Author Archives: SuzyKnew!

About SuzyKnew!

SuzyKnew! is dedicated to improving the sexual and reproductive health and sexual pleasure of women of color.

Fertility Friday: Top 10 Ways I’m Preparing For Pregnancy

Ladies, there is so much information out there on what to do for a healthy pregnancy. But, how do we get our bodies ready before there’s a baby on the way? Let’s hear from a Sista’ who is an expert on this issue.  This week SuzyKnew! shares Fertility Friday’s top 10 steps for preparing for pregnancy.  This episode discusses:

  • The importance of food based nutrition, and taking time to replenish nutrients when preparing for pregnancy
  • Incorporating fertility boosting foods including healthy fats, and organ meats
  • Supporting gut health by eating fermented foods and consuming bone broth
  • The role of fertility awareness (as a form of non-hormonal birth control) in preserving fertility and preparing for pregnancy
  • The impact of pregnancy and breastfeeding on your nutrient stores
  • Child spacing as pregnancy preparation
  • The role of sleep to balance hormones
  • Ensuring your partner is preparing for pregnancy also

For more click on this link

The Fifth Vital Sign By Lisa Hendrickson-Jack

Fertility Friday founder Lisa Hendrickson-Jack has released her first book: The Fifth Vital Sign.  This book is about understanding your menstrual cycle as a vital sign, just like your pulse, temperature, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.

It’s easy to think of your menstrual cycle as just about reproduction and having babies.  But, it’s a lot more than that. Your menstrual cycle provides you with essential information about your health. It doesn’t matter if having children is a part of your life plan or not. Mastering your cycles is a way of mastering your health.

In this book you’ll learn:

  • What a normal cycle looks like;
  • The best way to chart your cycle and increase your fertility awareness;
  • How best to manage critical aspects of your health, including better sleep, exercise and a healthier diet;
  • Natural methods for managing period pain and PMS;
  • How to successfully avoid pregnancy without the pill; and
  • How to plan ahead if you do want to get pregnant.

Click here for more about The Fifth Vital Sign and get a free download of the first chapter.

Click here to order The Fifth Vital Sign on Amazon.

 

Will Obamacare Be Gutted? Even With Insurance And Education Our Chances Of Dying In Childbirth Are Still High

Ladies! Today the Donald announced he’s moving to scrap Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act – ACA). Under him, the U.S. Justice Department stated they will repeal the ACA. But, even if we have insurance, African-American women are three times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related causes. (See HuffPost)

According to NPR and ProPublica, black women are 243% more likely to die from childbirth than white women. But, our vulnerability to maternal mortality is not limited to those among us with less education or from a lower socio-economic class.   Actually, a Sista’ with an advanced degree is more likely to lose her baby than a white woman with less than an eighth-grade education.

The U.S. CDC (Center for Disease Prevention and Control) claims black women are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts. This is a higher rate than the rate in Mexico, where almost half of the people live in poverty.

And, we all know what happened to Serena last year. Tennis champion Serena Williams, with beaucoup bucks and major name recognition almost died during the birth of her first child.  The day after delivering her daughter Alexis Olympia via C-section she developed a blockage in an artery in her lung – or pulmonary embolism.

CDC data show the risk of dying as a direct result of pregnancy and childbirth is less than 10 in 100,000 live births, but 22 in 100,000 for black women.  One out of 8,475 women dies from pregnancy complications in the U.S. The most common causes of death for pregnant women include:

Emboli (blood clots affecting the heart and brain);
Eclampsia (high blood pressure complications affecting pregnancy);
Heavy bleeding (Hemorrhaging);
Sepsis (severe infection);
Cerebral vascular accidents (stroke, bleeding in the brain); and
Anesthesia-related deaths.

Ladies, we know blood pressure is a problem in our community, and about one in 20 pregnant women has blood pressure problems (the CDC didn’t state what the stat is for us), and around one in 20 women suffers from excessive blood loss at delivery.

Let’s be clear: we still need Obamacare. And,  the ACA won’t go down without a fight.  Expect a big one. Call your congressional representative tomorrow.  But, we also need more research directly related to Black women’s health.  Push for research by the pharma industry and the government. Insist your healthcare provider offer services that have been proven to help black women. And,  buy products that have been tested on black women, so you know it’s good for you!

