Authors Jessica Martucci, Ph.D., and Anne Barnhill, Ph.D., published a short essay3 in the journal Pediatrics, in which they discuss the use of the word “natural” to describe breastfeeding. Their argument is against using the word and built on a previous publication from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.4
The 109-page Nuffield Council report attempts to classify and understand how the term “natural” may affect an individual’s process in making decisions about health care. They stated:5
“Commending, praising or [favoring] something on the basis of its being natural, or [criticizing], condemning or disapproving of something on the grounds that it is unnatural connects the notion of what is natural with value.”
Using this as a basis for their argument, the authors proceed to recommend the term “natural” not be used as pediatricians encourage new mothers to breastfeed. It is almost opposite of published breastfeeding initiatives from the American Academy of Pediatrics,6 which state:7
“Breastfeeding and human milk are the normative standards for infant feeding and nutrition. Given the documented short- and long-term medical and neurodevelopmental advantages of breastfeeding, infant nutrition should be considered a public health issue and not only a lifestyle choice.”
It appears the authors’ underlying assumption is that public health initiatives must be built based on the hypothesis individuals cannot differentiate between what is natural or normal and what is healthy. The authors propose:8
“Promoting breastfeeding as “natural” may be ethically problematic and, even more troublingly, it may bolster this belief that “natural” approaches are presumptively healthier. This may ultimately challenge public health’s aims in other contexts, particularly childhood vaccination.”…
It’s perfectly UN-natural for profit-motivated, severely indebted and brainwashed strangers to insinuate themselves between children and parents. To go beyond this and caution against natural parent-child behaviors which have been practiced and honed over millennia is downright pathological.