Gag me with a spoon

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Gag me with a spoon
10
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 5:51pm

IVillage is publishing articles about breastfeeding written by the Fearless Formula Feeder, really??

http://www.ivillage.com/fearless-formula-feeder-breast-milk-safety-study/6-a-550250

FFF is the one who claims to be pro-breastfeeding but lashes out against any breastfeeding promotion. One of her recent rants was about how unfair it is to have a World Breastfeeing Week because it is not fair to people who do not breastfeed. So she's por-breastfeeding and hates hypocricy, but she is opposed to celebrating breastfeeding triumphs one week a year. The 52 weeks of persisitent  formula advertising is just fine. Gag me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Fri, 10-25-2013 - 8:17pm
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Fri, 10-25-2013 - 7:47pm

Her view is biased. Care to guess what clued me in?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Fri, 10-25-2013 - 6:58pm

"Just to clarify, my objection to having the FFF write about breastfeeding is that she is not likely to offer a balanced view because she is consistently negative about breastfeeding advocacy."

And after you read what she wrote, how did you find her post on the subject? I thought it was far more balanced than almost anything I've read on the topic in the mainstream media.  She starts out by identifying several limitations of the study, then talks about what it tells us and how studies like this could "allow us to improve milk sharing.  What did you think about her post as compared to articles in the mainstream media about the study?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Thu, 10-24-2013 - 8:06pm

Just to clarify, my objection to having the FFF write about breastfeeding is that she is not likely to offer a balanced view because she is consistently negative about breastfeeding advocacy.

I do not know of any organization which would condone selling breastmilk anonymously. I think it is a no-brainer that if would not be advisable to feed an infant breastmilk from an unknown source that has arrived at room temperature. Similarly, it would not be advisable to feed and infant prepared formula from an unknown source that has arrived at room temperature. 

Even within the breastfeeding community, informal milksharing is not necessarily recommended.

"Donor milk banks have put several safeguards into place to prevent the possibility of disease transmission. First, all donors are carefully screened for diseases of various kinds before their milk is accepted. In the informal sharing situation this safeguard is usually absent. Additionally, donor milk banks pasteurize all milk prior to distribution and check it for bacterial content. This safeguard is also not present when women share milk with each other informally."

https://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvaprmay00p19.html

Screened milk, from a known source is quite probably better than formula, but screening and knowing the source are really challenging to do informally and on an individual basis.

Hypothetically, if I were in a same-sex relationship, I would insist on breastfeeding infants that my partner carried and I would strongly encourage her to breastfeed any that I carried. IRL, my breastfeeding days are long since over and I can not identify a person that I would have allowed to breastfeed my children. That is my personal view and just as I support a mothers right to acknowledge the risks of formula and to use it anyway, I support a mothers right to acknowledge the risk of milksharing and to choose what breastmilk to use.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Thu, 10-24-2013 - 7:17pm

"They also suggest that many women shipping milk don't know they need to take those precautions. "

Yes, the women in the study did not appear to know how to properly ship or handle pumped milk. In essense, that is why the study was not representative of milksharing practices in general.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Thu, 10-24-2013 - 6:10pm

The issues you identify limit what the study says; they don't render it "deceitful." (One of the links you provided even says, "The authors acknowledge this limitation in the study, but that subtlety has been lost in the media coverage.")

Under your description, the study suggests that there is a high likelihood of bacterial growth if milk is shipped without taking certain precautions.  They also suggest that many women shipping milk don't know they need to take those precautions.   That's useful information.

The media coverage may have lost many of the subtleties of the study--it's frustrating, isn't it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Thu, 10-24-2013 - 4:48pm

The cardinal rule of milksharing is to know the donor. In this study, steps were taken to avoid knowing the donor. The fact that the researchers skipped over an essential safeguard makes the entire premise (that donated milk is loaded with bacteria) questionable at best and more like inaccurate. That is at the heart of the issue.

"Researchers anonymously bought breast milk from 102 online sellers. Milk orders were often packaged poorly, arrived well above freezing, and — as one might expect with milk unrefrigerated for days — were rife with bacteria.

By design, the authors communicated with sellers only by email, and cut off the conversation if the sellers asked about the recipient infant or wanted to talk by phone or in person. Milk was shipped to a rented mailbox to make the process anonymous.... Of [the 102 donors], half the samples took more than 2 days to ship, and 19% had no cooling agent in the package.

It’s highly plausible that milk sent with no questions asked, via 2 day or longer shipment, and (in 1 and 5 cases) without any cooling whatsoever, was collected with less attention to basic hygienic precautions.  The bacterial load in study milk samples therefore doesn’t tell us about the relative safety of milk obtained following a conversation between buyer and seller about the recipient baby and then shipped overnight on dry ice in a laboratory-quality cooler."

http://bfmed.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/online-milk-sales-beyond-buyer-beware/

http://www.eatsonfeets.org/#fourPillars

Quote from the author who used the word "deceitful". “The methodology, analysis, context, and ethics of this study are questionable. The study attempts to implicate all non ¬milk bank use of donor milk. In fact, it only addresses the use of donor milk obtained in a deceitful and unethical manner on behalf of the recipient (the researchers), and shoddy methods (the donors). Though these practices do not apply to the breast milk sharing community it clearly demonstrates that even without using a smidgen of common sense, the outcomes are not that sensational.” 

http://www.prweb.com/releases/breastmilk/sharing/prweb11250679.htm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Thu, 10-24-2013 - 2:12pm

No, she doesn't "lash out against any breastfeeding promotion." She believes that some breastfeeding promotion is good and effective, and some breastfeeding promotion is ineffective and/or harmful to women. She also believes in the importance of emotional and practical support for formula feeders. I don't agree with every specific thing she says, but I don't really understand why she brings out such a high level of scorn from you. I don't read FFF much anymore, but I read her regularly throughout my experience successfuly breastfeeding my second child, and I felt completely supported by her. Where did she say it was unfair to have a World Breastfeeding Week?******Edited to add that I have no idea why I can't seem to get paragraph breaks to appear.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Thu, 10-24-2013 - 2:11pm
"As to the recent study, it seems that that the methods that the researchers used to acquire the samples led to the very high contamination rate. One author went so far as to call their methods deceitful." Why does it seem that way? What is the evidence that their methods were deceitful? (I'm not saying you're wrong, just asking what your reasons are for making these statements).
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 10:05pm

For anyone interested in the topic of milksharing and the internet, this article from the International Breastfeeding Journal was published in 2011 and is labelled open access.

http://www.internationalbreastfeedingjournal.com/content/pdf/1746-4358-6-8.pdf

As to the recent study, it seems that that the methods that the researchers used to acquire the samples led to the very high contamination rate. One author went so far as to call their methods deceitful.