Hey birthy-people –
Brrrrr - its chilly, and I don’t mean the nights as the weather grows cooler. The national midwifery vibe is chilly as more and more situations of preceptor abuse and discrimination of midwives of color are brought to light.
Unity is what we preach; but rarely what we practice. As the polarization of factions within the midwifery community grows wider – we have an even bigger job ahead of us - bridging the gap in our words and actions.
Our struggle in midwifery is not unique, in fact, it’s just a microcosm of the challenges we face as a nation politically- albeit with less violence. My friend and community elder, Asha, an ally to the disenfranchised and a friend to midwives, an entrepreneur and philanthropist – owner of Pacific Domes, recently lost her son to racial and religious violence in Portland, Oregon. In witnessing her grief, I am reminded of our shared grief at the shocking injustice in our world. She has been a model on how to love in the face of devastating violence and loss. Her grace and her son’s brave actions have inspired me to persevere in finding the illuminated path through to a peaceful place in myself, in my community and in the world.
As a community Midwives have been victim to ‘moral exclusion’. We modern midwives exist with the genetic and soul wounds of generational abuse, marginalization, and delegitimization by our obstetric sisters and brothers and the medical establishment in general. We all have been and/or are currently being excluded from our sovereign rights to be part of the fundamental solution to women’s health care. With so much subtle and not so subtle violence directed at women and midwives (both now and in the recent and distant past), it's no wonder we fight with tooth and nail to establish our ‘place’ within our society. The challenge, of course, is that some of us have forgotten what we’re fighting and speaking for.
“Opting out of speaking out because we may get criticized is the definition of privilege” – Brene Brown
Let us all denounce our privilege and speak out for what is right both in our nation and in our profession. Inclusion and tolerance are needed in all areas of our life. Two of my mentors recently had a conversation about this very topic – Marie Forleo interviewed and discussed the profound content of the new book, “Braving the Wilderness” with Brene Brown. So much of this book and video can be applied to midwifery:
Love & light,
Augustine + team
Oh that chest burn that just wouldn't go away; what a drag for pregnant moms...
I recommend some prevention, a few easy remedies, and an AVOID.
Prevention: First try to avoid getting too full - so snack often, eating 6 meals not 3 every day. If you notice that spicy foods or foods that make you burp increase the heartburn, than obviously avoid them. Try not to eat right before laying down, as the sheer pressure of your growing belly on your squished stomach can increase the leakage of acids into your esophagus. Also see your chiropractor to have your stomach checked for a diaphragmatic hernia because having part of your stomach caught in your diaphragm will definitely cause heartburn.
Remedy: Try having raw almonds in your purse and snacking on them periodically, they contain an enzyme that is somewhat neutralizing to stomach acid, also many people find success with Papaya Enzyme pills or lozenges. Our favorite middle-of-the-night remedy is slippery elm bark powder mixed with a little honey. Mix about about a tablespoon of both in a small bowl until a paste is formed, then gum it down. This is especially helpful for middle of the night heartburn. Some people try a glass of milk, but we have heard that heartburn with acidy-milk burps are almost worse. And the best immediate fix-on-the-go remedy is just chomping on some chia seeds. Yes, thats right, the old cha-cha-chai pets of our youth have been re-purposed to eliminate heartburn (an make you laugh while singing the theme song in your head). Bonus:
A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains:
Avoid: Tums or other ant-acids with added calcium. The calcium sounds like a good idea but actually is practically non-absorbable and in large doses (as in popping 2 tums every couple days the entire last trimester) forms calcium deposits in the placenta. These deposits of calcium can cause certain small parts of the placenta to die. The calcium deposits may cause some parts of the placenta to be replaced with fibrous tissue. The calcium deposits can also obstruct parts of the placenta with clots of maternal blood which can harden or block the maternal blood vessels. Calcification can be caused by other factors as well, like just post mature pregnancy, or cigarette smoking. In most cases, placental calcification does not affect the functioning of the placenta, and the fetus is generally not harmed. But I feel it wise to avoid adding that much of a substance that isn't helpful and can be harmful.