It’s only fitting that as we roll into Christmas week that SuzyKnew! features Jerusalema by South Africa’s DJ Master KG and singer Nocembo Zikode. This uplifting song with a religious feel came out late last year and went viral during the COVID lockdown – with over 200 million views on YouTube in less than a year.
Most people don’t understand what the song, which is mostly in Zulu, means but get that the song must be “religious-leaning” because of the title and the singers keep saying “Jerusalema.” The song has been called “a COVID Anthem” that brings joy in the midst of grim times. Everyone wants to dance to it and dance challenges have sprung up all over. My office Holiday party featured top leadership shaking a leg to the beat.
The words to Jerusalema mean “Jerusalem is my home, guard me, walk with me, do not leave me here — Jerusalem is my home, my place is not here, my kingdom is not here.” It’s actually a Zulu gospel song. We all feel like we don’t belong in this COVID (and Trump) nightmare… but somewhere beautiful like Christmas.
Countless women have had negative experiences when they express their desire to use fertility awareness-based methods as birth control (and even for conception in some cases). This seems to be improving as general awareness of fertility awareness increases, but most health professionals still have little knowledge or training in this area.
What this means for you is …..
1. You don’t need your doctor’s permission to use fertility awareness (because ultimately it up to you to decide how to manage your fertility!!).
2. Most health professionals (including doctors, midwives, nurses, naturopaths, etc.) have not received specific training in the area of fertility awareness cycle charting. It’s similar to me saying that most health professionals aren’t also dentists.
3. For accurate information about fertility awareness-based methods, and specific training in those areas it’s best to find an instructor who has been trained and certified in a specific method! This way you can get the support you need to gain confidence and benefit from the highest possible efficacy, particularly when you’re planning to rely on using it for birth control.
It’s not easy when you go against the grain! Opting for fertility awareness-based methods for birth control also puts the responsibility on you as you embark on the learning process. But don’t feel discouraged if your health professional doesn’t give you their “blessing”!
You don’t need it.
Click here to listen to the podcast episode for some encouragement.
Just recently the Black Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage in July. Meghan is not alone. Many women experience pregnancy loss. Around one out of every 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. But, Black women experience miscarriage more. Research shows that Black women experience all types of pregnancy loss more often than white women, including miscarriage as well as stillbirth, preterm birth, and infant death.
Meaghan documented her loss in a New York Times Op Ed.
Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few. Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same.”
Michelle Obama described her experience as “lonely, painful and demoralizing” in her memoir, Becoming. And, Serena Williams and Beyonce both opened up about their painful experiences with pregnancy complications. Black women are speaking out.
Why do Black women experience miscarriage more? This question has mystified doctors for decades. Even when risk factors, such socio-economic background, health, and education are taken into consideration, pregnancy loss is still greater among Black women than white.
Moreover, the National Partnership For Women and Families report: Black women are three times more likely to have fibroids than white women, and the fibroids occur at younger ages and grow more quickly for Black women; Black women show signs of preeclampsia earlier in pregnancy than white women, which if improperly treated can lead to severe complications including death and Black women experience physical “weathering,” meaning our bodies age faster than white women’s due to exposure to chronic stress linked to socioeconomic disadvantage and discrimination over the life course, thus making pregnancy riskier at an earlier age. Yes, ladies, systematic racism is real. So, is the struggle.
Finally, the not-for-profit states Black-serving hospitals provide lower quality maternity care. Seventy-five percent of Black women give birth at hospitals that serve predominantly Black populations.
What Can You Do? They say knowledge is power. Knowing that Black women are not doing as well as their white sisters when it comes to pregnancy and reproductive health will help you stay vigilant about your health. Of course, eat healthy and properly and don’t miss your antenatal check ups. But, reach out to friends and family who can share their experiences, like Meghan is doing, so you know you’re not alone. There is evidence that when a celebrity speaks out about their problem, others are more likely to speak up and seek help. Learn what has worked and hasn’t worked.
Blacknews.com offers resources for Black women’s health, but we encourage you to ask around. We want to hear from you. If you have a resource for Black women’s health that has worked well for you personally or someone close, you want to share, email us at SuzyKnew@suzyknew.com or tweet us @SuzyKnew! Let’s help each other stay healthy.
Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow, and many of us (hopefully most of us) won’t be gathering with large numbers of family and friends, but spending the day with just a few close people – or maybe even alone. Many people are lamenting the strict CDC guidance that encourages us not to get together with people outside our immediate circles to avoid spreading the infection. But, ladies, let’s look at some of the benefits of this new way of doing Thanksgiving. Having a small, quiet Thanksgiving can a be a true blessing. You can indeed be thankful for many reasons:
You can eat the Thanksgiving food you want to eat instead of what is served. Okay, maybe you will miss your grandmother’s sweet potato pie or your sister’s macaroni and cheese. But, just think: You won’t have to pretend that you love that soggy green bean casserole your aunt rolls out every year. You can also eat your favorite part of the turkey and not worry your little cousins will eat it up before you get to the table. There have been countless times I missed getting the turkey wing because someone knabbed it before I could. This year I will only eat turkey wings.
And maybe you don’t like turkey. This Thanksgiving you can have whatever you want to eat. The way you want it. You can even stick to the diet you’ve been doing so well on these last few weeks. This Thanksgiving you don’t have to blow it. Halleluiah.
You don’t have to worry your family will judge you for what you wear or how you look. Ladies. No need to plan out a special Thanksgiving outfit. Keep your money and just pull on something comfy. You won’t need to worry that your family will notice you’ve put on a little weight since last year or since you started that new job or graduate program. The fact you didn’t have the money or the time to get your hair done will not a problem at all – right? This year – come to Thanksgiving as you are au naturel, and be blessed.
Family won’t get together and whisper about the man you’re dating, your recent divorce, or the fact you don’t have a man – and never do! Thanksgiving is definitely the time to catch up with what your big and little cousins are doing with their love lives. And it’s a time when your intimate life gets way too much scrutiny. But, this year – no worries. No one needs to know that Charles left you a month ago and you’re about to lose your mind. They don’t need to know what you and Squeaky are doing because you know you just cannot bring Squeaky around your family. This year you can reflect on your own if cupid is doing you wrong or not and just reach out to a few select family members to help you think it all through.
Use Zoom to stage your Thanksgiving to your advantage. Many families (including my own) will spend part or all of their Thanksgiving on Zoom. Use this to your advantage. Hop on and off the Zoom call as the spirit moves you. Set up the view to show off what’s working for you right now, like your trendy new top or earrings. Don’t worry about your PJ bottoms if no one can see them. Show off new furniture pieces but hide dirty dishes and laundry. You get the picture.
Now that I’ve got your juices flowing, I’m sure you can think of lots of reasons to be thankful this year. This is a very short list. Of course being separated from family can be sad. But, be creative and positive and spend Thanksgiving in a way you ordinarily wouldn’t be able to and most of all… be thankful.
Is it alright if we talk about condoms for a moment? This Friday we share Fertility Friday’s talk on condoms:
We know that everyone doesn’t love condoms. You may not like how they feel and prefer birth control options that don’t involve a physical barrier between you and your partner, but regardless, we still need to talk about it!
Condoms can be a fantastic method of birth control because they are up to 98% effective in preventing pregnancy when used correctly.
And the good news, is that they aren’t difficult to use perfectly as I often say.
Perfect use is another way of saying that you are using your chosen birth control method correctly each time.
A brief overview of the benefits of using condoms:
- Condoms are one of the few birth control options that also protect against STIs (sexually transmitted infections)
- Condoms invite men into the conversation about birth control and allow them to share the responsibility (instead of it being assumed that “you’ll just take care of it”)
- Condoms are non-hormonal and allow you to continue cycling naturally and enjoying the health benefits of your main ovarian hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone), while preserving your future fertility
But in case you didn’t know this …. you can’t use oil-based lubricants with condoms!
Oil destroys both latex and non-latex condoms! That includes olive oil, coconut oil, vaseline, and any other oil-based lubricant you can think of.
When you use oil-based lubricants with latex condoms the oil rapidly disintegrates the condom, and the condom will eventually break.
