Saturday, August 27, 2011

AB 768 Hearing: California Lawmakers Push Forced Genital Cutting on Babies


Image courtesy of the Barefoot Intactivist
Still photos from physician's circumcision training video here.


Hearing Footage Part One: 


Hearing Footage Part Two: 



Related Reading: 

Legislative Analysis of the Bill *Note this analysis is full of myths, half-truth, and corrupt propositions and declarations that are not research based in the least. It shows just how pro-cutting the legislative board is.

AB 768 Press Conference

AB 768 Committee Hearing

California Politicians Make False Claims - Write the Governor

Foreskin-Restoration Thread

AB 768 Approved

Bill Passes to Protect Genital Cutting


Communities:

Legalize Foreskin California

California: CHANGE Chapter

San Francisco MGM Bill

Bay Area Intactivists 

NOCIRC (chapters throughout California)

Assemblyman Mike Gatto's Facebook Page - page admins continue to remove pro-intact comments and research based discussion, so save a copy of what you write before posting.

Volunteer in your state with the MGM Bill.

Start a Peaceful Parenting Network chapter in your community and host meet-ups, workshops, and film nights on intact information.

Help administer your state's Whole Network chapter.


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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Babies Don't Keep


Song for a Fifth Child

Mother, O' Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth.
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek - peekaboo.

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew,
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo.
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton



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Related Reading on the Babywearing Resources Page



Babywearing info cards available upon request. These small cards are excellent to encourage babywearing parents you see, to get them to a location for additional baby-friendly materials, or for giving to nay-sayers who critique your babywearing days. Printing cost (suggested donation, includes shipping): $3 for 25; $6 for 50; $10 for 100.


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Monday, August 22, 2011

Intact or Circumcised: A Significant Difference in the Adult Penis



By Danelle Frisbie © 2011
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NOTICE:

The images below are graphic in nature for the purpose of education.
They may not be suitable for viewing in the workplace.






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The penis and clitoris are analogous and homologous organs: they perform similar functions, share a common design, and biologically develop from the same tissues inutero. The glans (head) of the penis or clitoris is an internal organ. It is meant to remain covered for the majority of its livelihood, in similar nature to the way that the eyeballs are covered for a good portion of our lives (when we blink or sleep), and the way the ends of our fingers and toes are protected by our nails.

If we surgically amputate the eyelids or fingernails, we will face the repercussions of making an organ that was designed to be internal, external. In order to survive this damage, the organ must adapt. To do so, a variety of features will change (both immediately, and progressively over the years): pH will be altered, temperature will no longer remain stable in that organ, moisture and lubrication levels will not be maintained, leading to dryness and potential chapping, antibodies and healthy microflora that previously served to protect will cease to exist, and callusing (the build-up of multiple hardened layers of skin) will take place. Our body may attempt to heal itself by forming skin bridges or re-adhesions over the amputation site. Our eyeballs and fingertips would become thick, dry, discolored, and no longer function in the manner they were designed to.

So it is the same with the glans of the penis or clitoris. If we remove the very organ, the prepuce, which serves to cover, protect and regulate the health, pH, temperature, lubrication, antibodies, movement and functioning of the genitals, we've altered form so dramatically that the purposes it was created to fulfill can no longer be realized.

Not only is this evident in research: human development and sexuality especially, but the dramatic difference is also readily apparent to any lay onlooker observing the intact human genitals versus those that no longer remain in their original whole state.

Female and male genital cutting, especially in the manner that prepuce amputation is carried out in U.S. style male circumcision surgery (most often via Gomco or Plastibell amputations), is not only immediately damaging to a newborn baby; it is also permanently altering and forever changing the adult male body, and impacts all future sexual partner(s) as well.



Above: Newborn boys in their normal intact state (right) and those who have had their prepuce amputated via circumcision (left). Top left = Plastibell. Bottom left = Gomco

Below: Adult men in their normal intact state (right) and others who had their prepuce amputated via infant circumcision (left) forcing the glans to adapt as an external organ: something it was never meant to be.



