Thursday, August 18, 2011

New research on breastfeeding- It's more than just nutrition

Here's an interesting article on breastfeeding research at LaTrobe University that examines other aspects of breastfeeding other than nutritional value or the physical mechanics. The research found a phenomenon that describes the mother and baby's relationship as "interembodied, an intense connection in which they exist as one entity rather than two separate entities. (We moms could have told them that) They observed that when an infant cried, the mother's body responded because it knew just what to do, produce milk! Breastfeeding moms have long known about the "let down" reflex that happens when they just think about their baby, the milk gushes forth- with the sole purpose of keeping baby nearby. Mother nature is incredible and so wise. If only we humans would listen and respect her design.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Homebirth on the Rise!

I have to say I was a little bit shocked and pleased to see a story about home birth on Good Morning America this morning. The journalist doing the report disclosed that she was born at home in the 70's but certainly that "trend" did not continue much past then and has been openly discredited by the medical community for years. However, in just the last couple of years, the documentary by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein called "The Business of Being Born" has had a major impact on birth in America. More than promoting home birth, the documentary began as a journey of discovery about birth in hospitals and at home showing very different experiences by the mothers- not in favor of hospitals I might add. It's a documentary that informs parents about how birth is big business for hospitals and sheds light on why there is such a dramatic increase in c-sections. Hospitals are run by risk-management teams and insurance companies so it doesn't leave much flexibility of choices for women.

I believe it's time that that women had a choice in birth in America and I'm happy that we, as a society, are talking about it again. Either out of fear or ignorance (or both), we have given up our rights to have choices in birth. To experience birth is a right of passage for women and should be considered sacred and handled respectfully, as should the newborn child. We all agree that we want our babies born safely, every mother wants that regardless where she gives birth. Every woman should give informed consent for every procedure that is done to her or her baby.

How has giving birth changed you?