Milli Hill demonstrates that natural childbirth is an issue of privileged, Western white women


Oh, the horror!

Milli Hill of The Positive Birth Movement is outraged.

Over the weekend, Facebook removed two images from our page and subjected myself and my organisation to a 24-hour ban. This was because, in its words, the images “violated community standards”. Neither image fits the stereotypical picture that most of us have of birth. In the first, a woman kneels: she looks composed, vital and beautiful. The second shows a baby emerging underwater into her mother’s own hands.

You could argue that this is simply about nudity, but I think there’s more to it. Social media reflects our wider culture’s issue, not with naked women, but with naked women who look real and active as opposed to air-brushed and passive. It also reflects millennia of attempts to suppress women’s power, of which childbirth is perhaps the ultimate expression.

Hill needs to get a grip. Are we supposed to imagine that Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and their minions at Facebook spent even a microsecond imagining that images of naked natural childbirth advocates reflect “women’s power,” let alone plotted to suppress them? Hill’s presumption is breathtaking in its narcissism. We all know that the photos were likely flagged by an algorithm (or by disgruntled readers) and removed because they violate the policy of a private corporation. No one at Facebook cares about Milli Hill, about natural childbirth, or whether or not images of naked natural childbirth advocates are reflections of their power.

Hill demonstrates, yet again, that natural childbirth, far from being a feminist issue is an issue of privileged, Western, white, relatively well off women who think that the worst thing that can happen to them is that Facebook is interfering with their freedom of expression.

Make no mistake, childbirth is, indeed, a feminist issue, and we should all be working to end maternal mortality, prematurity, neonatal death, obstetric fistula, lack of access to birth control, and the shackling of women prisoners in labor, among other issues that violate the rights of women and limit their ability to pursue their own happiness. But those are issues that disproportionally affect poor women, women of color and women of underdeveloped countries. Who cares about them? Certainly not natural childbirth advocates.

Indeed, natural childbirth advocacy has a long and sordid history of exploiting poor women of color. It started with Grantly Dick-Read, the father of natural childbirth, who based its philosophy on the racist claim that “primitive women” (read “women of color”) are fundamentally different from white women, simultaneously simple (longing only to reproduce) and unafraid of dying in childbirth, rendering them immune to the pain and dangers of birth.

That racist trope is alive and well among contemporary natural childbirth advocates who pretend to themselves that they are re-enacting childbirth among indigenous peoples. Their fantasy bears as much resemblance to childbirth in nature as a 3rd grade Thanksgiving play bears to the real relationship between the Pilgrims and the “uncivilized” Native Americans they came to displace.

But the racism extends even further. Natural childbirth advocates are positively eager to use the misfortunes of women of color to advance their own privileged agenda. They delight in pointing to relatively high rates of perinatal and maternal mortality in the US (as compared to other, “whiter” countries), yet ignore that they are the result of appalling death rates among African American women and their babies.Natural childbirth advocates and organizations have the unmitigated gall to imply that these women are dying of “too much” medical intervention when the reality is that they are dying of too little intervention for the serious complications they face.

The philosophy of natural childbirth is a rejection of privilege that simultaneously confirms it. Simply put, you have to be privileged enough to have easy access to safe pain relief in labor in order to give meaning to refusing it. You have to be privileged enough to have immediate access to high quality emergency obstetric services in order to give meaning and assure safety to refusing the testing and procedures (“interventions”) designed to prevent those emergencies in the first place.

Milli Hill has helpfully demonstrated, yet again, the incredible privilege of the Western, white, relatively well off women who imagine that by refusing pain medication they are demonstrating their “power” and who in their egotism pretend that when Facebook applies the same standards to them as to everyone else, they are somehow singling them out for special treatment.

