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Breastfeeding and The Church of the Immaculate Colostrum

They give their members a meaningful account of why the world is the way it is. They provide them with a sense of purpose and the possibility of sainthood. They offer a sense of community. And they establish clear roles and rituals that allow adherents to feel and act as part of a whole. These […]

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Climate change: have you tried squirting breastmilk on it?

Climate change is the greatest existential threat we face. Lactivists are meeting it in the same way they meet every other situation. They recommend putting breastmilk on it. That’s the premise behind the ludicrous editorial in the BMJ Support for breastfeeding is an environmental imperative by Prof. Natalie Shenker. Shenker declares: Formula milk contributes to […]

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Just because “we’re still here” does not mean natural childbirth and breastfeeding are best

“We’re still here!” It’s a favorite declaration of those attempting to justify natural parenting practices: Childbirth without interventions must be optimal because we’re still here. Homebirth must be safe because we’re still here. Exclusive breastfeeding must be best because we’re still here. But “we’re still here” doesn’t merely fail to justify natural parenting practices, it […]

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Increasingly nebulous “benefits” of vaginal birth and breastfeeding are signs NCB and lactivism are dying

This week the mommy blogosphere was roiled by yet another claim that something “unnatural” causes autism. Exploring a Possible Link Between C-Sections and Autism was the irresponsible title chosen by The New York Times for its coverage. To date there is NO EVIDENCE that C-sections cause autism. No matter; it is fear mongering that sells […]

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Why do lactivists like Bauhauswife find it so hard to bond to their own babies?

I feel sorry for Bauhauswife, Yolande Norris-Clark. Apparently she can’t bond to her own children without the exchange of bodily fluids. I, on the other hand, had no such trouble. I’ve always loved this quote from Maureen Hawkins: Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born, I loved you. Before you were […]

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Natural mothering is a reactionary effort to restore female powerlessness

I’m reading a fascinating book about the history of conservativism, The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Donald Trump by Corey Robin. It’s offers an illuminating view of contemporary politics, but what has struck me most forcibly is something the author never intended. It’s an amazing explication of the political forces behind the contemporary […]

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Babies are the collateral damage in the lactivist war on formula

It’s inexplicable on its face. Tens of thousands of babies are readmitted to the hospital each year for breastfeeding complications at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Exclusive breastfeeding is now the leading cause of newborn hospital readmission. Not a single lactivist organization or public health organization — not La Leche League, not […]

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Why do homebirth advocates tolerate emotional abuse from their midwives?

The stories, tragic as they are, begin to run together in my mind. I’m not talking about the part where the baby dies an easily preventable death (nearly all homebirth deaths are preventable) … and according to the most accurate data available, homebirth increases the risk of perinatal death 9-fold or more. And I’m not […]

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Why do lactivists portray anyone who is not an ally as an enemy?

Yesterday I wrote about the vicious treatment — the “Semmelweis treatment” — of the Fed Is Best Foundation. I explained that lactation professionals demonize Fed Is Best for the same reasons Semmelweis’ colleagues demonized him when he identified that doctors were spreading childbed fever. They can’t bear to acknowledge that they might be harming patients. […]

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The Fed Is Best Foundation gets the Semmelweis treatment

It was a tragedy in every respect. Dr. Ignác Semmelweis was an obstetric physician in 19th century Vienna. He … was appointed to Vienna General Hospital in 1846. There, he became aware of a puzzling disparity. The hospital offered two free maternity clinics for economically disadvantaged women. First Clinic was run by all-male doctors and […]

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