What do birth bloggers and cockroaches have in common?

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When my husband and I were first married, we didn’t have much money, and, therefore, didn’t have a lot of choices in housing. Our apartment, while conveniently located, had certain problems including a cockroach infestation. Every morning when we turned on the light in the windowless kitchen, dozens of cockroaches would scurry out of the light back into the darkness.

I hadn’t thought about that daily occurrence in many years until it recently came to me that birth bloggers are like cockroaches. They, too, gather in the darkness and scurry away when the light of science is shined upon them. That’s because they KNOW that they cannot defend their claims against actual scientific evidence.

Unlike cockroaches, however, birth bloggers can turn off the light when they are exposed. How?

1. The natural habitat of the birth blogger is her own blog, where she decides how much light, if any, is shed on actual scientific evidence.

2. Birth bloggers almost never stray outside their blogs because they will be crushed in the light of scientific evidence. Hence, they never attend mainstream conferences, they never speak at medical conferences, are never invited to sit on expert panels, are never invited to testify in malpractice cases, and are not considered “experts” by anyone but themselves.

3. Birth bloggers invite visitors to their natural habitats, but protect themselves from the light of scientific evidence by deleting and banning any commentors who dare to question them or to present evidence that they chose to ignore.

4. Birth bloggers thrive in the darkness of ignorance and gullibility of their readers. Anyone with actual scientific knowledge would laugh at them.

5. Birth bloggers, like cockroaches have highly evolved defense mechanisms. Birth bloggers are evidence-resistant. They start from a conclusion and work back to cherry pick evidence to support it, while ignoring the larger body of evidence that debunks their conclusions.

6. Birth bloggers find support in numbers. They proliferate like cockroaches and no sooner is one crushed by the weight of scientific evidence, then another repeats the same lies that the first couldn’t rebut.

When we shined the light of science on the hideous rupture rate in Jen Kamel’s VBACFacts group, she ruthlessly purged the group, leaving her followers in the dark about the truth. When we shine the light of science on Rebecca Dekker’s assertion that her claims are “evidence based,” she deletes them and bans commentors, leaving her followers in the dark about the truth. The Lamaze blog Science and Sensibility routinely vets comments to be sure that their followers are left in the dark about real scientific evidence. Indeed, there is not a birth blogger that I am aware of who doesn’t routinely ban and delete when presented with scientific evidence.

Why are these birth bloggers afraid of the light? Because, like cockroaches, they know they will be easily crushed when people can see them for who they are: lay people who promote and profit from pseudoscientific nonsense.

How can women protect themselves from the infestation of birth bloggers? It’s pretty simple.

Never trust the information you get from a birth website that heavily moderates, deletes and bans. It means that, just like cockroaches, they are hiding in the dark. They wouldn’t need to heavily moderate, delete and ban if what they are write were true.