It's Official! Women are Just Incubators and Future Incubators!

Discussion in 'Women's Issues' started by cynical_otter, May 24, 2006.

  1. Forever Pregnant
    Guidelines: Treat Nearly All Women as Pre-Pregnant

    By January W. Payne
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, May 16, 2006; Page HE01

    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, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon.

    Among other things, this means all women between first menstrual period and menopause should take folic acid supplements, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and keep chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes under control.

    While most of these recommendations are well known to women who are pregnant or seeking to get pregnant, experts say it's important that women follow this advice throughout their reproductive lives, because about half of pregnancies are unplanned and so much damage can be done to a fetus between conception and the time the pregnancy is confirmed.

    The recommendations aim to "increase public awareness of the importance of preconception health" and emphasize the "importance of managing risk factors prior to pregnancy," said Samuel Posner, co-author of the guidelines and associate director for science in the division of reproductive health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which issued the report.

    Other groups involved include the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the March of Dimes, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention's Division of Reproductive Health and the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

    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.

    The U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than those of most other industrialized nations -- it's three times that of Japan and 2.5 times those of Norway, Finland and Iceland, according to a report released last week by Save the Children, an advocacy group.

    Preconception care should be delivered by any doctor a patient sees -- from her primary care physician to her gynecologist. It involves developing a "reproductive health plan" that details if and when children are planned, said Janis Biermann, a report co-author and vice president for education and health promotion at the March of Dimes.

    "The recommendations say we need to be opportunistic," or deliver care and counseling when opportunities arise, said Merry-K. Moos, a professor in the University of North Carolina's maternal fetal medicine division who sat on the CDC advisory panel. "Healthier women have healthier pregnancies."

    Women should also make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date and avoid contact with lead-based paints and cat feces, Biermann said.

    The report recommends that women stop smoking and discuss with their doctor the danger alcohol poses to a developing fetus.

    Research shows that "during the first few weeks (before 52 days' gestation) of pregnancy" -- during which a woman may not yet realize she's pregnant -- "exposure to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; lack of essential vitamins (e.g., folic acid); and workplace hazards can adversely affect fetal development and result in pregnancy complications and poor outcomes for both the mother and the infant," the report states.

    The CDC report also discusses disparities in care, noting that approximately 17 million women lack health insurance and are likely to postpone or forgo care. These disparities are more prominent among minority groups and those of lower socioeconomic status, the report states.

    The NCHS data also reflect these disparities. Babies born to black mothers, for example, had the highest rate of infant death -- 13.5 per 1,000 live births. Infants born to white women had a death rate of 5.7 per 1,000.

    Obstacles to preconception care include getting insurance companies to pay for visits and putting the concept into regular use by doctors and patients. Experts acknowledge that women with no plans to get pregnant in the near future may resist preconception care.

    "We know that women -- unless you're actively planning [a pregnancy], . . . she doesn't want to talk about it," Biermann said. So clinicians must find a "way to do this and not scare women," by promoting preconception care as part of standard women's health care, she said.

    Some medical facilities have already found a way to weave preconception care in with regular visits. At Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y., a form that's filled out when checking a patient's height, weight and blood pressure prompts nurses to ask women, "Do you smoke, and do you plan to become pregnant in the next year? And if not, what birth control are you using?"

    "It's a simple way of getting primary care providers to think about preconception care," said Peter Bernstein, a maternal fetal medicine specialist who sat on the advisory committee that helped produce the report. "It's simple and [it] costs nothing." ยท
  2. Sage-Phoenix

    Sage-Phoenix Imagine

    Ugh I read about that somewhere else, so absurd.
    The advice probably makes sense in the grand scheme of things (because yeah smoking and not eating healthily aren't great for anyone) but do baulk at the implications; that womyn do not have a right to make those choices for themselves, or indeed chose to never have children.

    If all that stuff was really so vital/dangerous shouldn't think many of us would be here now. That mortality rate is still a damn sight lower than many other countries.

    As an aside; someone on livejournal said that the childfree by choice should declare themselves 'pre-pregnant' with future terrorists, so they are protecting the country by not breeding.
  3. sugrmag

    sugrmag Uber Nerd

    I can hear it now- "Quit (insert harmful thing here). You could be hurting your future preconceived baby!!"

  4. Megara

    Megara Banned

    they're guidelines. The government issues guidelines on everything from travel to healthy eating. They are meant to inform people based on information they have. This isnt anti is merely information to inform citizens.

    Surely information is not a bad thing, right? We always talk about education and information being a good thing...but apparently thats not always the case....
  5. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    (Article causes Maggie to rend her garment and gnash her teeth)

    Uh, are they also advising men not to EVER use alcohol, not to EVER smoke, not to take certain drugs, and to only have ONE partner in life to avoid STDs, because of THEIR "unconceived" children? Until that day, I am gnashing and rending.

    This has more to do with INTERVENTIONIST birth practices, not enforcing bed rest for preterm laboring womyn, and LABOR INDUCTION, which often results in "unexpected" prematurity, and parenting choices (like letting babies sleep all by themselves and practicing Ezzo, Hogg and Ferber "baby ignoring" than anything a womyn does during the first weeks of pregnancy.)
  6. Sage-Phoenix

    Sage-Phoenix Imagine

    Don't think that really occured to me before, but now you mention it am raging along with you.
  7. Megara

    Megara Banned

    Is there any evidence that males who smoke/drink are more likely to have kids with birth defects?

