La Leche League’s Ties to Big Pharma & Trans Science

22 03 2019

Gone are the days when natural parenting, birth, and breastfeeding associations were actually natural.

NATURAL MOTHERING COMMUNITIES, PULLED APART

One by one, we’ve watched our organizations be bought out by bigger interests– interests that have sold a line to mothers about the new wave of the future’s “natural” and how it’s just the same (and maybe better).

Enter: Male Breastfeeding… from our friends at La Leche League International, on Facebook. Of course there’s “trans men” (trans identified females) who get pregnant, birth, and breastfeed– and this is supposed to be proof that the male of our species gets pregnant and “chestfeeds” too (because guys don’t have “breasts” or anything– that’s just sick!). But now, out of the other side of the mouth comes “males have mammaries too”, meaning that someone born physically male can in fact “breastfeed” (now it’s a breast, because breasts are only for pretty ladies, duh– even if all sexes have them) with the right support. And, that they should.

Beginning an infant’s life on its mother’s natural breastmilk as the gold standard for nourishment is pretty much the point of natural organizations like La Leche League, but now it bows to a new master– the almighty dollar. Because let’s face it– there’s no money in breastmilk and it was only a matter of time before Big Pharma and the medical industry found a clever new way to wear Grandma’s clothes and get the natural parenting community to walk into a new trap. That trap is the idea that you can only be for LGB rights if you are not questioning of transgender issues and the science behind it.

Right wing women in our natural communities have less problem with this. Women on that side of the field are far less afraid of seeming bigoted or homophobic (or now, “transphobic”), and are willing to admit that where ever nature has been neglected is no longer the place for them. Women on the Left or left-leaning on social issues, however, feel either forced or convinced to go along with whatever line of rhetoric is alleged allyship to trans, out of pressure to not be anti-LGB– no matter how unnatural or science/drug/technology-based the item on the table being promoted is.

What this means, then, is not just a wide split in our communities of support for natural birthing, parenting, and breastfeeding (industry’s good old divide and conquer), but a sudden lack of a home for leftist or progressive women who still remember what “natural” means and aren’t willing to compromise that just to appease the LGBTLMNOP gods. It is harder and harder for these women to find any place to turn to that will be pro-LGB while also admitting that we have some questions about big science and big pharma’s role in the takeover of our “authentic existences”.

For years now (some may say a century, others will say at least decades), natural mothering types have been a mild thorn in the side of industry and big pharma/medicine. But if you thought Dr. She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named and her hateful trolls were a problem, they’re nothing compared to Big Daddy Business, who is finally seeing his day. You see, natural parenting blogs, magazines, documentaries, books, websites, etc. were definitely growing in influence, especially with the reach of social media. (This becomes more and more apparent as entities like Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, Google, and more move to block “fake news”, which includes things like “alternative” information on vaccine injury and opposition– for example.) More and more mothers were finding each other for support and questioning the ethics and “facts” of the medical establishment, and finding the old ways. They have been returning to the natural and making healthier humans as a result. Still, while growing, our groups have remained somewhat on the fringe– making the timing perfect for dividing an already-marginal community right in half over what is perceived to be a human rights issue, rather than what it actually is– a question of medical ethics and a duty to the cause of natural and holistic health. An automatic skepticism for anything not organically from the purest available source, as designed.

Before we get any larger or more influential, it would be important to buy out, infiltrate, separate and lay waste to anything we’ve built. This can be done by simply redefining things, or reframing oppositional things as if they’ve fit our criteria all along. This is as deceptive as people arguing that epidural-critical information, for example, is anti-feminist, anti-autonomy, and sexist/patriarchal– and thusly spinning epidurals as being a valuable part of the natural and holistic parenting experience. Sure, it makes no sense on its face, but the spin can be made and would have, if they thought it could successfully anchor within our movements. Much more compelling and harder to deny is anything trans related, because while no one is willing to deny trans people anything lest they be seen as bigots, it has always been okay to deny women things. That’s been going on for a long time and never stopped being okay.

So getting back to LLL’s post in which you learn that men can “chestfeed” but ladies “breastfeed”, because we all have breasts but only ladies have breasts, and because there is nothing at all wrong with cross-sex hormones either in utero for a developing fetus or having to do with the breast milk a baby must consume, your choice is to either ride that wave to be “supportive” or be considered harassing and shown the door. In-line commenters said things such as “this was shared with a TERF page” [TERF stands for “trans exclusionary radical feminist”, which is a misnomer and a slur that a woman is called when she seems to critically question anything even remotely touching on trans issues], seemingly missing the memo that it was shared with mothers and breastfeeders in their own communities and circles– it wasn’t shared outside your community, we ARE the community. Yes, my liberal sisters, TERFs are natural mothers too (and perhaps the only left wing natural mothers left). TERFs, as you call them, need breastfeeding support, community around natural birth, answers about big pharma and what they want to pump our kids with “for the greater good”, etc. You could say that being a TERF and acknowledging and revering biological reality is pretty much the origin point of all our natural movements.

Natural parenting movements are now becoming 100% fully supportive of males who may never lactate or have their own children, while excluding defiant, real women and mothers who either need or provide valuable education on natural holistic parenting (some who have done so for years and pioneered the resurgence), all in the name of being “inclusive”. Inclusive to whom? To people who wish to be part of our communities but fall outside the circle of life which they pertain to, while excluding the very women who paved the way for our wisdom to be spread and those newcomers in need of the maternal wisdom to actually use in practical life. The lifeline to mothers is drowning. It’s being intentionally submerged. And I’m not sure all the players involved are even aware of the part they’re playing. (Patriarchy is that much of a mindfuck.)

So how did this happen? The call may be coming from inside the house right now, but before that it originated from an outside source. While some of our leftist sisters have been thoroughly indoctrinated by media messages about “inclusivity” to unwaveringly support anything associated with transgenderism, big business has also been buying up any of our orgs and associations that were built to offer support and education for our natural-minded goals. That’s why actors and PR reps (including men, people with no children, and people with no previous interest or involvement in natural parenting activism) are being hired to give speeches on behalf of MANA [Midwives Association of North America, who has changed their language to make birthing appear to be a “gender neutral” activity and cause], while those who actually know about natural birth or have experienced one are cast out as unfaithfuls and branded with a scarlet T for TERF when they fail to toe the line. And our leftist sisters are either ignoring it or saying “that’s what you get” for disobeying Big Daddy, blissfully unaware that the medical industry now has them cornered and with nowhere to hide. It will be like shooting fish in a barrel, and with some of the women even volunteering as tribute. How many birthing goddess women will be the first to line up to offer up their uterus for donation, for example? Or will cheerlead a female lesbian friend into cutting off their breasts to fit their perception of gender, while still spouting the purity of our breasts’ “liquid gold” on the other hand?

“They came for the TERFs, and I said nothing. And finally they came for me, and there was no one left who would speak for me.”