To learn more about the many purposes of the prepuce, see: Functions of the Foreskin and related articles linked within.

Today, approximately 250,000 men who were circumcised at birth are restoring some of what was lost. If you are one of these men, you are not alone. Find resources and discuss the topic with other men via articles, sites, organizations and options for foreskin restoration here.



Related Reading:

How Male Circumcision Impacts Your Love Life

Male Circumcision and Women's Health

A Change in How Intercourse Works

Improve Marital Sex: Keep the Foreskins

Sex As Nature Intended It [book]

Sex As Nature Intended It [website]



If you are the parent of an intact or circumcised infant, or an adult man who would like to contribute a photo for the exclusive purpose of education, write to DrMomma.org@gmail.com. We will remove any identifying features, crop and watermark your photo as per your wishes, and it will be used solely for important educational means. Far too many U.S. parents today have never seen both an intact and non-intact newborn baby and adult man, and are not fully informed before having to make a decision for their own sons. Your photo contribution will help in this informative effort. 









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Friday, August 19, 2011

Udder Covers Unnecessary


This cartoon from Happy Simpleton evoked rounds of lactivist laughter here at peaceful parenting and it immediately became a hit when shared with various social circles. The creator, Dennis Hengeveld, also the founder of Happy Simpleton, has been publishing his fresh and fun cartoons on the site since June, 2009 and is an avid supporter of the normal feeding of human babies.


Check out Hengeveld's page where you can leave comments, vote on cartoons, and even have them sent directly to your inbox! The conversation is already rolling there with other parents sharing their reactions to this latest creation:

"I have often thought of carrying a cover around with me so that if someone objects to my NIP I can say 'Oh, I am sorry. How inconsiderate of me,' and hand the cover to them. If they ask, 'What is this for?' I will tell them it is for their face." ~Danielle

"This cracks me up because this week my 4 yr old told me he thought cows should wear 'gutter covers' since their udders are ugly. I asked him why? He said, 'They just are mom.' So I asked him if I should keep my booboos covered (I nurse openly in front of him all the time of course) and he said, 'No mom - your booboos aren't ugly like gutters are. Yours are pretty.' ...The minds of children that are yet to be tainted by our culture see things very differently don't they?" ~Rebecca

Happy Simpleton can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.





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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Q&A For Intact Men



We receive a large volume of mail from parents wondering what to tell their intact son as he grows up and becomes fully retractable on his own. Thanks to the efforts of several intact groups, parents today are getting the message: "DON'T RETRACT! Only Clean What is Seen! Wipe like a finger - outside only - warm water," as they care for their babies. But when these babies grow up, U.S. parents still do not have a good go-to source for information on how to discuss this topic with sons who may be the first intact men in several generations of their family. There is a lost shared wisdom about the intact body and how to gently and properly care for it.

In addition, there are no 'development' or 'sex ed' books in the U.S. that treat the intact male body as fully normal and not 'dirty' -- even those books that present intact male anatomy still have a paragraph or two somewhere within their covers that would lead intact boys to think they were more 'at risk' or more in need of 'cleaning' than their non-intact counterparts.

As such, we are working on a series of items geared specifically for boys growing up and the parents who want to know, "What do I say to him?!" If you are a parent of intact sons, or are a man (of any age) who has grown up intact, and you'd like to share any aspect of your story to benefit these young men today, or their parents, please drop us a note. We would love to hear your voice in response to some of the questions below as well. They will be compiled with others' answers, and used anonymously/first name or pseudonym only (depending on the respondent's preference) to lend insight into what all the other guys are doing...

Responses, questions or personal stories may be sent to:  DrMomma.org@gmail.com


Questions for Intact Men:


1) How do you 'clean'? Be as specific as you like. It will help others who are new to all things intact.


2) If you remember bath time as a child, was there anything your parents said/did not say or do/not do that was specific to your intact state?


3) What would you tell parents who have an intact boy and would like to know what to do after he is retracting on his own?


4) What would you suggest that parents say/not say to their child as he reaches his pre-teen years/puberty?


