30 July 2008

Pregnancy madness

I like to keep abreast of the latest scandal as much as the next gal. Whereas scandals used to involve celebrities, an addiction, an affair, an illegitimate pregnancy or a divorce, this week pregnant women around the world have been making headlines for subverting all kinds of cultural norms:

In the Daily Mail yesterday, a debate about freebirthing as 'madness' or 'ideal'. One woman is profiled for flagrantly bucking the British national health system. Apparently the risks she took 'horrified' doctors.
See: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1039407/Freebirthing-Is-madness-ideal-way-birth.html

Two American women in the US were featured on Good Morning America after admitting to 'cross-feeding', meaning they breastfed each other's babies. This is apparently controversial and has been featured as a topic for discussion on all the American morning shows and this morning on Australia's Today.
Watch the segment here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Parenting/story?id=5459697&page=1

Again, on GMA this morning there is a lengthy feature about women who give birth not knowing they were even pregnant in the first place. This is supposed to be bizarre but actually it happens quite often. The GMA article argues that it is most likely because the women are overweight and do not gain any weight or have physical signs of pregnancy. I tend to disagree. I think that part of the lack of recognition of physical or psychological signs of pregnancy may be attributed to ‘avoidance coping’ mechanisms in which a woman denies the pregnancy if she feels she is not ready to have a baby or has not yet decided whether she will carry the pregnancy to term. For isntance, it's very interesting that the majority of women who have 'surprise pregnancies' (which the show doesn't even mention) are teen mothers.
Check it out: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Parenting/story?id=5470808&page=1



Olivia said...

Re cross-feeding: Have they not ever heard of wet-nurses? This is not a new thing, and I imagine it's healthier than synthetic formulas.

Michael said...

This "surprise pregnancy" meme was going around New Jersey several years ago-teens giving birth in the shower or at the prom. As usual with these things you "hear", who knows what really happened or how prevalent it really was.

It always fascinated me, though-how could such a thing possibly happen? What denial is that strong? How do parents/siblings/friends/teachers not see it? It's mystifying to me. I've even tried to write a story about it.

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