Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: motherhood

  • Galactagogues in postpartum rituals

    Puja PersaudTrue Blue, Grenada, West Indies Having a baby demands drastic changes in lifestyle, eating habits, and sleeping patterns. Many cultures across the world practice postpartum rituals that “allow the mother to be ‘mothered’,” and help to “facilitate the transition into motherhood.”1 For generations, the Indian descendants residing in Guyana of South America have helped…

  • The role of lullabies in mother-baby attachment

    Özge SuzanNursan ÇinarSakarya, Turkey A lullaby is defined as a sweet, gentle song that is sung to entice a baby to sleep. In Turkish folklore, a mother’s voice is very important for her baby. An example of this can be found in the following text: “Uyusun da büyüsün, ninni, tıpış tıpış yürüsün, Ninni”“Grow up in…

  • Obstetrical fistula: A malady hidden by shame

    Layla A. Al-JailaniYemen Nouria strolls across the kitchen, making lunch for her family as she does every day. Her stride is slightly wobbly, but any observer would think this was a healthy young woman. What they do not see, however, is the hidden anguish, pain, and shame that tears at her body and eats through…

  • Swaddling: Forever bound in controversy?

    Jennifer BorstHammonds Plains, Nova Scotia As a bleary-eyed new parent, I found myself embracing the quiescence and prolonged slumber swaddling offered my restless and sleepless first-born. Strategic bundling subsequently proved disappointingly ineffective with my second colicky child and unnecessary with my jovial, naturally sleepy third. While the question to swaddle or not no longer applies…

  • La Pieta

    Rachel FleishmanPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States A mother holds her dead child. His body flops open without resistance, freshly dead. His head is cocked back, shoulder lifted, arms release the last vestige of grip. Her face sullen, her hand beside him open and offering, she holds but does not touch her son. A single moment of…

  • A mother and a doctor

    Michelle Kittleson Los Angeles, California, USA   Fourteen years to become a cardiologist: Medical school, residency, fellowship training Is easy, for the resilient — and the optimists. One shift after another can be draining, Though the path is clear and predictable, So the key is stamina, a matter of maintaining. Mother and Child Henry Essenhigh…

  • Ethical dilemmas in surrogacy

    Ragini KulkarniMaharashtra, India Motherhood is the most beautiful and divine gift to a woman. Every woman has a dream and a natural instinct that she will become a mother and nurture a baby. Unfortunately for some couples fulfilling this dream becomes impossible due to medical reasons. In such cases the concept of surrogacy has evolved…