5) Is there a foreskin-friendly/intact-friendly book for boys growing up that you know of?


6) Any other comments that would be useful to a generation of U.S. parents raising intact sons for the first time?


Thank you for sharing and helping out a new generation of young men!


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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Doctors Who Circumcise: Breaking the Law in Britain

Via Men's Health Forum


Supporters of genital autonomy have argued that the practice of male genital cutting (circumcision) could be illegal on minors under the Offences Against the Person Act and have critiqued the British Medical Association's position on the circumcision surgery as 'unethical.'

Earlier this month, Men Do Complain (MDC) and NORM-UK chairman, Dr. John Warren, and colleagues (pictured above) delivered an open letter to the BMA arguing that, "A child who has no disease, no injury or no dangerous abnormality has no need of any type of treatment or irreversible surgery" and that to carry it out just to please the parents "violates the autonomy of children."

The letter goes on to say that "Any surgery that is performed without the patient’s personal consent and without therapeutic need is clearly an assault. Any cut made without consent or therapeutic need 'that breaks the continuity of the skin' is a wounding under the (Offences Against the Person) Act 1861."

All other genital touching is vigorously prosecuted under British law.

Richard Dunker of MDC said, "The current attitude of the medical authorities toward circumcision is inappropriate in an era where children’s individual rights are increasingly recognised. Adults have a duty of care and responsibility to nurture their children, but this does not extend to a power to authorise non-therapeutic removal of a body part, however trivial an individual doctor may consider it to be."

Dunker continues, "It is hard to see how protecting children from unnecessary genital surgery is not in the public interest when prosecutions for touching the genitals of children are vigorously pursued. In a non-therapeutic circumcision such touching is done with impunity."



The rate of genital cutting in Britain is significantly lower than in the United States (where the CDC reported 32% of baby boys born in 2009 were circumcised).

Additional information on the prepuce (foreskin), intact care, and circumcision at: Are You Fully Informed? 

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Monday, August 08, 2011

A Modern Day Wet Nurse

By Sarah Christensen © 2011


“Would you like...” I heard myself asking a woman I had only met at a play-date twenty minutes prior, “me to breastfeed your baby?”

She looked at me uncertainly. Tears running down her face, the desperate cries of her hungry child piercing our conversation. Frustration and fear and I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE etched onto her face.

I reassured her that I was healthy and I disclosed my diet and medical history as it pertained to nursing a child. Someone beside me nodded, a mutual friend reassuring the woman that they’d known me for quite some time now and I was telling the truth. And she looked relieved - so relieved.

“Please,” she said desperately, placing her infant in my arms, “please, yes, please. Thank you so much.”
And THOSE, those were the words that changed my life.

I only nursed her son for a brief while. I squirted milk on his lips so that he would focus and when he smelled the milk, he lunged at my nipple and latched. I relaxed, felt my milk let down, and he sputtered as he hungrily gobbled it down. “It’s okay, little guy,” I said. When he had suckled enough to take the edge off his hunger and his mother had calmed down enough to feel confident trying again, I popped his latch and handed him back. This time, there were no tears. There was no panic, no crying, no frantic begging other moms for a bottle. “Place your nipple under his nose,” I told her, “and there you go!” Her child latched, she let down, and then she turned to me.

“Thank you, Sarah. I mean it. Thanks.” She looked at my daughter, who was barely old enough to sit on her own, and smiled kindly. “And thank you, Charlotte, for letting me borrow your momma for a little while.”

Although several other mothers at the play-date patted me on the back afterwards, a few days later they all met up for lunch to discuss the two of us. They did not invite either of us. Then they voted. I got the message via text message when I came home from an afternoon walk. I turned to my husband in utter disbelief. “I just got voted out of a mom group,” I said incredulously, “...because I nursed another woman’s baby.”

Nursing my daughter in public shortly after her second birthday.

Although that experience with the mom group was my first foray into informal milk-sharing, it was not my last. In fact, once I (and my nipples along with me) got sucked into informal milk-sharing, I never looked back. I have also been involved in formal donation to a bank that pasteurizes donors’ milk and distributes it to families in need. But to me, there is something unspeakably wonderful about informal milk-sharing. There is nothing like looking into a fellow parent’s eyes and KNOWING, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you have made a difference.

