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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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Disciplining the uncompliant breastfeeder

Breastfeeding professionals have discovered a problem. After nearly a generation of aggressive breastfeeding promotion undertaken at their instigation a lot of women and babies have been harmed. Sadly, that’s not the problem. The problem for breastfeeding professionals is that the women are fighting back. These women are uncompliant breastfeeders. Formula was not their initial choice. […]

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Protect your baby from toxins … unless the toxins are in breastmilk, then don’t worry about them

Natural mothering advocates have a problem. They live in terrible fear that their babies and children will be exposed to “toxins” and go to great lengths to prevent exposure. But toxins — real, not imaginary — can be transmitted through breastmilk the purported elixir of life. What to do? Ignore the toxins, of course! Meg […]

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My hope for 2019: we recognize the harm we are doing to mothers and babies by promoting the “natural”

Why do good mothers feel so bad? Because in the guise of doing what’s “best” for them, we are harming women and their babies with the dominant parenting ideology of natural mothering. How do I know? Because for decades, I have served as a witness. First as a practicing obstetrician and then as blogger, I […]

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You can’t understand anti-vaccine advocacy unless you understand performative motherhood

A tremendous amount of ink has been spilled by doctors, scientists and public health officials pondering the bizarre beliefs of anti-vaccine parents. How can they promote such obvious nonsense? Why don’t they respond to efforts to improve their knowledge base? Why can’t we get them to understand the risks they pose to society in general […]

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Myrna, Mira and the rise of performative mothering

Yesterday I wrote about the way that mothering has changed between fictional grandmother Myrna and her fictional granddaughter Mira. Myrna assumed that her child would turn out fine without any special effort. Mira assumes her child will be a fat, unhappy, failure unless she interposes herself between him and the myriad risks she imagines he […]

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The relentlessness of modern mothering reflects the differences between Myrna and Mira

The piece in yesterday’s New York Times, The Relentlessness of Modern Parenting, has generated 1000 comments and counting. Parenthood in the United States has become much more demanding than it used to be. Over just a couple of generations, parents have greatly increased the amount of time, attention and money they put into raising children. […]

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Amber teething necklaces: a deadly form of maternal micro-branding

Every war requires uniforms so that you can tell ally from enemy. The mommy wars are no exception. Amber teething necklaces for infants are part of the crunchy mommy “look” that allows self-described natural mothers to signal their allied status to other crunchy moms and to set them apart from the mainstream. Too bad that […]

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Unethical behavior of breastfeeding researcher sets back cause of protecting babies from starvation and smothering CORRECTED

I received an email from Harry Orf, PhD, Senior Vice President for Research, and Research Integrity Officer Massachusetts General Hospital informing me that I disseminated incorrect information. Much to my regret I repeated false claims and mischaracterized the situation. For that I am deeply sorry and want to correct the record as soon as I […]

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