Monday, 14 January 2013

How to Spot a Defensive Formula Feeder

In recent years there has been a welcome cultural shift in the way our society (the scientific and medical communities at least) views breastfeeding. Research has re-established breastfeeding as the normative ideal for infant feeding, partly-facilitated by a boom in breastfeeding activism.

However this growing pro-baby culture has produced a particular breed of formula feeder – the ‘Defensive Formula Feeder’ (or ‘DFF’ for short). In this article I am going to outline the central characteristics of defensive formula feeders and how you can distinguish them from all other formula feeders.

Victim Mentality

DFFs are plagued with a victim mentality. They claim (and may even believe) that they had no control over the way that events unfolded leading to their breastfeeding failure. They use words like, “I had to use formula” and “I had no choice”. They spend their time looking outside of themselves to explain what happened or didn’t happen.

DFFs see any discussion of breastfeeding as an opportunity to recite their ever-lengthening list of reasons why they ‘couldn’t breastfeed’. How many times have you witnessed a perfectly civil breastfeeding conversation sabotaged by a formula feeder with the immortal words, “but not everyone can breastfeed”.

The internet is a dangerous place for DFFs. They have always to be prepared for the worst, as it is full of people who are out to hurt them. In their view, it is a harsh environment of victims, victimizers, and occasional rescuers.

The internet is also a place for DFFs to infect and assimilate. Like attracts like, so it only makes sense that defensive formula feeders attract people like them. When you’re in a social situation and everyone is complaining about why they ‘had’ to give up breastfeeding, it’s easy for even the most positive formula feeder to fall into the trap of victimhood.

Opaque Aggression

DFFs are passive-aggressive in their interactions with breastfeeders. The passive-aggressive style is often a very subtle and non-direct way of expressing anger without openly acknowledging it. DFFs seem superficially receptive to other’s suggestions, but are experts in passive resistance. For example, they may claim to have tried pumping their breast milk, but the reality is that they only tried for a day before giving up. During discussions, they can exaggerate how long they ‘tried’ for.

In the online environment, within minutes their behaviour will escalate. They will ascribe non-existent negative intentions to neutral statements, sulk, pout, withdraw, bungle, make excuses, and lie. Their talent at sending mixed messages catches others off-guard. One minute they’re having a civil conversation, then they’re offended, then they claim to enjoy the debate, then they are angry. Their behaviour appears very schizophrenic as they battle with their inner demons on the public stage of the internet forum or Facebook page. A common theatrical performance of a DFF is to post on a breastfeeding forum:

“I’m leaving this terrible place; you are all stuck up and shallow”

...rather than simply leaving. With these people, you can never truly know how your words will be received, which creates an egg-shells atmosphere, choking any dialogue.

This behaviour has a self-defeating, almost masochistic quality. It is as if DFFs welcome the process of getting hurt and are attracted to media which triggers them. They actively seek out breastfeeding forums, blogs and advocates. If they mistakenly stumble upon such a group, they do not leave. Instead they enjoy the masochistic buzz of being offended and arguing.

To compound the negativity of this outlook, DFFs know how to inflame others. They have a knack for dragging others into the emotional maelstrom they create, keeping them off-balance with their talent for shape-shifting. One moment they present themselves dramatically as victims; the next they are morphing into victimizers, hurting people with personal attacks and often reverting to Godwin's Law. As the internet is perceived as a dangerous place (particularly breastfeeding forums), DFFs strike out in a surreptitious way in order to defend themselves against the inevitable aggression of others.

They are also masters of manipulation, which can make interactions with them infuriating. It is almost as if they want people to exacerbate their guilt, only to prove subsequently, that they are being persecuted. Their talent for high drama draws people to them like moths to a flame.  They gain short-term pleasure from feeling sorry for themselves or eliciting pity from others. Their permanent hurt feelings bring out altruistic motives in others. Which leads us to...

The White Knight 
(more of a hindrance than a help) 

Where there’s a DFF, a White Knight is not far away. I’m sure you’ve witnessed this co-dependent romance yourself. A formula feeder cries offence and upset, and along comes a knight (usually claiming to be a breastfeeder, but you can bet your bottom dollar they’ve formula fed at some point) to defend their honour.

Another person’s suffering evokes strong natural responses of wanting to ease their suffering, to reassure, to defend. By defending, the White Knight satisfies their own desire for attention, drama and self-importance.

