Closing newborn nurseries is unethical

I’m deeply disappointed to learn that the hospitals in my state, Massachusetts, are closing their newborn nurseries. It reflects short sighted capitulation to lactivists, and doesn’t accomplish its stated aim. ...

Soliciting nominations for the Golden Boob Awards

The shaming of mothers who don’t breastfeed has got to stop. Maybe, it’s time to shame the shamers. I hereby solicit nominations for a new set of awards, the Golden ...

Trust your intuition, Mama — unless it tells you your breastfed baby is starving

“Trust your intuition, Mama!” It’s the all purpose battle cry of the natural parenting industries. Want to have a homebirth even though ACOG says it increases the risk of perinatal ...

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Zika virus causes anti-vaxxers to lose their minds

Well, that didn’t take long, did it? The potential association between a ...

Breastfeeding in Parliament is defeat for women, not a victory.

Australia’s Parliament recently voted to allow female representatives to breastfeed in the chamber. ...

Contemporary lactivism: ugly, ugly, ugly

When it comes to discrediting lactivism I get lots of help from ...

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Closing newborn nurseries is unethical

I’m deeply disappointed to learn that the hospitals in my state, Massachusetts, are closing their newborn nurseries. It reflects short sighted capitulation to lactivists, and doesn’t accomplish its stated aim. Most importantly, it’s unethical. As the Boston Globe explained: The shift is part of a national movement designed to promote breastfeeding, bonding, and parenting skills by […]

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Soliciting nominations for the Golden Boob Awards

The shaming of mothers who don’t breastfeed has got to stop. Maybe, it’s time to shame the shamers. I hereby solicit nominations for a new set of awards, the Golden Boob Awards! I’m envisioning awards in several categories: Most outrageous breastfeeding “fact” (amateur) Most outrageous breastfeeding “fact” (professional) Most vicious attempt at shaming (amateur) Most […]

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Trust your intuition, Mama — unless it tells you your breastfed baby is starving

“Trust your intuition, Mama!” It’s the all purpose battle cry of the natural parenting industries. Want to have a homebirth even though ACOG says it increases the risk of perinatal death? Trust your intuition, Mama! You’re safest where you feel safest! Want to give birth underwater even though the American Academy of Pediatrics says it’s […]

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Zika virus causes anti-vaxxers to lose their minds

Well, that didn’t take long, did it? The potential association between a Zika virus outbreak in Brazil and a startling increase in the serious birth defect microcephaly had barely reached public consciousness and anti-vaxxers were spinning a startling new conspiracy theory: the rising incidence of microcephaly in Brazil is caused, not by Zika virus infection, […]

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Breastfeeding in Parliament is defeat for women, not a victory.

Australia’s Parliament recently voted to allow female representatives to breastfeed in the chamber. Lactivists are hailing it as a victory. It’s not; it is, paradoxically, a defeat. Why? It undercuts the professionalism of women and it is a poor exchange for what they really need: generous maternity leave. Women have struggled for decades to be taken […]

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Contemporary lactivism: ugly, ugly, ugly

When it comes to discrediting lactivism I get lots of help from an unlikely source, lactivists themselves. For sheer viciousness, it’s hard to top Kathy Dettwyler, Associate Professor, Supplemental Faculty, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Delaware, Newark, who is known for her cultural work on extended breastfeeding and weaning. You may remember the nasty comment […]

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Saving babies’ lives. What’s breastfeeding got to do with it? Not much.

On Friday I wrote about the Lancet series on breastfeeding. The authors claim that exclusive breastfeeding around the world could save 800,000 babies each year. I pointed out a paradox that undermines the authors’ contention: the countries with the highest infant mortality rates already have the highest breastfeeding rates. We shouldn’t be surprised. There once […]

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If breastfeeding saves lives why do countries with the highest infant mortality rates have the highest breastfeeding rates?

It sounds spectacular. The headlines in The Guardian are typical, Breastfeeding could prevent 800,000 child deaths, Lancet says: If almost every mother breastfed her children it could prevent more than 800,000 child deaths a year, yet governments are failing to promote and support breastfeeding, with rates remaining far below international targets, new research has found. […]

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Meditate on this Marianne Williamson: it’s irresponsible to put your financial health ahead of women’s mental health

One of themes of this blog is that natural parenting renders women’s needs invisible. Whether it’s childbirth, breastfeeding, or attachment parenting, women’s pain, distress and mental health are ignored. Why? Follow the money. Natural childbirth advocates ignore women’s pain in labor because they can’t treat it effectively; lactivists ignore women’s pain, frustration and inconvenience with […]

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Zika virus tragedy offers a history lesson for anti-vaxxers

Brazil is experiencing a massive increase in a rare, devastating birth defect. The journal Science notes: Brazil is facing a disturbing spike in a severe birth defect called microcephaly. Babies are born with heads that are far too small, a sign that the brain failed to fully develop. Doctors there have reported nearly 3000 cases […]

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