Ezzo parenting: A threat to baby's health?

A group of more than 90 health care professionals including doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, counselors, researchers and book authors signed a letter of concern last month to the American Academy of Pediatrics asking the 53,000-member group to review the curriculum and issue warnings of its content. The matter is under review.

As for Kearney, two more mothers influenced by the Ezzo program were referred to her by physicians last week with feeding and weight gain problems.

"This happens every time I delve into this program" said Kearney, a Christian mother of four who has also taken one of their courses.

What's It All About?

The Ezzos' Preparation for Parenting course, called "Prep" for short, stresses to new and expectant parents that scheduling of a newborn's day -- from precisely when the baby should eat, sleep, play -- is critical to raising well-adjusted children.

The course, which has a similar secular version marketed as "On Becoming Babywise", rejects widely accepted medical opinion that breast-fed babies should be fed "on demand", commonly understood as when the baby signals hunger with varying "cues" such as rooting against a mother's breast, opening its mouth or eventually, crying.

Both books also reject a parenting style termed by Sears and others as "attachment parenting" which stresses parent-child bonding and usually includes demand breastfeeding and close physical contact.

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