Because you see, in the end the aim was never about your right to individual liberty. That is evident in the punishment for thought crimes occurring for the women expressing any hint of doubt or dissent– they are not respected or valued for their liberty to do so, they are shamed and shunned. The aim was total domination by industry over your very real, human, female bodies, and in fact all of our bodies. “Individual liberty” was just the red herring to get your endorsement and blind allegiance.

LA LECHE LEAGUE’S ANTI-NATURAL AGENDA

Users took to a post by La Leche League on Facebook which detailed how you can get a male to produce a few ounces of breastmilk to sustain an infant off of. It was full of many women thanking the League for the “education”, “clarity”, and “inclusion”. What there was perhaps more of (although it has been silenced, deleted, and users banned) were women questioning whether or not this was natural, appropriate, or in line with their values for wholesome beginnings.

Get it? Drops of milk from a human, no matter how they are obtained, is considered good and natural. This is how you sanction (I mean, “support”) males putting a neonate up to their nipple. (WHERE is the mother? Either radio silence from LLL, or they offer a host of disaster scenarios to explain the mother’s absence, like we all just got gleefully killed off in a soap.)

Anyone of any sex can breastfeed, with the right medication! Yay?!
(Where is the mother, again?)

Well, goodbye natural parenting! Move over, organic– everything new is old again. Make way for neo-organic, brought to you by the Biotech industry.


La Leche League is no different from other entities taken over by corporate spokespersons. I noticed the admin for the page, a woman named Caroline, had two other interesting occupations under her belt (besides just being in charge of the social media representation of LLL International). One was a PR firm an “Association Management Company” (some vague language about “offering solutions” to companies, etc; her role specifically has to do with “administration in nonprofits”.). The other was a Biotech company.

Myself and concerned others (who are all natural parenting mothers) were over there to ask questions about admin’s tie to Biotech and Public Relations, and where the funding was coming from, but this must have constituted harassment or bigotry because we were swiftly removed from the page and banned from further commenting. (It used to be that people came in promoting technology over nature were trolling… but now those questioning technology over nature are the “trolls”.) Well, it was either that or when I mentioned that babies are real, whole human beings worthy of the best nourishment nature could provide and not accessories to affirm anyone’s gender. Hateful, hateful conduct, to be sure.

As far as we know, Caroline has no previous experience with issues, involvement, nor activism surrounding natural parenting and breastfeeding. We do know that she is Team Ultrasound, “One and Done”, and believes you actually *can* tell who is a boy or a girl based on genitals (despite the PR spin she’s been paid to push).

Caroline would be pleased to help you with the acquisition of your next nonprofit!

Does Caroline herself know that she is a tool for the man, to co-opt and then crush women’s causes? Probably not– she is probably just an empowered career woman trying to empower other women by doing what she is told (which is why women’s liberation does not simply mean seeing more women in careers or in power; this neglects tiers of power and the insidiousness of patriarchy). And as an individual, she is potentially not invested enough in our natural movements to care when this is pointed out to her, making her the perfect candidate, which surely the higher entities understood when hiring her.

They have a profile they go for: peripherally invested in the issue if possible, but not highly passionate and aware as others in the field and with no networking or personal loyalty issues to disrupt the candidate’s work (others in the life who would hold them accountable if they stray off course), competent enough to perform the tasks asked of her, and career-motivated and ambitious. Bonus points if it can appeal to the do-gooder sensibility that pads our egos. She checks all criteria off this list.

So for the same reason medwives and female OBs cannot be approached with some analysis of their part in subjugation, people like Caroline cannot be told they are the bad guys either. No one wants to find that out about themselves, when putting your head on the pillow at night as a hero while earning a decent living is basically every good person’s dream. The ego rejects outside info shattering that, every time. This is how women are played off of each other like pawns to remain useful cogs in the machine. This is how patriarchy has been so successful for so long.

It’s not an accident, it’s a strategy. And one we are falling for and losing.


PERSONAL NOTES, AS A NATURAL MOTHER

Natural parenting advocates like myself organized under the understanding that not all choices are equal. Things are not indiscriminately good just because you chose them [< a philosophy that liberal feminism is actually based off of] which is why we advocate for what we believe is a higher standard. While our fight is for autonomy, it is not without caveats; we condemn the distortion and lies big industry endorses, and we favor the healthy, holistic, and usually less profitable alternatives. We are not fighting for the individual’s right to self-harm anyway as a valid “choice”, as this kind of behavior is already the norm and does not need defending or supporting.

[The genius of transgenderism in politics is, it plays the part of the less heard tiny minority underdog while being funded by the biggest financial and medical players in the field. And no other disadvantaged group enjoys that kind of power.]

We believe there can be no true consent without informed consent, and that fully informed consent is extremely rare. The aim is for increased health and that comes through critical information which is being denied. We also believe that so long as you are sick or enslaved to a sick system, you are naturally less equipped to make the best choices. Making choices under duress or with limited capacity or resources is not a free choice, if a choice at all. Poor choices come from poor circumstances. “Support only” activism works best only for the status quo, and that benefits those in power.

About 4 years ago now I was denounced as a TERF in natural birthing communities for daring to still believe in biology and have labels for it. I was told by fellow unassisted birthers that in a matter of only decades, trans women would be able to carry pregnancies– as if this was a good thing. But these were also people who considered themselves infertile despite having many children and while still at a very young age, and people who would buy and use hormones off the internet believing it would aid pregnancy, and people who didn’t disagree if hospital birthers called their experience “unassisted”. (For all the female autonomy goddess power hype we used to discuss, I am now informed by these same people that “the uterus is not a female organ”, while sexist bunk “brain science” will be held up as some proof that the brain somehow has a sex/gender. Go figure.)

Herein lies the rift. Not everyone in our community always believed in the truth, that words matter and have real meanings, that natural ways are more healing and healthful and deserve to be fought for on that basis, that women have been oppressed for our anatomy, or in resisting industrial control. Many of the women in our natural communities aren’t in service to nature but to self; they are devoted to the idea that the individual should do whatever they want without regard for the potential consequences. They play to the tune of their choices being more healthful when it’s somehow convenient, but they aren’t consistent. I’m not accusing them of not having organic purity, but not having logical congruence– to recognize that things are not automatically the healthy or best way just because you “chose” it. That’s all. These are not people skeptical of technology, they just resent being told what to do by authority. In that case, they were never really with us. It may be impossible to bridge the divide with people who believe in information only insofar as it can serve the self’s current wants and gratification and egoic justifications for things, rather than the duty to provide honest and critical information that is otherwise controversial and hidden over it being inconvenient to the prevailing system.

In other words, if they can be convinced that the system can work for them (despite disenfranchising certain others or rewriting all reality), they will work with the system. That’s an enemy to resistance everywhere, and at the bare minimum, the holistic.

