It's February: and I'm exploring Fear, Fantasy and Female. In late January I took the big squids to see Operation Ouch! Live in Canberra. The show covered a range of medical topics, including pain perception. Dr Chris spoke of a trip he and identical twin brother Dr Xand took to Malaysia to film a festival of pain, which involved having spikes pierced into their faces. They said it hurt the first time, but once they knew what to expect, it wasn't an ordeal. That in understanding the process, and the pain, they were better able to cope. I found this very interesting, as it fits with my understanding of pain in relation to fear of childbirth, a topic that has been regularly popping up in my twitter feed. Many women who describe 'painfree' and even orgasmic births have several things in common:
1. They understand the physiology of normal birth and are not afraid of
In short they UNDERSTAND birth, and welcome it. They are not afraid.
Women who are afraid of childbirth may avoid pregnancy, even if they wish for motherhood, or may choose to 'bypass' birth by electing a caesarean. Many women feel that this allows them to be more in control and it takes out the unpredictable aspect of birth. Some people even promote this as a feminist issue, in that it is about choice. And whilst this is, to a degree, true, it fails to address why women are making this choice. And this why is the real feminist issue. Social conditioning through entertainment media, new media, formal education, peer education, family history, marketing and propaganda is at the core of this issue. Address that, and we are likely to see a shift away from technological choices back towards physiological ones. This is true for pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding...and life in general really. Trouble is...no one profits.
In this Newsletter
The Long Goodbye a poem
This month marked my 11th year as a Mother. This time 11 years ago, with cracked and bleeding nipples, I heard a lot of 'this too shall pass', as I received a lot of support and empathy through what was a tough (yet triumphant) 6 weeks. As the first year passed, the steep learning curve of breastfeeding, normal development and social conditioning saw a very clear line emerging between life before children, and life after children. As time marched on, ever faster, 'this too shall pass' took on a different meaning. My poem was written to help remind me that whilst some days are long, the years are short.
I will be at the Australian Botanic Gardens on Friday 2nd March, with my children. I am taking my toddler to STORYTIME for preschoolers. My parents are meeting me there, and will take my big kids (homeschooled) to work on their nature journals. Perhaps you would like to join me at storytime?
Perhaps you would like to meet in the gardens for a lunchtime picnic?
Please let me know if you are keen. I will send an email via the events list with fixed details next week, so this is your chance to influence where and when!
NEW BLOG POST:
Medically Extreme Birthing: born of Fear or Fantasy?
Discussing maternal request csections.
FROM THE ARCHIVE:
Marking vs Information Sharing again after an interesting witter discussion about formula company sponsorship of pregnancy/birth/breastfeeding conferences. (this one also led me down memory lane, into the depths of my first blog on tumblr).
Maternal Feminisim in the Brave New World Revisiting this one in light of the cloned monkeys (see below)
ARTICLES THAT HAVE CAUGHT MY EYE:
THE ARCHIVE STUDY
This study, in early release, could led pro-interventionalists to advocate for standard induction at 39 weeks. Some wise midwife-academics had this to say:
Hannah Dahlen (a facebook post you can read without facebook)
Henci Goer discusses what we can deduce from the early release (abstract)
Sara Wickham's Untangling tocophobia
Milli Hill busts some positive birth myths
LANGUAGE IN BIRTH
Does the language used in a clinical setting matter?
Midwife Thinking updated the post about Early Labour and Mixed Messages
Baby Fat: More than cuteness!
Evolution of Human Birth (a you tube video) What could humans have in common with bulldogs?
How did Agriculture impact women and children? (this article is looks at the mother-child impacts, but there is also research that is showing us the impact sperm health has on the epigenetics of the next two generations...see the Science Academy youtube link)
Children in the archeological record: toys found
Monkeys have been cloned: read the comment from Bob Ridge (and see my brave new world post on the archives.
Unexpected Homebirth - keep your shoelaces one! (Sara Wickham)
The slightly sweary caesarean recovery plan is an insightful post that can help with a planned or contingency caesarean. It reminds us that the birth plan includes the recovery...and the fourth trimester.
The early vocab Advantage was an interesting article that follows on from our explorations last year into reading to the unborn and gives insights into the development of language. I added this one into the support group 'parenting' discussion.
Why do we have baby teeth?
I was fortunate to attend The Shine Dome for two talks, now available on you tube, the first looked at conception science (but the audio has not worked), and the second discussed epigentetics.
A radio interview with Hannah Dahlen: reading between the lines
From the Circle of Birth Podcast: Freebirth with Natalie Mead (some interesting discussion about birth plans and the impact of fear)
This newspaper piece addressing post-birth body acceptance
IDENTITY: what is 'woman'?
This article discusses some of the issues surrounding the gender debate. If you want to explore this further, checkout my twitter profile.
NEW IN THE RESOURCES
The resources page of the member area contains this new PDF:
From Pain to Power
and this image of a critical thinking cheat sheet:
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