#BrilliantNews

THE BRILLIANT BREAKDOWN: week of march 14

A LITTLE BIRTHING UTOPIA IN TUBA CITY

There are many reasons why c-section rates are so out of control in this country. One reason for these sky high numbers is because the rates of VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean) are still abysmal even though there is no evidence to support that a second cesarean is safer than a vaginal birth. Well, to start doctors have a profit motive for performing surgery (that’s right, they make more money for performing C-Sections) and insurance companies can increase their premiums or withdraw coverage if doctors allow VBACs. Plus, because ACOG recommends that an obstetrician and an anesthesiologist be “immediately available” during labor for patients who have had a previous Caesarean just in case, smaller hospitals are unable to pay these practitioners to just hang around.

Enter Tuba City (who doesn't want to live in a place with that name?). Tuba City's hospital is run by the Navajo Nation and sees about 500 births per year. What’s so revolutionary about this place? The hospital and doctors are insured by the federal government and paid a salary, not per procedure. MIND BLOWN.

This is HUGE. This means these doctors are free to, “Think about what’s best for the patient and not what covers our butts.” Which one would think should be par for the course. But as you can see, it’s not always the case. Our system just makes it too easy for some (not all!) doctors to put liability, profit and convenience ahead of our physical and emotional well being.

READ MORE HERE

 
                                                                                  Art by Soosh

                                                                                  Art by Soosh

 

HB2- THE LAW THAT SOUNDS LIKE A VIRUS... BECAUSE IT Is.

As you know, the Supreme Court was rather busy this month looking at a crucial constitutional challenge to two provisions in Texas’ HB2 law. While this bill is chock full of goodies making it highly challenging for women in need to get access to safe care, the two provisions being challenged are:

  1. That doctors must obtain admitting privileges from a hospital 30 miles from the clinic where they perform abortions.
  2. Abortion clinics must comply with the same building regulations as “ambulatory surgical centers.”

What's absurd about it:

  1. Admitting privileges are at the mercy of the hospital administration so they can decline access solely on the basis that they themselves are against abortion and even more on point, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures out there, so there is no basis, no evidence, no nothing to demonstrate why this is necessary. 
  2. Unlike Texas state Rep. Dan Flynn (R) suggests (go to 2 min and 11 sec in), there is zero need for hallways in abortion clinics to be able to fit stretchers because, stretchers aren't used in an abortion clinic. There is zero need for procedures to be done in a room set up identically to a room for brain surgery because there is no operating during an abortion.

If these provisions go into full effect, Texas would see a 75% reduction in the number of clinics serving 5.4 million women of childbearing age and this would open up a whole can of worms for states to pass similar bills - like this ONE and this ONE.

The constitutional question at hand is whether having 10 clinics to serve all these women, including many who would live 200 miles away from the nearest facility, represents an “undue burden” on the right to abortion deemed impermissible after the Casey decision. For now, it has been recommended that the Supreme Court remand this back to the lower courts for hearings, to address questions about the capacity of the remaining clinics to fill the state’s needs. Round and round we go.

READ MORE HERE

 
                                                                       Art by Frances Cannon

                                                                       Art by Frances Cannon

 

DEFINITELY NOT ESSURED

The FDA isn’t taking Essure, an alternative for permanent birth control, off the market just yet even though complaints include reports of the device breaking, moving and causing side effects ranging from chronic pain and bleeding to autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis and lupus. While the government seems to have a right to control our bodies when it comes to abortion, one of the safest procedures out there, they have no problem leaving it up to us as to whether we’d like a perforation of the uterus or fallopian tubes (also known side effects of this birth control). Wow. #takeessureoffthemarket

READ MORE HERE

 
                                                                      Art by Katy Zimmerman

                                                                      Art by Katy Zimmerman

 

JUST THOUGHT WE SHOULD THROW THIS OUT THERE:

Pot-infused feminine products? Enough said. We're all for innovation but we also ALWAYS take caution when sticking something in any of our holes. We prefer to go au naturel - if your period cramps hurt too much, listen to your body, is there some kind of hormonal unbalance that's causing extreme pain? Willing to give Foria Relief it a try? Please report back.

READ MORE HERE + HERE

 
 

A great summary of why due dates are hooey and some pretty solid evidence of “convenience births” being a real thing.

