Something, dare I say, feminist happened over at Fox News yesterday! Anchorwoman Megyn Kelly schooled her guest, jerkface/conservative talk radio host Mike Gallagher, for calling her three months’ maternity leave a “racket” on his radio show. You know, maternity leave — that time a woman takes off work to recuperate after an 8 lb. human being passes through a vagina. Yeah, what a racket that is. At least Megyn Kelly is able to have a sense of humor about with this goon, who is very, very worried that the status quo privileges he enjoys as a white dude are being infringed upon. If a man asked me, seemingly in earnest, “Do men get maternity leave?” — and that’s a direct quote — my jaw would hit the floor. I am not usually a fan of Fox News or Ms. Kelly, but I have to give her a sisterly tip of the hat on this one. (However, the Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, so it’s not exactly something America should be proud of. The United States joins Papua New Guinea and Swaziland in countries that don’t offer paid maternity leave.) [NJ.com] Keep reading »
Facebook‘s new “I’m expecting” option is the new way to tell all 613 of your closest friends that you are pregnant. In the “Family” section, users now have the option to announce their due date (month, day, and year), as well as the baby’s sex and name.
It’s about time that Facebook did this: everyone is sick of having to befriend their sorority sister’s fetus and get Facebook “status updates” from a bundle of cells. Of course, parents-to-be may now have to decide when they want to share their pregnancy with their extended network. (And no, Mom, this pic does not mean I am pregnant! I was just screengrabbing the new feature.) Could you see yourself using Facebook’s “I’m expecting” option or is that too impersonal for you? [Today] Keep reading »
I was totally digging this doctor on “The Today Show” who talked — okay, ranted — to Ann Curry about the constant pressure on women to be skinny, including during pregnancy. “Mommyrexia” is when pregnant women cut back on eating or add excessive exercise to their regimen because they’re worried about gaining quote-on-quote “too much weight” when there’s a bun in the oven. Clearly this eating disorder is scary and sad for both biological and cultural reasons. And you don’t usually get such sharp, feminist cultural commentary on “Today.”
But then Dr. Nancy Snyderman told us what she really thinks: “I think this is an Upper East Side, white girl, obnoxious problem. It’s irritating to me! We want perfect babies, perfect bodies, perfect lives. I just find the whole thing vulgar.” Ooof. Good job making women with eating disorders feel even more like the problem is them being selfish, not our culture. I am sure that will be really helpful, Dr. Snyderman. [BuzzFeed] Keep reading »
Health care plans should cover birth control, STD screening, HPV testing, and other services for women without co-pays, according to an independent panel of doctors from the Institute of Medicine (IOM). President Obama’s new health care reform requires “preventative care” services be covered and the Obama administration asked that the IOM assess which services fell under this category.
According to the IOM report [PDF], their eight recommendations for coverage include: “the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity”; HPV testing as part of cervical cancer screening for women over 30; counseling on STDs; counseling and screening for HIV; lactation counseling and equipment to promote breast-feeding; screening for gestational diabetes; screening and counseling to detect and prevent domestic violence; and annual preventive care visits. Including these services are integral for women to “better avoid unwanted pregnancies and space their pregnancies to promote optimal birth outcomes” as a key method of preventative care, the IOM report said.
No co-pays for your Nuva Ring and HPV testing? Preventing pregnancy until you and your boo are ready to be parents? Sweet, right!? Alas, not everyone is so thrilled. Keep reading »
Labor already has a terrible reputation, so when Miranda Kerr said her natural, drug-free birth was so painful, she thought she was going to die, most people probably were not terribly surprised. And while I am sure it was intense (because duh), it does not do women any good to hear all the time how awful labor is.
It is not just to spare pregnant women, either. Our culture as a whole seems to have this idea that labor has to be terrible. We all have to curse and yell and scream and cry and eventually, even those of us who prepared for and planned a drug-free birth, will beg for the epidural.
It is simply not true. Now, I am well aware that I had textbook simple pregnancies and extremely easy labors, which makes me unable to comment on medical intervention. Certainly, when it is needed, it is wonderful. The point is, it is not always needed. And labor is not always a screaming mess of pain. Read more… Keep reading »
With all of the modern technology available to help couples conceive, some people are going back to the dark ages to treat infertility. There is a piece in the Daily Mail about how a UK couple swears that a “white witch” helped them conceive their two children. Claire and Stephen Anderson were told they had a one in a billion chance of conceiving with her polycystic ovaries and his low sperm count. So what did they do? Fed up with the health care system, they visited Wendy Binks, aka Ladysnake … a witch. According to the Daily Mail:
[Several times a week,] the high priestess performed various chants, cleansing their energies and performing fertility spells before giving the couple a specially designed lunar sex schedule, and continuing to cast spells for them with her coven in their absence.
Keep reading »