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Disciplining women through the rhetoric of natural childbirth

When I started the predecessor of this blog more than a decade ago I was a lone voice in the wilderness. Now my views — including the notion that natural childbirth is a deeply anti-feminist effort to exert control over women — are generating ever more attention in academic circles. The latest paper to focus […]

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Natural parenting and the centrality of maternal sacrifice

Mothers sacrifice. It has ever been thus. Whether it is sacrificing sleep to soothe a fretful baby, sacrificing the last piece of cake to please a hungry child, or sacrificing tremendous amounts of money to send a teenager to college, sacrifice is part and parcel of motherhood. Nontheless, we are undergoing a profound change in […]

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Problematizing infant safety in the world of natural parenting

There has never been a safer time or place to be an infant and small child than 2016 in industrialized countries. Ironically, there has never been greater anxiety about the physical, emotional and intellectual status of those same infants and small children. Why is there an extraordinary disconnect between reality and anxiety? You can thank […]

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Most popular pieces of the year

This is the 201st piece I’ve posted in 2016, but I’ve been privileged to be able to write for othe publications as well. These are my ten most popular pieces of the year: 1. Closing Newborn Nurseries Isn’t Good for Babies or Moms on TIME.com. 68,090 shares I’m deeply disappointed to learn that the hospitals […]

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Donald Trump and the triumph of the stupid

What is happening in the United States is a matter of the gravest portent for the whole civilised world. Throughout the last hundred years, individual Americans have done more to further civilisation than the individuals of any other country; today, Trump voters embark upon the task of degrading civilisation. At the present day the most […]

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Are midwives with all women or just some women?

Apparently my book PUSH BACK: Guilt in the Age of Natural Parenting made Professor Laura Freidenfelds feel stung. Unfortunately it did not make her feel curious enough to reexamine her assumptions about midwifery and childbirth. In Nurse-Midwives are With Women, Walking a Middle Path to a Safe and Rewarding Birth, Freidenfelds writes: Recently, obstetrician and […]

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Homebirths gone wrong

There’s an eye opening thread on allnurses.com entitled Home births gone wrong. American women thinking about homebirth should read it. You can’t give informed consent unless you understand the very real risks of your baby dying at homebirth. It starts off with this question from a NICU nurse: Do you see this often in your […]

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Punish men for abortions

Apparently many Donald Trump supporters, like Trump himself, believe that women should be punished for having abortions. I have a better, more just, more effective suggestion: Punish men for abortions! After all, it’s the man’s fault; there’s no way a woman can find herself with an unwanted pregnancy without a man being responsible for it. […]

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Female doctors provide better care than male doctors? New paper grossly exaggerates findings.

A new study claiming to show that female doctors provide better care than male doctors is a paradigmatic example of the way that scientific research has been perverted by contemporary journalism. In an effort to provide click-bait headlines, scientists are grossly exaggerating the clinical significance of their findings and thereby misleading the public. The paper […]

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Stupid stuff anti-vaxxers say

Is there anything more pathetic than an anti-vaxxer who imagines that she’s knowledgeable? They’re like automatons, cheerfully repeating nonsense that impressed them. And they’re boring. They all say the same stupid stuff. Here’s a list of stupid stuff anti-vaxxers say, and what it means to smart, truly educated people who are listening. 1. Do your […]

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