It’s an experience you just don’t have access to when your milk donation consists of a pump, a test tube, and a pre-paid mailer. I used to wonder: did the milk get there? Was it viable? Was it used? Did it help? But with another woman’s baby in my arms, I never wonder. I see the child suckling. I feel them relaxed and happy and warm against my body. I hear them swallow and watch as their eyelids become heavy and a sleepy, satisfied smile danced on their lips. I know that I helped.

Of course, informal milk-sharing is not limited to wet-nursing. During my pumping heyday, I had a neighbor who regularly mined my freezer for excess milk. After she mentioned once that her baby seemed to be having mild stomach upsets, I even started labeling my frozen bags of milk with the time of day (so she could keep the nucleotides and fat content straight) and whether I’d eaten dairy, gluten, spices, a new food, or common allergens in the two days prior. She was elated. “I just don’t get this sort of information from a milk bank,” she said. I may not have been present for every feeding, but I knew then too: I was helping. I knew that my milk was going to someone in need, knew that those hours I spent draining my breasts were truly appreciated. And the emotion attached was the same. The power to help another person, the ability to sustain the life of another child, is deliriously empowering no matter what the circumstances.

These are the communal experiences which have been peppered throughout my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter, who is now two years old and still nursing. Sometimes I wonder: how will I tell her about this when she is older? What will she think when I explain to her that I actively share milk because I believe that every parent has a fundamental right to provide human breastmilk for their child – at any age, for any reason? What questions will she have when she realizes that she has never seen another woman wet-nurse? If she one day becomes a parent, how will she view lactation and milk-sharing then?

With my nursling last week at the park. I think she’s cute.

As my being ousted from a mom group testifies, the truth is that while breastfeeding is touted for all of its health benefits and bonding superpowers, our society is still remarkably squeamish about sharing milk. I’m not sure why. After all, human breastmilk is human breastmilk regardless of whether the nipples involved are genetically related to the mouth that the milk flows into.

All I can hope is that my daughter is never thinks twice about one parent giving of their milk to another parent in need. And something tells me that as she grows up witnessing me sharing my milk and witnessing her father fully supporting this endeavor, she’ll be just fine.


Sarah Christensen is a mom who blogs about motherhood and daily life candidly, introspectively, and humorously at BecomingSarah.com. Christensen and her husband have one daughter, Charlotte, who is two years old and shows no signs of weaning. You can read her other breastfeeding posts cataloged here at Becoming Sarah.


Christensen's Related Links of Interest:

"Risks of Informal Breastmilk Sharing versus Formula Feeding" - PhD in Parenting

"Outsourcing Breast Milk" - Time Magazine

Breastmilk Donation Resource Page - DrMomma.org

Human Milk Banking and Other Donor Milk - KellyMom

Human Milk 4 Human Babies

Eats On Feets

MilkShare

Human Milk Banking Association of North America

World Milksharing Week


If you've provided for another baby as a wet nurse, or have utilized the gift of shared milk or wet nursing, and you'd like to tell your story to encourage others and raise awareness of milk sharing, write to us at DrMomma.org@gmail.com. We'd love to hear from you.

Breastfeeding Resources Page
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Saturday, August 06, 2011

3 Year Old's Photo Flagged on His Birthday

By Danelle Frisbie © 2011
NIP card altered for Facebook by Lindsey Ward 

Today my son and I celebrated our three years together earthside. It was a blissful, beautiful day packed full of smiles, sunshine, laughter and play. As he reaches this 36 month mark (the stage at which I consider my "baby" to no longer be a "baby") I look back thankful that I've ignored the nay-sayers and have done everything in my power, at each moment along the way, to ensure his 36 months of babyhood have been truly fitting to the unique and wonderful creation that he is.

