3) Because pacifiers took the place of the nipple, not the other way around.
I’ll be honest, I find it rather amusing when someone proclaims, “That baby is using you as a pacifier!” This person has obviously not considered that the nipple was there first and things such as pacifiers were invented to mimic the job that was originally intended for the breast. So really, we should be proclaiming that babies use pacifiers as nipples because that is more accurate. This is another one of those things where I find myself saying, “I don’t make the rules…” I do not avoid pacifiers and bottles because I am crunchy. I avoid them because my nipples work just fine. They don’t cost any money and my son benefits from the natural medium of nutrients and comfort, just as all other mammals.

4) I don’t birth naturally, outside of a hospital setting because I am a crunchy, hippie free spirit. I do it because my normal healthy body isn’t expecting any interventions in the natural process of birth.
I know it seems like I talk about poop a lot but it is only because it makes for a good, simple analogy. I don’t birth at the hospital for the same reason I don’t go to the hospital to poop. Sure, birth has more posed risks, but it is just as normal and natural for a low-risk woman. The body was made to give birth, the body knows what to do. Most of the things in birth go wrong because the natural process was interrupted. Can you imagine trying to go poop and every time you had to go people were coming in and checking on you, telling you to lay on your back, hooking you up to machines and sticking a tube up your butt? How do you think pooping would go then? Probably not that well. For women who are considered to be having a healthy, normal pregnancy, going to the hospital greatly puts them at risk for things going wrong. From artificially inducing before the body is ready to go into labor to pushing in a position that isn’t conducive for getting a baby out, things are bound to come up. Also, know that many of the reasons a woman is deemed “high risk” is preventable or false. One example of a woman being told she needs intervention when she really doesn’t is when she is told her baby is too big to go through the birth canal and must be C-sectioned out. Always be informed and do your own research.

5) Because not removing the foreskin of my baby’s penis shouldn’t categorize me any more than not removing his eyelids.
This is probably the most frustrating one of all. I am actually considered “crunchy” because I kept my son’s penis….normal. What is next? Are we going to have words for people who keep their daughter’s ears’ normal? Why is ‘uncircumcised’ even a word? Do we call women who still have their breasts unmasectomized? No. Again, adhering to what is physiologically normal, abiding by natural laws and not intervening with nature should not make someone “crunchy.” The foreskin of the penis is just as relevant and important as any other part. Yes, it is only a part, but it is a part that makes up the whole. It has many vital functions from sexual to self-cleansing to immunological protection and more. Unfortunately, much of our society has been brainwashed into believing that mutilating genitals is somehow beneficial, but it is not in any way, and I shouldn’t be classified for not falling for it.

While I love that we can have labels that better (but not always) helps us find our tribe, I do not like that normal, biological parenting has become a “thing.” I do not like that I am being categorized as a certain type of person for doing what I am meant to do as a human being who gives birth to a baby. I am not trying to be trendy, I am just trying to follow the natural laws the best I can in a highly industrialized society. I was born into this society so I am ill equipped for the truly natural world (alone, at that), therefore I am not perfect. I live in a house and drive a car, all of which are not natural, but when it comes to my baby there are some things even the most industrialized and commercialized worlds cannot take away from me. That is my God given body and all that it was made to do for me and my baby.

Originally published here.

Chantel Quick is a wellness educator and an expert in plant-based nutrition. In 2013 she completed a coaching program and is now a mentor for women in helping them experience more pleasure in pregnancy and into motherhood. As a trained birth doula, she is passionate about empowering women with evidence-based birth information so that we can collectively change the way we view birth. She is a work-at- home mom to a 2.5 year old son whom she gave birth to in the comfort of her own home. Chantel lives in Austin, Texas. You can find her blog at Earth Based Mom

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Zooey

    I love this article. It’s not “crunchy”, it’s biologically normal, it’s what’s best for our kids, it’s healthy, it’s natural. Thank you!

    1. says: Stephanie

      I second this! Thank you for writing this! What type of country are we becoming if we think that breastfeeding, co-sleeping and trying to get the healthiest nutrition for our family is were! Sigh. Nameste

  2. says: Evangelina

    This is such a great article. I had a mom ask me if I was breastfeeding, and I was like well yeah (no brainer right?) and she was like, oh that’s right you are semi-crunchy. I had no idea what she was talking about. I didn’t realize nursing my kids made me a “certain” person. Sam with circumcision, and all of that. I classify as a hippie for my spirituality and beliefs, not the way I feed and care for my children. Well written! THANK YOU !

  3. says: Lauren

    This article made me cry with laughter. You have captured natural parenting so well and I look forward to sharing this with all my different kinds of mom friends. Its such a societal thing to label things we don’t truly understand, such a shame really. Well done for being an awesome mom and a funny mom!

    Love “Brownie” mom!

  4. says: Ashley Lungi

    Thank you I totally dislike labels, and I too often find myself using them to relate to others and find mom’s that think similarly. I wholeheartedly agree that’s it’s just natural And since we have strayed from the natural for so long, people feel don’t understand it &/or the need to title it.

  5. says: Roberta Nehmer

    Thank you. I truly believe we can be prepared to do what our bodies need to do. Love how honest and straight this article is. And yes, I believe that when your spirit and soul are in conflict it will manifest in your physical being. Stress, problems, judgment are maim factors of high risk illnesses, and more including birth.

  6. says: Michaela Hutchison

    THANK YOU! I loved this! People think I’m crunchy but…people have strayed so far from “natural” and ”normal” that people don’t even remember what the natural or normal thing to do is anymore.

  7. says: Kate

    “Crunchy Mom” is a new term for me to be honest, in the UK where I live most of those things on the list are just normal so I was very surprised to see them listed as “Crunchy”. The US is the only country I know to routinely circumcised babies that’s not for medical need or religious belief and sleeping in the same room is literally the advice given when we are discharged from the hospital.

    Our NHS even recommends breastfeeding to a year at least.

  8. says: Sarah S.

    I’m one of those who will inevitably say “not all mothers can breastfeed”, because I couldn’t. Because the pain of it was so extreme for me, and I had PPD so badly that I just could not live with the pain. I pumped for as long as I could, but also, extremely painful. I wanted so badly to be a natural mama and do everything the beautiful way. I just bawled constantly and thought about death a lot. And I’ve found it impossible to escape judgment ever since.

    1. says: Rachel

      Sarah, this stung at my heart.
      In case you haven’t heard it today, YOU ARE ENOUGH. You’re doing a good job.

      Intrusive thoughts after having a baby aren’t uncommon. You’re thrust into motherhood and all of the “advice” and subsequent judgments come along.

      Please don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re enough.

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