Although I’m sure I’ve already hit a nerve in some of you, allow me to explain my title. Women seek advice from other women, mostly on the mommy message boards of the Internet. Most of the time, the suggestions, advice, and support is wonderful. But when it comes to feeding your baby, the help is not.
KellyMom is passed around as an authority on breastfeeding. The KellyMom website says it provides “evidence-based information”. The site owner boasts that she is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), but she does suggest that you see your own IBCLC, and that the information on the site is for “educational purposes only”.
Please tell me when in your life you’ve been told that something is for “educational purposes only”, and that you shouldn’t put it into practice at home? Are you thinking of the “don’t try this at home” disclaimers? Because, that’s essentially what KellyMom is telling us.
You see, you don’t need to be an expert in lactation to know that KellyMom is a fraud. Simply read her articles and compare the “evidence” to other “evidence” on her very own site. You’ll find it’s fraught with contradictions. For example, in the article titled “How much expressed milk will my baby need?“, KellyMom writes, “In exclusively breastfed babies, milk intake increases quickly during the first few weeks of life, then stays about the same between one and six months (though it likely increases short term during growth spurts).”
To which I say, “Oh, really?” It’s interesting that KellyMom has built her claim to fame as a resource that women share, overwhelmingly, for the truths of breastmilk. Yet, right here, on her very own site, KellyMom is telling you, “You’re trying to increase your milk supply? Go screw yourself.”
Also, if you’re going to use the “milk calculator”, you’re going to have an extremely scrawny baby. My baby is almost 8 weeks, and drinks about 50oz of milk per day. The milk calculator on KellyMom suggests he needs only half of that. If you’re going to argue that my evidence is anecdotal, and there’s no real research to support my claim, then you better take a closer look at KellyMom, because while she seems to be providing medical research and facts, KellyMom is extremely one-sided. And, guess what? Bias doesn’t make science.
I’ll write more about KellyMom in the future, but let’s shift gears and discuss IBCLCs and how they “diagnose” every baby with tounge-tie or reflux, and make mothers feel like total d-bags for even thinking about the word “formula”. Thanks to IBCLCs (and, actually, KellyMom is in on this, too), women think that drinking alcohol while breastfeeding is okay. I’ve actually been told (or, rather, scolded) on the mommy boards for providing the Mayo Clinic and WebMD as sources over KellyMom, because “statements such as the the one you quoted are rarely based on scientific evidence, regardless of the source. It’s medical lingo for, we don’t have any data because nobody has actually done a clinical study to determine a safe level. Doesn’t mean that a safe level doesn’t exist”.
To clarify, here’s the statement I made in response to a woman dumping breastmilk that tested positive for alcohol:
You did the right thing. It sucks that you had to dump so much, but better safe than sorry.
And, I know this will be a controversial statement, but I would trust real medical sources about the dangers of alcohol and breastfeeding, such as the Mayo Clinic: www.mayoclinic.com/health/breast-fe…
“Breast-feeding and alcohol don’t mix well. There’s no level of alcohol in breast milk that’s considered safe for a baby to drink.”
Yes, clearly the Mayo Clinic does not base its facts on scientific evidence. And, maybe the baby would be OK with a little alcohol-tainted milk. You never know. Alcohol in breastmilk is better than formula.
Um. No. Alcohol and drugs are NOT safe for infants, regardless of whether these substances are found in breastmilk or not. You know what the best thing to do is? Don’t drink, don’t smoke weed, and definitely don’t smoke cigarettes. Breastmilk is not a magical elixir. It does not protect against all illness. It does not cure disease. And, while a very popular insult against formula-fed babies, breastmilk will not make your baby smarter. If the reason you breastfeed is to give your child academic advantages in the future, your child is already on the road to failure, because he/she has an ignorant fuck like you as a parent. Seriously.
And mommy shamers on the mommy boards should listen up. Because sharing KellyMom and IBCLC as the only true sources make you look ignorant, uneducated, and, quite frankly, bitchy. If you have confidence in your parenting abilities, you won’t be offended by your inability to support KellyMom and IBCLCs as medically relevant sources. Breast is best, but honesty is better.