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What killed Erica Garner?

Every maternal death is an extraordinary tragedy, but Erica Garner’s death seems particularly bitter in its irony. According to NPR: She entered the public eye in July 2014 when her father, Eric Garner, died after being put in a chokehold by a New York City police officer. Eric Garner was seen on video saying, “I […]

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Who’s to blame when a baby dies at homebirth?

A mother puts Mountain Dew in her baby’s bottles, by age 2 the child is suffering massive tooth decay. Who’s to blame? Most of us would have no qualms about blaming the mother who put the soda in the baby’s bottles. The mother did not intend that the child’s teeth should rot, but she bears […]

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The soft bigotry of obsessing about C-section and breastfeeding rates

What if in response to a famine in Sub-Saharan Africa, an international aid organization sent sterling silverware? When questioned, the organization replied that most wealthy Americans don’t eat with plastic utensils and prefer sterling, so why shouldn’t the poor have what the wealthy have? Outrageous, right? The quality of the utensils makes no difference when […]

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This homebirth story proves just how f**king privileged natural childbirth advocates are

Nothing demonstrates the incredible privilege and mind boggling self-absorption of Western, white natural childbirth advocates than the belief that giving birth at home is an accomplishment. The (undoubtedly privileged) folks at Sammiches & Psych Meds credulously report this mother’s unassisted homebirth, This Home Birth Story Proves Just How F**king Strong Moms Are: In the photo, […]

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Twelve most popular posts of 2017

It’s time for another year end round up. These were the most popular posts of the year, starting with the most popular: Ten Month Mamas cheer a mother to her baby’s death Homebirth, like most of alternative health, is about two things. Not mother and baby; don’t be silly! It’s about defiance and denial. Homebirth […]

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Ten ways to improve maternal health in 2018

Maternal mortality has been one of the biggest health stories of 2017. A superb and evolving series of articles written by ProPublica in collaboration with NPR has focused a spotlight on the rising US maternal mortality rate. The latest piece is Nearly Dying In Childbirth: Why Preventable Complications Are Growing In U.S. Each year in […]

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Why have we allowed the Maternal Guilt Industry to blight new motherhood?

Becoming a mother is an experience like no other. As Alexandra Sacks, MD wrote in The New York Times: The process of becoming a mother, which anthropologists call “matrescence,” has been largely unexplored in the medical community. Instead of focusing on the woman’s identity transition, more research is focused on how the baby turns out. […]

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The holy trinity of maternal suffering

Why do good mothers feel so bad? Because suffering is integral to contemporary mothering ideology. Yesterday I wrote about hyper-maternalism as a more accurate term than natural mothering or attachment parenting. Natural mothering and attachment parenting are really marketing terms designed to romanticize maternal suffering and hide the true purpose: manipulating women. Hyper-maternalism is a more […]

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It’s not natural mothering or attachment parenting; it’s hyper-maternalism

Why do good mothers feel so bad? It’s not an accident. It is a product of our beliefs about women. While many of us proudly declare ourselves feminists, we have failed to question fundamentally anti-feminist beliefs about motherhood, sacrifice and how the differing needs of women and children ought to be negotiated. We don’t question […]

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Pro tip: If you’re using the Virgin Mary to make your point about natural mothering, you need to re-evaluate your point

Once again, the natural parenting crowd rushes to demonstrate what I’ve written. This time they’re demonstrating how cultural constructions of both women and nature are used to promote the misogynist belief that mothers ought to suffer. Both professional lactivist Dr. Jack Newman and artist Natalie Lennard have expropriated the Virgin Mary to make their sexist […]

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