some things i have been reading

August 24, 2009 § 4 Comments

these are a hodge podge of links.  ummm…on birth and the body.  on desertification.  on war and the middle east.  and a short link to a prison rebellion.  enjoy!

Top birth and breastfeeding books

this is a great guide for birth culture books.  she says that she would recommend it to someone who is giving birth in a birth center.  i think it would also be a great guide for anyone wanting to get an organic understanding of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding.

Afghanistan Reading

okay this is a link to a bunch of more links.  but they are great articles on understanding the complexity of afghanistan and how us media assumptions about what words like terrorism, democracy, history, and ethnicity mean, are over simplified and often plain out wrong.

Rules of the colonizers

The colonizers never lose. They occupy a country, and then set up bogus elections to legitimize (in their own eyes) the selection of their own collaborationist puppets. And when the people participate in the voting, they say that this proves that the colonial project has been a success. And when people don’t vote (less than 10% in some provinces in Afghanistan), they say that they were intimidated by the terrorists. And if they were to have voted in large numbers, they would have said: they were able to ignore the intimidation of terrorists. “And despite the Americans’ presence, Afghan officials said 290 people voted here last week at what is the only polling place in a region the size of Connecticut.”

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Market stalled

I couldn’t believe the effort put into clearing metre-squared bits of pavement (and to what end?), the (deliberate?) chaos of it all, the (typically) vicious way in which the state dealt with what it apparently considers people as disposable as the furniture its enforcers dumped in the lorry. It reminded me of a cowboy film, when the town’s inhabitants all scurry into the safety of their houses and lock the door upon the arrival of the shadowy bad guy.

The real joke though of course is that this assault on people’s livelihoods is – ostensibly, at least – carried out in the name of ensuring the free-flow of traffic. It’s a shame the state isn’t quite as zealous about traffic movement at other times, such as when a minor official decides to cross from one side of Cairo to another and Cairo’s 2.5 million other car owners are forced to stew in their vehicles while the flotilla passes.

The dry crescent: not good

i love the blog: land and people.  recently i feel myself moving more and more into looking at radical ways to live on the land.  what does it mean to love the land?  if the earth is an organism. what are we?

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Rioting Inmates Set Central Ky. Prison Ablaze

Rioting inmates set fire to trash cans and other items inside a central Ky. prison, and damage to some buildings was so extensive that officials were busing many of the facility’s 1,200 prisoners elsewhere, police said Saturday.

The Undervalued Therapeutic Power of Rest

I notice that my clients have the same dismayed reaction when I bring up rest. Isn’t there another way? Isn’t it possible to have those 3 birthday parties I have scheduled for my 4 year old? Can’t I pick someone up at the airport, go to the library and cook dinner for six in my first week after giving birth? Whaaaaaaaaa.

We live in a culture that has no value or respect for rest. If you’re resting, you’re lazy and incorrigible. We have been raised on Tampax ads that say “Go play tennis, golf and volleyball when you’re having your moon time. An active woman is an attractive woman.” I love the Orthodox Jewish practice of giving women a bed of their own from when their period starts to 12 days later and arranging a complete day of rest from all household duties on Saturday. We would all be well advised to adopt these customs.

Some of the problems that are cured by rest in bed:
-breast problems of all kinds in nursing mothers
-heavy or prolonged vaginal bleeding in post partum or perimenopause
-general crabbiness or depression

For building up milk production, go to bed with the baby for 24 hours. Mother should wear only panties, baby only a diaper. A tray with fluids, magazines and flowers beside the bed for the mother and all diaper changing needs for the baby close at hand. Another adult woman in the house brings meals to the mother. After 24 hours of this bed rest, the milk will be abundant. (I’ve had one client who said it didn’t work. When I went through what she had done, it turned out that instead of following these instructions exactly, she went to her cousin’s place for the day and lay on her couch.) No, no, no. The naked skin and privacy are a big part of this “Babymoon” formula. Don’t modify. Probably, when you read this, you thought “This would be a luxury for a new mother.” It’s actually very basic and pays huge dividends for the family and larger community. Some cultures understand this and make sure the new mother is given a 40 day period of rest/care when she has a baby. (interesting: when I just looked on Google images for a photo to go with this post, the first 3 pages of pictures were new mothers and babies ALL sitting up.  The baby in this photo looks about 3 months old.)


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§ 4 Responses to some things i have been reading

  • Gloria Lemay says:

    Thanks so much for linking to my blog. I appreciate your support. Gloria Lemay, Vancouver BC

    • mama says:

      @gloria. thank you for all of your great posts! and i have been thinking a lot about circumcision and i think that you have changed my mind somewhat. there is something deeply immoral about removing genitalia without a person’s consent. still thinking about what that means to me as a birth worker. working cross culturally… thanx

      • Gloria Lemay says:

        I am here crying that I have been able to move your thinking. It won’t be easy BUT you will have miracles happen. If you communicate with love to Jews, Muslims, etc., they will shift, too. Just let me know if you need help. Yay, you made my day with this news.

      • mama says:

        @gloria. oh no. thank you. i keep telling myself i am going to write a blog post about it…but circumcision is not a requirement in islam…anyways, thanks for opening my eyes. its so funny how i had not really thought about it terms of human rights before you commented on this blog…

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