Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Italian MP Wins Breastfeeding Battle

"Italian Parliament member Donatella Poretti won installation of a nursery allowing her to safely breastfeed her 3-month-old while at work."


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Midwifery Miscellaneous

Former Vermont midwife Roberta Devers-Scott has a new attorney for her state Supreme Court appeal - civil rights lawyer Michael Sussman. (link)

The Guardian (which "Covers Prince Edward Island Like the Dew") reports on an effort to regulate midwivery in that part of Canada (link). Some choice quotes:
The Birth Options Research Network (BORN) was established in 2003 by a handful of women to explore birthing options for women in Prince Edward Island.
Kerstin Martin, president of the Canadian Association of Midwives, is helping to draft midwifery legislation for Nova Scotia. Currently, the Yukon and all Atlantic provinces are the only jurisdictions in Canada that don’t have regulated midwifery.
BORN is also keen to meet with policy makers, politicians and hospital administration to continue to express the concerns of birthing women in P.E.I.

Martin, who has tended to more than 1,000 births, said there needs to be a perception of a need for midwifery to gain support in the province.

“This group BORN is certainly going to do everything it can with that,’’ she said.

“I think they need to really listen to the women of this Island and the communities. What are the women’s experiences of maternity care as it is delivered right now and look at whether women themselves want something different.

And, of course, women can’t ask for things that they don’t know about.’’
And sorry I haven't done a complete legislative roundup, but Missouri's bill to authorize/legislate direct-entry midwifery,HB 974, did not pass. (link).

Monday, May 08, 2006

Childbirth-related Organizations

Three organizations of interest, which I have recently become aware of:

The Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery is "a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the midwifery model of care as the quality health care option for women and families." Their mission is:
To improve the health status of women, babies and families by increasing awareness of and access to the midwifery model of care. This mission is accomplished through the funding of education, research and public policy initiatives.
WECAN is Women Educating Cytotec Awareness Nationwide:
WECAN'S MISSION: To inform and educate the public regarding the adverse effects of using Cytotec "off-label" to induce labor.

WECAN is demanding that women be fully informed before Cytotec is administered for induction.
This weekend WECAN held a rally in Washington, DC, timed to conincde with ACOG's annual conference. Speakers included Ina May Gaskin and Marsden Wagner.

And the US Birth Practices Committee (USBPC) has been formed:
The mission of the multidisciplinary group is to encourage, conduct, evaluate and disseminate research related to the best practices in birth care for childbearing women and their families in the United States and its territories. The USBPC is composed of prominent individuals and representatives of many American organizations with interest in the health of women and families.
The first act of the USBPC was to endorse the Mother-friendly Childbirth Initiative.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

International Midwives' Day

Today is International Midwives' Day. Call you midwife and thank her! Or you can send her an e-card here.

Links of interest:

MANA's IMD page.

New Zealand midwives want equal pay.

The website for the Australian College of Midwives says this year's theme is "The world needs midwives, now more than ever".

Nebraska's governor has made an official proclaimaion. Idaho too. Interesting, since direct-entry midwifery in both states is unregulated.

Will add more links later if I see some good articles.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Nice thought, but no thanks

From the Associated Press, Lawmakers consider free admission to shows for breast-fed infants:
Rhode Island legislators are considering a bill that would allow mothers who are breastfeeding their infants to bring those children to the theater and other live performances for free.

House lawmakers at the General Assembly approved a bill Thursday to permit free admission to shows for children under 1 year old if they are being breastfed by their mothers. The Senate has yet to approve it.
Who comes up with this stuff? Listen, you are not going to find anyone more pro-breastfeeding legislation than me. But did these guys fail Legislation Writing 101?

Most attractions - movies, zoos, etc. - do not charge for babies, and often not for children under 2 if they are lap children. If they are not taking up an extra seat, and not really partaking of the entertainment, they shouldn't have to pay. But I don't see the point of anyone legislating this. The free market tends to take care of this quite well - if you make me pay for my baby to take a nap in his stroller in your museum, I'm just not going to be giving you my money, and neither will any other parent with good sense. And to do it in such a way as to specifically reference breastfeeding. I mean, are you going to have to prove it? How would that work?

All babies - not just breastfed ones - need to be close to their mommies. Perhaps bottlefed babies even more so, since there is no biologically mandated closeness to foster the attachment. I'm not saying you shouldn't ever leave baby with a sitter and some EBM and go out for a few hours; I'm just saying that as a society, we should think of the mother-infant pair as one entity rather than two.