Formula Fascists....

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Formula Fascists....
12
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].

http://www.freep.com/comments/article/20130318/NEWS03/130318066/Birmingham-mother-fell-asleep-breast-feeding-infant-suffocated-says-Medical-Examiner

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:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/11/30/142914169/does-milwaukees-campaign-against-sleeping-with-babies-go-too-far

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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: $$

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>http://www.achd.net/hvn/sleep.html</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."

vs.

"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
Tue, 04-02-2013 - 5:10pm

The first two are black and white:

Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time.

Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.

The third on is worded less strongly:

The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).

If they were similarly clear it might say: Never leave the baby in another room to sleep. or Never share in adult bed. Being in the same room and/or same bed are given status similar to vaccinations and avoiding bumper pads when it comes to safe sleep.

OTOH, the phrase always use a firm surface is defined in the link I provided: " Never place an infant to sleep on a couch, sofa, recliner, cushioned chair, waterbed,  beanbag chair, soft mattress, pillow, synthetic or natural animal skins (such as lambskins), or other soft surface such as "memory" foam mattress toppers and pillows designed for adults." A prepared, firm adult mattress is not in the exclusion list. But then, it is not preferred over a crib.

The AAP does not say that sharing a bed is a no-no. It does say that like formula feeding, sharing a bed is a less good option than a separate surface in the same room. The AAP does say that being in the same room is preferred over being in a separate room.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Tue, 04-02-2013 - 4:43pm

No, the AAP does not have a black and white position on bed vs crib. It is a grey area.

This website does a good job of explaining the grey, I think:

Position Statement: 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.

http://www.achd.net/hvn/sleep.html

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.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Tue, 04-02-2013 - 2:58pm

Nisupulla wrote: "Let's take the first one first. It is misleading at best. Sleeping "alone" is NOT recommended. Sleeping in the same room IS recommended. Sleeping in a different room is a bigger risk factor than sharing a prepared sleep surface."

"The AAPs position on room sharing is clear. The AAPs position on crib vs bed is less clear."

What is unclear about the AAP's position on crib vs. bed?  My understanding is the AAP is pretty crystal clear in its advice that babies should be in a crib or bassinet and not in an adult bed.

Any other parts of the Michigan list you think are misleading?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Tue, 04-02-2013 - 2:20pm

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

Let's take the first one first. It is misleading at best. Sleeping "alone" is NOT recommended. Sleeping in the same room IS recommended. Sleeping in a different room is a bigger risk factor than sharing a prepared sleep surface.

The AAPs position on room sharing is clear. The AAPs position on crib vs bed is less clear. Therefore "sleeping in a crib" should not be listed as the top priority. Again, it is misleading.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Tue, 04-02-2013 - 9:12am

Nisupulla wrote: "Sadly, the state of Michigan shares bad advice about "safe sleep"". It contradicts the AAP and current research."

???  How does anything on the Michigan list contradict the AAP and current research?  That list is less comprehensive than the AAP list, but it does not contradict anything on the AAP list, nor does it contain bad advice.  At worst it is incomplete.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2013
Mon, 04-01-2013 - 1:14pm

God, I can't imagine, that poor mother. That poor little baby. :'(

I think co-sleeping is safest when it's practiced regularly. It is probably more dangerous for the exhausted mother to occasionally fall asleep holding a nursing (or bottle feeding) baby than a mother who is attuned to the sleeping infant next to her while she sleeps. How many mothers have woken up in a rocking chair with our arms around a sleeping baby not even attached to the breast anymore? Some day a poor little baby will roll out of his sleeping mother's arms and hit the floor...whom will the media blame?

Shaking my head at the things grown women get their panties in a wad about.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Mon, 04-01-2013 - 7:58am

These are the AAP current guidelines. The priorities and concerns seem quite different to me than Michigan's ideas.

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Preventing-SIDS.aspx

    • Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time.

    • Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.

    • The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).

    • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads.

    • Wedges and positioners should not be used.

    • Pregnant woman should receive regular prenatal care.

    • Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after birth.

    • Breastfeeding is recommended.

    • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.

    • Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating.

    • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.

    • Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.

  • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat heads).

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Mon, 04-01-2013 - 7:44am

Sadly, the state of Michigan shares bad advice about "safe sleep". It contradicts the AAP and current research.

The faulty Michigan "Safe Sleep" Steps: 

  1. Baby should sleep alone in a crib, portable crib or bassinet.
  2. Always put baby on back to sleep even when he/she can roll over.
  3. No pillows, blankets, comforters, stuffed animals or other soft things should be in the sleep area.
  4. Keep baby's face uncovered during sleep for easy breathing. Use a sleeper instead of a blanket.
  5. Don't allow anyone to smoke around the baby.
  6. Don't overheat the baby. Dress the baby in as much or as little clothing as you are wearing.
  7. Use a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet.
  8. Place baby in the same sleep position every time.

Please share this information with all family, friends, and other child care providers who may care for your baby to ensure they follow the safe sleep steps.

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