One of the ways I've protected and provided for him is to nurse on cue, around the clock, and in "child-led weaning" fashion. Now, at three, he follows in the footsteps of billions before him, who tend to taper their nursing needs to night and nap times (or moments of fear, need for comfort, and illness). The sweet breastfeeding baby photos I've come to treasure are becoming fewer, and farther between.

We snapped this one both in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week 2011, and in honor of our 36 months of nursing. Biased, though I am, I rather like it. And I took the opportunity to stand in solidarity with mommas around the world who are posting breastfeeding photos on Facebook this week (among a wide variety of other WBW activities), in an effort to normalize the natural feeding of our young, and empower those around us (in real or virtual life).

It was rather disheartening then, to find that on my son's birthday, a "friend" would have the audacity to reach as low as to flag his photograph. Yet, as promised on the peaceful parenting Facebook page (and on my own private page), when a loving, gentle parenting or educational photo is posted and then flagged -- one that in no way violates Facebook's photo policies -- it will be reposted here, opening up both the photo itself, and the information and conversation to follow, to a much larger audience beyond the walls of Facebook. On behalf of the thousands of additional readers you've now inadvertently impacted in a positive, baby-friendly way, thank you, flag-happy "friend."

And it is in honor of you, dear lactiphobic reader and viewer of my personal photos, that I share this image and the information included with my private Facebook photo, here, publicly.


World Breastfeeding Week 2011 ❤ 36 months of goodness.

World Breastfeeding Week Homepage:

World Health Organization World Breastfeeding Week:

Note: This is my son. And a lovely, normal, natural photo of something all human babies, of all ages, for all of humanity have done - sought nourishment, comfort, health and healing at their mother's breast. So, if you are thinking of flagging it, please instead remove me from your 'friends' (or block me if you feel the need). Thank you.

For those with qualms about the normal duration of human weaning, I'd encourage you to explore the subject a bit more. There are links to various articles and books below. Become informed, if nothing else, for the sake of understanding the species to which you belong.

Natural Weaning

A Natural Age of Weaning

Natural Weaning Age

Watch Your Language

The Joy of Nursing Toddlers Photo Gallery

AAFP Statement Breastfeeding Past Infancy

Mothering Your Nursing Toddler

How Weaning Happens

Breastfeeding Older Children

Adventures in Tandem Nursing


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If you'd like to share any of your "joys of nursing" we'd love to hear from you.
Send to DrMomma.org@gmail.com for possible posting at peaceful parenting.



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Friday, August 05, 2011

County Wide Hospital Ban on Early Inductions in Portland

By Peter Korn © 2011
Posted with permission. More from Korn at the Portland Tribune



Beginning September 1, 2011 birthing may be a little less "convenient" for some in Multnomah County, but a greater percentage of the babies born there will be healthy as a result of a historic agreement reached this week among local hospitals.

All 17 Portland-area hospitals have agreed to put what they call a “hard stop” on elective induction and caesarian section births before 39 weeks, unless those inductions are medically necessary.

Induced births and unnecessary c-sections have been a controversial issue for years in health care circles. Rates of elective inductions and c-sections have continued to rise even as a growing collection of data has made clear that early births sacrifice the health of newborns and add to overall health care spending.

Pregnant women often want to schedule births to make them more convenient for out-of-town family members. Obstetricians have been known to suggest inducing births that might be just a day or two before 39 weeks so that they can deliver on a Friday afternoon, for instance, rather than be called into the hospital on a weekend or during the middle of the night.

In addition, hospitals find they can operate more cost effectively by scheduling births, and women sometimes induce because they want their regular obstetrician to deliver the baby, rather than any physician who might be on call.

That won’t happen anymore at Oregon Health and Science University, the hospitals of Providence Health and Services, Legacy Health System, Kaiser Permanente, Tuality Health Care or Adventist Medical Center.

Wednesday’s announcement, through the Oregon chapter of the March of Dimes, means that induced births even one day before 39 weeks will now require patients to present their case to a designated arbiter at the hospital and prove that there is a medical reason why the early birth should take place.

