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What does the USA Today “secret number” maternity complication rate tell us — if anything?

Years ago, when I was working for a large health maintenance organization, I received a curious letter. It had come to their attention that my forceps rate (0%) was well below the average for obstetricians in our institution. I pointed out that my C-section rate was only 16% and I hadn’t left a single baby […]

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Lactivists lying to women “for their own good”

Dr. Gabrielle Colleran, why are you lying to women about breastfeeding? According to attendees at a recent meeting of La Leche League Ireland, you claimed — falsely — that women who give birth but don’t breastfeed have a 4X increased risk of heart attack. The truth is that the scientific literature shows NO consistent relationship […]

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I’m uncomfortable about censoring anti-vaccine propaganda on social media

You might think I’d be happy about the censoring of anti-vaccine propaganda by social media. Over the years I’ve written extensively and in scathing terms about the ignorance, arrogance, and immorality of the anti-vax movement. There is no scientific evidence to support its claims; its promoters are quacks and charlatans; and it harms the most […]

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Breastfeeding and the culture of contempt

The worst thing about contemporary lactivist culture is not that advocates of “Breast Is Best” disagree with advocates of “Fed Is Best.” The worst thing is that contemporary lactivist culture is a culture of contempt. As I wrote last week, it often seems as if the unifying factor among lactation professionals — the concept around […]

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Natural mothering and the technocratic model of love

There are many ironies embedded within the philosophy of natural mothering. Chief among them are the mindless embrace of mothering in nature without acknowledging the natural death toll and the fact that our ancient foremothers would have cut off their right arms for the lifesaving medical technology privileged white women ostentatiously reject in performative social […]

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Benefits of breastfeeding are so trivial Charlotte Young, the Analytical Armadillo, can’t find them

Let’s have a round of applause for lactivist Charlotte Young, the Analytical Armadillo and founder of Milk Matters UK. She briefly ventured out of her social media echo chamber and — asked to demonstrate that the benefits of breastfeeding are real — promptly scurried back. Young illustrates in the most emphatic way possible that no […]

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How to spot a Defensive Lactation Professional

Lactation professionals are easily triggered by any positive discussion of formula feeding. What does that mean? To be triggered is to experience a strong reaction of shock, anger or fear in response something another person said or wrote. For example, many lactation professionals seem to have experienced tremendous shock, anger and fear in response to […]

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Lactation professionals, you are no longer David; you’ve become Goliath.

Remember the biblical story of David and Bathsheba? David, while walking on the roof of his palace, saw a very beautiful woman bathing. He ordered enquiries and found out that she was Bathsheba, wife of Uriah. He desired her … [T]he king gave the order to his general, Joab, that Uriah should be placed on […]

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Breastfeeding “support” served with a side of cruelty

Fed is minimal. Is there anything more emotionally abusive than this “rebuttal” to the Fed Is Best campaign? The definition of minimal is: barely adequate or the least possible Could there be anything more cruel than telling a mother who couldn’t or didn’t want to breastfeed her child that SHE is barely adequate? The Fed […]

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Lactation professionals and the medicalization of infant feeding

You might think — I always have — that childbirth is about the birth of a healthy baby to a healthy mother. But according to many midwives, that isn’t enough. A mother’s birth experience is deemed critical and the experience is apparently ruined by technological interventions. Hence the dangerous campaigns for “normal birth,” defined as […]

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