Dr. Herbert Ratner was a Catholic physician who was instrumental in the health and nutrition chapter of the original edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. A 54-year resident of Oak Park, Illinois, Ratner was director of the city's Department of Public Health from 1949 to 1974. A visiting professor of community and preventive medicine at New York Medical College, he was also associate clinical professor of family and community medicine at Loyola University where he was director of student health and where he taught a course in medical ethics for many years. In the 30s and 40s he served as scientific consultant to Robert Maynard Hutchins, president of the University of Chicago, and to the Encyclopedia Brittanica.
An early critic of the manufacturing process for the Salk polio vaccine and later, of testing for the birth control pill, he was also opposed to legalized abortion and helped organize Americans United for Life in 1971. Pope John Paul II appointed him as a consultant to the Pontifical Council on the Family in 1982. He believed strongly in the benefits of breast feeding and was a senior medical adviser to La Leche League for more than 40 years. He was also an advocate of the natural childbirth movement. He was born in 1907 in Manhattan and passed away in 1997. (Source-University of Michigan Medical School)
Dr. Ratner's family has recently released a collection of his writings entitled Nature, the Physician and the Family which are available in book form or as a download.
Dr. Ratner's daughter, Anne, is a dear friend of mine and has helped form my thoughts and practices on raising babies and loving my children. Here is an article by Dr. Ratner entitled The Infant as a Human Being. I thought many of you who are interested in Montessori, loving babies and/or natural medicine from a Catholic perspective would enjoy his writings.