In this Newsletter
My thoughts have been towards the devalued but assumed work of Mothers in our society. It is assumed women know how to birth, breastfeed, mother...and yet because we have devalued this things, isolating them from general society, women are denied the opportunity to observe and actually learn these skills. 'Maternal Instinct', according to Vanessa Olorenshow (p100 Liberating Motherhood):
"suggests that women simply know how to care for babies, know how to breastfeed and know how to raise young children. For starters, it lets the men off the hook in terms of putting in the effort to bond with and care for children. From a patriarchal perspective, notions of maternal instinct and essential feminine qualities have been used to oppress mothers into a corset-like gender role of nurture, home and exclusion from public life and education. Further, they deny the supreme amount of effort, patience strength and courage which goes into caring for babies and young children, and the learning on the job, in small steps. Most fundamentally, it underestimates the degree to which we learn through example, culture and childhood experiences about how to mother."
Doulaing and breastfeeding support are roles that aim to fill this gap. A gap created through this exclusion of mothering from general society, over many generations, through the medicalisation of pregnancy and birth. A gap that has left us valuing medical assistance and assuming the rest will follow.
If I ruled the world:
Story Time: The Ordinary Princess
GETTING TOGETHER April 20th the gathering will be at the Eurobodalla Botanic Gardens: it is school hols, so bring your older kids! Reply if you are coming.
NEW BLOG POSTS:
Respect is a Gift
Is my child normal?
UPDATED BLOG POSTS:
These self-care themed blogs have been updated:
Fit Your Own Mask First offers you an insightful TEDTALK that may just blow your mind! It addresses the balance of 'needs' and 'wants' when dealing with our children. I also offer you further resources to help you explore this new way of thinking.
This one looks at managing the housework.
FROM THE ARCHIVE:
It was World Doula week from March 22 - 28.
These blog posts look at the ways doulas support birth:
Seven Ways a Doula can support a Planned Caesarean
The Informed Decision, The Doula and The Birth Plan
And because the theme is Informed Decisions:
What is an Informed Decision?
This posted was the post popular in the last month: The Nocebo Effect
NEW IN RESOURCES:
This month, I have added this awesome position paper from The Ontario Public Health Association. It looks at Informed Decision Making, and 'Decision Tools'. My book is a "wonderful guide"...one of the authors (Deanna Stirling) said so! It is a very comprehensive decision making tool.
I also added the 'Complementary therapies' paper which showed that private childbirth education improves outcomes.
Access the resources page here
ARTICLES THAT HAVE CAUGHT MY EYE
This article appeared across several news sources, and discusses the long term impacts of birth interventions and the importance for health care professional to divulge this in order for fully informed decision making. "women and their partners are making a decision based on half the information and they need the full picture." Hannah Dahlen.
This paper from the UK looking into why women freebirth
Rhea Dempsey penned this piece about Doula Support
Painless Birth and Pain Perception from evidence-based birth
A patient care revolution is needed! (a news article looking at patient care generally)
This paper (which garnished quite a bit of media attention) evaluated the cost of birth interventions (or rather, the cost savings of independent childbirth education.)
Midwife Thinking posted about Gestational Diabetes.
The Excuse Interpreter is a (surprisingly) good government document addressing violence against women. I added this one to The Parenting thread in the support group.
Have you ever wondered about lactation cookies? This article looks into whether or not they are helpful.
It was this quote that caught me from this article by Ginger Gorman asking about the 'pregnancy police':"It's never about you and what you've decided to do. It's always about them.
"People want you to validate their own choices. So if you make a choice different to them ... they often make you try and feel bad about it."
I found this one by Jane Caro interesting: As women become more assertive, men must learn to take up less space.
The desire to become a mother is an emotional time, for better or for worse. Trying To Concieve can become an obsessive and desperate, all consuming, time and the longer it takes the deeper the despair sets in. Turning to professionals for help, filled with hope, but is it false hope? (Ginger Gorman on IVF ).
I was also captured by a twitterer asking what happens to the frozen embryos if you die. Apparently, in Australia, from 2004 onwards you must document what will happen in various circumstances (including relationship breakdown). If you wish to donate your embryos, you must undergo counselling to ensure you are fully aware of the enormity of doing so. The ethics seem uncertain, I guess the technology is moving faster than we can grasp it. It gets complicated when several donations are involved. It gets murky when we view embryo donation like adoption. There is a lot to consider.
Which led me to this piece about 'How to find out Anything from Anyone?'. Leaving out a key piece of information, whether intentionally or not, impedes informed decision making. If not all info is given, not all options are on the table. How do you know if you are getting all the info?
Katherine Maybe wrote this blog: "Birth planning goes far beyond a written document. Birth planning is about conversations, informed choice, empowering women. Its about dignity and respect. Its about ensuring that women are aware of their options."
This cochrane review on 'Massage, reflexology and other manual methods for managing pain in labour'. If you find it works, do it!
After an image of a new bottle propping product did the rounds, Dr Amy Brown wrote aboutthe dangers of bottle propping for The Conversation.
Dr Jennifer Margulis asks "What of home Birth is actually safer than hospital birth?"
The Whole Woman this post; This one looking at how socialisation impacts birth plans
April 4th was International Day for Maternal Health and Rights. This post about Human Rights in Childbirth also contains a link to the very awesome talk I attended in Sydney in March. It is $7 to view, and the money goes toward getting the very awesome Birth Time documentary produced.
What I'm Reading
As always, I have several books on the go. These are some I am finding particularly interesting.
My newest e-book acquisitions are:
Why Human Rights in Childbirth Matter by Rebecca Schiller
'The Life of I: The New Culture of Narcissism' by Anne Manne
One book I have been reading for a while now...highlighting as I go, noting further readings to explore, and loving every word:
Liberating Motherhood: The Birth of the Purple Stockings Movement by Vanessa Olorenshaw
I have also indulged in two novels:
The third novel by my brilliant friend, Kim Lock: The Three of Us
And: Miss Lily's Lovely Ladies by Jackie French.
What have you been reading? What books would you recommend? If you would like to write a book review, I will publish it on the bellablog.
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