to be harmful and babies are not put to the breast at all until milk is in (I bet you can imagine the hysterics this causes in the LCs)! Both groups politely decline the services of LCs, and both groups go on to have high breastfeeding rates well into toddlerhood.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 21, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

            Assuming that more women and babies are successful at breastfeeding since before the BFHI, which I find unlikely, does that excuse making new moms’ lives near-universally hell just when they’re at their most vulnerable?
            This stuff also turns at least some moms off of even trying next time around. I’m simply not up to dealing with the guilt-tripping and nastiness again. If the LCs would agree not to do their best to make me suicidally depressed about what a horrible mom I am two days into new-mom-hood, I might be willing to give breastfeeding a try again: as my OB pointed out, while it’s my decision, second-time moms often have it easier. However, trying to breastfeed means having someone constantly in my room telling me that if I fail again, my kid won’t bond to me, will be sick all the time, and if I just tried harder, it would work. (How one can try harder than nursing for 60-75 minutes, pumping for 30, wash the pump/peeing/other necessary stuff for 15, and start the cycle again is well beyond me, but what do I know?) Not happening. Never again. And I make a point of being supportive of new moms, regardless of their feeding methods, while warning them about what sort of “support” they can expect if they ask for help from a LC at our local hospitals.

          • nikkilee
            May 21, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

            I wonder what percentage of new mothers have this type of experience.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 21, 2016 at 8:38 pm #

            Is there a percentage other than 0% which is acceptable?

          • Megan
            May 21, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

            Don’t know, but my experience was similar. Second time I tried, baby got colostrum and I still only made 8-12 oz a day, just like the first time around. Baby still lost weight combo feeding so we changed to EFF. Best decision I ever made. I’m enjoying my baby. My toddler gets attention. My husband can help more. You’ll never convince me that my beautiful daughter is the scourge on society you make FF babies out to be.

          • StephanieA
            May 23, 2016 at 12:52 am #

            My experience sounds similar to yours. My baby (I think he’s a bit older than your daughter?) was breastfed for a month but I just didn’t produce enough for him. He was constantly hungry. He’s a perfect little FFchunk. My 2.5 year old was EFF and he’s rarely sick, super skinny, and a beautiful little boy. I dare someone to tell them that lack of breast milk has hurt him in any way.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks
            May 22, 2016 at 11:07 am #