READ MORE HERE

 
                                                                          Art by Mona Chalabi

                                                                          Art by Mona Chalabi

 

+ Brilliant Reads

Imbeciles: on the Buck v. Bell case which allowed for 70,000 state mandated sterilizations.

+ Brilliant Views

Trapped. This documentary does a fantastic job of spelling out the consequences of HB2 and how it is truly affecting our country.

 

THE BRILLIANT BREAKDOWN: week of february 29

HONORING DANA RAPHAEL - GRANDMOTHER OF ALL DOULAS! 

What an amazing life this woman lived and how fortunate we all are for her breastfeeding and doula care advocacy. Ever wondered where the term 'doula' even came from? It was her! She coined it in 1969, meaning 'mother to the mother' as biological grandmothers were "walking out of the nursery to take on painting and golf" - leaving new moms without the traditional family support to help them figure out how to nurse and take care of their brand-new-baby! She was a big proponent of breastfeeding but also a pioneer of ending the ‘mommy wars’, stating that her goal was for mothers to be happy and have support regardless of how they chose to feed their baby. We’ve come a long way and yet there is still so much to do to improve maternal and postpartum care, we’re honored to follow the lead of amazing women like Dr. Raphael and her mentor -the badass anthropologist Margaret Mead-who was one of the first scientists to question formula manufacturers.  RIP Dr. Dana Raphael, we’re grateful for your legacy!

READ MORE HEre

 
 

MEDITATION is LITERALLY CHANGING OUr BRAIN!

We knew we were on to something with our Sound Meditations for Pregnancy and Fertility. There’s just something about getting a break from our monkey minds that feels GOOD. But now there’s a study that proves our brain is literally changing when we meditate. According to the results, after meditating for only 3 days there is more activity in the portions of the brain that process stress and induce focus and relaxation. The best part? After 4 months the benefits were still there, even for those who had not been meditating regularly! Sign me up! There’s still much research to be done, but in the meantime we’re off to MEDITATE (and so should you)!

READ MORE HERE

 
                                                                Image by Huntress of Roots

                                                                Image by Huntress of Roots

 

a growing force: the SINGLE AMERICAN WOMEn

While Facebook may make you feel like all of your friends (and not friends) are getting hitched, you aren't alone (or you are, but so is everyone else!) Turns out, more than 50% of American women are single and more than 23% of the American electorate is made up of unmarried women. All the single ladies are a driving force behind advocacy for pay equity, paid family leave, a higher minimum wage, universal pre-K and more accessible reproductive rights, among other MAINSTREAM issues that have been hiding in the dark for wayyyyy too long without real policy changes that would benefit us ALL. The reasons behind this growing force are diverse but we're all up for badass independent women that are 'no longer economically, socially, sexually, or reproductively dependent on or defined by the men they marry.' BOOM!  Also who needs to get married with friends like this? #TheFutureisFemale

READ MORE HERE

 

 
                                                                   Image by Frances Cannon

                                                                   Image by Frances Cannon

 

breaking the silence

1 in 3 American women will have an abortion before turning 45. On March 2nd the Supreme Court will hear arguments for -a potentially landmark- abortion case in Texas, challenging a law that requires abortion doctors to be affiliated with nearby hospitals and also limits abortion to ambulatory surgical centers, which opponents say reduces access to abortions and limits its safety. Not an easy subject for sure, but we're glad to see a lot of women breaking the silence about their abortion experiences and sharing their stories. It takes a village and ending the taboo around abortion will allow us to support each other through the thick and thin. 

READ MORE HERE

 
                                                                                                                                                                                    Image by India Evans

                                                                                                                                                                                    Image by India Evans

 

+ SOME MORE #BRILLIANTBITS...

Our heart breaks for all the women and families that have to go through pregnancy miscarriage or loss. We're glad to see that new evidence confirms there is no physiological need to wait before trying to get pregnant again (as long as families are emotionally ready).

READ MORE HERE

We're psyched to see that teens are talking about babies and birth! Here's a good reminder of why there's no need to bathe your baby after they are born - #VernixIsTheNewGold

READ MORE HERE

And while we are thrilled Leo finally got an Oscar and used the opportunity to remind us we should not take our planet for granted, our eyes were on this badass chick who left her costume at home and instead opted for comfort. #keepin'itreal

READ MORE HERE