Sorry to disappoint you, Milli Hill; while childbirth is a feminist issue, natural childbirth is not. Feminists everywhere should be working to put an end to the scourges of maternal mortality, prematurity, neonatal death, obstetric fistula, lack of access to birth control, and the shackling of women prisoners in labor, among other issues. In a list of the top 10 feminist childbirth issues, however, the removal from Facebook of photos depicting naked natural childbirth advocates giving birth ranks approximately 29th.

96 Responses to “Milli Hill demonstrates that natural childbirth is an issue of privileged, Western white women”

  1. November 5, 2014 at 8:08 am #

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  2. October 31, 2014 at 1:07 am #


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  3. Sara M.
    October 24, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

    Wow I just read this nut’s doula page with her “drama therapist” stuff. She claims to use her psycho background to help the women work through their fears. Wanna know what my fears are in order of priority? Something bad happening to the baby is my first one, my second one is being denied pain relief when It request it and being told to work through the pain. Any doula wanna counsel me for weeks on end to deal with those fears?

  4. namaste863
    October 24, 2014 at 2:02 am #

    How exactly does the woman in the photograph look “Composed?” You can’t even see her face, for Christ’s sake.

  5. Trixie
    October 23, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    Meanwhile, didn’t Zuckerberg and his wife just give a very large donation to fight Ebola? In other words, doing something to actually improve the lives of people, many of whom are disadvantaged?

    • MS
      October 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

      Speaking of that, I recently reported an article on FB that claimed that a high dose of Vitamin C would prevent and cure Ebola–a claim that undoubtedly does more harm than good in places where the virus has or can gain a foothold. Guess what? FB said that it didn’t violate their community standards. I’m guessing Zuckerberg would disagree.

      My money is on the nudity issue. If you want to see birth so badly, go to YouTube. The minute I got pregnant, I looked up videos of childbirth. What I got was a horrible video of an episiotomy, and I fainted on my way to the bathroom to throw up.

  6. CanDoc
    October 23, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    29th? Very generous of you, Dr. T. 😉

  7. October 23, 2014 at 2:24 am #

    Hey Milli Vanillii and the Funky Bunch…did you even know that you…yes you…can purchase you’re very own URL for less than $9.95 on Ipage or any other friendly hosting source…and post all the super sexy birth pics you want?

    Girl power!

    But wait..the people at Facebook?

    I have bad, bad news for you, friend.

    They totally don’t care about your stupid pictures. None of us do.

    So…when you’re taken down for 24 hours or whatever you said, it’s because a USER REPORTED YOU. Like, one of your own.

    You didn’t get “shut down” because Facebook executives HATE HOMEBIRTH. Although, let’s be honest. They probably do. Because, well, they’re smart. But do you REALLY, REALLY think Mark and Co. are sitting at a secret table someplace right now, sipping martinis, discussing all the ways in which they could take down awesome pictures of women in labor stimulating they nipples while squatting over the plastic pool, ready to poop out their kid?

    I mean, what’s hotter than that?

    But I digress…

    Back to your dumb pictures.
    We’re talking bloody-plastic-kiddie-pool-births, doggie-style-push-fests, PLUS….if you call now, we’ll freeze-dry your placenta for FREE (certain restrictions apply) and provide you with a two months supply of BOTH our rhetorical AND physiological NATURAL BIRTH RULES capsules…

    But you know what, you’re probably right. Neos HATE babies, as do NNPS and NICU RNs. Screw them, screw us. If those babies can’t place nice, then maybe they just werent’ meant to be….

    • guest
      October 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

      Oh but then if they purchased their own web-page, only their “own kind” would even peruse it.. that would nix their *real* motive…”look at ME!”.. and to show the rest of us ignorant morons what *mama warriors* they are and how *brave* they are to show their hoo-hoo on FACEBOOK for all the millions of unenlightened to see the *power* of a goo-filled, bloody, poopy kiddi-pool birth!!!!! Besides, she really just wanted to show off that tatoo, don’tcha think??