“We’ve become accustomed to being able to schedule our lives, especially moms,” says Joanne Rogovoy, spokeswoman for the March of Dimes greater Oregon chapter. “When they learn why the last weeks of pregnancy are so important, especially with brain development, I believe they will embrace the concept that healthy babies are worth the price.”

Until recently, most physicians did not believe that a birth at 38 weeks and six days had a significant difference from a birth at 39 weeks, says Dr. Duncan Neilson, clinical vice president of Legacy Medical Groups and chief of women’s services.

But new research has shown that there is significant brain development going on right through 38 weeks. Babies born before 39 weeks of pregnancy are two to three times more likely to be admitted to intensive care as well as have trouble breathing, according to recent studies.

Salmon Creek Medical Center, a Legacy hospital in Vancouver, Wash., studied the problem on its own earlier this year and found that 42% of its babies born electively did not meet the criteria for medical exceptions. In April, Salmon Creek instituted its own hard stop on induced births before 39 weeks.

Neilson says the new policy will require some adjustment from pregnant women. “There are huge pressures to deliver just a little bit early,” he says. A common request, Neilson says, is from women whose husbands have been given a short leave from the war in Afghanistan, and don’t want to go back without spending time with their newborn baby. Neilson says that under the new agreement, even those parents won’t be able to induce an early birth because the births won’t be medically necessary.

Neilson says that getting all area hospitals to sign on to the agreement was crucial. If even one or two had refused to commit, Neilson says, that would have undermined the others by providing a local option for women wanting to induce for convenience’s sake.

“This is unprecedented in the Portland area,” Neilson says of the agreement. “Hospitals often compete, but this is a case where collaboration is the only way to improve the performance.”

Dr. Aaron Caughey, chairman of the ob/gyn department at OHSU, says some physicians still haven’t gotten the message that there is a significant health risk in delivering babies even a few days before the 39th week. And some families have personal reasons for wanting to schedule births on specific dates.

For instance, Caughey says, certain numbers are considered lucky in some cultures. Caughey says that on Aug. 8, 2008, he had a number of Asian women who wanted to induce labor because of the significance of the date.

From a hospital’s point of view, Caughey says, the new ban on inducements will create inefficiencies to which they will have to adjust. “In running labor and delivery units scheduling is everything,” Caughey says. “Unfortunately, we know the more we schedule the birth experience and interventions, we don’t improve outcomes, and sometimes we lead to worse outcomes.”

Scheduling births when rooms and physicians are available may increase hospital efficiency, but it doesn’t lower costs, according to a study earlier this year out of Utah.

Intermountain Healthcare, a consortium of 23 hospitals there, put a hard stop on elective inductions at all its facilities after discovering that babies born at 38 weeks needed newborn intensive care for breathing problems twice as frequently as those born at 39 weeks or longer.

By instituting a ban on inductions before the 39th week, Intermountain kept an estimated 500 newborns from having to use ventilators after birth and saved at least $1 million in health care costs in one year, according to hospital officials. Fewer inductions also resulted in fewer overall c-sections, according to Intermountain. And that resulted in an additional savings of over $45 million.

Caughey says he hopes the new agreement also leads to a reduction in unnecessary c-sections. A study this year to which OHSU researchers contributed concluded that c-section rates are rising so quickly in the United States, that by the year 2020 they could account for 56% of all U.S. births. The World Health Organization recommends that no country exceed a c-section rate of more than 15% max, but the current U.S. rate, which has been steadily climbing for decades, now stands at about 33%. [Most home birth midwives attending birth in the U.S. have a c-section transfer rate of 3-8%.]


Related Reading:

Fetal Lungs Protein Release Triggers Labor to Begin

Fish Can't See Water: The Need to Humanize Birth



No Induction is Normal 

VBAC / HBAC Resource Page

C-section Not Best For Breech Babies

C-sections Cause Infertility or Emotional Trauma for 1 in 3 Women

The Premature Baby Book

Recommended Birth Books

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Mothering After 40: The Laundry Fairy

By Angel La Liberte © 2011

Angel La Liberte is founder of Flower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40, a fresh blog featuring news, commentary, real mom stories and advice about motherhood after 40. La Liberte gave birth to her children at 41 and 44 after conceiving naturally. A Child After 40 is the first online community forum to empower women on the journey of motherhood after 40. See also La Liberte's "Prejudice, What Prejudice? A Child After 40."