            As do I.
            It’s pure anecdote, but I’m a woman of young-ish childbearing age, meaning that I have quite a lot of friends who are in the process of having babies. In the last year, five friends have had new babies. Of them, all planned on breastfeeding; in three cases, these were second or third babies whose moms had successfully breastfed in the past.
            In one case, mom simply threw the lactation consultant out of her room because the last time she had anything to do with one at the same hospital, she ensured that her baby got re-admitted due to jaundice. Mom and dad have incompatible blood types, and mom’s milk, while it always comes in and plentifully so, does not come in for the first week or thereabouts. The blood type thing means that their babies are at a higher risk for jaundice. When baby’s bili numbers started to rise despite constant nursing, the pediatrician told mom to give a bottle or two. No problem for mom: this happened, as I said, with her past babies, and she always ends up exceeding her initial breastfeeding goals because once her milk belatedly arrives, she finds nursing easy and pleasant. However, the lactation consultant/nurse refused to allow them to feed the baby a bottle despite the pediatrician’s orders because “this is a breastfeeding hospital.” Mom finally got an early discharge “to work on nursing at home,” took baby to the pediatrician’s, and by then, baby’s bili numbers were high enough to require re-admission. To be fair, the ped raised hell with the hospital for this stunt. BFHI hospital, mom ended up meeting her nursing goals.
            In another case, baby was sent to the nursery because mom was taking some time to come out from anesthesia. When mom started to be lucid for a few minutes at a time, the LC and nurse constantly rode on her to pump, pump, pump…and neglected to mention that oh, by the way, we’ve transferred your baby to the NICU because we think he may have pneumonia. After all, mom knowing her child’s medical condition or recuperating from anesthesia was far less important than her ability to produce milk! Hospital is working on acquiring BFH status; Mom didn’t nurse or pump again after day 2.
            In a third case, baby was sick because of an infection mom had. Mom wasn’t allowed to hold him while he was in the NICU, and was recovering from an assortment of issues herself. Still got harassed nonstop to pump, pump, pump, though. She didn’t mind pumping; in fact, her plan all along was to start pumping early to prepare for returning to work. She did mind being treated like a bad person because her milk took a couple of days to come in. I think, but am not certain, that this was a BFHI hospital. Mom exceeded her breastfeeding goals, and ended up donating several dozen gallons for preemies at a milk bank.
            In the fourth case, mom nursed from the start and had few problems. That the nurses were very supportive helped: of course, cluster-feeding was tiring, but they were happy to take baby long enough for mom to eat, shower, and nap for an hour or so from time to time over the course of her two-day stay. Mom still raves about her awesome experience there. Non-BFH, mom is still nursing and, based on past experience, will likely do so through toddlerhood.
            In the fifth case, one about which I’ve posted here recently, mom had a C-section and required high doses of both painkillers and anti-anxiety meds which knocked her out for the rest of the day. She was intermittently conscious by the evening, but would fall asleep mid-conversation. She couldn’t get out of bed, of course. Nonetheless, her nurse a) refused to allow her support person to stay to help with baby (might interfere with bonding, don’tchaknow, and how dare the support person be a sister rather than a spouse), b) said that the sister should just wait in the waiting room all night, and if mom needed her, she could call her to come back for a little while (mom can’t maintain consciousness reliably, but I guess her sister’s supposed to psychically know when she’s about to drop her baby and run back there?), and c) refused to have baby taken to the desk or nursery because mom just needed to learn how to care for baby. Fortunately for all concerned, the night nurse had both a brain and a heart, and broke hospital policy to allow sis to stay, and even offered to walk baby in the hall for a couple of hours to let mom and her sister get consistent rest. A day later, mom’s nipples were raw, bleeding nubs from constant breastfeeding. Her sister, who has successfully nursed three kids and had similar issues with her first, suggested a nipple shield; the lactation consultant and nurse said that wasn’t allowed because then baby would have to be weaned from it and a nipple shield isn’t “natural”; mom just had to get past the pain. BFH. Since mom wasn’t “allowed” to use a nipple shield, she went to straight formula by day 4.

          • StephanieA
            May 23, 2016 at 12:48 am #

            A lot. I’m 27, have two young kids and lots of friends with young kids. So many women have experiences like this, myself included.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 22, 2016 at 10:52 am #

            You should be enraged.

            And you describe yourself as teaching other lactation consultants. Do you agitate for them to make decent choices? Seems like you could.

            When my son was born, the lactation consultant came in just before we planned to leave. She inspected my underwear, insulted my mother, and insisted that I wasn’t latching the baby on correctly. After an hour of popping the baby on and off my nipple while the LC sucked her teeth and declaring the latch not quite right, I gave my son the only ounce of formula he ever had. The next day, a visiting nurse came to our house. She told me that if the baby was swallowing (he was), and I wasn’t in pain (I wasn’t), she didn’t see how there was any cause to worry about his latch. We nursed for nearly two years with no further interference.

            When my daughter was born – close to 2 months early – I saw an LC for 5 minutes maybe. My insurance wouldn’t pay for me to rent my pump from her company, and I didn’t need a hands free bra because I had a bunch already. After she determined she couldn’t sell me anything, she vanished. And at that, she was better than the LC I saw when my son was a newborn.

          • nikkilee
            May 22, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

            What I teach, what people hear and what they do in practice are 3 different things. I do teach that there are 2 rules of breastfeeding: 1) mother is comfortable and 2) baby gets milk. What else do you need?

            Hospital systems don’t always give LCs enough time to give best care. What is supposed to happen is that bedside nurses are to help with breastfeeding, and the LCs are the clinical specialists to take care of special circumstances: baby in NICU, mom with persistent challenges etc. etc.

            What often happens is that nurses don’t help because they are often overworked (worked 1.5 to 2.0 FTE) , and everything breastfeeding related gets put on the LC. Sitting with a new mother can take an hour; when there are 10 or 20 or 30 new moms to be seen on one shift, there isn’t enough time for this to be possible.

