Friday, September 26, 2008


Speaking of calendars, here is a fantastic library of Pregnancy Ultrasound Photos Week by Week for Fetal Development.

This past week I learned about how gametes (sex cells- ovum and sperm) are formed in meiosis and in particular a process called
Gametogenesis. I know, pretty basic biology but I was so interested to learn that the one egg cell takes all of the cytoplasm from the cell divisions- creating one big fat egg that will then be able to begin to divide into a multi-cellular organism (eventually an embryo) once fertilized- and thee polar bodies that are nothing but pure genetic material (and eventually dissolve). Sperms too are almost pure genetic material with swimming tails.

Also fascinating, Oogenesis, is started in weeks 4-8 in embryonic development. A baby girl will be born with all of her lifetime eggs. Where as an adult male can produce over 100million sperm per day.

Here is a medical animation of an egg fertilization.


Something new for you and I to keep track of all of the fabulous birth and advocacy events happening both in New York and elsewhere. A calender! (It lives on my side bar and will be updated on a regular basis).

Please let me know if you would like to me add anything.


Practice and exercise. This seems like a good motto for a balanced lifestyle. So too should it be a mantra for our voting habits. Practice what you preach: spread the word and exercise your right to vote!
Here are two proactive ways you can help to make a difference in this monumental upcoming election.
Wear this shirt from Feministing.
Register voters: canvassing in Philadelphia with Planned Parenthood on October 4th, 18th and 25th.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


It's like telephone: I'll tell you something and then you pass it along to the next person. And we come up with a collective message: HOMEBIRTH! I'm so inspired (on the brink of tears, really) by this simple video about homebirth. Please share this with the women/ families in your life.

Two website that she mentions are:

Pass those links along, too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Belly Beautiful

One of my favorite questions to ask in my pre-natal doula visits is if the mom has taken any pregnancy photos. I usually tell the couple that these photographs are so easy and sexy to take- wrap a sheet partially around you, sit in the back yard and have your partner snap some shots. This DIY approach is fun and simple and certainly achieves the documentation goal.

BUT these photographs from
Jennifer Loomis (as seen initially at RealBirth) are SO incredibly beautifully, I had to share them...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Amnio Pro?

Amniocentesis is a pre-natal test that can detect chromosomal and genetic disorders. Because the test is invasive (a needle is inserted into the through the uterus into the amniotic sac in order to sample amniotic fluid) this procedure does carry with it risk of complication resulting in miscarriage. The statistics on this risk range from 1 in 200 to 1 in 400.
Lately, the media have addressed this as another strange inconsistency in Sarah Palin's management of her 5th pregnancy. Why risk a miscarriage if you have already decided against an abortion?

Andrew Sullivan from the Daily Dish does a wonderful job exploring thoughts around of amniocentesis in the Pro-life community.

What do you think?

Friday, September 5, 2008


I know that last post was a round-up and I know that Sarah Palin has been front and center on everyones radars for the past week but I can't resist...
Here are two big THANK YOUS:

"We hope that, as a proud mother of five beautiful children, you will recognize that the issue isn't abortion -- it is ensuring the lives, dignity and freedom of all pregnant women and their families".
Thank you, Lynn Paltrow and the National Advocates for Pregnant Women for your incredibly eloquent open letter to Sarah Palin. I so much appreciate your definition of choice: ranging in your examples from VBAC to home birth to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

Thank you, John Stewart for being vigilant about this hypocrisy, nicely illustrated with side by side clips about Palin and Jamie Spears. Thanks also for pointing out to Newt Gingrich that policy about reproductive health will indeed inform our own personal decisions with in our families.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


As I've been buckling down, making anatomy flash cards and starting fall knitting, great things have been reported in the web world this past week:

- Here is an amazing New York Times article about dealing with cancer while pregnant.
- New blog: What to Expect when you're Aborting
- A smart post from Feministing on Sarah Palin and the meaning of choice
- PPNYC event:
Dance, Dance Pro-Choice Nation: A Benefit for Planned Parenthood of New York City Action Fund
- Support
Baby Catchers Making Change as posted on Empowering Birth Blog
Thoughts on Back to School and the NY Reproductive Health Act on 'NYC Unrated and Unfiltered
- New birth technology as reported by
Pushed Birth : Brits Pioneer Kinder, Gentler C-Section


Bumps in the Road

Image from Gawker.

Well, the media has certain uncovered a rabbit warren...

First off there is the mystery of Palin's 5th pregnancy. There are several obvious details to concern a birth professional from a medical standpoint. Red flags all over the place:
-the inability to tell the she was pregnant at 7 months- especially since she is multiparous. Women tend to show least in their first pregnancy.
-The strange story of her water breaking, giving a speech, getting on an airplane...When one's water breaks, it is fairly standard practice to only allow 24 hours after the rupture of membranes before labor is induced (to minimize risk of infection). It is even more curious since she was probably considered "high-risk" due to her age. Also, women in their 3rd trimester should not be allowed to fly- generally the airlines discourage obviously pregnant women from traveling.

And then there is this! from the NYT: "Ms. Palin’s special-needs child was three days old when she went back to work".

Who was her provider? and why didn't she take better care of her pregnancy and her newborn?
(oh, OK here is the answer from Anchorage Daily news).

Yup, and then there is her teenage daughter...

The Washington Post in this article says it best: "talking about abstinence turns out to be easier than abstaining."

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day!

Celebrate Birth on Labor Day.

Or celebrate Sarah Palin by sending a condom to the RNC.