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Weekly News Round-Up, 8/23/09

August 23, 2009

Lots of stuff at Our Bodies Our Blog as usual. One I didn’t get around to linking last week is a piece about how Washington State is attempting to reduce c-sections by equalizing Medicaid reimbursements for vaginal birth vs. (non-emergency) c-section.

The New York Times Magazine has a special issue this week on women, including an interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her approach to global women’s issues.

The National Sexuality Resource Center has launched the Cool Aunt campaign, centered around the trusted adults in a child’s life when s/he is unwilling or unable to obtain needed information about sex and growing up from her/his own parents. I’m often thought I would give the nieces/nephews a copy of S.E.X when they’re a little older (it’s excellent, and the resource I wish I had as a young person), but that would probably cause untold amounts of drama.

Of course, every time one of the sisters-in-law gets pregnant, announces the sex, and gets a pink/blue flood as a response, I want to explain to everybody that you can actually only tell sex from an ultrasound, not gender. So maybe I’m not so much a “cool” aunt as a “pedantic feminist asshole” aunt. Ahem. Which I’m fine with.

Renee of Womanist Musings has been guest blogging at Feministe, and has this commentary there on PeTA’s latest appalling ad campaign. Kate Harding also covers the campaign at Shapely Prose. I usually try to ignore PeTA altogether, because they have demonstrated over and over again their disregard for female human bodies.

The Unnecesarean is asking readers to critique an episode of “The Doctors” in which birth was the topic. Lauredhel at Hoyden also covered the episode and has lots of comments on the post. From a quick skim, the thing that stands out to me is that the ob/gyn on hand said that the rate of shoulder dystocia could be “10 to 15%, depending on the population.” My impression was that the actual incidence was generally well under 5%, except in some specific circumstances. Making it seem like it might be a 10-15% chance for any pregnancy seems irresponsible.

FEMA has information for pet owners on what to do in an emergency.

Daily Women’s Health Policy Report has a bit on abortion and health care reform.

Nuestra Vida Nuestra Voz has a piece on environmental injustices, and it includes mention of the coal ash spill in Tennessee.

The Center for American Progress is talking about employment hurdles faced by pregnant women and mothers. [Hat tip to radical doula]

Apparently ACOG issued a new guidance on food/drink intake during labor, and finally conceded that clear liquids (not just ice chips) are probably fine most of the time. Haven’t read it yet, but I’ll expect my midwifey/provider readers to chime in with comments about how exceedingly small the aspiration risk actually is anyway.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 23, 2009 11:37 am

    Ya, this midwifey bloggy friend of yours has something to say on food intake in labor. Most places I’ve been have always been ok with clear liquids, but it’s the anesthesiologist who has problems with it. From my experiences, most anesthesiologists feel all OB patients are disasters waiting to happen and given that they are responsible for intubing, etc, during a true stat/emergent c-section they really fear the worst.

    But, the way I see it is that most women who do not have an epidural have no desire to sit down to a snack or meal in active labor and much prefer clear liquids anyhow. It’s the women who are comfortable with epidurals and not feeling their labors who are asking to eat (especially if their support people are scarfing down lunch in front of them- a big pet peeve of mine!)

    I don’t know what the literature states on the incidence of aspiration during labor, but I want to say it’s rare. There was one obstetrician I worked with who said the last documented case in the literature was in the 1950s. Not sure if this is true, but I’d imagine it’s extremely rare.

    • August 23, 2009 1:25 pm

      Thanks for your comment – if I remember I’ll try to look up that actual incidence and maybe how policies vary across countries.

  2. August 23, 2009 4:31 pm

    I’d be interested to hear what the actual incidence is- guessing that’s it pretty darn low. From someone who had a c-section, I feel pretty confident I could protect my own airway. And from someone who labored for 36 hours beforehand, the only time I felt like puking was when I was famished. I ate chicken and fries hours that my husband snuck into my room, and never felt better.

  3. A'Llyn permalink
    August 24, 2009 10:48 am

    Ha–was just near a conversation with a pregnant woman in which she was asked “are you going to find out the gender?”

    Refrained from introducing a discussion of sex vs. gender at that time, but thought about it. 🙂

  4. MomTFH permalink
    August 24, 2009 12:04 pm

    I am researching the food / liquid intake in labor issue right now. From almost all of the available research, it seems that aspiration is an extremely, extremely remote possibility, there is no way to predict how long one would have to fast in order to empty the stomach contents (most women are not in labor long enough to guarantee an empty stomach if the fasting starts at triage), and most of the evidence indicates that aspirating highly acidic “empty” stomach juices is worse that aspirating relatively less acidic diluted stomach contents.

    Also, women who are made to fast during labor report being less satisfied with their labor and delivery.

    • August 25, 2009 6:53 am

      You know I wouldn’t be offended if you pasted citations into the comments, right? You know, if you have ’em handy… 😉

      I thought I saw something recently about a European country in which ~80% allow food if women want it – will have to try to find that again.

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