“What traditions do you want to follow for your baby?” asked the midwife leading our prenatal education group.

As we went around the circle of parents-to-be, most couples discussed holiday traditions, camping trips, and weekend routines. When it was my turn to share, I thought about the pseudoscience that had been espoused in this group — the alleged benefits of eating the placenta, theories about the harmful effects of vaccines, and the like.

“I want a facts-based, scientific household,” I said. “For example, is breastfeeding better than formula? To me the only thing that matters is the clear scientific consensus that breastfed infants grow up to be, on average, advantaged in some way — maybe healthier or smarter.”

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