We are coming to the table with vastly different motives. We are not in the same political fight for freedom. We need to find and join with people who are. We need to cast our net wide again to find those people, now, before we are more fully censored.

[There is currently an exodus from Facebook & Twitter by people who have been banned or censored by the platforms. Please come to MeWe like other radical feminists and vaccine critics, etc., have done where free speech and alternative information is not censored and your personal information is not sold. Find our groups. We have already started networking and planting seeds there. It could be the place we still have to communicate with one another as conditions worsen at the presently popular sites.]

I as a lifelong left-wing-aligned female who both resents being told what to do AND is skeptical of technology do not appreciate orgs like LLL resorting to fascist censoring of real mothers and breastfeeders in service to an agenda that props up technology above people. This is not who they claimed to serve when they were founded and serve other interests now, instead.

The tunnel vision of individualists (flying high on instant gratification) will one day come crashing down on them when, to their surprise, technophilia was not the Pleasure Island utopia they thought it would be while they were having fun (and the people who cautioned the warnings have been thoroughly banished). The powers that be are not and never were interested in preserving the liberty and autonomy of the individual, ultimately. That is just the carrot dangled in front of them to get them to submit to controlling entities. There will be no one there to protect them or rescue them if they continue down this path unchecked, but I’m hoping enough of us can now read between the lines before it gets too far, politically. Because it doesn’t end with LLL or MANA– there are more and there will be more, bought and falsely representing us with smiling robotic spokesfolx. Because I unlike my former friends do not believe trans women will carry pregnancies, nor do I think it’s good or necessary. I do not believe taking foreign hormones to lactate or alter pregnancies are automatically good and without consequence. I don’t believe questioning that consequence is bigotry. It’s our duty.

I believe in a matter of a handful of years this genderist movement will have run its course and there will be a conflict between the people and the power entities who promoted these ideas to the people as “liberation”. The reason I believe that is that is it too much at odds with reality, and that includes the tangible realities faced by females and by homosexuals. It also defies the common sense that the majority of the people across the world still have when it comes to a commonly-defined reality. In fact, this agenda even runs opposite to the former friends who became my opponents, who still– despite all their claims, their denial, their campaigning– give their children gendered names corresponding to their sexes (observed genitals). Just like Caroline at LLL and her ultrasounds, people merely pretend to not know what physical reality of male/female is. And they were willing to outcast their sisters and sell us down the river to do it.

Substances and technology worship are used to keep us dumb, sick, and enslaved. I was natural because I wanted a departure from a corrupt establishment, not because they didn’t give me enough toys and I wanted to act out in rebellion. We need to reach our left wing sisters who still realize there is a corrupt establishment and don’t want to be roped back into it. They will be awake enough (and lacking in petulance) to understand what is happening here and resist. It’s going to take maturity and bravery and I know some of our sisters who’ve been silently reading and watching on have got it.

“Autonomy” is not about individual freedom from the facts. And natural mothering is so much more than the illusion of choice.

YOUR MOVE.

I’m obviously very phobic of the future (and what some like to market to us as “progress”), which is exactly what I heard every time I questioned the practices of OB/GYN, Gattaca, artificial wombs, GMO, and testing out synthetic substances on babies over generations. As a woman and mother who resists, I don’t think this was ever a question. It’s what all of us came here to sign up for. The real question is whether being some kind of technophile and biophobe is the only way to prove you’re not a “transphobe”. And if you believe the framing being laid out for you by the media at the funding of big business interests, the answer is not only YES, but yes in lock-step.

I’m just wondering how biotechnology, altering DNA, vaccines, foreign cross-sex hormones, etc., and all these other aspects of Big Pharma and the medical industrial complex have any place in organizations that allegedly used to shield women from this patriarchal overreach and focus on getting back to basics.

And I’m wondering how long you’re going to go along with it. Or if you’re going to say something.


For more on these topics, please Google “transhumanism”, “Jennifer Pritzker”, and “Martine Rothblatt”.

Edit: Some other must-see pieces for you if you are interested in La Leche’s descent–

Stick to the Script” discusses the document found on LLL policy for dealing with women who make comments about biology or sexism, but the document is later replaced with an anime furry image calling women FARTs.
Inauthentic Selves” is a lengthy and worthwhile read about where all the sudden money is coming from in the alleged LGBT+, when back in the day lesbians working to combat AIDS had to scramble for donation change after they attended their third funeral that week (paraphrased). Just who the funders are may shock you.





No, Attachment Parenting Isn’t Some Evil Plot

7 04 2016

I saw this reddit-based propaganda piece written by a man (Jesse Singal) on the wicked, wicked ploy of evil people to guilt mothers into using attachment parenting methods in order to keep them locked away in their woman dungeons for all eternity. It is entitled “Is Attachment Parenting a Plot to Force Women Back Into the Home?”– lol. And who would know better than this man, and the infamous Dr. Amy?– otherwise known as “she who shall not be named” in internet mothering communities– because holy shit, if you say her name three times, like Beetlejuice (or Bloody Mary), she appears, along with her flying monkeys of Oz (her devotees), so badly so that modding internet mothering communities is a troll-infested nightmare. Not to digress too far, but let’s face it– Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and childbirth/motherhood has no shortage of women who are suffering (whether they know it or not) from PTSD and understandable accompanying rage which could be directed any which way by heady narcissists of the internet age. So, I started to respond to the piece and found my words quite lengthy, not at all appropriate for a tweet or even a series of tweets. Which brings us to this post.

(For those who don’t know, “attachment parenting” is just a fancy new way of labeling natural and instinctive mothering and parenting techniques, usually with the gentlest methods. It means picking up a baby when it cries, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, baby-wearing, natural birthing, etc. There is nothing truly new or invented about it. And no two mothers do it exactly alike or even necessarily adhere to all of the components. Mothers often stay at home to fill this role. And make no mistake, language matters; naming these methods using only new buzzwords like “attachment parenting”  without further understanding is a clever psychological reversal that disguises the fact that woman is being separated from that which would have come naturally, to be replaced with reliance on “expert advice” to the contrary, stemming ultimately from patriarchal institutions. Creating doubt in a woman’s self and instincts is often packaged and sold to us as “equality”, and any feminist can attest to.)

Before I get into that, I just want to say that this is going to be just another case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t, for women. No matter what women choose, it will be vilified, in case any of you needed reminding. Nothing is woman enough or feminist enough, unless it comes from a man or his institution, of course (and then it’s job well done). And so, pitting woman against woman is a divide and conquer strategy from those who want women to forget how amazing and strong and worthy they are of love and also basic human rights, and who truly do have ultimate mothering and parenting authority in the natural world. It’s a way of keeping us perpetually down. Now on with my response.

