That mother nature I tell you…she is one smart cookie. No one thinks there is anything good about insomnia, but alas, there is. Over the last 40 years, there has been continuous documentation that if a woman stays up at night, or the second 1/2 of the night, depression will lift by the morning. “Sleep deprivation can elevate your mood even if you are not depressed, and can induce euphoria.” As the article states, this is not a magic button because of the mere fact that chronic sleep deprivation is not a desirable long term solution for anything due to the cognitive delays that start appearing after a short period of time. Yet, this finding shows us that depression can be immediately reversed, and there’s something about the sleeping brain that brings on depression. It is believed that sleep deprivation interferes with REM sleep, thereby warding off depression.
Wow, holy (hopefully) similar lives batman! I just came across this great article about a woman, Martha Carter who has had an even crazier life trajectory than me. The best thing is that she’s done so much that is similar to what I hope to accomplish- always keeping her love of women, babies and health care somewhere in the equation.
Please read. It’s so fun to hear about a phenomenal woman and what they’ve put on their plates and managed to accomplish.
When searching for ‘news’ about midwives today, I came across this article which was originally published in 2003. I have no idea how it popped up on this week’s google news, but it did. Named “An Illegitimate Birth” it chronicles the life path of a direct-entry midwife while simultaneously following a couple through prenatal care, and then a water birth. It was a beautifully written story. I should have guessed that it wasn’t from this day and age, as it’s rather lengthy and delves into the issues, and creates a mood-rather than just delivering sound bites. In my opinion, it’s a must-read for anyone considering midwifery as a profession, or a midwife assisted home birth. I wish I knew the name of the ‘real midwife’ as I would love to know what she is doing today. I looked up the current Illinois direct-entry midwife laws hoping they had changed, and found that indeed they haven’t but are (ironically?) back in the legislature THIS WEEK.
There has been debate for years about a newborn’s ability to feel pain. Here’s an interesting video from Dr. Sanjay Gupta speaking to Dr. Whit Hall at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
This week, Time Magazine published an article talking about a growing trend of women who choose breast milk for their infants, but choose not to breastfeed. Several reasons were cited in the article. Some women simply don’t like the feeling of breastfeeding, which from experience is indeed a unique sensation. Other women thought they could be more efficient if using a pump to expel breast milk as they could pump both breasts simultaneously whereas breast feeding takes twice as much time. The third reason cited was that some mom’s “are a bit neurotic” and felt better knowing exactly how much milk their babies were getting-an impossibility with traditional breast feeding. The fourth, and final reason had to do with difficulties breast feeding due to poor latching by infants, inverted nipples or other such anatomical problems.
I’ve always been told that ‘wearing your baby’ is the best thing you can do as a mom, or dad. Babies like to be close to their parents. The warmth and heartbeat of mom and dad are soothing, calming, and parents have been carrying their infants since the beginning of time.
With each of my three children, I tried the baby sling- the one that goes over one shoulder and acts like a little sack that they can sit in.
I had seen moms and dads carrying their babes (and toddlers) in these contraptions, and I was impressed. Two hands free with your baby on your hip. The problem was that my infants just didn’t take to it. They didn’t seem to like the ‘C’ shape that was forced on their little bodies and arched their backs in protest. They seemed to get lost in there, and the top of the sling would cover their face, which made me more than a little nervous. It hurt my shoulder. I couldn’t get it to be comfortable for either myself or my kids. I eventually gave up- feeling defeated and not quite up to snuff compared with all my hippy-mama friends who seemed to sling with ease.
Due to overwhelming commentary on the health care reform bill, I am attempting to read it all and highlight the main ‘talking points’. Although I agree that the bill has it’s flaws, it is a great step in the right direction.
The Constitutionality of the Health Care Bill
Opponents of the Health Care Bill, including the Attorney Generals of several states are planning to sue the government over the ‘unconstitutionality’ of the bill. “They are expected to sue over the bill’s mandate that requires everyone to buy health insurance” saying that it infringes on ‘state sovereignty’. Yet federal law always trumps state law.
Furthermore, under the commerce clause (Article I, Section 8 of The Constitution) Congress has the power to regulate activities that, taken cumulatively, have a substantial effect on interstate commerce. People not purchasing health insurance unquestionably has this effect. Everyone, at some point in their lives will need health care, and requiring people to have health insurance to offset the costs of taxpayers having to pay for people who don’t have health insurance creates a scenario where no one will be an undo burden on the government. You would think that republicans would like this as it is a lesson in personal responsibility.
Democrats were successful at passing the first major health care legislation since the New Deal. This is great news for moms and babies. The law has added the following provisions related to maternal/pregnancy and birth health care:
Medicaid reimbursement will be available for Certified Professional Midwives working in licensed birthing centers. I am hoping this will open up the door for midwives to open up birthing centers all across the nation, allowing low income women living in rural and underserved areas better access to midwifery-based maternal and child care. This is a win-win situation for women and midwives-hopefully providing choices in health care that more effectively address the cultural differences in the communities where these women live. When women feel honored, and are being cared for and served by providers that understand their culture, language and social norms, it will create an environment of support and empathy-rather than one that may leave women feeling scared and powerless at a very vulnerable time in their lives. Midwives can now effectively serve these women knowing that their work will be paid for by insurance.
The National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, representing 59,000 Catholic Nuns came out in support of Obama’s health care plan today- going against the Catholic Bishops, who are opposed.
You go girls! : )
In their statement, they say, “We have witnessed firsthand the impact of our national health care crisis, particularly its impact on women, children and people who are poor. We see the toll on families who have delayed seeking care due to a lack of health insurance coverage or lack of funds with which to pay high deductibles and co-pays. We have counseled and prayed with men, women and children who have been denied health care coverage by insurance companies. We have witnessed early and avoidable deaths because of delayed medical treatment.”
I usually don’t write too much about international stories as there is so much going on right here in the ol’ US of A, but this story really hit a nerve as it sheds some light on our own midwifery history.
Taiwan used to have a rich and thriving midwifery profession since at least the late 19th century and probably much before that. It is estimated that midwives delivered 400,000 babies annually up until the 1960’s. With the advent of economic prosperity in the 1970’s and the introduction of socialized health care in 1995, many proverbial nails have been put in the midwifery coffin, so much so that the state is planning to cancel the midwifery licensing exam all together as only 7 people in the entire country signed up to take it this year. Where there used to be 20 midwifery schools, now only one remains. Of the 300 registered midwives, only about 1/2 are practicing- delivering maybe a dozen babies a year. It’s very sad.