            Not all hospitals are this way, but many in my area are. Remember that one way hospitals save money by cutting back on nursing staff, and some hospitals don’t have LCs or hire LCs but don’t pay for enough hours to provide full-time coverage. It’s news in my community when a hospital has a LC for nights!

        • Bombshellrisa
          May 20, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

          How does formula feeding affect how fast a woman’s milk comes in or how much she can supply?

          • guest
            May 20, 2016 at 11:55 pm #

            I can answer this. The ideas LCs have is that nipple stimulation is required for milk to come in, and to increase the amount of milk a woman produces over time. There is at least some truth to this – *some* women can increase their supply using a breast pump for extra sessions.

            Their fear of supplementing is that when you give the neonate formula, you are missing out on the crucial nipple stimulation. The ones that are against supplementing think that if you miss one feeding because you “fear” low supply, then the next time you want to breast feed, your supply really will have gone down, so you’ll supplement twice as much, and on and on until breastfeeding completely fails.

            There is a tiny bit of truth behind it. If you don’t stimulate the breast, it will eventually stop producing milk. But the problem is that they assume women who supplement with formula aren’t getting enough breast stimulation. But what is “enough”? My hospital LC had me frantically pumping while separated from my babies and I ended up with an *over*supply, so it is in fact possible to have TOO MUCH stimulation. It is possible also to have too little, but it does not follow that supplementing with some nursing/pumping sessions in the first week would automatically lead to complete drying up of milk, or inability of the breast to increase supply as time goes on.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 21, 2016 at 12:21 am #

            I meant to write “formula marketing”, oops.

          • FEDUP MD
            May 21, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

            Yeah, with the first baby I was browbeaten into pumping like crazy before my milk came in to make sure I had a good supply. When it came in, I had massive oversupply which lasted for months. By the second kid, they were still on my case to pump through the day and night, but this time I knew better. With no pumping, just putting the baby on every so often, I had the most unbelievable oversupply and engorgement, to the point where I felt physically ill and actually got bilateral brachial plaxopathies from the underarm portion being so swollen. If I had pumped every 3 hours like I was “supposed to” and harangued about even as an experienced mother, I do wonder if my breasts would have literally exploded (I do have stretch marks on them from that time).

          • nikkilee
            May 21, 2016 at 7:56 am #

   In hospital formula use affects a woman, somehow. Again, populations, not individuals.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            May 21, 2016 at 8:02 am #

            Two potential explanations for this finding:
            1. Women who have trouble breast feeding are more likely to need formula supplementation. Some of them will have only temporary problems and will go on to exclusively breast feed later on. Others will continue to have difficulty and will quit. Women who had an easy time early on will be more likely to continue to have an easy time.
            2. Formula feeding is so much easier and more convenient that any woman who tries it will be “tempted” to continue it.
            Even if the latter explanation is the correct one, what’s the problem: The women who stop breast feeding are happily and adequately feeding their children. The women who continued breast feeding are doing same. I don’t see what the issue is.

          • nikkilee
            May 21, 2016 at 9:44 am #

            Formula supplementation is nationally given to about 75% of breastfed babies (CDC statistic) because healthcare professionals don’t understand or are ignorant of breastfeeding. Baby has low blood sugar? “Give formula.” Baby has jaundice? “Give formula.” The idea of putting a baby skin to skin to raise its blood sugar, or supplementing with human milk (from a donor milk bank or Prolacta) or from mom is nationally, not standard practice. The only thing easy about formula feeding is that anyone can do it. Formula fed babies are sicker, more likely to be hospitalized. How convenient is a sick baby? Who stays home from work when baby is sick? 3 of the top 5 reasons the US spends money on sick children come from conditions that would be reduced in number if babies were breastfed according to recommended guidelines.

          • momofone
            May 21, 2016 at 9:46 am #

            Surely you aren’t promoting breastfeeding as a more “convenient” option? (Of course you are.) I did it for a long time, and I’m not sorry, but there was nothing convenient about it. There’s not much convenient about babies, no matter how they’re fed.

          • nikkilee
            May 21, 2016 at 9:55 am #

            Convenience is in the eye of the beholder.

          • momofone
            May 21, 2016 at 9:57 am #

            Of course it is. Yet I hear you citing convenience as a reason to breastfeed. “The only thing easy about formula feeding is that anyone can do it. Formula fed babies are sicker, more likely to be hospitalized. How convenient is a sick baby?”

