Today is the anniversary of the establishment of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The new amendment, ratified August 18th but made official on August 26th of 1920, provided that the right to vote for white U.S. citizens “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” From years of sacrifice and effort by all involved in the Civil Rights Movement, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was declared and prohibited a range of discriminatory state voting practices. At least on the books (reality differs from the legal literature as felons cannot vote, gerrymandering is legal, and other voter restrictions interfere with a true democratic vote), everyone, despite race or gender, can now participate in the United States government. Because of these efforts and legislative changes, we take the time today to celebrate the work of suffragists. Continue reading “U.S. Women’s Equality Day”
According to common superstition, eating a lot of spicy food or suffering from frequent heartburn during pregnancy might mean that a baby will be born with a full head of hair. If that is the case for your baby, you might soon be thinking about scheduling an appointment at the barber shop. For some parents, cutting their baby’s hair for the first time is just another chore on the list of many things parents are busy doing. For others, it is a time to remember and cherish. Those parents might purchase keepsake trinkets or mark the date and length down in a baby book. Some parents might find that they are experiencing a lot of anxiety and stress when booking the appointment because they are worried about their baby feeling afraid or uncomfortable and wriggling around. Continue reading “Baby’s First Haircut”
Dr. Sarah Buckley is a trained General Practitioner in New Zealand who is qualified in obstetrics and family planning. She advocates for homebirth, having had her own four children at home. On her episode of The Ultimate Health Podcast, she discusses a small portion of the information she has on the hormonal physiology of labor. More of her experience and knowledge on pregnancy and childrearing can be found in her book, “Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering” her report, “Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing ” , or by checking out her website at https://sarahbuckley.com/ . During the podcast episode, she said something striking and worth talking more about, “every extra person at the labor adds an hour to it”.
This was a lighthearted and not exactly scientific way of summing up a very important concept to understand about labor: if the birth-person is undisturbed and feels safe and comfortable, the labor could naturally occur with relative ease. Likewise, if that person is being probed and interrupted by a bunch of strangers, they might never experience what Dr. Buckley talks about as the “fetal ejection reflex”.
As a birth-person’s body has been maintaining and closely interacting with the baby for nine entire months, it has had plenty of time to create the perfect potion to nourish that baby. Breast milk has the right set of microorganisms, vitamins, and minerals that the baby needs. Most organizations and medical professionals agree with The World Health Organization’s (WHO) stance on breastfeeding: “Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.” It is also very important to begin breastfeeding during the baby’s first hour after birth. Continue reading “Happy World Breastfeeding Week!”
The dedication of Ruth Lubic to improving how childbearing happens in her community has expanded beyond her local centers. She set up a model to be followed by many birth centers across the U.S. and has even had some international influence.
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The midwives of the Netherlands are proud to have the highest rate of home births in the world, being that 30 percent of all births happen at home. The rest of births are mostly at birthing centers with only a small portion occurring in hospitals. The out-of-hospital birth is generally the default option for pregnant people in the Netherlands, but if pregnancies are deemed to be high-risk, then a birth person might be referred to a gynecologist. Once assessed by the gynecologist, they may often still suggest a homebirth, assuming that after a few check-ins and careful monitoring, their risks remain low. In any case, a midwife would be responsible for checkups until labor and will lead the birth in or out of the hospital. Continue reading “Birth Around the World: The Netherlands”
Inarguably, language is a tool, and our word choice transmits thoughts, ideas, and preconceptions. Author Austin Channing Brown writes in her book, “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness”, about being seven years old and understanding that her parents had named her with the hopes to pass at least the resumé-reading phase of job searches as a white man. Unfortunately, job applications can be tossed-aside simply because of the name at the top of the page. If even the very name of an individual paints a picture for us as to who they are or what they are capable of doing, then pronouns certainly do as well. Continue reading “Thoughtful Word Choice”
Adilah Yelton, a Birth and Postpartum Doula
Childbirth and care is not a simple job! That’s why they say it takes a village, and Adilah would agree. Handling life with a toddler and a newborn baby, although a very rewarding and a positive experience, came with many challenges. Even with her and her husband’s parents there to help, she still felt that she needed some extra hands on deck. Especially because she struggled to find the time to take care of her own needs, she decided to hire a postpartum doula. As a guest on the podcast, My Happy Home Birth, she shares the importance of self-care postpartum, and how a postpartum doula can help you relax and heal in ways that are truly necessary after giving birth.
She also discusses her home birth experience that she had with Midwifery Care NYC during her first pregnancy four years ago. Adilah herself is now a birth and postpartum doula, working out of Houston, Texas. We are so proud and excited to see her thriving as an advocate for the health and autonomy of birth-people. Learn more about the services she offers at her website: https://www.ibudoula.com/ and follow her on instagram @ibudoula !
Written by Gabrielle Cappelletti, the intern.
A desperate mother is rushed into a hospital…
The most panic inducing Hollywood moment happens every few seasons of any binge-worthy doctor drama. A desperate mother is rushed into a hospital with only a few moments to go before immediately being encouraged to push. The following scene sets the audience and the characters up to believe that the trauma is over and that the parents can now just rest with their newborn and start fighting over names. But alas, the most terrifying sound is all the mother can focus on: absolute silence. The baby hasn’t cried and the mother is traumatized once more. Continue reading “Baby’s First Breath”