Formula Fascists....

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Formula Fascists....
Sat, 03-30-2013 - 8:42pm

For the life of me, I can't figure out why this debate is so decidedly anti-breastfeeding [everywhere outside this board].

A baby died, tragically.

The medical examiner, deputy police chief, and the local newspaper were all quick to blame breastfeeding.  **sigh**

Some yahoo from a nursing school commented:

"This reinforces the necessity of following Safe Sleep recommendations. This poor mother was so exhausted that she woke to find a dead baby at her breast. What a horror! Any mother who is so tired needs to ask another family member to give expressed breast milk by bottle and let her get some sleep! Better bottle fed than dead!"

If ever there was a Formula Fascist, I think that commentator fits the mold. How much more callous and heartless can one be than to blame a individual mother for her child's death because she did not use formula. I mean really.

Breastfeeding mothers, on average, are less likely to be exhausted and less likely to have a baby lost to SIDS. This mother did right by her child by breastfeeding. Perhaps there were some unusual and unreported circumstances, but from what is reported the commenter is off base. Only someone who is unfamiliar with breastfeeding would suggest that a breastfeeding mother should act more like a bottle feeding mother and express milk to bottle feed. Expressing breastmilk can be a hassle and it is wrong to advise to all mothers.

I can't help but wonder if these rigid attitudes against breastfeeding were influenced by Wilwaukee's controversial campaign:


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Wed, 04-03-2013 - 9:20am

nisupulla wrote:
<p>No, the AAP does not have a black and white position on bed vs crib. It is a grey area.</p><p>This website does a good job of explaining the grey, I think:</p><p><strong>Position Statement:</strong> All babies, regardless of sleep location, should be positioned on their backs for sleep. Many experts believe that infants should sleep in their own sleeping space such as a crib, bassinet, portable crib or sidecar in the same room with the parent/s during the early months. A mother who elects to bed share with her infant must receive guidance on how to make the adult bed as safe as possible. Helping parents and primary care givers establish a safe sleeping environment for the infant is an important public health function and a responsibility of all healthcare professionals.</p><p></p><p>Yes, I have other concerns, too. But I think it is important to understand that right out of the gate the Michigan rules reinforce myths such as the presumption that the AAPs position on cribs vs beds is definitive.</p>

Well, that website is not an AAP website, so I don't see how it explains the AAP's position.

But accepting your idea that the AAP's use of "should" indicates a gray area (advice on sleep surface), whereas the use of "always" indicates a black and white position (advice on back positioning), the Michigan rules follow exactly the same pattern:

"Baby should sleep alone in a crib, portable crib or bassinet."


"Always put baby on back to sleep even when he/she can roll over."

I get that the Michigan guidelines are incomplete in that they don't talk about everything the AAP talks about, but for the life of me I don't see a contradiction with the AAP statements.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Wed, 04-03-2013 - 10:46am

If I person were to read the Michigan guidelines, they could easily come away with mistaken beliefs. One might think that sharing an adult bed is the problem. One might also think that breastfeeding makes infants more vulnerable during sleep. Neither of these two are true.These are opinions shared by the commenter referenced in the first post and opinions that are shared liberally online. Michigan's guidelines are faulty because they do not provide accurate information.

The AAPs guidelines point out that breastfeeding matters for infant sleep. The AAP guidelines point out that carseats, sofas, chairs, etc are all dangerous places for infants to sleep. The guidelines point out ways to make cribs safer and ways to make beds safer. Neither is ideal. Michigan claims that beds are bad and cribs are good. That is just not true and is not supported by any research.

Michigan's guidelines not only omit important decision making information, they also misrepresent the AAPs policy in the bits that they did share. The link I provided earlier proposes why Michigan and other states might take a pro-crib stance despite the lack of evidence to support it. Hint: $$