Modern Alternative Mama Drama: The Sequel

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Because I live in Hollyweird, everything gets a facelift, a sequel, if you will. One of my online nemeses is Kate Tietje, a.k.a. Modern Alternative Mama. She made over her website, but the bullshit, dangerous medical advice, and unwillingness to admit how ugly the science is? That hasn’t changed.

Her site is an odd combination of every type of bad science. She claims to be passionate about science, but it’s the type of science one adopts by rejecting the scientific method employed by real scientific researchers and embracing the pseudoscience of the well known diploma mill Google University. Some of her favorite subjects are nutrition, allergiesbeing your own doctor, and of course, vaccines. She has a lot to say about vaccines. Mainly? Don’t get them.

In fact, you shouldn’t get anything from an injection. Not even a vitamin K shot to prevent bleeding disorders in newborns according to Kate.

She doesn’t like keeping anything in her medicine cabinet from a store, not even an Epipen or Benadryl, and has advised people to do the same, using clay to suck out poisons in the event of an allergic reaction. And one of my favorites from the same article? Don’t wear sun screen. Because of course.

Sometimes I think I’m being punked. Well, hope. Sadly, I’m sure this strange era of readily available misinformation on the internet has actually produced this woman.

Every once in a while, I like to do an internet drive-by on MAM’s facebook page to see the latest scientific atrocities and try not to get a concussion from *headdesking*. Today? Kate was asking for advice on how to manage an un-medicated case of pertussis.

Because of course they hadn’t vaccinated.

And of course they weren’t going to take antibiotics.

And of course I had something to say about that.

mamcrap

I think I was as nice as they deserved.  I’ve had whooping cough. I was on two prescription anti-cough medications and I still dislocated a rib.

Doing this to a child is abuse. If you know better about vaccines? You should speak out. If you do this to a child? You’re a terrible person who truly needs to look at what’s gone wrong with your priorities and how you’ve gotten your information, because at this point you’re no longer the victim of misinformation. You’re the perpetrator, and Kate Tietje is is the accomplice.

It’s a story that doesn’t need another sequel.

-Science Babe

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22 Comments

  1. I had a look at her stuff, and it is indeed mostly terrible, maybe a few recipe ideas that are ok, but as you say, it is mostly pseudoscientific, all-natural fallacy spouting drivel.
    I had pertussis as a baby in the 60s and I was lucky to survive it from what they tell me. I can see the arguments for and against your blunt response to her nonsense. I confess, I would probably go the same route you took and I applaud you for having the chutzpah to do so, but I think you should be ready for people to question (i.e., go batshit crazy on the internet) the effectiveness of that approach.

    • I don’t approach all anti-vaxxers this way, and definitely not people who are just on the fence about it.

      She released a book recently talking about “practical guide” to child health. Her advice included squirting breast milk directly into a child’s nose to combat congestion, not having children bathe or brush their teeth frequently, not letting them use sunscreen… and by the way, did you know that root canals cause cancer?

      Her health advice is dangerous and she doesn’t take any criticism. At this point, saying anything to her is yelling into an echo chamber. Writing about it is more a warning that she’s possibly the worst part of the anti-science movement.

      And I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.

      • Not bathing your child often? I bathe my infant every other day because if I don’t, she gets a rash and starts to smell ripe. Some of the bull that Kate spews makes me wonder how she even found her way out of the birth canal as a baby.

  2. Is this the same type of woo that claims Ebola can be cured by vitamin d and selenium? What planet are these people on? My. Heart goes out to that poor girl with whooping cough 🙁

  3. Just an FYI but there is no reason to do antibiotics at this point. The CDC only recommends them in the first week or two of the illness after which they become pointless. Since she states it’s 4 weeks into the illness no reputable doctor should be prescribing antibiotics at this point. Let’s keep science on our side and point out she should have had the kid vaccinated in the first place and should have taken the kid into see a doc earlier in the illness rather than try and treat “naturally” (she doesn’t say but I’ll bet money that is what happened) and missed the opportunity for helpful antibiotics.

  4. I don’t understand why the woo-meisters are always recommending rear-facing car seats until age 4 and then five-point harnesses pretty much until a kid is old enough to drive…but yet scoff in the face of vaccines and vitamin K and other preventative health care.

  5. The rise of antiscience scares me. I am not a professional scientist, but I do understand the scientific method and apply it when I can. I keep myself rather well-informed about some sciences, and less about others (can’t read everything, can we?), so I do consider myself sufficiently science-literate. Above all, however, I seek the Truth, and yes I do use here a capital T, not as in religious truth, but just as in *verified* truth—verified according to the scientific method.

