The Big Push for Midwives

Obama, Clinton, McCain, Romney, Paul and Huckabee aren't the only ones hitting the campaign trail this winter. Thanks to a nonpartisan coalition of consumer advocates, The Big Push for Midwives - a campaign of a different variety, but equally as important - is pushing for the regulation and licensure of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. According to The Chicago Tribune, "Certified professional midwives, who are lay practitioners specializing in home births, are banned in 26 states... They fall under a different legal classification than certified nurse-midwives, advanced practice nurses who are licensed in all 50 states and work mainly in hospitals." ...more

Licensing is available in the state I currently live in and the state I call home. But, there ...more

Health, Justice and Potatoes For All!

It has really struck me, during this past month of writing on the subject of maternal health for BlogHer, just how inextricable concerns regarding maternal health are from broader, more global concerns. Like the environment, for one; hence the pairing of maternal health coverage here with coverage of the goings-on at BlogHers Act Canada, which has set for itself, this year, the cause of encouraging social change - especially such change as starts at home - in the direction of living more environmentally friendly lives. ...more

Thanks for the NoMeatPoWeek link! It took me to a most interesting site. It was so fantastic ...more

Morning sickness - beneficial to mother and baby?

When I became pregnant with my first child after a 13-month long roller-coaster ride of trying to conceive (including two rounds of IUI - intrauterine insemination), I admit that at first I welcomed morning sickness with open arms. However it didn't take long for the novelty to wear off and it became a sort of love-hate relationship. I loved the dry heaves I experienced every morning for the first trimester of my pregnancy for the reassurance they provided me that a life really was growing within me. But I also loathed the waves of nausea that lasted most of the day, especially when I needed to carry on with my 9 to 5 job, business as usual. I think for most women, morning sickness is a mixed bag - a blessing and a curse if you will. It would be nice to know that those barfy feelings are somehow contributing to towards a healthy pregnancy, wouldn't it? I recently came upon a study (from 2000) that shows morning sickness does, in fact, serve an actual beneficial function for both mama and baby, which may be some consolation to the women currently in the throes of it. ...more

If Coffee And Chocolate Are Bad, I Don't Want To Be Good

So I'm sitting and drinking the first of my two daily half-caf no-foam lattes and reading the newspaper the other day, when this headline catches my eye: Daily Double Can Be Fatal To Fetus. Which, seeing as my own caffeinated fetus was just at that moment tap-dancing on my ovary walls, alarmed me, just a little. I sipped my latte, and read on: ...more

I think that is the key, everything in moderation. I've known so many women who had a glass or ...more

Birth doulas make a difference

"If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it." -- John H. Kennell, MD If I could do my daughter's birth all over again - a birth that, because of a pregnancy complication I developed (HELLP syndrome), included numerous interventions - I would have hired a doula. I'd done my birth homework and for some reason I didn't think I needed one nor could afford one, but as I have since learned, having the right doula at your birth can be worth her weight in gold. I think if I had had a doula present at Ava's birth, I would have come away from the experience feeling like I had been better informed (we were left in the dark about so many things) and more of an active participant in my labor instead of a passive recipient. But as the saying goes, live and learn. I have learned and now I will share what I've learned with you. ...more

Thanks for your comment, Sophie. I'm happy I can help spread the word.


Former CIA Agent Valerie Plame Wilson Talks To BlogHer About "Fair Game" & Postpartum Depression

Today I'm thrilled to share the podcast of an interview I just conducted, in partnership with Blogher, with former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.  ...more
Great. I mentioned her book on your blog awhile ...more

Of Asthma And Anxiety And Things That Go Bump In The Pregnant Night

This just in: maternal stress can cause health issues for children. Specifically, it can, apparently, cause asthma. According to the Canadian Medical Study, reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, children whose mothers suffer prolonged depression or anxiety appear to have a higher rate of asthma than other youngsters, independent of other risk factors for the increasingly common respiratory condition. ...more

I'm doing okay at warding off the blue meanies this time around (tho' check my next post for ...more

Waterbirth International needs financial help to stay afloat

Waterbirth International is a 20-year-old organization founded by Barbara Harper with one goal in mind: "To make water birth an available option for all women." Since the organization's inception, Waterbirth International has been providing education, training, programs, consultations and birthing pools to women and health care providers all over the world. But WI is facing serious financial difficulties and is in danger of closing its doors permanently by January 31. Although Waterbirth International acknowledges that their participation in the Gentle Birth World Congress was "a fabulous success in every way for international and local attendees," they accept that it drained all of their resources. As a result, they are in desperate need of raising $200,000 in donations to keep the organization alive. ...more

I hope that WI is able to keep its doors open. I remember reading Gentle Birth Choices back ...more

Postpartum Depression By The Numbers: Which Happens More -- Sprained Ankles, Impotence or PPD?

Quick, guess which number is higher:  the number of people who sprain their ankle each year or the number of women who experience a postpartum mood disorder?  Actually, it's about equal.  Surprised? ...more

I am terrified to have children. There are many reasons for this, of course--you know, the ...more

High hopes for The Business of Being Born

It's just over a month now until the release of The Business of Being Born to DVD a la Netflix* on Feb. 12, and I, for one, am counting the days. There are 36. As a self-confessed "birth junkie," I've been excited about this movie since I first learned about it back in May of 2007. ...more

Thanks to both Amy and Brandy - and women everywhere who engage in this discussion!

For the ...more