Breast. No Bottle.

To nurse, or not to nurse: that is not a question!

Orwellian Doublespeak in La Leche League USA

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Doublespeak is language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words.  Doublespeak may take a form of fuzzing boundaries between definitions with the intent of pleasing everybody while obscuring the nature of the truth.  Doublespeak is often a political tool used by a group to advance their agenda. The term originates from George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four, a dystopian novel that portrays a world of omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation.

In this case it is not the government but individuals within the organization succumb to the prevailing views and attitudes in society that equate a woman nursing a child at the breast as an expression of larger mothering to a bottle with milk propped with a blanket or dispensed by anybody and everybody. The above mentioned individuals use language and appeals to inclusivity along with other warm and fuzzy ideas to change the language and thinking about what breastfeeding is.  In the process of doing so, people who equate women with containers with milk destroy what women do and the value of women mothering through breastfeeding.

A world-renowned psychologist Keren Epstein-Gilboa described the phenomenon of envy and subsequent destruction of the desirable object in her book Interaction and Relationships in Breastfeeding Families: Implications for Practice. She specifically discussed men undermining breastfeeding women as a behavior stemming from male envy of women’s ability to give life and sustain life through breastfeeding. Is this what is going on when La Leche League asserts men humanmilkfeed?

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La Leche League continues to disseminate propaganda that is contradictory to its vision, mission, and in violation of its philosophy. La Leche League USA have given up on the uniqueness of “mothering through breastfeeding” idea of a complex relationship between a mother and her child. La Leche League USA uses its social networking page on Facebook to promote bottlefeeding and the use of pumps. All of the above denigrates the art, effort, work, perseverance, pain, and exhilaration of women who nurse their babies by equating a mother nursing her baby at the breast day in and day out to anybody feeding a child any kind of milk. It is also a clear violation of La Leche League’s guiding principle of non-mixing causes.

LLL Philosophy

The information provided on La Leche League website is a misrepresentation of the actions the organization is taking in 2018

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Written by Medical Nemesis

June 27, 2018 at 13:02

Posted in Other

Anything Goes. How La Leche League Lost Grip on Its Mission, Philosophy, and Violated its Policies

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 Breastfeeding, tube-feeding, chestfeeding, milk feeding… feeding… feeding… FEEDING! La Leche League just about left bottle and formula feeding out, albeit between pumping, inducing, and milk feeding will just about cover formula feeding just as much. Long gone is “mothering through breastfeeding” as well as mothers who were replaced by pregnant people, support people and caregivers.

A picture is worth a thousand words – there is indeed no mother visible in the picture, just a receptacle for milk and an object of feeding. I think baby or child is redundant at this point of discourse. Pregnant people providing milk feeding to milk receptacles is acceptable to the offended generation of the 21st century.

La Leche League International used to be an organization that supported breastfeeding mothers while proclaiming that breastfeeding was a relationship and a way of mothering, not feeding. The support network of volunteers built upon a strong foundation of personal “mothering through breastfeeding” experience with the sole focus on a healthy breastfeeding relationship. Cases outside of the normal course of breastfeeding were outside of the volunteers’ outreach, although the organization did have the resources for informational as well emotional support for those cases.

The advertising for La Leche League of New Bern, North Carolina, is a material evidence about the decline of La Leche League culture as well as departure from its core philosophy, mission, policies and procedures. La Leche League used to be a stronghold of breastfeeding as a relationship in a culture that is hostile to breastfeeding. It is not longer the resource for women who wish to nurse their babies like women before them for time immemorial. It is a place where anything goes and breastfeeding women are no longer a priority. Rest In Peace La Leche League!

Written by Medical Nemesis

June 5, 2018 at 09:48

Posted in Other

Objects that act. On the invisible work of women

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29541761_1019445228222598_1424975398816136160_nMilk weaves a tapestry. A novel liberal and feminist (?!) idea of the Brave New World. Or is it the language of Lingua Tertii Imperii that eradicates not only women but also what women do.

Milk cannot weave. Women, on the other hand, not only can weave but also care. Women care for children. Women care for the sick. Women care for the elderly. Women care for the dying. Women make milk. Women make milk as they care for their children. The old Classical La Leche League eloquently expressed this idea in the first point of their philosophy “Mothering through breastfeeding”.

The medicalized language of academia infuses certain ideas into the minds of everyone who enters any educational institution. This language, its particular choices of buzzwords and grammatical structures, alters the way you think about women and what women do.

Milk is produced… vs Women make milk

Milk (a substance) weaves… vs Women weave a tapestry of care

Children are nurtured vs Women nurture children

Just like German Nazi Party members used language to dehumanize and obliterate Jews, academics and medical workers use language to dehumanize and obliterate women and what women do. Let us not be fooled by the poetic expression of centuries old vile ideas.

