|A New Site: New Title|
|Posted by Carol on Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 5:25pm|
| Thank-you for stopping by. I have moved and my web page is titled Health & Home & Heritage. I hope you will visit. Check out my facebook page by clicking on the icon there. I would be delighted to have you follow me on facebook. Here is the link to my website: carolvanderwoudeRN.com|
|World Tour in Long Grove|
|Posted by Carol on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 8:41am|
| In the past couple years I have enjoyed getting to know June, the friendly proprietor of a Scandinavian shop. She has merchandise from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. Viking Treasures is located in Long Grove, Illinois and every year the village has a World Tour event. Last year I spent an afternoon at the event.|
I have been invited back for the World Tour that will be held this coming weekend. I will give a reading from my novel and spend a few minutes focusing on Finland and the immigrants that came to this country at the beginning of the twentieth century. For a schedule of events that will take place over the weekend, click here.
|Copper Over Gold|
|Posted by Carol on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 9:08am|
Gateway to the Copper Country
| The motto chosen for Finn Fest USA 2013 is winsome and true to my heritage. I was so pleased to see the wording on a promotional card.|
Copper country style with
Finnish-American history is celebrated at the annual Finn Fest, held at a different location each year. In 2013 Finn Fest will be held in the Copper Country. Hancock is the host city.
Copper over gold
Sauna over spa and
Pasty over paté
The choice of Hancock is significant. From 1865 onward a steady stream of Finnish immigrants came to the northern tip of Upper Michigan. They crossed the Houghton-Hancock bridge to work in the copper mines. My great-grandfather settled in Hancock and worked in the mines briefly before carving out a subsistence farm out of forested land.
In 1913 the copper miners were on strike-- seeking better hours and wages. Many Finnish workers held the most menial jobs in the mines with little chance of advancement. During the strike a great tragedy occurred. It is known as the Italian Hall Disaster.
Families of the strikers were gathered for a Christmas party at the Italian Hall in Calumet. (The copper miners were immigrants from a number of European countries.) During the party someone yelled, "Fire!" In the panic to exit the building people were crushed trying to get out of the building. The exit doors opened inward, and people piled up against the doors.
There was no fire, but 63 men women and children died. The majority were Finnish. The mystery surrounding the shout that caused the panic has never been solved.
So Finn Fest 2013 will be a celebration, but it will also commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the miner's strike. It will be held in June-- the same time that midsummer celebrations take place in Finland. On June 21 the sun never sets in Finland. I am looking forward to this special Finn Fest.
|Is It a War on Women?|
|Posted by Carol on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 8:00am|
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
| The term, war on women, has been bandied about by politicians and the media. Concern about the practices of Planned Parenthood and concern about the new Health and Human Service mandate has led to this inflamed term. |
As a nurse I feel that we should be doing more to educate young adults. Does the requirement to provide free contraceptives to young women promote their health and well-being?
Currently the number of sexually transmitted diseases is growing. Did you know that there are 40 different strains of the human papilloma virus alone. As more people have a number of casual sex encounters, viruses multiply and mutate. One out of four sexually active teens will develop a sexually transmitted disease. Some can be cured, some will cause infertility or cancer, some like herpes will be a chronic condition. Is it a war on women to be concerned about the free distribution of pills that make it appear that casual sex is safe?
The World Health Organization has classified birth control pills as a class I carcinogen. Click here to read a doctor's assessment. Jill Stanek (a nurse) has also written about this classification. Click here to read her explanation. Hormonal pills have health risks. Pills that are used after a sexual encounter have a higher dose of hormone.
Who is the winner in a culture that offers "free sex" with the government offering to pay for the consequences? Are women healthier-- physically and emotionally? Do young men have a greater respect for women?
From my perspective the current cesarean section rate (32% of births in the United States) might constitute a war on women-- or a war on maternity care. Our local newspaper had an article titled, Brazilian Women Rebel Against Cesarean Births. According to the article: More women are pushing for more of a say in childbirth-- whether by c-section or naturally, at home or in a hospital, with a midwife or a medical doctor. The story is also covered by NBC news-- click here.