    When I read stuff like that, it scares me. Are we going back in Dark Ages? Hopefully not, but I believe actuon must be taken to raise the scientific awareness of the general public, and make them see that science seeks the truth—and not mind control or other freakish idea.

    What can we do? As amateur or professional scientists, we need to talk about science to all people we meet or interact with. We need to show them, to demonstrate them by A plus B, that science is the answer to all physical questions. (I am not against religion; it is good for some people. Nowhere in the Bible or the Quran or the Torah does it say to not vaccinate or to eat roots to heal.)

    Share science!

  6. Im sorry for the kid, but siriusly even third world countries know better then some parents from the first world countries. To be honest I think that we should open a University where the main course would be How To Be A Parent 101, my mother didnt send me to the doctor for everything but for the loves sake if I started growing a third hand she sure as hell wouldnt try to extract it with damn clay.

    • True, although I’m guessing that’s at least partially because people from developing nations are very, very familiar what happens to children who grow up without access to modern medicine: they die. In large numbers. From very preventable, treatable illnesses. Pertussis doesn’t sound all that serious when nobody you know every had it. You know how serious it is if you watched 3 of your nephews die from it and a niece break a couple of ribs.

  7. I did squirt my own breastmilk into my own nose. That shit worked. And I have giant boobies.

    Soothed the itchies and cleared me right out. But that was for THE SNIFFLES. When you know you have a cold and it’s a virus and nothing’s really going to make it go away, just treat symptoms, hell yes I’m going to squirt breastmilk up my nose if I want to.

    But when you have something that can be treated effectively with medicine, go to the damned doctor.

      • I know this post is painfully old, but there are no cold remedies for kids under 2 to clear congestion. You can use saline solution, or express (free and readily available) breastmilk into the nose to clear the airways. I swear I vaccinate on schedule! and I actually prefer using saline myself, but someone who doesn’t want to (or can’t) shell out for a bottle of glorified salt water will have luck with breastmilk.

        *scuttles back to lurking*

  8. Oh, that was you who told her to go to the hospital? I am in some FB groups where we often talk about MAM, and I saw that screenshot. It got a lot of us started on inundating her blog with scientific/historical/etc facts relating to disease. Have you seen her 4 part post, “The Day We Lost Everything?” Black mold took over her entire house, causing the family to have to eventually move. She went back into the house and tried to fight the mold with theive’s oil. Her children all got really sick from living in a mold infested house for a year. She admitted the theives oil did nothing. So she lost her house over the woo. THEN she asked her followers to contribute money so she and her husband could buy a new house.

    I am really glad to see that you are writing about MAM. She allowed her husband, whose FB profile name is “The Happy Factory”, to say extremely hurtful things to many people on her FB threads, I think this one in particular. We have screenshots but of course she deleted that thread and banned me, among many other people from joining her page, which is the only way to comment. They are really horrible people.

  9. I am new to your site, but I am very glad to have found it. Thanks for your good work! I’d never heard of Kate Tietje before today, but her blog is, in my opinion, dangerous. For example, under her post concerning vaccination for mumps, she characterizes meningitis as “fever and stiff neck” and says that it usually resolves on its own in a few days. Similarly, in her post concerning vaccination for measles, she characterizes a fever in the range of 103-105 as “safe” and notes that such a fever will quickly kill the measles virus. The tone of her posts is authoritative, and I fear that many readers might be inclined to follow her advice.

  10. I love your writing. Kate Tietje is a monster.

    Quick question – did she change her post on summer health in response to outcry because it quite clearly says to carry an epi-pen if near insects? I seem to remember being incandescent at the suggestion of clay instead of an epi-pen, particularly as I owe my life to one, but that seems to have conveniently disappeared. If so, win for you!

    I loathe that woman with every fibre of my gig for the harm she does by spreading her bullshit. Keep up the good work harpooning her!

  11. I just read this post that your talking about.
    What a seriously deluded woman.
    She began getting sick in January, and with three young children didn’t do anything to clean up the mould that SHE KNEW MADE PEOPLE SICK until July or later… Then continued to live there and not even try a dehumidifier or a proper emergency clean up professional until months later. Who does that? Everyone knows mould is toxic and that it spreads like nothing else. Ugh. This was the first of her articles I read but I shudder to imagine what else there is.
    News flash, you can’t just throw some essential oils on it and make it better. Also, all those aches and pains and problems you were getting … Try going to a doctor and not a chiropractor.

  12. I just found this page from a google search trying to find out who this MAM was… I ended up seeing her facebook page (Modern Alternative Pregnancy) in my feed, she is encouraging women to have “Unassisted Prenatal Care”. I find this terrifying, so many things could go wrong. The crazy part is, over 4000 people like her page.

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