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Choice-centered childbirth

Contemporary midwives and their advocates suffer from a lack of imagination. They view childbirth in Manichean terms, pitting the so-called midwifery model against the so-called biomedical model. It’s a false duality. There is a framework for maternity care that rises above both. It’s a framework that should govern the provision of all childbirth care. I […]

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Hold the guilt! Yet more evidence that breastfeeding has NO impact on cognitive development.

A new study shows — yet again — that breastfeeding has NO benefit for cognitive development. Let’s start with the money quote from Associations between breastfeeding and cognitive function in children from early childhood to school age: a prospective birth cohort study published yesterday in the International Breastfeeding Journal: Breastfeeding should not be interpreted to […]

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Why is lactivist Dr. Melissa Bartick lying about her own words?

Melissa Bartick, MD committed a Kinsley Gaffe. According to journalist Michael Kinsley: A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth – some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say. Furthermore: Another definition is a statement made when [he] privately believes it to be true, realizes the dire consequences of saying it, and yet inadvertently […]

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Why don’t midwives respect women’s choice for medicalization of birth?

Midwives have a fraught relationship with maternal autonomy. They tell themselves they are committed to autonomy. They believe deeply that women are entitled to choose place of birth, birth attendant, birth support, vaginal birth, refusal of procedures, refusal of pain medication and refusal of hospital policies (e.g. separation of mother and child after birth) that […]

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Women love epidurals!

Midwives are desperate for market share. As I wrote in my book Push Back: Guilt in the Age of Natural Parenting: No matter what obstetricians offered, midwives would insist that it was unnecessary, disempowering, harmful, and contradicted by the scientific evidence. Midwives would wrest childbirth back from paternalistic doctors and give it to those to […]

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A blisteringly stupid guide to postpartum hemorrhage

Sadly, this is not satire. Freya Kellet is a self-proclaimed “birth keeper, coach and mentor.” I’m all too familiar with the ignorance, arrogance and privilege of natural childbirth advocates, but Freya sets a new standard for idiocy with her ‘Radical Guide to Postpartum Hemorrhage.’ Hemorrhage is one of the most common reasons why women fear […]

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Mothering as self-expression

I’ve written in the past about performative mothering, a central feature of contemporary parenting culture. I framed the discussion as comparing a fictional grandmother Myrna to her fictional granddaughter Mira. When it came to raising John, Myrna might have feared the judgments of her mother and mother-in-law but she did not particularly fear the judgment […]

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Mothering in the age of tribalism

Most people understand that we live in an era of extreme political and cultural polarization and our country is suffering terribly as a result. It has been going on for the last 25 years, and it’s easy to forget that it hasn’t always been like this nor does it have to be. Sadly, the polarization […]

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Surprise! 70% of babies referred for tongue-tie surgery DON’T need it!

There is a veritable epidemic of “broken” baby tongues, known colloquially as tongue-tie and scientifically as ankyloglossia. The epidemic of tongue tie is surprising since the natural incidence has been estimated as only 1.7-4.8% But releasing (snipping) the tongue tie is big business. The surgical fee for frenectomy/frenotomy is $850. I presume that $850 is […]

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Anti-vaxxers won’t take a coronavirus vaccine? I might not take it either.

There’s been a lot of handwringing lately about whether anti-vaxxers will be willing to take a coronavirus vaccine. Pediatrician Phoebe Danziger writes in The New York Times A Coronavirus Vaccine Won’t Work if People Don’t Take It: If a vaccine for coronavirus is developed tomorrow, will you take it? Many people won’t. According to recent […]

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