As always, interesting articles have come to my attention this week and I want to share some of them.
First, I just saw the cover of the September 2008 issue of Chemical & Engineering News in the letters to the editor section of Mothering Magazine. I think it is amazing! So, of course, I went looking for the accompanying article, which is available here. It is a dense and scientific read. I liked the final line in the conclusion: "Much still remains to be understood about how many of milk's natural components are synthesized and delivered, how synthesis is controlled, and the effects of the mother's diet on the final product. 'It is a remarkable fluid,' German emphasizes. 'It's extremely embarrassing how little we still know about it.'"
When people try to analyze mother's milk, I am always struck anew by the realization that no matter the hows and the whys and the chemical components, women's bodies all over the world make food for their babies day in and day out on their own and with their own inherent wisdom. She doesn't have to know how it works, or what exactly is in it. She lifts her shirt, baby nurses, and all is right with the world. And, of course, it isn't just human women who have this body wisdom, but female bodies all over the world are giving their babies species-specific milk right now--my cat is nursing her three new baby kittens in the lawnmower as I type (analyzing why she chose to give birth to them there can be the subject of another post...).
Returning to birth issues, The National Partnership Daily Women's Health Policy Report has posted an article about the Time article about repeat cesareans. Apparently this report is widely read by politicians involved in women's health policy and most of their stories are about abortion, contraception, and sex education. So, it is good to see birth and maternity care brought to their attention!
From the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Building Human Capital newsroom, there was a quick article about Laborists. It says, "In response to a shortage of obstetrician-gynecologists, some hospitals are turning to a new type of physician, dubbed a laborist or OB hospitalist, to provide hospital-based obstetric services.."
Hmm. I can readily think of another professional that is more perfectly poised to provide quality maternity care!