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How the tyranny of lactivism led one woman to use her friend as a wet nurse

Elisa Albert wrote a powerful piece for The Guardian entitled My friend breastfed my baby. The writing is lyrical, the author’s anguish is palpable and the story has a happy ending. Unfortunately, Albert never questions the real cause of her misery, her unflective acceptance of the anti-feminist propaganda of the natural parenting movement. Albert had […]

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Asking if being a stay at home mother is a job or a luxury misses the point

This week the mommy blogosphere was roiled by its perennial favorite topic: stay at home mothers vs. working mothers. The proximate cause was a piece on xoJane entitled Being a Stay-at-Home Mom Is Not a Job, written by a former stay at home mother Liz Pardue-Schultz: I also understand a stay-at-homer wanting to validate her […]

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RCM’s Campaign For Normal Birth = Campaign Against Preventive Care

Imagine if the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) treated breast health the way they treat childbirth. Imagine a Campaign For Normal Breasts. It would be premised on the assumption that most women (8 out of 9) will go through life without developing breast cancer. It would be premised on the notion that a breast biopsy […]

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Agreeing to disagree on homebirth is like agreeing to disagree on seatbelts: deadly and wrong.

Dr. Whitney You, a maternal fetal medicine specialist, writing on the Huffington Post suggests: Maybe We Should Agree to Disagree: A Perspective on Homebirth. It’s not that she thinks homebirth is safe; she doesn’t. I am not in favor of home birth. I believe the safest place for a laboring woman is in a hospital […]

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So many homebirth deaths I can barely keep track

Homebirth dramatically increases the risk of a baby’s death and appears to increase the risk of a mother’s death. When I first started blogging about homebirth deaths back in 2006, homebirth was such a rare and remarkable occurrence that I could keep track of most homebirth deaths. I wrote a post about nearly every death […]

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A health system was no match for the power of a father’s love

The Morecambe Bay report has been published and the scramble to avoid responsibility is on. At least 11 babies and 1 mother died at Furness General Hospital because the midwives cared more about promoting natural birth and preserving their own autonomy than they did about whether babies and mothers lived or died. The midwifery administration […]

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Let’s review: Is it ethical to promote normal birth?

Kudos to bioethicist Anne Drapkin Lyerly for the natural childbirth version of speaking truth to power. Lyerly is is Associate Professor of Social Medicine and Associate Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She writes about social and moral issues in women’s health and reproductive medicine. She has […]

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Ad Mominems: Hateful, hurtful and potentially deadly

We need a term for the subtle and not so subtle put downs favored by lactivists and natural childbirth advocates to assert their superiority over other mothers. I suggest ad mominem. Ad mominems are hateful, hurtful and potential deadly claims made by individual mothers, mommy bloggers and, unfortunately, professionals such as midwives and lactation consultants, […]

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Are natural childbirth and lactivism ableist?

I first began wondering if natural childbirth and lactivism are ableist when I saw the image below on The Alpha Parent’s Facebook page, labeled #Truth. Presumably the quote is from Allison Dixley’s recently published book: Functioning breasts are no more ‘lucky’ than a functioning pair of legs, yet we don’t incessantly dwell on the luck […]

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Midwife-led care kills babies and mothers

Despite my misgivings about midwife-led care, I would not have predicted this. The Dutch experience with midwife-led care kills babies (and possibly mothers). The Netherlands has one of the worst perinatal mortality rates in Western Europe, and, remarkably, Dutch midwives caring for low risk women (home or hospital) have a HIGHER perinatal mortality rate than […]

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