Category: infant and maternal health

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Making Homebirth Safer in 2019: Part 1- Neonatal Mortality

Neonatal mortality. This has been used as the nail in the coffin of the homebirth debate. Opponents of homebirth will often concede that homebirths create a better experience for the mother, but usually present this benefit as carrying a much higher risk of death for the baby. In particularly vitriolic debates, this where the “selfish mother” accusation kicks in.  However… It’s not entirely true. … Read More Making Homebirth Safer in 2019: Part 1- Neonatal Mortality

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Genetic Disorders: What Are The Odds?

In my epidemiology class, we did a unit on genetic disorders and disease screening. Genetic disorders are “rare”– at least until they happen to you. Many of us are carrying a gene right now for some type of genetic disorder. But it’s only if the conditions are just right that a baby has a disorder or becomes a carrier. Why? Sometimes it has do … Read More Genetic Disorders: What Are The Odds?

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Obstetrical Violence: The Forgotten Issue In Bodily Autonomy

This is an old (and yet new) issue. Abusive behavior and treatment of laboring women is pretty old. The early hospitals that promised a safer childbirth hid layers of abuse under a veil of scopolamine. Gone are the days of tying women to beds and blindfolding them during labor. Yet, it is still common practice to treat laboring women abusively. There is a relatively … Read More Obstetrical Violence: The Forgotten Issue In Bodily Autonomy

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What Hospice/ Palliative Care Can Teach Us About Birth Care in the US

  “Yes, it can be sad and messy and powerful and  hard and normal and absurd and  everything in between.”- Zen Hospice Project website I’ve always felt that birth and death were very similar in many ways. If you believe in the concept of a soul or spirit, the idea that birth is a type of death and death is a type of birth … Read More What Hospice/ Palliative Care Can Teach Us About Birth Care in the US

Myth, Magic and… Public Health?

“Rituals could feed conflict by turning opinions into ‘sacred values’.”– Scott Atran, director of anthropological research at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique “Definition of myth: a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon.”– Merriam-Webster Dictionary Once Upon A Time… “Do you know what women were dreaming … Read More Myth, Magic and… Public Health?

Let Me Level With You- Two New Videos

Two new videos have been added to the “Let Me Level With You” series! Hepatitis B So many parents have questions about hepatitis B and what the real risks are. Here’s the info on who is really at risk for hep B and why. Vimeo YouTube Prenatal Testing Prenatal testing seems simple on the surface. You get a test, it tells you if your … Read More Let Me Level With You- Two New Videos

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Let Me Level With You About…Electronic Fetal Monitoring

Ah, American maternity care. High tech, low results. Here is the video: Vimeo YouTube  

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Water Birth and Legionnaires’ Disease

Last year, two babies in Arizona developed Legionnaires’ Disease after their mothers labored in birthing pools. Since then, I’ve seen parenting magazines and websites decrying water birth as dangerous and Legionnaires’ Disease as just one more piece of “proof”. These claims are not informed by current research or by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ stance on water immersion during labor.  So, the … Read More Water Birth and Legionnaires’ Disease

Video: Let Me Level With You About Vitamin D and Breastfeeding

I’ve often felt like much of the public health information parents get is filtered. When I was first advised about vitamin D supplementation for newborns, our son’s doctor at the NICU said that because our baby was exclusively breastfed he would get rickets if he wasn’t supplemented. Well, that was an extremely oversimplified and misleading statement that does not reflect the high degree of … Read More Video: Let Me Level With You About Vitamin D and Breastfeeding

Save a Life- Spread the Word About Sickle Cell Disease and Pregnancy

Sickle cell disease made the news earlier this year when rapper Prodigy died from complications related to SCD this past June at the age of 42.  It’s actually very common among African-Americans with 1 in 13 being carriers for the disease and 1 in 365 having sickle cell disease. There are other ethnic groups that are frequently affected as well. In some parts of Central … Read More Save a Life- Spread the Word About Sickle Cell Disease and Pregnancy

Adoption and Breastfeeding

YES!!! It’s possible! Even if you have never given birth. Even if you have never been pregnant. Even if you can’t get pregnant. You can breastfeed a baby! How it works… Lactation does not actually start with the mammary glands. It starts with the pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain. The pituitary gland produces a hormone called prolactin … Read More Adoption and Breastfeeding

Becoming A Milk Donor

    Today I am officially a milk donor. After one phone interview, two paperwork packets, a visit to the rural health clinic, a blood test, 100+ oz. of milk, and several calls to FedEx Peri Ship, my donation arrived and was accepted today. I first started to consider becoming a milk donor during my breastfeeding educator certification when I did a handout on … Read More Becoming A Milk Donor