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Win for Valuing Families Agenda!

October 28, 2009
President Obama today signed the Defense Reauthorization Act with a provision for expanded family leave for military families. This is an important victory for all families in the U.S. because it acknowledges the value of caregivers in the health of our nation. The new provision, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Chris Dodd and in the House by Cong. Lynn Woolsey, will amend the Family and Medical Leave Act’s (FMLA) military family provisions first enacted in Fiscal Year 2008, allowing primary caregivers of military members to take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to care for the wounded service...
Ellen Bravo's picture

Sex, Love and Labor Statistics

September 28, 2009
On NPR this week, I was asked if there’s any good in the new statistics showing that women now outnumber men in the work force. Maybe. If it lets us embrace women as breadwinners, I said, that would be healthy. Even healthier: If men do their part at home and free women to keep the kinds of jobs that pay well. Listen But, like many things, this all comes down to love and sex. Some people get uneasy when women make more money and men do more childcare. Why is that? I’m guessing it’s the same reason that, until we wrote our book, I’d never heard these two facts: 1) Growing your earnings power...
Sharon Meers's picture

Societal Barriers to Breastfeeding

September 11, 2009
When people think of breastfeeding difficulties, the things that probably come to mind are supply issues, bad latch, cracked nipples, constant feedings, and the like. Certainly, there are women who are afflicted by those difficulties and who cannot overcome them. But I believe the societal barriers to breastfeeding (propagated by the kyriarchy) have a much more significant impact on breastfeeding rates than the medical or technical issues.

She would have given up on breastfeeding

August 6, 2009
I was amazed when a friend of mine told me that it took about a month for her and her first baby to figure out how to breastfeed. (Doesn't breastfeeding just...happen?) But she explained to me that it is actually a skill that moms and babies have to figure out. My friend was dedicated to breastfeeding exclusively for the 6 months recommended by doctors, but she shared with me that, "If I hadn't had time off work, I probably would have given up." Today 51% of new mothers have no paid leave of any kind, yet the majority of mothers with infants are in the labor force . This means that many moms...

Obstetricians Study...Themselves

July 30, 2009
Two recent studies both expose and excuse OBs who perform cesareans for their own safety, fiscal welfare, and personal anxieties, rather than in response to the genuine health status of mother and baby.

Thinking about non-traditional maternity leaves

July 10, 2009
A recent Good Morning America story reflected something I’m hearing more of from friends: now doesn’t feel like a safe time to take a full maternity leave. As Ellen Galinsky notes in the piece “The issue for women these days is that they are increasingly important financial supporters of the family,” unemployment rates and pay cuts increase monthly, and that leads to great stress, and fear of taking leave. So much so that ABC News called reduced maternity leave "the new normal." For most of us, this idea is just shy of heartbreaking. A recent conversation I had got me thinking, though, that...

It Only Looked Like Business As Usual

June 16, 2009
From Your (Wo)man in Washington Blog Another Hill hearing room, fresh-faced staffers buzzing in the background, Congressmen and women at their microphones, witnesses seated at the witness table. June 11 was just another day for the Nation's Capital of the World's Greatest Democracy. Except it wasn't. The bills in question would make paid leave a reality for (at least some) American workers. The Healthy Families Act, providing 7 paid sick days a year, has never before gotten a hearing, even though it's been introduced year after year. The FIRST Act, offering states federal funds to establish...
Valerie Young's picture

Why breastfeeding needs to be part of health care reform

May 27, 2009
by Melissa Bartick, MD, MSc AND Marsha Walker, RN Lack of policy and infrastructure to support breastfeeding in the U.S. means that breastfeeding is made unnecessarily difficult. Breastfeeding is an important public health issue, both for women and children. Arguably, breastfeeding is also a reproductive right. Growing evidence shows that longer durations of breastfeeding are linked with lower risk of obesity in childhood and adolescence [1-4], a national epidemic with major health and cost implications. It therefore makes sense to incorporate the creation of an infrastructure around...
Melissa Bartick's picture

Feminism, fathers and valuing parenthood

May 21, 2009
Cross posted on PhD in Parenting . On May 17, I participated in the Fem 2.0 chat on twitter . The topic of discussion was mommies and feminism. We talked about a lot of things, but one thing I said towards the end of the chat seemed to resonate with a lot of people. I also think it is an important point, so I thought I’d turn it into a post and explain more than I could in the 140 character limit. Here is what I said : I think we need a society that values parenthood, not just motherhood. Otherwise it will always be about making concessions for women. I find that a lot of the focus in the...

Another Blow to Women

May 21, 2009
In January, President Obama made the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act the first bill he signed into law, reversing the effects of a devastating Supreme Court decision in the fair pay case, Ledbetter v. Goodyear. Just four months later, we’re faced with another deeply disappointing Supreme Court ruling that forces women to pay a high price today because their employers discriminated yesterday. This week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in AT&T Corp. v. Hulteen dealt a serious and painful blow to working women and the families who rely on their retirement benefits. The Court sided against a group of...
Debra Ness's picture