The ‘Harvard Study’ researchers…in the flesh

I found this interesting ABC piece on infant sleep training (apparently televised last year) over at the Drs. Weissbluth blog. It’s not very long, seems journalistically well-balanced, and there are short interviews with some of the important players in the infant sleep industry: Ferber, T. Berry Brazelton, and pere Weissbluth himself.

Of particular interest to me, though, is the interview with Michael Commons and Patrice Miller, the husband-and-wife team of psychologists from Harvard responsible for the notorious Harvard non-study. You can find it about 3:55 minutes into the video:

Other than the self-satisfied looks on both their faces, I have to say they weren’t quite what I was expecting. I certainly wasn’t expecting them to sink quite so low with comparisons to Hitler and Saddam Hussein’s supposed parenting – which Miller tries to soften just a bit (probably because she belatedly realized how off-the-wall her husband sounds). Even if much of the interview was sane and edited out for brevity…they did say it. Contrast the absolute certainty Commons displays in 2008, as compared to this relatively cautious interview 10 years previously…and it’s not because the duo has done further research into the matter, mind. Nor has anyone else come up with actual research corroborating their conclusions in the interval.

What do you think?


Sanctimommy Sighting!

Dr. Amy over at the Skeptical OB has a great post about that rare (but unfortunately, not rare enough) creature, the Mater Sanctimonius, commonly known as The Sanctimommy. Amy describes her attributes far better than I could, so go over there and have a look…I’ll wait. 🙂 .

I’ve come across some Sanctimommy doozies in my day, some of whom have even commented here. But I think this particular specimen takes the cake:
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LLL dogma: still a barrier to properly informing women.

As you know, I’m not a huge vitamin pusher. However, I do realize the importance of supplementing babies’ diets – especially those of exclusively breastfed babies – with 400IU of vitamin D daily until the age of a year. I also pointed out, almost a year ago, that lactofanatic dogma – that breastmilk is perfect for all babies, always – has caused some AP/NPers to resist vitamin D supplementation for their babies, despite the research that shows that exclusively breastfed babies are prone to vitamin D deficiency and even rickets.
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How to win friends and influence people

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The politics of pumping

While I think it’s a good thing The Case Against Breastfeeding was written, I still found some of the assumptions underlying both the article and the podcast discussion a bit grating. The issue that bothered me the most, I think, was the discussion about whether the benefits from breastfeeding are all about the milk, or is it all the holding, cuddling and interaction that goes along with the breastfeeding that is responsible for at least some of the beneficial effects of breastfeeding.
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The case against breastfeeding

I was pointed to an article in the April 2009 issue of The Atlantic, The Case Against Breastfeeding. Hannah Rosin is a mother of 3 (and, to read the article, an ex-compatriot of mine) who dutifully nursed her first two children until they were a year old, as per the AAP’s recommendation. However, when her third child arrived, she found herself thinking heretical thoughts:
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More offline mainstream parenting resources

Last year, I recommended a few books I felt mainstream parents would enjoy and learn from. Since then, I’ve found several more books that I feel have much to offer the mainstream parent.
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