Eating placenta might sound like the most hippie of hippie-dippie pursuits. But if an article in New York magazine is to be believed, eating your afterbirth (or placentophagia) is trés, trés chic. In Western hospitals, placenta has traditionally been disposed of alongside medical waste. Some women would ask to take their placenta home with them — either to eat it or to plant it in their yard — but hospitals could refuse to hand it over. Several states have since enacted laws requiring a hospitals to fork over the placenta if a new mother wants to take it home. This is good news to the ears of “professional placenta preparers.” Mostly women, these folks usually have backgrounds in working as doulas and/or an interest raw food or vegan food. Many professional placenta preparers disintegrate the placenta into pill form, but there is also talk of placental shakes and placental jerky. (Apparently the placenta needs quite a bit of spices for flavor.)
But the question is: is eating a placenta good for you? Keep reading »
“In movies, and particularly in television films, when people have babies they are sitting in a hospital room and there are flowers everywhere. They are made up, magically, and they have a baby in their arms and it’s all really lovely. They start getting pink baby clothes… [Giving birth is] a truly, truly murderous business. It’s violent. And if one doesn’t embrace that, if one can’t embrace it — and it’s really tough to do that — then you’re up a gum tree because it means you’re going to be cutting off a whole part of yourself.”
—Tilda Swinton, who has teenage twins, wants to make sure we know that childbirth isn’t all rattles and itty bitty sneakers. Is anyone else out there terrified by this quote? Moms out there, please weigh in on whether your experience matches up with hers. I’m hoping not. [Telegraph UK] Keep reading »
Researchers have reported a significant decline in deaths of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth worldwide. In 2008, about 342,900 women died from complications associated with these conditions, whereas in 1980, 526,300 women died. Several factors have contributed to the improvement — fewer pregnancies in some countries, higher incomes have led to improved health care and nutrition, more educated women, and increased availability of medically-skilled persons caring for pregnant women. Even though these new figures are a welcomed improvement few can argue against, their publication has caused conflict between science and maternal health advocacy organizations, who fear the information will divert attention and foreign aid from their causes. Experts, however, say the groups needn’t worry because the decline in maternal deaths will help them. [NY Times] Keep reading »
We’ve all heard the old women-versus-men pain threshold debate. It almost always goes the same way. A man in the middle of a crowded bar raucously boasts that he can withstand more pain than a woman. Any woman! Then, some gal in his vicinity gently puts down her gin and tonic, peers over her glasses and says, “We go through childbirth.” Finally, an Australian TV show host wants to settle this thing once and for all. With the help of a few lovely ladies, he hooked himself up to a machine that simulates contractions. The nurses increased the duration and intensity of the contractions until … surprise! He couldn’t handle it. After only three hours he called it quits. The show ends with the dude saying, “We have nothing, women win. Men don’t.” That’s right, boys! Keep reading »
If you’re preggers and thinking of having an epidural, think again, says male midwife Dr. Denis Walsh. He claims the pain induced by labor is purposeful, necessary, and will prepare a mother “for the responsibility of nurturing a newborn baby.” Huh, dude?
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It’s about time selfish women stopped thinking about themselves when they give birth. Their poor male partners have to stand beside them through all that screaming and crying while their ladies look so sweaty and unkempt! Giving birth is no time to let yourself go, ladies.
Fortunately, now we have Pretty Pushers’ A Dressed Up Delivery Kit. The product site asks, “Who is that unrecognizable monster in the hospital gown? Not you!” The kit comes with Picture Perfect Pink Sheer Lip Gloss and a mirror, a lavender-colored cotton dress, a headband, a lemon water towelette, and massage oil. What, no manicure kit?
Pink lip gloss will be the last thing on my mind if I ever push out an eight-pound bundle of joy. But if you get a Dressed Up Delivery Kit, maybe your baby photos will be less “monstrous” than mine. [$34.99, Perpetual Kid] Keep reading »