 

 

 

 

Written by Medical Nemesis

March 29, 2018 at 10:59

Posted in Other

Agents of Medicalization of Breastfeeding

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themedicalizationWho makes nursing of a child by her mother into a medical event of milk feeding? Who are the agents of medicalization? Much literature on medicalization of birth dwell on doctors taking control over birth. Most of the literature on formula feeding scapegoats doctors as well as the sole reasons women switched from breastfeeding to formula feeding. When nursing as a daily activity, nursing as something women do turns into a medical event that must be supervised by a qualified certified and/or licensed healthcare professional right in front of your eyes, it is easy to see that there are other actors on the stage of medicalization.

In case of breastfeeding medicalization came from within the ranks of women themselves. Women actively advocated and worked towards submitting themselves under medical surveillance. The launch of a specialized medical profession of a lactation consultant was possible with a grant from La Leche League International, an organization that openly declared its allegiance to women, but behind the scenes sold out women’s interests to the larger industrial complex of medicine. Healthcare workers, primarily nurses, who received help in La Leche League for the lack of such help in the medical arena at the time, falsely claimed that LLLI was not equipped to deal with more complex issues of breastfeeding at the time when medicine could not handle the simplest breastfeeding concerns. This falsehood led to the logical need to make breastfeeding more medical to get to medical help in complicated cases (like nipple tissue adhesion).

The efforts of yet another group of aspiring new breed of a healthcare experts is not sufficient to medicalize breastfeeding. You need the general public, larger group of women to uptake the idea. In context of lat 20th-early 21 century when most areas of women’s lives were already medicalized (periods, fertility, birth, eating, mood, mothering, etc), it was not hard to roll out the idea that breastfeeding is a medical concern and women should submit themselves to medical supervision as well. Few questioned the practice. Members  of the willing public are as guilty of medicalizing their own lives as the capitalists and professionals who push for it.

Let us not overlook the larger social context of women’s actions. Women as members of society are open to all the pressures and social control that society imposes on them.  Women as creatures of a lower pecking order than licensed professionals may think that by associating with those in power, those with credentials and access to medical power, they will advance their own interests. Since medicine is the most powerful religion of the day, it is not surprising that women who lacked wider liberal education to realize the effect of medicalization on women as evidenced by other areas of women’s lives never questioned their intent to “better” women’s lives by medicalizing breastfeeding. It seemed like a good idea. It is most likely they did not realize that the quest to kill the monster that hurts breastfeeding will turn them into monsters themselves.

Written by Medical Nemesis

June 28, 2017 at 09:20

Posted in Other

Trans Agenda and the Colonial Mindset of La Leche League

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Men chestfeed. This is the new mantra of La Leche League International as well as  the IBCLC comminity. In the absence of new topics and fads in a fairly conservative field of breastfeeding, trans agenda became the new fad. Why did it happen and why you should not believe the liberal agenda of the milk harvesting (aka lactation) community?

The rise of a chestfeeding man took place around 2015, the same time La Leche League International massacred La Leche League Ukraine during the attack by Russian La Leche League leaders and applicants. Two worthy humanitarian causes –  the plight of women who become men  and Ukrainian women who were denied the right to speak their mother tongue.  Trans agenda gets all the support. Ukrainian women lose whatever meager support they were getting from LLLI. Why?

Trans men who chestfeed are medically castrated women. Extensive disabling surgery and cancer causing drugs are liberally applied to women to make them into “men”. Later these (wo)men desire to either birth or breastfeed, yet the damaging effects of medical frankensteining require even more medical treatments to make chestfeeding in the absence of breasts possible. These women in altered physical appearance do need a lot of help, yet the support they received from both LLL and IBCLC is driven not by particular concern for the issues of these women, their human needs, but by the fortunate current that makes these women subject to multiple medical treatments. As we know, anything medical is a money maker.

The only Ukrainian leader in the world whose mother tongue was Ukrainian makes a post about the notorious Similac ad. A group of leaders and applicants from Russia, who were trained in violation of LLL principles to train leaders in their mother tongue and with sensitivity to local culture by Western leaders  when Russian training was available, perpetuate this colonial attitude and viciously attack and suppress the lone Ukrainian leader for speaking Ukrainian. LLLI openly refuses to remedy the situation by offering an apology or providing training about cultural sensitivity as well as about their basic policies of helping mothers in their native languages. LLLI supports Russian colonial aggression in both extermination of Ukrainian language and ultimately La Leche League Ukraine. Support of a minority does not have a medical component to it so it is not lucrative to pursue this issue.

Taking into consideration that the rise of trans agenda and the extermination of La Leche League Ukraine based on language discrimination took place at the same time, we can safely conclude that interests of women take secondary place to medical agenda. Even more so, the support of mutilation practices that target women along with persecution of women based on the language they speak, lead us to the fact that formerly women friendly groups like La Leche League became  strongholds of misogyny, patriarchal physical mutilation of women, and colonial extermination of minority women by denying the right to their cultural and language heritage.