          • demodocus
            May 21, 2016 at 10:21 am #

            my anecdote comes in the form of a grim joke from my mother-in-law. “I just prayed [my DH] would be healthy; I should have been more specific.” EFF and healthy as a horse. If it weren’t for the congenital blindness, he’d barely have seen a doc before he broke his arm in middle school. Me, I was EBF’d, with a mild prematurity related heart condition (it corrected before school), asthma, and went deaf on one side from scarlet fever.

          • BeatriceC
            May 21, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

            All my kids were breast fed from the tap or from expressed milk in a bottle for at least six months. Yet one of them now has an intestinal mass and the other two have orthopedic surgery a few times a year. Breastfeeding certainly didn’t stop all that.

          • momofone
            May 21, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

            I breastfed for 21 months. Four years later I had bilateral mastectomies, much to the horror of some lactivist friends who were convinced that breastfeeding was not only imbuing their babies with magical protection, but them as well. But hey, we’re just a couple of individuals, right?

          • Elizabeth A
            May 22, 2016 at 10:43 am #

            I breastfed for a cumulative 3 years (slightly under 2 years for my son, slightly over 1 for my daughter). Was diagnosed with stage 2 grade 3 BC about 1.5 years after my youngest weaned. It turned out that my right breast – the one with the hideous oversupply, which is an interesting coincidence – contained malignancies throughout the milk ducts, and I was lucky I didn’t have to have pectoral muscle removed.

          • momofone
            May 22, 2016 at 11:09 am #

            But…but…you breastfed! Are you sure you didn’t do it wrong?

          • Elizabeth A
            May 22, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

            Momofone, I blame the c-section. If not for the c-section, I’m sure I never would have developed breast cancer, and poor little DD would never have to think about that risk in her own future. We’d be so much more one with nature.

          • momofone
            May 22, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

            Damn it. I should’ve known it was the c-section.

          • demodocus
            May 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

            My sister developed a low grade (don’t know which specifically) breast cancer in her early/mid 20s, and stage IV ovarian while pregnant with her first and only at 28. I give a nasty eye to the posters that trumpet reduced cancer risk.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            May 24, 2016 at 4:36 am #

            Was it hormone receptor positive? Please do feel free to tell me where to go if you don’t want to answer, but I’m curious because I suspect–and there is, I think, some evidence–that if there is a reduced risk of BC with breast feeding, the reduction is probably only for ER and PR positive tumors.

            Glad it was caught at stage II and hope you’re doing okay now!

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            May 24, 2016 at 4:44 am #

            And it appears that I am completely wrong and in fact had it backwards. This is why one should get the data and not count on anecdote or non-specific memories.


            I have to say, though, it doesn’t look like a huge effect overall and a number of studies don’t show any effect at all. Certainly not an absolute protection.

          • Elizabeth A
            May 24, 2016 at 6:28 am #

            I don’t mind taking about this. My cancer was very slightly PR positive and intensely Her2/neutral pos. Treated as her2+, and I’ve been NED for 3 years now. Herceptin is amazing stuff.

            We really only caught it because it went symptomatic. I’d had a lump checked out four months earlier was told it was probably cystic breast tissue, and resolved to think no more about it. If it wasn’t for body discharge from the nipple I wouldn’t have gone back. So, you know, follow up aggressively on persistent lumps. Whether or not you have risk factors (I didn’t ).

          • Charybdis
            May 21, 2016 at 10:17 am #

            Formula feeding was hella more convenient than breastfeeding. The lactivist party lines of “Boiling water! Sterilizing bottles! The measuring! The mixing! The heating up! The cleanup! Having to carry a ton of stuff with you when you leave the house!” are just about as out of date as the NCB’ers idea of hospital birth.

            Bottled or distilled water for mixing, dishwasher to clean and sterilize bottles and nipples, RTF doesn’t need mixing and the powdered formula is pretty easy to measure out (1 scoop for 2 oz water, 2 scoops for 4 oz water, etc.) and store in bottles. Not exactly the “oh, so complicated” scenario lactivists paint formula feeding to be.