    I know there are some studies that show smoking/drinking can reduce sperm count....but i cant find anything that shows it causes birth defects.
  8. Sera Michele

    Sera Michele Senior Member

    And as potential sperm donors those men shouldn't do anything to reduce their sperm count, no? [​IMG]

    Well no shit smoking and drinking is bad for you. Women are already well aware that tobacco and alcohol are harmful to a developing baby. We are also aware that we are able to become pregnant. Until the gov't makes sure birth control and other forms of reproductive control are readily available to all women, until they teach more then just abstinence in schools, they have no right trying to suggest women need to live their lives like are in a pre-pregnant state. Instead of making an effort like this to make sure we stay nice and ripe for childbearing they need to do more to support women and the reproductive control of their bodies.
  9. Megara

    Megara Banned

    Sure, let the government inform people that smoking/drinking reduces sperm count.

    Lets, however, make a big distinction between low sperm count and the effects talked about in that article: premature birth, low birth weight, and infant mortality.

    not need...should. Big difference. Just like we SHOULD get 30 minutes of exercise a day. Does government have no business telling us that? Perhaps they shouldn't tell us that its bad to eat nothing but meat in our diets? Perhaps they shouldn't warn us against travel to say north korea? This is just information on what they believe we SHOULD do.

    Its information. Information is not a bad if they ever start telling us we *must* do this...thats another thing.
  10. Sera Michele

    Sera Michele Senior Member

    But that isn't anything we haven't kown, and certainly nothing new. The problem is that to imply that I shouldn't drink NOW because I am a female and able to carry a baby (regardless if I'm pregnant or not) is just absurd.
  11. Megara

    Megara Banned

    who is we? Surely not every woman knows drinking/smoking is bad during pregnacy. Just like every woman is not educated on the outcomes of sex...

    Ultimately, it is meant to make women more aware of the consequences of drinking/smoking/bad diety habits have on pregnancy. I dont think this is meant to shame women into giving up cigs or booze, but to educate them that they should be careful, especially if they are trying to conceive...
  12. Sera Michele

    Sera Michele Senior Member

    If a woman here in the US doesn't know drinking and smoking is bad for a pregnancy, especially a woman who is trying to get pregnant, they've been living in a cave their whole lives.
  13. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    Cigarette smoking also causes a larger than normal number of immobile (damaged) sperm. Damaged sperm can cause damaged fetuses. Any questions? Soooooo, should there be steps taken to treat all men of ALL ages (since men can impregnant at any age after puberty) like Prefathers and not allow them to Smoke? (IMO, NO, but if one thinks womyn should be treated as "prepregnant" than so should men.)
  14. hummblebee

    hummblebee hipstertist.

    When my bf saw this thread open on the screen he came up with another interesting twist of it. In my state I'm only eligible for medicaid (worthy of healthcare) if I'm pregnant. This is the case in many states. If every woman is pre-pregnant, every woman is an expecting mother. If this is the case, and complete health is necessary for all women, aren't we ALL deserving of healthcare?
  15. Jedi

    Jedi Self Banned

    You see you have something that I don't have, and half of the human race (male half) does not have this also, which is- the potential to give birth to a beautiful child, who has the capacity to be a great person in the future and do some good to the society.

    With that said, Don't YOU, the one with the potential to be a mother have the responsibility to not bring harm to your potential children? And besides what are they asking you to do?- they only want you to take care of yourself, is that so bad?

  16. icedteapriestess

    icedteapriestess linguistic freak

    So, by that same logic, you would not be at all put out when the Doctors and Experts turn it around on you. See... half of the genetic info required to make a baby comes from the man's sperm. So, if that sperm is damaged in any way, it lowers your chances of becoming a father... and your participation is just as important as ours.

    So, Jedi... i take it you've already quit smoking, drinking, drugs, partying, staying up late, wearing brief style underwear, and tight pants? And in the future, will never take precribed drugs if they might harm your dear, dear sperm?

    I mean, don't YOU, the one with the potential to be a father have the responsibilty not to bring harm to your potential children??
  17. AT98BooBoo

    AT98BooBoo Senior Member

    Notice that the industrailized countries with lower infant mortality rates have national healthcare.

    Why not make birthcontrol as readily available as tobacco and booze?
  18. Jedi

    Jedi Self Banned

    Yes, I quit/never did any smoking, drinking, drugs, partying, staying up late, I don't think brief styled underwear causes problems... especially ones designed not to cause problems, and no one wears tights or tight pants, also potential fathers should be careful if they are using a laptop, they should not put it on their lap, because it causes infertility or so I have heard.

    I urge you to also give up alcohol, smoking, drugs and all the things that harm your body so that you , the potential mother may have the power to bring someone beautiful and healthy into this world, trust me, you will be happy for doing it and you will live longer.
  19. Jedi

    Jedi Self Banned

    Thats because of the technology and because of good nutrition, knowledge and other facilities that make it possible for people to have kids that survive. In some developing countries, these things are unavailable.
    The lower infant mortality rates are not the result of the stupidity of some people who smoke, drink alcohol during pregnancy etc and cause problems for their children.
  20. icedteapriestess

    icedteapriestess linguistic freak

    the wearing of brief style underwear have been shown in numerous studies to lower a man's sperm count.

    I don't drink, smoke or do drugs... and am currently 7 months pregnant. But guess what? My pregnancy doesn't DEFINE who I am... I didn't cease being me the moment I became pregnant. I still like the music I like... I still like the books I like... now I just have a person inside of me, which is very wonderful, but doesn't negate my worth as an individual.

    I think that is the real issue... by treating women as "pre pregnant" they are negating our individuality. Its like the Handmaids Tail... all we will need are the red robes.

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