I've received a number of emails and Facebook comments following the blog entry examining Tizzie Hall's methods and SIDS, asking since breastfeeding is a topic I frequently cover - do I plan to address the inaccuracies in her breastfeeding information? So I looked at a few of the breastfeeding PDFs, I watched at a couple of clips of her on TV, and I thumbed through my copy of the book (second hand natch). The truth is even as a relatively prolific dedicated "mommy blogger", I'm simply not sure if it's a task even I can face! The job of tackling it all is mind boggling, the man hours it would take overwhelming - maybe I need some £300 per pop forums to fund the process? ;).
Self styled "international baby expert" Tizzie Hall the "International Baby Whisperer," has decided that despite others training for numerous years to become lactation experts - a bit of self experience (two children is it?) and a good marketing team does her an expert make.
The most obvious place to start was Tizzie's Facebook group - and almost immediately I found this message posted by Tizzie.
No this wasn't a joke, yes she really was asking people to suck their finger for 20 mins, every 2 1/2 hours - both day and night for five days. Some agreed to start it and I would love to know how many completed the challenge!You can test this theory by picking one finger and sucking on it for 20 minutes every 2.5 hours in a 24 hour time frame for 5 days and pick the same finger on the other hand and follow the sucking times in my routines and compare the difference in the fingers.
I had to reply:
I should of course also have mentioned breastfeeding counsellors and so on, but generally that raises discussion from someone who thinks they've seen a breastfeeding counsellor, but have actually seen a peer counsellor (as this discusses) and it seems to easily end up messy, so I went for short n direct . What happened next is rather a shame as a mum who had experienced difficulties asked a question, I linked her to some free relevant information that could help her understand why she had struggled so much - and that plus following responses were immediately deleted.
|Journal of Human Lactation|
Yet infant feeding, which can be hugely important both for mothers who want to do it and from a health perspective, seems a free for all. Despite the fact that unlike many other areas of parenting it's not "opinion based", milk production and transfer is of sound scientific base (the formula companies have spent bucket loads in exploring breastfeeding and breastmilk in their attempts to mimic it - what has been learnt in just the past twenty years is staggering).
The problem is that as a new mum, many can't tell good advice from bad; because those who don't fully understand breastfeeding see certain people still succeed even following the advice; that reassures them it must be good and if it doesn't work for them put it down to "some people just can't breastfeed".
In reality the amount of people who really can't breastfeed biologically is tiny, in practise the amount of people who really can't breastfeed is huge - because for whatever reason nobody managed to identify their problem and resolve it. I have met mums who really couldn't breastfeed, but we have always worked as hard as possible to establish why (involving other health professionals and doctors as required). If there is a true physical explanation for what is happening, whilst a mother may feel grief at the loss of a desired nursing relationship - she can begin to understand and be supported through the rest.
Sadly this creates a catch 22 situation - some experts sell the notion it doesn't really matter (appealing to the biggest chunk of their market in most cases) because otherwise they would risk making mothers feel guilty and thus their market and ultimately profits would fall. Instead they sell what they think mothers want to hear. And so the cycle of passive and frankly often "never going to work" support continues....
Telling a mum with cracked/damaged nipples that her baby is attached perfectly is akin to suggesting trainers that causes huge blisters fit brilliantly. The suggestion of finger sucking beyond bizarre.
Whether you follow Tizzie Hall as her biggest fan or not, if you have breastfeeding problems and want to succeed, please contact an expert.
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