If you’ve been getting away with it for awhile, that’s great, but you’re skating on thin ice!
If you want to see for yourself, go to YouTube and search “oil and latex condoms”. You’ll find plenty of demonstrations. Or you can try it yourself. Place a latex condom over your hand and rub it with your oil of choice until it falls apart (it will, trust me … just give it a few minutes).
Last week Fertility Friday shared an important (and much requested) podcast episode all about using non-hormonal methods correctly. Lisa, the host, went through condoms in more detail, but also the diaphragm, cervical cap, withdrawal, and fertility awareness!
Though some non-hormonal methods aren’t always as effective as hormonal methods, they can be combined and used together to increase overall effectiveness.
Ever since Melania came down with a mild case of The Rona, she’s been MIA from the campaign trail. A no show.
Ladies. That’s embarrassing.
Yeah… yeah… she still has a lingering cough from COVID. Just like she had to take time to recover from that… what was it? Kidney surgery? I don’t want to pooh pooh real health issues because, as a Sista’ I know you can’t take your health for granted. But we’re not buyin’ it. Even the boring middle-of-the-road USA Today puts “lingering cough” in quotation marks when explaining why Melania ditched her husband campaigning after he got back on the campaign trail like the “superman” we know he is (not).
Now, you know neither you nor I could pull a stunt like that. We’d be labeled “difficult” or “angry.” As in “Angry Black Woman.” And why wouldn’t you want to support your man, if he just recovered from a life-threatening illness? Unless your marriage -isn’t really a marriage…? And you’re not about serving the American people. You’re just out there for you.
Melania did have the common sense and decency to show up for the October 22nd debate. She even put on a mask. And you know that was a big effort for her. But, walking off stage after the debates, Melania appears to yank her hand away from The Donald and then he appears to push her off the stage. Watch the video clip below and decide for yourself.
Since Trump hit the campaign trail hard again post debate hitting 2, 3 or more battleground cities a day, Melania hasn’t shown up. It’s clear she’s not having it. It’s a transactional marriage gone wrong. “She does what she wants, when she wants … She can be a contrarian,” a former White House staffer said, according to CNN.
Melania’s bad behavior is unprecedented. No modern First Lady has been absent from the campaign reelection trail. Melania, of course, is needed on the campaign trail to appeal to suburban (white) women. So much for that…
My question is if The Donald is such the “tough, macho man,” he says he is, who can kick everyone’s behind, why can’t he control his woman? This should give all his Alpha male supporters pause before voting.
Photo credit Express.uk
LOL, in this video Joe Biden tries to wave to Trump, but Trump doesn't even acknowledge it and then Melania rips her hand away from Donald Trump. pic.twitter.com/KxsoNfzKzY
— David Pakman (@dpakman) October 23, 2020
Ladies, it’s October. September is over. But, SuzyKnew! wants to make sure you don’t miss a few take-aways from World Contraception Day, which was celebrated September 26 and International Safe Abortion Day, celebrated September 28. Hmm… celebrated two days later… that doesn’t look good. Evidence shows that access to contraception reduces the incidence of abortion. Access to both are necessary for quality sexual and reproductive health.
World Contraception Day is all about education and learning about the different contraceptive methods out there and which ones are right for you. The day is supported by non-governmental organizations and scientific and medical groups.
Below are a few fun facts from a supporting site.
- Most women between the ages of 15 and 44 years in the US use contraception.
- The pill remains to be a popular choice of birth control among many women, but its usage decreases as women age.
- Tubal ligation (or getting the tubes tied) is another popular form of contraception among women in the US.
- Contraceptive patches and rings are more convenient than pills as a patch and ring need to be changed weekly and monthly respectively, whereas the pill needs to be taken daily. It can be hard for a woman to remember to take the pill daily.
- Contraceptive methods such as implants and IUDs are considered to be the most effective as their failure rate is below 1 per cent.
International Safe Abortion Day started in 1990, as a day of action for decriminalization of abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean in 1990. The day aims to highlight access to legal and safe abortion as fundamental to quality sexual and reproductive health.
Safe and legal abortion is a challenge for many women around the world and could be soon a major challenge for US women. Below is a short video about what happens to women who are unable to access safe abortion.