When online, DFFs are likely to exaggerate or dramatize their breastfeeding misfortunes, to make the need for rescue even more compelling. Unfortunately, satisfying this need does not bring a ‘cure’. Others’ sympathy is precisely the reason for remaining stuck in this defensive victim mentality. This is why so-called supportive environments don’t always work. When we’re told it’s okay to fail, and even have our emotional wounds licked by others, our failure is rewarded. Attention, sympathy and reassurance are prizes dealt to those who wallow in victimhood.  Furthermore, the importance of the goal (successful breastfeeding) is diminished: “don’t feel bad, as long as your baby is fed somehow, that’s all that matters”. This sends the message to anyone reading that breastfeeding difficulties are not worth persevering through.

“Stop Making Me Feel Guilty” – The Sense of Entitlement 

Part and parcel of being a DFF is a sense of entitlement. The formula feeder expects that all discussions on breastfeeding be out of bounds least they ‘hurt someone’s feelings’ (read: their feelings) or make someone ‘feel guilty’. This is particularly so when discussing the benefits of breastfeeding. These people also expect science to cease ‘wasting money’ on researching the fortitudes of breastfeeding. Instead the formula feeder will claim, “there’s much more important things to research, like war and poverty”. They believe that politicians, medical science, the media, and other mothers need to cease talking about breastfeeding’s natural superiority because it makes formula feeders feel bad. However in reality, nobody – no matter how hard they try – can ever make someone else feel something that they don't want to feel. You are the only one able to choose your feelings. Debate and progression should not cease because some people are offended by it.

Denouncing Breastfeeding Studies

Another strategy adopted by DFFs (normally those with more militant leanings) is to denounce breastfeeding studies. No matter how large scale the research or how reputable the research team, they will fabricate fault with it.

So for example, they will argue that the benefits of breastfeeding are exaggerated or non-existent, and therefore by formula feeding they have not put their child at any disadvantage. It is a form of denial, a face-saving technique. As social psychology puts it, “if the injury from the act is not as significant as first believed, the damage to the image of the accused should be limited as well” (Benoit. W). Click here to see a good example of denouncing in action.

Denouncing breastfeeding studies helps to justify the DFF’s use of formula, masking it as an ‘equal alternative’. Unlike excuse-making (covered here) in which the DFF admits that formula is sub-standard, but does not accept full responsibility for giving it; denouncers accept responsibility for giving formula but reject the claim that formula is sub-standard. A typical line might be, “I can’t see the difference between formula and breast milk, and I chose formula”. Some of these mothers are in denial, some do it to troll breastfeeding mothers, and some genuinely believe the two milks to be equivalent. This latter group suffer from the least guilt. They brush aside or reject factual statements, often contemptuously. "My child is 100% healthy so formula can't carry health risks".

(For more insight into how DFFs use denouncing, a good read is "The Art of Denouncing Breastfeeding").

Whatever strategy the DFF chooses to apply, each technique has one thing in common - insulting the intelligence of the listener. Playing the victim, excuse-making, manipulation, and denouncing, are all attempts to reshape another’s beliefs. It’s up to you whether you are taken in by it. I wrote about the array of DFF manipulation strategies in my book 'Breast Intentions'; in fact, I devoted an entire chapter to them, aptly titled 'Defensiveness'.

Next time you encounter a DFF, have a mental image of this bingo board, and see how many phrases you can spot. The board is particularly fun to use on internet forums, which are often populated by DFFs. Just use Microsoft Paint to circle the phrases as they come up in discussion. Popcorn optional.


Bartley's said...

This is my 3rd baby and I am finally informed enough to know that I want to nurse my baby until she is at least 2, hopefully longer. I breastfeed my first two, but weaned early due to various issues. When I was pregnant the 3rd time I made it a mission to know everything about breastfeeding so I could make a go of it. I read "the womanly art of breastfeeding" It was a life saver! I found all the issues I had with my first two could have been fixed. I was so grateful to find this information. People need to stop being so defensive and get educated instead. Do I feel bad about not breastfeeding my first two for longer? Absolutely. But that didn't stop me from finding out more information so I could do better this time. I am always willing to listen to people and seek out as much information as possible! I love when I meet people that know more than me, and have worked past some issues that I am having or have had in the past. I want to talk to people and learn from their experience. I don't understand why guilt has to be a stumbling block to gaining knowledge. Know that I know some things, I want to share it with others, but people close their ears or get defensive. Oh well, I won't throw my pearls of wisdom to the swines.

