It’s been a busy few weekends. Catching up on life and on the favorites lists. This is a long one, but they’re all worth!!! Here’s February so far!
From the Facebook Page of The World of Hilary Clinton
From the Facebook Page of Planned Parenthood Action
Infertility: an RJ issue we don’t often discuss – Jacqui Quetal at Nursing Students for Choice
“…A core principle of reproductive justice is to support: “the right to have children, not have children, and to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments — is based on the human right to make personal decisions about one’s life, and the obligation of government and society to ensure that the conditions are suitable for implementing one’s decisions.” (Sistersong.net)
As you work toward aspiring to be an amazing nurse who continually strives to have reproductive justice realized by all, I urge you to think critically where you stand in a process similar to mine. I share this deeply personal story with you so that you and your future patient’s may benefit. I hope this gives you the opportunity to place yourself in my position, that of the care provider and that of the woman with less privilege and resources.
Consider what your role might be. Will you be the one resulting the pregnancy test in a family planning clinic? Will you be doing education or insemination? Will you be discussing future fertility with a patient presenting with amenorrhea worked up as anovulatory bleeding?
You need to not pass judgment while discussing obesity and ensure you address the subject in a kind way. Embody the fact you do not have all the answers and as devastating as it can be to someone seeking future fertility to be told they won’t ever get pregnant, consider caring for the same woman presenting with an unintended pregnancy at a different time in her life…”
4 Ways to Push Back Against Your Privilege – Mia McKenzie at Black Girl Dangerous
“…I’ve often said that it’s not enough to acknowledge your privilege. And, in fact, that acknowledging it is often little more than a chance to pat yourself on the back for being so “aware.” What I find is that most of the time when people acknowledge their privilege, they feel really special about it, really important, really glad that something so significant just happened, and then they just go ahead and do whatever they wanted to do anyway, privilege firmly in place. The truth is that acknowledging your privilege means a whole lot of nothing much if you don’t do anything to actively push back against it.
I understand, of course, that the vast majority of people don’t even acknowledge their privilege in the first place. I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to those of us who do. If we do, then we need to understand that acknowledgement all by itself isn’t enough. No matter how cathartic it feels.
So, what does pushing back against your privilege look like? Well, here are just a few ways it can look (note: none of these is easy; that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try):
1. Relinquish Power
If you are in a position of power and you are able to recognize and acknowledge that at least part of the reason you are there is your (white, male, cisgendered, able-bodied, class, etc.) privilege, then pushing back against that privilege means sharing that power with, or sometimes relinquishing it to, the folks around you who have less privilege and therefore less power. I had a conversation recently with my friend about her terrible white woman boss who, when the women of color she supervises have strong feelings about the way things are being run, including the hiring of more white people over POC, pulls rank on them. Her “I understand your feelings but I am, you know, the boss and it’s my job to…” nonsense is exactly what notpushing back against your privilege looks like. On the other hand, “I was hired to supervise y’all, but I don’t want to perpetuate this type of effed-up power dynamic and also I recognize that y’all have a better understanding about why we should not hire another white man, so I’m going to go ahead and defer to y’all” is exactly what pushing back against your privilege does look like…”
Vast Study Casts Doubts on Value of Mammograms – Gina Kolata at The New York Times
“…One of the largest and most meticulous studies of mammography ever done, involving 90,000 women and lasting a quarter-century, has added powerful new doubts about the value of the screening test for women of any age.
It found that the death rates from breast cancer and from all causes were the same in women who got mammograms and those who did not. And the screening had harms: One in five cancers found with mammography and treated was not a threat to the woman’s health and did not need treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery or radiation.
The study, published Tuesday in The British Medical Journal, is one of the few rigorous evaluations of mammograms conducted in the modern era of more effective breast cancer treatments. It randomly assigned Canadian women to have regular mammograms and breast exams by trained nurses or to have breast exams alone.
Researchers sought to determine whether there was any advantage to finding breast cancers when they were too small to feel. The answer is no, the researchers report.
