HarperCollins announcement of PUSH BACK: Guilt in the Age of Natural Parenting

Push Back press release image

Less than 7 weeks to go! Here’s the publisher’s announcement of my book:

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Dey Street Books is thrilled to announce the publication of PUSH BACK: Guilt in the Age of Natural Parenting (On Sale: April 5, 2016; Hardcover; $26.99; ISBN: 9780062407344) by Amy Tuteur, MD. A Harvard trained obstetrician-gynecologist, author, and mother of four, Dr. Tuteur addresses the guilt that too often destroys the confidence of new mothers and mothers to be, and subjects them to a never ending storm of judgement about their most intimate parenting choices.

In recent years, the natural parenting movement—which praises virtues of birth without medical interference, the importance of breast feeding (at all costs), and attachment parenting—has become the new normal and a big business. In PUSH BACK, Dr. Tuteur is a voice of reason for mothers who thoughtfully make the best choices for their babies and themselves, but have to contend with other mothers and so called “experts” questioning those choices, through natural parenting websites, blogs and message boards, and even in person from “Sanctimommies” in the local play group. Dr. Tuteur shows that most of the scientific claims of natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and attachment parenting gurus are at best overstated, at worst factually false. More importantly, these powerful groups have all become big business, with a multitude of products and service providers who stand to profit from the false claims.

PUSH BACK delves even further, revealing the often sexist, occasionally racist historical roots of natural childbirth, lactivism, and attachment parenting and exploring its modern reach as a network of midwives, doulas, lactation consultants and birth coaches whom exist outside of medical regulation. Incorporating Dr. Tuteur’s own experience as a successful OB-GYN and mother, and original research on the latest science, PUSH BACK debunks the guilt-inducing myths and reminds mothers that loving your babies is the most important thing, not how you give birth or whether or not you give them a bottle.

PUSH BACK tackles the many sources of mothering guilt:

There’s No Reason to Feel Guilty About Interventions in Childbirth: Interventions, from fetal monitoring to C-sections, are preventative medicine. It is better to prevent a complication than to treat it. Since the introduction of modern obstetrics—including safe C-sections, anesthesia, and antibiotics—the neonatal mortality rate has dropped 90% and the maternal mortality rate has dropped nearly 99%. Childbirth is safe because of routine interventions not in spite of them.
There’s No Reason to Feel Guilty About an Epidural: Childbirth is widely regarded as the most painful event a woman can experience—that’s a biological fact, not cultural conditioning. It’s not “good pain;” it’s exactly the same as any other form of pain: carried by the same nerves, conveyed using the same neurotransmitters and processed in the same areas of the brain. And unlike any other form of pain, it can and should be treated if the mother chooses. There is no benefit to mother or baby in forgoing pain relief.
There’s No Reason to Feel Guilty About Formula Feeding: Though breastfeeding has real benefits, in industrialized countries with clean water, those benefits are small. Moreover, up to 5% of women cannot produce enough breastmilk to fully nourish a growing baby. There is no risk to supplementing with formula or using formula exclusively. Our approach should be: her baby, her body, her breasts, her choice!
There’s No Reason to Feel Guilty for Meeting Your Own Needs As Well As Your Baby’s Needs:The hallmark of natural parenting is “more work for the mother.” That’s not surprising since the original purpose of natural parenting was keeping women in the home, judging them and teaching them to judge themselves by the function of their reproductive organs, and dismissing women’s needs for rest, privacy, and outside stimulation. There’s nothing feminist about policing women’s bodies, ignoring science, and rendering their needs invisible.

With PUSH BACK, Dr. Tuteur’s goal is to help women release the guilt, recover their confidence, reclaim their bodies and push back against the natural parenting industry.

AMY TUTEUR, MD is an obstetrician-gynecologist and author of How Your Baby is Born, the first illustrated guide to labor and delivery. With degrees from Harvard College and Boston University School of Medicine, Tuteur practiced obstetrics at Beth Israel Hospital and was a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School. She now blogs at The Skeptical OB, about all aspects of natural parenting. Tuteur has contributed to TIME, The New York Times, The London Times, The Boston Globe, Salon, and Science Based Medicine.

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PUSH BACK: Guilt in the Age of Natural Parenting
by Amy Tuteur, MD
Dey Street Books
On Sale: April 5, 2016 • $26.99 • E-book Price: $12.99
Hardcover ISBN: 9780062407344 • E-book ISBN: 9780062407351

31 Responses to “HarperCollins announcement of PUSH BACK: Guilt in the Age of Natural Parenting”

  1. Linda Rosa
    February 22, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

    Brava! This is a book that will make a difference. Will there be a book tour?

  2. February 18, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

    My Kindle pre-order is ready to go.

  3. seekingbalance
    February 18, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    congratulations! can’t wait to read it–and to recommend it to my patients!!

