Pro tip: If you’re using the Virgin Mary to make your point about natural mothering, you need to re-evaluate your point

Once again, the natural parenting crowd rushes to demonstrate what I’ve written. This time they’re demonstrating how cultural constructions of both women and nature are used to promote the misogynist ...

Surprise! You can’t save babies and mothers without lots of C-sections

It’s the largest study of its kind and it was supposed to save lives. According to StatNews: It was supposed to be a breakthrough moment in global health. Atul Gawande, ...

The Maternal Guilt Industry and the control of women

Most advocates of natural mothering — natural childbirth, breastfeeding, attachment parenting — believe that they have the best interests of children at heart. They don’t understand that they have fallen ...

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Bribing women to breastfeed is a spectacular waste of money

The BBC is touting a new study claiming that paying women to ...

When it comes to survival, vaccinated children are the fittest

Everyone knows that evolution works by survival of the fittest. Anti-vaxxers seem ...

Black maternal deaths: racism is deadly but malpractice is deadlier

One of the most fascinating aspects of the ongoing ProPublica/NPR series on ...

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Pro tip: If you’re using the Virgin Mary to make your point about natural mothering, you need to re-evaluate your point

Once again, the natural parenting crowd rushes to demonstrate what I’ve written. This time they’re demonstrating how cultural constructions of both women and nature are used to promote the misogynist belief that mothers ought to suffer. Both professional lactivist Dr. Jack Newman and artist Natalie Lennard have expropriated the Virgin Mary to make their sexist […]

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Surprise! You can’t save babies and mothers without lots of C-sections

It’s the largest study of its kind and it was supposed to save lives. According to StatNews: It was supposed to be a breakthrough moment in global health. Atul Gawande, the physician and writer, was applying a simple tool he championed — the checklist — to improve birth outcomes in a rural part of India […]

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The Maternal Guilt Industry and the control of women

Most advocates of natural mothering — natural childbirth, breastfeeding, attachment parenting — believe that they have the best interests of children at heart. They don’t understand that they have fallen prey to the Maternal Guilt Industry that seeks to control mothers by generating and manipulating the fear that they will inadvertently harm their children. I’m not […]

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Bribing women to breastfeed is a spectacular waste of money

The BBC is touting a new study claiming that paying women to breastfeed is effective. What it really shows it that bribing women to breastfeed is a spectacular waste of precious healthcare funds. Offering shopping vouchers to new mothers can encourage them to breastfeed their babies, a study published in JAMA Pediatrics has found. About […]

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When it comes to survival, vaccinated children are the fittest

Everyone knows that evolution works by survival of the fittest. Anti-vaxxers seem a bit confused on this point. One of the resident anti-vax trolls on this blog, ciaparker2, illustrates the problem. Cia says: On the one hand, weak babies and children stand a much greater chance of surviving to reproduce now than was formerly the […]

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Black maternal deaths: racism is deadly but malpractice is deadlier

One of the most fascinating aspects of the ongoing ProPublica/NPR series on US maternal mortality is watching the reporters learn from their research. To their credit, the reporters abandoned their original understanding of maternal mortality and crafted a new one. That process is still ongoing and their latest piece, Nothing Protects Black Women From Dying […]

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Natural childbirth is a form of play acting

Whenever I write about the history of natural childbirth, a cultural construct created by men to control women’s bodies, someone (or several someones) inevitably drop in to comment that natural childbirth is nothing more than childbirth in nature. They probably even believe it. But the truth is that natural childbirth is a form of play […]

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I breastfed my babies; I didn’t go on a “journey”

I breastfed my four children and I enjoyed it. I had the usual relatively minor difficulties including pain and multiple bouts of mastitis. It wasn’t convenient, particularly when my first child was born and I was working 70 hours a week as a chief resident, but I had a booming milk supply, a private office […]

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Appeals to nature — anti-vax, natural childbirth, lactivism — are inherently conservative: why do liberals fall for them?

Anyone whose read the Skeptical OB for any length of time knows that I am a proud liberal. I strongly believe in equal rights for all, justice for the downtrodden and hold the conviction that the future is usually better than the past. Most liberals seem to share those views, with one important exception: many liberals […]

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Do women’s bodies exist for the benefit of men or children?

It’s hardly news to point out that advertising often involves women’s bodies. According to sociologist Stephanie Baran: …[M]ost advertisers rely on the old adage, ‘sex sells.’ Nothing “sells” quite like a woman’s body, particularly her breasts. …[I]n patriarchal culture women are meat and are to be consumed in a variety of ways. Therefore, advertising is, […]

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