If you have a collaborating physician, are you confident that they know your scope of practice? I have yet to find one in my organization that does, including my personal collaborator. Residents-in-training similarly do not know the work of midwives. This has presented quite a challenge over the past few weeks, including leading to unfortunate disrespects, arguments, and terrible communication. How to improve this? How to teach medical students and residents not only the scope of midwives generally, but also the beauty in the difference of midwifery care, especially in difficult birth places? I welcome any and all suggestions in this regard. I am very much looking forward to attending the workshop at the ACNM meeting on “Midwives in Medical Education,” because right now I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle.
Some great news to share this week. One of my favorite finds is the Google Application “Jailbreak the Patriarchy.” From the website:
“Jailbreak the Patriarchy genderswaps the world for you. When it’s installed, everything you read in Chrome (except for gmail, so far) loads with pronouns and a reasonably thorough set of other gendered words swapped…”
I’ll be trying this for the next week – interested in seeing how this goes!
Hope you all had some wonderful days!
Belly of the Beast – Mayri Sagady Leslie at WannaBeAMidwife
A former professor of mine has started a blog about different paths into midwifery. A wonderful resource!!!
“..When a wannabemidwife talks to me about pathways to midwifery and what might be right for them, I ask them where they want to be practicing 5, 10 years from now? Homebirth? Birth center? Hospital? Different certifications may affect where they can most easily practice. I ask them to think about how important their compensation from their work as a midwife will be to their family. I also ask them to think about the costs of their education. Different routes to midwifery have different potential costs. What about the regulations in the state where they want to work? Do they know about that? I try to help them gather data. In the end, I talk about the “belly of the beast”.
Around 98% of the mothers in this country give birth in hospitals. Some by conscious choice, many because it is the only option they know, and still more because they have no choice. To the wannabemidwife – do you want to work with these women in “the belly of the beast’ where intervention-based birth is the norm and midwifery-led care is not? It will be tough. Or do you want to work outside the system in out-of-hospital birth where the locus of control is much more in the hands of the mother and the midwife? This shift of power usually has its price tag in terms of potential compensation and insurance reimbursement for your work. There are many factors to consider in deciding what is right for you…”
Feminist Dad Donkey Kong – Annie-Rose Strasser at Think Progress
Awesome! Also see this she-hacked version of Zelda!
“…When his 3-year-old daughter discovered that the girl character in Donkey Kong, Pauline, could only sit distressed and wait for a male character to help her, Mika decided to do something about it. So, The Verge reports, he hacked the popular game to make Pauline a functional character, and the male character, Mario, became the damsel (or, lord?) in distress…”
Popularity, Heterosexism, and Girls’ School Success – Elizabeth C. Payne at Huffington Post
One of the million reasons I disliked high school.
“…For adolescent girls, heterosexuality and a traditional presentation of femininity are the foundation of the high school social hierarchy. Attaining status requires dedication to the attraction of boys and this is often a primary topic of conversation in peer groups as is achieving a desirable feminine “look.” Time spent developing individual skills and excellence in the arts, athletics, and academics gain less attention and validation for young women than does feminine attractiveness. This reinforces the idea that how a girl “looks” is more important than what she accomplishes. These cultural values are often supported by high schools through traditions and rituals such as “cutest couple” competitions, school dances, gendered dress codes, and election of popular girls to school titles such as “queen” where beauty and femininity are anointed with a rhinestone crown. So where does this leave adolescent lesbian and queer girls?
We know that young lesbian women often report feeling disconnected from peers and out of place in the high school social arena whether or not they are “out.” Research consistently confirms that for teenage girls, popularity and heterosexual desirability are intertwined. One study reported that when teen girls were asked what characteristic was least likely for a popular girl, they said: “lesbian.” In their estimation, popularity required attracting boys, and the activity of attracting boys required a lot of effort around which girls could bond and compete, forming relationships and positioning themselves in the social hierarchy (Duncan, in Payne 2007). This creates social issues for lesbian and queer (L & Q) girls in two ways: 1.) The road to popularity is through attracting boys and that is not of interest to most L & Q girls. 2.) Hetero-feminine appearance work is an activity many L & Q girls are not interested in, yet it provides opportunity for peer connection and building friendships with other girls as well as recognition and position in the high school social arena…”
After Ever After, Disney Parody – Paint
Loving so many things about this, including the brilliant lyrics!