The study seems likely to lead to an even deeper polarization between those who believe that regular mammography saves lives, including many breast cancer patients and advocates for them, and a growing number of researchers who say the evidence is lacking or, at the very least, murky…”
How not to make love like a porn star – Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon
“…“Men have been imitating porn forever,” says author and sex educator Anne Semans of Babeland.com. “When the Kama Sutra came out did they start busting out the weird moves?” Now, however, “It’s become more acceptable to buy into the porn fantasy.” Last year when Babeland conducted a poll about sexual attitudes, one of the questions was, “The most inaccurate perception men have picked up from porn is …” The top four responses from women were:
- How women can have orgasm from just vaginal intercourse
- The idea that women love semen in their faces
- The notion that anal sex is sexy
- That women prefer huge cocks
So now that you know, you can take that pressure off us. Take it off yourselves. Because in spite of or because of the mythology of the ever-rarin’-to-go, hot-blooded man, the physical and emotional reality of male sexuality is far more complicated. A man has to hope his equipment is of pleasing dimensions, that it rises with his desire, that he doesn’t finish too soon or go on too long. So When Mr. Jackhammer asked, “Does that feel good, baby?” he may well have really been trying. And did I pipe up and say no? I did not. I ran away and never saw him again, prompting a friend to say with a sigh, “Now he’s just going to go do that routine to some other poor woman.”
For all the sex we watch and all the fancy moves we know and all the people we’ve ever seen without their pants, sex remains one of the hardest things in the world to speak truthfully about…”
Beyonce Must Have Her Feminist Cake and Eat It Too – Ellie Slee at Huffington Post
“…Much has been written lately about Beyonce bursting out of the feminist closet with her latest album. “Did a baby make a feminist of Beyonce?” wondered the Telegraph, and, in spite of her 2013 dig at other industry successes with the repeated command that those ‘bitches’ ‘bow down’, I wondered the same thing. Weeks later, her unarguably feminist essay for the Shriver report was revealed, and Bey’s feminist babe status was cemented. Damn right, Beyonce! Gender equality is a myth – and you, the 3.6 octave spanning voice of your generation, might just grab that great big reality some much deserved airtime.
Nobody is perfect, but Beyonce’s next public move was a bad one. She lost the feminist game she was playing in one fell swoop.
Beyonce and her husband, Jay-Z, performed their duet Drunk in Love at the Grammys on Sunday. When Beyonce released her new album in December last year, the song came under fire for Jay-Z’s lyric “I’m Ike Turner, turn up/Baby know I don’t play/Now eat the cake, Anna Mae”, a reference to a moment of domestic abuse displayed in the Tina Turner biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It when Ike forced Tina (who was born Anna Mae) to eat cake by shoving it into her face, and proceeded to assault an employee who tried to help her.
In an unprecedented feminist move, Bang, a London-based radio station removed the lyric from the song before playing it, stating that the lyrics:
imitate a scene of severe domestic violence… displaying promotion of domestic violence against women. In this light Bang [refuses] to play the song lyrics from henceforth on our station.
I foolishly assumed, then, that in their performance at the Grammy Awards an all-repenting Jay-Z would have removed the offending lyric at his newly fiercely feminist wife’s behest. He’s an award winning rapper, after all; how hard could it possibly be for him to come up with three different verses that didn’t reference a relationship that featured rape and brutal domestic violence?
Apparently, it would be really difficult. So difficult, in fact, that Jay-Z would proceed to rap the lyric onstage beside his wife to an audience of 28.5 million. And what’s more? His wife, fresh from sampling the speech ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, stood next to him. She beamed as the line approached. And then… She sang it with him.
