My heart goes out to this Australian couple who have just had their babies through surrogacy in Ukraine. Unfortunately, the babies have been born very prematurely and the parents are now trying to manage the care of their twins in a foreign country, negotiating in a language they don’t understand and with medical insurance that apparently hasn’t really covered their current needs. This is probably the worst possible outcome of cross-border surrogacy I could imagine. https://www.facebook.com/7NewsBrisbane/videos/264865640843154/UzpfSTEzMDczNjM3NjkzOTIyMzoyMjEzMTExOTc1MzY4MzA5/
I was quite horrified to read of a recent case in the USA where a prominent politician offered significant financial inducement to female staff to act as gestational surrogates for himself and his partner, then harassed and threatened them when they refused to agree to the arrangement. https://morningconsult.com/opinions/a-cautionary-tale-when-sexual-harassment-and-surrogacy-collide/
Australian surrogacy legislation differs from what is permitted in most American states, but what is not different is the importance of free choice in the decision to enter into a surrogacy arrangement. It is absolutely critical, for the success of the arrangement, and the welfare of all parties, including (and perhaps most significantly) the baby, that a woman does not feel coerced or pressured to act as surrogate and the power differential between the parties is well managed. There is potential for the power of either party to get out of balance in a poorly managed surrogacy, or in an arrangement where expectations have not been properly discussed.
If you are contemplating engaging in a surrogacy arrangement, make sure you have really thought about what is ok for you and undertaken comprehensive surrogacy counselling with an experienced fertility and surrogacy counsellor, so they can help make sure you are “all on the same page”.
Requesting that your employee to be your surrogate is unwise. An inherent power imbalance may result in an employee worrying that their job is at risk if they don’t comply with the request. Conflicts may also arise during the pregnancy and again place the employee’s job at risk.
If you value the blogs here, perhaps you would like to visit my Facebook pages containing even more posts and insights related to everything psychology and perinatal https://www.facebook.com/familyandfertilitysupport/
and more specifically, information related to receiving a diagnosis of abnormality during pregnancy https://www.facebook.com/Abnormal-Pregnancy-Decision-Support-Australia-1929996853937509/
So excited to be on ABC Radio “Afternoons” with Kelly Higgins Devine today. Kelly is talking about caring for carers this week, and today I was interviewed about how we can care for people who have recently experienced a pregnancy loss. My interview starts at 4:00 minutes into today’s program – here is the link if you would like to listen http://www.abc.net.au/radio/brisbane/programs/afternoons/afternoons/8837132
It’s true! Wonder Woman began in a psychology lab. You can check out the story here http://www.psychologicalscience.org/publications/observer/obsonline/wonder-womans-secret-roots-in-psychological-science.html#.WUOHd8ZL2CR
Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton Marston, graduated from Harvard Law School in 1918 before going on to pursue a PhD in psychology. He completed his PhD in 1921, producing a dissertation focused on using psychophysiology methods to detect deception. Marston worked in a research lab originally set up by William James where he was supervised by one of James’s scientific recruits, Hugo Münsterberg. The lab focused on using systolic blood pressure as way to detect lying….
Even as a student, Marston was a strong proponent of women’s rights and he decided that comic books were a useful tool for showcasing a strong female role model to girls as well as boys. “[N]ot even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, power,” he wrote in an article in The American Scholar.
After Wonder Woman’s successful debut, a press release announced that she was in fact the creation of a prestigious Harvard scientist: “ ‘Wonder Woman’ was conceived by Dr. Marston to set up a standard among children and young people of strong, free, courageous womanhood; to combat the idea that women are inferior to men, and to inspire girls to self-confidence and achievement in athletics, occupations and professions monopolized by men” because “the only hope for civilization is the greater freedom, development and equality of women in all fields of human activity.”