Friends of LLL of Ukraine

Written by Medical Nemesis

June 27, 2017 at 09:35

Posted in Other

Economic consequences of IBCLC profession. Ethical considerations of IBCLC marketing in La Leche League

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Albrecht Durer. Avarice

NB. This is a re-write of the original post from July 4, 2014.

 

A little-known reality about private practice lactation consultants, especially those who are authors and speakers, is that most of us are able to do this work only because we have supportive partners with good jobs that pay the household bills and provide health insurance. Diana West, IBCLC (from Facebook )

One of the least discussed and most cruel aspect of the medicalization of breastfeeding – the economic punishment of women who invested a lot of time and money into obtaining a certificate that asserts that they know something about breastfeeding to warrant a casual consideration from doctors.

From the birth of the profession from the ranks of White Christian and Jewish middle to upper-middle class women in La Leche League and with the seed money from La Leche League International (LLLI), there was no goal to affirm the knowledge and experience of La Leche League leaders and give them an opportunity to make a living. The plans for the profession were two-fold: give an opportunity to some older leaders to make some pin money once their children were grown and educate existing healthcare workers about breastfeeding. From the very beginning LLLI advertised the IBCLC certificate within LLL and pushed leaders to get certified before the profession eventually closed to experienced breastfeeding volunteer-mothers in La Leche League. Long before profession closure to the experienced women existing licensed medical providers overtook La Leche League leaders sitting for the exam.

Over the course of the last three decades requirements of IBCLC certificate gradually increased, requiring more and more courses thus more time and most importantly money to get the piece of paper. At the same time, nurses and especially medical doctors already satisfy most of the requirements to sit for the exam. They are also primed for quick memorization of large volumes of information and have experience taking tests that are fashioned on the RN licensure exam. All of this in combination makes IBCLC certification exceptionally easy for existing medical providers and exceptionally difficult for La Leche League Leaders.

Even when you have your certificate, it does not guarantee you a job within the field. Most hospitals and doctor’s offices hire people with established medical or allied health profession credentials. Hospitals do not pay for your certificate title job but for the existing doctor, nurse, dietitian, or speech therapist license job. Further, lactation consulting is non-acute optional care. In any economic crisis, your job will be the first to go.  In the times of stable economy, it is not the highest paid occupation either. If you are a healthcare provider with a degree and a license AND you have to feed a family, it makes no financial or economic sense to go to the lowest paid occupation within your field. You may have to get two jobs and work seven days a week to make ends meet if you are determined to work with breastfeeding mothers.

Why does this all matter when we talk about IBCLC marketing for LLL Leaders? La Leche League leaders historically stayed at home out of paid workforce. This means no wages, no retirements savings, no health insurance of your own as well as loss of accumulated future income and loss of paid work experience that can be sold on the market. Luring women who are already at a financial disadvantage into a knowingly low prospect low wage occupation raises questions about the ethics of the whole enterprise. Being a mother is a risk factor for poverty in old age. Being a mother who is lured into the low paying occupation is a financial suicide.

I participated in a round table problem solving discussion at the Breastfeeding and Feminism Conference with Mary Rose Tully right before her death. We were supposed to pick any issue within breastfeeding and come up with solutions. The only issue on Ms.Tully’s mind was financial compensation for IBCLCs. It struck me as odd for a person of such prominence to not be appropriately compensated for her work. Yet looking around every IBCLC I knew relied on their husbands to provide and IBCLC work was a supplementary (if at all) hobby income that may cover the expenses of being an IBCLC.

Heavy marketing of IBCLC in La Leche League continued as long as I knew it for one and only reason – money to sustain the IBLCE (the board of lactation examiners) and provide income in a pyramid scheme where people at the top relied on the income brought in by training seminars. When the profession is so new, any and every dollar they can get from any woman participating in the scheme helps propel the profession forward. Nobody cares that the road to IBCLC days of glory is littered by destitute women who unknowingly sacrificed their well-being for the “greater cause” of medicalized breastfeeding. How ethical and moral is it to establish an occupation that poached freely shared women’s knowledge and experience, turned it medical, and monetized it all while throwing experienced breastfeeding women under the bus?

Written by Medical Nemesis

April 4, 2017 at 10:21

Posted in Other

How fight for IBCLC power and influence hurts women

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It is hard to establish a new medical womanly profession. International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) had to carve our a territory from the established medical/nursing specialties coming from a soft core La Leche League background of counseling nursing mothers.

