Saturday, September 4, 2010

Breast is Best, Sponsored by Simfamil: Don Draper Explains It All For Us.



INT: STERLING COOPER DRAPER PRYCE, DON DRAPER's OFFICE. PEGGY OLSON and PETE CAMPBELL sit expectantly on the sofa, an easel bearing the Simfamil logo and a photo of a smiling baby next to them. A box with canisters of various brands of formula is on the floor.

Enter a typically taciturn DON. He glances at the easel and continues to the liquor cabinet without breaking stride, pours himself a scotch, then turns his attention to the pair on the sofa. DON remains standing.

DON
I'm not sure why this took 2 weeks. This should have come easily to you, Peggy.
PEGGY
Well, I've bee-

DON
Just tell me what you have.

PEGGY
(takes a moment to square her shoulders, then continues)

This has been trickier than you might think. We've been reviewing the latest improvements by Simfamil as well as the improvements to formula made by competing brands and -

DON
Competing brands don't matter.

PETE
(leans forward)
What? What do you mean?

DON
The other brands aren't the problem we have to worry about. That part's easy.

PETE
(huffily)
Listen Don, I've worked long and hard to get us this account. Simfamil is not going to want to hear that Enfilac isn't a threat that we take seriously. The market data shows that coupons and sampl-

DON
Enfilac, Simfamil, Nestle, their strategies have all been the same. Look at this.

(He grabs a one canister after another out of the box, reading their labels aloud, then tossing them aside.)

"More like mother's milk". "The closest thing to mother's milk." "Now with more of the same ingredients found in breast milk". They're all vying to make their product more like breast milk than any other brand. What's the problem with that, Peggy?

PEGGY
(thoughtfully)
Well, because there's just no comparison with breast milk. We've looked at all the research, and the brand never matters. Formula just can't measure up, no matter what brand. So . . . (she gestures at the discarded canisters) . . . how do we set Simfamil apart from them?

PETE
(enthusiastically)
A new package design? Some prettier, younger models as the mothers?

DON
We take on breastfeeding itself.

PEGGY
But you just sai . . . didn't we just say there's no comparison to breastmilk?

DON
There isn't. Formula can't compete with breast milk. We can't fight the research and mothers know this. Almost every mother in America wants to breastfeed. There's no suppressing the truth. Women know that breastfeeding is best. So we're not going to argue with that.

PEGGY and PETE look at each other silently. DON tosses back the rest of his drink and pours another.

PEGGY
I give up. You don't want to promote the new ingredients of Simfamil. Are you saying we should try to find research that makes it look like formula is better?

PETE
We've tried. It doesn't exist. (PEGGY nods.)

PEGGY
So what do we do?

DON
We promote breastfeeding.

PETE
What?

(He goes to the liquor cabinet and pours himself his own drink, gesticulating)

I can't believe you're not taking this seriously. This account is one of the biggest we've ever had a shot at! With everything I've gone through with my father-in-law and losing the -

DON
Breast . . . is best.

PEGGY looks incredulous, then seems to start thinking. DON walks over to the easel and rips down the poster with the logo and baby on it, and writes "Breast is best" on the blank sheet underneath.

DON
(continues)
The research says so, doctors say so, there's no arguing it. And if we attack breastfeeding itself, it backfires, because the facts are the facts, and that makes us not only the bad guys, but liars too. What does the word "Best" imply?

PEGGY listens intently, then starts to write.

DON
Best. Perfect. Ideal. They all have one thing in common. They're impossible. Unattainable. There is no such thing.

PEGGY
(catching on)
Women may dream of being perfect mothers, but they know it's just a dream. So if breastfeeding is perfect, we need to give them permission to be imperfect. Not just permission, but encourage them to be imperfect.

DON
Exactly. So how do we get them from understanding that breast is best to buying formula?

PEGGY
We hire our own experts.

PETE
AHA! Actors pretending to be breastfeeding experts who will say that formula is better! I get it.

