Archive for June, 2010

Quick link: Nice opinion piece in the Globe vs. c-sections

Nice opinion piece in today’s Boston Globe, “The High Cost of Caesareans,” with some good economic arguments for increasing access to midwifery.

–Christina

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28 June 2010 at 8:14 am Leave a comment

The breastfeeding. . . puppy?

My son has always been an active nurser–one hand is usually playing with my fingers, and at least one leg is kicking out. When he was small, and completely contained on my lap, this was sometimes less obvious than now, at 22 months old and 34 inches tall. Monday night we were out at dinner in Harvard Square in a big group of friends celebrating one friend, and in between the appetizers and main courses my son decided he wanted to nurse. This wasn’t a problem, of course, until a toddler foot–complete with a sandy shoe–started flailing its way up onto the table. My husband lunged for the plate and glass in the danger zone and did in fact rescue them in time, while I was able to rotate my chair so that the active foot was pointing away from the table for the future.

This YouTube video, of puppies nursing, captures the activity and energy of my son’s nursing–he also loves animal videos, so we watched it a couple times already today.

–Christina

26 June 2010 at 11:30 am 1 comment

Dads and midwives

Just wanted to say a quick and slightly belated happy father’s day to all the pro-midwife dads out there. I know that my husband was incredibly supportive of my desire to have a midwife-attended homebirth; after moving through the stages of skepticism, curiosity, and knowledge, he became a huge evangelist for more woman-centered birth practices, and he still voices the midwifery-model side of the conversation when anyone at work is expecting a baby.

Here’s to midwife-loving dads everywhere!

–Christina

21 June 2010 at 12:46 pm Leave a comment

More celebrity kudos

Kourtney Kardashian is a proud breastfeeding mama! Hurray for breastfeeding slowly but surely it’s way back into the mainstream!

20 June 2010 at 12:05 pm Leave a comment

Book review: Epstein’s _Get Me Out_

I finally got to read Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank, by Randi Hutter Epstein, this week, when it came up on my library reserves list. It’s an entertaining read, decently written, with all the standard ancecdotes and then a few new ones. From the beginning, I had high hopes for this book:

Get Me Out is not an advice book. It won’t tell women what to eat or which test to take. . . but the stories and tragedies of yesteryear will prompt readers to be more inquisitive about health decisions today. The guidance that I hope you glean from this  book should pique your curiosity to think about the medical maze in a different sort of way, to ask deeper questions, and to question yourself about the choices you make. Is it because of a new study or a new medical fashion? (xiii)

Still, the author is a doctor, and she is on the side of a medical view of birth. This bias becomes most apparent in her chapter on unassisted birth, in which she’s dismissive of freebirthers and other proponents of the current anti-medical childbirth movement: “Their [Freebirthers’] logic is not farfetched. Sometimes doctors or midwives do cause problems. And stress has been shown to shown to tighten muscles and increase pain. But then again, their logic is not completely accurate either. Sometimes doctors save lives. . . . Chances are [if you have an unassisted homebirth] you and your baby will be fine, because birth complications are not the norm. But you are taking a risk” (183-184). Epstein goes on to mention an infamous  perinatal death after a freebirth, with the implication that doctors save lives, and birthing without doctors leads to babies who die.

Of course, the entire point of the midwifery model of childbirth–and of freebirthers, even more so–is that everything, every decision, is “taking a risk.” Have the doctor strip your membranes a week before your due date? Risk. Have the doctor do vaginal exams during labor? Risk. And so on, and so forth.

In short, Epstein’s book is interesting, but don’t read it expecting something completely new, different, or unbiased.

–Christina

15 June 2010 at 12:43 pm Leave a comment

Quick link: midwives, Inuit women, and Canada

This article--front-page news in Canada’s The Globe and Mail–describes the difficulties Inuit women have getting adequate (never mind excellent!) pre- and peri-natal care in the north of Canada. Sad read, but gorgeous happy mom and baby pictured.

–Christina

10 June 2010 at 8:43 am Leave a comment

Delaying cord clamping

Of course this is old news to a lot of you, dear readers, but it’s always nice to see the mainstream media catching up to us, isn’t it?

8 June 2010 at 6:39 pm Leave a comment

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