Showing posts from 2015

Lactavism? Adaptive guilt, Shame, and the myth of the Just World

The health outcomes associated with breastfeeding are weaker when breastfeeding is not exclusive. And I think this is part of the objection to "Lactivism" - the intense emphasis on exclusivity and increasing breastfeeding duration. Rather than viewing early breastfeeding cessation or cessation of breastfeeding exclusivity as a personal failing, I feel that it's more an indictment of the lack of structural supports and access to quality, evidence-based information that can best support the breastfeeding dyad. It's easy to conflate the finger pointing at the system's shortcomings with the individual, especially when mother guilt is in full effect.

Is guilt a bad thing? Not according to shame researcher Brene Brown, nor other shame researchers. When processed positively, guilt is adaptive and helpful - shame, however, involves holding what we have or have not done up against our values, which leads to discomfort. Indeed, labeling (such as the use of th…

Breastsleeping, SIDS, infant sleep (part deux of unpacking #APHA16)

Breastsleeping! This post started out as part of the  previous blog post about my overall star-struck, breastfeeding research fan girl experiences at APHA 2016, but as I wrote the breastsleeping component I realized that this likely deserves it's own post. Ta-da! I'm serious about my finals procrastination.
Cosleeping and bedsharing is a hot-button issue for many parents. Infant loss related to unsafe sleeping and SIDS is perhaps one of the most tragic losses that a parent can experience, and the guilt and grief can be overwhelming.
Let me first say that I was not the only fan girl to ask Dr. McKenna for a selfie (which I think has officially replaced the autograph, and I am probably dating myself by even making this comparison). Professor at Notre Dame, founder of the mother-baby behavioral sleep laboratory, Dr. McKenna is an authority on mother-infant sleep sharing in relation to breastfeeding and SIDS. He's so fire that he didn't even show up with slides. H…

Unpacking APHA: Breastfeeding Research All-Stars

I attended the 2015 APHA annual meeting in Chicago at the beginning of November, and it's taken this long for me to get off my bum and write a blog post about it. It's finals week next week, so why not procrastinate?

My first experience in Chicago involved riding the train on Halloween listening to a man rant about unfair pending litigation against him. He offered detailed personal information while pacing and gesticulating wildly up and down the train car. I disembarked quickly and was greeted with a cold, rainy early evening. I stayed with a friend who I hadn't seen in about 4 years, who very graciously opened up her apartment to me and showed me as fantastic a time as you can show someone who is spending 8+ hours a day conferencing. 

I could write a series of blog posts about everything I learned there, but I decided to just stay with the highlights. Basically a series of fan girl selfies and pics of people that I really admire and also got to meet in person.
Liz Brooks a…

The False Equivalence of Pumping and Breastfeeding

Someone (who recently wrote a book about Lactavism and obviously doesn't need any more press from the likes of little old me) has written yet another blog post, among a string of recent doozies, most of which have elicited similar reactions as pictured above. I understand, you wrote a book, and these blog posts are part of the necessary media blitz to generate buzz about your book so that you can at the very least break even, if not make a big splash in the small pond that comprises "books about lactavism".

False Equivalence

The term false equivalence describes a situation that is superficially logical and apparently equivalent, when in reality the situation is neither logical nor equivalent. This is a type of informal fallacy, among the long string of logical fallacies that are often implemented, either consciously or unconsciously, by people who are mired in a debate. Politicians use them a lot.

Breastfeeding isn't pumping; in fact, these two skill sets are relat…

Getting Emo about Kellymom - The importance of Mother to Mother Support

I gave birth to my second child in 2012. I was in the middle of finishing up a MS in Psychology and in the process of applying for another MS in Health Education and Behavior, feverishly studying for the GRE while nursing my newborn and finishing up my capstone project, and I stumbled upon the Kellymom Breastfeeding Support Group on Facebook.

DS2 was not nearly as wakeful as his older brother was at that age (and is still a better sleeper), but as all normal newborns do, he woke every 60-90 minutes to nurse around the clock. Having gone through this before, and having been raised in a family and moving in a social circle where breastfeeding is the norm, I just accepted this and found ways to occupy myself while I was up for the MOTN (middle of the night) feedings. When DS1 was little, back before I had mobile devices and WiFi, I read books and watched reruns of Roseanne, Designing Women, and sitcoms of similar ilk. With DS2 I now had the option to socialize on an iPad while he nursed…

Dammit, Advil.

Talk about extremes in parenting styles. Seems like humans have it pretty good!
Posted by Children's Advil on Thursday, November 19, 2015  This ad popped up in my newsfeed, and comments relating to this particular frame started erupting in all of my breastfeeding groups. So, Advil. You are insinuating here that there is some kind of correlation between the eruption of the first tooth and breastfeeding cessation, are you?

This is, oddly enough, a good conversation piece and enough of a sharp stick to prod me out of the grumps that are normally associated with this time of the semester for any college student, and I am not immune to the end of semester crush.

Paid Parental Leave
Amber Scorah wrote a deeply personal post about the death of her son, Karl, on his first day at daycare, and also launched a website,, to allow parents to contact their representatives or presidential candidates to bring more light and discussion to the critical need for safeguards to be…

Mommy Wars. Yes, I went there.