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women's health

Three generations of Garbes women: Angela, Josie, and baby Ligaya.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Seattle writer Angela Garbes first became a mom, she wrote a piece on breastfeeding that went viral. It remains the most-read article The Stranger has ever published. The hunger for knowledge behind that response was part of what fueled Garbes to write the new book "Like a Mother." She joined Bill Radke in the studio to discuss it, along with her mom Josie Garbes and three-month-old daughter Ligaya.

Hundreds of survivors of domestic violence have come through the doors of neurologist Glynnis Zieman's Phoenix clinic in the past three years.

"The domestic violence patients are the next chapter of brain injury," she says.

Zieman begins every new patient visit with a simple question: "What are the symptoms you hope I can help you with?"

Updated 2:19 p.m. ET

The people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to repeal its restrictive abortion ban by changing the country's constitution.

The results were announced Saturday evening, local time: Out of the more than 2 million people who participated in Friday's referendum to overturn the Eighth Amendment, which bans nearly all abortion in the socially conservative country, 66.4 percent voted for repeal and 33.6 percent voted against it.

Samantha Blackwell was working her way through a master's degree at Cleveland State University when she found out she was pregnant.

"I was 25, in really good health. I had been an athlete all my life. I threw shot put for my college, so I was in my prime," she says with a laugh.

Rachel Ralph works long hours at an accounting firm in Oakland, Calif., and coordinates much of her life via the apps on her phone.

So when she first heard several months ago that she could order her usual brand of birth control pills via an app and have them delivered to her doorstep in a day or two, it seemed perfect. She was working 12-hour days.

"Food was delivered; dinner was often delivered," Ralph says. "Anything I could get sent to my house with little effort — the better."

On a melancholy Saturday this past February, Shalon Irving's "village" — the friends and family she had assembled to support her as a single mother — gathered at a funeral home in a prosperous black neighborhood in southwest Atlanta to say goodbye.

D
Jasmine Garsd/PRI

It was a cool, fall morning in southern Texas, a day not so different from any other in the small border city of McAllen. Jane Doe arrived at the abortion clinic early, with little fanfare, as if she was just another teenager — not someone who had quietly sparked an uproar across America.

In Cambridge, Mass., a woman named Kristin sits down on a stone bench to talk about a common but rarely discussed injury that's starting to grow along with the opioid epidemic: rape.

I admit it. I have a "mummy tummy," also known as "mommy pooch." You know, that soft jelly belly you retain after having a baby — it makes you look a few months pregnant.

I've tried to convince myself that the pooch is a valiant badge of motherhood, but who am I kidding? The pooch bothers me. And it turns out it has been causing back pain.

So when I hear that a fitness coach and doctor have come up with a technique that can flatten the pooch quickly and easily, I think, "Why not?"

The author around the time that she was first assaulted. Tara Weaver
Courtesy of Tara Austen Weaver

Editor's note: Tara Weaver posted this essay on her personal Facebook page after the second presidential debate, when Donald Trump said that his talk of sexual assault was merely locker room banter. More than 4,400 people shared this story, and hundreds commented with their own devastating stories in the comments.

This story was co-published by NPR and ProPublica.

Four days after Marie McCausland delivered her first child in May, she knew something was very wrong. She had intense pain in her upper chest, her blood pressure was rising, and she was so swollen that she barely recognized herself in the mirror. As she curled up in bed that evening, a scary thought flickered through her exhausted brain: "If I go to sleep right now, I don't know if I'm gonna be waking up."

Gina Mazany grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. And that's where she had her first fight.

"It was right after I turned 18," she recalls.

A local bar had a boxing ring, and Mazany decided to give it a shot. Her opponent was an older woman with a "mom haircut."

"She beat the crap out of me," Mazany says. "Like she didn't knock me out, she didn't finish me. But she just knocked me around for three rounds. And I remember, later that night I was very, very nauseous. I was throwing up that night."

It was her first concussion.

Thursday the King County Board of Health approved a new regulation for pregnancy resource centers, otherwise known as limited service pregnancy centers.

Under the rule, they need to post signage saying "This facility is not a health care facility."

Jacinta Morales learned she was pregnant after she was processed into ICE detention. She said she was happy to be pregnant.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

She wears a yellow uniform, loose, with a sweatshirt underneath. Her long hair, braided in tight cornrows near her temples. Her handshake, timid.

We talk in a small meeting room at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, with her attorney and an interpreter.


