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Is the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative really the Baby Deadly Hospital Initiative?

It’s the biggest oxymoron in contemporary patient care. And now comes word that it may actually be killing babies. What is it? It’s the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). I’ve written about it before. There is nothing baby friendly about efforts to promote breastfeeding to the exclusion of a mother and baby’s actual needs. There […]

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Mother blame 2014: epigenetics edition

It’s seems its always the mother’s fault. There is a long and storied history of mother blame extending back millennia. Women who couldn’t conceive were labeled “barren” even though infertility is caused by male factors 20% of the time. Women who had only daughters and no sons were blamed for the sex of their children, […]

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Managing the birthing body: how privileged women have made childbirth a project

Yesterday I wrote about privilege and breastfeeding, incorporating insights from the chapter Managing the Lactating Body: The Breastfeeding Project in the Age of Anxiety by Orit Avishai. I suspect that I am not the only one who was struck by the parallels between the breastfeeding project and birth birthing project so dear to the hearts […]

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Breastfeeding: how privileged women make privileged choices normative

Lactivism, like natural childbirth and attachment parenting, is a philosophy of privilege. Specifically, privileged women shame the less privileged — women of lower socio-economic class and women of color — by insisting that their personal preferences are not merely normative, but actually morally superior. Lactivism, in other words, is like driving a Volvo. Sociologist Orit […]

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Can pumping increase inadequate breastmilk supply?

It’s an exquisitely calibrated feedback system of supply and demand. Regularly challenge the organ by removing the amount needed and the organ makes more. But what if the organ doesn’t make enough? Will the amount produced increase if we challenge the organ more frequently? Think I’m talking about the breast and pumping? I’m not. I’m […]

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Birth is not a crucible

When it comes to controlling women, there are few better ways to encourage desired behavior than inducing shame. For most of recorded history, women were controlled into maintaining their virginity before marriage and sexual fidelity after marriage by surrounding women’s sexuality with intense shame. Women who had never been married were rendered unmarriageable by sexual […]

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Claiming that formula is dangerous is like claiming that abortion causes cancer

Opponents are clear about one thing; women don’t understand the risks. They aren’t giving informed consent because they aren’t fully informed. Sure, they may be counseled about the major risks, the ones that could kill you, but deaths are rare. The other complications are so much more common. If women only knew of the myriad […]

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Mom shaming is the new slut shaming

It often seems that major appeal of natural parenting is shaming women who do not comply. Mom shaming is the new slut shaming. Take the Fraser Health hospitals new breastfeeding contract. It exemplifies everything wrong with contemporary breastfeeding advocacy: it is demeaning, infantilizing, it tramples on a woman’s right to control her own body, and […]

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The moral rot at the heart of homebirth midwifery

Homebirth midwives have come up with a new way to bury babies twice, first in a coffin in the ground, and then by erasing their lives and deaths so that pregnant women will have no way to assess the dangers of homebirth. It’s hardly news that homebirth midwives (CPMs, LMs, and lay midwives) are dangerous. […]

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Telling a new mother to breastfeed AND pump is barbaric!

Warning! Warning! Warning! Personal opinion ahead! Every breastfeeding post I write leads to multiple comments about the physical and mental gymnastics some new mothers put themselves through in order to breastfeed. I hear about women who breastfeed every two hours PLUS use a SNS breastfeeding assist system PLUS pump their breasts afterward to further stimulate […]

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