          • nikkilee
            May 21, 2016 at 10:57 am #

            Powdered formula is not sterile. It can contain spores of clostridia, cronobacter or salmonella; safe preparation of powdered infant formula is important.

          • Charybdis
            May 21, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

            This is why they make RTF and liquid concentrate as well.

            Are Moms’ nipples sterile? How about their breastmilk when they have cracked and bleeding nipples or mastitis? Or do they somehow have a Brita ™ filter and sterilizer inside their breasts? Oh, and yeast from thrush? Because it seems like breastmilk that contains blood (strawberry milk!!), pus and yeast could cause issues as well. But what do I know? I’m not an LC.

          • guest
            May 22, 2016 at 12:26 am #

            And, for that matter, how sterile are a mother’s hands when she picks up her baby, or when she touches her own breast getting it out for a feeding? How sterile are mommy’s lips when she kisses her baby? How sterile is the pacifier? How sterile are the clothes baby wears? How sterile is the bassinet? How sterile is the diaper on baby’s bottom? How sterile is baby’s three-year-old sibling who likes to touch the baby in all kinds of ways? How sterile is the family cat? How sterile is the water baby is bathed in?

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 22, 2016 at 1:32 am #

            My sister in law got pink eye from changing poopy diapers. Exhaustion makes you forget to wash your hands.

          • guest
            May 22, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

            Exhaustion, and also the fact that you wash your hands so much they are raw and chapped and so maybe sometimes when you don’t think you got any waste matter on your hands you skip it, just this once…

            Two in dipaers, man. The skin of my hands is never going to recover.

          • Megan
            May 22, 2016 at 2:24 am #

            My toddler can never leave her baby sister alone. She’s been kissing her multiple times a day since the day she can home from the hospital. She doesn’t care if snot is flowing out of her nose, her love for her sister knows no bounds! But it my baby gets sick, I’m sure it’s cause she’s FF, right?

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 22, 2016 at 3:57 am #

            Has to be that. Well, either that or the fact she was an epidural drugged, c-section born baby.

          • Megan
            May 21, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

            “Powdered formula is not sterile.”

            Neither is breastmilk you get off of Craig’s List.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 21, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

            Don’t we have all kinds of bacteria and stuff on our body at any given time? How sterile is a nipple that is raw and bleeding?

          • fiftyfifty1
            May 21, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

            “Neither is breastmilk you get off of Craig’s List.”

            Neither is the breastmilk the baby gets right straight from the boob.

          • demodocus
            May 21, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

            especially if you have mastitis or open wounds from bfing

          • nikkilee
            May 21, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

            Right. Breastmilk purchased from anywhere except a HMBANA certified milk bank or Prolacta or Medolac is not safe. Breastmilk given away for free can be safe. Powdered infant formula is can make babies sick. . . .Walmart had a big recall of powdered formula in 2012 for this reason. I gave the CDC citation about already.

          • Nick Sanders
            May 21, 2016 at 8:04 pm #

            That’s a lot of reliance on possibilities without any actual backing with data on likelihoods.

          • Megan
            May 21, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

            I was given breastmilk by a friend who had all negative testing at the beginning of her pregnancy. Her husband cheated on her while pregnant, unbeknownst to her when she gave me the milk. Shit happens and it can happen to anyone. If the milk isn’t screened, there’s no way to know. Plus, there is not enough safe donor milk to go around. It should be prioritized for premise. Term infants will be just fine on formula. Demonizing formula only encourages breastmilk to be sold at $3-4/oz online due to high demand rather than donated to safe milk banks.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 21, 2016 at 9:14 pm #

            I had a blood transfusion last year. If I had been told that I was going to get unscreened blood from a family member or friend (even if they had been tested 9+ months previously), I would have declined and just put up with the anaemia.

          • Megan
            May 21, 2016 at 9:22 pm #

            Yes, I now deeply regret giving my daughter donor milk and wish infuse given formula. I did my daughter a disservice by putting her health at risk and I’m very ashamed of it. I bought into it because of the rhetoric surrounding breastfeeding and demonizing formula. I share the story because I hope it will help people realize that the safety of unscreened donor milk is not guaranteed. I am not proud of it.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            May 21, 2016 at 11:33 pm #

            Crap, sorry, I didn’t mean to sound like I was judging you. I was just trying to explain why I’m wary of informal milk sharing I general.

