What glasses can teach us about insufficient breastmilk


Vision. It’s arguably the most important of our 5 senses.

It allows us to see a grain of salt, a mountain in the distance and everything in between. It is the key to game hunting, to precision manufacturing, to hitting a home run. It is 100% natural. All human beings are “designed” to see.

Curiously, despite the centrality of vision to our existence and despite the fact that it is natural, the incidence of poor vision is extraordinarily high. Approximately 30% of Americans are nearsighted; approximately 30% of Americans are farsighted; an equal proportion of Americans suffer from astigmatism. These impairments of vision can occur alone and in combination. Indeed, there are many people over age 40 who are both nearsighted, farsighted and have astigmatism.

[pullquote align=”right” color=””]If vision – a critical bodily function – could require technological assistance more than 50% of the time, why couldn’t lactation also require technological assistance? [/pullquote]

What does that tell us?

It tells us that even critical natural functions don’t work properly a large proportion of the time.

It tells us that lactivists like Prof. Amy Brown have literally no idea what they are talking about when they offer claims like this:

There’s a difference between dying from external causes and a part of the body simply not working across a species.


Over 60% of Americans use glasses for vision correction. Nearly 20% use contact lenses for vision correction. That sounds suspiciously like a part of the body — a vital part of the body —simply failing across a large proportion of the species.

If vision – arguably as important as breastfeeding — could require technological assistance more than half the time, why couldn’t lactation also require technological assistance?

We can take the analogy even further:

Are people who need glasses — who have eyes designed to see — not trying hard enough to see? Of course not.

Are they victims of relentless propaganda from Big Glasses and don’t really need vision correction at all? That’s absurd!

Are people who use glasses or contact lenses “giving in” to the inconvenience of not being able to see? How ridiculous!

What about the impact of “unnatural” glasses and contact lenses?

Does a book written by someone wearing reading glasses have less merit than one written by someone with 20/20 vision? No.

Is a touchdown pass drilled to the receiver by a quarterback wearing contact lenses not really a touchdown? No.

If a nearsighted climber summits Mount Everest wearing glasses, is it a lesser achievement than if she had done the same thing without glasses? Absolutely not.

Why not? Because we judge achievements by the outcome, not the process. It makes no difference if someone needs vision correction to complete their activities of daily living or to fulfill their wildest dreams. The achievement is not marred by the need for vision correction.

And, critically, not needing vision correction is not, in and of itself, an achievement.

The same arguments can be made about breastfeeding. Yes, it’s natural. Yes, women are “designed” to breastfeed. Nonetheless a substantial proportion of women and babies will have difficulty with breastfeeding.

Are women with insufficient breastmilk not trying hard enough? Of course not.

Are they victims of relentless propaganda from formula companies and don’t really need to supplement their babies at all? That’s absurd!

Are women who don’t breastfeed abnormal or unnatural? No.

Are woman who choose to formula feed “giving in”? Hardly.

Are babies nourished with formula any less intelligent, talented or valuable than babies nourished with breastmilk? Of course not.

Is raising that baby into a healthy happy child with formula any less of an achievement than doing the same with breastmilk? That’s absurd. The achievement is the healthy, happy baby, not the breastfeeding.

The bottom line is that a home run with vision correction is better than a strikeout without it. A healthy formula fed toddler is better than a stunted toddler who is breastfed.

I understand that there are women who want to view unmedicated breastfeeding as an achievement, but that says more about them and their fragile self-esteem than it says about childbirth or breastfeeding.

I also understand that lactivists like Dr. Amy Brown not only have limited understanding of human physiology, they appear to have no understanding of evolution.

It is the outcome that counts. A great outcome is infinitely more important than a natural process whether that process is vision or lactation. That’s why Fed Is Best!