So apparently I’m gonna do a background interview on non-military PTSD with Al Jazeera America. And possibly be on a show about it tomorrow. Not sure if I can hold it together, honestly. But it’s really important, especially if I can let people know about the prevalence of postpartum PTSD.

Almost four weeks postpartum. Several people have asked when the baby is due. We need a conversation about postpartum bodies, evidently. #pregnancy #bodies #postpartum

Almost four weeks postpartum. Several people have asked when the baby is due. We need a conversation about postpartum bodies, evidently. #pregnancy #bodies #postpartum

choosechoice said: Your stance on pro choice midwives and OBs makes me really, really upset as a pro choice midwifery student. I value my patients. I’ve gone through pregnancy losses myself. I know how it hurts to lose a wanted pregnancy. I will do everything possible to spare my patients that pain and ensure they have a healthy pregnancy, because I value their lives and their choices. Midwifery is one of the most prochoice jobs out there, especially historically when midwives were the ones to perform abortions.

blue-author:

zhiii:

blue-author:

afunnyfeminist:

choosechoice:

prolife21:

I’m sorry, it just seems kinda weird to me that someone who is pro-choice would even want a job like that. That’s like a pro-lifer becoming an abortionist. It makes no sense.

Even so, I’m sure most pro-choicers who are midwives would hopefully act professionally and not push their views of abortion onto their patients.

It makes perfect sense- pro choice doesn’t mean “everyone should have an abortion”. It means that the pregnant person has the choice what to do with their pregnancy, whether to abort, adopt or keep it. Those last two choices are where a midwife comes in. Unlike a pro life abortionist, the pro choice midwife has no conflict with their beliefs. 

Is it also a contradiction for me to want children? For me to mourn my miscarriages? 

Do you honestly think that we want to push every pregnant person into an abortion? 

Anti-choicers want to force everyone to abide by their views, and because they’re so self-centered, they believe everyone else wants to force their beliefs on people too.

When people wish to do harm to or take something away from others, they often justify their actions by convincing themselves that it’s the other way around.

People who steal without remorse will say “It’s a dog eat dog world, they would have done the same to me.”

People who murder or assault out of hatred and bigotry claim they were protecting themselves from imminent violence.

And people who want to take away others’ bodily autonomy and right to choose convince themselves that the pro-choice movement is trying to do the same.

I would never ever see a pro-life midwife, personally.

There are good reasons not to see a medical practitioner who has an ideology that could lead them to see their patient’s health and wishes as a secondary concern.

This is why I chose insurance that was not connected to the Catholic hospital when I first came to Madison. I didn’t ever want to be forced into that situation. I would never knowingly see an anti-choice healthcare provider; I’ve had more than enough experiences of abuse and violated autonomy at the hands of doctors.

And incidentally, NOTHING reminds me of the importance of reproductive rights like actually being pregnant. During this past very much wanted, planned pregnancy, I set up recurring donations to two different abortion funds, because everyone should have full, MEANINGFUL bodily autonomy.

scientia-rex:

ppmhvaf:

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.  Take a few moments to look at this informative infographic about eating disorders and pregnancy, via NEDA.

Pretty good, but please note—their note that you may continue to need psych meds during pregnancy is correct, but I’d like to point out that most pregnant people end up needing multiple medications during pregnancy (not necessarily psych meds, but the average is 4), your doctor may or may not be familiar with your meds or the meds you might need so don’t be afraid to ask them questions like “What are the specific risks associated with this medication?” and “Is there an alternative medication I can try?”, and don’t believe totally anti-medication propaganda. Your health matters, both to you and to your baby.
I worked with a research group studying medications in pregnancy, so I feel very strongly about this! There are a lot of safe medications that doctors are unwilling to prescribe or patients are unwilling to take because of societal stigma and ignorance. You have a right to proper medical treatment of your mental health needs as well as your physical needs.

Ugh, I didn’t notice the slant there—good catch. Yeah, in many if not most cases, the risk of going off effective psych meds in pregnancy is WAY higher than staying on them, or going on them if the need arises. Various other meds are also much safer than letting associated conditions go untreated, for both the pregnant person AND the fetus, and ultimately every patient should be weighing risks and benefits for themself, not getting ridiculous anti-pharmaceutical, “let’s panic about fetuses!” propaganda.

scientia-rex:

ppmhvaf:

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.  Take a few moments to look at this informative infographic about eating disorders and pregnancy, via NEDA.

Pretty good, but please note—their note that you may continue to need psych meds during pregnancy is correct, but I’d like to point out that most pregnant people end up needing multiple medications during pregnancy (not necessarily psych meds, but the average is 4), your doctor may or may not be familiar with your meds or the meds you might need so don’t be afraid to ask them questions like “What are the specific risks associated with this medication?” and “Is there an alternative medication I can try?”, and don’t believe totally anti-medication propaganda. Your health matters, both to you and to your baby.

