Breast cancer risk: what’s breastfeeding got to do with it?

Two articles on breast cancer risk were published this week and they provide a window on the politics of breastfeeding. The first paper is Learning, Life, and Lactation: Knowledge of ...

Controlling women by controlling their breasts

Are you one of those who think that Nature gave a woman breasts, not that she might feed her children, but as pretty little hillocks to give her bust a ...

Natural mothering and the 3 P’s: purchasing, patriarchy and privilege

Yesterday I wrote about the tendency of anti-vax mothers to view themselves as heroes. Though they view themselves as rebelling against “the system,” the truth is that they are merely ...

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This is how anti-vax mothers imagine themselves

A new paper in Clinics in Mother and Child Health, Intensive Mothering ...

When breastfeeding isn’t working

Trust breasts? It’s not the motto of the lactivist movement, but it ...

Ignore lactivist Amy Brown when she tells you to ignore breastfeeding horror stories

Tobacco executives tried to convince people to ignore horror stories about lung ...

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Breast cancer risk: what’s breastfeeding got to do with it?

Two articles on breast cancer risk were published this week and they provide a window on the politics of breastfeeding. The first paper is Learning, Life, and Lactation: Knowledge of Breastfeeding’s Impact on Breast Cancer Risk Reduction and Its Influence on Breastfeeding Practices. It received a fair amount of press, including articles like Study finds […]

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Controlling women by controlling their breasts

Are you one of those who think that Nature gave a woman breasts, not that she might feed her children, but as pretty little hillocks to give her bust a pleasing contour? Many, indeed, of our present-day ladies do try to dry up and repress that sacred fount of the body, the nourisher of the […]

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Natural mothering and the 3 P’s: purchasing, patriarchy and privilege

Yesterday I wrote about the tendency of anti-vax mothers to view themselves as heroes. Though they view themselves as rebelling against “the system,” the truth is that they are merely submitting to a different system, characterized by deeply valued fantasies including the illusion of control of the health of their children and the radical uniqueness […]

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This is how anti-vax mothers imagine themselves

A new paper in Clinics in Mother and Child Health, Intensive Mothering and Vaccine Choice: Reclaiming the Lifeworld from the System, provides fascinating insight into how anti-vaccine mothers view themselves. What brings families to the decision to delay or refuse vaccination? What informs their choices? How do vaccination choices fit into broader trends in pregnancy, […]

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When breastfeeding isn’t working

Trust breasts? It’s not the motto of the lactivist movement, but it could be. If breastfeeding advocates are sure of anything, they’re sure that breasts are the one organ system in the body that never, ever fails. In their view, if breastfeeding isn’t working for you and your baby, there are myriad possible reasons, but […]

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Ignore lactivist Amy Brown when she tells you to ignore breastfeeding horror stories

Tobacco executives tried to convince people to ignore horror stories about lung cancer. Car company executives tried to convince people to ignore the horror stories about exploding Pintos. Pharmaceutical executives tried to convince people to ignore the horror stories about Vioxx. Now lactation professionals are trying to convince people to ignore breastfeeding horror stories. Try […]

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Did the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative change its definition of exclusive breastfeeding?

Yesterday I wrote about the new JAMA review of the World Health Organization’s Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. I reported that although the review is couched in careful language, the conclusions are devastating: the BFHI ignores the scientific evidence, risks babies’ lives and isn’t even particularly effective. I noted that the review suggest that the BFHI […]

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JAMA review questions the safety and effectiveness of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative

Last week I noted that the editor of premier breastfeeding journal declared that it is time for a critical review of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and its Ten Steps. The editor’s key point: What is needed in my opinion is not a rigid categorical defense of a magic (holy?) 10 but an intellectually rigid […]

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The baby died four years ago; homebirth midwife Christy Collins hasn’t stopped lying since

Earlier this week I wrote about the new GateHouse Media expose of homebirth midwifery, Failure to Deliver. It features many tragic stories about preventable infant death including the tale of homebirth midwife Christy Collins. After repeatedly ignoring Danielle Yeager’s serious pregnancy complications — more than 2 weeks past her due date and no amniotic fluid: […]

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The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is a moral failure

I’ve argued repeatedly in the past that aggressive breastfeeding promotion in general and the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in particular are scientific failures. They ignore the scientific evidence in favor of the personal beliefs of lactation professionals — exaggerating the benefits of breastfeeding, hiding the risks (dehydration, jaundice, brain injures and deaths) and demonizing pacifiers […]

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