When ideas come before women and children
Medicalization of breastfeeding does not have any noble reasons behind it. The plan to launch a new medical professional, an IBCLC, was driven by a desire to make money, not to help women. It is not very different from establishing a monopoly of obstetricians in the birth scene in the early 20th century. The matters get further complicated when support and well-being of women take second place to THE IDEA. No matter how beautiful and wonderful, abstract ideas are harmful to women. “I had one breastfeeding advocate (well known) tell me that she was willing to lie, steal and cheat to get to a breastfeeding society.” (from personal correspondence)”.
Fast forward to 21st century. The idea of breastfeeding crushes the psyche and lives of hundreds of thousands of women, but the machine is turning its gears. Breastfeeding machine has no consideration for women, just for the cause, the idea, “the greater good”. Last night I came across a disturbing discussion dissecting a new mother.
A bored doctor prowls the Internet looking for tongue-tie when asked or not asked to. This is the same MD who tore Nancy Mohrbacher apart for questioning the science of tongue-tie diagnostics. Doctors have a long history of looking down upon women, so the attitude and approach of the doctor is not surprising. What is of interest here – the overwhelming response from women, some of whom are IBCLCs, indoctrinated in the medical attitudes towards women during the course of their training, – the disapproval, the questioning of the woman’s mental faculties, the undermining of a new mother’s judgement, when she openly stated that she had not been looking for any advice and that unsolicited advice was not welcome. One respondent dreamily wished that this mother becomes a “platform for oral restriction awareness”. My estimate is that less than 3% of replies were, in fact, supportive of the mother to draw the line whom she listens to and whom she doesn’t and accepting the fact that women can post online for reasons other than looking for unsolicited advice.
Can we confidently say that the golden age of mother-to-mother support is over and the age of breastfeeding dictatorship has set in? Is this the age when women are all but forgotten and the only thing we remember is THE IDEA of breastfeeding? Do the new professionals who do lip service to their origin by uttering “mother is the expert” continue the undermining of women just like so many professionals have done before them? Just how far do the new breastfeeding professionals are willing to go in their scheme of “lie, steal, and cheat” to get to a breastfeeding society? Most importantly, would you want to live in a society like this? I know I don’t.