Milk Meg and the normalization of infant starvation and maternal exhaustion

I have an advantage over most of you, including most lactation professionals. I’m old enough to remember when neither infant starvation nor maternal exhaustion were touted as “normal.” I did ...

Natural childbirth and breastfeeding are class signifiers, not signs of maternal devotion

Natural childbirth advocates and lactivists like to claim that I hate vaginal births and breastfeeding. Never mind that I had four vaginal births and breastfed all four of my children. ...

It’s good if your baby doesn’t sleep through the night? That’s misogynistic mothering bullshit.

This is public service announcement on how to protect yourself from misogynistic mothering bullshit (MMB). Sadly, too much of what passes for parenting advice in 2019 is MMB. Consider the ...

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The road to patient hell is paved with quality metrics: breastfeeding edition

Why do hospitals let bad things happen to good people? The reason ...

Breastfeeding and the arrogance of preventive medicine

Does this remind you of any providers you know? Preventive medicine displays ...

What’s missing from contemporary breastfeeding advice? Compassion!

Shell shock was first described one hundred years ago: During the early ...

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Milk Meg and the normalization of infant starvation and maternal exhaustion

I have an advantage over most of you, including most lactation professionals. I’m old enough to remember when neither infant starvation nor maternal exhaustion were touted as “normal.” I did my medical training — and I breastfed my four children — before promoting breastfeeding was deformed by lactation professionals into dystopian efforts to force women […]

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Natural childbirth and breastfeeding are class signifiers, not signs of maternal devotion

Natural childbirth advocates and lactivists like to claim that I hate vaginal births and breastfeeding. Never mind that I had four vaginal births and breastfed all four of my children. It seems beyond their powers of reasoning to imagine that someone could choose something for herself without insisting that everyone else ought to choose it […]

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It’s good if your baby doesn’t sleep through the night? That’s misogynistic mothering bullshit.

This is public service announcement on how to protect yourself from misogynistic mothering bullshit (MMB). Sadly, too much of what passes for parenting advice in 2019 is MMB. Consider the latest example. Why it’s actually a good thing if your baby doesn’t sleep through the night is misogynistic mothering bullshit of the highest order, involving […]

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The road to patient hell is paved with quality metrics: breastfeeding edition

Why do hospitals let bad things happen to good people? The reason can often be found in efforts to meet government quality metrics. As a recent editorial in JAMA, Unintended Harm Associated With the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, explains: … The HRRP [Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program] imposed financial penalties on hospitals based on rates of […]

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Breastfeeding and the arrogance of preventive medicine

Does this remind you of any providers you know? Preventive medicine displays all 3 elements of arrogance. First, it is aggressively assertive, pursuing symptomless individuals and telling them what they must do to remain healthy. Occasionally invoking the force of law …, it prescribes and proscribes for both individual patients and the general citizenry of […]

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What’s missing from contemporary breastfeeding advice? Compassion!

Shell shock was first described one hundred years ago: During the early stages of World War I in 1914, soldiers from the British Expeditionary Force began to report medical symptoms after combat, including tinnitus, amnesia, headaches, dizziness, tremors, and hypersensitivity to noise. While these symptoms resembled those that would be expected after a physical wound […]

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Breastfeeding increases right-handedness? Yet another example of misusing data to make insupportable claims about breastfeeding.

No sooner did I finish writing a post reviewing the large and growing body of evidence that the benefits of breastfeeding have been exaggerated out of all proportion to the data, another researcher comes along making another unsupportable and absurd claim. I’m glad because it can serve as an object lesson and in how and […]

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Recent paper confirms that benefits of breastfeeding have been overstated

I have been arguing for years that the benefits of breastfeeding have been exaggerated far beyond what the scientific evidence could justify. In large part that exaggeration has occurred because of a massive marketing effort on the part of lactivists who repeated “breast is best” so often that it became conventional wisdom even though it […]

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CORRECTION and apology to breastfeeding researcher Dr. Ronald Kleinman

Last month I wrote a piece condemning Harvard breastfeeding safety researcher Dr. Ronald Kleinman for failure to disclose financial conflicts of interest. My piece was based on an expose featured in WomensENews. This morning I received an email from Harry Orf, PhD, Senior Vice President for Research, and Research Integrity Officer Massachusetts General Hospital informing […]

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How formula became the new crack cocaine

The New York Times recently issued an extraordinary mea culpa for its role in fanning hysteria around the purported epidemic of crack babies. Today, with some notable exceptions, the nation is reacting to the opioid epidemic by humanizing people with addictions … That depth of sympathy for a group of people who are overwhelmingly white […]

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