Thursday, April 15, 2010

Knitted Womb

I saw this knitted womb on the website today. The subtitle on the website is "purls of wisdom." :)

The knitter, K Carroll, says, "Human anatomy is pretty amazing, but not always pretty. My interest in anatomy coupled with the Blythe dolls phenomenon somehow combined in my imagination to produce a cute, cuddly uterus doll."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Vaginal Birth Now Recommended for Babies in Breech Positions

This is year-old news, but I just found it today. It surprised me that this wasn't bigger news when the study was released... The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada has announced that c-sections are no longer recommended for breech babies!

An article at the Globe and Mail states that Canadian medical schools will now start training doctors to deliver breech babies, so that they can conform to the current guidelines:

Since 2000, C-sections have been the preferred method of delivery in breech births. Studies suggested that breached births were associated with an increased rate of complication when performed vaginally.

As a result, many medical schools have stopped training their physicians in breech vaginal delivery.

The problem now, according to Dr. Lalonde, is that there is a serious shortage of doctors to teach and perform these deliveries.

With the release of the new guidelines, the SOGC will launch a nationwide training program to ensure that doctors will be adequately prepared to offer vaginal breech births .

The new approach was prompted by a reassessment of earlier trials. It now appears that there is no difference in complication rates between vaginal and cesarean section deliveries in the case of breech births.

The article also references an organization called the Coalition for Breech Birth. Their stated purpose is to educate women about breech birth and to inform them that they have the option to choose to birth a breech baby vaginally, c-section is not the only option. “Educating women is our primary goal because it takes more than just a guideline change,” the coalition co-founder says.

Read more here:

If you're interested in seeing images of other breech positions that babies may take, check out this page:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Odyssey Ends with Reunion of Haitian Baby and Parents

Four days after Haiti's earthquake, a 2-month-old baby girl was brought to a field hospital where CNN's senior medical field correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, was stationed. She was able to follow the story of this baby from rescue to reunion.

I love that the doctor, when questioned about transporting the baby to America without state permission, said "I don't care what the state department cares about." Many lives, like baby Jenny's, were saved because people like Dr. Arthur Fournier did what was right.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Historic Breastfeeding Photo: The Mother

This is a black and white photograph of a painting by American painter, Gari Melchers, who lived from 1860 to 1932. The painting is signed by the artist. I imagine the original painting was in color. The Library of Congress calls this image, "The Mother." No other information is readily available.

This image at the Library of Congress website:

Apparently Gari Melchers painted many mother and child subjects. Among these, he is best known for his painting "Mother and Child" which is displayed at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Mother and Child, ca.1906, oil on canvas, gift of James Deering, Art Institute of Chicago.

"Melchers experienced occasional moments of genius, and that was unquestionably the case on the day he put brush to canvas to produce this universal image of motherhood. The mother's protective ardor, the lifelike naturalism of the baby and the directness of their gaze, strike a responsive chord with anyone who ever had a mother. "
- Joanna D. Catron, University of Mary Washington

Here is a very colorful example called Madonna of the Fields. It is on display at the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia.

Gari Melchers, Madonna of the Fields, c. 1895, gouache on canvas, 30 x 27 inches

"Madonna of the Fields appeared on the cover of the New York Evening Post Saturday Magazine in December of 1915. It is a classic example of one of Melchers' best-known and beloved themes, the Dutch mother and child.

The painting depicts a young mother seated in a bucolic village landscape, serenely nursing her baby while a young blond child cuddles close and gazes directly at the viewer through large blue eyes.Traces of pencil - elegant and subtle - enhance the gouache paint and invite the viewer for a close study that reveals Melchers' masterful touch. Stylistically, Madonna of the Fields illustrates Melchers' interest in Symbolism..." - Telfair Museum

Of these three examples, and the dozens of others I found online, the first is still my favorite. I would love to find a copy of the original image in color!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Japan Attempts to Spark Baby Boom... with Robot Babies?

What?!? I have no words for this...
"Graduate students in Japan are hoping an innovative new invention will help solve the country's fertility crisis. Meet Yotaro. He's a robot designed to give people the joys of parenting, without all the mess. And just a like a real baby, he reacts to stimuli, giggling and crying. The baby's reactions are projected onto a silicon balloon, which serves as his face. The students who invented the robot are hoping he will motivate young people to have children. Right now, Japan's birth rate is among the lowest in the world and could cause serious economic problems in the next decade." - MSNBC