Dr. T is a horrible person who rallies angry, traumatized women together to attack and troll women who do things differently and those who have lost children. There have been numerous private groups of hers and her followers, some of which you were actually forced to show your ID in order to be accepted (I am not joking), so the worst of the worst is not visible to the general public. The scathing violent tendencies, the plotting to destroy lives, etc. However, what IS published is typically bad enough. (Yes It Is Your Fault That Your Baby Died At Your Homebirth. — and she has the nerve to pontificate on “social control of a woman”?) And I know about these deeds because I was one of the tormented (my crime: planning an unassisted birth and talking about the subject of freebirth publicly with other women). My friends were other targets of hers (some of these include mothers of stillborn children. I can think of at least 4 of these women off the top of my head– I know them in part because our shared antagonism by this woman brought us together over the years). She also believes single mothers, lesbians, and mothers who leave an abusive spouse are selfish.

amy

 

Will the Real Dr. Amy Please Stand Up?

And attachment parenting is just parenting. It’s just natural, instinctive parenting. There is no plot. It’s just what happens when mothers prioritize mothering over other forms of modern existence, as much as is in their comfort level. Many are religious and traditional but many are feminist and radical.

If Dr. T is so keen on staying in the work force, why did she spend all that effort to go to medical school and barely practice herself as a doctor only to become a stay at home mom to her own children? Then she took up internet doctoring and was charging people for answers, and is now writing books demonizing women who choose natural mothering choices, despite the fact that she did barely practice and is out of practice in her profession by at least two decades?

How feminist is Dr. Tuteur?
She is using a lot of feminist-seeming arguments about women in the work force and the societal guilting of women in motherhood, but she laughs at phrases like ‘birth rape’, insists all Cesareans are good if not all completely necessary, and flat out denies the abuses women endure under current obstetric rule in childbirth today. In her views of modern medicine and specifically obstetrics, patriarchy is suspiciously absent. That women seemed traumatized by their hospital births seems to be something Amy is really confused about the existence of, having no comprehension of the connection between serious bodily injury, detachment from baby and hormonal flow, and psychological harm to the mother or child. Her two-dimensional understanding of childbirth sounds very masculine: ‘you got a healthy baby, and that’s all that matters, so what are you whining about, selfish women?’ In her book, Push Back: Guilt in the Age of Natural Parenting, one of her many stabs at midwives indicates that they are “merely replacing the patriarchy with the matriarchy”, outing herself as not actually very feminist, at all.

She also doesn’t believe in intuition or any concept of “women’s wisdom”, and thinks those are essentially myths. To my mind, this is woman-hating. In her world, the only true thing is listening to your doctor. And you’re only smart and worthy of being left alone if you do exactly what he or she says. Amy doesn’t see her own hypocrisy and instead decides it’s the open breastfeeders (for example) who sing the virtue of the practice who are doing the bad deeds, because these actions somehow shame other mothers who don’t breastfeed and this makes them feel bad. For all the bashing of the romanticization of primitive/natural living/parenting, her allegiance seems to be to technology as this infallible lifesaving thing, despite the fact that it frequently stands in direct opposition to the natural world and is in fact responsible for numerous atrocities, and void of the recognition that the rape of the natural world and of women and mothers is more aggressive and harmful than *women who make other women feelz bad by doing*. Most radical feminists will understand me when I say that “biophobia” is deeply patriarchal.

I’ve been dealing with her for years after being targeted, and from knowing her story and watching her strategize, I am aware that she projects her bitterness and regrets onto others to make a name for herself and feel better about her own choices, both professionally and personally, as a former doctor and as a mother. She is relentless and vicious. She has Google alerts plus voluntary scouts seeking out baby loss stories and she goes at mothers immediately fresh in grief with her minions, armchair diagnosing whether or not they “killed” their babies when tragedy strikes. She’s like Westboro Baptist for natural parenting, birth, and baby loss. ( <— this mother is a radical feminist btw. Imagine losing a baby and having some internet psycho “doctor” sic her hundreds or thousands of rabid fans after you to harass you and potentially dox or harm you and your family? All because she disagreed with how you gave birth, how you parent, and because she crowned herself the long distance expert in your child’s cause of death?) She and others have believed women like me shouldn’t be published, don’t have a right to voice our opinions or stories… I think we’ve all seen how no-platforming affects our freedoms as women. And when they can’t get women like me censored, they come en masse to try to hurt us in the reviews.

If I try to separate myself from what I know are her motives and try to focus just on the argument, I could see how aspects of attachment parenting CAN be used as a method of guilting women into staying at home.

That said, these parenting methods are not a fad, they are (many of them) primal and predate our modern conventions and senses of what now constitutes “normal”.

I’m tired of her representing Dick-Read as a eugenicist, too. I’ve READ Childbirth Without Fear, has she? I doubt dickreadJesse Singal has read it either while he allows her to defame the author, not that Singal cares or has any reason to care, has any close personal connection to its contents or why it matters. It’s a great book and has helped generations of women have painless natural childbirth, liberating them from sadistic medical cycles that were stopping women from even wanting children (like after I had my 2nd born). Grantly Dick-Read’s critique is on civilization. White “civilized” women have been convinced they are not animals, which is a lie which has caused them undue torment in childbirth. Other “less civilized” women were having more ease. The man toured the globe. He was a doctor who reported what he witnessed. If anything, it is more damning of racism and classism and Western civilization. But Amy will twist that to whatever suits her warped agenda.

Grantly Dick-Read admired women and spoke highly of them and wanted to see them freed from pain. His reverence was so poetic it brought tears to my eyes on repeated occasions. Amy speaks ill of women constantly and seems to find glee is personally causing them pain. Their contributions to the world in terms of pain and suffering and disdain versus liberation and honoring is starkly felt. Hearing their words is the difference between love and hate.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave…
I hesitate to embrace the message of Singal’s piece. Because even without the people Amy is trying to shit talk (which is like, 90% of her notoriety– gaining fame by attempting to defame others including some blatant lying on her part), these methods of parenting are instinctive and time honored. If modern women choose otherwise, fine. But Amy cares nothing for you, what she does is preys upon women’s feelings of pain, “mommy wars”, having felt guilted, inadequacy, the sense of being pit against each other unjustly, and uses it to her own personal advantage. She’s a really disturbed individual with more issues than Time, so taking anything she says seriously is a folly you choose at your own risk, and it’s anything but woman-loving. She doesn’t have scruples, she has personally invested grudges to legitimize the back story of her life to herself, the likes of which in its fullness may be a nut we never truly crack.

If only men and those who cater to male rule would stop interfering and let women do their work, in peace.





“Improving Birth” Concerns Include Midwifery Regulation

5 09 2013

The Improving Birth rallies started last year. I attended one then. I believe in the concept of “improving birth”, passionately. Some, like the wonderful Carla Hartley, will argue that birth itself is not something that needs improvement. That may be true, but the phrasing is not a sticking point for me. I think the idea is improving the current climate of birth, which is birth as we are presenting it to women. It is for this that I joined the rally last year and participated in my own special way this year. There are other sticking points for me, however. I’ll explain.

