Midwifery and breastfeeding ideologues have hijacked evidence based medicine

Midwives and lactation professionals use the term “evidence based medicine” so often, you might think they actually practice it. You would be wrong. That’s because evidence based medicine is often ...

Breastfeeding and the canonization of false facts

“Breast is best.” Except that it’s not. How did an ideological claim, never proven with scientific evidence, get accepted as a “fact”? Nissen and colleagues explain the canonization of false ...

What should we do when underperforming big ideas — breastfeeding saves lives — become entrenched?

I’m frustrated. Every year tens of thousands of babies are hospitalized for breastfeeding complications at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, despite 20 years of aggressive breastfeeding ...

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Women can’t reclaim their agency from doctors by ceding it to midwives and lactation consultants

How did the natural childbirth and breastfeeding industries go so wrong? Why ...

How we know natural mothering is about re-domesticating women: there’s no natural fathering.

A lot of angry women have parachuted onto my Facebook page to ...

Medicalized birth is a feminist triumph!

Childbirth is a reproductive rights issue. Every woman deserves access to high ...

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Midwifery and breastfeeding ideologues have hijacked evidence based medicine

Midwives and lactation professionals use the term “evidence based medicine” so often, you might think they actually practice it. You would be wrong. That’s because evidence based medicine is often hijacked by ideologues and industry. Dr. David Sackett, credited with popularizing the phrase and concept, explained it in an influential 1996 paper, Evidence based medicine: […]

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Breastfeeding and the canonization of false facts

“Breast is best.” Except that it’s not. How did an ideological claim, never proven with scientific evidence, get accepted as a “fact”? Nissen and colleagues explain the canonization of false facts: Science is a process of collective knowledge creation in which researchers use experimental, theoretical and observational approaches to develop a naturalistic understanding of the […]

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What should we do when underperforming big ideas — breastfeeding saves lives — become entrenched?

I’m frustrated. Every year tens of thousands of babies are hospitalized for breastfeeding complications at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, despite 20 years of aggressive breastfeeding promotion and rising breastfeeding rates, the benefits we have been promised, from lives and money saved to conditions and diseases reduced, have failed to appear. […]

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Women can’t reclaim their agency from doctors by ceding it to midwives and lactation consultants

How did the natural childbirth and breastfeeding industries go so wrong? Why do I receive emails and Facebook messages from desperate women nearly every day detailing their guilt, self-abnegation and torment over “failing” to give birth vaginally or to breastfeed? Why, when I talk about my writing with friends and acquaintances, do women years removed […]

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How we know natural mothering is about re-domesticating women: there’s no natural fathering.

A lot of angry women have parachuted onto my Facebook page to berate me on my claim that the philosophies of natural mothering — natural childbirth, lactivism and attachment parenting — were promulgated for the express purpose of re-domesticating women. It’s not my opinion; it’s empirical fact. Grantly Dick-Read (a fundamentalist and eugenicist) made it […]

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Medicalized birth is a feminist triumph!

Childbirth is a reproductive rights issue. Every woman deserves access to high quality obstetric care, and every woman deserves access to state of the art pain relief. That’s because medicalizing birth is a feminist triumph and all women should be able to share in its benefits. Childbirth, in every time, place and culture, is a […]

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Is mothering the new sex?

It used to be that sex was tightly culturally regulated and mothering had no oversight. In 2019, in industrialized countries mothering is tightly culturally regulated and sex has no oversight. What happened? For most of recorded history, there were regulations about who could have sex with whom, who pursued and who was expected to resist. […]

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Thinking about homebirth? Think about this difference between obstetricians and homebirth midwives.

Babies die. The most critical difference between obstetricians and homebirth midwives is their response to these tragic deaths: When faced with a dead baby obstetricians ask, “How can we prevent this from ever happening again?” In contrast, homebirth midwives ask, “How can we avoid responsibility?” Don’t believe me? Consider the irresponsible, self-serving blather from Jan […]

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Natural mothering and the re-domestication of women

Can women be empowered by a philosophy designed to re-domesticate them? Yesterday I asked whether women can be empowered by the philosophy of natural mothering, a philosophy created for the express purpose of oppressing them. Thinking further, it occurs to me that there is a better way to frame the issue. Natural mothering advocates seek […]

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Can women be empowered by mothering philosophies designed to subjugate them?

In the good old days, women knew their place: in the home, repeatedly pregnant, breastfeeding, and in continual proximity to their children. They wouldn’t dare compete with men since they didn’t have the time or energy to do so. In the past century, for the first time in history women in some countries achieved a […]

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