Kelly Brogan, homebirth and monetizing misogyny


I reserve my utmost contempt for physicians who line their pockets by peddling pseudoscience, physicians like quack psychiatrist Kelly Brogan, MD.

Brogan’s website is a monument to quackery marketing. It includes:

Brogan makes money from women who are indoctrinated into sexism, gullible and above all afraid of what they don’t understand.

  • The standard quackery Miranda warning:

    You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.

  • The typical encomiums from other entrepreneurs like “quacktresses” Suzanne Somers and Ricki Lake.
  • And the opportunity to spend your money on worthless books and seminars.

Brogan, like other quack entrepreneurs relies on monetizing fear (of toxins, of medications, of physicians), monetizing gullibility, monetizing ego (“Sure I never finished college, but I’ve done my research!) and — as is the case for most lactivists and natural childbirth advocates — monetizing misogyny.

Her recent piece Homebirth: The Opportunity of a Lifetime is a paean to deeply anti-feminist and retrograde beliefs: women’s pain should be celebrated, women’s needs are irrelevant and women’s reproductive organs matter far more than their intellect, talent or character.

You can recognize childbirth misogynists by what they say. The biological essentialists among them are fond of catch phrases like “trust birth” and “pregnancy is not a disease.” They insist that obstetrics has “pathologized” childbirth. Those who are anti-rationalists as well are distinguished, not surprisingly, by their anti-rationalism. They dismiss science as a male form of “authoritative knowledge” on the understanding that there are “other ways of knowing” like “intuition.”

Brogan’s piece on homebirth hits all the misogynist high points:

You must choose whether you believe that the body has an innate wisdom, a vitalism that guides its natively harmonious performance…


…In America, we treat birth like a medical illness.


Childbirth is a woman’s initiation to her own wildness. Several hundred years of patriarchal dominance is vitally threatened by the prospect of a woman awakened to the power of her own vital embodiment.


We are guided and protected by an inner knowing that suppresses any false leads our minds might present. We dig deep into our core selves, we flow with that primal universal power and our minds finally submit to a greater truth. And this changes us. Awakens us. And from that point on, we can no longer be controlled.

Who is stupid enough and gullible enough to believe this crap?

Like most quacks, Brogan suffers from logorrhea; she adores the sound of her own voice. She’s written over 2,000 words of nonsense glorifying homebirth, but she couldn’t be bothered to mention some critical points.

1. Pain. Childbirth is likely the most physically painful experience than any individual can have. Indeed, the pain is so agonizing that some women suffer PTSD as a result.

2. Pain relief. Like most misogynists, Brogan thinks women’s pain is not merely irrelevant, it should be celebrated. We have a word for that philosophy: sadism.

3. The inherent deadliness of childbirth. Childbirth is a killer of babies and mothers. Death is a natural part of reproduction. Just as pregnancy has a natural miscarriage of 20%, childbirth has an inherent neonatal death rate of approximately 7% and an inherent maternal death rate of approximately 1%. That’s why colonial cemetaries are filled with the gravestones of babies and mothers. But Brogan’s mindless celebration of female biology simply ignores that basic fact.

4.The inherent failure rate of human biology. Approximately 30% of Americans are nearsighted. So much for the innate wisdom of the body.

5. The other dangers of childbirth. Incontinence of urine, incontinence of feces, major tears of the vagina and surrounding structures, resulting painful intercourse are COMMON sequelae of childbirth. Nature doesn’t care whether childbirth leaves women disabled in the most intimate ways.

6. The death rate of homebirth. Even if you believe that the source of a woman’s worth is whether a baby transits her vagina, even if you believe that her agony is irrelevant, women still deserve to know that homebirth kills babies. The death rate at American homebirth is so high that even homebirth midwives acknowledge it.

The chart below, which uses data from the MANA statistic project, illustrates the increased risk of death at US homebirth, ranging from uncomplicated births that have a 3X high rate of ending in the baby’s death to breech that has a 56X higher risk of the baby dying than an elective C-section.


Instead of truth, Brogan offers sexist gobbledygook:

We need to come into our bodies and we need to radically heal our splintered and fragmented abusive relationships to them. We need to be shown, to feel, the incredible artistry of their design, their impossible power, their deep wisdom.

Tell that to the 2 million women around the world currently living with obstetric fistula.

Women are not their reproductive organs and it is deeply sexist and retrograde to imagine that women’s source of highest fulfillment is a baby transiting through their vagina. Women have fought for tens of thousands of years to have their intelligence taken seriously, to be recognized for their talents, to be allowed to take their rightful place in society as professionals, as artists, as moral authorities.

But quacks like Brogan can’t make money from women who are smart, capable and unafraid. They can only make money from women who are indoctrinated into sexism, gullible and above all afraid of what they don’t understand. And Brogan intends to keep them that way.