Wednesday, 19 October 2011

#6 NOT announcing the good news of pregnancy

FACT OF THE DAY: Some Gusii women go through their whole pregnancy without taking about it to anyone 

In today’s post I am going back to the Gusii, who live in Kenya, that I talked about in my first post #1. The Gusii are the culture who, as I put it, are pregnant or breastfeeding for 30 years, and who prize large families.

Given how important it is to get pregnant regularly and have lots of children, you would think that each time a Gusii woman found she was pregnant she would be excited and happy, and proudly announcing her news. I was very surprised to read that this is not the case.

Gusii women rarely even tell their husband or children about their pregnancy, and never announce their pregnancy to anyone outside of their home. Apparently ‘to volunteer news would be regarded as crazy behaviour’.

Friday, 14 October 2011

#5 Getting a flat stomach after birth

FACT OF THE DAY: After giving birth in Malaysia, many women are massaged daily by their midwife and have their stomachs bound to help them regain their shape
As I found out researching a previous post (#3), not all birthing experiences around the world are that enviable.

However if I had to give birth somewhere outside of the Western world, from what I’ve read so far, a rural Malaysian village might be my choice. The traditional Malaysian midwives (called bidans) seem to take such gentle and nourishing care of the women they look after. Just the sort of ‘natural birth’ that we romanticise.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

#4 Holy cow - the environmental impact of bottle feeding

FACT OF THE DAY: Making cow’s milk formula for all the young babies in India would need an additional 114 million lactating cows. And that’s just India....

I love the fact that someone has worked this out. It’s such a different angle to look at the breastfeeding/bottle feeding question. After 6 months I used infant formula with all three of my children, but I’d never thought about formula from this point of view.

I mentioned this to my husband, and being a typical mathematician, he immediately tried to work out if they have got it right.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

#3 Childbirth - are our bodies designed for it?

FACT OF THE DAY: Walking and talking are the reasons why women risk their lives each time they give birth

It’s sometimes said that a picture can speak a thousand words. I think this is one of those pictures:

  DARK SOLID OVAL = size of baby’s head   
  WHITE OVAL = size of pelvic outlet

If I had to draw a picture of what labour felt like, I think it would look somethingvery like the circles on the far right. Ouch!