Natural parenting and alternative health are based on a TV commercial for margarine

In perhaps the ultimate irony, the contemporary natural parenting and alternative health movements are based on a TV commercial for margarine. The tag line of the 1970’s commercial for Chiffon ...

Mothering like an animal

The central conceit of natural parenting is that we can and should recapitulate the practices of our ancient forebears. Why? Because that’s what brings us closest to nature and nature ...

Dear LA Times, imitation of my work is the sincerest form of flattery but …

There is nothing more satisfying than having your work reach the mainstream. It is truly thrilling to read people expounding on the themes that I have blogged about for over ...

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Anti-vaccine social media: peer to peer sharing of ignorance and fear

Winston Churchill famously noted: A lie gets halfway around the world before ...

Breastfeeding community roiled by brawl over ideological purity

The lactation community is tearing itself apart over an issue of ideological ...

Co-sleeping: there is no benefit of breastfeeding worth risking a baby’s death

During the Vietnam War, a military officer remarked about the village of ...

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Natural parenting and alternative health are based on a TV commercial for margarine

In perhaps the ultimate irony, the contemporary natural parenting and alternative health movements are based on a TV commercial for margarine. The tag line of the 1970’s commercial for Chiffon Margarine was “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” Mother Nature tastes the margarine and declares that it is her “sweet, creamy butter.” When apprised […]

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Mothering like an animal

The central conceit of natural parenting is that we can and should recapitulate the practices of our ancient forebears. Why? Because that’s what brings us closest to nature and nature has, though evolution, optimized animals for perfection in parenting. Consider this supremely stupid parenting meme posted by the geniuses at Occupy Breastfeeding: “Breastfeeding is too […]

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Dear LA Times, imitation of my work is the sincerest form of flattery but …

There is nothing more satisfying than having your work reach the mainstream. It is truly thrilling to read people expounding on the themes that I have blogged about for over a decade and collected in my book Push Back: Guilt in the Age of Natural Parenting. But it’s a little disconcerting to see it in […]

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Anti-vaccine social media: peer to peer sharing of ignorance and fear

Winston Churchill famously noted: A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. And that was before lies traveled at the speed of the internet. While the internet has brought many improvements to our lives, it has dramatically empowered liars. That is especially true of social […]

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Breastfeeding community roiled by brawl over ideological purity

The lactation community is tearing itself apart over an issue of ideological purity and no one could be happier about it than I am. Lactivism is a cult, and like most cults, it places a premium on ideological adherence and punishes those who don’t demonstrate appropriate ideological purity. Exhibit A: A Change.org petition designed to […]

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Co-sleeping: there is no benefit of breastfeeding worth risking a baby’s death

During the Vietnam War, a military officer remarked about the village of Ben Tre: “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it. The quote came to epitomize the brutality and absurdity of the war itself, a war based on killing people in order to “save” them. I was reminded of that quote by […]

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Darwin, finches and the fallacy at the heart of natural parenting

Yesterday a young woman thought she would call me out on Twitter. It didn’t go quite as she had planned; she ended up looking very foolish. In the rant that followed, McGann who apparently prides herself on her knowledge of evolution revealed that she doesn’t understand evolution. A lot of natural parenting advocates have the […]

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Yale School of Public Health breastfeeding group doesn’t seem to know much about breastfeeding

It happened again! I wrote about something and activists rush to demonstrate exactly what I was talking about. Yesterday I mentioned the rabid hatred that lactivists direct toward the Fed Is Best Foundation. With three little words, “Fed Is Best,” Christie del Castillo Hegyi, MD and Jody Segrave Daly RN, IBCLC have blown apart lactivist […]

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How lactivists use language to marginalize women who can’t or don’t breastfeed

A political pollster once said, “If you frame the problem, you own it.” He meant that if you could convince others to refer to the problem in your terms, you are almost assured of having control over an issue. For example, consider the way people frame abortion. Those who think women should be allowed to […]

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Birth plans: still worse than useless

I wrote Birth plans: worse than useless over 5 years ago but it remains one of the most read, most commented upon pieces on this blog. A new paper in the “journal” Birth (owned by Lamaze International), Birth plans—Impact on mode of delivery, obstetrical interventions, and birth experience satisfaction: A prospective cohort study by Afshar et […]

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