  8. perpetual lurker
    October 22, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

    Here’s the quote that got to me:
    “The female body in childbirth has been sanitised and censored in recent
    decades: covered by drapes, silenced by drugs, and even devoid of pubic
    hair. As a result, we have a generation of women who have rarely seen or heard the reality of birth…”

    The reality of birth?! Look lady, I like dancing around naked as much as the next hippie. But what about the women who would like to give birth at least partially covered, with pain medication, or yes, maybe even shaven or waxed? Why do their preferences not count as feminist? As empowered? As reality?? Geez.

    • October 22, 2014 at 11:49 pm #


      So, today I ended up at four deliveries. Which is 3 more deliveries a NICU nurse wants to go to in one day. However, I have to say, as I stood there in a section, waiting…waiting…waiting…and then later, after a 33 week vag baby decided she was a big girl who needed basically no support….I actually took the time to reflect on these moms, and how I interpreted their birth experience.

      C-section mom was a repeat. She was laughing, joking, and teasing back and forth with her OB as well as everyone in the room. She seemed to be genuinely, genuinely happy.

      The 33 weeker’s mom had been in antepartum for about a week. PROM, GBS+, Mag off/Mag on, Pit started/Psyche!. Febrile, Pit was finally started this afternoon. She shot that baby out with the quickness!

      As the NICU team stood around and assigned 8-9 Apgars to this feisty little nugget, I looked over at mom, getting fixed up, still in the stirrups. The only thing she gave a shit about was how her baby was doing. There were 1000 people in the room, cheering her on, loving on her, loving on her sweet little girl. She was joyful, tearful and happy.

      Unless someone tells them otherwise…these moms had good birth experiences given the circumstances. Outcomes were great, and really, it wasn’t about them.

      Natural birth peeps are just ambulance chasers:
      “Come to our c-section support group…we’ll help you deal with the darkness surrounding your birth rape.”

      “I’m so sorry you were forced to deliver in stirrups with magnesium and pitocin and antibiotics and doctors who Let us help you recover from this traumatic hospital birth experience…all those unnecessary interventions…you poor thing.”


      (Take the Crown! KANSAS CITY ROYALS!!!!)

      • NoLongerCrunching
        October 23, 2014 at 8:03 am #

        Ambulance chasers — great analogy.

      • Montserrat Blanco
        October 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

        My baby in in the NICU right now. He was born at 28 weeks due to severe preeclampsia because he was not tolerating it well. I had a C-section. I do not regret the CS AT ALL. I was very worried about him so I do not recall my CS as something happy. But I am really happy I had it and he does not have any brain damage thanks to that surgery. My scar was a small price to pay. I was really happy when I was told that he was OK at the end of my CS and when I was allowed to see his face. I do not feel robbed or raped or anything. I am extremely grateful to the doctors and midwifes that contributed to my son being born at 28 weeks instead at 26 or 27 weeks. But, you know, I am probably not “educated” about birth…

        • araikwao
          October 23, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

          Hope baby is doing well (& that you’re recovering well 🙂

        • October 24, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

          You are super educated because it’s YOUR baby! Honestly, there is a big difference between 27 ad 28 weeks (I mean, usually. Not always.) But there’s a reason a 28 weeker is a preemie, and a 27 weeker is a micro. I’m SO GLAD you view your experience with beauty and happiness! I hope your NICU nurses are amazing, and you’re happy with the care your little dude is receiving. Congratulations and please keep me updated on how he’s doing and all his little baby-steps! Rock on NICU mama!

      • Roadstergal
        October 23, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

        I’m Liking that for everything but the PS. GIGANTES! We have the silliest names in baseball!

      • Gretta
        October 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

        Amen to that. My first baby was born via c-section and it was awesome and beautiful and personal and I was so happy. Whenever I hear a whisper that it should have been anything other than the glorious day that it was, I honestly feel rage. How dare someone suggest to me that I could have done something differently??? SCREW THAT. My son is a healthy, happy second grader and his birthday goes down as one of the greatest days of my life.