I know I share a lot of articles and information on this blog – because that’s the primary reason I started it. But this morning I thought it might be nice to make it a little more personal and show that (at least some of the time) I do try to practice what I preach. And on a terribly sad day, with yet another terror attack in the news, I really felt the need to get out there and engage in some mindfulness practice and also get some exercise. So here I am, after my morning coffee and an hour into a walk around my local suburb with one of my beautiful girls (this is Bella, she’s 8, my other dog was too busy playing to get into the photo). And for those of you in far away places, in Brisbane at the moment, we are in winter, and yes, even though it is 8am at the time I took the photo, it is a stunning day, about 20degrees celsius, and yes, I am just wearing a t-shirt, no jumper. I was able to sit in the park near my house and take this photo and feel safe. I have a lot to feel grateful for.
Its is beginning to feel like every time we turn on the TV, radio or social media, there is another terrible event being reported, and with the advent of 24 hour, 7day a week news services, it is a little inescapable. All of this bad news can feel terrible for adults, but for kids the effects can be even worse. The Australian Psychological Society has developed this tip sheet to help parents work out how to support their kids and open a conversation about these distressing events – maybe it will help if a little (or not so little) person you know is struggling to cope.Tips for talking to kids
Our understanding of the link between what we eat and how we feel is really not new (and I have previously posted about the food-mood link), but this article clearly describes some of the recent research findings in this area. I like these simple “rules” for eating that may assist with managing anxiety and depression symptoms. Doesn’t it make sense to make these simple changes to our lifestyles – it keeps our bodies healthy and helps us feel better in our mood also!
The golden rules
Along with their healthy recipes, Kelly and Macintosh’s work led them to devise a list of 10 rules to shape dietary behaviour and help with mental health:
- Eat mostly plants. Veggies and legumes are nutrient and fibre rich.
- Use plenty of herbs and spices. Particularly turmeric and saffron — the rules aren’t called “golden” for nothing.
- Go nuts! Kelly points to research that says nuts help with your mood. (And the play on words is irresistible.)
- Eating for your gut. That is, managing the bacterial balance in your stomach and intestines — keep that second brain happy and healthy.
- Fats are your friend. Healthy fats, like the aforementioned omega-3s, are thought to have a positive influence on parts of the brain linked to depression.
- Getting the right balance of protein. Kelly suggests that we throw our lot in with good proteins like fish and lean meat and avoid highly processed meat products.
- Avoid sweeteners and additives. Again, highly processed food has been linked to poor mental health.
- Keep an eye on your blood sugar. This has all kinds of benefits and is never remiss.
- Vary your diet. The average Western diet consists of around 20 ingredients, whereas ancestral humans probably ate more like 150.
- Relax and enjoy. We can’t forget the benefits of eating as a social and recreational activity — there’s a reason pretty much every culture focuses their celebrations around food.
It sounds like science fiction, but this just might be a breakthrough for fertility preservation. Wow!
Scientists have used 3D-printed ovaries to successfully restore fertility for the first time in what they call “the holy grail of bioengineering for regenerative medicine”.
A female mouse’s ovaries were removed and replaced with 3D printed bioprosthetic ones using gelatin as the “ink” and using eggs from different mice — enabling it to ovulate, conceive pups and give birth, the United States researchers said.
Read the incredible story here http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-17/3d-printed-ovaries-successfully-restore-fertility/8532108?smid=Page:+ABC+News-Facebook_Organic&WT.tsrc=Facebook_Organic&sf79404899=1
If you have been trying to fall pregnant and are worrying that it is taking a little long, you might be wondering when it is “the right time” to speak to a doctor. For most heterosexual couples, where the woman is aged younger than 35 years and no known fertility issues, it is reasonable to be actively trying to conceive for around 12 months before you start seeking medical input. For those with in other age groups, or with known fertility issues, the timeframes may differ a little. The following article (part of Mammamia’s Fertility Week) may help to answer few extra questions…http://www.mamamia.com.au/when-to-get-fertility-help/