Category :World Birth

The Bravery Of Women

Cardi – Smart Set; Dress – Trashy Diva; Tights – Hue; Shoes – Payless.

 It’s a focus on Kenya, where the rich go to private hospitals with clean floors and the poor go to public hospitals with blood and cockroaches as the stomping ground, in this post on world birth.  According to the article, the country has made absolutely no progress in improving maternal and infant care.  Teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortions, and HIV plague women in this African country.  But what is the worst thing?  The conditions and statistics  mentioned in this article are considered an improvement over a few years ago. 

Every new country that is examined just makes me more and more thankful for the blessedly wonderful conditions I had surrounding my labour: a clean hospital, two midwives and a student, my husband, my mother, and my best friend there to comfort and support me.  I can’t imagine going it alone, afraid to eat the food, or touch anything, and worrying about the possibility of contracting HIV during my labour.  I applaud the bravery of all these women.

p.s. I promised you guys something good when I hit 200 on GFC and I haven’t forgotten.  We’re almost there and I’ll have a good surprise for you all!

Tomorrow’s Daily Challenge:
Call your mama and thank her…for anything.

The Privilege Of Giving Thanks

Sweater – made by my Babcia; Infinity scarf/hood – Smart Set; Shorts – Ruche; Tights – H&M; Boots – Feet First.

Continuing with the Toronto Star’s focus on childbirth around the world, today we talk about Afghanistan.  I was reading the article when this sentence struck me like baseball bat to the back of the heart, “In this benighted nation, a woman dies in childbirth every 29 minutes.”  This country has the world’s highest maternal mortality rate.

Then right on the heels of that came this: One out of every five children dies before its fifth birthday.  The maternal mortality rate is 10 times higher than the number of civilians killed in conflict annually.”  This is just the cusp of the harsh and cruel reality that faces women there everyday.  During this week of Thanksgiving for our friends south of the border, I join them in giving thanks that I live in such a privileged place.

Tomorrow’s Daily Challenge:
Whether in the U.S. or not, today give thanks for 10 things you have.

A Work In Progress

Cardi, Warmers, and Necklace – Ruche; Jeans – Guess; Shoes – Payless; Shirt – Esprit.

I’m going to talk about world birth, but if you want to read a little bit about me playing check out my guest post over here!

World birth series at the Toronto Star continue with a focus on India.  The article says that India’s public health budget is the lowest in the world, and much of the money that is allocated disappears unaccounted for due to widespread corruption.  Women giving birth in a public hospital are in one room with 60 beds, sometimes sharing a bed, with dirty floors and mold on the walls, and no doctor or nurse in sight.  They just don’t show up about 40% of the time.

On the rise is private health care systems, where the costs are kept low by keeping services simple and by specializing in only three areas.  Doctors are paid on a profit sharing model and it seems to be working.  India is a country where necessity has created  some great inventions – like incubators that cost one tenth of the regular price.  Despite it’s corruption and lack of funding, general life expectancy has grown and the country recognizes the importance of maternal and natal care.

India is one of those places where things are improving, but I want to somehow see it change over night.  I realize that just isn’t possible, but it’s hard to sit and read about dirty and unsafe conditions for women and babes without getting upset.

Tomorrow’s Daily Challenge:
Go through your day without cursing. 
For some this may be easy, for others this may well be near impossible.
You can do it!

Not A Sign Of Weakness

Shirt – thrifted; Jeans – Guess; Belt – AE; Shoes – Payless; Scarf – Smart Set.

Let’s be honest, as much as I try the real star of these shots is Drake the Dog.  He’s such a ham and camera hog, but I can hardly blame him because he is pretty darn cute.  And I’m so happy to be feeling better, I couldn’t wait to get out there and take some outfit shots for you guys.  I still have a husky voice that’s a cross between Kathleen Turner and a chronic smoker, but at least my energy is getting back up and I’m not dizzy anymore.  yay!

