What Puritans’ search for religious freedom teaches about natural childbirth and breastfeeding advocacy

Natural childbirth advocates insist they seek freedom for women — freedom to give birth when, how and attended by whomever they wish. Breastfeeding advocates, lactivists, insist they seek freedom for ...

Costs of motherhood are rising, forcing women out of the workforce? Of course, that was the goal!

Natural parenting is working. No, not for children, silly! There’s no evidence that it has improved children’s lives. Rates of children’s psychiatric problems, including suicide, have never been worse. It’s ...

Melissa Bartick and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine give a master class in motivated reasoning.

Head over to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine blog and watch Melissa Bartick, MD put on a master class in motivated reasoning in her post Worldwide study on sudden infant ...

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The UK midwifery empire strikes back

I almost feel sorry for the older generation of UK midwives. They ...

Are women socialized to fear childbirth or are midwives socialized to pretend childbirth isn’t fearful?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That question came to ...

UK midwifery, an alternate world of internal legitimacy

Bravo to Milli Hill for being willing (at least temporarily) to engage ...

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What Puritans’ search for religious freedom teaches about natural childbirth and breastfeeding advocacy

Natural childbirth advocates insist they seek freedom for women — freedom to give birth when, how and attended by whomever they wish. Breastfeeding advocates, lactivists, insist they seek freedom for breastfeeding women — freedom to nurse their children when, where, and in front of whomever they wish. Not exactly. They seek freedom for women the […]

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Costs of motherhood are rising, forcing women out of the workforce? Of course, that was the goal!

Natural parenting is working. No, not for children, silly! There’s no evidence that it has improved children’s lives. Rates of children’s psychiatric problems, including suicide, have never been worse. It’s working on mothers just as it was designed to do. The holy trinity of natural child-rearing — natural childbirth, breastfeeding and attachment parenting — was […]

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Melissa Bartick and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine give a master class in motivated reasoning.

Head over to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine blog and watch Melissa Bartick, MD put on a master class in motivated reasoning in her post Worldwide study on sudden infant death finds factors associated with poverty and racism are more important than bedsharing. What is motivated reasoning? Motivated reasoning is confirmation bias taken to the […]

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The UK midwifery empire strikes back

I almost feel sorry for the older generation of UK midwives. They were taught by other midwives that midwifery hegemony was the key to safer outcomes, maternal satisfaction and tremendous cost savings. Faced with evidence of major failures on all three counts, they are struggling with serious cognitive dissonance. There have been a myriad of […]

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Are women socialized to fear childbirth or are midwives socialized to pretend childbirth isn’t fearful?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That question came to mind when I read an article in today’s Guardian, Growing childbirth terror disorder ‘fuelled by social media’. Catriona Jones, a lecturer in midwifery at the University of Hull, who has studied tocophobia, believes social media is partly to blame for the phenomenon. Speaking […]

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UK midwifery, an alternate world of internal legitimacy

Bravo to Milli Hill for being willing (at least temporarily) to engage outside her comfort zone of UK midwives and natural childbirth advocates. She unblocked a number of midwifery critics in an effort to convince them of the rightness of her convictions. But like an anti-vaxxer, Milli appears to be utterly flummoxed that we aren’t […]

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Breastfeeding bombshell: Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative declared unsafe!

Four years ago this week I first wrote that the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative posed a deadly risk to babies. I referred to a recently published paper about deaths and near deaths of babies who were smothered in their mothers’ hospital beds. Since that time, evidence of the dangers of breastfeeding have expanded to include […]

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We can prevent maternal deaths by recognizing that childbirth is inherently dangerous

Imagine that we set up our system of cardiology care like this: Our bedrock assumption is that hearts are to be trusted. We reduce screening measures since they only lead to more tests. We deny that risks factors have any relevance. We put initial cardiac care into the hands of nurses who have limited training […]

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No, breastfeeding does NOT improve maternal health

I’ve repeatedly noted that the evidence for the purported benefits of breastfeeding for babies is weak, conflicting and riddled with confounders. The actual benefits of breastfeeding are tiny, limited to 8% fewer colds and 8% fewer episodes of diarrheal illness across the entire population of infants in their first year. The evidence for purported maternal […]

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Breastfeeding, cognitive dissonance and effort justification

Breast is NOT best. Sure, all else being equal, fully fed with breastmilk by a well off, mentally healthy mother with access to high quality healthcare and high quality childcare who has freely chosen to breastfeed and has sufficient breastmilk has tiny benefits compared to formula feeding; but all else is rarely equal. Indeed, the […]

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