I’ve Been Reading…

I should be doing my reading and writing for achieving my DONA and Birthing From Within certifications. And yet, I’ve been seeing all sorts of interesting items online, pulling my attention away from the hard-copy stack on my desk. Social media: good for networking and getting new information, bad for getting things crossed off a doula and birth mentor’s to-do list.

Here is a sampling of the articles and blogs that have caught my interest as of late. They span birth, motherhood, breastfeeding, feminism, racism and a bit of pop culture thrown in:

LA Times, “Childbirth: Can the US Improve?”

Henci Goer: Elective Induction of Labor

From Healthy Times “Risk to Baby Rises With Repeat C-Sections”

MamaHeartsBaby: A Baby Came Out of My Vagina

Science and Sensibility: First, Do No Harm: Another Reason to Ditch Routine IVs in Labor

Hoyden About Town: Missing The Point Awards, Manchester poster edition

Chicago HypnoBirthing: Kismet

Anti-Racist Parent: Just Like Me

Birth Write: Remembering Pearls of Mothering Advice

Hit Me Back!: Thoughts on the Mom-in-Chief

Womanist Musings: What White Women Can Do

Nov 30: A Sad Day for This Trekkie

Feel free to add your own!

Another reason why I am a member of the oxytocin fan club

A new study, to be published in the May issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, shows that women who breastfed earlier in life had significantly lower rates of high cholsterol, high blood pressure and diabetes later in life. This week The New York Times published this article detailing the results of the study of just under 140,000 women. In speculating to the reporter about whether there is a direct causal link for this, Dr. Nieca Goldberg, medical director of the N.Y.U. Women’s Heart Center suggested  “it could lie in oxytocin, a hormone crucial to milk production. Oxytocin is known to relax blood vessels, she said, and may make them more flexible and more resistant to the buildup of plaque.”

Yet another reason I have a crush on oxytocin.

Homebirth Safety Act Update – And Pictures!

Despite a setback earlier this month, and what this article might lead you to believe, Rep. Julie Hamos and the co-sponsors of the Illinois’ Home Birth Safety Act, HB 226, are still working on getting the bill passed this session. They need all the help we can give them to turn legislators’ “no’s” into “yes’s”.

If you live in Illinois, please let your legislators know that you support HB 226 and women’s right to give birth where we choose. You can go here to find out who your state representative and senator are and get their phone numbers and mailing addresses. For tips and talking points you can refer to info here and here.  This bill needs ALL the support we can give it, so please understand – I am asking YOU to join me and do this!

As an incentive, I finally finished going through my pictures from the road trip I took with my kids to lobby for the bill earlier this month. (Thanks to Kathleen, for helping me figure out how to post them). The photos aren’t going to win any awards (except maybe one that Elijah took). But they tell the story of the day, so have a look at them and then support the effort and call and write your legislators!

“Women step up to breastfeed motherless infant”

I just read this article from Michigan and it brought me to tears. (Thanks to Michelle for the link) What this group of women are doing for this baby and father is truly amazing. And yet somehow, I wonder if they are not all that rare. I trust that there are thousands if not millions of other mothers who would do the same if we knew of the need. I wish them all the absolute best.