Loves2Laugh said...

Biggest waste of my time even starting to read this and then continue to skim the rest. Get off you soap box and your very narrow minded thinking. You must really have some deep security issues to try and make mothers feel so bad if they can't BF. For the record, I did BF both my children. I even consider myself somewhat a snobby parent- but you take it to a level that's just plain RUDE.

Cass852 said...

This article is hardly fair to the many women who struggle to breastfeed. I am still breastfeeding, but it has been nearly ten weeks of constant frustration and feelings of inadequacy. I had surgery just a week after giving birth to remove a malignant melanoma from my arm. This caused my supply to drop, and I spent the next five weeks taking domperidone, fenugreek, and nursing, then pumping, then bottle feeding what I had just pumped. This still wasn't enough and we were forced to supplement. I am thankful that there is a donor milk bank in my area, but if there wasn't, we truly would have had no choice but to supplement with formula. Does this make me a DFF? From your attitude, I will assume you have never struggled to breastfeed, or if you have, the obstacles have been minor. You obviously have no idea how hard some of us work to nurse our babies. You should be ashamed of yourself. The self-imposed feelings of guilt and inadequacy for our inability to nourish our children from our own body is bad enough - we don't need this additional nonsense from people like you. Get off your high horse and try to encourage the women around you instead of calling them selfish or saying they gave up too fast.

Rachel said...

This might be the most unkind thing I have ever read on the internet. Congratulations. You must be so proud.

La Leche Belgrade said...

HOw are people who attack formula -feeders always considered rude, but not the opposite?

Samantha♥Fukuhina said...

This is honestly the stupid fucking thing I have ever read. The author deserves top honors for what is, hands down, the dumbest shit I have ever had the privilege to read on the internet. There's something mentally unsound with people who judge women about what they do or don't do with their bodies. I guess being a flaming cunt is being "alpha".

The.Swindell.Seven said...

You need to STFU! Unless you've been in someones shoes that has struggled so hard to try and keep BFing but physically could NOT, then you can comment about the matter, until then..again i say STFU!

Jo_uk said...

I'm assuming that the purpose of your blog is to encourage mums to persevere with breastfeeding. I don't see how this article is going to achieve that. The vitriolic tone you use to attack those who, for whatever reason, formula fed and were made to feel guilty for doing so (I disagree with your point about others being unable to make someone feel guilty) is more likely to get people's backs up then encourage them to share your point of view.

I admire your commitment to breastfeeding but I think this article does all breastfeeding advocates a disservice.

Billy said...

"happy mum = happy baby" - oh, how I hate that one!! (I see it quite a lot, formula feeding; why CIO is the best way to teach a baby to sleep the night; weaning a 2 or 3 month baby from midnight meal so will sleep all night; etc).

tanwin01 said...

Had to share this! I shared this article with a friend of mine who is a lactivist, and very much pro breast feeding. I knew it would make her laugh because she has other friends who are NOT breast feeders, and a few of them are very much the defensive formula feeders and get pissy at the mention of BF. When I shared it to her wall, all I said was, "I can HEAR these words coming out of their (referring to the defensive FF) mouths!" No names, no specifics.
A few hours later, before my friend even realized I had sent this to her, a friend of hers sent her a message BLASTING this article and expressing ALL the victimized attitudes pointed out in the article and how the very presence of the article on her page was offensive and hurtful and attacking people who have to formula. Oh the irony!

Fouzia Faaris said...

Hi ladies. I wasn't able to bf for the benefit of my son. I breastfed him for three weeks, after which my thyroid hormone levels were out of balance. I take thyroxine daily and after giving birth due to hormonal changes my tsh n t4 levels were haywire .. The excess thyroxine could cross into bm n affect my son! This is not my excuse but my reason that I had to give him formula.

Alpha Parent said...

You can take thyroid medication and still breastfeed.

See here for more info:

Fouzia Faaris said...

Yes. I took thyroxine during pregnancy n levels were normal. But after I had him, the levels would not stabilise n my tsh was haywire. I would not risk having excess med cros bm n affect My newborn .

