Our work is done almost entirely by volunteers and sustained by the donations of caring individuals. We need help to sponsor some of the critical work we have planned for coming months.
Or you can send a check, payable to NotJustSkin.org, to our headquarters at 251 Manor Circle, Takoma Park, MD 20912. Donations are tax deductible.
You can also write Ryan McAllister (ryan /the at sign/ notjustskin.org) to lend assistance with any particular project or to find out how to help.
Ryan McAllister, Ph.D.
Executive Director, NotJustSkin.org
Putting Children First
Background and Motivation
While the U.S. currently spends more per capita on healthcare than any other country, we have higher infant and maternal mortality rates than all other industrialized nations and Cuba. And, while we spend more per capita on psychiatry and psychiatric medication than any other country, we have higher rates of suicide, depression, and domestic violence than any other industrialized nation. Taken separately or together, these facts represent a public health crisis.
Today, prospective parents encounter confusing, contradictory, and incorrect information about birth and parenting choices in consumer magazines, by word of mouth, and even from mis-informed medical professionals. Children and parents also experience negative social pressures, socially accepted oppressive practices, and neglectful or abusive treatment from medical professionals.
Current efforts to address these problems through increasing use of drugs and medical interventions on children and birthing women, increasing use of reward/penalty systems in parenting and education, and increasing levels of incarceration are failing to resolve these problems because they do not address its origin. Institutionalized and culturally accepted practices around birth, childhood, and parenting are harmfully out of sync with human needs. We continue to learn about those needs by personal experience and extensive research into scientific and clinical information.There is clear need for accurate information, beneficial peer support, and social change to address this public health crisis. What could be more worth your support?
Promote a warmer start to life, greater physical and emotional health of children and parents, and a less violent society by:
- Providing information and support for parents
- Encouraging choices that promote the physical, emotional, and psychosocial health of children
- Clarifying the options of pregnant, birthing, and post-partum women and families to promote the welfare of children and parents
- Eliminating oppressions
Work to Date
We have given talks, facilitated discussions, lead support groups, exhibited, and coordinated workshops to provide information and support around these problems and solutions, at a variety of events/organizations, including:
- The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
- The Holistic Moms Network
- Gender Public Advocacy Coalition
- The East Coast Green Festival
- The National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers
- Frederick Birthing Circle
- University of Maryland School of Nursing
- Babies Are Us
- DONA (Doula Organization of North America)
- True Equality Congress
- National Conference on Gender
- American Medical Student Association national conference
- Birth, the Play (at the New Play House in Frederick, MD)
We have maintained an extensive and growing web-based, research-driven resource for parents and prospective parents, providing clear and reference information about public health parenting issues including:
- Approaching Doctor’s Appointments
- Birthing Options
- Cesarean Sections
- Doulas supporting birth
- Female Genital Cutting
- Genital Assignment Surgery
We are now researching additional issues we have identified as crucial to solving the violence crisis:
- Attentive co-sleeping
- Benefits of baby wearing
- Conscious parenting
- Early roots of sexism
- Implications for long-term psychological problems and domestic violence
- Use of behavioral modification drugs on children
We provide a growing number of our information resources in Spanish translation in order to address the concern that persons who speak English as a second language are often put at a severe disadvantage in our medical system. We have begun to assemble literature in additional languages.
In addition, we have provided in-person, by-telephone, and by-email support for dozens of parents and concerned individuals in the past year.
We continue to research and assemble materials about additional critical issues and solutions in the effort to decrease the rates of maternal mortality, infant mortality, alienated children and parents, domestic violence, depression, suicide, and psychiatric drug use.