Earlier this week I shared that the trusted wisdom of eat less and exercise isn’t always the answer.  Today I want to share some socio-cultural reasons why weight loss may be harder for some women than others.  This socio-cultural factor is poverty. An interesting thing happens in poor urban neighborhoods, companies don’t build stores there.  Instead of a grocery with fresh fruits and vegetables, you are more likely to find a fast food establishment. The story is even worse in poor rural areas. Adding to the increased distance one must travel for food is the greater likelihood the family has little or no access to reliable transportation. WhenRead More →

What if the problem was not that a woman overate? What if a woman overate (and became obese) because she had another problem? If you remember one thing about people, remember this: There is always a good reason for the things people do. In nearly every case the person believed they were making a good decision. This can be true with overeating as much as it can be about stealing, lying, cheating or anything else you might consider a “bad” thing to do. I do not deny that overeating hurts your body. But I am all too familiar with the reality that eating can be a greatRead More →

One of the most interesting things I learned had to do with the effects of exercise and stress on obesity.  Quick endocrine lesson for you, when the body is under stress it secretes a hormone called cortisol. This signals the body to make a few changes  that basically puts your body in a hypothyroid state.  You have probably heard about the body reducing metabolic rate when a person is fasting — this is the process that causes that. Just as an aside, feeling out of control, being a perfectionist, having a high need for social approval and having overly high expectations of yourself all causeRead More →

I tried to post interesting tidbits from the Obesity and Reproduction conference on Twitter last week.  It worked great until I ran out of phone battery.  So I promised to share some of the more interesting things I learned here. The biggest take-away message for me was the importance of treating each client as an individual. This means I need to understand who she is and what struggles she is facing.  Why does this relate to obesity and reproduction? Because the standard advice of eat less and exercise more just doesn’t cut it for most overweight and obese individuals.  And really, if it were justRead More →

If you’ve ever been in school you probably have seen a grading rubric.  It is the list of things that must be included in your paper and how many points are possible to receive for each item. I’ve become quite fond of them, because they let me know exactly what the professor expects from me. Today I was thinking about women’s reactions to their birth experiences.  More specifically, I was pondering over women’s disappointment and frustration with their birth experiences.  I thought about the words they use to describe their goals before labor and the words they use to explain their birth after. I’ve come to the conclusionRead More →

I realize that not every midwife is interested in epidemiology. So I thought I would balance yesterday’s resource with a more practical, clinical resource. It is the Hesperian Foundation’s Book for Midwives. Even if you never plan to work in a developing country, this book is worth reading twice. What I find most appealing about the book is the way it teaches simple, low cost solutions to identify health problems. It also does a great job of differentiating the normal from the problem. Best of all, it is written for individuals without medical training. That makes it a great first midwifery book. When a family seeks informationRead More →

For those of you interested in global midwifery, I am excited to share a resource I just discovered (well, discovered when my professor showed us during a lecture at any rate). It is the website of the Disease Control Priorities Project, and you can see it at dcp2.org. What can you gain from getting familiar with this website?  A wide range of information about maternal and child health needs from all over the world.  Exactly the type of evidence you might need to formulate a plan or seek funding for your plan. As a quick example, look on the right hand side of the pageRead More →

I read an idea that seemed too good not to share.  The blogger decided to learn something new each month, you can read a about her experiment here: http://www.incourage.me/2010/08/12-things.html I have a bit of a fondness for this type of life-education.  In fact, I practice it myself.  I have learned everything from cooking styles across the globe to guitar chords by on focusing on one small thing at a time.  It can even be relaxing. So how do you apply this to becoming a midwife?  Let yourself study one thing each month.  You have the time to study just one thing, right?  So get a book fromRead More →

About six months after I started teaching natural childbirth I noticed something wrong with my life…I wasn’t exactly living the way I was teaching my families to live.  Yes, I paid some attention to eating healthy and I would exercise from time to time. But my life definitely did not reflect what I was telling others to do. It is a humbling day when you realize you expect more of others than you do yourself. I had to really ask myself if I believed nutrition and exercise were the keys to living healthy.  If I really believed it, what did the way I was living say aboutRead More →

When my husband and I made the decision that I would train as a childbirth educator in 1999, it was a gut decision.  I loved birth and I knew I wanted to work with expectant families. We figured it would be a great way for me to make a little extra money while staying home with our baby. Somehow we scrapped together the money (over $2000) and I flew to a training at a nice hotel excited about my new career path. My excitement for birth didn’t leave, but my excitement for the program I chose quickly died.    When I attended the training IRead More →