Toxic Masculinity – Jaclyn Friedman at The American Prospect
The two teens tried in the Steubenville rape case were convicted this morning. An important perspective around the masculine culture and its possible contribution.
“…This is going to take real work, which is why so many men resist it. It requires destabilizing your own identity, and giving up attitudes and behaviors from which you’re used to deriving power, likely before you learn how to derive power from other, more just and productive places. There are real risks for men who challenge toxic masculinity, from social shaming to actual “don’t be a fag” violence—punishments that won’t ease until many, many men take the plunge. But there are great rewards to be had, too, beyond stopping rape. Toxic masculinity is damaging to men, too, positing them as stoic sex-and-violence machines with allergies to tenderness, playfulness, and vulnerability. A reinvented masculinity will surely give men more room to express and explore themselves without shame or fear. (It will also, not incidentally, reduce rape against men as well, because many rapes of men are committed by other men with the intention of “feminizing”—that is, humiliating through dominance—their victim.)
These interventions start with a “feminine” activity: introspection. What did you learn about “being a man,” from whom? How are those lessons working out for you, and for the people you love and your communities?..”
Women in Science: Women’s work – Nature
Still climbing and pushing the glass ceiling…
“…Science remains institutionally sexist. Despite some progress, women scientists are still paid less, promoted less,win fewer grants and are more likely to leave research than similarly qualified men. The reasons range from overt and covert discrimination to the unavoidable coincidence of the productive and reproductive years.
In this special issue, Nature takes a hard look at the gender gap and at what is being done to close it. A survey of the data (see page 22) reveals where progress has been made and where inequalities still lie, from salary to tenure. A News Feature (see page 25) reveals a particular dearth of women in some commercial spheres, such as on the scientific advisory boards of biotechnology firms, and an article by historian Patricia Fara (see page 43) traces the wearying stereotypes perpetuated by the biographers of women scientists…”
Do My Job: Midwife – Joe Gumm at WTSP in Tampa Bay, Florida
Advertising midwives and catching!
Models of Effectiveness in Maternity Care: Saving Millions with Midwives and Birth Centers – Mayri Leslie at Huffington Post
Starting and ending the week with Mayri Sagady Leslie – love it!
“…Considering the mandated coverage of pregnancy care in the Affordable Care Act, the delivery of maternal child healthcare has significant potential to impact the bottom line for both state and federal agencies. Nearly half of all U.S. births are funded by federal and state government programs. Care of childbearing women and their infants in the U.S. was the number two reason for hospitalization in 2008 and is now second only to cardiac catheterization. Five of the 10 most commonly performed procedures in our institutions are childbirth related. While more than 85 percent of pregnancies are generally considered at low risk for complications, routine maternity care has become increasingly technology intensive and expensive. For example, one in three births in 2011 occurred by cesarean section. The cesarean rate rose nearly 60 percent from 1996 to 2009 without medical indications to explain the increase and cesareans are now the most common in-patient surgery in the country.
What are we getting for our investment? How savvy is our spending? While the issues are complex, a glimpse at the World Health Organization’s 2010 data detailing U.S. maternity outcomes compared to other countries is sobering. The U.S. ranks 34th in maternal mortality, 38th in neonatal mortality, 66th in infants with low birth weight, and 33rd in countries with exclusive breastfeeding at six months of age.
What are needed are solutions that offer improvements in outcomes as well as reduced utilization of resources and lower costs. The study “Outcomes of Care in Birth Centers: Demonstration of a Durable Model”published in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health provides a good start…”