After seeing a young friend struggle with body image and depression, Florida-based photographer Natalie McCain was inspired to start the Honest Body Project, a series of portraits of mothers showing their beauty and imperfections to their children, paired with their stories in their own words. “My goal with this project is to help mothers everywhere learn to love their bodies and wear them proudly in front of their daughters,” McCain says. “Stop calling yourself fat. Stop shying away from being in photos. Stop body-shaming. Learn to love your body, and in turn, set a good example and start conversations with your children about how women really look.” A small number of images may be NSFW or triggering. Further details within. [more inside]
The Seduction Of Normalcy - Diana Arterian reviews poet Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts
The most radical thing about The Argonauts is not Maggie Nelson’s love affair with her genderfluid partner, Harry Dodge, or the fact that she mentions ass fucking and Wittgensteinian paradoxes on the first page. It’s true: Nelson is more than willing to give us searingly intelligent musings on philosophy, scenes of love, raunchy sex, her thoughts on queerness—and does so, often. But while these topics are hugely important, requiring continual probing from the world’s radical citizens, they are rarely as ghettoized as motherhood, procreation, children, and family are in the creative world and academia. Where most writers would hold back, Nelson lopes forward: “I was ashamed, but undaunted (my epithet?).”[more inside]
Evidence Based Birth is a blog with articles by Rebecca Dekker, a PhD nurse and faculty member at the University of Kentucky, summarizing the best medical evidence for childbirth practices. To start, check out the table summarizing the state of US maternity care to see the differences between current standard childbirth practices and evidence based care. The topics page lists the currently available articles. [more inside]
"Postpartum depression isn’t always postpartum. It isn’t even always depression. A fast-growing body of research is changing the very definition of maternal mental illness, showing that it is more common and varied than previously thought." ‘Thinking of Ways to Harm Her’ and "After Baby, an Unraveling". [more inside]
"If an NHS trust proposed today that it was going to introduce Viagra sales reps into men's genitourinary wards, or reps for walking aids to orthopaedic wards, the very least you'd expect would be some stout resistance. It is a measure of the strength of the association between "motherhood" and "buying stuff" that the presence of commercial representatives on maternity wards has been tolerated for so long."[more inside]
Consumer Reports May 2012: What to reject when you're expecting (10 procedures to think twice about during your pregnancy; 10 things you should do during your pregnancy; 5 things you should do before you become pregnant). Mentioned in particular is the conclusion found in a federal study: Babies Take Longer To Come Out Than They Did In Grandma's Day."One big implication: Today's obstetricians may be rushing to do cesarean sections too soon because they're using an out-of-date yardstick for how long a 'normal; labor should take... The definition of a 'normal' labor — the range of times when a woman in labor reaches certain milestones — was laid down in the 1950s. Contemporary obstetricians still use that 'labor curve.'"
Resolve.org is a site devoted to providing support, both emotional and practical, to people struggling with infertility issues. The immediately apparent benefits to visiting would be their informational documents and errata, but of at least equal value are the bulletin boards where you can talk with other people dealing with infertility, whether it's for the sake of venting, chatting or just to have someplace you can go where you don't have to hear the words "well, adoption isn't so bad..."
Eloysa Vasquez, a 37-pound woman with osteogenesis imperfecta (the "brittle bone disease"), has given birth to a premature, but otherwise healthy, son. OI is the disease affecting the actor Michael J. Anderson, most famous for his roles as "The Little Man from Another Place" in Twin Peaks and Samson in Carnivale. Children with OI experience so many broken bones that their parents are frequently suspected of child abuse.
Grin And Bear It, Woman! Think Of England! Caesarean births in the U.K. should be severely curtailed, say the medical mandarins. Germaine Greer says, in a cracking column, that the new guidelines are misogyny pure and simple. Is it just my impression (think of American Pie-type teenage movies; advertising; "guy lit") or are hatred of women and beery, bozo celebrations of indifference to the feminine sex on the up and up?
Recharge Your Ovaries? Would it be better to have babies in our 60's? What if we could eliminate menopause? Is this just another instance of the dawn of agelessness?
Woman Pregnant Twice. An Italian woman is due to give birth in a hospital in Rome this week to a baby girl - before returning three months later to have triplets. If both deliveries are successful, it is thought that this will be the first such case in history.