Screw that. Screw the glamourisation of a marriage that required a wife to have corrective rhinoplasty to realign a nose beaten to a pulp over a period of years; of a wife who decided, in 1968, that suicide was her only refuge; of a husband so delusional that in his own memoirs, he stated, “Sure… There have been times when I punched her to the ground without thinking. But I have never beat her.”…”
You Have a ‘Fundamental Right’ to Make End-of-Life Decisions, Unless You’re Pregnant – Jessica Mason Pieklo at RH Reality Check
“…That any state can claim the authority to override the competent end-of-life directives of a woman simply because she is pregnant is thanks in large part to the Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and the creation of a state interest in fetal life. The creation of that state interest paved the way for what lawyers for John Peter Smith Hospital would argue was support for keeping Munoz’s corpse on a ventilator: the state’s 20-week abortion ban and a definition from the Texas Penal Code of an individual that includes every stage of gestation. Furthermore, attorneys for the hospital argued, it’s not just that the state has an interest in fetal life, it’s that it has the prerogative to value, and prefer, that life over the life of the pregnant person. “Given the strong interest of the Texas Legislature in protecting the life of unborn children, it is unlikely the Legislature contemplated only the welfare of the mother” when it passed the law that allows hospitals to override the end-of-life directives of pregnant patients and do whatever they deem necessary, even artificially sustaining a corpse, for the potential of furthering a pregnancy, according to court documents. It is reasonable, the hospital argued, to assume lawmakers passed the law so as to “protect the unborn child against the wishes of a decision maker who would terminate the child’s life along with the mother’s.”
Unlike Texas and 11 other states, New Mexico law will not automatically invalidate a pregnant person’s advance directive without exception, but that should hardly be of any comfort for those hoping to avoid the next Marlise Munoz tragedy in New Mexico or elsewhere.
The Lore of Labor – Randi Hutter Epstein at The New York Times
“…But that’s the crux of the issue: figuring out who is normal and who isn’t, who needs treatment and who doesn’t. Luckily, good doctors don’t make those decisions based on the length of labor alone. Edmund Funai, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, who was not involved in the study but who said he worries about the medicalization of childbirth, described it this way: “You aren’t just putting a woman in a room, shutting the door, and setting the timer.”
Throughout history, the best doctors have been those who resisted the fads. Many American doctors in the 1910s refused to administer Twilight Sleep, fearing side effects, but the next generation of obstetricians, for whatever reason, seemed more comfortable using the drugs. That is, until women themselves started fighting against them, beginning as early as the 1950s. Today’s doctors should take this new information into consideration. But for the most part, they will do what they have been doing: looking to the clock, but also looking to the monitor and to the patient, and using their experience to decide what to do and when…”
Could the way we give birth be changing us as a species? – Milli Hill at Best Daily
“…Does where, or how we give birth actually matter? The many and frequent debates on this topic often end with the perpetual refrain: ‘all that matters is a healthy baby.’ But could it be that our birth choices are making fundamental differences to our babies, and therefore matter to the whole human race, in deeply important ways? And could the way we are giving birth even be altering our entire direction, as a species?
This week I’ve been reading about the Human Microbiome, and although I admit I don’t fully understand it, that’s ok, because turns out nobody else does either – at least not yet. However, cutting edge science is working on it, and – don’t save a seat for me at the Science Journalist of the Year awards – here is my attempt to explain it.
The Microbiome is essentially all the trillions of bacteria that live on and in our bodies, everywhere from our mouths to our guts to that little dip between our toes where the fluff collects.
What scientists are only just beginning to understand is the role this vast collection of organisms plays in our health or disease, or indeed in our mental states, our life expectancy, or even our personality. This delicate balance of microbes, which can even differ in species from one person to the next whilst performing the same function, has the power to both keep us in perfect health and be our downfall.
So what’s all this got to do with birth? – I hear you ask. Well, turns out quite a lot, as our own personal microbiomes begin to be formed as we are being born, or perhaps even before – there is growing evidence that the baby in utero is not ‘sterile’ as has long been thought, but that the microbiome is already under construction…”
‘Harried Mom’ Becomes Dynamic Woman In These Stock Images – NPR Staff at NPR
“…Getty’s director of visual trends, Pamela Grossman, says that with women as the primary users of social media, it was time for a different kind of representation in media and advertising.
“Virtually every conversation I’ve been having at least for the last three years has been our clients asking for these much more authentic images that don’t feel posed or staged or contrived in any way, but that actually feel much more relatable,” she tells NPR’s Renee Montagne.