PEGGY
No, no, not at all. We hire real experts. And we set up our own hotlines for women to call when things go wrong, and promote those hotlines. And we sponsor information that's given out by doctors themselves, too.

DON lights a Chesterfield. A confused PETE shakes his head and shrugs helplessly, sitting back on the couch.

PEGGY
(building momentum)
And we make up pamphlets and other resources that look like they're designed to help moms with all the problems that mothers are likely to encounter, emphasizing how many things can go wrong. We focus the whole campaign on helping women navigate the terrible, perilous, grim experience that breastfeeding is likely to be. We mention every single thing we can think of: Sleep deprivation, slow weight gain, cracked and bloody nipples, [PETE winces] how hard it is to nurse in public and how hard it is to have to stay home instead, and on and on. We're the good guys, we're just trying to help - it's not our fault that breastfeeding is so difficult and unpleasant. We look altruistic and supportive - we're not trying to get women not to breastfeed, we're just here to support them in case it doesn't work out.

PETE
(lightbulb finally going off, however dimly)
And then we make sure it doesn't work out. What about that part of it?

DON
The information we give. Do we give out accurate information?

PEGGY
Some of it is, and some of it isn't. Little things that undermine breastfeeding, subtle things, things that will jeopardize her supply. Like telling her to never nurse a newborn more than 15 minutes at a time, for example. and saying that frequent feedings for a newborn are 3 to 4 hours apart. The mom will be lucky if her supply ever comes in at all, and when it doesn't, she'll just think something was wrong with her. Because she's not perfect - and that's okay.

DON
And then we swoop in to save the day.

The three look satisfied. PETE and PEGGY stand.

DON
Come up with a new slogan by the time we meet with Simfamil tomorrow.

PEGGY
I'll have it by the end of the day, actually.
(She exits. PETE follows behind.)

PETE
(turning back for a last word, hand on the doorknob)
Bert Cooper is going to think you've gone off the deep end, you know.

DON
He's thought so before. He always gets used to it.

PETE raises his eyebrows, shakes his head and exits. DON goes behind his desk, puts out his cigarette, and reaches for the phone.

CUT TO: INT: JOAN HOLLOWAY's office. She picks up the ringing phone.

JOAN
Yes, Don? . . . Of course I have the best . . . Model them? . . . In your office? Now? . . . You're lucky I'm such a liberated woman, you know. I'll have your secretary hold your calls.

ZOOM IN to her cleavage, then FADE to black.

Background here, here, and to a lesser degree here. Bottom photo from Cracked.com, Top from Men's Fitness.










52 comments:

  1. this is so funny and disturbing and true. I love it. not the evil forumla companies of course, but this parody is spot on.

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  2. Too funny! ...and disturbing.

    I'm a first time visitor. You're in Erie? I'm in Selinsgrove. We're (sort of) neighbors!

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  3. Wow. This is brilliant. AND SO TRUE.

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  4. Thanks guys, glad you like! Came to me in a flash. The house did not get cleaned today, but sometimes you gotta run with the muse.

    I "work" on such a specific audience. Birthy, lactivist types with an appreciation for the cream of the television crop, slightly geeky things, and a touch of retro style. :O)

    Like, only a small smattering of the population would get why listing my location as "Battlestar Galactagogue" is funny. O my readers, you are a unique kind of elite (I mean that in a totally non-bourgeois way).

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  5. And Wendy, yes I am, though not for all that much longer! *wave*

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  6. OMG i laughed so hard the baby squirted milk out her nose. I have only watched mad men once but this so makes sense now.

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  7. As an avid Mad Men fan, I could see it all play out perfectly! As other posters said, Brilliant!

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  8. The tone of this is perfect! Especially Pete...I could totally hear him delivering those lines.

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  9. I've never seen Mad Men, but still this is brilliant. Great job, Anne!

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  10. This is spot on! In fact, reading "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" while pregnant with my first son undermined my confidence in my ability to breastfeed, because in attempting to be the "go to" source in case of any b/f problem, they ended up making it sound as if most b/f mothers did have problems. I actually had no problems; breastfeeding was a breeze! But I lost my confidence reading that book, sad to say.