I was informed by a group of friends that Improving Birth had been involved in pushing for legislation regarding midwifery.

I do somewhat remember these events they say were somehow related to that goal, such as last year’s rally follow-ups: “write-in”, “walk in”, etc.– which actually inspired me to write letters I would never send to my former health care providers. (It was a good catharsis for me, and I didn’t feel it would be beneficial in my particular case to confront these people directly.) There was apparently some outcry within the community and no proof remained of this on the Improving Birth website. The website has gone through several changes since (in the past year), with no mention of any of this, and no official response. If you talk to anyone with Improving Birth, they maintain that there is no agenda regarding midwifery regulation.

Anyway, trying to further regulate (and thus, medicalize) birth alarms a lot of us interested in improving birth because legislation aimed towards midwifery has been harming women’s births. Specifically, my circle of friends linked Improving Birth with The Big Push for Midwives campaign, which they asserted did have to do directly with the cause of midwifery licensure. Now, I had no idea of any of these connections or goals within the organizations– it was all news to me.

A word on laws regarding birth. Why is midwifery legality such an issue? It removes choice. It varies state by state in terms of who women can hire for their births. This in turn affects what type of births women are “allowed”. In some states, homebirth midwifery is illegal. In other states, you have to have a very specific (medical) certification to legally practice as a midwife. In certain states, you can hire anyone as your midwife, regardless of their credentials or qualifications.

I brought up Improving Birth on my page in this thread, expressing my newfound reservations towards the movement. I didn’t want to outright connect Improving Birth with The Big Push or midwifery regulation– I had no proof. I hoped that others could offer their perspectives to shed light on the topic.

Truthfully, before my friends even alerted me to the connection possibly existing between those organizations mentioned, I felt wary. Something didn’t feel right.

signsThe rally of the previous year felt almost ineffective to me. I felt good making my signs and saying what was on my mind, standing on the sidewalk in front of a hospital… but I wondered, did this matter? Was I getting through? Cars watched us and passed. A local news reporter briefly came and spoke to us (it seemed like maybe a couple dozen of us were there). A story ran in the paper. We were all proud to be a part of this, but it didn’t seem like a big deal. Maybe other cities felt differently, with booths, and huge turnouts. Maybe this was a regional issue, I thought. I felt like we were just a bunch of nice ladies holding signs.

This year looked like it could be the same, or worse. Days before the event, they still didn’t have a location. It appeared that only something like 10 people had committed to attending the event.

Other things that irked me that year creeped up again this year as the rally approached.

The idea that “this is not a protest”. Why is that so important? If someone accidentally calls it a protest (and not a “rally”), we’re afraid of all being seen as militant? Is protesting something mean, naughty, or has it ever done some good in this world? Okay, maybe that’s just me.

The idea that midwives deserve all the love and it’s the bad OBs we are questioning. In my state (Florida) in particular, what midwives are “allowed” to do is highly regulated and under the watch of the state and the medical establishment. In essence, they play by the same rules. Midwives need to have relationships with doctors and hospitals– in case of transfer, they say. And transfer is very likely. Even when transfer does not occur, you are subjected to the many of the same birth routines and interventions as in a hospital. I chose midwives to escape medical trappings, and instead found myself in a new style of snare. I feel personally irresponsible suggesting to women that hiring a midwife would solve all her birth troubles. Yet, this philosophy seems like a large part of this movement.

“Know Your Rights” (a great, popular Improving Birth sign) doesn’t save you if your midwife is telling you they can no longer legally serve you if you don’t submit to XYZ. That’s about the law, rules and regulations, and care not based on scientific evidence nor humane childbirth rights. That’s not at all about respecting or being with woman.

The idea that our main dilemma is C-sections. I think the C-section is the ultimate intervention when we think of medical birth, that’s true. The numbers are outrageous. Many are unnecessary, that’s true. I’ve never had a c/s and I care, and I talk about this and how to avoid surgical birth all the time. Still, I get the strong sense that we are trying to tell women to merely avoid a c-section and their births will be better (and perhaps by merely hiring a midwife). There are other points women make on their signs about informed consent, or questioning their inductions, etc.– but I get the impression that this, too, is specifically to influence an avoidance of the dreaded C-section (and not as much because the induction in itself is unnecessary and harmful, for example).  These are just the impressions that I’m getting.

Now for the new things this year that gave me pause, even prior to hearing the supposed connection of Improving Birth and The Big Push.

signs

“… we are not advocating FOR or AGAINST any one thing…”

Signs should be from this pre-approved list. The same sign suggestions as last year were provided, only this time, there was an extra sense of “stick to the program”. It was discouraged to stray from this short list. This turned me off. Why?

One, I am highly driven by my own passion to speak for myself.
Two, I don’t like being told what to do (this is about Improving Birth… <<<this should make sense!).

Three, the signs they encourage you to use, while often empowering in nature, are vague. “Know Your Options” (doesn’t everyone think they do? I know I did. Wrong!). “VBAC” (Yay, vbac! What about it?). “Evidence Based Care!” (yes, we’re all for this… even doctors say they are. Do they know they’re not giving evidence based care? Do women know exactly how they aren’t receiving it?). “Birth Matters” (yes, yes it does. Who would argue that?). Most people walk away from that feeling not-offended (<goal achieved) and automatically supportive of and even a member of this movement. But, what has changed? You may have people on “your side”, but that’s easy to accomplish when you won’t choose sides.

The reason given by Improving Birth was that “our” message will be more heard if we aren’t all saying different things. They also didn’t want us to sound “angry”. What about my message? My message is part of our message. If birth needs so much improvement, why wouldn’t we be a little angry? I want to improve birth, too. I have great, specific things to say. I want to make people think. I want to change the way they look at birth and present their actual options, through provocative ideas and lesser known facts. So, I made my own list.


We will not be going in front of hospitals this year. Why the hell not? (I don’t know, something from the higher-ups.) We have to obey an entity? That seems familiar. Well, okay…  Where are we supposed to go instead? (I don’t know, some public place… Permits and fines are something we have to think about. I’ll let you know the morning of the rally.) …  o.O

I listened to Birth: Revolution Style’s radio show (scroll to the 90 minute mark) discussing the issue, where an Improving Birth coordinator (Heather Kimble) tried to answer some of these questions. She expressed that one factor influencing location is the wonderful medical professionals– doctors, nurses, etc.– who wanted to be involved in our rallies but could not, for fear of repercussions of doing so in front of a/their hospital.
My problem with that is, they are doing a huge disservice to our cause if we bend to accommodate them so that they don’t get in trouble. The hospital is the most relevant place for this event. Our message stands to be lost or obscured elsewhere. If docs and nurses really want to help, maybe they’d be serving us better in the actual line of duty. That is where we need their support the most.

Truthfully, it sounds like another way we are bending or bowing to the medical establishment.