Bartley's said...

next time just go off your meds for a day or two, then sloooooowly increase your meds. I had to really fiddle around with my meds ( i have no thyroid bc i had severe graves disease with my 2nd pregnancy) but too much thyroid meds increased my milk supply and caused digestion issues for my baby, so I had to back way down on my meds and then slowly increase till I find a good level. Don't expect your doctor to get it either, most are absolutely STUPID when it comes to thyroid.

ashley said...

I am a proud formula-feeding mom. I formula-fed all three of my children (after trying with my first two, but did end up "giving up". so what?) I happily chose to formula feed my third. I occasionally pop over to this blog to get a good laugh/amusement. I find it quite humorous, actually, that you all get so worked up over something so minor. Or, should be minor, anyway. I was formula fed as an infant, I was fed healthy meals growing up, and I was loved. I am a successful and intelligent adult today. Should I say "shame on you" to my mother who did an amazing job raising me and my siblings? Absolutely not. Stop making this such a big deal. I am THANKFUL that formula was there when I had such hard time with my first two. While I know it's not "best", it does a pretty darn good job of growing babies. I feel sorry for children whose mothers spend so much time (like those on this blog) judging and looking down on mothers who don't breastfeed. What kind of example are you setting for them?

Fouzia Faaris said...

I agree w you 100%

Summer said...

Bravo! I love that you are so honest in our overly PC society. So many people take the easy way out today which is why we have so many unhealthy kids and adults. FF is so much easier than BF, particularly if you work or are in school. I BF my daughter when I was 18, working, and in college. Now 13 years later, I BF my son. Giving up breaks and lunches as well as planning meetings around a pumping schedule is far more inconvenient than throwing a can of powder into the diaper bag. You also must modify your diet and alcohol and medication intake.

One thing I haven't seen you mention yet, and forgive me if you have in other pieces, is the subsidizing of formula companies with tax dollars. I for one am outraged that my hard-earned money goes to mothers who are too lazy to do what's best for their children. Formula is expensive and is provided free of charge to millions of women through WIC. It boggles my mind that we pay for people who claim to be poor to have formula when breast milk is FREE. It's the same as allowing food stamps to pay for soda when water is free. Crazy!

Kiddie said...

I love all of the DFF's replying on here, saying the same old stuff as in the article.
Thanks for bringing the LOLs, DFF's!

Hello Anonymity said...

To quote a sig line from a mother on the forum... "you're not managing an inconvenience. You're raising a HUMAN BEING.". BFing can be challenging. Step up an suck it up. I have friends who FF but they're not DFFers. I also know DFFers. Perhaps the defensive ones should self examine and ponder why they're so defensive -- listen to that part of themselves. This post might seem harsh to some people, but motherhood is a tough, rewarding job and that baby is human not an accessory. Do your best-- and that means get all the info, support, etc, be strong and STEP UP. Love to all moms!

From a proud BF mom with a 9 month old on a nursing pause.. Pumping to maintain supply and nursing as much as I can. Had a very tough start BFing.

onelove said...

Well I have to say, there is a huge amount of judgement going on here. I think the most important thing for everyone here is to have happy healthy kids. I was under the impression that raising caring, considerate, and open minded kids was important too, but not with this crowd! As a side note: If you have a problem with how 'un-natural' formula feeding is, I find it disturbing you'd be so trusting as to willingly feed your baby milk with laboratory produced medecines in can't trust pharmaceutical companies any more than formula producers...

Lydia said...

Aren't you just a pretty little peach!

I get where your coming from, but you really swung a little too far out there. I know that there are DFF, but some people really try and it just doesn't work. It happens. I have guilt that I did BF my son longer than a week. I had extreme PPD and BF made it much worse. It was uncontrollable circumstances. When you can't control it, and you do everything in your power, it is really hard to accept failure. I've come to terms with mine. I've successfully BF my daughter for going on 5 months and will be alot longer. I'm a proud BF, but I've been on the other side.

And it seems I'm also the white knight LMAO. I really am BF tho and happily. No PPD this time, god bless placenta pills and a Dh who is able to be home for the birth this time.

Themizduck said...

