This news came out awhile ago but I’m still so incensed that I needed to write about this and make sure you all saw this as well. The journal Pediatrics has asked health professionals, in a new article, to stop calling breastfeeding “natural”. You read that correctly.
Why you ask? Well, it seems that to do so gives the impression that natural parenting practices are healthier (and better). And if you follow that line of reasoning, to its natural end, the real issue is vast- in their minds: home birth, homeschooling, the rejection of GMOs, water fluoridation and vaccines. These are all “problematic” practices that many would love to see come to an end. Because they are so dangerous.
In fact, the authors are so worried about using the word “natural”, which means, “existing in nature and not made or caused by people: coming from nature; not having any extra substances or chemicals added: not containing anything artificial; usual or expected”, that they are willing to forgo its use even if that means that breastfeeding is undermined.
It’s best to just hear from the authors themselves. I don’t normally like to post quotes that are this long, but this stuff is too good to miss. From the Examiner article:
“IT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH INTERNET DIGGING TO FIND SOME OF THE POTENTIALLY PROBLEMATIC IMPLICATIONS FOR A PUBLIC HEALTH CAMPAIGN BUILT AROUND AN ARGUMENT THAT ‘NATURAL’ IS BETTER. A SEARCH FOR ‘NATURAL LIVING’ TURNS UP A VARIETY OF SITES DEVOTED TO NATURAL PARENTING. PARENTING BLOGS AND NATURAL NEWS SITES OFTEN DISCUSS PRACTICES AND IDEAS RANGING FROM HOME-BIRTH AND CONSUMING THE PLACENTA AFTER BIRTH TO HOMESCHOOLING, BREASTFEEDING, AND HOMEOPATHY. BUT THESE ARE ALSO SPACES WHERE ONE MIGHT EXPECT TO RUN ACROSS WRITERS AND COMMENTERS EXPRESSING CONCERNS ABOUT THE NECESSITY AND SAFETY OF CHILDHOOD VACCINATIONS AND THE PROMOTION OF IMMUNITY THROUGH ‘NATURAL’ DISEASE AND HEALING PROCESSES.
STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT ANTI-VACCINATION SENTIMENT TENDS TO OVERLAP WITH RELIANCE ON AND INTEREST IN COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE, SKEPTICISM OF INSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY, AND A STRONG COMMITMENT AND INTEREST IN HEALTH KNOWLEDGE, AUTONOMY AND HEALTHY LIVING PRACTICES.
IF DOING WHAT IS ‘NATURAL’ IS BEST IN THE CASE OF BREASTFEEDING, HOW CAN WE EXPECT MOTHERS TO IGNORE THAT POWERFUL WORLDVIEW WHEN MAKING CHOICES ABOUT OTHER HEALTH PRACTICES, LIKE VACCINATION?”
So, how DARE you want to be educated and have “health knowledge” when you are what, just a parent? How on earth could they trust us to make sound decisions? We should just blindly trust them instead…because living in a healthy manner and alternative health practices are crap? It certainly should’t matter that the alternative worldview has been around for thousands more years than Western medicine and that its cures alone don’t kill thousands every year. But, I’m no medical professional, I just know how to read and that’s not enough.
Honestly, can you think of when natural approaches AREN’T healthier? Ok, that may be semantics but come on. This is simply ludicrous. Let’s be clear, breastfeeding is indisputably natural. Breastfeeding is undeniably the best food for babies.
Check out this video that discusses what breastfeeding does for infants brains: