When I was teaching childbirth education classes, a common question was “what type of exercise is the best?” I did my best to encourage women that ANY exercise was better than none – but the focus always seemed to come back to finding that one exercise that they SHOULD be doing. If they didn’t like the exercise or believed it took longer than the time they could devote to exercise, they didn’t do any exercise. I’m sure my experiences are not unique. Here is a resource you can share with women that just might help them break out of the “this is the exercise pregnantRead More →

I have to admit, I wasn’t quite prepared for a new semester to start.  It didn’t help that instructors didn’t have readings available until the day of class so I couldn’t be a week ahead (my comfort zone).  What really had me not prepared was that I actually spent my break doing something for me.  No editing papers for submission, no posters. No credentialing tests to get done.  So I ran a marathon. I use the term ran rather loosely, I walked about 25 miles of it.  I intended to take walk breaks so it wasn’t a huge disappointment.  I had intended to take aRead More →

I was reflecting on the advice I often hear for pregnant women and housework.  There is nothing necessarily bad about doing housework while pregnant – no more than any other time – although pregnancy does cause some interesting challenges.  What I struggle with is that the advice is usually to have your partner pick up more of the workload.  I have a couple problems with the assumptions this advice makes. 1. That there is a partner (i.e. she isn’t single)… 2. Who is available (i.e. the partner isn’t deployed military, working long travel shifts or two jobs)…. 3. And is able to pick up moreRead More →

I heard it again today, “They won’t let me….” Whenever I hear someone talking about “they” or “them,” my ears begin to perk up because I know there is more to the story than I am being told.  Here are the things that go through my mind. 1. Does this woman understand what she was told and why? I don’t ask that to be smug, but out of real concern about miscommunication.  It can be easy to believe everything you hear, even if what you heard was not what was said.  It is also easy to believe things you hear from individuals who are not inRead More →

I’m preparing for two upcoming conferences where I will be presenting.  The first is a conference for Christian midwives where I will be providing a clinical update on menopause.  The second is a conference for nurse midwives where I will present a poster of my original research. As I finalize my work for these two events, I can’t help but notice the similarities between educating my clients, and educating my peers. You see, the natural instinct is to basically vomit out all the information you have.  Everything you’ve ever read or heard is weighted equally without any regard to who the audience is.  This tends to beRead More →

I am in the process of reviewing for my certification exam – the test that will prove I can be trusted by the community to be safe and competent as I work with families to maintain their optimal health.  This is such an interesting experience for me as I realize how much I have learned in the past two and a half years, and continue to realize how much more I have to learn.  This has also caused me to reflect on my clinical experiences and the things I have learned about being a good health care provider. I find myself continually pausing at theRead More →

The summer project is completed and I am finally home. It feels good to be in my own surroundings. It feels good to not be surrounded by people all day. It feels good not to have exhausting hours. It feels good not to have to rethink what I am saying in Spanish or to struggle through exams with a translator. But now I must return to my regular life of studying and paper writing, which can be equally difficult. Two papers I will write today are reflections on the experience. The instructors assign us a topic or a question, and we write about that topicRead More →

I am proud to be a supporter of natural childbirth.  I am thankful for the opportunities I have had to assist families as they made decisions about birth and parenting as both a childbirth educator and a doula.  But I’m starting to realize something that bothers me. The advice that I used to give as a doula and childbirth educator was not always helpful or even correct. Ouch!  For someone who adores research as much as I do, that is difficult to say. But I’m realizing how unfortunately true that statement is. Why do I say that?  Because I had limited understanding of the real problems inRead More →

My husband needed to run to a store today.  He selected a store in a large mall in a trendy part of town.  The mall has beautiful furniture, enticing little cafes and sushi shops, every popular chain you can imagine.  He likes the freedom to look at other things that interest him when he goes to the mall.  He doesn’t mind the traffic congestion near this mall or the large amounts of people who are always inside.  If he can get the item he wants and spend time at this mall, he feels satisfied and successful with his shopping trip. When I need to pick somethingRead More →