      • October 24, 2014 at 1:53 am #

        Unless someone tells them otherwise…these moms had good birth
        experiences given the circumstances. Outcomes were great, and really,
        it wasn’t about them.

        AMEN, Sistah!
        Truer words were never spoken. I’ve seen the same thing literally thousands of times.

    • namaste863
      October 23, 2014 at 12:10 am #

      Having my hoo-ha Waxed? No thanks! YYYEEEAAAOOOOUUUCCCHHH!

      • October 23, 2014 at 12:25 am #

        You big baby! It’s a good pain. Sort of like Arizona is a dry heat.

        • namaste863
          October 23, 2014 at 12:27 am #

          One reason among many why I don’t live in Arizona.

          • October 23, 2014 at 12:29 am #

            You and me both sister.

          • namaste863
            October 23, 2014 at 12:32 am #

            I found a story online about a woman who attempted just this sort of wax in her bathroom. She ended up glued by her girlie goodies to the bottom of her bathtub.

          • October 23, 2014 at 12:36 am #

            Did the midwife not transfer her to aesthetics specialists in time? That poor, poor hoo-ha…

          • namaste863
            October 23, 2014 at 12:39 am #

            It wasn’t for a birth. Purely cosmetic reasons.
            That’s a link to the story. It had me howling with laughter. Or, being Deaf, at least I assume I was howling.

          • October 23, 2014 at 12:43 am #

            Haha! I know, I was trying to be what I’ve heard people describe as, “funny.” Get it, bathtub wax/bathrub birth, bad outcome, etc. etc. etc.

            I ain’t right tonight.

          • October 23, 2014 at 12:45 am #

            Oh lawd. Reading now and, yes, cracking up…

          • October 23, 2014 at 12:48 am #

            OMG. “Sealed shut! My butt is sealed shut. Sealed shut!”

            And that’s why we pay $90 for fairly pain-free Brazilians.

            Had this been me, I’d just slapped some Detatchall on that shit and called it a day. OR maybe reported to my nearest ER…

            Three words, er, letters:
            L – M – X.

          • namaste863
            October 23, 2014 at 12:53 am #

            Err, silly me, but what’s LMX?

          • October 23, 2014 at 2:01 am #

            Oops, sorry, I’m in work mode and assume everyone can just read my mind! A reoccurring problem…

            It’s a topical lidocaine. We use it to numb babies backs for lumbar punctures. Which we’ve been doing a ton of lately…so again, read my mind! Grrr….introvert problems! Sorry about that, I hate when people use acronyms I don’t know….and then I turn around and do the same! Me brain be tired.

          • Amy M
            October 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

            Kelly Clarkson!@

          • Roadstergal
            October 23, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

            I used LMX – when I got the laser treatment. To my sadness, it doesn’t completely eliminate the need to shave, but to my happiness, everything is softer, sparser, and slower-growing, so I don’t need to be on it like my grandma on weeds among the azaleas.

          • Cobalt
            October 23, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

            That laser is good stuff. I used to get frequent, painful folliculitis (spell check ain’t touching that one) whether or not I shaved or trimmed until I got lasered. I used to be a horse trainer until I had all these kids, hours in the saddle every day made for some very sensitive skin. What’s left is soft, fine, and non-irritating. And, yeah, numbing cream!

          • Empliau
            October 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

            The reviews of Veet are a classic of the genre:


          • Amy M
            October 23, 2014 at 7:40 am #

            It’s not that hard. Granted, I’ve never attempted a full Brazilian on myself at home, but the basic bikini…very easy to avoid ending up glued to any surface, as well as avoiding various nether regions being glued to each other. The kits come with directions.

