Eating Disorders in the Peripartum

What a great session today, presenting on the relationship between eating disorders and infertility.  I was humbled to present alongside some amazing speakers: Assoc Professor Warren Ward, Dr Susan Roberts and Dr Susan Wilson, Mr Bruce Laing and 2 fabulous women with the lived experience of eating disorder.  So much experience and wisdom from the speakers, as well as the fabulous participants.  Thank you  so much to the Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health for organising the day, and inviting me to be one of the participants.  Eating disorders in the Peripartum and Impact on Infant Mental Health and Feeding Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 9.05.41 pmIMG_8765

“Healing the wounds of pregnancy loss”

How wonderful to find a article in a psychotherapy journal talking about perinatal loss.  I don’t find enough of these types of articles, so I am delighted to see the discussion in the journal of the American Psychological Association .You can find it by this link http://www.apamonitor-digital.org/apamonitor/201805/MobilePagedReplica.action?pm=2&folio=36#pg91  or download the issue in PDF here  monitor201805-dl 

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IVF and Pre-implantation genetic testing

If you are going through fertility treatment, you have probably heard the phrase PGD, PGS or PGT (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis/screening/testing, respectively). But what does this offer you if you are undertaking IVF?  Does it really help reduce miscarriage?  What genetic abnormalities can be discovered?  Does it protect the future baby from further testing?

This article from The Conversation provides a pretty simple but clear description of what PGT can… and can’t do.http://theconversation.com/genetically-testing-human-embryos-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-debate-98057

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Minding your mind with Mind The Bump

This certainly isn’t a new resource, but it is worth remembering as it such a great little mindfulness app, especially made for pregnancy – and it is free!.  It has been developed by the clever people at Beyond Blue and can be downloaded to any device https://www.mindthebump.org.auScreen Shot 2018-07-16 at 9.01.06 am

The power of words

I have been observing the aftermath of Barry Hall’s recent disgusting on-air comments with a building fury. It was not just what he said that has made me so enraged and disgusted, but also the bystander laughter of the other commentators, and the fact that in that moment, not one man in that room called him out and shut him down. And not just on that day.  It is every similar depersonalising and dehumanising comment that is made by so many on air “personalities” on so many television and radio programs over so many years that has fuelled my rage.  And since his sacking, it has been the excuses and the distinction that it wasn’t a suitable thing “to say on air”.

Let’s be clear, what he said (and all of those other comments that have been made on so many occasions bu so many people) was something that should not be said, anywhere, anytime, not even “in a locker room”.  Those comments are everyday examples of the ways in which that people are reduced and debased – and then permitted by the gentle reframing of this humiliation and debasement by minimising it and calling it “humour”. Because once it is minimised and labelled humour… well then we have our right to criticise it removed.  Because it we criticise it, we are being “too sensitive”.  Because we “don’t get the joke”.  Because “we are “taking it too seriously”.  Because we refuse to normalise the humiliation and debasement of other people we ourselves are at risk of criticism and reduction.   And that has made me so angry.

Then last night I watched Hannah Gadsby’s “Nannette”. https://comedy.com.au/tour/hannah-gadsby-nanette/ Her show is breathtakingly honest and erudite. She bravely discusses terrible things that have occurred in her life, but does it without succumbing to being a victim. She has made a decision to be strong, to get strong and to reject debasement and humiliation.  Some of what she talks about is tough to listen to and I suspect that the enormous live audience who attended to see Hannah’s “comedy” got something rather different to what they expected when they bought their tickets.  They got so much more than comedy.  She gave them the gift of reality and understanding. Of what it means to be reduced and humiliated so often, to such a degree that you believe with certainty that you deserve that humiliation.  Watch “Nanette” and you will know with certainty that the one thing Hannah does not deserve is further humiliation.  She deserves kindness, and compassion and gentleness, and because she seems to really like it, I think she probably deserves a really good cup of tea.

I hope that Barry Hall and his colleagues take the time to sit down and watch Hannah’s show and maybe take a glimpse at the damage they do each time they say or think revolting, debasing, humiliating words, then excuse them by calling it humour.  I think it is time they accept Hannah’s gift of reality.

 

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Miscarriage and Infertility

I am looking forward to reading this new book published by netballer Liz Ellis who went through lengthy infertility treatment and had 3 miscarriages before eventually completing her family.  It looks like her book will be a very personal account of a really long road to creating a family. Unfortunately, some people follow the same path as Liz and never et the positive final result http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-5641721/Former-Australian-Netball-captain-Liz-Ellis-opens-three-heartbreaking-miscarriages.html

Fear And Anxiety After Loss

Well, it has been quite a while since I have posted any new material here, but I do regularly add new posts related to psychology, fertility and perinatal wellbeing to my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/QLDFamilySupport/?ref=bookmarks.

But I spotted this article a few days ago and I wanted to add the link here as well.  This experience of anxiety after loss can be so debilitating for bereaved parents, particaulry if/when they embark on a subsequent pregnancy – but it seems to be so under-acknowledged.  Parents are bombarded with comments/questions about the new pregnancy “You must be excited”, “You are so lucky to have fallen pregnant again so quickly”, etc. But there seems to be a real lack of understanding that the anxiety for another loss, and guilt for “moving on” from the previous loss remains like a ball of lead in the belly of these parents.  It’s only a brief piece, but I really appreciate the honest writing in this article https://stillstandingmag.com/2018/06/managing-fear-and-anxiety-after-loss/

40 per cent of cancer deaths preventable??!

Over 16,000 Australians are diagnosed with cancer each year, and many of these are due to risky behaviour and habits.  Unfortunately,  while many cancers are inevitable, a recent study has suggested that 40 per cent of cancer deaths were preventable.

So what are Australians doing that is leading to premature death from cancer? The eight modifiable risk factors are:

  • Tobacco smoking, including passive smoking
  • Low intake of fruit and vegetables and high intake of red and processed meat
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Being overweight
  • Being physically inactive
  • Excessive exposure to UV light
  • Infections such as hepatitis C and Human papillomavirus
  • Use of some menopausal hormonal therapy

For fun details, check out the article on http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-12/cancer-study-finds-40pc-deaths-preventable-with-lifestyle-change/9247876?pfmredir=sm&sf176062315=1 and in the meantime, it might be time for all of us to rethink how we are living, and how that might contribute to when we will be dying.

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I’ve Got Dibs!: A Donor Sibling Story

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I have kind of fallen in love with the slightly corny phrase of “diblings” that some people have started to use to describe their donor siblings.  For many donor conceived people, learning about and meeting the other child born from their donor is at least as important as meeting the donor themselves – and it makes sense, as there is not just a shared genetic relationship but also a shared experience of being a donor conceived person that almost nobody else can fully understand.

This new book, “I’ve Got Dibs!: A Donor Sibling Story” is one of the first titles I am aware of that specifically refers to the diblings, rather than the donor conception itself and it looks like it will be a super cute addition to my library!  

I’ve Got Dibs! is a sweet story of a mother and daughter discussing the young girl’s donor siblings for the first time. The conversation focuses on the special connection a donor-conceived child has with other children conceived using the same donor.  

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