Keep it sexy!

Keep it healthy!

SuzyKnew!

Fertility Friday: Abdonimal Therapy For Fertility, Conception & Emotional Healing

Today we share Fertility Friday’s interview with Andrea Thompson, LMT, a licensed and practicing massage therapist in Oregon. Andrea’s passion is utilizing modalities such as Craniosacral Therapy and Arvigo Techniques of Mayan Abdominal Therapy ® to bring a deep sense of awareness to the body while tapping into its inherent healing capabilities. Although she enjoys working with all ages and genders, her main focus is working with female-bodied people to assist them in the process of attaining healthy menses and natural conception, as well as aiding them through the physical changes of pregnancy.

Topics in today’s Fertility Friday’s episode include:

  • The benefits of massage therapy and body work modalities for a woman’s fertility
  • How body awareness can change your health and mindset
  • What is Craniosacral Therapy?
  • How can vaginal steaming help with your menses?
  • Castor oil pack benefits
  • The importance of having your cervix and uterus aligned
  • Why having a healthy and clean womb not only helps with fertility and your menstrual cycle, but also
  • helps your baby in the long run
  • How pregnancy massages and prenatal yoga are beneficial to your ever changing body
  • How body work can be healing for women (or any individual) who has been through trauma, whether physical or emotional

For the podcast and more on this topic, click here

 

 

Abortion And Hatin’ On Black Women

Abortion rights supporters and pro-life supporters protest outside the US Supreme Court during the 44th annual March for Life on January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Anti-abortion activists are gathering for the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, protesting the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. / AFP / ZACH GIBSON (Photo credit should read ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Ladies, you can’t look up these days without seeing another move by the Trump administration to block women’s access to abortion.   We aren’t surprised.   But, SuzyKnew! just can’t keep up.

In early February, The Donald asked the U.S. Congress to ban “late-term abortions,” a rare procedure carried out when severe, often-fatal, medical issues are involved.  A “born-alive abortion survivor” act was introduced in the Senate.  This move unleashed a frenzy of spurious and crazy articles from supporters on “born-alive abortions” and “infanticide.”

Then later in February The Donald announced his administration was banning any organization that provided abortion services or referrals, (read Planned Parenthood) from receiving federal funds.  Just a few minutes ago, the state of California announced they were suing the Trump administration’s behind over this, explaining that this move would prevent or “gag” doctors from discussing abortion, a constitutional right, with their patients.

What jumps out in the midst of all these articles around the Trump administration’s moves against abortion is that those who are supportive are often dripping with intense hate for black women. Most noticeably Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) Jason Riley. His recent op ed “Let’s Talk About The Black Abortion Rate.” is horrific.  It was worse than all the “born alive” and “abortion after birth” sci-fi talk  because what came through so loud and clear was that this writer, a black man, has some serious issues with black women – and I don’t think it’s all about abortion.

This man has no empathy – only shade and hate – for Sistas’.

Nationally, black women terminate pregnancies at far higher rates than other women as well. In 2014, 36% of all abortions were performed on black women, who are just 13% of the female population. The little discussed flip side of “reproductive freedom” is that abortion deaths far exceed those via cancer, violent crime, heart disease, AIDS and accidents. Racism, poverty and lack of access to health care are the typical explanations for these disparities. But black women have much higher abortion rates even after you control for income. Moreover, other low-income ethnic minorities who experience discrimination, such as Hispanics, abort at rates much closer to white women than black women.
The more plausible explanation may have to do with marriage. Unmarried women are more likely to experience an unintended pregnancy, and black women are less likely than their white, Asian and Hispanic counterparts to marry. It’s true that many of these would-be partners are sitting in prison, but it’s also true that this racial divide in marriage, which started in the 1960s and has grown ever since, predates the “mass incarceration” of black men that took off in the 1980s.

After reading this, you’re left thinking, “Wow, black women must be awful people.” The article throws shade and offers no context not to mention an argument for why black (or other women) would want to be forced to give birth against their will.  Rewire published a nice push back, but I’m still left wondering why does this man hate black women so much.

