Our Bodies, Our Blog

Edwina Froehlich, La Leche Co-Founder, Dies at 93

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Edwina Froehlich, who helped found La Leche League to support breast-feeding, died earlier this month at the age of 93.

The organization was founded in the 1950s, when Froehlich and six other women met in Franklin Park, Ill., to share information on how to successfully breastfeed their babies.

“In those days you didn’t mention ‘breast’ in print,” Froehlich once said. “We knew that if we were ever going to get anything in the paper we would have to find a name that wouldn’t … Read

CDC Releases New Report on Hospitals’ Support for Breastfeeding

By Rachel Walden |

The CDC has released a new summary of findings with regards to how well U.S. hospitals and birth centers meet Healthy People 2010 goals for supporting breastfeeding.

First, a little background. Healthy People 2010 is a series of health improvement objectives for the nation, with goals of increasing life expectancy, improving quality of life, and eliminating health disparities. Specific targets to reach by 2010 have been established in areas such as tobacco use, maternal health, nutrition, oral health, overweight, mental health, injury … Read

Double Dose: Life Expectancy Hits Record High; Motherhood, the Elephant in the Laboratory; Politics, Media and “Baby Mamas”; Strawberry Shortcake’s Slimming Makeover; John McCain’s Record on Women’s Health …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Life Expectancy Hits Record High: “Americans’ life expectancy reached a record high of 78.1 years in 2006, with disparities among ethnic groups and between the sexes generally narrowing, according to government data,” reports the Washington Post.

The overall U.S. life expectancy of 78.1 years was up 0.3 years from 2005. Life expectancy for women was 80.7 years, and for men, 75.4 years. The disparity between the sexes — 5.3 years — has been declining since it peaked at about eight years in 1979.

White women … Read

See a Great Film and Support My Too!

By Kiki Zeldes |

While struggling to understand her own life and issues, filmmaker Jennifer Fox traveled around the world to see how other women defined and understood their lives.

The result is Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman, a nearly 6-hour documentary that provides an intimate look into the lives of women from many countries, from South Africa to Russia to India to Pakistan.

The film is currently available on DVD, and now (for a limited time only!), if you buy a copy through Read

What You Need to Know About the Cost of Mammograms

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Last month, Vermont directed health insurance companies to cap the out-of-pocket cost of a mammogram, setting the limit at $25.

“Studies suggest cost is a factor in whether women seek and receive mammography services,” Vermont Gov. James Douglas said. “This law is to encourage every woman to get regular mammograms.”

While Vermont’s new law is a step in the right direction, universal, affordable access is still a far-off goal .

OBOB recently looked at the risks and benefits of routine mammograms for premenopausal women in … Read

New Study of Episiotomy and Tearing in Future Births

By Rachel Walden |

A study in the June 2008 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology examines what happened when women who had an episiotomy during their first birth went on to have a second vaginal delivery. The researchers were interested in whether women who had an episiotomy were read or less likely to tear during subsequent deliveries.

Records were reviewed for 6,052 women who had their first and second deliveries at a Pittsburgh women’s hospital from 1995-2005 (excluding those who had another episiotomy at the second delivery).

The … Read

Constructing the First Lady: Ida McKinley and “Fragile Beauty”

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Press speculation is now underway about the type of first lady Michelle Obama might be (comparisons to Barbara Bush? Please).

Writing at Disability Studies, Penny L. Richards, a research scholar at the UCLA Center for the Study of Women, acknowledges that she’s usually not interested in discussing the role of the first lady, but she offers an informative analysis of how the physical disabilities of First Lady Ida McKinley helped shaped the press coverage of her husband’s presidency.

Throughout her adulthood, … Read

Physicians Fail to Disclose Drug Industry Payments

By Rachel Walden |

Yesterday’s New York Times included the piece, Researchers Fail to Reveal Full Drug Pay, which explained that renowned Harvard child psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Biederman had failed to report money accepted from the makers of antipsychotic drugs.

The National Institutes of Health, which is the major U.S. funder of medical research, requires researchers to disclose of earnings over $10,000 per year to their universities, such as when they receive payments from the makers of drugs they are studying. Senator Charles Grassley has been investigating the … Read

Double Dose: Disparities in Health Care; Legal Ramifications of Same-Sex Marriage; On Becoming a Woman; Abstinence-Only Supporters Push On; Sexually Harassed? Raise Your Hand

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Wide Disparities in Health Care by Race and Region: “Race and place of residence can have a staggering impact on the course and quality of the medical treatment a patient receives, according to new research showing that blacks with diabetes or vascular disease are nearly five times read likely than whites to have a leg amputated and that women in Mississippi are far less likely to have mammograms than those in Maine,” reports The New York Times.

The study was conducted by researchers at … Read

In Translation: Adapting and Translating “Our Bodies, Ourselves”

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

It’s thrilling any time Myhags receives a positive mention. But we admit to total giddiness over the beginning of Linda Gordon’s article in The Nation:

“The progressive social movements of the last half-century produced millions of pages of print, from manifestos to journalism to novels, but nothing as influential as Our Bodies, Ourselves. The feminist women’s health manual is the American left’s most valuable written contribution to the world. This claim is meant to be provocative, of course, but it’s true. The … Read