Autumn has rolled around, and yet, I have had to modify my practice of the old New England tradition of complaining about the weather. The warm and sunny days have been great for apple picking and walks, but at last my inner cranky Yankee managed to put my finger on my discontent with the climate. It happened when I heard yet another meteorologist cheerfully remarking on our “record-breaking highs,” our “unseasonably warm weather.” I try not to get political in these blogs, but I have to point out that these changes fit Shakespeare’s quote, “Ill blows the wind that profits nobody.” We are benefitting from a global warming trend that is no longer surprising or joyful, so let’s encourage the media to stop spinning it that way, shall we? I have begun meta-complaining about the weather—how’s that for Yankee ingenuity?
The Postman Always Rings Twice
Although I like to encourage colleagues to take advantage of modern technology in our practice, I did want to pass on this article as a word of caution. If you use email through Yahoo or Google (gmail) your email content is searchable and may be “trawled” for content. It is an important reminder that your email is not just in your client’s and your computer, but also in the servers that each of you uses. Keep emails brief and nondescript. Having your client sign an informed consent around the internet is important, and will make sure you both understand what the limits and challenges of emails are. Many clients will want to continue to use email for scheduling, but spelling out the risks never hurts.
Racial Stress and Prenatal Care
A recent study from Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies’ Health Policy Institute took a look at 600 African-American women and the impact of racism on their health. The results indicate that reasons for their higher stress levels ranged from hearing white teachers’ comment on “those kids” to working longer hours to win acceptance from white co-workers. Looking at the stress disparities across racial lines is nothing new, but this study looks at what causes the stressor with an eye to race, and finds that “rich or poor, well-educated or barely literate, African-American women were still more likely than white women, first-generation, poor Hispanic immigrant women and foreign-born black women to have premature and low birth-weight babies… and that when foreign-born black women had been in the United States for a generation they showed the same infant mortality rates as American-born black women.” (Lu, 2007) This would indicate that addressing the psychosocial impacts of racism is an important part of prenatal care, and culturally competent practice.