Here is what is great about vacation: all the things. Here is what is difficult about vacation: motivating oneself to do the tasks building on an already long to-do list. This does not bode well in the week immediately before one of the major midwifery conferences of the year, for which I am trying to feel organized. Thus, writing has been a bit on the back burner since returning from my fun in the sun, but now I’m back at it. Hope you all have had some great weeks! Below is a random compilation from the past while that I’ve been catching up on here and there.
Second Annual Birth Activist Retreat – Anna Van Wagoner
“Why is the US ranked 50th in the world in maternal mortality and 37th in infant mortality? Why are one third of pregnancies ending in major surgery? If you are reading this blog post, you are very likely on the front lines, working to improve the way women give birth in your community as a doula or childbirth educator or nurse or midwife. You may even see women being mistreated or disrespected and feel powerless to do something to stop it. If you feel like we do, that the time for talk is over, that it is time for a full scale birth revolution, join us in Utah at the Second Annual Birth Activist Retreat Friday, July 26 – Sunday, July 28. We need action now!
Last year, 75 folks from 29 states and 2 countries gathered at the Farm in Tennessee to get organized. We heard from folks who had actively engaged the ‘system’ in their own communities and affected change. We formed working groups and connected with other folks who were passionate about transforming maternity care in this country. This year’s retreat will continue the work we started last year….”
Be You Be Healthy
14th Annual State of the World’s Mothers Report – Save the Children
Read the Report
Why Society Still Needs Feminism – Soraya Chemaly
“…Because the other day, another friend of mine told me she was raped, and I can no longer count on both my hands the number of friends who have told me they’ve been sexually assaulted. Words can’t express how scared I am that I’m getting used to this.
Because a brief survey of reality will tell you that we do not live in a world that values all people equally and that sucks in real, very scary ways. Because you know we live in a sexist world when an awesome thing with the name “feminism” has a weird connotation. Because if I have kids someday, I want my son to be able to have emotions and play dress up, and I want my daughter to climb trees and care more about what’s in her head than what’s on it. Because I don’t want her to carry keys between her fingers at night to protect herself…”
Anti-Abortion Laws Are Crimes Against Women – Charlotte Taft at RH Reality Check
“…It is all too obvious that all the laws being enacted to make safe abortion illegal are coming from the same right-wing, anti-woman, anti-abortion sources. The public is solidly in support of maintaining Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that ruled that abortion is a constitutionally protected right, but we need to make certain that people understand that Roe is worthless where there is no access to safe abortion services.
Whether and when to become a mother is one of the most serious and important decisions a woman can make. For most women, having a baby means more than just giving birth. It means taking on the sacred responsibility to raise a child and nurture it to adulthood. Undermining a woman’s ability to make that choice seriously and responsibly, according to her own faith, circumstances, and values is a deep affront to women’s personhood. It reflects a worldview in which women are not trusted as full human beings. It makes a mockery of faith…”
Selfish Women and Their Silly Birth Experiences – Cristen at ImprovingBirth.org
“…When I was preparing to give birth, I saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime event and something I wanted, more than anything, to do “right.” By doing it “right,” I meant that I wanted the safest and most positive outcome possible; to me, it was perfectly obvious that safety and a good experience were inextricably linked. And, as the person playing the most active role in the event, I felt it was my responsibility to shape those things.
It was a little alarming to me that so many of my friends and acquaintances who had given birth did not particularly want to talk about it, and didn’t necessarily think it was a good idea that I learned as much as I could about it before doing it.
Before and after giving birth, I got the sense from some people that in seeking a “positive” experience, I was being high-maintenance and was somehow less concerned with my baby’s well-being than someone who didn’t ask questions or want to actively participate. I rolled my eyes at the speculation and barreled right through it, but, on reflection, it struck me as odd. How could it be “selfish” to do what I could to facilitate a less traumatic birth? Didn’t less traumatic mean “safer”? My body—a body I’d come to know and like for the last 30-some years—was being subjected to a major, life-altering process. Why did it suddenly have such reduced value? Why was I suddenly not supposed to have any say over what happened to it?…”
New Recommendations Say Labor Should Begin Naturally – When Will Medical Practice Change? – Miriam Pérez at RH Reality Check
“A recent blog post on the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s (ACOG) website gave me such pause I had to inquire about its validity on Facebook. The language seemed like such a departure from ACOG’s positions and rhetoric that at first I believed it was a hoax—someone posing as ACOG’s president and releasing statements that contradict their ideology. Quickly, though, it was proven that the statement is indeed from ACOG President James T. Breeden. The post, headlined “With Delivery Times, Defer to Mother Nature,” outlines what seems like a radical new philosophy for the organization: We should allow labor to begin on its own, with limited use of inductions and cesarean sections.
It’s important that ACOG, a dominant group in determining obstetric practice, would come out so strongly against these practices. However, it can take decades for these kinds of changes to take effect, even with clear recommendations from groups like ACOG. And that delay could have implications for many pregnant people both in the United States and abroad…”