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Friday, June 15, 2018

Push Back - Amy Tuteur M.D.

Back in 2008, Harvard-trained obstetrician-gynecologist Amy Tuteur M.D. found herself so dismayed by the amount of pseudoscientific parenting advice she found all over the internet that she decided to start a blog to combat it using scientifically backed data. In this book M.D. Tuteur compiles this information in a readable format for readers.

Part I. Subverting Sciene covers topics like natural birth, interventions and pain relief during childbirth, c-sections, breastfeeding, and attachment parenting. She discusses how these are talked about by "natural birth" activists and adherents and how their philosophies compare to the actual data.

Part II. The Natural Parenting Industry talks about how birthing and breastfeeding have become a huge industry in the modern world, employing birthworkers, like Doulas and Midwives, and Lactation Consultants. While these
well-meaning people may believe in what they are doing, they also have a vested interest in making people believe the data supports them, rather than looking at it objectively.

Part III: A Sexist Philosophy of Privilege seeks to show how many "Natural Parenting" philosophies are not only not supported by data, but also sexist and classist. The denial of pain relief to women and putting the strict burden of caring for a baby (attachment parenting) are both rooted in some questionable agendas. She argues that while this may be the right path for some families, data does not support that it is the ideal. And those who know a bit more about raising children in other countries and environments know that this ideal is far from the norm.

While some feel that Dr. Amy is shaming those who adhere to some of these philosophies, I personally felt she is doing her best to get accurate information and data to parents concerning these topics. These same people who criticize Dr. Amy may be surprised to find that she has also written many articles against some practices of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) when data no longer supports long-standing ideal, such is the case with episiotomies, hormone replacement therapy, and breastfeeding. Dr. Amy supports what the data shows and her extensive citations prove this. Regardless of personal philosophy, readers will be challenged while reading this book.

The Author's Blog:
The Skeptical OB

Recommended Reads:
NurtureShock - New Thinking About Children - Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman

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