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Milk Matters UK, did Baby H ever have a tongue-tie?

The principle is called Occam’s Razor. It is sometimes paraphrased by a statement like “the simplest solution is most likely the right one” … The Wikipedia article notes that possible explanations can become needlessly complex. It might be coherent, for instance, to add the involvement of leprechauns to any explanation … Those complex explanations are […]

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Illogical lactivist arguments

Lactivists seem to have a lot of difficulty with basic reading comprehension. No matter how firmly I write — no matter how blunt I am, no matter how small and simple the words I use: “I believe X.” lactivists routinely respond with: “So what you’re saying is Y.” No, if I wanted to say Y, […]

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Newborn tongue-tie: follow the money!

Earlier this week I wrote about a baby suffering from breastfeeding starvation for 9 weeks. The poor baby — living in a country where copious infant formula and the clean water to prepare it are easily available — nonetheless looks like a famine victim. His arms are stick thin and his ribs are showing. The […]

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Lactation professionals are harming babies … and they KNOW it

I came across an extraordinary Facebook post yesterday. It is extraordinary for four reasons: 1. A baby has been starved nearly to death in an effort to promote breastfeeding. According to MilkMattersUk, the organization run by lactation consultant Charlotte Young (the Analytical Armadillo): Meet H, a nearly 9 week old baby we met this weekend. […]

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It takes a village to breastfeed a child, not a lactation consultant

One of the biggest ironies of contemporary breastfeeding promotion is how UNnatural it it. Sure, breastmilk is promoted as best because its natural, but the elaborate demands and restrictions that characterize the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) are based not on what happens in nature, but on the contemporary philosophy of neoliberalism. Indeed the entire […]

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My father died 30 years ago today

My father died 30 years ago today. In the picture above, he’s 60 years old, holding my second son less than an hour after his birth. That baby is now a lawyer and married. My father missed it all. He was dead less than 5 months after this picture was taken, although we had no […]

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A holiday gift: support instead of shame

There is a gift that we could give to mothers every day, and the holiday season would be a great time to start. What is that gift? Replace words of shaming with words of support. I’ve thought a lot about the concept of shame, especially in relation to the package of mothering choices known as […]

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Natural mothering is a coercive philosophy that “naturalizes” the control of women

Why do so many aspects of natural mothering — ostensibly designed to protect babies — end up harming them? Natural childbirth, marketed as “safer” than modern obstetrics, was embraced wholeheartedly by midwives in the UK. The result has been the preventable deaths of dozens, possibly hundreds, of mothers and babies and massive maternity scandals like […]

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How do we know that breastfeeding DOESN’T have the benefits claimed for it?

It’s very challenging to explain science to those with low scientific literacy. Consider my oft repeated claim that the predicted benefits of breastfeeding (based on mathematical models) have never been shown in real populations. Lactation professionals do not deny this. Indeed, in a memorable exchange I had with Dr. Melissa Bartick, she actually confirmed it. In […]

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The difference between natural and medical is “survival of the fittest” vs. “survival of the most”

The conventional wisdom among many laypeople is that natural is best. Advertisers market it. Organic food purveyors rely on it. And it is obviously at the heart of natural childbirth advocacy and breastfeeding promotion. Women are supposedly designed to give birth vaginally and breastfeed. As a result, those who give birth vaginally and breastfeed are […]

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