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No, Kimberly Seals Allers, formula is not McDonald’s

It’s almost as if lactivists can’t help themselves. The mainstream media is suddenly full of mothers sharing the guilt of not being able to breastfeed and their anguish over nearly starving their babies. Over and over again new mothers have shared their stories about being wounded by the shaming language favored by lactation consultants: “artificial” […]

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Another baby killed by forceps

In our obsession with lowering C-section rates, there has been much handwringing over the lost art of forceps deliveries. The dramatic rise in C-section rates has been caused in part by the fact that many deliveries that would have been accomplished by forceps have become C-sections because of our reluctance to use forceps. But there’s […]

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Don’t breastfeed? Didn’t have an unmedicated birth? Congratulations, you’re in the majority!

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that midwifery philosophy has been notoriously unsuccessful. Despite tremendous rhetorical efforts to demonize inductions, epidurals and C-sections, the rate of all three has only increased. Breastfeeding professionals have been similarly unsuccessful. Despite aggressive promotion of exclusive, extended breastfeeding — involving both hospital and government backing — exclusive, extended breastfeeding […]

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Midwifery philosophy is failing

Midwives are so buy congratulating themselves and each other that they’ve failed to notice that their philosophy of birth is being rejected. The latest example comes from a Stanford study. Despite decades of midwifery demonization of pain relief in labor, the US epidural rate has … risen. “We were blown away,” said Alexander Butwick, MD, […]

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Are lactation consultants helpful or harmful?

It is an article of faith within the breastfeeding industry that lactation consultants are good at what they do and are caring and considerate in how they do it. Many women beg to differ. I undertook a survey to determine just how effective lactation consultants are and whether they are indeed as caring as they […]

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New sibling study shows C-section does NOT increase the risk of childhood obesity

In the ongoing effort to demonize C-sections, the association between C-sections and childhood obesity has received a lot of press. There have been numerous efforts to show that C-sections cause future obesity and a complex mechanism involving the gut microbiome has been proposed. But there’s always been a serious problem with such research; the failure […]

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We can’t defeat Trump by aping him. Here’s why.

Remember The Incredibles, the Pixar film about a family of superheroes? Each member of the super family has a special skill: Dad Bob has super strength; Mom Helen is Elastagirl; daughter Violet can become invisible; son Dash has super speed; and baby Jack-Jack can burst into flame at will. Joining together while employing their individual […]

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Midwives’ and lactation consultants’ fraught relationship with maternal autonomy

Medical ethicist Susanne Brauer has written: Obstetrics and midwifery are value-laden, value-producing and value-reproducing practices, values that constitute the social perception of what it means to be a ‘‘good’’ pregnant woman and to be a ‘‘good’’ (future) mother. Similarly, professional lactation support is also value-laden, value-producing and value-reproducing. There’s no better example of this behavior […]

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The moral case against lactivism and breastfeeding promotion

Last week the Royal College of Midwives took the extraordinary step of reminding its members that every women has the right to bottle feed and that the choice should be suppported and respected. It was an implicit acknowledgement of just how harmful promotion efforts like the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative have become. Babies’ physical health […]

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What’s the difference between lactation professionals and infant feeding safety experts?

Lactivist Prof. Amy Brown has a new piece on The Conversation this morning. It’s entitled Breastfeeding is not ‘easy’ – stop telling new mothers that it is and it’s a clumsy effort to deny that lactation professionals have spent the last decade pressuring, shaming and blaming women who can’t or don’t breastfeed. It’s difficult to […]

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