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My stories are ones of hope. We are not the first to experience dark times, but hopefully we are the last, and our reaction to all of this is what we will be remembered for. Melba is a mother and psychiatrist who works with refugee women in New York. Her mothering and support is steeped in her belief of the Christ within and finding assurance inside the self.

Touchstones

So we and this community are sharing stories with [my son] about the Christ within. The inherent ability of everyone to nurture their light within. Every service includes singing a Caribbean version of "Now their is peace on earth and it has begun with me. Now there is peace on the earth, that peace that was meant to be. Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony. Now there is peace on earth, let this be the moment now or something like that , with every step I take let this be my solemn vow, to live each moment, and give each moment in peace eternally, Now there is peace on earth, and it has begun with me The love of God enfolds us, the power of God protects us, the Presence of God watches over us.

Duduzile S. Dudu is a mother and singer from Zimbabwe. It was interesting to interview her because her concerns are so different than the ones of moms in America. She is worried about the economic crisis in her country. The dollar has just been replaced with bank notes and she says the outcome has been almost unspeakable. She talked about the proverbs she was told as a child and inspired me to create a fairytale based on proverbs that I remembered. The economic situation is very bad but we try to do the very best we can for them. They have to know how to live without having money.

My daughter, she must know that money is not everything. If she wants something she has to work for it. My husband is a poet and I am a musician so I can create things.

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We try to tell them stories to tell them to take heed of In a way they get it. We learn from proverbs in our language. Goussy is a mother of two, a dancer, musician and folklorist. Her goal is to steep her boys in love. I have known Goussy for many years and was surprised at her sharing because she is one of the most loving people that I have ever met. That she parents and lives the way she does inspired the story song Hallelujah.

What keeps ringing in my mind is love. I think that when someone truly feels love, has self love and can give love, it is hard for them to believe false stories about themselves. It is harder to erode the self confidence of someone who truly feels loved, valued, honored and respected no matter what the world may try to project upon them. So with that in mind, every day, and I mean literally every day, I tell my boys that I love them.

I hug them. And to me this is helping to build their inner confidence and security which will feed their narrative: they are unconditionally loved. I think this is powerful because not every child has this. That saying about sticks, stones, words Saying I love you everyday is a great exercise: for me, I am receiving love as I say it. Side note: as a teenager when I clashed with my mom, she was quick to insult me and actually yell in a fit of rage during an argument, "I hate you! It stung both of us.

And while it was not at all true that we hated one another and more true that we were experiencing a difficult time with my growing independence as an adolescent, it really struck me how that could flow out of our mouths much easier than an "I love you. Now, let me be clear: I know for a fact they did and do love me. But there is power in using that word, exercising it on a daily basis. Even saying it to ourselves is useful.

How often do people say " love you" to themselves? What does it mean to truly love yourself, flaws and all, unconditionally? How much easier is it for us to be self critical than to to be self loving? So, back to stories I want my boys to know the stories of their family lineage, ties, their journey here.

Love is in the center of all that and I want them to be strong, emotionally intelligent socially conscious beings who know they are loved and therefore maintain their huge capacity for love without any fear, stigma or bravado in expressing it. So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, "Why have you done this, and allowed the boys to live? Sometimes it holds the bounced resonance of rushed goodbye, of drum beats rapid on concretes unseen, of hollow monologues slipping from cellphones like a borrowed joy unimaginable.

And sometimes it shoulders the whip lashed trails of laughter at dusk, of morning breakfast dishes on suburban sidewalks, of poignant points hanging from moving car windows like an outlived war. In the left behind stillness live the gurus that glue together the sound fragments, hanging them on the strings of our own imaginations that make up the stories that feed and satisfy starve stuff meaning into mused minds hungry.

Tale 1: The children The Butterfly and the Elephant Once upon a time when women were giants, and treetops were chapels, and oceans were tameā€¦ Long before drum calls and messenger birds, and horses with wings as their claim to fame It was butterfly who sent the message and butterfly who spread the word Butterfly who kept the story from the profound to the absurd. Now, this job suited her well because of her bright and solid color.

And of course, her piercing cry that could reach like none other AieeeeeeyahAY! She sang. And all hearts perked up when they heard that melodic cry and all voices responded to make sure butterfly came by AieeeeeeyahAY! Hey Oh Butterfly cried Heaven will water the earth before the sun drops down When crocodile was love sick and underneath the blues yes, butterfly was the first to spread that woefull news AieeeeeeyahAY! Hey Oh As seasons turned and suns went by with moons and years to follow butterfly craved excitement, she thought her stories were hollow and empty of words that stirred or news that brought some titillation So Butterfly added more spice and her vast imagination.

Hey Oh Next time bear awoke from her long and peaceful slumberings With a growling yawn, a joyful roar and a belly full of rumblings AieeeeeeyahAY! You better hide, her belly rumble is real Take care, take cover and watch out or be her inaugural meal! Now bear was confused and peeved by this covert accusation She just wanted a hug from friends and to dine on spring vegetation AieeeeeeyahAY! Hey Oh AieeeeeeyahAY! Hey OH Through all the hooplah of running and packing and mourning the lands they were leaving Butterfly watched from the treetops, laughing so hard she was heaving AieeeeeeyahAY!

This news caused quite a fuss. Hey OH it was elephant who saw them frolicking at the pool and quickly realized that Butterfly was playing them all for the fool AieeeeeeyahAY! How dare you abuse your gift! Her cheekbones jabbed when she spoke and grew wings when she smiled. She lingered in doorways. Possessed corners. Young legs on leathered feet. Folks called her Mothah. Never sure if it was a languid-tongued kin to Martha, or a name from distant lands or if there were children alive or imagined or a title of respect.

It was Mothah, said with scant breath and a quickened belly. Always Mothah, talk-sung with an almost imperceptible lingering and reverence Locked safe within her being and unique as the ears that heard them. Her words breathed and demanded a heart beat anew. Mothah came from a time when folks like herself were seen and beheld for their lore, their tales, their words leading folks down twisted paths and narrow landings that opened up to meadows of morning- hued green. Her stories walked and quaked and rolled forth with a rocking, slow, as if something invisible was guiding her along, forcing a low gravely hum from her throat like a river ending.

But she burned a bit brighter for the children, their eyes crystals that showed tomorrow. Together they were rainbows reflecting rainbows dancing in the image of each other. Time, being what it is, brought change with its seasons and heavy grind. Wind and hot suns faded memories of Mothah like a beloved but forgotten picture. Her words still flowed free, but whispers of story-magic had found its way to the mouths of those who craved the power it gave. All fancy feet and intricate spins.

It was easy to draw them in, ripe as they were for story, to these new tales all silk and melody. Somehow they still grew underneath the myth. Chewing the jive to harden their teeth. He was a mirror to her, everything. His words were intoxicating in their lure, granting a force that made people feel powerful like surviving a near death experience makes one grateful. Words that demanded sharp inhales held delicately, unconsciously, until their finish came crashing expelling air immediately sucked and pocketed.

And she almost hated them, her own people, strung out as they were, hollowed and stuffed with greasy words and hyped from stories they now held as true. That they moved with them, with him, were nourished by a beat beyond her grasp left her silent, a spectator of their blighted brilliance. Still moving like she carried oceans, her pacing revolved around their sons. Her feet moved in the opposite direction as if to reverse time. She spit stories. The words felt in vibrations and in flight like sparks, catching and igniting where they lay.

Easily doused but sometimes spreading like feral fire. He found her when the earth was quiet and cool. Observing her wind and story from afar. Becoming the wind that moved her waters, the cool to her flame, he met Mothah like he met her people. Pouring himself into the cast of her want with tales of gold winged moons and laughing rivers and children dancing with everlasting and worlds and words so lush she wanted to make them her own.

Caught by the fingertip of a phrase, she softened to him, bowing her head to hear her heart. And with neck exposed, his story kissed her in the soft places between bone and flesh, whispering for her to melt into him, pulling her close with pictures of power that hid the futures she so fiercely tended. His song was honey and heady with strength and bold with its intimate ask.

Her quiet, an assumption of acquiesce to telling them stories bendable and so liquid she could dance the world into black ice storms at his whimsy. Leaving them obsolete. He left her there, in a cloud of sureness, unaware of the rhyme and lore that pulsed her words. Unmoved by the stitchings of story and history and empty and true behind her eyes or the breath that began her beginnings. Or her name. Mothah, one who walks with the people. And with her steps they are renewed, and nations will be reborn.

And wearing her truth, she painted her face with his words and returned to her people. Using his mythology because that was the only thing they could hear, but rearranging the story, mixing earth with the nectarous decay, believing that it would overcome the empty. Adding pauses and wind and shards and open sky and future and dreams and redemption and release and hunger and water.

And breath. She let them live. He found her again when the earth was soft with spring. The rise and fall of his chest speaking the words he left behind. And she thought of their dawning, the lives lived, stories reborn, seasons traveled, and answered simply, they are more dynamic than you imagined. And once more their eyes met. Lava and ice rooting them to a moment of sovereign past and present desire.

His steps were measured and heavy as he left knowing he would find her again. Hildingsson I, Thomas J. Perinatal outcomes and satisfaction with care in women with high body mass index. J Midwifery Womens Health. How effectively do midwives manage the care of obese pregnant women? A cross-sectional survey of Australian midwives. Women Birth. Weight gain in pregnancy: a survey of current practices in a teaching hospital. Institute of Medicine. Weight gain during pregnancy: reexamining the guidelines.

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National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian dietary guidelines. Management of obesity in pregnancy. Obesity and health-related quality of life: results from a weight loss trial. Brewis AA. Stigma and the perpetuation of obesity. Soc Sci Med. Prior family planning experiences of obese women seeking abortion care.

The influence of body mass index on the perceived quality of life during pregnancy. Appl Res Qual Life. Qualitative research methods: when to use them and how to judge them.

Hum Reprod. Cohen D, Crabtree B. Qualitative research guidelines project. July East C. In: Holton DS, editor. Women giving birth at the Monash Medical Centre; Sample size in qualitative interview studies: guided by information power. Qual Health Res.

World Health Organization. Physical status: the use and interpretation of anthropometry. Report of a WHO expert committee. Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual Res Psychol. Foster CE, Hirst J. Br J Midwifery. How do women feel about being weighed during pregnancy? A qualitative exploration of the opinions and experiences of postnatal women. Maternal obesity support services: a qualitative study of the perspectives of women and midwives. Preventing excessive weight gain in pregnancy: how do prenatal care providers approach counseling? The views and attitudes of health professionals providing antenatal care to women with a high BMI: a qualitative research study.

Women and Birth. Three Centres Collaboration. Routine weighing at antenatal visits.

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National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. NICE public health guidance dietary interventions and physical activity interventions for weight management before, during and after pregnancy. London: NICE; Lived experiences of routine antenatal dietetic services among women with obesity: a qualitative phenomenological study. Confronting and coping with weight stigma: an investigation of overweight and obese adults.

Influences on the food choices and physical activity behaviours of overweight and obese pregnant women: a qualitative study. Clinical management of pregnancy in the obese mother: before conception, during pregnancy, and post partum. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. Interventions to prevent maternal obesity before conception, during pregnancy, and post partum. Using Facebook and text messaging to deliver a weight loss program to college students. Canberra: AIHW; Contract No. PER Download references. The authors are most grateful to the women and midwives who participated in the interviews, and to Monash Health for allowing access to its Maternity Services.

All authors contributed to the study design. SH contributed to participant recruitment and interviews, data analysis, interpretation of results, manuscript write-up and management of the study. CE and JF contributed to manuscript write-up and revisions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Correspondence to Sara Holton. Participation in the study was voluntary. Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Reprints and Permissions. Search all BMC articles Search. Abstract Background Obesity during pregnancy is a serious health problem for women and their children. Methods A qualitative study.

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Results A total of 17 women and 2 midwives were interviewed. Conclusions The findings suggest that women with high BMI would benefit from additional information and support about weight management prior to conception, during pregnancy, and postnatally. Open Peer Review reports.


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Background In Australia, it is estimated that almost two-thirds Methods Study design Qualitative methods are used to answer questions about experience, meaning and perspective, most often from the standpoint of the participant [ 18 ]. Data management and analysis Group 1 participants were invited to choose a pseudonym.

Results Interviews were conducted with 17 women and two midwives. Discussion Being overweight or obese has become more common in countries such as Australia, and the proportion of pregnant women with a high BMI is increasing. Strengths and limitations This was a small study that recruited participants exclusively from one large teaching hospital located in a metropolitan area.

Implications for health policy and practice Effective weight management strategies are required in order to reduce the likelihood of maternal and foetal complications, and reduce the risk of future maternal obesity. Future research There is a lack of research on weight management in women before pregnancy or between pregnancies [ 38 , 39 ]. Conclusion As obesity in pregnancy has significant health implications for mothers and their babies, it is important that women receive appropriate and effective pregnancy care.

References 1. Google Scholar 2. Article PubMed Google Scholar 6. Article PubMed Google Scholar 7. Article PubMed Google Scholar 8. Article PubMed Google Scholar 9. Google Scholar PubMed Google Scholar Article PubMed Google Scholar Subscribe to Midwifery Today Magazine. One predominant problem with planned hospital birth stems from the requirement of collusion among hospital workers. Hospitals are living organisms whose drive for self-preservation takes precedence over the goals and needs of the patient. Each individual worker and patient enters with needs and hungers of their own. Ensuring the survival of the hospital takes precedence over the individual needs of a patient.

Those in positions of power within hospitals often display intimidating behavior, which is often difficult to challenge, especially for a patient. Authority almost by definition is accompanied by intimidating behavior. The following stories are examples of collusion and negligence within hospitals. I heard no other doctor or midwife use this term for epidurals when offering them, so I am assuming that at least some are not in agreement with her use of the word, yet no one stood up to correct her.

Hospitals are set up in such a way that midwives must pretend collusion with the other midwives and not with the women in labor. Story 2: A midwife in charge of the previous shift was giving report. She mentioned that her own patient was fully dilated and pushing.

She had a minute chat with another midwife about a pair of shoes she had bought in the mall that week, before she and the midwife assigned to the woman for the next shift went back to the pushing patient. Not a single staff member pointed out to her the danger of leaving alone a woman who was pushing. Story 3: A woman who had received an epidural had a sudden drop in blood pressure, which often accompanies epidural administration.

A nurse had prepared a bag of IV fluids with Pitocin for use after the birth. When her blood pressure dropped, the anesthesiologist connected the bag of fluids with the Pitocin, not noticing the label and thinking it was plain fluid. The staff colluded to not tell the woman the reason for her hysterectomy. Instead, she was given the impression that the hospital saved her life.