Grossman says the new stock photos update an otherwise stereotypical repository.
“I think there’s been a lot of women in power suits with boxing gloves or women in stiletto heels stepping on men,” she says, “and that’s definitely the kind of work that we are aggressively shifting away from.”
The new version of a woman multitasking, Grossman says, “would be somebody who maybe has her arms filled with certainly a tablet or some kind of creative plans and then she’s also engaged in a conversation. Certainly she still looks busy, but it’s a little bit more subtle of a visual read.”
The Lean In Collection includes powerful female athletes and women in tech. It also features different representations of “Mom.”…”
5 Reasons Why It’s Okay If You Don’t Want Children – Maddie McClouskey at Everyday Feminism
“…I do not want to have children.
When it comes up in conversation, people are shocked by my choice. People who have or want children sometimes seem offended by it. Others brush it off, saying I’ll change my mind someday.
Maybe it’s surprising that I don’t want to start a family – because I am a woman who doesn’t hate children. In fact, I’ve worked with children for years, and I’d like to think I’m fairly good at it. I have a tendency to nurture others and cater to their needs.
Not to mention, I present myself in a relatively feminine way, which makes people assume I am straight (spoiler alert: I’m not!) and could bear a child whenever I feel like it (also a faulty assumption).
My experience and personality make it easy to assume that I could be a mother one day.
There are a handful of assumptions people may make when you say that youdon’t plan on starting a family, especially if you are a woman.
Some may think you’re immaturely trying to be unique. Others may believe that some experience “ruined” children for you. And there will be people who assume you are a callous kid-hater and/or a workaholic.
Call me crazy, but I don’t know if an immature person going against the grain for shits and giggles should have a kid just yet anyway. And if someone had an experience that led them to a decision not to have children, why anyone fault that? Uhh, if someone hates kids, they shouldn’t raise kids. Also, commitment to work isn’t an evil thing…”
Reproductive Justice Through the Eyes of an Abortion Doula – Jamie J. Hagen at RH Reality Check
“…An abortion doula provides non-medical support to an individual choosing to terminate a pregnancy, having a miscarriage, or experiencing fetal loss of some other kind. Similar to birth doula work, abortion doula support may be emotional, informational, or physical (such as massage and pain management). At the heart of any doula work is bearing witness to the client’s experience while also serving as a personal advocate for the client.
In a piece published on RH Reality Check last year, Miriam Zoila Pérez argues that while in the past the goal of the doula movement may have been to have a doula at every birth, this is no longer the case. Now, the goal is to bring the radical doula model of care—patient-centered and non-interventionist—to the current health-care system.
Participating in abortion doula work offers a way for people who may not have the ability to commit more fully to full-spectrum or birth doula work to still make an impact on the health-care system in a hands-on way. The central role of a doula is to be a personal care giver who can support a pregnant person’s transition out of pregnancy. This care may involve helping the pregnant individual self-advocate in a clinic environment, holding a hand in the waiting room, or simply being there to witness an experience and listen…”
52 Hilarious #ActivistPickUpLines For Valentines Day – Tasneem Nashrulla at Buzzfeed
“…She said she found dating to be hard for activists because for people like her “love is not about sacrifice and scarcity but about equality, justice and community.”
Park said, in her experience, it is easier for activists to date one another because others would not understand when “you have to attend a street protest at night.”
For instance, on her birthday, Park made her partner accompany her to a Trayvon Martin rally.
She is spending this Valentine’s Day at meetings organized to resist the One Billion Rising project.