Such ignorance here! How can you judge others when you haven't been in their shoes? To Summer... Lazy? You automatically think a mom that formula feeds is lazy? How the hell do you know? Also, please tell me where you are getting your water for free! That would be awesome! Where I live, we have to pay the water company for what comes out of our tap. And the bottled water in stores isn't free either. Those of you that jump to judge other moms need to step back and look at yourselves. No matter how perfect you think you are, I'm quite sure you aren't. No one is. I'm ashamed to even say I attempted to breastfeed because I don't want to be associated with people like you. You give breastfeeding a bad name. Finally, most ff moms in see acknowledge the benefits of being. They don't talk trash calling bf moms cheap because they won't buy formula. So why are all of you talking trash? Do you really feel the need to try to make yourselves feel better? What bugs you so much that you have to go on the offensive? You are only making yourselves look arrogant and ignorant while pushing women away from breastfeeding. Alpha parent my ass! Lol

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

I'm another one who tried and tried to bf my third baby. I breastfed two babies previously, each over a year. But this time I could only breastfeed a few months, because I had to be on several medications that I was told were unsafe. (Or two were unsafe and one was questionable). I really always thought the people who "couldn't breastfeed" were just not trying hard enough. Now just reading this (and your post I followed here about overweight babies) makes me sniffle and cry because I never thought I would be a formula feeder. It was really hard to make peace with feeding my daughter formula. I don't think any of the sayings in the bingo are necessarily me (although maybe they are, who really knows), but this experience has definitely left me more sympathetic to people who "can't" breastfeed.

Victoria said...

It absolutely is true that not every woman can breastfeed. Why do you think wet nurses came about? A lot of babies died before the invention of formula. Certainly, breast is best, but formula is better than nothing at all. The vitriol running through this post is nauseating. Shame on you.

Zœy Bacelonia said...

@Every woman out there who is under the ridiculous notation that every woman out there is not breastfeeding b/c it's of medical reasons:

"The main reason that women bottle feed rather than breast feed their babies is for convenience. It is much easier on a mother, especially if she also works outside of the home. Bottle feeding does not necessarily mean that breast milk will not be used. Many women breast feed their infants while they are at home and then choose to use a breast pump to extract milk and refrigerate it for use when they are away. On the other hand there are also some women who choose to forego breast feeding entirely and use infant formula instead. Either way, having your baby on a bottle can be a lot easier if you lead a busy lifestyle and cannot always be there to offer your breast."

The vast majority of DFFs are insecure self centered selfish mothers who feed their kids cow powder from a can and do not want to face up with what they do and want to play the victim.

Breasts make the best milk for the kids, its what they want from birth. No science, or research can deny its Superiorness: it's easier to digest, boasts all the baby's systems, and modifies itself for the child, not only does formula not do any of this, it's loaded with BPA ( via plastic bottle and formula cans that are polluting our world when it ends up in the landfills, and the food itself is loaded with lab chemicals as well too. If you ask me the baby is the victim here, more so than these selfish moms.

Zœy Bacelonia said...


Zœy Bacelonia said...

~"If you have a problem with how 'un-natural' formula feeding is, I find it disturbing you'd be so trusting as to willingly feed your baby milk with laboratory produced medecines in can't trust pharmaceutical companies any more than formula producers..."~

Exactly! That's why god blessed us with BFing so the kids would have stronger imune systems to fight off illness!

~"I think the most important thing for everyone here is to have happy healthy kids"~

And that's why breast milk is the healtheist milk for a human being! GREAT POINTS!

Dragonf;ly said...

Any person who admins a page either on breastfeeding, attachment parenting or gentle parenting page will know what a DFF is. You post up information for breastfeeding mums and they come flocking, shaming the admins for daring to post anything helpful as they didnt manage to breastfeeding. Its almost like you posted it just to insult them. And this is why breastfeeding info isnt seen that much now. Its offensive. Everything in this article is true.

missShak:) said...

Here is some food for thought- BF is NOT easy for ANYONE!!!. It is by FAR the hardest thing I've ever had to learn (and teach my son). Dffs always act like us BF moms have it soooo easy when it comes to learning how to BF.....its NOT! We all have had the same struggles as DFF moms....latching issues, supply issues etc etc. The only real difference I see is the determination of the mom to breastfeed. I couldve easily 'tried' for WEEKS or even MONTHS and given up because I "had to". However sticking with it, and realizing that ALL BF moms have the same issues initially is what helped me continue BFing. My son is 13 months and will stop BF when he wants to stop! Kudos to BF moms!!! Your determination doesn't go unnoticed. ..your baby thanks you! Breast is BEST!!!!

