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My father died 30 years ago today

My father died 30 years ago today. In the picture above, he’s 60 years old, holding my second son less than an hour after his birth. That baby is now a lawyer and married. My father missed it all. He was dead less than 5 months after this picture was taken, although we had no […]

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A holiday gift: support instead of shame

There is a gift that we could give to mothers every day, and the holiday season would be a great time to start. What is that gift? Replace words of shaming with words of support. I’ve thought a lot about the concept of shame, especially in relation to the package of mothering choices known as […]

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Natural mothering is a coercive philosophy that “naturalizes” the control of women

Why do so many aspects of natural mothering — ostensibly designed to protect babies — end up harming them? Natural childbirth, marketed as “safer” than modern obstetrics, was embraced wholeheartedly by midwives in the UK. The result has been the preventable deaths of dozens, possibly hundreds, of mothers and babies and massive maternity scandals like […]

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How do we know that breastfeeding DOESN’T have the benefits claimed for it?

It’s very challenging to explain science to those with low scientific literacy. Consider my oft repeated claim that the predicted benefits of breastfeeding (based on mathematical models) have never been shown in real populations. Lactation professionals do not deny this. Indeed, in a memorable exchange I had with Dr. Melissa Bartick, she actually confirmed it. In […]

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The difference between natural and medical is “survival of the fittest” vs. “survival of the most”

The conventional wisdom among many laypeople is that natural is best. Advertisers market it. Organic food purveyors rely on it. And it is obviously at the heart of natural childbirth advocacy and breastfeeding promotion. Women are supposedly designed to give birth vaginally and breastfeed. As a result, those who give birth vaginally and breastfeed are […]

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Anti-vaxxers are willing to set your child on fire to keep their children warm

Anti-vaccine sentiment, in addition to being intellectually bankrupt, is remarkably immoral. Anti-vaxxers have been known to declare: I’m not going to set MY child on fire to keep YOUR child warm! Consider what that statement means. The anti-vax parent who utters it does so on the assumption that vaccines work and that herd immunity is […]

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Is intensive mothering becoming more intensive?

Intensive mothering (often called natural mothering) is the dominant mothering ideology of industrialized countries in the early 21st Century. Hallstein et al. explore intensive mothering through the lens of celebrity moms in a chapter from the new book The Routledge Companion to Motherhood. They describe it as “the new momism.” The new momism is the […]

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Lactivism is ego driven

Breastfeeding is a good thing. Lactivism? Not so much. Breastfeeding is the act of feeding a baby at a mother’s breast. Lactivism, while claiming that feeding a baby at a mother’s breast is critical to the health and wellbeing of the baby, is really about the mother’s ego. Hence the slogan “breast is best” a […]

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Dr. Amy live

I tried Facebook Live for the first time today! I did a 30 minute question and answer session.

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Prof. Amy Brown rails against the fading status of the breastfeeding profession

Lactation professional Amy Brown has written a new book about breastfeeding grief and trauma. She has also inadvertently demonstrated a variant of it. Brown is not grieving the ability to breastfeed; she’s grieving the loss of status of the breastfeeding profession. Brown and her colleagues are steadily (and thankfully) losing ground to the Fed Is […]

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