So on that note, let’s get back to the world birth series that the Saturday Star has going on.

This week the focus was on South Sudan – the most recent country since it’s only about 20 years old.  There the statistics are terrifying:
– Only 10 percent of women will see a qualified birth attendant.
– For every 100,000 live births, 2054 women die.  It’s the world’s highest maternal mortality rate.
– A woman in South Sudan has a 1/7 chance of dying in childbirth during her lifetime.
– The majority of women who die so so from treatable problems.

Again, it shocks me to hear about women giving birth under such extreme conditions.  What’s worse is that some women don’t go to the hospital given the choice because it’s considered a sign of weakness.  I know people say that women have been doing it for thousands of years, but before modern health care women also died by the thousands for thousands of years.  I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness to want to live.  Women have it tough enough already, we don’t need to have some sense of bravado holding us back from seeking medical treatment.  Hearing things like that really does make me reflect about how lucky I am to have a medical centres all around, several hospitals within 50 kilometers, and two walk-in clinics less than ten minutes away from me.  Oh, and health coverage of course, let’s not forget that.

Tomorrow’s Daily Challenge:
Sit in total silence for 15 minutes and just reflect. 
I managed to not have coffee, but ooooh do I want some. 

Textbook Mama

Sweater & Jacket – Jacob; Scarf – Street Stand; Arm Warmers – Ruche; Jeans – AE; Belt – ?; Shoes – Payless; Socks – Hue.

First off, I’m not usually one to wear turtlenecks – I kind of hate them – but I’ll make an exception for a black, soft knit fitted one. What I really like is pairing it with loose boyfriend jeans.  I like the contrast of sleek and loose and relaxed. It was a perfect outfit for playgroup. Husband called me a New York Bohemian.

But moving on.  I just had to share this with you.

A cool six week series has started at The Toronto Star examining childbirth all over the world.  They started with this focus article on Haiti.   This particular region was spared the earthquake devastation, and that makes this all the more unpalatable.

The conditions were shocking: no running water, no electricity, no sanitation, no ambulances, no operating rooms, and also therefore no c-sections.  Just women crammed into a dirty room in unsanitary conditions with one doctor for them all.  Needless to say, mortality for both Mother and Child is high. “More women die during childbirth in Haiti than in any other country in the Western Hemisphere…For every 100,000 live births, 630 Haitian mothers perish…In Canada, only seven die.” Haiti also holds the “regional record for infant mortality.”

Reading this article was like reading a piece of horror fiction.  My mind constantly asked, “Is this really happening in the world?” It’s scary to think.

I gave birth naturally here in Toronto, Canada in a pristine and sanitized hospital room surrounded by both family and two midwives, running water, a personal bathroom, doctors, medication, and an operating room ready and waiting should there be any complication.  I thought I had it bad because it hurt so much, felt like it went on forever, and I felt like my midwife pushed her beliefs a little too forcefully regarding how I should deliver.  *Really, I had a ‘textbook’ labor according to my midwives – perfect with no complications* Now, after reading these conditions I count myself blessed.  I gave birth in a situation where I knew that my chances of living, and my baby’s chances of living, were extremely high no matter the possible complications.

I can’t imagine delivering under those circumstances.  My heart bleeds for these brave women.  It grieves for them too, and their young lost babes.  It may be a little cliche, but I feel united with them because we are all women, we are all mother. There should be no reason for conditions like these in 2012.

Tomorrow’s Challenge:
Notice one thing you take for granted that others don’t have and give thanks for it – to God, the Universe, or whatever you may believe in. 
For my challenge yesterday I tried to barge my way in to four people’s offices for impromptu meetings.  It didn’t go so well: one wasn’t there, two I couldn’t get past the receptionist, and one actually met with me.  But at least I did it!

P.S. The winner of the Ruche giveaway is announced here. If you didn’t win, don’t worry I’ve got more giveaways coming up soon!

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