Dr Amy Tuteur says breastfeeding isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and trying to force it to be can be dangerous.
The scientific literature contains new and disturbing reports of infant deaths due to hypernatremic dehydration as a result of inadequate breast milk consumption, deaths from falling out of mothers’ hospital beds as a result of pressure to room-in to promote breastfeeding, and, most recently, reports of hyponatremia due to dilution of breastmilk with water. It’s only a matter of time before there are illnesses and deaths from contaminated breastmilk bought and traded on the internet.
Why are these babies dying? They’re dying because lactivists are lying, exaggerating the benefits of breastfeeding far, far beyond anything in the scientific literature. And they’re lying about non-existent “risks” of formula to the point that mothers are afraid to use it even when supplementing with formula is a matter of life and death.
Tuteur points out that to be the perfect food for infants, breastmilk has to be not just nutritionally ideal but also abundant enough and accessible enough. If it isn’t, it’s not the perfect food.
Lactivists routinely ignore critera 2 and 3, and babies die as a result. They get around the need for an adequate supply of milk with a claim that is manifestly a lie, the claim that all mothers produce enough milk. It’s pretty clear that up to 5% of mothers cannot produce enough breastmilk to fully meet a baby’s needs. That’s hardly surprising since no biological process is guaranteed to work perfectly. If established pregnancies can have a 20% miscarriage rate, and they do, it is hardly surprising that breastfeeding can have a failure rate of only a fraction of that amount.
Lactivists get around the third criterion with another lie, that every baby is capable of efficiently extracting milk from the breast. Some babies just can’t do it for anatomical reasons, because of weak muscle tone, or because they simply never get the hang of it. It is a serious problem that lactivists simply fail to address.
At the end she provides some sources:
The incidence of breastfeeding-associated hypernatremic dehydration among 3718 consecutive term and near-term hospitalized neonates was 1.9%, occurring for 70 infants…
Conclusion. Hypernatremic dehydration requiring hospitalization is common among breastfed neonates…
H/t Lady Mondegreen