    That's one of the reasons why I like "Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy" so much! [http://www.breastfeedingwithcomfortandjoy.com] It focuses on *what works* and *what to do right*, rather than on the myriad of ways bf can go wrong. Simple, straightforward, helpful, and truly confidence-building.

    -Kathy

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  11. I find this whole "evil formula makers" diatribe that the whole natural birth movement loves to go on about tiring and abnoxious. If those who long for more women to birth at home, use midwives and doulas, breastfeed, etc. would quit being so judemental and condescending then they might have an easier time gaining an audience. Stop to think about how women who tried really hard to breastfeed and were unable to feel when they read all the judemental posts being put out there. Do you think they want to sign on with any other part of it when they already feel like they have failed and would never be accepted? If you want more rights and choices for women in the birthing world then you need to start accepting that not every woman is going to choose the choices you think they should choose. Also, we need to start having grace with one another instead of setting up a standard that many women feel is unattainable. The fact is, some women are unsuccesful breastfeeding, or even if succesful are unable to pump enough to continue working and must supplement. For these women, having formula makers competing to do the best they can is a GOOD thing. Of course formula makers are trying to make money. But what they do is, in fact, important.

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  12. Lisa, actually filming it would be SO MUCH FUN. If anyone has any ideas on how to go about such a thing, clue me in.

    And thanks everyone! Glad you enjoyed. When you think about it, it pretty much has to be what actually happened on some level, just condensed into a nutshell and retro-styled.

    Anonymous, I've posted quite a lot about compassion for breastfeeding difficulties. I can only assume you're unfamiliar with my blog and my story. You're under no obligation to read more, but if you want to understand where I'm coming from, check out my own nursing story. I was eventually able to prevail after 5 months of struggle, but (and I acknowledge this everywhere, to the point it probably becomes tiresome) I was LUCKY to have had the information, resources and support to do so, and I know not everyone does. Believe me, I know. That's the primary reason breastfeeding advocacy and support has become a passion of mine. I'm truly sorry if you had a difficult time, and if you were treated unkindly.

    None of this changes the fact that formula companies engage in predatory, unethical marketing practices. By all means, work to improve formula so that babies who need it can get the best possible product. There IS good in that, of course. But promoting formula by deliberately undermining breastfeeding - which is CLEARLY what is going on - is as deceptive and underhanded as it gets.

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  13. Sorry, forgot to include the link to my nursing story. Again, no obligation.

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  14. I wrote this comment when posting your link to my Facebook page. So before I read Anon's comment which so perfectly illustrates my point.

    Yep, this parody pretty much says it all. Except they left out the part that when a new mom wants to breastfeed but it doesn't work out because she's been getting bad info that she then is encouraged to blame the moms who are nursing successfully and don't see why it's been so hard (because it's not that hard most of the time if you have support from labor on through).

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  15. Sorry, you're right, I hadn't been following your blog. Got sent here from somebody who is always talking about breastfeeding, home birth, etc. and took my annoyance with her out on you. Should have known better, but I was already feeling emotional when I got here and responded accordingly. I still think we need to remember that some women do have to supplement or use formula and making it sound like formula is evil or it's so horrible if you have to give it to your baby is hurtful. Sorry again for my rash post.

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  16. It's completely understood! And you're 100% right that being judgmental or mean has no place in this conversation. I think MOST lactivists don't lower themselves to that, but there are definitely those out there that taint the perception of the rest of us. Only takes a few bad apples, you know?

    Again, I can totally understand being sensitive about the subject!

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  17. Not for nothing, but nearly 75% of babies get formula. Only 2% of women have a real problem producing enough milk for their baby, that means most babies are given formula because their moms CHOOSE it for them. I am sick and tired of women who CHOSE formula for their kids making women who CHOSE to breastfeed look like the ass*oles. Step up and accept that you CHOSE to give your child sub-standard nutrition. Own it.

