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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Forever Pregnant

posted by bitchphd
Holee Mother of god, pray for us.
New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves -- and to be treated by the health care system -- as pre-pregnant . . .
The idea of preconception care has been discussed for nearly 20 years, experts said, but it has drawn more attention recently. Progress toward further reducing the rate of unhealthy pregnancy results, including premature birth, low birthweight and infant mortality, has slowed in the United States since 1996 "in part because of inconsistent delivery and implementation of interventions before pregnancy to detect, treat and help women modify behaviors, health conditions and risk factors that contribute to adverse maternal and infant outcomes," according to the report.

Nearly 28,000 U.S. infants died in 2003, according to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The infant mortality rate increased in 2002 for the first time in more than 40 years to seven deaths per 1,000 live births, but it did not change significantly in 2003. Birth defects, low birthweight and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) were the leading causes of infant death in 2003, according to NCHS.
Yes. "Healthier women have healthier pregnancies." But healthier women are also healthier. Not that we give a shit about women's health. How many women died in 2003 from inadequate health care?

Who gives a rat's ass?

God this pisses me off so fucking much.

For the record: I got pregnant in my mid-30s. I didn't know I was pregnant for two months, during which time I went out drinking with my girlfriends every Friday night. I did not take folic acid or any kind of vitamins at all. I smoked. After I found out I was pregnant, I shopped around until I found an ob/gyn who would tell me what the actual risks of drinking, etc., were, as opposed to saying simply "well, you shouldn't." Informed with actual knowledge of the risks (really quite minimal--FAS happens, basically, if you drink daily and/or binge drink weekly), I had a glass of wine or a beer when I felt like it throughout the pregnancy. I also ate sushi, almost daily in the last few months (no such thing as too much protein, apparently). I dyed my hair. (Did you know there's no evidence that dying your hair can harm a fetus? No, neither did I, givevn the way people tell you not to do it. But apparently, there is no evidence for that. Women who work in salons wear gloves if they're pregnant, but their exposure is way, way higher than yours is if you dye your hair once a month, obviously.)

I did quit smoking, although since PK weighed over 10 pounds, I told the nurse who helped wheel me into the operating room that obviously that had been a mistake (she was snippy about it and had no sense of humor, which I thought was quite lame of her, considering that I was the one going in for a C-section and I could still appreciate a joke).

Have you ever noticed, by the way, the health warnings on the sides of beer bottles and on the walls in bars? Drinking "may impair your ability" to drive--here you go (implied) man, here is some information with which you can make a responsible decision. In contrast, pregnant women "should not drink." That's right, little lady, we're just gonna tell you what to do, even though the risks of FAS are less than the risks of drinking and driving. Hell, maybe because the risks of FAS are less than the risks of drinking and driving--after all, if we admitted that, we'd have to admit we don't have a lot of grounds for bossing you around.

Dear god almighty. The federal government thinks all "females"--that's what we are, ladies, biological specimens, not people. Not women. All females who are "capable of conceiving a baby"--not becoming pregnant, "conceiving a baby"--are to treat themselves, and be treated, as "pre-pregnant." The federal government. From pubescence through menopause. Throughout highschool, college, and most of one's career.

My 50s can't come soon enough.

Update: Since this post is getting linked, please see the update as well.
I support Health Care for America Now

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