Hi! My name is Ima Frawde and I am so glad that you have chosen me to be your guide during your climb of Everest. The fact that you have chosen me indicates that you are well on your way to mastering the most important skill in climbing the mountain: Trust Everest. And why shouldn’t you trust Everest? The mountain is totally natural; climbing is totally natural; reduced oxygen concentration at higher ...

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Breastfeeding and sex share something in common and it isn’t just breasts. It’s the apparently irresistible urge of some people to force their personal beliefs on other people. The stated desire of lactivists, like those promoting the Latch On NYC breastfeeding program, to “protect” breastfeeding bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the stated desire of religious fundamentalists to “protect” virginity from the “dangers” of premarital sex, or to “protect” marriage from the ...

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We understand the problem: the VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) rate is too low. It's time for a bold solution. We need a "VBAC Court." VBAC is a safe option for most women, and almost 3/4 of women who opt a VBAC will deliver vaginally and avoid another C-section. But we also know that approximately 0.8% of women attempting VBAC will end up with a ruptured uterus, a catastrophic complication ...

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Consider the explosion in the rate of C-sections and inductions. They satisfy the requirements of assurance behavior. Reducing adverse outcomes? Check. Deterring medical malpractice claims? Check. Pre-empting liability? Check. Consider the precipitous decline in the rate of VBAC. That's avoidance behavior: malpractice insurers have forced providers and hospitals to refuse to participate in VBACs. There's an important subtext that undergirds defensive medicine that often goes unrecognized and therefore unanalyzed. Defensive medicine is driven ...

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What links belief in tarot cards, UFOs and vaccine rejectionism? Yes, they are all forms of superstitious or magical thinking, but are there characteristics that predict who will believe in such nonsense? That's one of the questions that psychologists Marjaana Lindeman and Kia Aarnio seek to answer in their paper, Superstitious, magical, and paranormal beliefs: An integrative model. Lindeman and Aarnio postulate that believers in superstition, paranormal phenomena and pseudoscience make ...

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It's a bit ironic that pilots, the people who spend the most time traveling above the magnificent landscape that is our planet earth, spend very little time appreciating the scenery. That's because they are trained to always be on guard for unexpected emergencies. While the passenger in a jumbo jet traversing the continent can admire the majesty of the Rocky Mountains, the desolation of the Great Salt Lake or the endless ...

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Advocates of alternative health attribute all sorts of fantastical properties to the human body. The body supposedly "knows" how to live a long healthy life; the body is supposedly "designed" to work perfectly. The tenets of natural childbirth philosophy also invoke these fantastical properties. The body "knows" how to give birth; a woman's body is "designed" to give birth. On their face these claims are obviously false. The body doesn't "know" ...

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It seems rather obvious that medical procedures should be reserved for medical indications. Why? Because almost every medical procedure, even some of the simplest, have small but real risks of complications. And risking complications can only be justified if the medical benefit outweighs the risk. That rule applies to labor inductions, although many obstetricians have forgotten it. Induction of labor for non-medical reasons, primarily convenience, is attractive, but labor induction is ...

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It is a curious fact, seldom remarked upon, that all diseases purportedly caused by vaccination share certain common characteristics. Chief among these characteristics is that the cause of the disease purportedly caused by vaccination is presently unknown. Vaccine rejectionists never claim that a particular vaccine causes heart disease, gall bladder disease, bone abnormalities or any of the myriad diseases for which causes are already known. Vaccine rejectionists always insist that vaccines ...

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Since the subtext of the natural childbirth and attachment parenting movements is the notion of the good mother, it's worth asking what makes a good mother. My whole approach to writing about childbirth and mothering choices is based my rejection of currently popular beliefs about good mothering. Simply put, I believe that good mothering is about choosing mothering and not about mothering choices. What does choosing mothering mean? It means actively embracing ...

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