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Mothers, ignore anyone who tells you to ignore your doctor

I’m the first to acknowledge that medicine is far from perfect. Members of my family have been victims of poor medical practice: failure of a doctor to listen, failure of a doctor to take the time to think about what’s really going on, failure of a doctor to believe what a patient is telling him […]

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Outcome oriented counseling is unethical whether it concerns Down Syndrome or breastfeeding

The National Review has a response to my piece in TIME, Not Discussing Down Syndrome Complications is Unethical and, as might have been expected, it utterly misses the point. Writing about a woman who felt her doctor was pressuring her into termination of her Down Syndrome baby because he mentioned the option more than once, […]

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Daring to question the benefits of breastfeeding

I usually write for lay people, but this post is directed specifically to medical professionals including pediatricians, obstetricians, midwives, postpartum and neonatal nurses. Whenever a medical professional dares to question the exaggerated benefits of breastfeeding, or attempts to discuss the deadly risks of aggressive breastfeeding promotion such as hypernatremic dehydration or infant falls from hospital […]

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United States of Hate

If I were in a more forgiving mood today, I might feel sorry for the Trump Hate Brigade, caught as they are on the horns of a dilemma. Should they be happy or sad about the massacre in Orlando? Latino gay people were killed (hooray, they had it coming) by an assault weapon (hooray, every […]

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Women are perfectly designed to give birth — NOT!

Thanks goodness for natural childbirth and homebirth advocates. They’ve rediscovered what our ancient ancestors knew all along: women’s bodies are perfectly designed to give birth! How did they figure it out? They looked at basic facts about childbirth. Consider: There is no infertility. No baby ever dies in childbirth. No mother ever dies in childbirth. […]

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New piece for TIME.com on the ethics of counseling a woman whose unborn baby has Down Syndrome

My latest piece for TIME.com is Not Discussing Down Syndrome Complications Is Unethical. There’s definitely a wrong way to give an unexpected medical diagnosis. In 2000 I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor, a meningioma. I knew that the tumor would need to be removed, but I was shocked when the ophthalmologist declared: “I’m […]

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You get what you expect? Rachel O’Brien IBCLC and the “psychology” of low milk supply

I have very few regrets about the years that I practiced medicine, but there is one thing that makes me embarrassed every time I think about it. I was taught that “all breastfeeding women make enough milk.” It was a lie, but I didn’t know it at the time. My experience of breastfeeding my own […]

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The right to rape

We’ve made progress; some of us are now outraged when rapists, such as Stanford University student Brock Turner, get off with a proverbial slap on the wrist. But we haven’t made enough progress, since rapists still get off with only a proverbial slap on the wrist. Not all rapists, of course, only the privileged rapists. […]

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When bad things happen to good rapists

Yesterday I wrote a piece for Psychology Today entitled ‘When bad things happen to good mothers.’ In it I argued that the mother of the little boy who climbed into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, resulting in the death of the gorilla, does not deserve the vitriol directed at her on social media. […]

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The three little pigs, natural childbirth edition

Hi, folks! It’s Ima Frawde, CPM (counterfeit professional midwife) here with a retelling of that favorite children’s story, The Three Little Pigs. I and my colleagues have performed a hermeneutical analysis of the story and uncovered role of the hegemonic patriarchy within. We’ve rewritten the story to more closely reflect our values. Without further ado: […]

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