Reproductive Justice: Uncovering the Voices of Women to Address Health Disparities within the United States by Ellie Smith

Notable moments occur throughout data collection and analysis that strike researchers. These moments can be especially powerful when experienced during qualitative, in-depth interviews with women about their reproductive health – an immensely personal topic. This particular interview progressed in a typical, methodological manner with no interruptions or abnormal discussions. However, at the conclusion of the interview, the participant proceeded to  thank me, claiming “nobody ever asks me” about her thoughts and opinions. Nobody ever asked about her reproductive health care status and access within the rural, close-knit community she resided. Her voice had been overlooked in the larger discussion of health care access, specifically in regard to reproduction. This interview, and study at large, brought her voice to light, uncovering her story and highlighting her lived experience as a woman of color and a rural woman within the United States.

Women of varying backgrounds, such as women of color and Read more...

Brexit and the Maternal Body – Stretching the Skin Until it Breaks — By Rosalind Howell

Encountering a friend recently in her last few weeks of pregnancy I found myself saying, “My goodness, surely you can’t get any bigger, you’ll burst!”. As someone who considers herself pretty comfortable with pregnancy and birth, I was rather surprised and embarrassed by the strength of my (mostly unconscious) response to encountering her maternal body.

In the aftermath of the EU referendum vote, the metaphor of the body – the maternal body specifically, is a potent and fruitful symbol in helping make sense of the distress and chaos felt by many people. As Psychotherapist Jay Watts has pointed out, since Brexit some of our most deep-seated fantasies of the body have risen menacingly and overwhelmingly to the surface  (Guardian, 2016). The vote exposed divisions in the country that gaped open and leaked rivers of grief, anxiety, rage, and hatred out of the ruptured body of ‘civilised’ British society.

A nation Read more...

Meet the Mother House: a creative space for mothers artists

13312776_1603401659951498_3762428790709229095_nMother House is a pilot initiative from Procreate Project in partnership with Desperate Artwives. It is a dedicated creative space for London-based artists who are mothers with a co-produced and flexible childcare model.
An experimental month into the intersection between the roles of mother and artist, observing the importance of their impact on private lives and within society: the Mother House will provide a familiar context to share and reveal both the challenges and privileges of being a mother. The space will provide the freedom to work independently or alongside your children, and it will provide opportunities to work in collaboration with other artists to create a supportive and inspiring network. The Mother House idea is born in response to the urge of “making” within the life-changing experience of motherhood, offering a collaborative yet intimate space to curate your practice while ensuring your journey into motherhood is fed in a Read more...

On the Equality and Childbirth – by Ozan Kamiloglu

I just had a child. What a weird use this is of the verb “have”. There hasn’t been any physical connection between me and the child until now. My partner changed with the child, carried her, fed her, changed her life style, daily routine, diet, and she has passed through a difficult labour. I didn’t do any of these things. When they gave me the baby in the operating theater, I thought “whose baby is this one now?”. Her experience of having a baby and mine are shockingly different. Apart from the commitment to undertake certain responsibilities in relation to the child, there is nothing that makes the “child” mine. When I was in the ward with my partner, observing her experience during labour demonstrated this to me in a very striking way. And even more curious, is how we continue as if the labour, and pain, and commitment, and Read more...

10.000 Refugee Children Missing: Historical Coincidences and Historical Symptoms- by Marita Vyrgioti

In the Greek language, the word coincidence shares the same root with the word symptom; which creates a paradox. This sharing implies that when a coincidence (σύμπτωση) is repeated, it then becomes a symptom (σύμπτωμα).

On the 30th of January, Brian Donald, Europol’s chief of staff told the Observer that: “one of the most worrying aspects of the migrant crisis […] is that thousands of vulnerable minors had vanished after registering with state authorities’. It’s not unreasonable to say that we’re looking at 10,000-plus children. Not all of them will be criminally exploited; some might have been passed on to family members. We just don’t know where they are, what they’re doing or whom they are with”.

There is an oxymoron about the above statement. One of the leading members, of one of the greatest European organizations for investigating and prosecuting criminal networks, publicly and shamelessly announces that during his Read more...

Centralization of Obstetric Units: (Austerity) Challenges to Maternity Care- by Marita Vyrgioti

Last week, the President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Dr David Richmond made quite a controversial proposal, one that would create a “public and political furore”, in his own words[1]. The British National Health System (NHS) has been dealing with a serious shortage of middle-grade obstetricians and therefore has suffered a general drop in the quality of maternity services offered, due to exhausting shifts and antisocial-hours of work, and to doctors’ burnout. In his recent interview in Guardian, Dr Richmond suggested a merger of the current 147 obstetric units into 118; a reduction of 20%. He supported his view saying that the concentration of obstetric experts in central units can result in high-quality maternity care and 24/7 consultancy, which would be impossible otherwise. The centralization of obstetric units will be combined with the boosting of midwife-led units, suitable for women who have a low-risk pregnancy. Read more...

Artists who Mother

ROSEGIBBSPHOTOBy Rose Gibbs

According to Sheryl Sandberg, the woman responsible for turning around the fortune of Facebook (1), ‘the number one impediment to women succeeding in the work force is now in the home. Most people assume that women are responsible for households and child care. The majority of heterosexual couples operate on that basis’ (2). Sampson Lee Blair (3), professor at the University of Buffalo, studies the division of labor in families and notes that with families where the woman has a job and a man doesn’t, where one might anticipate a reversal of roles, ‘even then you find the woman doing the majority of the housework’ (4). For childcare the ratio is closer to 5 to 1, no matter who earns the money for the family. Business and institutions are set up without regard for the exigency of parenting an infant, and clearly women take the strain.

There Read more...