An interesting article was published this past Summer on the very real, little-discussed changes that occur in the brain of a pregnant, postpartum, and/or caregiving person. There are a number of rapid and monumental changes that happen to the portion of our brains that control social-emotional processes or the “ability to atttribute emotions and mental states to other people- key to raising a human.” “The more brain change the mothers experienced, the higher they scored on measures of emotional attachment to their babies, a finding that echoed past studies. And the changes in most brain regions remained two years later.” Whoa. Two years?! … Continue reading Why Does My Brain Feel Like it is Leaking?
At times it seems like our world is hyperfocused on identity. As if we were ever just one thing. Some days, I have more labels than I care for . American. Indian. Person of Color. Woman. Mother. Partner. Daughter. Sister. Working parent. Fierce friend. Heteronormative. Doctor. Midwife. Teacher. Writer. Witch. Outspoken. Boss. Bitch. They are not just names, but roles and ways of showing up in the world. Some are chosen, some assigned by others. But ultimately ways of being seen, heard, and having an existence carved out. Inhabiting space. Those labels and roles can also feel like work. Heavy … Continue reading Identity and Being All Things
You have probably been reprimanded, just as I have, by your hygienist and dentist to floss more. The reasoning that we are often given is that it helps agitate and dislodge the tartar and plaque buildup, reduces the resulting and/or ongoing inflammation in your gums, and reduces the chances of gum disease. All seems pretty true to me. If you leave crusty crap bumping up against soft tissue, the tissue is going to get angry. What might not be part of the discussion is that flossing is also preventive for some downstream effects that we might not associate with it. … Continue reading Flossing…not just a dance move
Got a chance to talk at the Breastfeeding Beyond the Hospital Stay conference this week in Seattle. No action shots this time . One of my favorite things to delve into right now is our secondary trauma as caring professionals. The grit and the sheer will that has to be part of our sustainability. And the burnout that often follows. . Maybe it sounds grim. But this is what juicy to me right now. Watching my own rise and falter under stress, trauma, and grief. And doing exactly what my grandmother (one I never met as she died related to … Continue reading Grief Work is Life Work
This week my son turned 4 years old. It seems like he has been here for a minute and at the same time that I have known him my entire life. Of course this has me thinking about my pregnancy, what I was doing when I went into labor, my labor, my labor, my labor (that’s one ‘labor’ for each day), his birth, our first night all snuggled into bed together, and those postpartum weeks. I have to say- it was glorious. It wasn’t glorious because I ‘did everything right’. It was glorious because I was just able to be. … Continue reading Birth and rebirth