Monday, April 5, 2010
Poem - Morning Song
Mother and Child by Koshyk
Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.
Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.
I'm no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its
Effacement at the wind's hand.
All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.
One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The window square
Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.
-Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
There was a study released in Pediatrics on Monday that says if American women were to breastfeed exclusively for six months, that nearly 900 infant lives and billions of health care dollars would be saved each year. Only 12% of American women exclusively breastfeed at six months. This article in the Washington Post details many of the benefit of breastfeeding and mentions how birth practices affect breastfeeding outcomes, "The pediatrics academy says babies should be given a chance to start breast-feeding immediately after birth. Bartick said that often doesn't happen, and at many hospitals newborns are offered formula even when their mothers intend to breast-feed. " That first hour or so is so important for many interactions between mother and infant, breastfeeding included. Ask for help from your midwife or hospital staff if you are unsure of how to get the baby on, it really can ease the way for so much if the baby can have at least one go at the breast in the first hour or so. Breastfeeding is often viewed as a choice in this country, but in terms of public health, it really should be looked at similar to seat belts, you are far better off with it than without it.
I also wanted to share a link of a UK publication entitled Mum and Muslim magazine. They have just come out with their first issue and there are some interesting articles up. Go check it out!