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Is natural mothering a form of religious fundamentalism that replaces God with Nature?

Natural mothering is a cultural pre-occupation of both the Right and the Left. Consider the lifestyle of fundamentalist mothers: every moment of the day consumed with child and family care. From homebirth to homeschooling, from growing her own food to baking her own bread, from extended breastfeeding to rejection of conventional medical care, women are […]

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Belief that Duchess Meghan is sending messages is symptomatic of our dysfunctional mothering culture

There has been a spate of articles purporting to explain what Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is trying to “tell us” with her choices. The subtle but important message Duchess Meghan is sending new moms about giving birth: Meghan showed the world something that many of her royal predecessors have covered up: what a woman’s body […]

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Surprise! CDC confirms US maternal mortality rate is high because pregnancy is inherently dangerous.

While the critics of modern obstetrics have been dithering about C-sections and intervention rates, American women have been dying in and around childbirth of potentially preventable causes that have nothing to do with either. The latest CDC report on maternal mortality confirms that the US maternal mortality rate is high NOT because of C-sections and […]

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Natural mothering, intuition and the specter of the “bad other mother”

Women’s Studies Prof. Chris Bobel’s book, The Paradox of Natural Mothering, is seventeen years old but reads as if it were written yesterday. In Bobel’s view, natural mothering isn’t just a paradox, it is a plethora of paradoxes. Promoted as radical simplicity, parenting just like our foremothers and offering feminist empowerment, it is in many […]

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What alternative health advocates get wrong about medical mistakes

My father died in the wake of a medical mistake. He died in the hospital where I had trained and was on staff. It was nine months after his doctors neglected to inform him that a routine pre-operative chest X-ray had shown a small cancerous tumor in his lung. When he showed up seven months […]

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Why does the World Health Organization claim — falsely — that breastfeeding prevents obesity?

If I had to guess, I would say that the folks at the World Health Organization are afraid. They’re afraid that if women in industrialized countries knew the truth about how trivial the benefits of breastfeeding really are, they might not feel pressured to breastfeed. I don’t know why that would be a bad thing […]

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Bacteria and viruses are predators, our children are prey and vaccines are the fence that separates them

Imagine an idyllic village nestled in a jungle clearing. The people are prospering because they have easy access to animals for meat, copious river fish, and abundant roots and nuts. There’s just one problem: the same land that feeds them so generously is filled with predators who attack them. Lions and tigers eat the villagers, […]

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Don’t squirt breastmilk on it! It’s not a cure for everything.

Breastfeeding research keeps veering into pseudoscience. It’s not merely that breastfeeding research like most pseudoscience research starts with the conclusion — breastfeeding is beneficial — and then works backwards to find data to support it. That has led to persistently massive exaggeration of the benefits and utterly ignoring the risks. The chief indicator that much […]

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Why is there no alternative airline industry?

If its customers are to be believed, the reason the alternative health industry exists is because of how poorly doctors treat patients. Yet when it comes to poor treatment, the medical industry can’t hold a candle to the airlines. So why is there no alternative airline industry? Why aren’t people paying random individuals they read […]

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Pandering to anti-vaxxers, La Leche League reveals willingness to ignore scientific evidence

In the wake of the Charlottesville rally of white supremacists in 2017, resulting in the murder of a counter-protester, Donald Trump uttered these immortal words: You also had some very fine people on both sides. With that ugly claim, Trump signaled his sympathy with racists. Is Trump a racist? As Sen. Cory Booker recently pointed […]

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