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Actually, I do get to have an opinion on how other women give birth

Doula Carrie Murphy is shocked, shocked to discover that some women judge other women’s births. In her Jezebel piece You Don’t Get to Have an Opinion on How Anyone Gives Birth. Ever. Murphy declaims: Giving birth to a human being—however it happens—is a visceral, memorable and profound life experience. Why do so many people feel […]

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Attachment parenting is contradicted by everything we know about attachment

Scientists have found that the average infant needs approximately 100 kcal/kg/day dropping down to about 80 kcal/kg/day during the toddler years. That works out to about 430 kcal/day for newborns to nearly 1000 kcal/day for toddlers. Imagine that as a result of that finding, parenting gurus wrote books and ran websites advocating that infants and […]

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Dr. Amy’s plan for a safe, sane, satisfying birth

Regular readers know that I consider birth plans worse than useless, utterly ineffective at achieving their objectives and nothing more than a recipe for disappointment. I’m offering this alternative plan in an effort to mitigate the guilt, disappointment and self-recrimination engendered by standard birth plans. What follows is NOT a plan to manage birth, but […]

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A mother shares her experience with lactivism, guilt and postpartum depression

Anne, a long time reader, read my post about breastfeeding and bullying and felt compelled to share her story in the hope that it will help others. Every mother wants the best for her baby. The minute they place that little burrito-wrapped bundle in your arms and your eyes meet, that’s it. From that day […]

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The liars at Lamaze: epidural edition

The new Lamaze poster on epidurals raises some existential questions for me and perhaps my readers could help me out. Which of the many ethical violations that Lamaze has committed within the poster are the worst? Is it the lying about facts? Is it the lying about judgment? Or is it the way they treat […]

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Dr. Amy’ 5 reasons NOT to have a homebirth

Wow, it happened again! No sooner did I write a post about confident idiots than one of them stepped forward to offer a perfect example of why, despite their certainty, they cannot be trusted. Thank you Jennifer Margulis for your new post 45 Reasons NOT to Have a Home Birth. It is a delightful amalgamation […]

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Natural childbirth and confident idiots

The trouble with ignorance is that it feels so much like expertise. So says psychology professor Dr. David Dunning. He ought to know. In 1999, in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, my then graduate student Justin Kruger and I published a paper that documented how, in many areas of life, incompetent people do […]

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Announcing …

My new book! For the last few months I’ve been working on a book proposal. I’m happy to say that it garnered a lot of interest among editors and publishing houses, and ultimately went to auction. Guilt Trap: New Motherhood and the Natural Parenting Industry will be published next year by Dey Street Books, an […]

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For my daughter on her birthday

All my life I dreamed of you … and then you came. From the time that I was a small child I had imagined what it would be like to have a daughter. I envisioned a girly girl with a powerful sense of self, and you have wildly exceeded my every expectation. Your personality was […]

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Quackery means never having to say you’re sorry

There are a lot of tips for differentiating peddlers of pseudoscience from real scientists. I’ve written about some of them myself (Six red flags you need to recognize to quack proof yourself). But there’s a simple question you can ask that serves as a highly reliable shortcut. Does the website (or Facebook page) airbrush the […]

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