But it's changing. And, I'm hopeful.
I believe (and am hopeful) that our relationship to maternal health in the U.S. is changing, because I see and listen to the backend every day.
In the past 3 weeks, we've been inundated with the Zika Virus. Then, the CDC releasing the memo about alcohol and pregnancy last week. It's a lot of information to absorb, and can be overwhelming, if you're not living and breathing maternal health like we do.
Then there's the fact that we're still the only developed country that has a rising maternal mortality rate when we spend the most on maternal health, but we're not seeing the positive results of such incredible spending.
To say the least....It's complicated.
Last week, I was talking to my sister, an incredibly busy working mom and asked her what she thought about the whole Zika thing. She said, "What? Zika? I've had my head in work and family. What is it?" I told her and she was shocked she hadn't heard. My sister is incredibly smart and overly informed...I filled her in a bit.
I realized in that moment, like my sister, there are probably lots of us out of touch with the news because you can't really hear it in the car when your kids are talking loud and asking questions or crying or screaming - car rides are noisy. Also, the news is noisy.
The incredible thing about this community is you care about the state of maternal health. And, I care about you.
So today, I'm going to drop a some links to stories to keep you informed:
- A well-written post and the controversy of a missing three letter word from Zika warnings
- An international health perspective on Zika and effects on women, from The Atlantic
- The updated interim CDC guidelines for sexual transmission (it includes a three letter word)
- All the ways Zika can spread from Vox, ranked by scientific certainty
My friend, a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) and a rockstar, when asked what the buzz on Zika was in her practice replied, "It's the end of the world." We might dramatize things a little....
On women who even think about pregnancy and alcohol:
(This memo made a bit of a quiet uproar in the mom communities I follow out there, and a lot of what I heard was if we were men - this alcohol thing wouldn't be an issue. So, I tried to find some good arguments for you)
- The original CDC memo released to the media
- Broadly's perspective on the memo
- Scary Mommy's perspective that comes with eye rolls - like we did over here...
- This was my favorite title of all my research...from Quartz...
What are your thoughts on the CDC memo on pregnancy and alcohol? If you live another country, what are you talking about in regards to the news? Let us know in the comments.
The most inspiring find of the week was this video from a new life science company out of NYC, SquareRoots. In their words, "We are failing our mothers in the United States and the Data is overwhelming" (aka...it's complicated). They will raise the bar for the advancement and improvement of maternal health and made a beautiful video that explains more. Watch it.
If you have any questions on what's going on ask away in the comments below, or shoot us an email at hello@littlemothershelper. We're here for you!
Your questions fire us up and hearing your stories make us work better, with more focus and more love.
Hope this helps! Have a full and generous week.