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TOPIC: maternity


Colonialism Of Childbirth: How Racism Slammed Into My Surrogacy Experience

In Mexico, it's common to hear the term "improving the race" when a darker skinned person dates someone who is white. The author came directly in contact with these prejudices — and Spain's discrimination of people from its former colonies — when she went through surrogacy.

On my 26th birthday, my black, lesbian artist friend Kara Lynch gave me Angela Davis' autobiography. Together with Lynch and several artists and writers from the borderlands of Tijuana and the United States, we formed the first openly feminist collective in Baja California, Mexico, in 2002 — the Interdisiplinario la Línea. We wanted to make visible the work of great undiscovered Mexican writers and artists.

When she handed me the book, I remember Lynch telling me that it was an indispensable text “for us, as women of color”. At first, I didn't understand if her "we" was really for me.

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Watch: OneShot - 10 Years Ago, Breastfeeding In Afghanistan

The pure beauty of Siamoy breastfeeding her month-old baby Hokim, in this image taken exactly 10 years ago, powerfully contrasts with a grim reality on the ground. NOOR photographer Alixandra Fazzina had traveled to the remote Afghan province of Badakshan because it had the highest rate of maternal mortality in the world. Capturing this angelic scene shone a light on the dire need to care for mothers and children around the world.

Fazzina told The Guardian: "I took about 10 frames of Siamoy. People say this image looks religious, kind of iconic, like a Madonna and child, but I've never seen that. I think it's something more simple: there is a beauty to Siamoy, a power and serenity showing something dignified about motherhood."

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Why Egyptian Women Don’t Breastfeed: Bad Maternity Leave, Public Shame

CAIRO — Wessam Said, 28, would have liked to breastfeed her child, but something was holding her back that had nothing to do with health or social norms: as the family's main breadwinner, she was simply working too much. "What could I do, our conditions are dire," she said.

It's medically advised around the world that newborns are breastfed until they are at least six months old. But in Egypt, only 40% of newborns are exclusively breastfed until the recommended age, according to the health ministry's Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) of Egypt in 2014 released last year.

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The Risks Of Chinese 'Birth Tourism' In North America

An entire industry has been built to exploit Chinese couples desperate desire for their children to obtain U.S. or Canadian passports. But because the process requires both operators and clients to distort the truth, homeland security has launched a crack

BEIJING — Swarms of federal homeland security agents from California's Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties recently raided 37 maternity care centers, known in Chinese as "month-sitting centers." The establishments in question recruit and serve Chinese clients trying to find a way for their babies to be born in North America so they can obtain citizenship.

To understand why these operations are being targeted, some background is in order. Although these centers claim to serve locals, their true target clients are couples from China, where it is believed that women should be confined to the house for a month of rest and recuperation after a delivery.

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Olga Apelenova

The Disturbing Reason Russia Has More Orphans

Russian doctors often push mothers to abandon disabled newborns to the state. The result is growing numbers of orphans, two years after Russia imposed a ban on American adoptions.

MOSCOW — Russia's orphanage system is growing by about 6,000 newborns every year because of the rising number of parents who "refuse" their children in the maternity ward, typically because of disabilities.

"When my baby was born, I heard, "Look what you gave birth to,"" recalled one mother, Svetlana Doronina. "Those were the first words the doctor said. The doctor said I had given birth to a vegetable, that he would never walk or talk and that spending money on him was useless. We were not sent to Moscow for evaluation. And in order to get the free medicine I was entitled to, I had to write two articles in the local newspaper."

Doronina, from Volgograd Oblast in western Russia, was recorded on video and shown recently in a meeting of the Guardianship Council, overseen by Vice Premier Olga Golodets. And this isn't an experience she had in the 1990s: Her son was born in 2013. He suffers from hydrocephalus — a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain — as well as other related diseases, but the child has a chance because his mother didn't abandon him.

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