Pregnancy Rights

Fetal UltrasoundYesterday I read a disturbing article in Newsweek titled “The Prenatal Problem”. It discussed recent incidents regarding fetal rights that are making their way through the legal system, including one of a pregnant woman, Samantha Burton, who was forced to stay on bedrest in the hospital in spite of her wishes to seek the opinion of another doctor. As described in the article, “[s]he was not allowed to leave the hospital. After she protested her
doctor’s orders, the hospital obtained a court order requiring her to
comply with her doctor’s medical advice as to “preserve the life and
health of Samantha Burton’s unborn child.” So Burton remained in the
hospital where, three days later, she miscarried.” From the point of view of a woman who has suffered a miscarriage myself, I cannot imagine the heartbreak this woman went through, and must continue to go through, as she fights to prove her rights were violated and protect the rights of other pregnant women. As her lawyer says, “Ms. Burton literally became a ward of the state, incompetent to make
her own medical decisions, simply because she was pregnant.” Read the rest of this entry »


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Visit Mama Eve’s new site

Mama Eve has launched a brand-new website. Come visit for more blogs, parenting advice articles, easy parenting product reviews, and natural parenting resources. Hope to see you there soon!


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Pregnant Lady in a Bubble

preganant womanYesterday as I worked on updating the Mama Eve website, I realized I hadn’t written anything about pregnancy, despite being six months along myself. (This image isn’t of me now — it’s from my last pregnancy, the week before I gave birth to my son). It made me think about pregnancy in America, and it actually made me laugh a little. I couldn’t help thinking about Nicole Richie’s interview with Diane Sawyer when she announced her first pregnancy and her proclamation that she was very healthy now and eating right — absolutely no sushi! It must have been hard, since she was famous for frequenting the sushi restaurants around Los Angeles. Was it really necessary? Do we really need to deny ourselves so much just because we’re expecting? I have to put in my disclaimer here — I’m not a doctor, and in no way should anything I write be construed as medical advice. If you have a question about what is safe during pregnancy, make sure you consult your medical provider. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cultural Breastfeeding Boobytraps

Nursing MotherA few weeks ago my 15 month old son completely weaned from breastfeeding. It was an event that passed almost unnoticed because it happened so gradually, and it was a day or two before I realized he hadn’t nursed. When I stopped to think about it, I knew that it was the right time for both of us. He was happily going through his day, naps, bedtime and all, without skipping a beat, and I hardly felt a twinge that part of our relationship was over. Although it’s a bit early to reminisce, when I think about our breastfeeding time, I do so with complete happiness. It is a relationship that once established, kept us close, gave him comfort, and was enjoyable for both of us. When I think of the early days, though, I’m a little amazed that we persevered. The first weeks weren’t easy, and I don’t think we settled into comfortable rhythm until my son was two or three months old. It’s a tale I hear often, and sadly, it often ends with a switch to formula and a declaration that “breastfeeding just didn’t work for either of us” or “I’m just one of those people that’s not able to breastfeed”.

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that for all its promotional support of breastfeeding, isn’t very conducive to it. Many women stop after a few difficult weeks out of frustration and lack of support. It’s a shame that more women aren’t able to get over the initial hump to develop the fulfilling breastfeeding relationship so many expectant mothers want. There is support out there, and knowing up front what to expect can go a long way in finding success. Knowing what pitfalls to avoid is also important, and something that can be difficult to do when cultural norms are so ingrained. Here are five cultural beliefs that can sabotage the best-intentioned new mother and her attempts to establish a breastfeeding relationship: Read the rest of this entry »

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Hooray for the Mainstream Media! (sort of)

Yesterday afternoon I did my usual check of the headlines and nearly dropped my laptop when I saw three (yes, three!) headlines in the MSNBC Health section about normally taboo topics for the mainstream media: “C-section rates around the globe at ‘epidemic’ levels” . . . . “Longer nursing may aid kids’ mental health” . . . . “Circumcise or not? Parents, you’re on your own“.  Although the articles disappointed me somewhat because of incomplete and sometimes confusing information, I think it’s a huge step forward that the topics even came up, and I hope it marks a shift in the way we view parenting and our world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Parents, We’re on Our Own

New BabyI saw a strange headline on MSNBC this morning: Circumcise or not? Parents, you’re on your own. The reason for this headline? That two studies from reputable medical journals came out within the last week, one recommending circumcision, and the other not. The conclusion of the article author is that without clear advice from a medical journal, parents are on their own to decide what is best for their child. Well, I hate to break it to him and other parents, but even with seemingly clear advice from a medical journal (or other authority), we are (and always have been) on our own. Part of parenthood is making decisions about what we think is best for our children, and we have to do it in the face of advice from the medical community, our families, our friends, and a plethora of other sources. But even with the conclusions of all the experts, there are not many laws that govern how we raise our families, and we have to live the consequences of what we choose. It’s daunting to be sure, but it’s also something that forces us to decide what is really important to us, and empowers us to make a mark on the future of our children and our world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Celebrating Life

This morning on Facebook I received a notice from my one of my favorite parenting magazines, Pathways to Family Wellness, saying their Letter from the Editor of their winter issue had just been posted on their website. Dr. Jeanne Ohm is one of my choice writers because she has a wonderful way of explaining “alternative” concepts in a gentle, non-threatening way. In my two years of reading her magazine, I have never once read a scare tactic against convention medicine or conventional practices, but instead gentle encouragement to focus inward, trust our bodies, and go with our instincts of what we believe our body can do. This issue and letter on giving birth naturally is no exception, and I found her words incredibly empowering. I don’t know how many people think of giving birth naturally as a feminist act, but if you read Dr. Ohm’s words, you may look at it in a different way.

I am going to keep this post short because I can’t say it better than Dr. Ohm can. Enjoy her letter and the issue’s article excerpts. If you can, pick up a copy of the magazine. It’s truly a fantastic resource for natural parenting.

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