When your job is basically to write, you have to let other people read what you write. This is the worst, and best, part of writing.  This week I had to submit my draft dissertation proposal to two professors and the entire grant mock review committee. I have feedback from the two professors, and I have to admit I’m really happy with the comments.  I think this speaks to the benefit of working through to a third version with three members of my committee before sharing the draft. Those of you not in the academic community may wonder why so many eyes are helpful forRead More →

Have you seen the new Pregnancy to Parenting app from Lamaze International? Designed as an educational tool for expectant families, the app is also allowing families to interact with Lamaze educators. Interesting concept.  If you are a Lamaze educator you can participate in training to learn how to use the app to interact with families.  I’ve been toying with the idea of teaching a few classes over the next few months while I work on my dissertation, so this new product might it easier to do that.Read More →

The Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health published an article about a program utilizing student nurse-midwives as volunteer doulas.  I’ve seen programs similar to this, using nursing students or midwifery students.  The program in the article combined the use of community doulas and midwifery students. Having run a volunteer doula service myself I’m usually skeptical of the long term success of such a program. Being a volunteer is not the same as being paid (or getting class credit) for attending a birth. The volunteer has to feel as if the commitment benefits the women being served, and to some extent benefits the doula (or atRead More →

A study published in the June edition of Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica explored fear of childbirth through maternal surveys.  While the study question was about the effect of counseling for fear of childbirth, several interesting things are revealed in the descriptive statistics (the part of the study where the researchers tell you about the individuals in the study). The authors report this counseling was generally from midwives either with or without specialized training in counseling, or from an obstetrician, and the counseling is never really described as an intervention.  For that reason we won’t dwell too much on the effects of the counseling. Out of 936 womenRead More →

The Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act has been introduced into congress.  The Act, if made into law, would require airports to provide accessible, safe, clean, and convenient lactation rooms for travelers. The United States Breastfeeding Committee needs your help. By sharing your airport lactation experience you will be providing valuable evidence to lawmakers about the importance of this issue. If you are willing to contribute your story, visit the United States Breastfeeding Committee website and complete the submission form.Read More →

Here is an opportunity for you to participate in research that helps us understand what it is like to become a mother.  Researchers at the University of Michigan are investigating the pregnancy-related experiences that are unique to sexual minorities to help minimize the effect of these stressors on prenatal and postnatal outcomes. If you are a lesbian couple, aged 18-45 and expecting your first child, they want to talk to you.  Here is a flier that provides general information: Flyer (pdf) And a few more specifics if it helps you decide: For this study, we are recruiting lesbian couples ages 18 to 45 who are expecting their first child. IfRead More →

My semester has ended, which is good because so many things on the website have been neglected during this round of classes.  For those who are new to the blog, I’ve just completed my second year in a PhD Program in Nursing.  The second year is a bit more intense.  In addition to classes I have the expectation that I will have a grant submitted for my dissertation research and my dissertation proposal accepted this summer.  I’m progressing well on both fronts, so no worries.  But I wanted to share a few reflections for those who have not yet begun their training. One of the reasonsRead More →

I am in the process of trying to decide what role the website will have in my future life (let’s face it, 15 years is a long time to keep it going). As part of the process I’ve starting thinking about what it takes to make birth a job rather than a hobby. To start with, I don’t think hobby’s are bad things.  I have a few I enjoy very much.  But hobbies are done for our pleasure, not to meet the needs of others.  Hobbies and jobs occupy different spaces in our lives, and demand different responsibilities. Jobs we do to earn money, againRead More →