I’m grossed out by the thought of someone eating on a subway train, which makes this birth story particularly nasty to me.
Two Philadelphia transit officers made a very special delivery Christmas Day, helping a women birth her baby on a SEPTA train. Around 6 p.m. Thursday night, Sgt. Daniel Caban and Officer Dorrell James met the Market Frankford line El train to aide in the delivery of one (very unlucky) passenger’s baby. Keep reading »
Earlier this month, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a U.K. organization that provides national health care advice and guidance, released a report on the care of healthy women and their babies during childbirth. The report stated that low-risk women would actually be safer delivering with a midwife — either at a birth center or at home — than with a physician at a hospital.
Ever since the report came out, there has been a lot of discussion as to how it might impact birth here in the United States. In fact, this week, The New York Times published a statement from their Editorial board, asking “Are Midwives Safer Than Doctors?”, and suggesting that many women would benefit from midwifery care. Like the Times, I too hope that NICE’s report will have an impact on the care received by those who are pregnant. I should note that I have a double stake in this issue. I’m currently working on my second book, this one delving into the concept of the “Perfect Birth.” I’m curious about the way we think about, talk about, and experience birth. I’ve teamed up with Deborah Wage, a Certified Nurse Midwife currently practicing at a university hospital. Together we’re looking at the research and data already out there on birth in this country as well as gathering our own, along with the stories of those giving birth to see how it all weaves together. The stories I have heard so far that span the spectrum of birth experiences is overwhelming. The way we treat women in this country is only magnified during the birth experience, where any semblance of control and autonomy is ignored, and marginalized women are treated poorly, resulting in poor birth outcomes for themselves and their babies. Just look at the basic facts and you can’t help but understand we have a problem. The U.S. spends the most when it comes to birth in the world, despite the fact that we’re the only developed nation whose maternal mortality rates continue to rise. Clearly, there is a systemic issue that needs to change.
But my interest in this is also personal. Keep reading »
If you haven’t heard already, let me be the one to fill you in: Blake Lively is pregnant! Lively, an actress and Martha Stewart wannabe (without the jail time, one hopes), announced her pregnancy via her lifestyle website Preserve. I’m actually fairly surprised that no media outlet hasn’t jumped all over writing “Will Blake Lively be able to ‘Preserve’ her body post-baby?” but sadly, such double entendre headlines are most likely around the corner.
Preserve serves up a wistful, dreamy, fanciful, and 99 percent unattainable aesthetic, unless you happen to have an extra $150 to spend on pants that look like an upside down sweatshirt or want to drop $65 on something that looks like it was made by my 2nd grade son. And, I have a sneaking suspicion that all things pregnancy will be treated similarly. But here’s the thing: pregnancy isn’t all that dreamy and fanciful. Sure, you can take some heavily filtered but no less gorgeous photos of you cupping the new life inside of you with the sun shining down, but that’s not really representative of pregnancy as a whole. And when you think about it, I can understand why. Nobody wants to talk about the not-so-perfect parts of pregnancy. Nobody wants to talk about the icky, weird, or strange parts. Nobody wants to preserve those parts. But, just in case, I’ll share a few so we can get a balanced look at what pregnancy is really like. Keep reading »
On one hand, I do not envy this poor woman at all. Giving birth on NYC’s filthy sidewalk, right out in the open, with strangers — helpful though they may be — all around me? Shudder. Oh and how convenient, the local news is right there, ready to capture the whole thing on film! Even worse. (Though I’m guessing she had to give her permission for them to air it, in which case she must not have minded that much?) And such helpful commentary from eyewitnesses: “She was like, ‘oh, my God, the baby’s coming.’ And then I could see the baby’s head coming out.” But on the other hand, a labor so speedy that you don’t even have time to make it to the hospital? That sounds easier than a lot of birth stories I’ve heard. (For the record, mom and baby are doing a-okay!) [HyperVocal]
Just when you thought your friends were oversharing on Facebook and Twitter, someone else comes along and puts them to shame in the TMI department.
Exhibit A: New mom, Ruth Iorio.
In case you haven’t heard, Ruth decided to liveblog her home birth, giving her followers (and the world) a play-by-play of her birthing experience. As totally grossed out as I am by the Facebook photos of Ruth’s bloody bathtub and details about how her “asshole aches,” I find myself intrigued, and unable to look away … kind of like a bad car accident that you can’t stop staring at. Meanwhile, Amelia thinks it’s all awesome and educational and, yeah, sure, a bit scary. Keep reading »