    Formula IS terrible, it's made of the cheapest chemicals and oils available. It is necessary for some, but it is an over-prescribed wannabe panacea. It's constantly being recalled. It has no documented long-term safety studies showing it's healthy or even remotely safe for infants. Don't fool yourself into thinking it's a decent substitute for the real deal. It undermines and insults women who do breastfeed.

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  18. Unfortunately, there are some well-meaning "lactivists" who go too far. I breastfed my son for two years, but never without supplementation. Due to difficulties at his birth, I was separated from him for the first two days, and then had to pump to bring in my milk because he simply couldn't breastfeed (he was fed nasally for most of the first week). When we got one successful feeding in, the lactation consultant and doctors told us to do a 24-hour trial of breastfeeding only, which was a complete disaster. The lactation consultant kept telling us that if we used a bottle, it would lead to nipple confusion -- but breastfeeding alone was literally starving the child. If it hadn't been for a wonderful nurse who got us bottle AND breastfeeding at the same time, we simply would have failed the breast experiment and gone with formula.

    Other women I've spoken with recently have felt similar pressure to ONLY breastfeed, with the result that they feel inferior and defensive. One woman said that whenever the nurses would ask, she'd just say she was breastfeeding to shut them up -- when really she had decided to formula feed entirely.

    I'm not saying that you fall into the extremist camp, as I'm new here and am guessing that you don't. And I think this parody is both brilliant and horrifying. There's truth in your writing -- that breastfeeding is "perfect", and new mothers need permission to be "imperfect". If being imperfect didn't mean losing the support of (some) lactation consultants, we might find more babies out there who get at least *some* breastmilk instead of none.

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  19. Oh, well done! It was so spot-on I thought it was a transcript from an episode I hadn't seen! Thank you for the laugh... I needed it!

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  20. Here's what I've been thinking for years.... Why don't breastfeeding supporters use the same tactic against formula companies??? Undermine the culture around formula feeding???

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  21. HILARIOUS!!! And genius. Thank you!

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  22. haven't followed much on this continuing saga. but wow. and wow. this is (most likely) spot. on.
    and the link to the babble articles. geesh. they make it look scary. and embarassing. awful.
    i am so incredibly thankful for my husband and midwife and doula. that supported me through 1 really rough bfing baby ... 1 easy-peasy baby ... and then another rough go of it with my 3rd. if i had to rely on these articles ... i probably wouldn't have been as determined to feed by babies by breast for a full 2 years each.

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  23. Because a woman who truly believes most/nearly all women are physically capable of breastfeeding, and states that as fact, gets dumped on by women who formula feed for a variety of reasons, almost all of which can be blamed on the medical and social climate we live in rather than the mothers themselves, and then she shuts up rather than being judgemental against other mothers or gets labeled a breastfeeding Nazi or worse. That's why it is hard to 'undermine' formula feeding -- the only people who feel undermined are the mothers who formula feed, and that serves no good purpose. We need the undermine the so-called professionals, doctors, breastfeeding hotlines, nurses, hospitals etc. ad nauseam who undermine a new mother's belief in herself and her ability to breastfeed every. freaking. day. and in many cases make it utterly impossible for her to do so.

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  24. Great article and have shared on the DBM fb fansite. Aptamil (formula company in UK) have a similar site, giving 'advice' on infant feeding and a 'careline'. http://www.aptamil.co.uk/breastfeeding

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  25. You rock! I must say, you got the voices down!! My two fave things! Mad Men and my geeky LC perspective!

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  26. Attacking formula companies is not the same as attacking formula feeding mothers. I agree with Anonymous though that 73% of mothers are choosing to give their baby formula and then make breastfeeding mothers look bad.

    pakistan, it sounds like your doctors have no idea how to get a special care baby on the breast! I have a 31 weeker and a 35 weeker with IUGR and both were exclusively breastfed. It was hard work and I had the most amazing staff who helped every step of the way. Don't blame lactivists, blame your doctors! You sound like a woman who has inductions then says how good it was she had her baby in hospital because they saved her baby's life with a section when in reality there wouldn't be lives to be saved if she'd been at home without the doctors interfering!