This was one of my first blogs about midlife motherhood after launching Flower Power Mom in 2009. Little did I know how it would come to symbolize a cardinal truth about motherhood after 40 - the extremely emotional culture shock of trading a business career for a domestic one.

In 2008, we bought a big old house that had an unexpected and mysterious feature - a laundry chute that snaked into a small dark room in the garage which housed an ancient washer and dryer.

The kids were thrilled to push their dirty clothes into the mouth of the chute and watch them be swallowed up into the nether regions of the house. Then, several days later, their clothing would emerge, carried on invisible hands to appear on their freshly made beds - clean and neatly folded.

It was magical.

Now, as innocent as they are at three and six years old, I am equally crusty, cynical and steeped in the misery of watching the teaming cellulite run new and rumpled rings around my thighs as I get out of the shower each morning in the weeks before my 49th birthday.

On mornings such as these, it's best to leave me to the silent toil of making hot cereal and bending, with bones audibly creaking, to wipe up the spilled milk as it dribbles langorously from the edge of the breakfast table and onto the linoleum in a kitchen that has yet to see the light of dawn.

“Mom?” asks Alex on one such morning, as his elbow slap-shots a neatly cut cube of watermelon across the table to land with a “sploosh” on the floor beneath his chair.

He takes my ensuing snort and grunt to be an invitation to inquire further.

“Who does all of the laundry?”

I wipe up the fleshy trail of watermelon with a wet paper towel, knowing there will be a sticky patch that will dry and stick to slippers with a screaming rip as the foot is lifted, to leave behind a dirt imprint, just like hair on a wax strip.

“The bloody Laundry Fairy,” I mutter almost silently under my breath through clenched teeth, involuntarily clutching my lower back as I straighten up.

“What, Mom?” Alex has stopped eating, like a wild fawn scenting either danger or thrill on a passing breeze.

“The Laundry Fairy, Alex,” say I, having regained the composure of a stressed-out flight attendant with the thin veneer of professional nicety.

Now Lizzie’s spoon comes to a sudden halt in mid-air and they both gaze at me with childish wonder.

“The Laundry Fairy, Mama?” whispers Lizzie with awe. “But where is she?”

I’m now warming to my story. “She visits the laundry room on Wednesdays and Saturdays, for the sole purpose of washing all of our clothes.”

“Wow!” says Alex with a little uncertainty, valiantly mastering an inner struggle about whether to give the old doll the benefit of the doubt. “That’s cool!”

And I thought that was the end of it. But several days later, they were eating dinner and I was in my usual post, waiting table with one hand gloved in a wet cloth ready to catch flying food like a pitcher under a pop-up, and the other ladling out home-cooked fries.

“Mom,” Alex pipes up with half a chicken nugget in each cheek, “I asked Katya about the Laundry Fairy and do you know what she said?”

Katya is our twenty-eight year old baby sitter.

“She said that you’re the Laundry Fairy.”

I ponder this for a moment and come to the conclusion that I’m just not done yet.

“Think about it Alex. How could I be the Laundry Fairy, the Dinner Fairy, the Tooth Fairy, the Bed-Making Fairy, the Vacuuming Fairy, the Ironing Fairy and the Floor Washing Fairy - just to name a few - all rolled into one? Do you honestly think I could do all of that by myself?”

Alex chews on this for a while and then says: “Yeah, Mom, you’re right. You sure need the Laundry Fairy.”

