The Good, the bad, and the cuddly of the week – Lady soldiers and pregnant ladies, including Lily Allen

17 Jun

The Good – Female Soldiers to Join the Frontline Next Year
If you believe in equality in the workplace, you’ll be happy to know that male soldiers have been told they’ll be joined by women on the frontline in Afghanistan in 2012. Of course, they’ll have to pass the same physical endurance tests as their male counterparts. But I think it’s a winning idea. These days, it seems that so much of a soldier’s role (particularly in Afghanistan) is to win ‘hearts and minds’. I’m going to make a massive generalisation here but I think most women have a strong sense of empathy which makes them ideal for this kind of work. The other point is this – women are still paid less than men for the same work, and are still vastly under-represented at the executive level in the corporate sector. If we want to achieve equality then we need to push some boundaries – and this is a big one. As the Prime Minister has said in the past, everyone deserves the right to die for their country.

The Bad – Your sleeping position can affect stillbirth
This is a rather alarming story. But, if you see knowledge as being power, then you could also see it as positive information. New Zealand researchers have found pregnant women who sleep on their back or right side the night before giving birth are twice as likely to have a stillborn baby compared with those who sleep on their left side. The authors said restricted blood flow to the baby when a pregnant woman lay on her back or right side for long periods might explain the link. But before you panic, you need to know that the ‘research’ was based on new mums who were asked to recall their sleeping position about 25 days after the event. In the haze of post-birth crazy hormones, I could barely remember what I did 5 minutes ago, let alone 25 days ago – so take it all with a grain of salt. Carrying a child is a massive, massive responsibility for a woman. There are rules about what you’re supposed to eat, to drink and how you should exercise – and now, it looks like there may be some rules on the way about how you’re supposed to sleep (left side, not right). But I guess if it prevents even one stillbirth, it’s worthwhile.

The Cuddly – Lily Allen Gets Married
Gee it was refreshing to see a celeb bride who didn’t cash in on her wedding day and wasn’t hiding under umbrellas or a tarpaulin due to a magazine exclusive. As the photo shows, Lily was like any other bride, allowing nosey onlookers to get pretty close. She didn’t even seem to mind the paps being there. Nice. And – just to put the icing on the wedding cake – Lily and her husband announced to the wedding congregation that they are expecting a baby. Doubly nice. Lily has suffered two miscarriages – one of them at 6 months. I sincerely hope it all works out this time. Coincidentally, I saw this gorgeous video tribute to Lily Allen, performed by the London-based Capital Children’s Choir. The song is called ‘Chinese’. Allen wrote it for her mum, and it highlights the beauty of simple domestic life, which she has clearly been searching for. I hope she’s found it.

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