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Why should you trust birth if you can’t trust pregnancy?

Homebirth advocates, despite their claims of being “educated” about childbirth, are generally quite ignorant. They lack the basic knowledge of science, statistics and obstetrics that would allow them to evaluate what they read on the Web (or more importantly, to recognize that you cannot become educated by reading on the Web). Ignorance is not the […]

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The five hungers at the heart of lactivism

Why is a public health campaign that has lasted for more than 25 years and produced ZERO return on investment still being promoted aggressively? I’m referring, of course, to the campaign to increase breastfeeding rates. There are many reasons including institutional inertia and the fact that an entire group of ancillary health professionals — lactation […]

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The latest in toxic lactivist rhetoric: breastfeeding “goals”

Fed Is Best is winning! How do I know? Because lactation professionals keep falling back. The latest effort involves defending their relentless pressure on women by invoking breastfeeding “goals.” “Breast is best” and the “Baby Friendly” Hospital Initiative represented frontal assaults on women’s psyches. Since at least 1996, lactation professionals have sought to promote breastfeeding […]

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Questions for Trish MacEnroe of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative

Yesterday, coinciding with the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week 2019, Baby Friendly USA published a piece by Chief Executive Officer Trish MacEnroe, Let’s Talk About Clinical Standards and Clinical Judgment. Let’s!! I have questions! MacEnroe writes: As I write this, there are 576 Baby-Friendly designated facilities in this country. This seemed unattainable when I joined […]

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World Breastfeeding Week 2019: where’s the return on investment in breastfeeding promotion?

As a society, we invest in public health campaigns because they provide two main benefits: improved health of populations and cost savings. But what if a public health campaign provided neither? It’s World Breastfeeding Week 2019 and it’s time to ask: where is the return on investment in breastfeeding promotion? For 25 years, we’ve been […]

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Breastfeeding and the embrace of victimhood

If I offer support to the victims of an earthquake in South America does that mean I can’t offer support the victims of a typhoon in South East Asia, too? If I express support for those who lost their homes in a hurricane does that mean I can’t express support for those who lost their […]

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Are midwives and doulas sadists?

It’s the best piece I ever read about natural childbirth. Published on the website Feminist Current, Eve’s punishment rebooted: The ideology of natural birth by C.K. Egbert is a powerful, thought provoking essay. There’s something pornographic about the way we depict childbirth. A woman’s agony becomes either the brunt of a joke, or else it […]

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“Formula shill”: a variation on testimonial silencing

I have been called a shill for the formula industry more times than I can count. Any medical professional who dares question the perfection of breastfeeding is typically subjected to the same treatment. What’s it like to be called a formula shill? Imagine Sue is allergic to strawberries. Joe insists that Sue is only saying […]

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The British Medical Journal publishes a blistering critique of UK maternity care

Childbirth in the UK—it’s time to be honest about what the NHS can deliver is the title of a powerful piece in the BMJ. It’s written by Dr. Laura Downey. In her day job, she “provides assistance to governments … for health system strengthening and improving the value for money of healthcare investments…” She writes: […]

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Criticizing breastmilk pumping is the latest front in the effort to re-domesticate women

If the mind of the mother be withdrawn from her child to other pleasures, her milk will be less nutritious and less in quantity. — Dr. Richard Kissam, The Nurse’s Manual and Young Mother’s Guide(1834) …[P]umping … is not equivalent to direct nursing … The microbiome of expressed breast milk is different, for one. — […]

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