Sunday was the first of three in-person summer Meetup gatherings at Life Alive in Salem, MA. There were several of us who gathered to discuss a number of current events and issues in the world of birth. Jenne, who is a nursing student at North Shore Community College, shared how seeing ‘The Business of Being Born’ before she had children really “blew my mind wide open”. Jenne also commented on how the social narrative about childbirth from movies and most of the stories people tell really set women up to be afraid while painting a picture that is not necessarily accurate. I know this is a big reason why I feel that it is important to include younger men and women in our conversations about birth practices and available birthing options out there. The more people are aware of and informed about before they are pregnant, the better. Speaking of being aware, this is an eye opening article about the cost of birth in America that just came out in the New York Times. It is a lengthy article so be ready!
We discussed a book that I just read called “Cut, Stapled and Mended: When One Woman Reclaimed Her Body and Gave Birth on Her Own Terms After Cesarean” by Roanna Rosewood. I really got engrossed in the story and was struck by how open and raw it was. I didn’t think that with all of my years of working with childbearing women and the issues they are faced with, that I would be stunned by an account like this but I was. It underscored for me how strongly some women feel about giving birth and how complicated it can be to navigate the emotions involved. I already knew this, but the very personal details of the author’s journey made an impact. The best part about the book, for me, was the in depth way that Roanna explored her own feelings and attitudes. She worked very hard to connect the dots about what was driving her actions and did not heap blame on those around her. She owned her experiences and processed each of her births in such a way as to clearly see and understand them without really worrying about justifying or defending. A lot of honesty there.
A few of the participants that attended are lactation professionals and we talked some about the Affordable Care Act and how insurance companies are all over the map in the way that they may or may not covering lactation services. Maire is one of several International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) at Home Visiting Lactation Consultants who provide some useful links at their website with more information to assist families in getting reimbursed.
Jen, who is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) shared a bit with us about her work with WIC as well as her experience with the Hypnobabies method of childbirth preparation. She also mentioned that La Leche League of Danvers/Hamilton is going to be at the Beverly Farmer’s Market on July 8th answering questions and giving out information on local breastfeeding support resources.
All in all it was a great meeting chock full of good info and discussion. Join us on July 14th when we will do it again! Happy 4th of July everyone…