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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

We're # 1 - Not!

May 18, 2009
Written by Valerie Young, Your (Wo)man in Washington Blogger The United States has held on to 27th place in an index of 158 countries documenting conditions for mothers throughout the world. Mothers' education, access to health care, and economic status in each country were evaluated because they are the three factors most closely linked to the quality of children's lives. The underlying data is provided by governments, research institutions, and international agencies. To reach the entire post click here .
Valerie Young's picture

On Being a Toxic Avenger

May 12, 2009
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the campy, B-movie, The Toxic Avenger , but the plot line is eerily analogous to many modern moms. The movie in a nutshell: weakling janitor is taunted and falls into a vat of toxic waste, which turns him into a radioactive monster with superhuman strength who becomes a local crime fighter. Here’s the plot line for modern mom (particularly the special breed of moms that end up joining a community like MomsRising). Mom starts out as an “average” woman and gets pregnant which transforms her into a new life form with superhuman abilities who becomes an advocate...

Michelle Obama on Work-Life Balance

May 12, 2009
Cross-posted at MotherTalkers . Glad to see we have a first lady focused on the plight of working families. In a recent speech before corporate executives, Michelle Obama addressed the internal conflict faced by many working parents trying to have it all -- or simply make ends meet -- and why family-friendly practices in the workplace make good business sense. From the Washington Post : "During her 10-minute speech, Obama advocated for sick leave for parents, flexible work hours for employees and on-site child care, which she said 'is something that keeps many of us up at night....You're just...
Elisa Batista's picture