August 02, 2012
In honor of world breastfeeding week, we invited a commentary from a unique source--Professor Michael Paradiso of Brown University, a renowned neuroscientist who has developed an interest in the role that breastfeeding plays releasing hormones--and how those hormones affect a woman's brain. We note that there are many circumstances in which breastfeeding is simply impossible due to maternal health issues, physiological issues and in the transmission of HIV. In fact, there is even a phenomenon of [child to breastfeeding woman transmission](http://aidsperspective.net/blog/?p=868)(CTBT) in which seronegative babies end up infecting their mothers with HIV (infants are contaminated by medical technologies or blood in substandard facilities).
July 30, 2012
South Sudan. North Sudan? What about the women? As the world's newest nation, and one of the more dangerous places on earth to give birth, we have a keen interest in South Sudan. We have been discussing the plan for North Sudan's mothers with Dr. Elhassan Elhassan, an obstetrician from the University of Gezira. His perspective is very interesting because at the University they have put in place Safe Motherhood initiatives entirely conceived of and executed by the University without outside consultancies, donors or aid.
July 23, 2012
We worked with the firm [Undefined Creative](http://www.undefinedcreative.com/), a New York based studio, to develop our first [motion graphics video](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbzJVCqH78s&feature=g-all-u). How did we do it? Well, the secret sauce was @catchafire. This startup partners professionals with social enterprises--and Maternova was one of the founding members of the Boston 'edition' of [Catchafire](http://www.catchafire.org/). This enables professionals in specific categories (editors, financial forescasting motion graphics, SEO, etc.) to partner in what they do best with social enterprises needing a specific time-limited projects.
July 11, 2012
Today marked a historic day for women and for the globe as the UK Family Planning Summit wrapped up on London gathering more than $4.3B in pledged funding for family planning. As the twitter streams and #FPchat and #FPSummit can attest, the Summit drew widespread involvement-- and a lot of enthusiasm. A number of key reports were generated taking stock of the family planning landscape in the weeks preceding this Summit. Save the Children produced a report entitled [Every Woman's Right](http://www.savethechildren.org/atf/cf/%7B9def2ebe-10ae-432c-9bd0-df91d2eba74a%7D/EVERY_WOMANS_RIGHT_REPORT_JUNE_2012.PDF). They begin with the following statistics: -220 million women have an unmet need for family planning
July 02, 2012
In the midst of our focus on innovation, we pause to take a moment to recognize and reflect the stark realities faced by midwives in low-resource settings. Some areas have access to basic equipment needs, and are innovating in the technology realm: designing lower cost, solar-powered lights, power and blood banks. But in many places the challenge is making do with an indescribable shortage. Our advisor, Dorcas Kamanda, reminded us that in Sierra Leone she teaches women to take a piece of a plant to tie the umbilical cord because string is simply not available.