          • Megan
            May 22, 2016 at 2:21 am #

            Oh I know you weren’t. I just still harbor a lot of guilt about it. Id never do it again and while I was ashamed to admit I put my daughter at risk, I hope my story helps people realize that no matter how safe you think it is, you just never know what’s really going on (and anyone can get cheated on). My daughter seems fine this far, but she could’ve gotten HIV in a situation like that.

          • momofone
            May 22, 2016 at 9:36 am #

            How many were sickened?

          • Elizabeth A
            May 22, 2016 at 10:36 am #

            How does being FREE make informally donated milk safe?

            I donated milk because I had a ton extra. I felt confident about the safety of my own milk – I was feeding it to my own baby, after all – but other women had to take my word for it. When I needed to stop pumping for my daughter, I wasn’t personally comfortable enough with donor milk, and the idea of driving hours at someone else’s conveniences to hopefully wind up with enough breastmilk to feet my baby whenever she was hungry was just too much to cope with. My daughter thrived on formula, and it is what I recommend to families who need to supplement.

          • nikkilee
            May 22, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

            Because in situations where mothers are selling their milk (as was done in Brazil, and is now occurring here in the US), folks have adulterated or diluted their milk. It isn’t stored properly, especially when shipped.

            When milk is given away locally, mothers form relationships. A mother can see how another mother lives, and see how her baby is growing.

            Nothing is without risk. Adult humans can, if given all the information, choose what is best for them.


            Safety is addressed by this informal sharing network:

          • Elizabeth A
            May 22, 2016 at 4:18 pm #

            In order to get breast milk from informal sharing networks, one of the woman I donated to drove an hour each way. She had no idea how my baby was doing. (In fact, my breastfed preemie was in the hospital at the time.) Mothers do not necessarily form relationships just because they share breast milk – they find each other on the internet and add to their errand lists.

            And there was nothing to keep me from storing my milk improperly, or from diluting or adulterating it.

            The thing you’ve linked me is basically an ad for a Facebook group for milksharing. When I clicked around and found their safety recommendations, I noticed that there’s no enforcement mechanism. I donated milk via LJ communities in 2009,and while much was said about the importance of screening and voluntary disclosure, nobody ever asked me if I had been recently tested for anything. The only questions I was ever asked were “when can I come get the stuff?” and “Can I bring you anything?”

            I have been in these milk sharing networks, and frankly, I believe you are looking at them through the rosiest of rose-colored glasses.

          • An Actual Attorney
            May 22, 2016 at 6:16 pm #

            Would you tell your children that if their intended sexual partner looks healthy and lives a middle class lifestyle, there’s no need to use condoms? After all, no one who formed a relationship ever got an sti.

          • Who?
            May 22, 2016 at 6:38 pm #


            I wonder too-if you’re asked to donate breastmilk by a friend or family member, and you know, or suspect, you might have been exposed to an sti-how you would get out of saying yes.

            You won’t want to admit to the risk, probably; you won’t want to say a flat no. Hopefully you wouldn’t be breastfeeding at all in that situation, but life does get complicated.

          • An Actual Attorney
            May 22, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

            And possibly there’s mental health meds, or any meds, even otc stuff, that you might not be keen on discussing. Not to mention that the reason we test people is because we don’t automatically know that we have been infected. I know a lot of US jurisdictions still require negative syphilis tests before issuing a marriage license.

          • BeatriceC
            May 21, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

            Human nipples aren’t sterile either. Your point?

          • Megan
            May 21, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

            “safe preparation of infant formula is important”

            So perhaps it should be taught to parents. We know that most babies get some formula during their first year. BFHI instead pretends that FF can just be banished.

          • guest
            May 22, 2016 at 12:23 am #

            And exactly how many times has that caused illness or death in a baby in the United States?

            Oh, I can answer that: We have no reported incidents of harm as of yet.

          • nikkilee
            May 22, 2016 at 9:07 am #

            Actually there are reports of deaths from all over the world. These deaths were the reason the WHO came out with their guidelines for prepration of powdered infant formula in 2004. The WHO has since upgraded their guidelines