“You bet I do, Alex!” I sigh and whisper, “You bet I do...”


~~~~


Find more from La Liberte and join with other moms over 40 at Flower Power Mom


Monday, August 01, 2011

World Breastfeeding Week


Born during World Breastfeeding Week 2008, and still loving his momma milk.
❤ Momma: Danelle

It's that time again! The week we get to all-out celebrate the milky goodness that is breastfeeding and human milk. This year's celebration extends from August 1-7 and around the globe mothers, babies, children, and those who support the normal feeding of human young are involved in a wide variety of lactatifabulous actives.

World Breastfeeding Week began in 1991 and has since "paved the way for hundreds of countries to join together and protect, promote, and support breastfeeding in their individual communities."

Visit the World Breastfeeding Week homepage for a variety of related materials and information.

World Health Organization on World Breastfeeding Week 2011

UNICEF on World Breastfeeding Week

U.S. Surgeon General on World Breastfeeding Week 2011

Breastfeeding Resources Page (books, websites, articles)

As is tradition on Facebook, men and women change their profile photos during this week each year to raise awareness and celebrate breastfeeding. If you do not have a photo to use,  you are invited to use any of the logo designs at the bottom of this page (all are shirts/onesies from Made By Momma) as your profile photo. To learn more about the International Breastfeeding Symbol, or the alternative twists on the symbol that others have created, see this article.

NIP card altered for Facebook by Lindsey Ward 
in honor of all the mothers who have had photos removed and accounts deleted simply because of their baby-feeding photos. 

Because we know that Facebook has become infamous for removing mothers' images of the normal feeding of their babies, we will also be displaying all those shared during the course of this week here. These are each property of the person who submitted the photo for exclusive use at peaceful parenting, and cannot be used without explicit permission of the owner. You may send or write to us at DrMomma.org@gmail.com or post on the peaceful parenting Facebook wall and your image will be added.

In Solidarity With Breastfeeding Mothers the World Over. 

❤ Momma: LisaMarie

❤ Momma: Cricket

 
❤ Momma: Leticia

❤ Momma: Ros

❤ Momma: La Tasha

❤ Momma: Meghan

❤ Momma: Celeste

❤ Momma: Jaime

❤ Momma: Laura

❤ Momma: Sara

❤ Momma: Brea

❤ Momma: Sara

❤ Momma: Molly

❤ Momma: Rachelle

❤ Momma: Sue

❤ Momma: Kara

❤ Momma: Lindsey
(names of all the mothers who have donated milk for Lindsey's son)
If you are in need of milk for your baby, please find other mothers ready and wishing to donate at your local Human Milk 4 Human Babies chapter.

 ❤ Momma: Jennifer

 ❤ Momma: Unknown (but totally rad!)

 ❤ Momma: Ruthie

 ❤ Momma: Lindsey

 ❤ Momma: Leslie

❤ Momma: Molly

❤ Momma: Michelle

 ❤ Momma: Christina

❤ Momma: Erin

❤ Momma: Amber

❤ Momma: Caitlin

❤ Momma: Katy

❤ Momma: Erin

❤ Momma: Regina

❤ Momma: Leslie

❤ Momma: Emily

❤ Momma: Lisa

❤ Momma: Brittany

❤ Momma: Molly

❤ Momma: Kathy

 ❤ Momma: Leslie

❤ Momma: Jami

❤ Momma: Nicole

❤ Momma: Kristi

 ❤ Momma: Nicole

❤ Momma: Jenn

 ❤ Momma: Katy

❤ Momma: Molly

❤ Momma: Bonnalee

 ❤ Momma: Jami

❤ Momma: Amy

 ❤ Momma: Kim

❤ Momma: Bri

 ❤ Momma: Amy

❤ Momma: Jennifer

 ❤ Momma: Carol

 ❤ Momma: Kimber

❤ Momma: Kelsey

 ❤ Momma: Jami

❤ Momma: Kristen

❤ Momma: Evelyn

❤ Momma: Meghan

❤ Momma: Elizabeth

❤ Momma: Nicole

❤ Momma: Sarah

❤ Momma: Bobbie

❤ Momma: Krystle

❤ Momma: Molly

❤ Momma: Anje

❤ Momma: Jen

❤ Momma: Merrilee

❤ Momma: Billy

❤ Momma: Brandy

❤ Momma: Irina

❤ Momma: Bri

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Images Below from Made By Momma:
(Additional images at MBM on Facebook)



























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