Ladies, if people only have hate for us.  We don’t need ’em!

 

Dr. Drai: How To Talk To Your Husband About Sex

Hello #GYNEGirls it’s Dr. Drai again…. Are you married? If so, there is a lot that you and your hubby probably discuss throughout the day. Your conversation topics may cover work, family, and the bills. What about sex? Do you and your husband talk about sex? If not, it may be something that you need to discuss with him. One of the biggest signs that a conversation is needed is if you are currently unhappy in the bedroom. As much as you may want to talk to your husband about making improvements in the bedroom, you may be curious as to whether or not it is really a good idea.

So, is it a good idea to talk to your husband about sex? Yes, it is and it is something that you two should discuss. In fact, an open line of communication is important for all relationships to succeed. Poor communication is often the downfall of many marriages. A lack of communication or poor communication may have a negative effect on your whole relationship, not just your sex life. As a partner in this relationship, it is your responsibility to talk to your husband and to keep an open line of communication. If you don’t, you may end up putting your happiness and your marriage on the line. Do not let this happen to you.
As for the talk itself, it is important that you proceed with caution. Do not criticize your husband or make them feel inadequate. If there is one thing that men take pride in, it is their ability to have sex and please their partners. Unfortunately, that pleasure may not be enough for you. Yes, you want to bring this to the attention of your husband, but do so gently. Outright telling your husband that he isn’t fulfilling your needs is likely to create even more problems in your relationship. Instead, gently approach the subject. You may want to start by casually making a suggestion, such as a new position.

Next, it is important to listen to what your husband has to say. This is important as your communication should not be one sided. When talking to your husband about intimacy say what you have to say, but then let them speak his mind.

Why it is so important to listen to what your husband has to say concerning intimacy? For starters, as previously stated, a happy and healthy relationship must involve communication from other parties, not just one sided conversations. It is also important to note that their may be a good reason why your husband may not be performing up to your standards in the bedroom. Are they experiencing uncertainty due to an increase in age, a weight gain, or another change in physical appearance? What about medical problems? Did you know that some medical conditions, such as depression, and some medicines can lead to a decrease in the want or need for intimacy?

Even with the above-mentioned tips, you may still be unsure as to how you should talk to your husband about sex. You may be feeling this way if you are worried about the consequences or hurting his feelings. This is completely natural, but do know that you do have another option. Consider giving a gift or performing a gesture that may lead to the topic of intimacy being discussed. Whether you plan a spontaneous romantic dinner, purchase a romantic or pornographic movie, or buy something sexy for your husband to wear, a gift may help to get a new conversation started.

As previously stated, talking to your husband about sex and intimacy may be hard for you. With that said, it is important that you do have the talk. Not only is an open line of communication important for intimacy, but it is also important for a healthy relationship in general. As reminder, don’t just talk to your husband about sex, but be sure to listen to what he has to say as well. For a FREE copy of my latest book “20 Things You May Not Know About The Vagina” go to www.drdrai.com/vagina. Until next time… it’s Dr. Drai.

Fertility Friday: No Period. Now What?!

This Friday SuzyKnew! shares Fertility Friday’s podcast on overcoming hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA), a condition that causes you to lose your period because of what is happening in your brain. Founder and host Lisa Jack-Henderson interviews Nicola Rinaldi, the author of No Period. Now What? in a second interview.  The first interview can be found on Fertility Friday’s episode number 141. The focus of this episode is on the emotional aspects of hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA), whereas our first episode focused more on how to identify the condition, and identifying the difference between HA and PCOS.

Topics discussed in today’s episode:
What is Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (HA)?
Why regular ovulation is important for overall health (not only when you want to have babies!)
The role of estrogen and progesterone in the menstrual cycle
Are periods necessary?
HA as a symptom of a broader social issue
The role of under-eating and over-exercise in HA
Overcoming the mindset associated with severe caloric restriction with food
Why hormonal contraceptives aren’t the solution for HA
Overcoming HA when trying to conceive

Click here for more information and podcast.

