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What if you come from rural Mexico where your mother gave birth to you with a midwife and breastfeeding was so obvious and commonplace you never even thought about it…and you find yourself in a culture where births are in high-tech hospitals and babies are whisked away from you to be washed, eye-dropped, and wrapped like a Christmas gift…


What if you grew up in Japan where you and your parents shared the same bed and later the same room, as did everyone else you knew…and you find yourself in a country where the newspapers are full of articles about the dangers of sharing a bed, or you find yourself in a baby group where parents talk in shrill tones about why their baby STILL cries itself to sleep in another room...

What if you grew up in the U.S. where children are assumed to be special individuals with unique gifts just waiting to be discovered…and you find yourself in a place where children are expected to downplay their talents, and if at all, to practice them in the background and NOT shine within the group...

What if you grew up in a Middle Eastern Neighborhood where modesty and family loyalty were defining values…and you find yourself raising teenagers in a place where teen sex, alcohol, drugs and gang violence is commonplace...


Motherlands in August


The Waiting Home from Inti Media on Vimeo, "Waiting Houses" for mothers and families in Peru

Mother's nutrition in pregnancy affects baby's chances to develop diabetes

by Joanne Silberner

Endocrinology research on the health of adults born during the Khmer Rouge-induced famine in Cambodia is showing high levels of diabetes similar to studies on adults born during the "Hunger Winter" in the Netherlands in 1944-5, and Chinese born during the famine of 1959-61. ... The hypothesis is that with not enough nutrients coming through the placenta, the fetus's pancreas -- which produces the insulin that prevents diabetes -- will not develop correctly, and by the time that person is 50, it will be unable to do its job successfully. In addition, lack of knowledge leads too many possibly affected adults to ignore the early symptoms, such as excessive thirst or hunger, fatigue, and numbness in the hands or feet. Letting these symptoms go without treatment leads to organ damage. read more at Public Radio International


Do your kids know their body parts?

by eacrisfield

The very first report card my 3.5-year old twins brought home from school was a bit of a shock. They got a "B-" in "knows body parts". Really? My kids don't know their body parts? I felt like such a failure as a mother - after all, my oldest daughter certainly knew *her* body parts at that age. Her report cards were all "A"s, from the beginning. Happily, after a bit of pondering, I realised that it wasn't my parenting at fault, it was the assessment techniques and standards.see on raising bilingual children


On Little Girls and Body Image

by Emily L. Hauser

"'Do you think I'll ever be skinny?' she asked in that same car ride.

No, honey, no. I do not think you will ever be skinny. . . . She is 10. She is healthy. She is strong. She is wicked smart. And she sat in my car, weeping about her body." read more, Huffington Post, The Blog


Kraamzorg - A Dutch model for mother-baby care

The maternity care, kraamzorg, in the Netherlands is totally unique. No other country in the world has this kind of maternity care, where a professional maternity nurse looks after a mother and her new born baby during the first days after birth. The nurse will show you how to care for your newborn baby, eg how to breastfeed properly, and how to bathe him.

The nurse will look after older children and make sure that meals are prepared, take care of laundry and light household cleaning. If you have visitors she will help arrange a time which doesn't interrupt with your own or baby's rest, she will prepare refreshments or even politely turn guests away if you're feeling too tired ! If you have a home birth she will also be there after the birth to help clean up. Usually she will be there to help you 3-6 hours per day.

You are entitled to maternity care during the first 8 days after the birth of your baby.go to passionateparenting


What do Beng mothers do when healthy babies just won't stop crying?

Anthropologist Alma Gottlieb conjectures how a Beng grandmother and an older spiritual advisor would handle a mother's report that her baby will not stop crying. Both assume the baby is crying for a reason, and to take this seriously. The grandmother gives biologically-based, practical advice, such as to give kami, a little bit of water. She also advises carrying the baby on the mother's back to lull him or her to sleep. If the mother is tired, she should give the baby to a lƐn kūli, a baby carrier - a young girl or niece. This way the baby will either sleep on a long walk or have many short sleeps on visiting walks through the village. The spiritual advisor, differently, bases her advice on the belief that babies bring with them memories and wishes from another previous life. She suggests the mother search for an object (ie.. beads) that the baby might be yearning for. In both cases, the Beng advisors urge the mothers to take their baby's crying seriously and to spend time and effort in discovering the clue to soothing their baby. This is encouraging bonding and empathy. [View source]

Gottlieb, Alma, "Of Cowries and Crying: A Beng Guide to Managing Colic," Anthropology and Humanism, June 1995, vol. 20, issue 1, pp.20-28.

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