I want everyone to be able to have whatever birth they choose– the one they feel healthiest and safest with. That can’t happen if midwives are bound by certain medical regulations and standards. There was some talk on my page about legal vs. illegal. I said that I wanted all options to be “legal”. After listening to Magdalena on my page and the male caller from the radio show, I see that the terminology gets confusing. “Legal” implies there is also an “illegal” side to the coin, which means there is something to regulate. “Alegal”, or “lawful”, something which is not hindered by legislation, is perhaps a more correctly labeled goal.

I can’t be worried about certain things, though, such as pleasing medical professionals and working with them on their requests or demands. That’s what is hurting us in our births, after all. I won’t worry about trying to keep my message bland or neutral. I believe it creates positive feelings amongst people, but that this inspires contentedness rather than change.

An example of one of my signs this year.

Something is still unclear about Improving Birth. Did they, do they, or don’t they have anything to do with The Big Push and/or midwifery legislation?

Heather Kimble with Improving Birth was unsure during the radio show (linked above), but answering as best she could from what she had gathered, her feeling seemed to be that at one time IB had aligned with said cause(s), but is no longer after the reaction they’d received. If this is the case and Improving Birth is trying to distance itself from such goals and campaigns, I really think the best choice would be to publicly express this in an open way.  It would really clear the air.

I still believe in women uniting in any way they can to improve the climate of birth. I don’t count it out that I could attend future rallies in person, again.  I think we need to know more about where Improving Birth stands, though. We also would be more powerful and meaningful as a movement if we were free to be ourselves. We were controlled in the delivery room… do we need to be controlled in the rally, too? When can we be trusted as women to lead our own way?

If we’re all on the same team here, it’s okay if we disagree on the best way to spread the message, as long as we are out there doing something about it. I held a virtual rally on my page where I posted my past signs from last year, new ones I made this year, and ones from fans. I was heard, it resonated with people, and it felt nice/productive. The material had lots of shares and lots of positive feedback. Maybe someone learned something or felt more empowered, too. I’m happy to participate and do my part.





How Prevalent is Childbirth Trauma?

13 05 2013

Trauma in childbirth doesn’t necessarily have to be felt psychologically. It can be something the body experiences physically. When it’s classified as “normal”, it is not accepted as “trauma”, but it still is. This is how someone could feel totally satisfied mentally about their birth, but still undergo a level of trauma.

Obviously, the reverse is true too. You could feel trauma on a psychological or other level, even though it may not be apparent physically to some.

Now, because the brain and body work closely together (wink), where there is one type of trauma, there is often the other. If your body feels traumatized on a level you are not conscious of, you may still feel unexplainable psychological effects. When you confuse the body, the brain may follow. And vice versa.

The mammalian needs in labor/birth to have a true safe, physiological experience (as described by people such as Michel Odent) requires an undisturbed birth that honors darkness, silence, warmth, and (relative) solitude (or non-observation/interference).  Human beings are mammals, but we tend to give other animals more respect in birth than we give to ourselves and each other.

Plenty of women who have become mothers have unresolved issues or feel a level of imbalance and cannot trace the source. Trauma in childbirth is one reasonable leap regarding most. Most human beings have a plethora of “issues”, but childbirth and the ramifications of being traumatized during or as a result of is a colossal one– unmatched and practically universal amongst modern mothers. Not only can manifestations from trauma be traced to this one life-altering experience, but we also use motherhood as a way of identifying and defining ourselves. All of these provide for the perfect opportunity and cocktail for depression, emotional breakdown, mommy wars (reasons why women can’t just understand each other and be friends, constant comparison and cattiness), etc. If we felt no level of violence or trauma, and if we felt psychologically sound (in terms of being at peace with our choices, less defensiveness), we wouldn’t feel so threatened by others and so much of a need to fight against people who choose (non-abusive) different birth or parenting paths. Secure, well people do not fly off the handle in order to compete or attack with no provocation. Those who suffer from this would do well to receive assistance and support for healthy management of whatever issues or imbalances lie beneath the surface.

And this is just surmised through the observation of people who can articulate their thoughts. This says nothing for what the babies of traumatic birth feel and carry with them. Their first moments have lasting physical and psychological impacts, it would be logical to assume. Of course sometimes it manifests in an obvious physical way, but even more often it does not.

Looking around at the landscape in the parenting in birth worlds, I can answer my own question– it’s pretty damn prevalent. Looking around at the decay of society, which is the result in part to disconnect between women and children, overwhelming depression, economic and educational lapses, unwanted pregnancies, etc. … is it any wonder we see craziness everywhere we look? Healing the world is awfully hard when we’ve done all that we can to disrupt the natural hormonal and physiological beginnings of almost every new life entering this world.

Modern life and modern conveniences are not foolproof. We’ve made a trade-off when we’ve attempted to mechanize birth in lieu of comprehending birth mechanics.

There’s a reason for the phrase “peace on Earth begins with birth”. I take it quite literally. Helping others to understand it from this angle is my little part in trying to illuminate a pathway to more healing on this planet.





The Skeptical Mother Retires

29 04 2013

I was on vacation this weekend but got several messages, posts, etc. (on my page and privately), of people asking me what happened with The Skeptical Mother. Her Facebook page was apparently no more. I had no idea what was going on when I first started getting these questions. People knew I was her friend and inquired why she was gone, and then I even started to catch some of the blame for it (from anonymous trolls, not legitimate people… so eh). I just wanted to put up a quick post to set the record straight. (Our skeptical mom’s blog remains up, for those who still enjoy reading her old posts.)

The reason The Skeptical Mother has chosen to end her page is because some other page was copying her content. This entailed stealing pictures (including fan shares), as well as using her exact captions word-for-word as Sammy (TSM) herself had written them. I imagine how silly and discouraging this could be. When you run a page, it’s something you do as a hobby as it is. You aren’t getting paid, and it often takes hours of your volunteering per week just to maintain. To not get credit for the effort and have someone duplicate you for their own popularity can be pretty frustrating. It feels like someone cheating off of you during a test you worked hard studying for, or someone copying a song or piece of art you put together and calling it their own (and getting the credit for it). She and I have had copies and shares before from other pages (including big name, popular birth pages), but nothing so blatant and shameless as this. In the end, the whole thing just seems so petty and not worth it anymore. You can’t copyright Facebook posts (?) and it doesn’t seem to count as plagiarism per se… it’s this unimportant gray area, unless you’re the one devoting the hours and it happens to you.

funny-dogs01
I don’t want to tell you the name of the page because they don’t deserve any more publicity, but I want to tell you they are quite large in terms of “likes”– at least twice the size of The Skeptical Mother, maybe even approaching three times as big as her page was. The reason they are so big is obviously due to ripping off of numerous popular pages all at once, as I have noticed now they also copy verbatim other very popular birth blog pages. They were essentially a content copier, an accumulation of the beloved and favorite giants in the birth/motherhood Facebook world.