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  27. :o Those links you posted... To similac & WebMD's "breastfeeding *advice*" things... O my lord. I'm shaking with anger. How can they _do_ that? ANYBODY should be able to see through their shite, right? Or am I just a little too privileged? Was there a day when I would've thought them sincere? I've been nursing for 26 months now and my experience has definitely had nothing to do with struggling. The webMD one is making me angrier, since the "expert" (expert my ass) is given a name and a face. And she formula fed her kids, surprise surprise. How the hell is she an expert in breastfeeding? She is a doctor, not a lactation consultant, and she has apparently no experience of her own. Some quotes that got me really pissed off:

    "There is a very strong bias in favor of breastfeeding out there, which is probably a good thing, but it can be hard if you don't do it. I also tell these parents that my formula-fed babies turned out just fine -- they're healthy and smarter than I am!"

    "I encourage new parents to introduce a bottle. I think it's great for dads to have an opportunity to feed the baby and for moms to get a break, and for parents to be able to have a date night, so they can nourish their relationship. When I advise parents to introduce a bottle, I often turn to the dad and say, "Wouldn't you like to have a chance to feed you baby?" They always say, "Yes.""

    "In my experience, it's usually the parents who give up nursing, not the child, because the bottle can be such a convenience. Once they see how convenient it is, it can be a slippery slope if parents aren't really clear about what they want. Parents have to be committed to breastfeeding to keep it up."

    Seriously. I'm seething. How do they have the nerve??

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  28. The reason I blame a well-meaning "lactivist" is that I literally had to work around her in order to get going. My son's birth was induced (won't be doing that again), but otherwise entirely natural and unmedicated (thanks, but I won't be doing that again either!). He was given phenobarbital after being helicoptered to the NICU because of suspected seizure activity due to "blood on the brain" from a precipitous delivery; muscle relaxants + milk that's slow to come in does not equal success.

    In the NICU while he was still asleep, we were given the choice of keeping the baby on an IV for nutrition or giving a mix of what breastmilk I could produce + formula in his stomach through a nasal tube. To us, real food was a no-brainer. Since I was producing tiny amounts of milk and the only stimulation I had was a pump, oh well. He got the colostrum, and he continued to get mostly breastmilk until weaning.

    The LC had the perspective that anything other than breastfeeding was a failure. A wonderful nurse/LC-in-training, on the other hand, was more concerned with feeding the child. We didn't need perfection. We needed to be able to feed the child.

    Lactivists are helpful to people who need convincing, I think. They're not necessarily helpful to those who already agree that it's important. I don't know anyone who had an easy time starting to bf, and I think we all know that you don't need to be told to buck up and just try harder. When it comes to feeding your child, you need solutions, not activism.

    Formula has been around in one form or another for much longer than the companies. There are recipes for baby milk in historical cookbooks. For those who aren't interested in the chemicals of the formula makers, that may be an option for supplementation.

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  29. Pariskan,

    When you are unable to produce sufficent breastmilk, for whatever reason, the second choice is not formula. It is donated breastmilk. Again, don't blame those of us who know breastmilk is the normal and healthy choice and formula keeps babies alive but is abnormal and unhealthy.

    Blame the institutions who treat breastmilk from someone other than the baby's biological mother as medical waste. Even milk bank milk is pausterized to within an inch of its life and super expensive. How easy would it be to just use donated milk?

    When I was in the hospital after an emergency section to save my baby, who died anyway after 3.5 hours, I was pumping to keep the pain levels in my breasts down. I had a great LC and begged her to give my milk to newborns in the hospital who needed it. I even offered to wet nurse. She thought those were great ideas but they were not allowed. I continued to pump for 2 weeks and did donate my milk privately.