All Women Benefit From Judge Wendy Blocking Trumps’s Attack On Contraception

In October 2018, Trump moved reduce American women’s access to contraception by allowing more employers to deny women insurance coverage for contraception on the basis of religious or moral objections. It is estimated that more than 55 million U.S. women have access to birth control without additional payment because of the contraceptive coverage mandate put in place by the previous Obama administration.

Courtesy of RHrealitycheck.org

Since then states and judges all over the country have gone hog-wild to halt, at least temporarily, Trump’s move. However, this approach was piece-meal, affecting women in less than half of all U.S. States.  Blatantly left out were women in southern states such as Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana where access to accurate reproductive health information and quality care is woefully lacking.

Luckily, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone is on the case. On January 15, she placed an injunction stopping the Trump Administration from enforcing these rules.  All American women will benefit from this ruling and are ensured of being able to access contraceptives through the contraceptive coverage mandate.

Now, Ladies, we have to wait and see if The Donald retaliates…

 

 

‘Pro-Life’ MAGA-Hat Teen Shows Total Disrepect For Life

Being the sophisticated, woke SuzyKnew! reader you are, we know you’ve been following the horrible story of Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic School MAGA*-hat wearing teen who boldly stared down an elderly Native American Vietnam Vet at the Lincoln Memorial over MLK-Day weekend.  What’s worse is now there are journalists and commentators saying they jumped to conclusions after only seeing a short video of the clash. They are taking back their criticism after longer videos surfaced showing Black Israelites shouting insults at the Covington teens and others before the privileged teens broke into hateful whoops and Tomahawk Chops while their classmate confronted Nathan Philips, who fought for this country, with a mocking deriding smile.

Well, ladies… You can count on SuzyKnew! not to back down on these issues.  Additional video tapes did nothing to dispel the fact that Nick and his classmates showed utter disrespect for life.  All the videos depicted the boys in a horrible light. These boys and their chaperones came all the way from Kentucky to attend a ‘Pro-Life’ rally just to show their true colors and hatred in the nation’s capitol.

Ladies. Tell me. How can you finish up a March for Life to protect life of the ‘unborn’ only to go jumping up and down with Tomahawk Chops aimed at Native Americans? So, Native Americans’ lives don’t matter? Just ‘unborn’ babies? There are multiple videos and reports that the Covington boys wreaked more havoc during their Washington, DC trip by harassing girls shouting “MAGA!” and more.  I guess these people’s lives don’t matter either. Is this what their ‘Pro-Life’ rallies, communities and parents teach them? Is this how they behave in Kentucky or only in Washington, DC where the majority of the population is Black there is a rich vibrant and diverse population?

Another point that hasn’t received a lot of press: these children and their chaperones displayed complete ignorance of urban life and no true interest in wanting to learn. This is reflected in how they engaged with the Black Israelites.  Black Israelites are a fringe religious group known for their confrontational and sometimes offensive recruitment style. You find them in urban settings, especially with large Black populations.  This group should be pitied more than feared. None of the members are likely to become the nation’s next lawyers, doctors and CEO’s like the Covington boys.  To compare the Black Israelite group’s actions to what the Kentucky Catholic kids did is to downplay the reality of the country’s racial, class and religious history to the benefit of those with power.  Anyone passing by the Black Israelites would know they’re are a group to stay away from instead of engage with.  Would these boys confront Hari Krishnas at the airport?  Do these kids’ parents  and community have any basic understanding of the breath and depth of life in the United States? Do they have any interest in learning about others’ lives in their country – or only their own?

To make matters more embarrassing, Nick appeared on Good Morning America today to give his side of the story.  Nick was unrepentant.  Yes – unrepentant! He said he had every right to do what he did – to stand up there  in Nathan Philips’ face. Will Nick be as brave and fight and go to war for his country like Nathan Philips?   Here is a young teen basically telling the world he has every right to have utter contempt for others’ lives. Even for those who fought for the freedom he enjoys.

It appears Nick, his classmates, and community only value their own lives. Their March for Life is a false claim.   Both their actions and words speak loudly.

 

*MAGA is short for Make America Great Again, the Trump 2016 campaign slogan