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Why your birthing experience matters

This story talks about obstetric violence and infant death. If this is too much for you, please skip it. There is no collection of helpful resources that I have found, but feel free to reach out and I may be able to help you find

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Forever in the archive

This newsletter turns two — thanks to you!

Happy 2023, dear reader, and thanks for your continued support. A special thanks to those who sent a one-off donation via Paypal (you can still do so here) and to those who picked up a membership here. Also an apology: this newsletter was supposed to go out

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How to fight less with your kids at home

Dear reader, I am on maternity leave, and I scheduled this story before I took a break so that you wouldn’t miss me too much. You will be receiving my newsletters every two weeks until 19 January. Some, like this below, will be older stories

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How we’re raising future politicians

Dear reader, I am on maternity leave, and I scheduled this story before I took a break so that you wouldn’t miss me too much. You’ll be receiving my newsletters every two weeks until 19 January — a mix of new content and some older

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My life-changing encounter with an Iranian activist

Protests in Iran have been happening for over a month now. They were originally sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman who had been detained by morality police. The protests seem to have spread also to Iran’s Evin

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Why maternity leave is crucial

Over the past few weeks, I felt that my pregnancy had become a chore. I was trying to stay fit by going to yoga and walking. I was also trying to get enough sleep (because you never know) and being in touch with friends before

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My deepest fear about giving birth

On Sunday night, I was so tired I could not fall asleep. As I lay down in my bed on my left side, hugging a breastfeeding pillow to support my gigantic belly, I started feeling some intense pain. The baby was somehow pushing on my

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Wrongs ideas about childbirth are common

📢 Next Thursday 13 October, I am moderating a panel on how to look at the climate crisis through the eyes of a child. It has an exciting line-up that promises lots of insight: Robert Hughes, a public health researcher and lecturer on early childhood

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It’s time to talk about obstetric violence

**Warning: this piece handles obstetric violence, and goes into some graphic details. If this has affected you and you have not received support, feel free to send me an email and I will try and help you find the right resources in your country.Images: Courtesy

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Forever in the archive:

The invisible load holds women back

This morning, as I was driving back from dropping my son off for a few hours with his babysitter, I blasted music on the car stereo and sang along with Rino Gaetano, an Italian singer-songwriter who died before I was born. “Ma il cielo è

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Summer is great for everyone except parents

There is a poem by Gianni Rodari, the Italian children’s book writer I can’t stop raving about, that has always stayed with me. It’s called “Ferragosto”, after the name of the Italian public holiday that falls on 15 August, and it’s about children who can’t afford to

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Why you shouldn’t spank a child

A disturbing investigation by Brazil’s Agência Pública and online platform openDemocracy has uncovered that Brazil’s religious homeschooling groups, supported by ultraconservative U.S. associations, are giving parents instructions on how to spank their children while dodging the law. There are several ways to think about this

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The life-changing power of reading aloud

When I was pregnant with my son Lorenzo, I would often sit down and read aloud to my belly. I wouldn’t read just anything. My plan was to get him acquainted with my all-time favourite author who gave me my first experiences as an independent

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What it’s like to flee a forest fire

One afternoon last year, I fled my home with my family as the hill above my home burned. I’d had time to pack only some laptops and hard discs (don’t ask me why), passports and a change of clothes for my son, Lorenzo, who was

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The cost of the motherhood penalty

🚨 On 18 July, I am moderating a panel on why we should take children and carers into account when reporting on migration. It will feature Luis H. Zayas, chair of mental health and social policy, at UT Austin, U.S., as well as award-winning journalists

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What does trauma really mean?

An image has been haunting me recently. It’s of children lined up in an airport in the United States about to be deported to Mexico and Central America. Of course, this has happened often in reality, but the image comes from Valeria Luiselli’s novel Lost

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Criminalised for a miscarriage

**Warning: this piece handles miscarriage, pregnancy loss and abortion, and goes into some graphic details. If you’d still like to stay informed about the U.S. abortion ban, I recommend this piece in The New Yorker or this one on the dangers of abortion bans for other patients.

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Why cooking matters

Meet Manal. She is one of the women I met in Lesbos, the Greek island that became a main transit destination for migrants trying to reach Europe via Turkey. Born in Syria, Manal has three children, the youngest of whom, Nina, was born in the

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