The Skeptical OB – Midwife disciplined for telling the TRUTH about breastfeeding

Midwife disciplined for telling the TRUTH about breastfeeding

EF3F8A9C-8A00-4CCE-B5FF-1640BDD5C705

I’ve written over and over again about the way that lactation professionals lie to women, promoting breastfeeding over the wellbeing of mothers and babies.

Every time a lactation professional claims insufficient breastmilk is rare when it is common, she lies.
Every time a lactation professional claims second night syndrome isn’t hunger, she lies.
Every time a lactation professional says neonatal stomach volume is 5-7 ml when it is 20+ ml, she lies.

Real medical professionals don’t punish colleagues for telling the truth about side effects. Lactation professionals prefer lying.

But if you want to understand how integral lying is to lactivism, look no further than the case of Midwife Cath, an Australian midwife now facing disciplinary action because dared to tell the truth.

… Curtin has been ordered to undergo additional training by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

The order comes after five people complained about a post Curtin made on social media about breast feeding.

Let’s think about that for a moment. Anti-vax doctors routinely question vaccination on social media but they aren’t disciplined.

Chiropractors and homeopaths routinely post self-serving nonsense on social media but they aren’t disciplined.

And midwives themselves routinely question obstetric standards of practice on social media, but they aren’t disciplined.

Why, because health professionals have a right to freedom of speech.

So what did Midwife Cath do that was “worse” than that?

In the [Instagram] post, Curtin wrote “The thing with lactation is we ALL can lactate but we ALL don’t lactate the same amount… don’t feel bad if you can’t squirt this much milk”.

The Instagram post continues, “Rather than babies going hungry or sitting on a pumping machine (which doesn’t increase your milk supply by the way) remember that #fedisbest”.

Put in other terms, Curtin was suggesting women feed their babies with formula rather than letting them go hungry waiting for breastmilk to come through.

How dare she tell the truth about the fact that insufficient breastmilk is common?

No less an authority than Alison Stuebe, MD of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has acknowledged:

Delayed onset of lactogenesis is common, affecting 44% of first-time mothers in one study, and 1/3 of these infants lost >10% of their birth weight. This suggests that 15% of infants — about 1 in 7 breastfed babies — will have an indication for supplementation.

How dare she tell the truth that there is no evidence that pumping (which is not natural) leads to milk coming in faster? It’s possible though no one has ever shown it to be true.

How dare she tell women that judicious formula supplementation in the early days after birth IMPROVES the chances of exclusive, extended breastfeeding?

According to the paper The Effect of Early Limited Formula on Breastfeeding, Readmission, and Intestinal Microbiota: A Randomized Clinical Trial:

[T]hese results suggest that using ELF in a carefully structured, temporary manner may not interfere with breastfeeding or maternal experience in the first month or have a negative impact on intestinal microbiota… Using small volumes of formula on a temporary basis for newborns with pronounced weight loss may have the potential to help clinicians and mothers provide the nutritional volume needed by babies without interfering with duration of breastfeeding or with the health benefits achieved from longer breastfeeding duration.

No matter. Lactivists believe it is better to lie to women and let their babies starve.

But probably Midwife Cath’s most unforgivable sin is that she adopted the slogan of the “other side,” Fed Is Best.

Why is that her most egregious offense? Because contemporary breastfeeding promotion is about market share and the economic benefits for lactation professionals. They imagine themselves to be in a turf war with formula companies and they strive to win that war at all costs — even if the cost is collateral damage to babies: letting them starve, sustain brain injuries and die rather than give them lifesaving formula.

How is Midwife Cath to be punished?

She must indoctinated to ensure that mothers aren’t told the truth.

[She] must be mentored by another registered midwife in relation to contemporary best evidence of infant feeding (breast feeding and bottle feeding), safe sleeping and advertising responsibility (including endorsement advertising)…

The mentoring must comprise a minimum of six sessions with each session being of one hour duration occurring over a six month period.

George Orwell couldn’t have come up with a better form of “discipline.”

To understand just how immoral such behavior is consider:

What if doctors who questioned the benefits of routine episiotomy and feared the risks had been “disciplined” for refusing to lie to patients?

Women would still be getting routine episiotomies with the increased tearing that results.

What if doctors who discovered that ulcers were caused by bacteria were “disciplined” for refusing to pretend to patients that anti-acids were the cure?

The toll in pain, suffering and death would never have been decreased.

What if doctors who questioned the benefits of hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal women were “disciplined” for refusing to lie and tell patients that the benefits outweighed the risks?

The breast cancer rate would have continued to rise.

Real medical professionals don’t censor their colleagues, because real medical professionals understand that questioning received wisdom is integral to providing the best possible care.

But lactation professionals aren’t real medical professionals; they are self-promoters. That’s why a midwife who dares to tell patients the truth about breastfeeding must be punished.