          • Who?
            October 24, 2014 at 3:16 am #

            My friend tried to dyi. The result, in her words ‘like an eggplant’. I was off ratatouille for quite a while after that…

      • Smoochagator
        October 24, 2014 at 9:42 am #

        This is why I go the old-fashioned, slow, cheap, and almost-foolproof route: razor. Though I do pop for the fancy razors with the shave gel attached. It’s amazing how easy grooming is, even when you are so pregnancy you cannot see your private parts.

    • sdsures
      October 23, 2014 at 10:09 am #

      I love this one:

      “It also reflects millennia of attempts to suppress women’s power, of which childbirth is perhaps the ultimate expression.”

      Well, golly! Didn’t know that! How benighted I must be. I guess getting the vote, being able to go to university and be paid the same as a man in the same job counts for zip, bupkis, nada!

      • Rita Rippetoe
        October 23, 2014 at 11:22 am #

        Isn’t it interesting how every time women try to move outside their reproductive role that role suddenly becomes the ultimate expression of their uniquely female power. Come on ladies, being CEO of a national corporation, president of a university, recognized authority on X, or even POTUS couldn’t possibly compare to being a successful placental mammal.

      • PrimaryCareDoc
        October 23, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

        It’s frighteningly like “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

      • Life Tip
        October 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

        So, I’m less powerful because I’m unable to push a baby through my vagina?

        You know what was powerful? Having an operating room full of people, whose combined years of education is more than the years I’ve been on this earth, focused solely on bringing me and my daughter through childbirth safely. Because I am not dispensable. Because my daughter is not dispensable, nor are her brain cells. Because my OB, who is also a woman, is able to get an education and use her intelligence and skills to do what she loves. It’s powerful because it represents what many women throughout history have fought for: to be valued as an individual human being, worth saving.

        • Smoochagator
          October 24, 2014 at 9:37 am #

          “Because I am not dispensable. Because my daughter is not dispensable, nor are her brain cells.”
          Yes, yes. This. Those two sentences brought tears to my eyes. That is truly valuing a woman – doing whatever is necessary to save her and her child’s life when they are in danger of succumbing to the dangers of “natural” childbirth. That is how doctors value poor women, women of color, and women in developing countries – by making technology available to them that previously had only been within the reach of rich, white women so that their lives, and their children’s – which have VALUE! – can be preserved.

          • Petanque
            October 26, 2014 at 9:08 am #

            Exactly! I’d also like to add that several of the highly trained professionals in the room using their skills to help keep us alive and comfortable were women, and their gender wasn’t relevant to me then at all. That’s women being powerful!

        • seekingbalance
          October 27, 2014 at 12:29 am #

          I’ve never replied to anything on this site (though I love it and have visited it many times). but your comment was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever read and I just had to say thank you for posting it. for the record, I’m a physician and lactation consultant (though I prefer to think of myself as an infant feeding specialist since I support families in context, not with a mandate to push BFing)–who has attended many deliveries over the years and who, for my own children, would have loved an unmedicated vaginal birth, all things being equal, but who ended up with an primary emergency cesarean for fetal distress and a now-thriving five year old that I’m grateful for every day. then an elective repeat cesarean for my second–actually quite a healing birth. yay, intervention. and thank you, life tip, for making my night with your beautiful and eloquent perspective on the source of true power for women.

      • RSM
        October 24, 2014 at 12:15 am #

        I agree that its been thousands of years of patriarchal oppression, and taking away our power to control our reproductive system is a huge part of this.
        But what does any of it have to do with FB pics?

    • attitude devant
      October 23, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      “…and even devoid of pubic hair.” Puh-leeze. We haven’t been doing perineal shaves in the hospital in over 30 years. All the devoids of pubic hair in my practice do it to themselves.