She had just recently become the most popular Facebook birth page (that I know of), with well over 100,000 likes. I was so happy for her.

I hope that sets the record straight. The page had given Sammy a lot of trouble since she started, and I think she always felt it wouldn’t last forever. This was just the last straw. I’m sad to see her go but also happy for her if it gives her added peace. She is my friend and I want whatever is best for her. If you’re feeling sad or angry that one of your favorite pages is now retired, I totally understand, but I hope that you can also be happy for her because this just might be a return to increased serenity for her.





To the Birth Activist Who’s Really a Birth Passivist

25 04 2013

All births are not created equal. I think you probably know that.

Yet, you have the soft spine to falter under societal pressure, to pat every woman on the head, and tell her well enough is well enough. “Hey babe, however you say you feel, is how you feel! And that’s all that matters!

But that’s not all that matters. No, not by a long shot.

Because with women… there are things we don’t say. There are things we tell ourselves which are not true. There are things we don’t know because no one had the balls to tell us. And maybe once, a long ways back, when you were fresh in your pain and knowledge, you told someone the truth. You waved goodbye to that the moment you chose to try to please the majority of women. Trying to be all-inclusive reduces what is potent in your message.

Women… we’re strong, we carry the burdens of the world on our shoulders. We cry in silent pain, we have a tortured collective consciousness. We have a lot of messages we are met with daily that gives us vague encouragements to keep on keepin’ on. Of course those have a place, have some value. We need sisterhood, right? We need support, right?

Right.

What is sisterhood? What is support? What are they, actually?

Is it the moment I tell you that if you want your abusive relationship, that’s all that matters? Is it if I make you comfortable for one fleeting instant, when I help encourage your complacency so you can resist change, or is it when I help you pack your bag to leave?

Is it when I speak as generally as possible, to avoid offending a larger crowd? Or is it when I tell you that when I was in the same position, the only thing that healed was to walk away from the crowd?

So, to the Birth Activist who is really more of a Birth Passivist… women don’t need to hear what you think they want to hear. We are inundated with positive, bland messages… the sort of feelgood shtick that sometimes keeps us trapped indefinitely. Women don’t need limbo.

If you want to make some waves, it’s okay to rock the boat. It isn’t empowering to placate, to condescend. The truth is offensive. If you want to put power back in the hands of your sisters, you can count on offending a hell of a lot of people who aren’t ready for that kind of responsibility for which you advocate.

And if YOU aren’t ready for that kind of responsibility, don’t pretend to be something you are not. Birth Activist!? You’re not a birth activist if you approve of just about anything. You see… not all births are equal. And yes… I am sure you must know that, which is why you bother talking about birth at all. Not every woman needs that head-pat and smile you’ve started dishing out, to be praised up and down just for being special, just for breathing, just for modestly trying. We have enough of the “you’re good enough” in society. We have friends for that. We have posters of cats for that.

What we need you for is to give women that jolt of energy, that kick in the ass, to know they can do better. They aren’t getting that from their neighbor down the street, their sister-in-law, or the dentist. Their bff since high school doesn’t understand about “birth freedom” or why her friend still cries about an induction. If you tell her there’s nothing wrong with these norms, what good are you? Do your fucking job. Birth Activist, you are not everyone’s girlfriend.

And, you do not achieve the kind of change you say you’re about by kindly implying that maybe women ask for some power, ask a few questions of medical staff as they meekly submit a soon-to-be-ignored birth plan, or bargain birth needs with their husbands. You achieve that by telling them exactly what they are capable of and how to avoid the same god damn mistakes that got you where you were, or where I was, when we were in pain. You might be their only lifesaver, so fucking act like it.

As a birth activist, the goal should be to end suffering. Not perpetuate it. Not condone it. Not look at a shiny coat of paint slapped on a tragedy and mirror the smiles.

If you want women to be brave and face their births with courage and strength, and dignity, quit convincing them that anything that happens to them is okay. It’s not. It’s not okay. And just because they feel their junked up birth was necessary today… doesn’t mean they can keep pretending they feel okay about it tomorrow. And, when they awaken from that dream, guess who they’re going to remember telling them how amazing the status quo was? You.

Every baby is wonderful. If we get a good outcome for the child, we all celebrate. This much is true.

No, not every birth is special, magical, good. Not all births are equal. Not at all.





Approaching Baby Loss Topics With Conscience

10 02 2013

Recently my friend Sammy at The Skeptical Mother opened her Wall to baby loss photos from grieving parents. The topic began when she noticed a controversial post done by Dr. Amy which only showed pictures of babies who had passed away, and their parents grieving over them. For those who know Amy, I do not have to tell you that this was not done in memorial, it was done as a propaganda piece meant to convey “Homebirth Kills Babies”.

Sammy asked the question to her fans– how do you feel about this manner of sharing? The answers were mixed but the majority was very uncomfortable with being shown– without warning– photos of babies that had died, and nothing else (no accompanying backstory, etc.). If I recall correctly, Sammy did not even expose the fact that it was a post by Dr. Amy she was referencing. It seemed a hypothetical, and still received this fairly negative response. Then she decided to delete the thread because it had turned sour for so many. She found a happy medium– she invited fans to post their baby loss photos and stories on the Wall, and gave readers the choice of whether they wanted to view and offer their support.

I want you to know something about The Skeptical Mother. She did this knowing that loss mothers felt left out. She did this under much criticism by Dr. Amy trolls. They told her she would never do something like this, having not the slightest clue what was in her heart (and their common claim, against any natural birth pages, whom they are mad only post “positive” stuff).  Her  concern was to strike a balance that is sensitive to everyone but without becoming a puppet for anyone else’s sick agenda. Sammy’s choice was carefully considered in an effort to be fair to everyone… from the mother who just miscarried whose heart could not bear to see images which reminded her, to the grieving mother who wanted the world to look at and remember her stillborn baby. She thought of women who had never lost but were terrified of the prospect and felt unready to view these images, as well as new mothers who openly said they would be more than ready to share in the memories while loss moms provided pictures. TSM’s motives are pure in an internet climate full of politics and ulterior motives.

The Wall is a place where users can submit anything they want, and the only way to view it is to go to the Wall yourself and see. This is different from Sammy directly sharing on the page herself, which becomes visible to all 40,000+ of her followers in their newsfeeds (many of whom were very sensitive and planning upcoming births, some of whom let her know they would have to unlike the page if her positive content started shifting to the shocking or the devastating). So, by opening her Wall to this, Sammy was able to accommodate a very real need for loss parents to not feel neglected, have their children acknowledged, while at the same time honoring the wants and needs of the majority who do not come to her page for such emotionally taxing photos.