Following Park’s lead, several people started contributing to the hashtag and got it trending. Here are some of the most hilarious tweets from #ActivistPickUpLines…”
The Empowerment Elite Claims Feminism – Jessica Valenti at The Nation
“…When I asked around, the consensus was that the omission was simply an oversight. But it turns out TED is deliberately keeping abortion off the agenda. When asked for comment, TED content director and TEDWomen co-host Kelly Stoetzel said that abortion did not fit into their focus on “wider issues of justice, inequality and human rights.” “Abortion is more of a topical issue we wouldn’t take a position on, any more than we’d take a position on a state tax bill,” Stoetzel explained. She pointed me to a few talks on women’s health and birth control, but this made the refusal to discuss abortion only more glaring. In the last three years, the United States has seen more abortion restrictions enacted than in the entire previous decade; the United Nations has classified the lack of access to abortion as torture; and Savita Halappanavar died in Ireland because a Catholic hospital refused to end her doomed pregnancy. Just how is abortion not an issue of “justice, inequality and human rights”?
Balancing potentially polarizing issues with popular appeal is not a new struggle for feminists. It’s the same conflict that surfaced when Sheryl Sandberg published Lean In, the bestselling book that encourages women to demand a seat at the boardroom table. Sales figures suggest that the idea of empowering themselves in the workplace resonated with tens of thousands of women. But some feminists responded that in dispensing advice on how women should behave to get ahead, the book gave short shrift to issues like workplace discrimination, unequal pay and the erosion of labor unions—issues that can’t be addressed by one woman’s decision to lean in.
I liked the book and even defended it against some of its detractors. But there is a big difference between a business leader’s advice to working women and conferences that seek to define the parameters of which feminist ideas are “worth spreading.” And when it comes to splashy women’s conferences, TEDWomen is hardly the only one on the circuit.
As part of her tenure at Newsweek/The Daily Beast, Tina Brown hosted “Women in the World” conferences with luminaries and celebrities like Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie in attendance. Politico now hosts “Women Rule” events. It makes sense that so many powerful people want in—feminism is enjoying a star moment. News outlets that once declared feminism dead now give top billing to sexual assault cases. Sexist comments from politicians and pundits are routinely criticized. You know your social movement is doing well when Beyoncé pens an article calling gender equality “a myth” and proudly samples Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie defining feminism in one of her hit songs.
If feminism is peaking again in terms of cultural relevance, it has an equal partner in TED, whose “thought leaders” have a global reach that can’t be beat. TED videos are viewed by millions, and the talks spark celebrity and book deals. (Lean In had its genesis in Sandberg’s 2010 TEDWomen talk.) Although TED doesn’t pay its speakers—while raking in more than $43 million a year—most feminists I know would find it hard to turn down an offer to speak there. It was a TED Talk by Adichie, after all, that Beyoncé sampled in “Flawless.”…”
In this movie, it’s the men who are constantly harassed by dominant women – Shirin Jaafari at PRI
“…French filmmaker Eléonore Pourriat released her film “Majorité Opprimée” or “Oppressed Majority” five years ago, and it quickly won an award in Ukraine. But otherwise it got little attention.
That is, until just recently, when she uploaded it to YouTube and it went viral. At the time of this posting, it’s been viewed more than six million times.
The film is about a man named Pierre, who goes about his normal life in a world that’s dominated by women. In this movie, it’s the women who harass men.
In one scene, a woman jogs topless. In another, Pierre gets sexual comments from a woman, while waiting at the traffic light.
What may be humorous at first, turns tragic when a group of women sexually assault Pierre at knife point.
He then has to go to the police and report it. The female officer doubts his story.
“I wanted to begin the film with just slight remarks, things that aren’t usually noticed by men and it [gets worse], it goes from laughter to a kind of fright at the end,” she says.
Pourriat says that using humor can be more effective in drawing attention to subjects such as sexual harassment.
“At first, it’s funny, yes, people laugh when they see a [female] topless jogger, for example, in the street. But then we start to notice them,” she says…”
Why I Never Got a Mammogram – Marie Myug-Ok Lee at The New York Times
“…I have never had a mammogram. I’m almost 50 — nearly a decade into the age when the screening is recommended by the American Cancer Society. I’m college educated, adequately insured. And I am the bane of my health care providers. Once, my midwife went so far as to request that I never speak of my decision in any space where other patients might hear.