      • fiftyfifty1
        October 23, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

        “All the devoids of pubic hair in my practice do it themselves”
        When shaving in the hospital was first criticized in the 1970s, the criticism was not that it was ineffective for preventing infection (true) but that doctors were supposedly doing it on purpose as a power move to humiliate women…. But then women started shaving their pubic hair of their own free will. So the response to this by older feminist theorists was that women themselves couldn’t possibly want to do this humiliating thing, but must be being brainwashed by the patriarchy to make themselves into prepubescent Lolita figures which was supposedly what all men (being perverts at heart) desired…..But then young straight men started shaving off their pubes too. I await the explanation this time.
        I don’t remember the last time I saw unaltered pubic hair in a woman under 30. I will occasionally run into a young man who doesn’t shave or trim short, but they are vastly outnumbered by those who do “manscape”.

        • ersmom
          October 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

          I’m an OB in a VERY crunchy area. The longer and more woo-filled the birth plan, the more likely the pubic hair is still there. FWIW, YMMV, etc.

          However, the majority of women do some sort of trimming.

          • Smoochagator
            October 24, 2014 at 9:32 am #

            But correlation does not indicate causation!

          • toofargone
            October 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

            Very true. I certainly don’t want my presence of pubic hair to align me with the crunchy bunch. LOL. Shaving all that is not for me. It totally messes up my skin and is way too much work. I barely have time to shave my legs as it is.

        • theadequatemother
          October 23, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

          Because it could possibly be a reason like making high intensity sports in stretchy tight pants (think road cycling for example) more comfortable?

          • Amy M
            October 23, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

            I swear I remember reading something about how since the cultural trend of pubic grooming caught on, incidence of pubic lice has plunged like eleventy billion percent.

          • Medwife
            October 25, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

            Yes, but ugh, the folliculitis! So many ladies come in terrified they have herpes. Nope. Just shaved a bit too close. It’s not healthy!

          • fiftyfifty1
            October 23, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

            I don’t think that road cycling is the high intensity “sport” that these young men are most interested in.

        • October 24, 2014 at 1:48 am #

          It is also a cultural thing. In my part of the world, Arab women are universally hairless in the pubic region — “the men prefer it” — and, to be honest, in a hot climate, in clothes which envelop from head to foot, I can see the benefit.

    • LovleAnjel
      October 23, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      “…silenced by drugs…” The drugs don’t silence you AT ALL. You can make as much damn noise as you please. What does she think doctors are putting in the IV?

      • Jocelyn
        October 23, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

        Well, I sure screamed a lot less during the birth I had an epidural. I’ll take that kind of “drug silencing” any day!

    • RSM
      October 24, 2014 at 12:12 am #

      No, those preferences do NOT count as feminist. Just because a woman makes a choice, does NOT make it feminist!
      Not every action taken by a female, or feminist, is feminist!!!

  9. Sara M.
    October 22, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

    Love this article. reminds me of how grateful I am to have access to care.

  10. Zornorph
    October 22, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    What the hell is that on the belly of the woman giving birth? Some Wiccan symbol?

    • Kelly
      October 22, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

      I think it is henna.

      • Stacy48918
        October 22, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

        Another theft from a culture they don’t really understand.

        • namaste863
          October 23, 2014 at 12:45 am #

          Stacy, in all seriousness, I want to ask your opinion. Is it “cultural appropriation” for a Majority culture person to participate in things such as henna out of a genuine desire to learn about and help to further their understanding of the culture they are “visiting” for lack of a better term?

          • MS
            October 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

            I can’t speak for Stacy, but yes, I believe there are legitimate ways for someone to learn and understand cultural rites and traditions of others, and as a general rule of thumb it should always start with the culture itself. Some cultures may feel more protective of their insider knowledge and traditions than others. Some cultures may be willing to share knowledge and traditions with anyone, while others may only be willing to share with a chosen few or not at all. Some cultures may not be bothered by outsiders using their practices, and some cultures may see it as appropriation. Its an incredibly sticky issue, with very little consensus among anyone. Members of a culture may disagree with one another on what is appropriate and what is not. But I highly doubt that any cultural sensitivity is being practiced in that picture. I can only assume that the belly henna represents someone from a majority culture “initiating” another from the majority culture into a world of “secret and ancient knowledge” of an “other” culture. That is particularly problematic, because it means that the person “teaching” these rites assumes that she is either part of the culture or that she has “ownership” of the rite to give/teach it.