    The problem is with the medical professional and the "rules" and the training they get from formula companies and so on. The problem is not people like me. Even milk bank milk would have been worlds better for your baby than formula. And shame on the hospital for not arranging it.

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  30. Cyndi-

    I have been reading all of the comments and not commenting because I know of Anne's difficulties with breastfeeding and know that she comes from a place of empowering women to get the help they need to continue to breastfeed rather than judge them. My daughter could not sustain a latch longer than 1 minute so I pumped. At 2 weeks old she was put on Zantac for acid reflux and no one mentioned cutting out anything from my diet. At 10 months old and on Prevacid and throwing up after every meal and never stopping screaming her GI suggested we go to an elemental formula since she could be reacting to what I ate we took it slow and introduced her. The first few bottles mixed with BM she drank as much as she ever did; 4 oz. She was 10 months old at the time and had not gained a pound in over 5 months despite the clearly fatty milk. The first full bottle of formula she drank the whole 4 oz and sucked the bottle for more so we obliged and she drank 3 more ounces. For the first time in her life after eating she SMILED!!!!! She did not scream, she did not throw up, she smiled!!!! I cried tears of joy that she wasn't in pain! Now I know you are wondering why I didn't remove all that was bothering her and we discussed that too. We knew the only foods that she tolerated were chicken, pears and sweet potaotes. That was it. Everything else got puked up. So we decided that she was better off having formula and catching up developmentally because her lack of nutrients meant she couldn't sit up, stand up or pull up (once again, 10 months old) and 2 weeks later she was doing all of these things! Formula quite literally saved my daughters life so while I understand that for the vast majority of babies out there formula is poison to them there are the select few who breastmilk is poison to them. At almost 3 she is still on the hypoallergenic elemental formula made for kids who can't digest food well, is not obese, has the verbal skills of a 5 year old (according to her case workers who monitor her to make sure she catches up developmentally) and thinks the best thing I cook is Salmon Patties! ~Tracey

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  31. Well as a Mad Men fan and an IBCLC, I was laughing and crying with this blog post. Very well done, now if SNL could pick it up and make a skit out of it...Oh you should totally forward this to SNL...

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  32. Cyndi, I'm so sorry you had to go through that! I cannot imagine such a loss.

    Yes, it would have been fabulous to have had donated milk. My argument is not with anyone who says that breastmilk is preferable -- it absolutely is. We saw very clearly its effect on our newborn, when two days into his life he finally got some in his stomach. The bruising on his head receded almost before our eyes and he took on a much healthier color immediately.

    My argument is with those who cannot admit that giving my child a bottle filled with my own breastmilk is a better option than feeding through a nose tube or an IV. Because you know, the baby who is too drugged out to even suck properly from a bottle without extra chin support, let alone a breast, might get confused. To clarify, we could not take the baby home until we could feed him ourselves. We could not insert a nose tube, and we could not set up an IV. Our only chance of getting home lay in a bottle.

    So if you think I'm arguing against breastfeeding or for formula, you're wrong. What I'm arguing is that well-meaning people should stop jumping to conclusions and accept that there are valid reasons to tread the middle ground.

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  33. Nipple confusion is a real thing. I think parents who use bottles, even if they have breastmilk in them, with newborns are running a grave risk of the baby not being able or willing to nurse later on. You should know that risk and make an informed decision. In your case, Pariskan, a bottle with breastmilk seems quite worth that risk, given the full situation.

    The person who was thwarting your efforts was not effective and you have every right to criticize her. But you didn't just do that. You went ahead and criticized "lactivists" (which isn't a term for a professional but rather one that refers to people like me who think breastfeeding is great and sing its praises). And you used the language this blog post parodies. That you didn't need to be "perfect." I find that disturbing.

    What you needed was someone to give you a full range of options (real options, not just what was easy for the hospital) and discuss the pros and cons of each. That has nothing to do with "lactivism" or with breastfeeding really.

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  34. I've stopped by your blog periodically but after reading this post I think I must subscribe.