Today, we share Fertility Friday’s podcast interview with Dr. Jessica Peatross on how parasites, mold, infections and hidden pathogens impact your health and fertility.
Hidden pathogens don’t always show up consistently on tests, and can be notoriously difficult to treat. Many women have struggled to successfully get rid of persistent, underlying infections, and Dr. Peatross tells all about getting the support you need, and ultimately getting to the root of the issue.
- What drew Dr. Peatross to medicine and prompted her to shift her focus on medicine
- How some of these hidden illnesses can present themselves and how they can be missed by our traditional medical system
- Where would someone get mold exposure and how to detect it in your body
- What are the common symptoms of mold and how it can affect your health
- Is there anything that a person can do to minimize the effect of mold
- How to determine if your house is safe of mold
- How individuals think they are immune from hidden pathogens, viruses and infections
- Why some people get sick and some people do not when exposed to the same thing
- How underlying infections and parasites can reap havoc on our health
Friday evening’s news that our sister Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed was not surprising – but it sure was shocking.
Where were you when you heard the news? I was actually watching my favorite news show The Reid Out when suddenly, Joy Reid cut off her guest and said, “Just a second, I’m going to have to take this breaking news…”
When I saw Joy’s face I knew what it was.
Then, Joy said it, “Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed.”
I swear two seconds hadn’t gone by when all my Sista’ friends started texting and calling me announcing the news.
Yas – the Sista’ Network is not only real – but it is fast!
And, ladies, we gotta be fast in how we respond to this. RBG’s passing is no joke. We are in danger. Under more threat than we usually are when we walk our sexy selves out the door and do our stuff.
Sad, but not, surprising 24 hours hadn’t passed after RBG’s death when The Donald said it’s his “obligation” to fill the vacancy “without a delay.” Oh Pluh-lease…
What is at stake? Below is just a sample. But, things could get really wild and the Court could start questioning the validity of Brown vs The Board of Education. Have you ever read what Justice Clarence Thomas believes? He doesn’t believe in legal precedent. The man believes in redoing everything. Yes – legally segregated schools could be in your family’s future.
- Healthcare. The Supreme Court will be voting on Obamacare/Affordable Care Act this upcoming session (November 10). A death nail could be put in Obamacare and this would affect access to all insurance and healthcare. And forget about covering pre-existing conditions. And we’re the ones most like to get COVID, have diabetes, high blood pressures. I don’t have to share SuzyKnew! or other articles for you to know how access to healthcare is a life and death issue for us.
- More specifically… abortion rights. RBG’s death is what conservatives (who refuse to wear a mask against Coronavirus which could literally result in killing people but are so worried about a woman having an abortion) have been waiting for: to put an anti-choice conservative on the court for years. Black, Latina and other women of color are especially vulnerable to cuts in access to abortion. Overturning Roe v Wade would result in more maternal mortality and morbidity among women of color. It will put more pressure on our ability to live fully – or just survive.
- DACA – In June, the Supreme Court knocked down the Trump’s administration’s attempt to kill the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. But, new applications aren’t being accepted. And the future will be determined by the next president and most likely the Supreme Court.
- Affirmative Action and Civil Rights. Yes. I don’t care what kind of Black or woman of color you are. This impacts you and your future and that of your children.
What can you do?
- Vote early – in person. Don’t sit around and wait until the last minute. Grab your mask and go down to early voting. Your voting place may have changed, you may face other challenges you don’t know so go take care of it now. I will be voting the first day early voting opens in North Carolina: October 15.
- Talk loudly among friends and family about voting and take time to engage with people who say they don’t think voting is worth it. Take those people to the polls. Making voting a Sista’ party!
- Call the offices of vulnerable Republican Senators who would suffer if they would vote to confirm a nominee before the upcoming election or Inauguration including: Susan Collins (R-Maine her recent statement leaves wiggle room for her to vote), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cory Garner (R-Colorado) and others like Utah’s Mitt Romney who may be open to waiting for the election.
Ladies, we can’t take this sitting down. Our lives are on the line. Hear AOC’s take on what we can do: