Posts Tagged: birth Results 6
Miriam Zoila Perez has worked in the reproductive justice movement for more than seven years, She is the founder of Radical Doula, a blog that covers the intersections of birth activism and social justice from a doula’s perspective. You might also know her from her work at Feministing.com, where she is an editor. Her writing has also appeared in The Nation, RH Reality Check, Alternet, The American Prospect and she is a frequent contributor to Colorlines.com. She was chosen as a 2010 Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging LGBT Voice in Non-Fiction. She received a 2009 Young Woman of Achievement Award from the Women’s Information Network and a 2010 Barbara Seaman Award for Activism in Women’s Health from the National Women’s Health Network.
Reading this article on Slate, reminded me how misplaced our priorities sometime seem to be — with new moms rushed home and right back into their physically and emotionally demanding lives. A week after giving birth to my youngest, a decade ago, I was back at work (though my boss at the time allowed me to work from home for the next few weeks).
The Slate piece writes of the Latin American postpartum custom of la cuarentena, or “the quarantine,” which despite its unpleasant name and the folk customs associated with it, keeps the new mommy and baby in confinement for 40 days, optimally waited on by extended family members. The article says it sounds “like a hedonist’s dream,” until the new mother being interviewed elaborates. “Food, sex, and rest are subject to a constellation of taboos and prescriptions. Sex is a no-no.” But who wants to — or is able to — have sex soon after having a baby anyway? “Rest is mandated and traditionally facilitated by female relatives, who take over errands and chores. Foods are divided into the approved (carrots, chicken soup) and the forbidden (spicy and heavy fare).”
You know it’s a new day in social networking (virtual and otherwise) when someone puts as her Facebook photo a picture of her pee stick home pregnancy test showing the 2 lines that indicate a baby is on the way.
While I don’t personally know the woman who decided to announce her pregnancy this way, we have FB friends in common, which is how I meandered over to her page (procrastinating while trying to write a Sisterhood blog post).
B’sha’ah tova, Rebecca — congratulations on the upcoming birth of your baby. I hope that all goes well for you and the baby. You write that the pregnancy is leading your husband to connect with his Jewish roots in new ways. Becoming a parent can do that to you. If you want to read more about it, I recommend Chana Weisberg’s book “Expecting Miracles: Finding Meaning and Spirituality in Pregnancy Through Judaism” (Urim Publications 2004).
Having been pregnant four times and as a mother of three, thank God, healthy children, I have to disagree with your assessment of Jewish customs around pregnancy: the practices of waiting until at least after the first trimester to make it public, of not sharing the names you may have picked out, of not preparing a baby’s room until the birth, and not having a shower beforehand.