Links for Thought (April 4)

A weekly roundup of helpful and thought-provoking links for mothers and mothers-to-be!

  • Scars that Run Deep: “All that Matters” After A Cesarean. April is Cesarean Awareness month.  In its honor, and in honor of all Cesarean mothers, read this post.  It addresses the sentiment so familiar to C-section mamas —  You have a healthy baby — that’s all that matters! — and explores “why having a healthy baby isn’t all that matters after a cesarean.  Why mothers who mourn the loss of a vaginal birth can (and, most likely do) simultaneously celebrate their new child.  And why a mother’s birth experience is part of ‘what matters.’” (Kristen Oganowski, PhD Candidate, Birthing Beautiful Ideas)
  • Breastfeeding: The First Few Weeks of Life. An excellent post with very important information about colostrum, asymmetric latch, engorgement, and sore nipples.  A must-read for mothers-to-be, brand new mothers, and women hoping to be new mothers again someday! (Edith Kernerman, IBCLC, NBCI; Science & Sensibility)
  • Planned Home vs Hospital Birth: A Meta-Analysis Gone Wrong. Last year, a highly-controversial meta-analysis on the safety of planned home birth versus planned hospital birth was published by Joseph R. Wax and colleagues.  The study has come to be known as “The Wax Study” and is widely acknowledged to contain serious methodological and statistical errors and subsequent erroneous conclusions about the safety of planned home birth.  Unfortunately, at present, the Wax Study forms the basis for the ACOG recommendations on home birth.  This article highlights the deep flaws in The Wax Study and explains how The Wax Study’s conclusion that higher neonatal death rates follow home births is not supported by their data.  (Michal et al., Medscape Ob/Gyn & Women’s Health, 2011-04-01)  Also, see the page below from The Big Push for Midwives: The Wax Paper: Apples and Oranges (Link shared by local homebirth midwife Kim Mosny (CPM, LM))

  • Rotating Shift Work May Affect Menstrual Cycle. Heads up, those of you who work nights — like doctors, nurses, and even plain old night owls!  Working overnight (at least 3 nights a month) may shorten or lengthen your menstrual cycle and hence affect your fertility.  Exposure to light at night affects the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and a host of other hormones, including women’s reproductive hormones.  If you can keep regular nighttime (dark-time) sleep hours, do, especially if you are trying to conceive.  Your body will thank you!  (Amy Norton, Reuters)
  • Industrial Childbirth. This article is a birth story, and the author is angry.  Rightfully angry.  The quote below is a bit edgier than what I usually post here, but I was really struck by the insight of the parallel between the typical modern Western response to the idea of childbirth and  the typical child’s response to the idea of sex:

Our collective idea of childbirth is pretty nasty – blood and fluid, panting and screaming, stretched anatomy, the emergent gooey greyish-purple alien… horrible!  Remember when you first heard about sex?  Remember how horrible that seemed?  But sex isn’t horrible, is it?  What’s missing – and indescribable to a virgin child – is the emotional element.  Sex is a natural and beautiful process, all entangled with love and passion.  So too, and a million times more, is birth.  In essence, our modern patriarchal institutionalized world has a childish view of childbirth.  It can’t imagine that something that looks so gruesome could be anything but a horrendous experience and one that should be shortened and medicated.  But childbirth is not a medical procedure any more than sex is. (By Shonagh Strachan, Adbusters; thanks to Molly at First the Egg for the link)

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