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Natural childbirth advocacy depends on privilege

Last week I reviewed why natural childbirth philosophy is fundamentally and ineradicably racist. I quoted Rachelle Chadwick (Bodies that Birth: Vitalizing Birth Politics) in exploring an imagined racial dichotomy in birth where indigenous women of color are fantasized as “primitive and animal-like and thus primed to give birth (and breastfeed) easily and without pain or […]

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The Gaskin Maneuver is a classic example of medical colonialism

The racism of natural childbirth advocacy is usually covert, but back in 2017 Ina May Gaskin inadvertently showed hers. According to birth workers of color who attended her talk, when asked about the problem of extraordinarily black maternal mortality, Gaskin blamed women of color for their own deaths: Gaskin responded with anecdotal stories about Black […]

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The casual racism of breastfeeding advocacy

Ironically, one of the most racist examples of breastfeeding advocacy that I’ve ever seen can be found on the website of a bastion of liberalism, National Public Radio. Entitled Secrets Of Breast-Feeding From Global Moms In The Know, it exploits black African bodies to promote the values of privileged, Western, white women. It’s almost like […]

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Lactivism represents a profound lack of empathy

One of the most amazing traits of human beings is the ability to empathize with others. We don’t have to lose a parent to imagine how devastating the loss of a parent could be and therefore we offer our support. We don’t have to experience a divorce to imagine how devastating the end of a […]

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