    Very clever way to illustrate the point!

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  35. Not all babies have nipple confusion. I had severe issues with nursing despite lots of help through my lactation consultant and the LLL. I was sore and bleeding and couldn't stand the pain of nursing. However, I COULD pump successfully. I called my sister (who has two girls, the youngest only 4 mo older than my son) crying and she said, just pump dummy and give him the milk in a bottle until I healed. I asked her about nipple confusion. She said, her daughters always did a combo of nursing and bottles and were fine with it (she works and has to pump). It did work fine.

    We actually pumped exclusively for about 3-4 months as DS wasn't gaining weight and was throwing up all the time (we wanted to monitor exactly how much he was keeping down). When he was about 5 mo old, we slowly transitioned to exclusively nursing. Until he was about 18 mo old. I was lucky and always had a ton of milk and pumped easily.

    I'm so happy my sister told me to just try a bottle of breast milk.

    Kara

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  36. I ran the gamut with my second on breastfeeding issues--weak suck, bad latch, unable to maintain latch (because of weak suck), arching, screaming at the sight of the breast and in clear pain from nursing (all with size I breasts that will never be hands-free for various reasons and flat nipples) and never once used a bottle.

    I know I can't pump despite oversupply and overactive letdown. I learned that with my first and preparing a stash for my surgery where 4oz in a day was amazing to me.

    Neither of my babies has ever tasted formula. I never used a bottle with my second (though I tried to give her probiotics mixed with what little milk I could hand-express in one--she refused it). I tackled one problem at a time and I wish to God someone had told me about Hyland's colic tablets. They were the miracle difference after I'd already beaten the weak suck, bad latch and was down to screaming and pain (already knew the C-hold and that nursing is what 'fixes' flat nipples--with my first, I had to tweak them out, with my second, I was still nursing my first to get the milk going--she was a tremendous help, but DH could have done the same, I suppose, lol).

    For screaming, it was Dr. Karp's Happiest Baby technique. She'd calm down and latch immediately. Then once I found the colic tablets, they helped with her inherited GI issue (which was tortured by my overactive letdown) and it was like nursing a normal baby again. Right in time for the magic 6-8 week switch flip where nursing is suddenly easier in the vast majority of moms.

    With my first, it was only being a new mom (thus learning curve, lack of confidence, sleep deprivation), size H breasts (that every well-meaning LC just kept trying to roll a receiving blanket and stick under... sorry, that doesn't work for real ptosis and they'd have done me real service by teaching me the C-hold I eventually learned on my own), flat nipples, painful engorgement, blood blisters and bad latch.

    Makes me wonder if number 3 will be even worse, lol. But as I have multiple true low supply friends who can teach me to use a lact-aid if I need it, access to donors (http://milkshare.birthingforlife.com/), friends who've been through pretty much everything imaginable (which is how I got through it all--none of them had ALL of my problems, but amongst them, all had been had... I just hadn't met a mom who managed to nurse through all I went through without supplementing before... and still haven't after :( ), knowledge that my supply is abundant and sheer stubbornness... and faith in my body's ability to do THIS at least... I will prevail. (I hope ;) )

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  37. My apologies to any breastfeeding supporters who felt disturbed by my criticism of "lactivists", which term I used as it was used above by another poster to describe people who cross over the line of breastfeeding support into pushing breastfeeding to the exclusion of everything else, and damn the consequences. What is the term for that? I admit, I hate using the term Nazi; I think it lessens the historical impact of the word and really goes way overboard in describing breastfeeding pushers. "Breast Police", perhaps?

    I myself will encourage anyone and everyone to breastfeed, and will offer what little advice I can and will steer them to the LCs that I know are helpful. I consider myself a breastfeeding supporter, but am probably not active enough for any further appellation.

