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Hospital birth leads to epigenetic changes causing babies to be cuter and smarter

Scientists probing the epigenetic changes surrounding birth have made a startling finding. Hospital birth leads to babies that are cuter and smarter! What are epigenetic changes? For years we have believed that all human traits are fully encoded in DNA and that environment has no impact on genetic characteristics. Recent research has shown, however, that […]

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Natural childbirth renders women’s needs invisible

The philosophy of natural mothering (natural childbirth, lactivism, attachment parenting) rests on fundamental assumptions that are often unrecognized and therefore unexamined. In the past I’ve written about the social construction of risk within our culture and the social imperative that everyone (mothers and doctors) do everything possible to minimize risks to babies without ever considering […]

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Why you shouldn’t believe anything you read about the microbiome

New scientific discoveries are incredibly exciting, but often poorly understood and misused in dangerous ways. Consider the discovery of radioactivity. It profoundly changed everything from medical imaging to nuclear power to atomic warfare. But before it was completely understood (no one knew it could lead to genetic mutations that result in cancer) it was misused […]

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Let’s review: Where are the female obstetricians?

Decades after I first learned about natural childbirth and homebirth I am still shocked that anyone believes in it. Natural childbirth was invented by a racist, sexist white male (Grantly Dick-Read) who wanted to encourage women of the “better classes” to stop fearing labor and have more children. It has been perpetuated by a cadre […]

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Lucy Lactivist explains how to improve vision by locking up glasses

Hi, folks! It’s Lucy Lactivist here. I’m a certified lactation consultant, though I prefer to think of myself as “The Breast Whisperer.” I am so skilled I can help any woman to breastfeed … or at least make her feel like its her fault if she can’t. That’s why I’m president of FFFL (Formula Feeding’s […]

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Yet another ridiculously misleading obstetric study in the journal Health Affairs

What’s up with the folks at the journal Health Affairs? Do they actually read the studies they publish? It’s hard to imagine that they do since they let the authors get away with outrageous claims based on poor quality data. Last year I wrote about a paper on C-sections that was misleading and left out […]

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YoniFest, Aviva Romm? Really?

You cannot make this stuff up. Earlier this month Quebec hosted YoniFest. That’s right, YONIFEST! Apparently this is a festival celebrating vaginas. Let me amend that. It’s a festival fetishizing the role of the vagina in birth. Just in case you thought natural childbirth and homebirth are about creating a meaningful, spiritual experience for birth, […]

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Dr. Amy’s top 10 birth affirmations

Natural childbirth and homebirth advocates employ birth affirmations as a form of magical thinking. They appear to believe that if they just wish hard enough, they can affect the likelihood of the unmedicated vaginal birth that they are supposed to want. I’m offering my birth affirmations for a very different reason. These affirmations have nothing […]

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Are the philosophies of natural childbirth and lactivism abusive?

If only I hadn’t said that. If only she hadn’t looked at the waiter like that. If only I hadn’t worn the dress that I know he doesn’t like. If only she had had my dinner ready the minute I walked through the door. If only I hadn’t disagreed with him. Among the most tragic […]

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The philosophy of natural childbirth is sadistic

Nearly a month ago, the website Feminist Current featured a powerful, thought provoking piece entitled Eve’s punishment rebooted: The ideology of natural birth by philosophy graduate student C.K. Egbert. There’s something pornographic about the way we depict childbirth. A woman’s agony becomes either the brunt of a joke, or else it is discussed as an […]

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