When thousands of women complain of the same side effects from their contraception; when business is considering adopting period leave; when maternal morbidity and mortality is rising in the USA and the western world has abysmal breastfeeding success rates, we have a much bigger problem than any of those issues individually suggest.
There are plenty of people who should be feeling guilty for breastfeeding failure.
But the mothers who are doing the best they can with the information and access they have in a culture that is unsupportive and hostile???
That ladies is called gaslighting.
And we women are so used to it, that we didn't even notice. We gaslight each other and ourselves.
it's called the Mummy Wars
This is how it goes: Mum's interested in BLW, but then she makes the mistake of telling someone. Her Paediatrician, Child Health Nurse, Mum, Day Care Centre or even Hubby, and she suddenly finds herself being told that it's a choking risk.
Now we could link the science, or talk about why the NHS has adopted BLW as their recommended approach. But if you look at things logically, you don't even really need to.
So Let's look at the "choking risks" logically
Here’s the thing about PND, we don’t really know what does cause it. But we do know what the risk factors are, lack of sleep is indeed one of them, as are stress and feelings of failure - so why are we advising mothers with PND or mothers already at risk of PND to engage in practices that will most likely increase their stress levels and interfere with their sleep even more?
You'd be forgiven for thinking that the Fed Is Best motto is a well intentioned rally cry created by mothers who were sick of feeling shamed for using formula. Or perhaps you assumed it was a marketing ploy on behalf of the formula companies, a way to inflame the Mummy Wars that they created in the first place.
But it actually began as a campaign to raise awareness of a condition wherein newborn babies dehydrate, which can cause lifelong complications and brain damage.
Problem is the way they are going about it.
Do you know the history of what is now called “sleep training” or “Cry it out?”
Because I do, and I’m going to let you in on a secret that all those “baby sleep experts”, doctors and child health nurses don’t want you to know.
It has absolutely no scientific basis.
There is no need for sleep training, there’s no proof that it is needed and there never was, because it was literally just made up.
The medical community is failing people. That's why they turn to Facebook groups and Google for answers. That's why you get people passionately insisting that XYZ that worked for them, will work for everyone. Thats why you get the "mummy wars" hot-topics: Vaginal vs Cesarean, Breast v's Bottle, Vax or No Vax, Sleep Train or Attachment Parent, and the accompying accusations of causing 'shame' and 'judgement' or of being a 'sanctimommy' or 'breast/Nazi". That's why you get people accusing eachother of being horrible parents and saying things like "your kids should be taken away".
Because you have all these people who are looking for answers, and looking for credibility in those answers finding that their health professional either belittles them, or tells them they "must" do ABC. That it is the only way. And far far too often, that recommended course of action is not evidence based.
There are 8 muscles in the tongue alone that all have to work correctly to achieve optimal milk transfer. Added to that, is the muscles of the upper lip, the jaw, the neck. The latch, the positioning of the babies' body, their tongue strength, the size of their mouth, the size of their jaw, their palate shape, their co-ordination and their stage of development. Then there are the mother's nipple length, shape, areola size, breast size, storage capacity, let down speed and intensity, supply. If you have been mixed feeding there is aslo the potenial for baby to be using different motor patterns, the size, shape and flow speed of the nipple can all affect sucess.
In other words there are about 1000 variables that matter, and what the frenulums look like is only one variable, which may actually have little to no impact on sucessful feeding for that particular baby.
Even if your baby looks like they have a category 4 tie, they may be able to breastfeed sucessfully because enough other variables are in thier favour. Likewise a category 1 tie, can cause major problems if there are enough other variables that are compounding the issue.
We have been so conditioned to believe that it is our fault, our bodies that failed, that we don't even consider the fact that breastfeeding is a two way relationship.
Both the mother and the baby have certain factors that must be present in order to succeed.
Yet our language, our cultural beliefs ignore this.
How often do you hear a woman say "We tried to breastfeed but my baby just couldn't."
We tried to breastfeed, but my baby failed.
You don't. People don't say that.
Yet in a lot of cases it would actually be far more accurate than saying that the mother failed, because the issue isn't a supply issue at all it's a transference issue.
But we don't even have a decent way of testing which side of the dyad has underlying problems, so our society, so used to blaming women for everything, blames the woman. Our women, so conditioned to blame themselves for everything, blame themselves.
When are women on a whole going to wake up to the fact that their bodies didn't let them down, the system let them down?!
By the 6 week vaccination date, any sane parent who has caught on to many Doctor's lack of evidence based practicing would be running for the hills when presented with a vaccination consent form that says the only side effects are a temperature and small rash.
If patients can't trust their doctors to give them non-biased, evidence based information, outlining the risks and benefits of ALL possible courses of action equally, whilst taking their personal situation into account, then why are we surprised that vaccination rates are falling fastest amongst well educated parents?
Hi I'm Nicole