Denise said...

Hurr durr durr. I'd really like to know what criticism you have for my 65 year old adoptive mother who chose to formula feed. I know, I know, I'm white knighting! How dare I? I guess she shouldn't have adopted me, right? You lunatics have said so before . . .

Fi said...

Sadly the dff's rule my mother's forum. Every time a new mum is struggling with bf and posts for help they are there, pushing formula with all the quotes from the bingo card. Yet actual bf advice is often decried as "breast nazi tactics". And yes, the white knight syndrome happens too. So the result is something like this - "help! I don't think i'm making enough milk! Any suggestions?" Enter various posts recommending calling aba, la leche, chikd health nurses, lactation consultant as well as lactation cookies, herbs, tea, techniques that help with latch etc. great, huh? Except that those will be swamped with vast numbers of posts like these -"not everyone can bf" "you're running out of milk -supplement time!" "I had the same thing and had to switch to formula". It goes on and on. Pretty soon it's changed to a "why I couldn't breastfed, thank god for formula, don't let people make you feel guilty, bf studies are useless, my kids were fine, I'm sick of people pushing bf" post. Any attempt to get the discussion back to bf is attacked and all the 'moderates' jump in to say that as long as bub is fed it's ok... Imagine what happens to the original poster?

And yes (as stated in the blog), only a small fraction of formula feeders do this, but they are loud and pervasive. I think highlighting their online presence is only fair warning to any mum who may ever post about bf.

The Domesticated Downtown Diva said...

You're right. They should stay off your support boards. But then you should learn compassion and that's not gonna happen either.

They aren't trying to crash your boob sorority party. They're hurting. Because the doctors and the LCs couldn't help them and the "support" boards lied to them and led them on and then insulted them. Because they lost precious time with their new baby killing themselves to nurse - all because no one had the decency to tell them that it might just never happen. So if their pain causes them to bemoan their failure in an inappropriate venue - would it kill you to understand? Are they really worthy of your public contempt for not having been mom enough to watch their baby starve or their nipples fall off? Or do you just wish they'd suffer in silence like real women?

Oh, before I forget - Here are the phrases for Breastfeeding Bully Bingo:

The first week/2 weeks/month/random time period are really tough but it does get better. I promise.

You can buy foreign drugs online to stimulate supply. They're not FDA approved but don't you love your baby?

Colds and ear infections! Gasp!

Women are made to breastfeed. It's their highest calling.

How much you pump is no indicator of how much you produce.

How much your baby cries is no indicator of how hungry he is.

There's no arguing with science.

No one can make you feel guilty. You must be conflicted.

It's not supposed to hurt. Have you checked the latch?

Have you tried the football hold?

You should really see a lactation consultant.

You may have thrush.

Has the baby been checked for tongue tie?

It doesn't hurt that much. Don't be such a baby.

Don't stop nursing or it'll hurt even more.

Get some fenugreek. Today. Don't read the label. Just take the whole bottle.

You MUST get some lanolin. Lanolin will make everything better.

It's important to spend as much time as possible topless. It's nothing the Fed Ex guy hasn't seen before.

Breastfeeding is free. Because your time is worth absolutely nothing.

What do you think people did before formula?

Have you looked into donor milk? You can get it on Craigslist.

You're doing it wrong. Sweetie.

Stacy Hall said...

Wow, you have all us formula feeders down to a science. I formula fed because I didn't know about bm donations. I wish I did. But honestly, what good is all this bickering and fighting doing to help any one? Your amazingly rude and selfish blog isn't helping any mother. You're fueling the fire to continue making mothers who feel that they can't bf feel inferior, and turning them into DFF. Congratulations, you are perpetrating the cycle. Breast is best, hands down. But what other alternative, aside from donor moms, do we have? Blogs like this divide mothers, when we should be banding together for the sake of our children.

Richelle Vezeau said...

