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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Babywise" is very unwise and dangerous

"On Becoming Babywise" by Gary Ezzo..... I'm not sure that there is another book out there that has caused as much damage and heartbreak and controversy as this one. Nor another book that has been published and accepted by huge groups of people to be the "Best parenting advice", even though the books basic premise goes against just about every major paediatric association and health organizations well founded and researched advice - especially when it comes to infant feeding practices.

The book’s author is Gary Ezzo, a pastor with no medical background and does not have any academic background in any field that has any relevance to his books. Ezzo has been proven to misquote studies and twist information around to suit his needs- even facts that clearly go against everything he preaches when the entire research papers or article has been reviewed. He has been excommunicated from several churches and is considered to be "unfit" for public ministry. But the most telling fact is that his own children are estranged from him and refuse to have any dealings with him. This is particularly scary since the Ezzos say the goal of their program is friendship with adult children and urge that parenting philosophies, including their own, be judged by "observ[ing] the end results."...

...Obviously his parenting philosophies do not stand up to the end results that he advertises.

A paper released by the American Academy of Paediatrics states:

On Becoming Babywise,
has raised concern among pediatricians
because it outlines an infant feeding program
that has been associated with failure to thrive
(FTT), poor weight gain, dehydration, breast
milk supply failure, and involuntary early
weaning. A Forsyth Medical Hospital Review
Committee, in Winston-Salem N.C., has listed
11 areas in which the program is inadequately
supported by conventional medical practice.
The Child Abuse Prevention Council Of Orange
County, Calif., stated its concern after
physicians called them with reports of
dehydration, slow growth and development,
and FTT associated with the program. And on
Feb. 8, AAP District IV passed a resolution
asking the Academy to investigate
“Babywise,” determine the extent of its effects
on infant health and alert its members, other
organizations and parents of its findings.

The more research you do about Gary Ezzo and his books and teachings, the more you begin to realize that it is a dangerous trap for new parents to fall into. Personally I (and my Natural Mothering partner Helen) have made it our goal to removed as many copies of the "Babywise" books from circulation as possible. When we find them in second hand stores and thrift shops we buy then and tear them up into little pieces. Spending $2-3 to save some unsuspecting family from heart ache is a small price to pay.

Below are some links for more information about the "Babywise" books and principals, and about the Ezzo's.

.... or just do a google search of your own.... but be prepared to be horrified by some of the stories you'll read!

‘Babywise’ advice linked to dehydration, failure to
by Matthew Aney, M.D.

Evaluating Ezzo Programs