The "ARRIVE" study was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, stating that an induction at 39 weeks lowers the risk of cesarean by 3-4%, compared with waiting until at least 40 weeks, 5 days, to induce. Here is why this study likely does NOT apply to you.
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The reasons to allow individuals to choose body modifications for themselves as consenting adults, versus pushing them upon children as babies or minors are numerous. Human rights aside, piercing, tattooing, cutting, or altering the healthy body of a non-consenting minor child without medical need and benefit is not without pain and risk -- both immediately and long-term. Helen Houghton of Holier Than Thou, a piercing, tattooing, and body modification specialty venue in Manchester, UK, highlights one case in which these measures (the piercing of a little girl's ears as a young child) carried with it not only the immediate trauma this small child was put through, but the repercussions she faced going forward throughout her development -- even having doctors tell her they could "not help her" or that what she was experiencing was "normal." Houghton writes on Facebook:
Desiree is such a lovely person. She spent the last seventeen years of her life with these gross butterfly backs (pictured above) embedded in the back of her ears! A family member took her to have them pierced when she was three years old, against her will. It was so painful that she had to be taken back the next day to get the other side done. 😔 The blunt force trauma and poor design of the jewelry caused massive swelling and embedding. The front of the earrings were pulled out, but the backs were missing... fallen off, or so they thought. Instead they were trapped inside her ears, and have been festering there ever since. Doctors either said that the lumps were cartilage, or said because it was a "cosmetic issue" they would not be able to help her.
Desiree wants to get her ears pierced properly now that she is an adult and can make these choices for herself, so we were delighted to remove the awful foreign bodies for her, along with as much scarring from the gun piercings as possible. In a few months, her ears will be ready for healthy, happy piercings. 💜
She’s very kindly let us use these photos as an example and warning to others: GUN PIERCINGS ARE DANGEROUS. You cannot sterilise guns (meaning there is a very real risk of infection, including serious diseases like Hepatitis [that can and has killed babies].
In addition, the butterflies have nooks and crannies all over them, which trap body fluids and are very difficult to clean -- meaning the infection risk during healing is massive. The studs are made from poor quality mystery metal with an inferior finish, again meaning allergic reaction and infection risk is high. The studs aren’t long enough to allow for swelling (embedding happens easily), and because they’re blunt and are literally forced through the tissue, it is just blunt force trauma -- which is agony for a baby or child.
Anyone prepared to use a gun will be, respectfully, poorly educated on the topic. No reputable piercer would use a piercing gun, meaning they also likely have limited blood borne pathogen training, and again this puts the client (and any baby or child at the end of the piercing gun) at risk.
Guns also cannot be “aimed” accurately, so piercings are often wonky. FOR EVERY REASON please, please, please don’t ever let anyone near you or your loved ones with a piercing gun. 🙏
Find Holier Than Thou on Facebook
One Regret: http://www.DrMomma.org/2011/10/one-regret.html
Her body, her choice. Infant ear piercing is painful, risky, and has no benefits for any baby. Let's allow our children to choose body modifications when they are fully informed and able to consent to alterations made.
She is just as much your baby girl without body modification. Say NO to infant ear piercing.
Sara McCall previously expanded on these historical facts in her Breastfeeding USA article, "Nursing in Public: What U.S. Mothers Faced from Colonial Times Until Today." She writes:
Nursing in public seemed to be a non-issue in colonial America. Our foremothers were expected to maintain a busy household, which included feeding the baby, and breastfeeding in the market or other public areas was not a cause for uproar. At that time, breastfeeding was the only way to feed a baby, either by the natural mother or a wet-nurse. The Puritans believed breasts were created for the nourishment of children and strongly encouraged women to nurse their own babies.  Breastfeeding in public was commonplace for colonial women because they lived in a society that supported breastfeeding.
What happened to change American society's views on nursing in public? Society’s outlook on breastfeeding began to change as the modern feeding bottle and nipple were invented, and commercially-created infant formulas became more accepted in the early 20th century. [...]
Breastfeeding was dealt a double whammy in the early 20th century. As World War II raged on, women were needed to fill jobs left empty by men going off to war. Breast pumps were primitive in design, there were no laws that allowed women time to express milk while at work, and wet nursing went out of style. What was a mother to do? At this same time, large-scale manufacturing made infant formula easier for mothers to access.  Formula manufacturers cultivated relationships with physicians, which led to physicians promoting formula use as a safe and accepted way to feed baby. With so many factors suppressing breastfeeding, it isn't surprising that breastfeeding rates began to decline sharply after World War II.Johnson reflects on the reasons that today's mothers also do not want -- and do not need -- to cover while feeding their baby. She continues:
There are plenty of reasons a mom may not cover while breastfeeding. The baby could not allow it, and repeatedly remove the cover, or cry. It could be too hot, and a mother doesn't want her child to get too hot and sweaty. It is also really hard to cover while learning to nurse a new baby, and babies benifit from eye contact while breastfeeding. Believe it or not, covers actually draw more attention. Sometimes the mother simply doesn't wish to cover, and they legally don't have to.At the federal government level, Public Law 106-58, Section 647 protects breastfeeding mothers:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breastfeed her child at any location in a Federal building or on Federal property, if the woman and her child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location. While laws vary by state, as of 2018, all U.S. states have laws that additionally protect a breastfeeding mother and her baby in public locations.
So nurse on, Momma! You have a right to do so, your baby and his/her needs come first, and you join the ranks of millions of mothers before you, and many more to come.
Thank you for nursing in public cards to share and encourage breastfeeding mothers you see are available at Etsy:
1. Mays, D A (2004). Women in Early America: Struggle, Survival, and Freedom in a New World. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
2. Weimer, J.P. (2001). The Economic Benefits of Breastfeeding: A Review and Analysis. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture.
3. United States Breastfeeding Committee. Existing Legislation. Retrieved Aug 5, 2018.
Watch Your Language: http://www.DrMomma.org/2010/04/watch-your-language.html
The Politics of Breastfeeding: When Breasts are Bad for Business: https://amzn.to/2KrHv2O
Breastfeeding in Public: A Christian Father Stands Up: http://www.DrMomma.org/2010/05/breastfeeding-in-public-christian.html
Breastfeeding is Offensive: http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/07/breastfeeding-is-offensive.html
Breastfeeding in Mongolia: http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/07/breastfeeding-in-land-of-genghis-khan.html
A historical look at breastfeeding mothers nursing in public
to include a photo you have that is not yet pictured, email to ContactDrMomma(at)gmail.com
Mary and Baby Jesus Painting
"Maybe I'm 'old fashioned' but I don't like to feed my baby with a blanket on their head."