This week, I was vindicated. On Tuesday, a Canadian study, one of the largest ever done on mammograms, was published in the British Medical Journal. The study found that mammograms did not reduce breast cancerdeaths in women around my age compared to physical exams, and that one in five women screened was overdiagnosed, possibly leading to unnecessary surgery or radiation.
It seems astonishing, but it reinforced what smaller studies had told me, as someone with no family history of breast cancer: that getting a mammogram was unlikely to affect my chances of dying from the disease. What it would do is increase the probability of my mistakenly becoming a breast-cancer patient…”
New Book “Dear Sister” Collects Letters from Survivors of Abuse – Sarah Mirk at Bitch
“…“I wanted to put a book together that would be a timeless resource for survivors,” says Lisa Factora-Borchers, editor of new collection Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence (AK Press). “It’s not a book about trauma, it’s not a book about all the moving pieces of rape. It’s letters about survival.”
The slim blue collection has a weighty mission: to speak directly to survivors of violence in a way media rarely does. In a landscape where people who speak out about abuse—like Dylan Farrow—are openly doubted and TV news often treats stories of abuse as merely salacious headline fodder, Dear Sister feels like a tiny island of common sense.
Several years ago, Factora-Borchers (who has written for Bitch in the past) put out a call for survivors of violence who would like to write letters to other survivors. Her aim was to create a helpful collection that would deal with getting on with one’s life in a “direct, but compassionate” way. The resulting book is a collection of open letters about healing from abuse and survival. Most of the pieces are relatively short and vary in tone—after a raw, fiery letter about abuse that is clearly very much an open wound, there comes a practical letter reads like a calm, logical story.
“I think when I first started the project, I really thought that I was trying to produce a book that would help communities know what to do: an action, words, a blueprint of what to do for survivors,” says Factora-Borchers. Instead, the book wound up being more about how people heal from abuse in all sorts of way: “It tells survivors that their choices are valid—each of their recoveries is going to be different, so there’s no prescription for what to be.”…”
Plus Size Women Continue to Do It For Themselves – Courtney J. Patterson at Disruptive Women in Healthcare
“…In a world where ‘bigger is better’ only applies to bank accounts and property ownership, a majority of us often view and consider larger bodies as less beautiful, unattractive and also unhealthy. However, many people, especially plus size Black and Latina models, are working hard to prove all of the naysayers wrong. Wrapped up in rhetoric belonging to the “obesity epidemic,” and regulated by European beauty ideals, mainstream society often portrays negative images and ideas about bigger bodies, especially bigger brown bodies, and renders them seemingly invisible in magazines and in the boardroom. This is particularly true in the fashion industry. Known for setting trends for the world to see (and follow), the fashion industry has been regulating women’s’ bodies for over half a century. While advertisements and runway shows once featured rubenesque women to appeal to consumers, the 1960’s brought upon an admiration for “stick thin” models with the rise of Jean Shrimpton and Lesley “Twiggy” Lawson. During this time, Black models also made notable gains: Donyale Luna became the first Black woman to cover British Vogue and Naomi Sims appeared on the covers of Ladies’ Home Journal and Life, setting a spark for her career as the first African American supermodel. In the 1990’s, plus size supermodel Emme Aronson became one of America’s most notable faces, breaking the straight size barrier to fame. However, bigger and brown bodies continue to struggle for the spotlight and the attention of influential fashion designers.
Because of this, many of them have taken their destiny into their own hands. In “Plus Size Black and Latino Women: The Implications of Body Shape and Size for Apparel Design,” in Marie-Eve Faust and Serge Carrier’s Designing Apparel for Consumers: The Impact of Body Shape and Size (Woodhead Publishing, 2014), I discuss how this history has affected their visibility, but not their aspirations. I found that many of these plus size models, mainly Black and Latina, are members of the plus size blogosphere, a network of stakeholders ranging from photographers, entrepreneurs, designers, and bloggers who all believe that plus size fashion has something to offer the world. As opposed to being seen as unhealthy, unattractive and non-fashionable, plus size blogosphere members share their fashion savvy, beauty secrets, health tips and life-long lessons through conversations, castings and wardrobe pieces. Through this digital space, these women stake their claim in fashion while educating the world about plus size women’s physical, mental and social health…”
Study Suggests Misplaced Fears in Longer Childbirths – Catherine Saint Louis at The New York Times
“…Epidural anesthesia lengthens the second stage of labor, the one in which women push. But a study published on Wednesdayhas found that epidurals are associated with an even longer duration in the second stage than is generally recognized, suggesting that some women may be subject to unnecessary interventions by doctors who wrongly fear labor has become prolonged.
