Just finished the premiere of Call the Midwife’s second season. Amazing how much they can fit into one episode! Cord prolapse, sex work, violence against women, missionary work, nitrous oxide, midwives’ relationships with collaborative providers, new midwives proving themselves… I imagine I have some intense midwife-based dreams coming my way this evening. What a wonderful look into the beauty and the pure difficulty of midwifery, much of which is exactly, I repeat, exactly, the same today. Just lovely.
Whether Women Have Cesareans Is Mostly Arbitrary – Henci Goer at Science and Sensibility
The laudable Henci Goer’s take on the recent study of birth centers.
“…The birth center data, however, provides a handle on the possible effect on cesarean rate. Six percent of women planning birth at the birth center were risked out because of pre-eclampsia, non-reassuring fetal testing, postdates, or prelabor rupture of membranes and no labor. Let us assume that these problems occurred at the same rate in the low-risk hospital population. Let us further assume that all women with these problems ended up with a cesarean, which is highly unlikely. Those assumptions would boost the birth center baseline cesarean rate of 6% by another 6% or to 12% for the low-risk hospital population. Even making this extreme assumption, 271 hospitals, nearly half, had rates greater than 12%.
What’s the take-home? Practitioners with appropriate cesarean rates are thin on the ground. Women need to seek out care providers whose judgment on when a cesarean is indicated can be trusted. (I should add that they are likely to have better luck with a midwife, but it isn’t a sure thing.) Women free of medical or obstetrical risk factors may wish to plan to birth in a free-standing birth center or at home because while individual practitioners’ rates may vary within institutions, a high hospital rate—true of nearly all of them—creates a cesarean–friendly culture…”
Pregnancy: It’s Not All About the Baby – Kate Fridkis at Huffington Post
A wonderful write-up. My favorite quote: “This shit is insane.”
“…I get the impression that people sometimes think it’s trendy to care about your own experience. It’s kinda wishy-washy and hippie-dippy. I think sometimes people tell you you’re being selfish to make you stop talking about whatever you’re talking about.
Do I really need to say that I care about my baby’s safety? Why would I let it grow inside me like this if I didn’t? Of course I care. But my baby is a part of me. We are this shockingly intricate, interconnected duo, growing and changing together. And when things happen to me, they happen to my baby, too. So I want to reserve the right to make good decisions for both of us by making good decisions for me.
My body is rearranging itself from the inside to make space for this new being. My ribcage is expanding. Can you even believe that? My ribs are moving apart like tectonic plates on fast-forward. This shit is insane. And I am trying to make space in my mind and in my life for a person I created…”
My score: 9 out of 10. Test your knowledge!
“The health reform law promises to deliver big changes in the U.S. health care system. But, as with other sweeping pieces of legislation, it can be hard to get the real facts about what it does. And it is all too easy for misinformation about the law to spread.
Take our short, 10-question quiz to test your knowledge of the law.”
One of my favorite people shared this on Facebook, and now I share it with you. (And now she’s accepted into a WHNP program!!! Go HC!)
“…Though it is a seductive scapegoat (I understand why it attracts you), none of these terrible, painful problems in your life were caused by the spectre of “misandry.” You can rest easy about that, I promise! In fact, the most powerful proponent of misandry in modern internet discourse is you — specifically, your dogged insistence that misandry is a genuine, systemic, oppressive force on par with misogyny. This is specious, it hurts women, and it is hurting you. Most feminists don’t hate men, as a group (we hate the system that disproportionately favors men at the expense of women), but — congratulations! — we are starting to hate you. You, the person. Your obsession with misandry has turned misandry into a self-fulfilling prophecy. (I mean, sort of. Hating individual men is not the same as hating all men. But more on that in a minute.) Are you happy now? Is this what you wanted? Feminism is, in essence, a social justice movement—it wants to take the side of the alienated and the marginalized, and that includes alienated and marginalized men. Please stop turning us against you.