  4. Blue
    February 18, 2016 at 5:13 am #

    I really want to be published this book in Japan too. Should I ask HC Japanese branch or some domestic publishers?
    Also In Japan , the power of BFH and lactation consultant org is so strong. most of people believe “breastfeeding is the best”. Still a few discussion about dangerousness of BFH in Japan. My son also got brain injury by forced bed sharing after 17 hours of C-section, It was 4am ,While I was falling asleep. Still now I can’t get information about danger of BFH because almost all domestic site still praised them.
    Not only that, When March 11 . 2011 big earthquake disaster, Japan lactation org. distributed stupid message “relief supplies of formula is not true support for mothers and babies” and influencer midwife in Japan ms.Phoenix said that ” give your surplus breastfeed to other babies each other and mothers don’t hesitate to receive it ” this message circulated whole damaged area. I’m shame as one of Japanese.
    In July 2015, a news reported ,”mother’s milk” was sold on Internet but it was imitation and contaminated liquid. However some mothers bought it and feed theirs babies. News commentator said ” I can’t believe such frivolous mother exists, like a buying such a item” people don’t know about background how mothers compelled , how vicious that shoppers.

    I wish other damaged mothers also will read your new book.

    • Deborah
      February 18, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

      I think a similar thing happened in Haiti. Well intentioned but thoroughly misguided breastmilk enthusiasts planned to distribute breastmilk to babies affected by the earthquake there a few years back and there was a backlash against them by authorities. Not only was it a reckless idea in terms of safety for babies, it was also a shameless attempt to use a catastrophic event to further their own agenda.
      I am very sorry to read of your son’s experience of co- sleeping and resultant brain injury. That is absolutely terrible and should not have happened in a place where he should have been safe.

  5. CanDoc
    February 18, 2016 at 12:37 am #

    Great press release!!! Love it!

  6. Sue
    February 17, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

    OT – yet another reason not to feel guilty about birth method – baby’s gut biota is a “moving feast” until solid diet is established

    “”Our results reveal that the transition from early infant feeding to family foods is a major determinant for gut microbiota development,” said senior author Tine Rask Licht, PhD, professor and head of the Research Group for Microbiology and Immunology, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Soborg, Denmark. “Maternal obesity did not influence microbial diversity or specific taxon abundances during the complementary feeding period.”

    SO, no need to smear with maternal goo, then.

  7. crazy grad mama
    February 17, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

    Any way we can get some kind of bulk discount? So I can give it to every mother I know, including the obnoxious ones?

    • BeatriceC
      February 17, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

      Especially the obnoxious ones.

  8. Deborah
    February 17, 2016 at 8:09 pm #


  9. Gene
    February 17, 2016 at 6:51 pm #

    So…how can we get an autographed copy? Also, any plans for book signings?

  10. Anne Catherine
    February 17, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

    Can’t wait to read it!

  11. Who?
    February 17, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

    Congratulations. May the stir it creates in the natural community bring many worried pregnant women and new parents to the book, and hopefully a happier time with their babies than they otherwise would have had.

  12. BeatriceC
    February 17, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

    Funny, just yesterday I clicked on the link on the sidebar to see if it was available for iBooks (it is) and how much. I can’t pre-order it quite yet, since I blew this month’s discretionary budget on a bird, but I plan on ordering it in March.

  13. AirPlant
    February 17, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

    I look forward to reading both the book and the vitriolic amazon reviews.

    • Roadstergal
      February 17, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

      Ha, you’re utterly correct. The Amazon wooshitstorm will be epic.

      • AirPlant
        February 17, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

        I plan to make it a drinking game.

        • Roadstergal
          February 17, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

          My liver would not survive.

          • AirPlant
            February 17, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

            Believe in your liver. Its doing what it was made to do.

          • Rachele Willoughby
            February 17, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

            Some livers just weren’t meant to live.

          • Deborah
            February 17, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

            Liver failure is a variation of normal.

    • February 18, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

      Warming up my fingers already to click “Not helpful.”

      Remember, Amazon can and will remove reviews from people who clearly didn’t read the book.

  14. Anonymous
    February 17, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

    Hopefully plenty of OBs will stick this in their waiting rooms.

    • demodocus
      February 17, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

      It’d make for a nice difference from the stupid pregnancy magazines.

      • Megan
        February 17, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

        Ugh. I hate the one we get in our waiting room. It’s so woo-y and filled with expensive stuff no one in our population can afford anyway. It’s clear who their demographic is.

        • demodocus
          February 17, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

          These are the primary reasons I call ’em stupid. Our insurance has its own hospital-full of assorted docs, so i know everybody there can afford insurance, but a lot of them are government employees rather than lawyers and bank presidents.
          The magazines at the local hospital that does see most of the medicaid folks and nearly all the foster children are just as bad. 🙁 (they’re the ones that put the cast on my then 20 month old.)

    • Froggggggg
      February 17, 2016 at 7:41 pm #

      I’m thinking of stealth book drops in crunchy locations. 😀

  15. Megan
    February 17, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

    Congrats, Dr. A! That’s fantastic. Can’t wait to read it during late night feedings!

  16. PrimaryCareDoc
    February 17, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    Congrats! What an achievement!

  17. Cartman36
    February 17, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    I am really looking forward to reading it. Thanks Dr. Amy!!!

  18. February 17, 2016 at 11:35 am #

    Congratulations Amy! I know how all-encompassing writing a book is. You must be thrilled to have it this close to the finish line. Well done!

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