This month, as many of my colleagues around the world celebrate motherhood, I work towards a future where all the mothers in my community have access to safe and healthy pregnancies -- a future free of the cries that once filled the homes of my neighbors.
The mothers who have walked this road before me tell me that new babies find more curves of your body to snuggle into, everyone fitting perfectly, nestled together like a set of measuring spoons that were always meant to accompany each other. I suppose that it must be true. But what if it isn't?
"We want pregnant and breastfeeding women to have good information and to know that they are not alone and they don't have to sacrifice their wellbeing for their baby's health. We want to help them make good decisions with their health care providers."
As I watched my sons being born, I knew our generation must be a generation to take on the responsibility of fatherhood. We need to care about women giving birth to the next generation. We need to be involved with our children from the moment they take their first breath.
In the months since the Sandy Hook massacre, a new and unwelcome kind of moment has entered my life. A moment when the absolute joy I feel watching my son giggle or sing or run happily across the playground abruptly shifts to a deep sorrow and an aching fear.
Yesterday, as I was having my first-ever body scrub at a Korean Spa -- a service that is described as "not for any woman who is shy about her body" -- it struck me how having kids has expunged every bit of modesty impressed upon me by my upbringing.
Poor Nathanael Johnson. He made a huge error in his new book. Didn't anyone tell him that the way to sell books these days is to skim over the research, tap into the juicy bits that match your preconceived notions and then offer the reader an easy yet extreme solution?
I am glad that Johnson renewed the much-needed attention to the dangers of childbirth. But I hope that his piece does not reignite the overly-simplistic midwife vs. doctor debate. What we need is a healthy dialogue between these two groups of experts.
Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives recounts the history of the natural birth movement in the United States. It is the story of a revolution, initiated in the least likely place imaginable.
Last year, I went to Sierra Leone on a trip with the State Department and stumbled into a problem that eats away at all the happiness of the last few weeks. I learned that in Sierra Leone, one in eight women die in childbirth.