The finding indicates that “clinicians might need to wait later before intervening with oxytocin, forceps, vacuum or a cesarean,” said Dr. S. Katherine Laughon, an investigator at the National Institutes of Health who was not involved in the study, which was published in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Still, she added, “clinicians and women need to balance benefits of vaginal delivery with potential increases in risk for mom and baby.”
Current guidelines by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, or ACOG, define an abnormally long second stage as more than three hours for women who received an epidural and are giving birth for the first time, and more than two hours for first births without an epidural.
The new study suggests a normal second stage can take as long as 5.6 hours for women who get epidurals during their first births, and as long as 3.3 hours for those who do not get epidurals…”
The Doula-as-Savior Myth – Birthing Beautiful Ideas
“…The myth is, quite simply, that we save women.
I’m always quick to tout what the evidence says about continuous support during childbirth. On the whole, doula support is a low-risk, low-tech way to deliver multiple benefits to women in labor.
Nevertheless, as amazing and incredible and beneficial as this support can be, doulas still aren’t saviors. We’re not saving women from anything. And when clients view doulas as saviors, or when doulas view themselves as saviors, they run the risk of setting themselves up for a whole host of problems.
When a client views a doula as a savior…
They decentralize their own power when it comes to their pregnancy and birth.
This might seem like an overly abstract problem: one that’s only a problem in theory and not in reality. But I think that even abstract problems like this one can have a profound effect on the reality of a woman’s birth.
For instance, if a woman expects her doula to save her from a cesarean or an induction or any other potentially medically-indicated intervention, then she might set herself up for extreme disappointment if her birth does indeed involve those interventions. A doula can use all the tricks in the world–can exhaust her knowledge, can use every tool in her birth bag–and still have clients who need cesareans or inductions. The client’s disappointment is not a trivial issue either. Feelings about birth matter. Satisfaction with birth matters. Women will remember their births and their feelings about their births for many years, even decades, to come, and these memories and feelings affect everything from one’s self-conception to one’s confidence as a mother. And though a doula can be disappointing–no doula is perfect for every single family–that disappointment should not be the result of the doula not being able to save their client from a birth intervention…”
Birth Control And Blood Clots: Women Still Weighing The Risks – Dana Farrington at NPR
“…In October, Merck updated the warnings section of the package label, which states that women should stop using NuvaRing if a blood clot forms and a few weeks before and after major surgery.
The warning cites two studies that looked into blood clots and NuvaRing: One funded by Merck, published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecologyin October, and another funded by the FDA, with data from Kaiser Permanente and Medicaid databases. The former found a similar risk for the ring and combined oral contraceptive pills. The latter found no difference in risk between new users of low-dose combined hormonal contraceptives and the NuvaRing or the birth control patch. (There was a higher risk found with pills that contain drospirenone, which is found in the pill Yaz.)
But a study from Denmark, published in the British Medical Journal in May 2012, found a notably higher risk of blood clots from NuvaRing. Women using the NuvaRing were about six times more likely to get venous thrombosis than women who didn’t use any form of hormonal contraceptive.Compared to combined oral contraceptives with levonorgestrel, NuvaRing users were about twice as likely to form blood clots…”
How To Get Free Birth Control Via Obamacare: A Walkthrough – Anna Breslaw at Cosmopolitan
“…With the help of Planned Parenthood, I put together a guide on how to score your free contraception, guaranteed under the Preventative Care measure in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). And, yes, this is as simple as it gets. Trust me…”
Visit the link above for the infographic.