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Sunday Dinner: Brown Rice, Chicken and Chorizo

Family dinners were an important part of our lives when my children were growing up and are still now whenever we get together. Eating together is especially important with teenagers and I always insisted that my teens be home for Sunday dinner. That meant that my children’s friends often joined us and I liked it that way; I was often cooking for ten and still can’t get out of the habit! Research, of course, supports the value of family dinners. Just eating together as a family can improve the behavior of your children, their grades, and their language skills as well... read more

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Why We Need More Midwives Now

| by Peggy O’Mara, Editor and Publisher In 1973 I was living in southern New Mexico, pregnant with my first child and looking for a midwife. I didn’t know how to find one, so I went to a local obstetrician for prenatal care, all the while still hoping to find a midwife. A woman my husband worked with had been a midwife in England, and two of my friends, who lived 200 miles away, were planning to become midwives. I called the New Mexico Department of Health, only to find that the state no longer licensed midwives. My friends and I all wanted to have homebirths, but... read more

Keep the Channel Open

| by Peggy O’Mara, Editor and Publisher This is the talk I gave at the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) Family Wellness conference on October 21, 2010. When I attended the National Vaccine 
Information Center (NVIC) conference here in 2009, 
I was struck by the vitality of many of the attendees, and I began to realize that among the most vital were the chiropractors. Vitality is a very personal expression, but I do think we all know what it looks like and feels like. When ICPA’s Jeanne Ohm asked me to speak at the conference, I thought I would... read more

US Infant and Maternal Mortality: A National Disgrace

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention ( CDC ) US infant and maternal mortality failed to improve between 2000 to 2005. This plateau represents the first time since the 1950s that infant mortality has seen no improvement. The US spends more than any other country in the world on health care and yet is only 33rd in the world in infant mortality. A baby born in Cuba, Slovenia, the Czech Republic or South Korea has a greater chance of living for the first year than a baby born in the US. In fact, a baby born in Singapore has twice the survival rate of a US... read more

Diversity in Birth and Parenting Organizations

When I called Shafia Monroe, president of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC), to talk about coming to the 7th International Black Midwives and Healers Conference, she commented on the lack of diversity among the leadership of birth and parenting organizations in the US, a lack that I too have observed. In response, Monroe put together a diverse panel of presidents of major US health organizations. Monroe sees ICTC as a midwifery building organization. She said that there are not enough women of color who want midwives or who want to become... read more

More Midwives

We need more midwives. On a global scale, a lack of midwives is a healthcare emergency. According to WHO, UNICEF and other groups, maternal mortality is the “highest health inequity in the world.” Ninety-nine percent of women who die in childbirth do so in the developing world; 50% of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. WHO estimates that we need 350,000 more midwives worldwide to meet this crisis. According to the International Confederation of Midwives there are currently about 250,000 licensed midwives, 13,000 in sub-Saharan Africa. We also need more midwives... read more

At The Black Midwives and Healers Conference

Mothering’s art director, Laura Egley-Taylor, and I are in Long Beach, California attending the 7th International Black Midwives and Healers Conference. The conference is sponsored by the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC), the seminal organization founded by Mothering’s Living Treasure, Shafia Monroe, CM. (Below at the opening luncheon) I spoke to Martha Drohobyczer, CNM (below) this morning about the importance of objective and standardized criteria for preceptors of student midwives. One of the obstacles to increasing the number of black... read more

The Examined Life

| by Peggy O’Mara, Editor and Publisher “The unexamined life is not worth living.” This saying of the Greek philosopher Socrates inspires me to lead an examined life as a parent. Socrates observed the world around him in order to learn, through thought and discussion, how to make it a better place. He was found guilty of corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens, whom he encouraged to challenge the accepted beliefs of the time and to think for themselves. Do parents today think for themselves? We are called “helicopter parents”—hovering, overly attached—if we set... read more

It Ain’t Over Yet

| by Peggy O’Mara, Editor and Publisher Last fall, my oldest daughter went to college. And she came back. I didn’t know—I thought that maybe, at 18, they grew up and left home. No. It ain’t over yet. This has turned out to be one of my most profound mothering experiences. As with my daughter’s birth, her college experience turned me around 180 degrees, so that everything looked quite different and I felt, as I did after her birth, that 
no one had really told me what to expect. When we prepared for college, we did all the right things. My daughter took the college... read more

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