Having witnessed the waxing and waning of various issues in La Leche League during the course of two decades, I witnessed a struggle of a new profession to gain power within the medical establishment. Vitamin D, GERD, post-partum depression… Then a biggie hit – breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery… Diana West became a La Leche League super star with an extremely niche subject. She was a traveling circus magician. You can breastfeed with your breasts cut off! This message was supposed to instill confidence in the rest of us with intact breasts.

For years I wondered why Diana West became so popular with an obscure subject and why the most amazing  Diane Wiessinger with her unparalleled thinking to help with most common breastfeeding issues like positioning and latch did not match the popularity and demand of Diana West. Even Catherine Watson-Genna’s attempt at claiming medical competence with the ritualistic use of a stethoscope did not propel her into the spotlight the way breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery elevated Diana West. Finally, I figured it out. Stethoscope is 19th century technology that has lost its symbolic power in the age of ultrasound, xrays, CT scans, and MRI. Diane Wiessinger’s skill requires years of study and practice, human intellect, human ability and perseverance of an individual helper/practitioner. Precisely the opposite of what modern medicine is about.

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Modern medicine firmly stands on three foundations – drugs, surgery, and the use of technology. The multitude of crippling effects that it produces by the above mentioned means are resolved with more drugs, surgery, and technology. The role of the helper/practitioner is reduced to applying existing protocols (sets of actions pre-determined by healthcare administrators in consultation with risk management and insurance agents) to the unfortunate patients. The intellect and skill of individual practitioners are minimized to reduced the unpredictability of individual practitioners in favor of “objective” measures like drugs, surgery, and technology.

Hence, at first we mitigate the result of scientific nutrition in society by surgically removing breasts that are too large to live or breastfeed. As a result, a woman cannot breastfeed so we now “save” the woman from her disability by giving her drugs to stimulate milk production and sell her expensive equipment to extract milk from her cut breasts as well as a number of gadgets to help with nursing at the breast. In addition to that we also sell formula to supplement whatever meager milk the woman can extract from her breasts. It is a perfect storm! Not surprisingly, Diana West ran out of steam after breastfeeding after breast reduction lost its novelty, yet most recently got revitalized by transgender issues – they ride the same wave of scientific medicine fixing faulty humans. Transgender sells – surgery, drugs, equipment, and healthcare dealer services who sell this equipment.

Yet the most recent crusade of IBCLCs and medically minded La Leche League leaders hungry for power and influence on par with doctors and nurses – tongue tie. Tongue tie opens doors to routine surgery, a very respectable medical occupation with not so respectable beginnings but firmly entrenched in modern medicine. Tongue-tie is a holy grail for IBCLCs because it gives them direct connection to MD or DDS line, giving them almost equal footing in healthcare as solid core medical practitioners. Never mind that beyond the generalities of “tongue-tie may affect breastfeeding”, IBCLCs are not trained or educated to either detect it or diagnose it in relationship to breastfeeding. IBCLCs do not receive anything other than superficial cursory mention of the issue are part of their training. They are not authorized to diagnose it. Most certainly there is no solid prediction scale of who will encounter breastfeeding problems based on anticipatory breastfeeding assessments. All of this confusion and mess opens doors to reigning supreme with a clout of importance in knowing something sacred and complex that nobody else understands. It also makes it worth while to fight claw and tooth to steak it out as an IBCLC issue.

Not surprising, that anybody who raises questions about the legitimacy of current tongue tie crusade and their disabling and damaging effect on women and children, like Nancy Mohrbacher or Alison Hazelbaker, will be shot without warning.

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What we witness here is two long-term experienced La Leche League leaders and first IBCLCs with what I suspect a very nuanced understanding of breastfeeding being silenced and pushed out by the horde of mainstream healthcare providers who don’t know breastfeeding from a stick on the ground. There is an undercurrent of providers who are concerned about the idea of breastfeeding and about clinical issues who don’t even vaguely know there are women and children in the picture and that those people come first. People before ideas.

Yet what is infinitely more concerning are the woman and children who suffer pain, anguish, and lost hopes while they are being duped by people with inflated projections of what they could become in the future should they continue their tongue-tie quest. Of concern is La Leche League, a formerly maternal organization that started with an MD, Dr.Gregory White willfully removing himself from the first meetings to allow women to have space to discuss what is of concern and importance to them, taking a stand against all mothers and killing mother-volunteers, one at a time, and siding with the medical establishment to assert the dominant medical agenda. We have witnessed a very fast destruction of La Leche League and IBCLCs becoming a repressive authoritarian figure amidst a crowd of experts disabling and hurting mothers. The medicalized model of breastfeeding has set in. I do not know of any non-medical models of breastfeeding existing in the world today.

 

 

Written by Medical Nemesis

January 10, 2017 at 10:20

Posted in Other

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To nurse, or not to nurse: that is not a question!

Breast. No Bottle.

To nurse, or not to nurse: that is not a question!