In this country we do not have uniform certification and/or licensing of midwives. In some states it is illegal for a midwife to attend a home birth. State laws allow for the arrest and incarceration of midwives. The most recent case that I am aware of took place in Indiana. Instead of arresting midwives that are providing birth care in the home, states could set standards for midwives and work to improve transition to the hospital for women that need to be transferred.
So, instead of clamor about a war on women, how should we move forward in promoting the health and well-being of women over their lifetime?
|"Your Body is Not a Lemon"|
|Posted by Carol on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 11:26am|
| On June 3rd of this year the Chicago Tribune published an article titled, Saving the Children: Decades ago 2 remarkable doctors led the crusade for infant health care. |
The 2 doctors were Joseph DeLee known as the father of modern obstetrics, and Beatrice Tucker, director of the Chicago Maternity Center for 40 years. These two doctors took divergent paths.
Dr. DeLee made improvements in care, recognizing the need for prenatal care, cleanliness and prevention of infection. He started a clinic and attended homebirths. He initiated the practice that eventually became the Chicago Maternity Center.
But there was another side to Dr. DeLee. He was opposed to midwives and was determined to close down their practice. In 1915 he wrote the paper, Progress Towards Ideal Obstetrics. He wrote: The midwife is a relic of barbarism. In civilized countries the midwife is wrong. The greatest bar to human progress has been compromise, and the midwife demands a compromise between right and wrong. All admit that the midwife is wrong. (p.114)
If the profession would realize that parturition [childbirth] viewed with modern eyes, is no longer a normal function, but that it has imposing pathological dignity, the midwife would be impossible to mention. (p. 117)
Dr. DeLee moved towards aggressive management and control of birth while his protege, Dr. Tucker, continued to attend home births. She limited interventions and allowed labor to progress physiologically.
In a 1920 article, The Prophylactic Forceps Operation, Dr. DeLee advocated the use of morphine, scopolamine, gas anesthesia, forceps and episiotomy. He felt that the doctor should take charge and deliver the baby while a woman was under the effects of anesthesia.
When I began my career as a labor/delivery nurse twilight sleep (scopolamine) was still around. It created an amnesic effect on women. They often could not recall the actual birth of their baby. High forcep deliveries were finally under scutiny and being eliminated.
As the high forceps fell out of fashion, fetal monitors were introduced and the cesarean section rate began to climb. As a young nurse I was immersed in the medical model of birth.
It takes time to gain a new perspective. My gut feeling was that birth did not need so many interventions. I became a Lamaze instructor and taught classes for almost twenty years. The classes informed women and gave them ways to work with labor. Often the hospital setting and philosophy of the doctor were at odds with relaxation and position changes. Other interventions appeared.
Epidurals and induced labor became popular--aggressive management of labor was pushed again after a brief reprieve brought by the natural childbirth movement. In the 1990s I began hearing stories of multiple interventions from my students, and I was discouraged.
The decision to work with a group of physicians that attended home birth gave me the frame of reference I was seeking. Birth can be a normal physiologic process when allowed to proceed on its own. Medical intervention may be needed occasionally but not all the time.
During the years that I was trained and worked within the medical model of birth, Ina May Gaskin learned about childbirth starting with the normal physiologic process. She began attending births out of necessity and outside of the hospital. She did not attend nursing school or medical school. Ina May was not indoctrinated with the medical model of birth. As she moved forward she sought information, training and skills from willing obstetricians.
The July/August issue of Whole Living has an article discussing a documentary film about Ina May Gaskin. The article begins with these words: Over the decades, childbirth in the United States seems to have gone from a joyful event under the caring eye of fellow women to a medical condition to be approached with fear.
Since 1971 Ina May Gaskin has delivered babies at The Farm and trained other midwives. She has an obstetric procedure named after her, the Gaskin Maneuver. Ina May has written several books, In Ina May's Guide to Childbirth she writes: Remember this, for it is as true as it gets: your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic.
My observations at the 65 homebirths that I attended support this conclusion.
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