I worked with a research group studying medications in pregnancy, so I feel very strongly about this! There are a lot of safe medications that doctors are unwilling to prescribe or patients are unwilling to take because of societal stigma and ignorance. You have a right to proper medical treatment of your mental health needs as well as your physical needs.

Ugh, I didn’t notice the slant there—good catch. Yeah, in many if not most cases, the risk of going off effective psych meds in pregnancy is WAY higher than staying on them, or going on them if the need arises.

Various other meds are also much safer than letting associated conditions go untreated, for both the pregnant person AND the fetus, and ultimately every patient should be weighing risks and benefits for themself, not getting ridiculous anti-pharmaceutical, “let’s panic about fetuses!” propaganda.

ppmhvaf:

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.  Take a few moments to look at this informative infographic about eating disorders and pregnancy, via NEDA.

ppmhvaf:

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.  Take a few moments to look at this informative infographic about eating disorders and pregnancy, via NEDA.

(via a-little-bi-furious)

Stereotypical #pregnancy #selfie with #pickle.

Stereotypical #pregnancy #selfie with #pickle.

I really wish people would stop asking how I feel.

The answer is ALWAYS “super fucking crummy” and there is no solution other than this baby getting out of my body.

I mean, it would also be nice if the cold I’ve had for OVER TWO WEEKS went away, but that’s not actually under human control any more than the onset of spontaneous labor is.

38 weeks + 5 days. #selfies #pregnancy

38 weeks + 5 days. #selfies #pregnancy

dangerdedame replied to your post “annoying doctor shit”

What exactly are the alleged reasons behind Sudafed/Nyquil being harmful for pregnant people?

With Sudafed, there is some limited evidence suggesting slightly elevated risk of cardiac defect in the first trimester.  I have never heard a doctor cite this risk, actually; the research is quite recent and most of them don’t read it.  They’re entirely concerned about the pregnant person’s blood pressure.  Since pseudoephedrine is a stimulant, this is definitely something to monitor.  My blood pressure is always on the low end of good, however.  (I personally don’t consider the amount of evidence for cardiac defect terribly persuasive, especially since my sinuses get so inflamed in pregnancy that I literally have debilitating vertigo without Sudafed.  And that’s only the first trimester anyway, and would show up on the 20-week sonogram if it were an issue.)

With NyQuil, it’s probably the alcohol.  Since NyQuil is 10% alcohol, we’re talking about a quarter of a shot, maybe slightly less.  The preponderance of evidence suggests that even light-to-moderate drinking in pregnancy has no discernible effect on the fetus (in some studies, that’s as many as 12 drinks a week, btw—thanks, Australia).  The amount of alcohol in a dose of NyQuil is negligible.

The antihistamine and cough suppressant in NyQuil are both totally safe for pregnancy (and in fact, doctors have told me specifically that I can take them, but never said “Just take NyQuil” no doubt because of the alcohol).  Some doctors, especially the crunchy ones, have a general “BUT YOU SHOULD AVOID DRUGS” mentality that may also contribute here.

You can also take benadryl in pregnancy—totally safe and actually recommended to me by my drug-saavy psychiatrist as a possible sedating agent in the event of panic attacks.

Basically there are a shit ton of things you can take with no or minimal risk to the fetus and it’s total bullshit that we live in a culture that privileges IMAGINARY risks of treatment to ACTUAL risks of non-treatment.  (Stress or lack of sleep in the pregnant person, for instance?  NOT GOOD FOR FETUSES.)

annoying doctor shit

  1. "Breastfeeding review," consisting entirely of information that either a) I already know or b) consider to be baseless fear-mongering.
  2. Special consideration goes to “If people tell you that you should be using formula, you just tell them you’ll ask your doctor.”  Uh, lady, let me assure you: People don’t tend to offer me unsolicited advice more than once.
  3. Also: “You shouldn’t be doing housework in the first two weeks, because that’s baby-bonding time.”  Yeah.  Trust me.  I’m not going to be trying to do housework.  Possibly ever.
  4. Super heteronormative gross-ass “list of duties for Dad” and “list of duties for Grandma” handouts ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME.
  5. Referring to spontaneous labor after 37 weeks as “early.”  IT’S A CONFIDENCE INTERVAL DAMMIT.
  6. Telling me that yes, pregnancy colds are the worst because “you can’t take anything!” I beg your pardon.  There is no reason not to take Sudafed or NyQuil and believe me, I take both of them because I don’t believe in being more miserable than necessary. 

