Mothers, fathers, midwives and doctors: please share your experiences with natural parenting and guilt

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It’s no secret that I think the commentors on The Skeptical OB are the best, brightest, wittiest and most insightful on the internet.

That’s why I’d like to make you part of my forthcoming book Guilt Trap: New Motherhood and the Natural Parenting Industry to be published by the Dey Street imprint of Harper Collins in 2015. I’d be honored to have you share your experiences with natural parenting (natural childbirth, breastfeeding and attachment parenting) and guilt. The book is, after all, for you and others like you.

Do you feel badly about having had a C-section? Did friends trying to convince you that it was “unnecessarean”? Are you wondering if you or your baby missed out on something important because the baby did not exit your vagina? This book is for you.

Did you have pregnancy complications like pre-eclampsia that necessitated interventions? Did you have an induction? Did your baby experience fetal distress? This book is for you.

Were you planning on avoiding an epidural but ended up getting one anyway? Are you worried that you exposed your baby to harmful drugs by getting an epidural? Are you ashamed that you “gave in” when the pain became unbearable? This book is for you.

Were you committed to breastfeeding but found it very difficult? Did you struggle with pain and other issues? Was your milk supply not adequate to meet your baby’s needs? Did you have trouble combining breastfeeding and work? This book is for you.

Did you watch your wife or partner struggle with guilt and disappointment over not meeting the prescribed goals of the natural parenting industry? Were you concerned that she lost sight of the miracle of a healthy baby in favor of the arbitrary prescriptions of an industry that did not seem to care at all about her mental health and wellbeing? This book is for you.

Are you a midwife, obstetrician, neonatologist, pediatrician or anesthesiologist who has felt concern or fear when a mother rejects conventional obstetric or pediatric practice in favor of something she read on the internet? Have you felt frustration that your patients have been primed by the propaganda of the natural parenting to distrust you? Have you found yourself trying to save the life of a mother or baby because the mother rejected the preventive care that you and your colleagues offered? This book is for you.

Your voices should be heard!

If you are interested in sharing your perspective, you can submit it to

I can’t guarantee that your story will appear in the book, but I can guarantee that it will be considered for inclusion by my editors and me. We want Guilt Trap to reflect the myriad ways that women have struggled against the guilt, shame and disappointment promoted by the natural parenting industry and the many ways that providers have struggled against the mistruths, half truths and outright lies of that industry.

Of course, Guilt Trap is also for anyone, male or female, concerned with women’s rights and freedoms and the effort to force women back into the home, not by a frontal assault on women’s equality in the political, economic, and intellectual spheres, but by way of a parenting Trojan horse concealing the age old desire to judge women by the function of their reproductive organs inside purported “concern” over the well being of their children. French philosopher Elizabeth Badinter argued that “the baby is the best ally of masculine domination.” I would amend that to reflect the fact that babies have no interest in promoting the control of one gender over another: Natural parenting proponents are the best allies of retrograde, sexist attitudes.

When you submit your perspective, please let me know if you would like to be named in the book or would prefer first name only, initials or being entirely anonymous.

Once again, the email address for submissions is Submissions from everyone are welcome, whether or not they read or comment on The Skeptical OB. If you know of any friends who might like to contribute, please share the email address.

I will be deeply grateful for any and all participation.