            I know plenty of scholars who have a legitimate passion for another culture, and while they have spent time with those cultures, and are involved in those societies, they would never pretend to be fully immersed enough to act as an agent of that culture by teaching or practicing their rites/traditions or speaking for them. They understand their role as guest/scholar.

        • RSM
          October 24, 2014 at 12:20 am #

          Using a plant based paste to make designs is not appropriation just because it was done elsewhere first, and IMO is no big deal.
          Its true that many NCB types appropriate plenty, but appropriation is different from cultural exchange. Is eating curry appropriation? What about wearing a sari? How about liking tibetan chanting? Liking things other cultures do is not a crime. I guess they should stop buying levis then!

  11. Guesteleh
    October 22, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    I hate to say this but she has a point. There are many pornographic pages on Facebook with people wearing so little they may as well be nude and engaging in sex acts. Yet Facebook allows these pages to stand while photos of birth and breastfeeding are banned. I’m not saying NCB types aren’t whiny but in this case FB is being hypocritical in banning stuff like this while allowing sexually oriented and explicit content.

    • October 22, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

      The problem with that is how many people report it as offensive. If someone’s seeking out a porny image and find it, how likely are they to flag it?

      There’s also the issue of automation.

      • Guesteleh
        October 23, 2014 at 9:15 am #

        This is an excellent point. People are on those pages for a reason so they don’t get flagged. Whereas someone may want to read about NCB but don’t want to see explicit pics so they report it.

    • guestS
      October 23, 2014 at 5:11 am #

      I expect that in the history of facebook at least two of those images have been banned and their posters banned for 24hrs. They probably don’t get all of them, that requires reporting and they may not have been etc. But I don’t think that facebook is deliberately targeting images of childbirth as a vendetta against women as this article claims. The images were reported and they violated the terms and conditions of the site on which they were posted. End of.

      • AlisonCummins
        October 23, 2014 at 10:35 am #

        You’re missing the point. There are *pages* that exist specifically to post porn. Others that exist specifically to post misogynist or racist content in direct violation of Facebook’s ToS.

        Many of the pages have been flagged. They stay up.

        Yes, Facebook has a right to do what it wants. As an effective monopoly it arguably also has an ethical obligation to respond to the needs of its users.

        As a consumer, Milli Hill is entirely within her rights to complain.

        • AnnaC
          October 23, 2014 at 11:28 am #

          Except that she is not a customer. Facebook’s customers are the companies who pay to advertise. People who post material are the product. Facebook is not a public service and if it decides that it doesn’t want Milli Hill’s pictures as part of its product then it is entitled to remove them.

          • Life Tip
            October 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

            Exactly. People seem to think Facebook use is some weird, God-given right. And they complain when it (set-up, layout, advertising, privacy setting, etc.) isn’t exactly to their preference. If you don’t like Facebook, no one is forcing you to use it.

            Certainly, it’s annoying if your content is flagged and other content isn’t. But if your content violates the terms of service, you have no argument if it gets removed; whether or not they manage to remove every single inappropriate thing is not relevant to the fact that your content broke the rules.

          • AlisonCummins
            October 24, 2014 at 10:33 am #

            I said consumer, not customer. User is fine too,which is a word I also used.

            Of course it’s entitled. And she’s entitled to complain. And the Guardian is entitled to print the article. And Amy Tuteur, MD is entitled to ridicule her.

            Did you mean that since Facebook is for-profit that nobody has the right to complain about its practices? Then nobody has the right to complain about homebirth midwives’ practices either, because they’re for-profit too.