USA Gymnastics announced Tuesday that it will adopt all 70 of the recommendations in an independent review of its policies about reporting abuse. An investigation by The Indianapolis Star last year found that at least 368 gymnasts have alleged they were sexually assaulted by adults working in the sport.

Broken teeth are all too often a punchline in conversations about poor people in rural places. But for Heather Wallace, dental problems are anything but funny.

"Basically it's just like a nerve pain. Your whole body locks up; you have to stop for a second to try to breathe," she said. "And sometimes if it hurts bad enough, you might cry."

This is why I nursed my baby on the Seattle bus

Jun 10, 2017
The author with her son at their home in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood.
Krista Welch for KUOW

At the back of the Metro bus, we did something unusual: We talked to one another. Among us was a woman who had her toddler son with her — we smiled and waved at him as he asked his mom 20 questions about the world. Then, unexpectedly, he moved close to her, pulled on the collar of her shirt and pulled her boob out for a quick snack.

'Passion in Red.'
CREDIT XANDRISS SINGLE LINE ARTIST HTTPS://FLIC.KR/P/N7B6V7 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Claire Dederer’s book “Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning” is a memoir. But unlike “Wild” or “Eat, Pray, Love,” it’s not the kind of memoir where a woman of a certain age goes traipsing off into the unknown to start a new life.


My mom knew she was going to lose her hair when she went to chemotherapy, so she got it cut and made into this wig.
Courtesy of Jad Vianu

My mom’s hair has always been a source of pride for her.

NPR and ProPublica teamed up for a six-month long investigation on maternal mortality in the U.S. Among our key findings:

  • More American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country. Only in the U.S. has the rate of women who die been rising.

Sharayah Lane and baby Ian nursing moms of color
Krista Welch for KUOW

They were riding the D Line bus in Seattle when baby got hungry. Mom pulled out her boob.

For the first time in the U.S., two physicians and a medical office manager were indicted on charges stemming from the alleged female genital mutilation of two young girls, about six to eight years old, according to a Michigan U.S. Attorney's Office. Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and Attar's wife, Farida, were indicted on April 26 for FGM, which has been illegal in the U.S. since 1996. The AP reported that Nagarwala's attorney, Shannon Smith, has denied the allegation, saying the doctor was performing a religious custom that didn't involve cutting.

Two weeks ago, a hashtag began going viral in India: #LahuKaLagaan. It literally means the tax on blood.

That would be India's tax on sanitary napkins — 12 to 15 percent on top of the 40 to 80 rupees (.60 cents to $1.25) for a package of eight. (Typically sold in an unmarked black plastic bag because India is not big on talking about menstrual topics.)

President Trump quietly signed legislation Thursday that rolls back an Obama-era rule protecting certain federal funds for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide legal abortions.

Alexes Harris, Sociology Professor at UW
Stacie Youngblood Photography

When Professor Alexes Harris learned she had a rare form of leukemia, she knew she was in a fight for her life. But she didn't realize how difficult it would be to find a bone marrow match as a woman of color. This is her story.

Outside the home of her foster sister Renee Davis, Danielle Bargala breaks down in tears while talking about how Davis' young children are living with different families. Davis, who was pregnant, was shot at her Muckleshoot reservation home last October.
Dan DeLong for KUOW

The young mom texted her boyfriend: “Come and get the girls or call 911. I’m about to shoot myself.”


A husband and wife from Port Townsend, Washington, are on their way home after being expelled from Guatemala. The Washingtonians and several other international activists narrowly avoided arrest during a maritime abortion rights protest.

Jennifer Fontaine kisses her daughter Morgan in Methuen, Massachusetts on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. After Fontaine's standard prenatal screening suggested her fetus might have Edwards syndrome, a doctor suggested a fetal DNA test, which said she was fine.
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Science writer Bonnie Rochman says she likes as much information as she can get — she finds it empowering. But she knows not everyone feels the same way.

KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Teen birth rates fell by 55 percent in King County between 2008 and 2015, according to officials.

County Executive Dow Constantine credits expanded access to long-lasting birth control and preventive care, as well as greater insurance coverage.

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Thursday that Republicans will — once again — vote to cut off federal tax dollars for Planned Parenthood. They are planning to include the measure as part of a bigger upcoming bill to repeal pillars of Obamacare. This isn't the first time that they have tried to pass this type of legislation — President Obama vetoed a similar bill last January.

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