It is nearly impossible to address problems facing women—especially problems in which men are even tangentially culpable—without comments sections devolving into cries of “misandry!” from men and replies of “misandry isn’t real” from women. Feminists are tired of this endless, fruitless turd-pong: hollow “conversation” built on willful miscommunication, bouncing back and forth, back and forth, until both sides throw up their hands and bolt. Maybe you are tired of this too. We seem to be having some very deep misunderstandings on this point, so let’s unpack it. I promise not to yell…”
Nurses can practice without physician supervision in many states – N.C. Aizenman at The Washington Post
Proud to defend the work of NPs as well as CNMs in this fight.
“…Nurse practitioners say that they are eager to work in teams with physicians but that this is impractical where doctors are in short supply, such as rural and low-income communities. And they contend their training, which emphasizes a holistic approach, makes them just as capable as doctors in catching problems.
“We’ve diagnosed breast cancer here, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer,” said Erin Bagshaw, who runs Northwest Nurse Practitioner Associates in the District. “We’ve seen leukemia, severe heart disease, diabetes. We’ve handled emergencies where patients were having a pulmonary embolism and had to go straight to the ER. . . . There’s this fallacy that nurse practitioners can only deal with simple, uncomplicated problems, and it’s just not the case.”…”
These are the lines of a story – Mary Martin Wiens at The Actual Pastor
“…So, in the moment when Ben stood in front of me and the magic happened, I spoke not what I should, not what I wished to believe, but what I deeply felt for once to be true. “Is my belly kind of squishy? Kind of soft?” I ask. “Yes!” he says. “Do you see these red roads on my belly? Are you curious about those?” I ask. “Yes!” he says. “Do you want to know what those feel like?” I ask. “Yes!” he says. Then I take his little finger and trace it along one of my stretch marks and ask, “Do you know what these are?” “No.” he says. “These are the lines of a story. Do you know what the story is about?” “What?” he asks. “These lines tell the story of Isaac and Ben and Elijah. They tell about how you grew inside me and how I stretched to make room for you because I was so glad you would be my boy. Aren’t they beautiful?” “Yes!” he answered.
The healing in this story is not that I have wholly accepted my body or that I will never again attempt to change it. It is that now when rejection rises in me against my body—how it looks, how it feels—I have a fuller answer. I can call up the sounds, smells, movements, scars, wrinkles, and dimples of my dear ones and look at myself through the lens of that incomparable beauty. This gives me access to a programming deeper than my culture that reminds me that my being here in this world in a body matters. The touch of my hand on a shoulder, my hug, the soothing sound of my voice, and the warmth in my eyes are irreplaceable to those who carry me in their hearts. Our physical presence here matters, no matter its shape…”
In North Dakota, Women Who Had the Choice to Abort – Winston Ross at The Daily Beast
The power of stories.
“…Laura: “I am a mom and wife. I love my family dearly. That is why I had an abortion. My son was about three months old when I found out I was pregnant again. I had a very rough pregnancy with my son. I was always (morning) sick, and constantly in pain. My labor was very long (32 hours) and difficult. Looking back on things I had several signs of postpartum depression too. I never want to go through that again, and I don’t want to put my husband through that again.
That was why my husband and I chose not to have another child. I have no regrets about it. The procedure and aftercare went very well. I was finally taught about the many birth control options that are available. The staff at the clinic is very wonderful! They were very understanding and didn’t judge me at all! I haven’t had the courage to tell my parents about having an abortion yet, but I’m getting there
I also volunteer at the clinic as a patient escort. I did before my abortion and still do now. I love the women that come in and have no fear! I love being there to help protect them and (especially) the shy ones too.
On the recent laws: I feel that they are going to cause nothing but trouble. If the RRWC hadn’t been available I don’t know what I would have done. There is no way I would have been able to afford the drive and hotel costs to go to another city. (I am currently a resident of Fargo.) I know I would have tried natural teas/herbs/foods to try to start an abortion/miscarriage. I was suicidal in high school (like most teenagers are) I may have considered that again. I don’t know…”
The cost of the legal battles is going to be ridiculous. That money could go to such better use!
It frustrates me. But I know the best thing is to smile and say kind words to those who disagree with me…”