Even a word such as “shocking”, used above, some would take offense to, but please remember that any image of death (regardless of who it is of and who that person was to you) is troubling to most people. “Those are not shocking, it is our sweet little baby, our only memory of her,” they might say, offended. Yes, but it is also true the picture of your baby has a sadness and heaviness that most baby pictures do not. You still deserve to celebrate, and we know that.  We still have to recognize how different it will be for those who don’t share your intense emotions. And how could they? You’ve gone through one of the worst things ever, and maybe they have not. Or, maybe they have, but they deal with their pain in a totally different way than you. Therefore, we need to take extra special care with your pictures.

But don’t you think seeing healthy babies all day can hurt, too?”
Maybe. But, people who feel that way probably didn’t “like” The Skeptical Mother. People “like” her page because they like her content, not because it causes them great anguish and they want her desperately to change her ways.

People can be especially averse to seeing babies in such a way, since they are our most precious and treasured ones. It is the ultimate human tragedy. People don’t turn away as a disrespect to your babies… they turn away because their empathy is actually much too great to bear it. I would be more concerned for the folks who weren’t stirred in the slightest at loss photos than the people who are moved too much to even look.

Babies dying is a sad topic (be it miscarriage, stillbirth, or something else entirely). It’s a reality that happens, true, and there is no woman alive who doesn’t realize this. Putting her in a position where she is forced to view one of the saddest events a human being could experience will not change this, and asking a stranger to look at a photo they feel would cause them any emotional disturbance is an ill-fitting memorial to any of our loved ones. You will not get the desired reaction, you can’t force the desired reaction, and that is nobody’s fault.

I don’t think most loss mothers would expect this, but there were many disturbed Dr. Amy fans who felt strongly that this was not anyone’s problem but the person averse to looking. I say, everything in it’s right time and place. Appropriateness is paramount. Just as you would not walk into a Lamaze class and start shoving photos in the faces of people without a word, there is a manner in which we as humans interact and share that is healthy and fair for everyone. “Appropriate” may sound like a cold word to someone feeling intense grief, but their reality is not everyone’s reality, so “normal” to them versus the outside world can change significantly. If Amy fans expect everyone to change with that to the point that the Lamaze scenario above would be the new normal, I don’t think that’s a realistic or even sane goal. No, “appropriate” is in this case just another word for being considerate to everyone at the same time. It can be done. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It’s about respecting the needs of everyone and trying to find how to fill those without being a knife in the heart of the other party. I feel Sammy succeeded with that.

Many demanded all people be made to look, regardless of their sensitivities or feelings, because they contended to not was a disrespect to all baby loss victims everywhere. Some said to feel uneasy about it was the same as spitting in the baby’s face. Some openly said that their feelings were the only ones that counted, and they mocked the delicate feelings of mothers-to-be. “Think of how the loss mothers feel” got repeated a lot by Amy trolls and just other women in general, but I don’t think our sorrow for anyone can negate the human emotion of wanting to avoid subjects that are painful on purpose. Nor, a human being’s right to tell you what their tolerance level is (personally) for tragedy. Our readiness towards anything is a personal matter and depends on where we are in life. If we can’t respect that, it’s the same as saying everyone else is just a player in the story of your life. If it were that easy, you could write the script yourself and give everyone the correct emotions to feel. It’s not that simple. Humans are complex and have their own stories, and we can’t force ours on others.

*** Here is the part where I tell you that we all want stories and photos shared, but we warn “with discretion” because we understand that the way a grieving mother sees her photo versus a member of the general public are very different things. This can be very hurtful to loss mothers to hear, but I implore them not to take it as society’s rejection of you or baby, but rather a reflection of our fears. Let’s face it– no one wants their baby to die, or anyone’s to die (unless you’re an Amy troll, in which case, you want mine to die).  We are not in the habit of regularly viewing things we would never want to go through ourselves. Any image of death is usually upsetting to most people. Many have called for the changing of this taboo, and it is a separate argument entirely to discuss if it is our taboo to change. People come from all different walks of life with different philosophies and customs, and I think understanding that is very important. Where you may see your little angel, others may not, and instead be triggered into a traumatic memory, for example. Some will frankly only see death. On a cheerful and positive birth page, it would seem obvious that this content would not be typical.  Sometimes this explanation still fails to suffice for a mother so deep in her own emotions. TO BE CLEAR, Sammy and I both agree with sharing things which are accompanied by WARNINGS (to alert the sensitive) or stories (so that the picture itself is not just exploited for shock value, but contains a message, or something poignant and meaningful). ***

I want you to know that even after she decided to open her Facebook page’s Wall to this, she was accused of not really meaning it, not being genuine, not doing enough (by the Amy trolls). That’s right– first they said she would never do this at all, but when that was obviously not the case, they found something new to complain about. They make it a mission to be offended unless you not only jump when they say, but ask “how high” first. I told her this would happen but she did it anyway because her heart meant it.  She was accused of doing it just for extra likes (even though she did it knowing she could actually LOSE fans). In light of this, I have watched shady loss organizations (associated with/ran by Dr. Amy fans) disregard her intentions and vilify her. I was made privy how another major birth page made posts and statements about how *they* always have a place for loss mothers, as they attempt to constantly one-up her on her every post since TSM’s popularity spiked. Loss should NOT be a platform for competition.

This outrage is a violation far worse than taking into consideration the feelings of people averse to death scenarios. It doesn’t take the topic seriously, it only seeks to gain from it.

There are tons of places for loss and remembrance, and the good thing about those places (so long as they are healthy and not run by hate groups) is that they are already aware of the subject matter and prepared to respect and grieve with you. There are tons of natural birth pages and similar topics which occasionally share your losses in a tasteful and non-exploitative way. I assure you that just because your average birth or parenting site isn’t daily sharing photos of babies who have passed away, it is not due to not caring. It is simply not the usual subject matter of the page and not the voice they are projecting. That is all. For a parent to lose a child is a very specific facet of life and birth, and not every page is going to address it on a nonstop basis. Not every page is qualified to regularly address this with the sincerity the topic warrants. When people describe being “swept under the rug” (something we hear the Amy fans say a lot), I hope it is not for this reason anyone describes it as such.

I know I speak for most when I say “we still love you, even if your issue isn’t the one discussed the most”. I don’t talk about lots of (birth and parenting) things every day, such as adoption, or c-sections, or maternal/paternal death, but I still love all families for whom these are the big issues, as well. Every page has a unique voice and they are speaking from their own life experiences, so please don’t feel left out if the type of content doesn’t constantly address the issue dearest to your heart. And if a page isn’t speaking to your heart and needs, find other pages which do. Not everyone can be everything to everyone, but there is someone out there who understands you, and no one is ever truly alone. There is a place for all of us, it just isn’t always the same place.

Due to the outpouring of support and participation her Wall inspired that day, Sammy has decided that every 8th of every month will be The Skeptical Mother Loss Remembrance Day. Please feel free to participate if this is a subject you would like to take part in. Because it shouldn’t be about homebirth, or trolls, or popularity, or moneymaking… it should be about your babies.