I do trust this doctor not to inflict trauma on me in the delivery room but dear god I am sick of everyone in healthcare.

I am so tired, and getting out of bed hurts SO MUCH, even more than rolling over IN bed and honestly that’s saying a lot. And I have to stay up until at least 9pm every night, and get up between 6 & 7, because I do three heparin shots a day now and they have to be pretty evenly spaced.

And I have ANOTHER FUCKING COLD, one of the consequences of which is that I can barely speak.

Let’s go, Baby B. Let’s go RIGHT NOW.

I thought I had a sharps container at the office, but I did not. Improvisation. #pregnancy #makingdo

I thought I had a sharps container at the office, but I did not. Improvisation. #pregnancy #makingdo

My thrice daily routine until Baby B shows up: draw heparin with giant scary needle, switch out scary huge needle for small injection needle, inject subcutaneously.

My thrice daily routine until Baby B shows up: draw heparin with giant scary needle, switch out scary huge needle for small injection needle, inject subcutaneously.

So “sleep” isn’t really working for me anymore.

I went to bed about 10, got up at 7 because I have to give myself a shot no later than 7 (straight heparin is three shots a day instead of the two you do with Lovenox, so timing becomes more of a pain in the ass—I have to stay up until 9:30 for my last shot of the day, too).  Around 8:15 I gave up on the idea of productivity and went back to bed.  I got back out of bed at 11 out of a sense of obligation, but I’m still exhausted and barely doing anything.

I think the main issue here is that “sleep” is sort of a misleading term when even small body movements cause you to wake up in excruciating pain.  ”Fitful dozing” is about as good as it gets.  But I have a HUGE AMOUNT OF WORK TO DO so I’m super stressed out on top of being too exhausted to force myself to do anything about it.  UGH.

cheapplasticjunk said: Hey. I've seen your posts about vaccines and just wanted to pass along that if your pregnant and able to get the seasonal flu shot, you should because that immunity will get passed to your newborn as well. An adult with the flu sucks, but a newborn with the flu is scary.

Actually, flu shots are important in pregnancy mainly for the protection of the pregnant person.  Pregnancy is an inherently immunocompromised state, and for whatever reason, pregnant people are especially vulnerable to dangerous flu complications.  H1N1, which is circulating widely again this year, is even more dangerous to pregnant people than the typical seasonal flu.  At least one pregnant person in my city of residence has died this year from H1N1 complications.

How much of one’s immunity to seasonal flu from the flu shot will be passed onto a newborn is kind of questionable.  For example, I received my seasonal flu vaccine as soon as it was available, at the end of September, which means that it will have been ~6 months since vaccination when I give birth.  This gives rise to two major issues: peak antibodies and vaccine/circulating strain match.

A cursory search of the literature doesn’t give a good picture of when “peak antibodies” are produced following the flu shot, though it’s probably at least two weeks after.  This is relevant because there is a period at which the body is producing the MOST antibodies for transfer to a newborn; this is why the CDC now recommends a TDaP vaccine in every pregnancy between 26-35 weeks, regardless of the timing of the person’s last TDaP, so that the pregnant person will be producing peak antibodies, or close to them, at birth, both to transmit to the fetus via the placenta or after birth to the newborn via breast milk.  Six months after the administration of the vaccine, circulating antibodies are probably lower, although there is some reason to believe that some immunity persists up to a year after the shot.

Probably more relevant is the fact that six months is a pretty long time in the world of seasonal flu.  We never really know how good a match any given year’s vaccine will turn out to be for the strains that actually circulate the most, but on top of that, by the time we get to late March/early April we’re basically out of the 2013-2014 flu season.  Occasionally non-seasonal strains circulate (like H1N1 in 2009), but there’s no reason to think they will be strains that were included in the previous season’s vaccine.

This is where breastfeeding has very clear benefits, incidentally; it allows for the transfer of antibodies that may not have been produced during pregnancy.  When my first child was born, my spouse and I both caught norovirus at the hospital.  Kid A escaped unscathed, probably because she got plenty of antibodies from my breast milk.  (Please note: breastfeeding has benefits.  However, we provide basically no social support whatsoever for it in the US; in fact, we penalize it in a number of measurable ways. I am not here for anyone who thinks that people don’t breastfeed because they don’t know that it has benefits.)

So yes: pregnant people absolutely should get vaccinated for seasonal flu, but mainly because they themselves are at high risk of dangerous complications, including death.  Everyone in the community who can be vaccinated for seasonal flu should be, because higher coverage means fewer potential vectors of infection for everyone, which means fewer deaths among the most vulnerable, including both pregnant people and newborns.