Why we still need to “Watch our language”

Breastfeeding Medicine

One of the family medicine physicians here at UNC wants to make sure doctors-in-training know the facts. “There are no benefits of breastfeeding,” he tells his students. “There are risks of formula feeding.”

Logically, these two statements are identical, but they feel completely different. In 1996, Diane Wiessinger spelled out the issues beautifully in her classic essay, ‘Watch your language.” Cathy Theys posted it on ABM’s Facebook page Friday. It’s a must-read for anyone who cares about mothers, babies and breastfeeding. Wiessinger writes:

Best possible, ideal, optimal, perfect. Are you the best possible parent? Is your home life ideal? Do you provide optimal meals? Of course not. Those are admirable goals, not minimum standards. Let’s rephrase. Is your parenting inadequate? Is your home life subnormal? Do you provide deficient meals? Now it hurts. You may not expect to be far above normal, but you certainly don’t want to…

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Everything I ever did know about Junior Doctors


I’ve spent a lot of time as an ordained person coming in to hospital and holding the hand of the recently bereaved, praying with the sick, hearing the confession of the dying. People of faith are a quiet presence in most hospitals, whether as chaplains or visiting clergy like me, we are there in the background for those who want us.

I remember the first time I baptised a baby in a hospital and then conducted that child’s funeral days later, the junior doctor involved was called Jenny. I remember the first time I was present at the turning off of life support, the junior doctor that day was Chris. I remember the first time I accompanied someone from this life to the next, clergy are midwives of resurrection and that first time the junior doctor was so unobtrusive I never learnt their name, I’m sorry I should’ve asked.


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I can’t see a white light but I know I am about to die

Tova's Blog: My Thoughts About Stuff

2016-01-07 19.12.01It’s Friday night. I am lying in a hospital bed in the intensive care unit after giving birth to my twins, at 35 weeks and three days. My blood pressure is 240 over 120 and my whole body is shaking. I have lost control of my muscles and I can’t speak when the doctor asks me if I can hear him. Three other doctors rush into the room and stick a second IV in my other arm. I am now being pumped with drugs in a desperate attempt to reduce my blood pressure which is out of control. I can’t see a white light, but I know I am about to die.

Rewind eight months. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant. We have a beautiful one and a half year old daughter and we want her to have a brother or sister. We do a pregnancy test…

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