Dear Alpha Parent,

Let's just make up a person. A woman has severe depression, and she finds out she is pregnant. She then has the option, with medical advice, to stay on, or go off her medication or have it adjusted. Baby comes, and the doctor strongly urges that she goes back on her medication, and formula feeds. After all, if her prescription is lithium, you would not want that going through the breast milk. So she formula feeds, is already prone to PPD, and lives in a society that has become pro breatfeeding. So now she feels even more like a failure. She could go off her medication and become completely unstable, but breastfeed..... and even motherhood to the best of us, can bring us down.... make us tired, emotional, and grumpy! So she becomes so out of control, she ends up in the psych unit. Her husband and family now have to take care of that baby.
Do you get that some medications in breast milk can build up to a toxic level? And even though a lot of psychiatric medications will pass the test, and the ''benefits of breastfeeding will outweigh the medication." some babies have died because their little livers couldn't process the medication through the breast milk.
Oh, and by the way.... this example isn't coming from America. It's coming from Canada. Not every province in Canada is on board with donor milk.
So maybe you should get off of your little soap box, and actually research ALL the countries that will help with donor milk, or the lack of...... and open up some medical books, and research certain drugs and how they effect breast milk or how a baby's liver processes certain drugs.

And P.S.
My son is 10 months old, and we are still breastfeeding. Bet I sounded like one of your "Defensive formula moms." I just DO NOT think you've educated yourself enough to stand on your little soap box and preach what you're preaching.

Alpha Parent said...

You said it yourself:

“A lot of psychiatric medications will pass the test, and the benefits of breastfeeding will outweigh the medication.”

Thus said mother could switch to one of the many breastfeeding-friendly psych meds, and her baby’s little liver will be fine. I suggest investing in a copy of Thomas Hale's book ‘Medications and Mothers' Milk’ or the American Academy of Pediatrics list of drug safety in breastfeeding, or using the National Library of Medicine’s LactMed service.

P.S. You’re what I call, a ‘White Knight’.

Captain Morgaine said...

Go ahead and count in that book how many psychoactive drugs are aporoved for breastfeeding. Count them seperately, as someone who has major depressive disorder will not get much help from meds for bipolar disorder.

Not everyone is like you, Alpha Parent. Thats ok. You can go ahead and continue being The Best Mom In The World, and the rest of us will scrape by somehow.

ProudParent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ProudParent said...

Little wonder formula feeding mums might be a bit defensive, given they might have to read a load of smug, self-satisfied twaddle like this. What insecurities and inadequacies must be at the root of such brazen, sadistic ramblings, I can only wonder.

My advice, AP, is sock a bit of money away every month for the next few years - your kids' therapy bills are going to be enormous.

Sirikit said...

Lol. You forget the loonies who tell you to make your own formula from beef broth and grated chicken liver...

Tarynne said...


My PPD was absolutely horrible, I had serious suicidal thoughts. I also was going on about 3 hours of sleep in 6 days. That added to the fact that the hospital lactation consultant was on a month-long vacation and every other one I had attempt to help me told me different things and one was rude to the point of making me cry multiple didn't work. There was no way I could breastfeed if I was being told I was doing it wrong by one lactation consultant (which I also might add that I suspect they were actually nurses not actual lactation consultants), showed how to fix it, continuing to do that, experiencing other issues, having another tell me what the previous one showed me was wrong, etc etc. It was a continuous cycle. I was depressed. I failed at breastfeeding, and it upsets me. I cried over it for a long time and still feel horrible about it. HOWEVER...articles like this don't help me any. I am going to try again next time. Some people really have it hard though! I totally understand being proud that you breastfeed. I would be proud, too. But I can't stand things like this - the attitude of this author is awful, and what's sad, is many (not all) breastfeeding women have this exact attitude. What they fail to understand is that they're just as bad or worse as DFF. I have noticed many breastfeeding women pass around a quote on Facebook that includes the words "We have been sent home with bottles of milk substitutes donated by formula companies hoping we will be consumers instead of mothers". That statement is ridiculous. How dare ANYONE say that if you formula-feed, you aren't a mother. Shame! I will agree that there are "lazy" FF who never even attempt to breastfeed because that is "gross"...but some of us do try.

breatheintheair said...

I'm breastfeeding my first child, and yeah it's difficult and yes I'm very proud to do so...HOWEVER, you sound like the biggest self righteous bitch I've ever heard. Judge much? You are what gives breast feeding mothers a bad name. Shame on you. obviously you have some issues that you feel the need to belittle other people whose business is nobody's but their own. I came to this site innocently looking for information and I stumbled upon this crap instead. Grow up and stop being such a bully, this is just plain mean.

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