        • guestS
          October 23, 2014 at 11:37 am #

          No, she is a facebook user and she signed up to the terms and conditions re: nudity when she signed up to use the social networking site. if she didn’t agree to them or wanted them to be different she could go elsewhere or raise the issue. You don’t sign the terms and conditions, do exactly as you please, then throw a hissy fit when you’re called up on the fact that you are not abiding by the terms and conditions that you, yourself, have signed.

          • AlisonCummins
            October 24, 2014 at 10:36 am #

            If Milli Hill doesn’t like Facebook she doesn’t have to use it. Critiquing Facebook is whiny and hysterical.

            If Amy Tuteur, MD doesn’t like Milli Hill’s article she doesn’t have to read it. Critiquing the article is whiny and hysterical.

            Like that?

    • RSM
      October 24, 2014 at 12:22 am #

      Yes, F Facebook. They will take down anything flagged enough times. We had pics of a victims memorial taken down by thousands of flags from pro pit bull pushers, but MRA hate rants and nasty near porn stands.
      Its easy- if its degrading to women, its OK. If it is not, then its gotta go. Degrading other victims is OK too, but their oppressors or aggressors are cool/

  12. junebug
    October 22, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    The only time NCB advocates give a crap about colored people is when they can fly to Africa or the Mexican border and rack up births from desperate women with no options to use toward becoming a cpm.

    • Jami
      October 23, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

      It is highly – I emphasize HIGHLY – unethical to “play” medicine on vulnerable populations. In essence, they are conducting experiments on underprivileged and “captive” populations. Makes me sick.

  13. deafgimp
    October 22, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    I keep on wanting to say her name as Milli Hilli, to go along with Milli Vanilli.

    • Zornorph
      October 22, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

      No, Milli Vanilli actually could sing, they just weren’t allowed to. They were more real than she is.

  14. Jami
    October 22, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    I have yet to see an NCB advocate address the racial and socioeconomic inequality in obstetric care. They are not addressing the real problems.

    • lawyer jane
      October 23, 2014 at 10:34 am #

      There are some african-american doulas and midwives who do seem to use NCB philosophies as a way to counter discrimination and give better prenatal care. Given the huge disparities in outcomes at regular hospitals, it’s not a totally crazy thing to do (as long as the version of NCB incorporates good obstetric care – eg hospital based CNM plus doula, not home birth.)

      • lawyer jane
        October 23, 2014 at 10:39 am #

        I should add: I actually have a huge objection to NCB being used as the option to access better care, because the price that poor black women have to pay for good care is forgoing pain relief!

        • Jami
          October 23, 2014 at 11:56 am #

          Exactly, still shows unequal access to appropriate medical care.

      • toofargone
        October 24, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

        There is some good coming out of NCB types. I feel like these women would support all decisions.

        • Young CC Prof
          October 24, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

          I can get on board with that.

  15. guest
    October 22, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    This post is so on target. It takes a special kind of spoiled, entitled princess to snub their nose at some of the best health care in the world, while other women less fortunate would give the clothes off their backs just to give birth in a hospital. Pathetic little drama queens. I feel sorry for their children.

  16. Liz Leyden
    October 22, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    Facebook has banned nudity and pictures of genitalia (including breasts) for some time now. It’s not a new policy. As a private company they can make whatever rules they want about photos. Milli Hill and The Positive Birth Movement (which would be a great band name) can always post those photos somewhere else.

  17. guestS
    October 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    There are some absolute gems of comments over there, lovely mansplaining, sanctimony etc. etc.

  18. Stacy48918
    October 22, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    At least most of the commenters have their heads screwed on straight. What an over-reacting, pouty little baby Milli Hill is. Want to post those pics? Put them on YOUR website!! If you want to put them on SOMEONE ELSE’S website, you have to abide by their rules. I’m not holding my breath for her to cancel her Facebook in protest…she knows it gets her more publicity than she could on her own.

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