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20th Apr 2016

Doctor Claims Home Births And So-Called “Natural Parenting” Can Be Dangerous And Harm Babies

Trine Jensen-Burke

There is no denying that there is a lot of pressure on mums nowadays to do things as “natural” as possible.

But according to Mamamia, a controversial new book has now been written by an actual doctor who feels ‘Natural’ parenting isn’t always better and can even sometimes be incredibly dangerous.

Australian doctor and obstetrician gynecologist Amy Tuteur has been speaking out against home births since 2009 and now in her new book Push Back: Guilt in the Age of Natural Parenting, she offers comfort to all the parents who used all the drugs they could get their hands on during child birth or, God-forbid, had a c-section. Or – gasp – chose to formula feed their babies.


According to Tuteur, the ‘Natural’ parenting movement has become more about privilege, status and money instead of the health and wellness of the parent and child.

“Natural birth is all well and good until it doesn’t go well, ” Tuteur writes in her book. “Then, modern medicine is a gift, saving countless lives of mothers and children all over the world. Nothing screams privilege louder than ostentatiously turning down something that a poor woman would trudge five miles to get for her child.”

Tuteor is worries that home births puts both mums and babies in danger, and reminds readers that “planned home birth has a death rate 450 times higher than comparable risk hospital birth.”

And for mums who had to have C-sections births, Dr. Tuteur views them as a life-saving procedure that attract too much guilt.  “Many C-sections done for fetal distress are probably unnecessary, but then a lot of biopsies of breast lumps are also unnecessary in retrospect.”

Her views on breastfeeding are also rather controversial, stating that the benefits of breastfeeding are short-lived and not as important as giving babies enough milk over all.  “Women do or don’t breast-feed for lots of reasons, and you’re not going to do any harm by formula feeding, ” Tuteur writes. “Stressing out about it will probably cause the baby harm, though.”

What do YOU think about what she has to say, mamas? Is the obsession with doing everything “right” and natural more about mum and less about what is best for the baby? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or tweet us at @Herfamilydotie