Our Bodies, Our Blog

Political Diagnosis: The Week in Women’s Health

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Each week, Our Bodies, Our Blog will take a look at what’s happening in Washington and in the new Obama administration related to women’s health and well-being. This first week included major highs and lows:

President Obama signed his first piece of legislation today — the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It was expected, but still quite momentous. Watch the video of the signing:

The bill drew large support from Democrats; Republicans, not so much. See how your representative and your … Read

Two New Studies Suggest That Maternity Leave Benefits Health of Moms and Babies

By Rachel Walden |

It’s no secret that the United States has parental leave policies that are far less generous than most other nations, standing almost alone in offering no paid leave during or after a pregnancy.

Two new studies of maternity leave suggest reduced odds of a c-section and higher rates of breastfeeding when women take leave before and after birth. From the Juggling Work and Life During Pregnancy study of maternity leave and pregnancy outcomes, pregnant adult women from three counties in Southern California were interviewed … Read

Twitter With Our Bodies, Ourselves

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Yes, My has finally joined Twitter. Or, read precisely, Judy Norsigian, My co-founder and executive director, has joined Twitter. You can find her at http://.com/judyobos.

What does that mean for you? Well, if you’re already on Twitter, follow Judy for news updates as well as her take on health studies, media, live reports from conferences and events — anything on women’s health that she feels is worth sharing.

If you’re not on Twitter, you might want to give it a try. What … Read

Breastfeeding and Feminism Symposium: Registration and Call for Abstracts

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

This just in

4th Breastfeeding & Feminism Symposium: From Birthplace to Workplace

Thursday and Friday, March 26 – 27, 2009

We are now accepting abstracts for poster presentations that describe research, programs or policies that address our theme. From Birthplace To Workplace will build on the following principles addressed at previous symposia:

  • Breastfeeding is public health imperative and an important aspect of reproductive health, as well as a reproductive right and a social and biological process;
  • Women must have the right of self-determination to breastfeed freely and … Read

I Choose My Choice! Cosmetic Surgery and Roe v. Wade

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

OBOB readers may have heard about nonsociety.com, a site developed by internet celebrity Julia Allison and friends (if you haven’t, you’re doing just fine — really). I normally wouldn’t point to it, but Mary Rambin’s post — titled “My Body, My Botox” — deserves mention, if only to note that this is what passes for reasoning when it comes to cosmetic surgery. Fortunately, Amelia at The Frisky pretty much has the outrage covered.

On the subject of acceptance, Mary, who admits to starting Botox … Read

How Contraceptives Factored into the Economic Stimulus Plan

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

One of the contentious points in President Obama’s $825 billion stimulus plan has been the $200 million allocated for expanding birth control coverage under Medicaid.

“How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives?” Republican Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio said on Friday. “How does that stimulate the economy?”

Alas, Obama today headed to Capitol Hill to try to build bipartisan support for the stimulus plan, after requesting Democrats cut the provision to expand family planning for low-income people.

Whether this concession will be enough for Republicans … Read

New Study Questions Connection Between Rise in C-Sections and Rise in Health Complications for Mothers

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

As the rate of caesarean sections has risen — to read than 31 percent of all births as of 2006, up from 21 percent a decade earlier — researchers have begun to look read closely at what read surgical births means for the health of mothers and infants.

A study we discussed earlier this month found that early, elective caesarean surgeries scheduled before 39 weeks of pregnancy can be harmful to a baby’s health.

And now a new study published in the February … Read

Expanding the Female Condom Market

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Guest post by Audacia Ray, International Women’s Health Coalition


Demand for newer and better devices that protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections is constant — partly due to the fact that the process of development, testing and approval takes forever, and partly because what’s on the market often leaves something to be desired.

The polyurethane female condom (FC) has been available for 15 years now, and it’s gotten a lot of mixed reviews. It is the only barrier method available that is designed for female initiation, … Read

Kay Yow, 1942-2009

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Almost two years ago we pointed to a story about Kay Yow, the Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach at North Carolina State, who continued to coach as she received treatment for Stage 4 breast cancer.

Yow died today in Cary, N.C. She was 66. Read The New York Times obituary of this truly amazing woman and one of the greatest coaches in women’s basketball history.

Commodifying the First Daughters

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The first daughters have hit the market.

For just $9.99, you can own your own set of “Sweet Sasha” and “Marvelous Malia” dolls.

“They’re such adorable girls,” Ty Inc. spokeswoman Tania Lundeen said Wednesday of the Obama sisters — Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10. “How can we resist?”

But by the end of the week, Ty Inc. — the company that created Beanie Babies — announced the names were chosen because “they are beautiful names,” not because they resemble the first daughters.

Whatever. Sadly, … Read