News and updates

Clearing out my bookmarks (a.k.a. procrastinating grading my freshman composition papers):

CDC to support Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative
This just out: the CDC has dedicated $6 million to help more hospitals adopt the Baby-Friendly initiative! Dr. William H. Dietz, MD, Ph.D. and director of the CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, commented: “We know that breastfeeding rates are higher in Baby-Friendly hospitals, yet only 5 percent of babies in this country are born in these facilities. We need to help hospitals improve their maternity care to better support breastfeeding. This project takes steps to do that, and it offers real solutions to improve the health of mothers and babies.”

Birth as Performance Art?
Brooklyn performance artist Marni Kotak plans to give birth in her art gallery, and the public is invited. From an interview with The Village Voice:

My performance at Microscope will begin as I install the show, setting up my own home-birth center in the space, and will span the entire duration of the exhibition. Part of giving birth is the mental and physical preparation for the event. A lot elements go into a traditional home-birth, and I received a whole list of necessary supplies from my midwife. I will be installing an inflatable birthing pool and a shower in the gallery, along with my deceased grandmother's bed, the rocking chair that my mother rocked me on when I was a baby, shag carpeting, a surround video projection of ocean waves crashing on the shores of my favorite Cape Cod beach, artwork made by my husband and the child's father, Jason Robert Bell, and a small kitchen area for food and drinks.

All of these elements are incorporated to make the labor process as smooth and as comfortable as possible. As this will take place in front of an audience, rather than in the privacy of my home, I am doing extra mental preparation at the advice of my doula (who along with my midwife will be present at the birth) to let go of my mind and totally go into my body. She told me that once I really enter active labor the body just takes over and I won't care at all what is going on around me. My focus will be on having my baby. I know it will be challenging, but I think if people give birth in the completely inhospitable environment of hospitals, hooked up to IVs and monitors and strapped with stirrups into a bed, I can give birth in an art gallery. And in giving birth in front of the audience, I am showing them, as in my previous performances, that real life is the best performance art, and that, if our eyes can be opened to it, all of the meaning that we seek is right there in our everyday lives.

Read the rest here.

Live home birth
Another woman, Canadian chiropractor Nancy Salgueiro, will be live-casting her birth. She's currently 41 weeks pregnant, so it should happen any day now. If you want to watch, you can register here.

Two VBAC stories
Accidental unassisted birth (caution: will probably make you laugh) and a hospital VBAC with a midwife & OB teaming up.

Birthing in Zion
If you're an LDS birth worker, there's a new online directory called Birthing in Zion organized by WAVE (Women Advocating for Voice & Equality).

Baby Style
My friend Desiree just wrote about baby style. I agree 100%. No rhinestones or tutus or butt pants on my little girls! My own style--if I can call it that, since 99.99% of my kids' clothes are second-hand--leans towards the slightly feminine but not girly. Some of my favorite girl's outfits are jeans and a peasant blouse. Of course, my kids wear a lot of mixed-gender clothes too! Zari's summer sandals are used boy's sandals with footballs and baseballs, and Dio's sandals are pink leather hand-me-downs.


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