    The reason I used the language parodied is because Anne got it spot-on. That language *does* resonate. Nobody tells new mothers anymore that it's going to be hard! Nobody tells you that you're going to be a sobbing, blithering mess that feels like a complete failure at times because your baby is bawling and starving and your nipples hurt like hell, or worse. Yes, new mothers need to know that it will happen, that they will *not* be perfect. If the formula companies are the only ones telling them that, while the breastfeeding activists are telling them that everything will be beautiful and perfect -- guess what? When breastfeeding isn't just beautiful and perfect, the new mother may well accept her "failure" and give up. And she may even become embittered against breastfeeding activists and other mothers who have succeeded, because she "couldn't".

    For every unhelpful LC I encountered, there were two good ones. So there's help out there. But it ain't easy, as any one of us can relate. Breastfeeding is what we're built for -- with good, useful information anyone can do it, up to the limits of our own peculiar bodies and situations. Yet too many mothers who don't have any extraordinary problems give up too early, because it's too hard. I'd argue that they simply weren't prepared for the experience and their issues weren't addressed by the glowing descriptions they were likely given. The formula companies *do* give them permission to be "imperfect".

    That's why the parody is so scary -- because that strategy works.

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  38. I'm so sad. This is so true and it's just sad.

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  39. Hey, I just wanted to step in and thank everyone for a lively discussion. I make a point of not trying to direct the flow of comments too much once a conversation builds its own momentum, but I have followed every one and I especially thank those who have shared personal experiences.

    Also, parkistan and Lorien, you guys both mentioned the term "Nazi", regarding how it often comes up in such discussions, which in turn prompted me to get something off my chest that's been percolating for a while. (I know, it's been boob-o-rama around here lately. I swear, birthy stuff is coming down the pipes soon. Ish.)

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  40. reminds me of this quote ...
    ‎"Those who make claims about infant formula that intentionally undermine women's confidence in breastfeeding are not to be regarded as "clever entrepreneurs just doing their job," but as human rights violators of the worst sort." --Stephen Lewis, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF, April 1999

    that said, i love mad men and i also love me some don draper! ;)

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  41. I love Don Draper and I love breastfeeding and I LOVE this post!

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  42. Sheer brilliance. This is so bang on, on so many levels.

    And now I need a martini. And a cigarette. Even though I've never smoked.

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  43. Great post, Anne. So true. I've always scoffed at the pamphlets that basically implied "You tried. Now, it's time to live life. Get some formula. Here's a coupon." It's certainly not something that is often fought for. When my milk supply started to dip at 7-8 months, everyone just said "Well, you did a good job. Just give it up now". But I got some Fenugreek and still going strong!

    Lindsey @ http://www.examiner.com/attachment-parenting-in-erie/lindsey-whitney

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  44. Brilliant ... but (sniff, sniff) ... it just makes me miss Mad Men even more now.

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  45. Well written and quite fun!

    Just a short note to everyone really - when we all talk of a "bad" LC or "bad" advice from a breastfeeding counselor - could we just remember that not every person knows every single thing? When I help moms out, I do it as a volunteer mama who breastfed for three years and who has 5 years of volunteer time and one year of training. I am not an IBCLC (as most who are just LCs aren't) and even if I were an IBCLC, I still wouldn't know it all. I try to empower mothers to make the best decisions for themselves and their babies - while doing my best to help them continue in the breastfeeding relationship that works for them. Sometimes, it takes more than one person to help when a situation is really tough (sounds like there have been some really tough ones out there - yet us mamas just keep on going!). Anyhow, just one opinion.

    And, I just can't help this one - for anon. who posted how her daughter is alive b/c of formula (wahoo, btw) and who is not obese and talks 2 years above her age - I've always wanted to do this (mostly b/c I know formula-feeders feel like they need to defend their choices, which is sucky) SO:

    I breastfed my daughter for three years! And she is totally behind! She has a major speech delay and talks at least two years below her age! She didn't walk until she was almost two! She's had an IEP since she was three and now in kindergarten thinks every letter she sees is an A! Breastfeeding doesn't make a kid smart, nor does formula feeding make a kid dumb. Breast isn't best, it's just normal.

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