Rediscovering Women`s Inner Wisdom in Breastfeeding


Rediscovering Women`s Inner Wisdom in Breastfeeding
Rediscovering Women’s Inner
Wisdom in Birth &
The Farm Community Experience
Monday Night Class
San Francisco, 1970
The Caravan
Grinnell, Iowa
 November, 1970
April, 1971
Lewis County, Tennessee
300 young people settle in the woods (1000 acres).
No running water
No electricity
One telephone (party line with 8 neighbors)
One obstetrics handbook
No book about breastfeeding
One refrigerator
Reality Show 24/7
Will the hippies survive the first year?
Hippy Values
Back to nature
Living lightly on the planet
Respect for indigenous people, multiculturalism
Rejection of consumerism
Appropriate use of technology
Respect for women’s reproductive needs and rights
Women’s Consensus
Reclaim birth and breastfeeding
No male bullies tolerated
Sisterhood is powerful.
Women can do anything.
Farm Midwifery Center
Cesarean Rate: 1st 400 Births
Current cesarean rate:
Sphincter Law: The Basics
• They are shy.
• They don’t obey orders.
• They do respond well to praise.
• They open better when owner’s
mouth and jaw are relaxed and open.
• They open well when owner is
smiling or laughing.
Brain study (1998): A high
proportion of subjects who could pee
in their own homes while being
observed could not perform the same
function while in a hospital.
Brain. November 1998
Our bottom parts work better when
our top part—our minds—are either
grateful or amused at the antics or
activities of our bottoms.
• Meenan A, Gaskin I et al. A new (old)
maneuver for the management of shoulder
dystocia, The Journal of Family Practice
• Bruner J, Gaskin I et al. All-fours maneuver
for reducing shoulder dystocia, The Journal of
Reproductive Medicine 1998;43:439-443.
Nursing was mandatory for those
who gave birth on the Caravan and on
the Farm during its early days. No
electricity meant no refrigeration.
Breastfeeding Initiation Rate
Breastfeeding at 6 Months
What Made It Work
 Ecstatic birth
 No separation of mother and baby
 No pain-relieving medication in labor
 Plenty of physical and emotional support
 Exposure to many other young mothers
 Rejection of prudish cultural attitudes
Premature babies requiring hospital care
 Inverted nipples
 Exhausted mothers
 Large breasts, flat nipples
 Latch problems
 Moms with outside jobs
 Adoptive mothers
Shared Nursing, or
The Secret Lives of Nursing
Experienced moms teach babies
Experienced babies teach inexperienced moms
Women able to manage outside activities
Enduring bonds are created between women and
Women’s network of cooperation is formed.
Best Preparation for Nursing
Women are instilled with the idea that their
reproductive abilities are similar to other primates.
Contact with many new parents
Exchange of stories and experiences
Pregnant mothers learn how to interpret babies’
cues from contact with them.
Nursing babies are visible wherever babies are.
Birth & Post-birth Practices
Make mother comfortable
Teach mother that milk isn’t supposed to come in
Make sure family members follow through
Keep baby in touch with mother
Do not wash baby’s smell off
Allow natural process to unfold
Tell mom that learning to nurse is a process
In cases of frustration and exhaustion, give assistance
Optimizing Women’s Ability to
Encourage pregnant women to make friends with
mothers who aren’t judgmental or competitive
Encourage moms to study animal mothers
To join a church of supportive women or an online forum
To volunteer to give the kind of care each would
like to receive
Complete and correct
ascertainment of all
maternal deaths is key to
preventing maternal
The Centers for Disease
Control estimate that the U.S.
maternal death rate is actually
1.3 to three times that reported
in vital statistics records.
MMWR, September 4, 1998, Vol. 47, No. 34
There has been no decline
in the US maternal death
rate since 1982.
MMWR, September 4, 1998, Vol. 47, No. 34
US pregnancy-related maternal
death rate, 2004: 13.1 deaths
per 100,000 live births.
US pregnancy-related maternal
death rate, 2005: 15.1 deaths
per 100,000 live births.
Reporting of maternal
deaths in the United States
is done via an honor system.
There are no statutes
providing for penalties for
misreporting or failing to
report maternal deaths.
Amniotic Fluid Embolism
Incidence,1960s, 70s: 1/80,000120,000 births
Incidence, early 1990s, 1 Phoenix
hospital: 1/6,500
Some Names to Google
Nancy Lim
Julie LeMoult
Tameka McFarquhar
Jennifer adams + tripler medical base
Jasmine Gant
Galit Schiller
Valerie Scythes
Melissa Farah

Similar documents