Well the media, this week, have been on the bandwagon of cord blood donation. It can now ‘save’ everyone from developing Type 1 Diabetes! One interview, conducted on, none other than ABC radio (usually reasonably responsible), asked the expert Doctor about leaving the cord blood for the baby? One brave caller had dared to suggest this might be beneficial. The ‘expert’ doctor stated there was no evidence for this and there might be a few ‘fringe’ people who believed this to be true!! Really?? Can’t he read? – all the research which supports delayed cord clamping, including the World Health Organisation (WHO). This wonderful, iron rich cord blood, belongs to the baby, perfusing the new lungs and other vital organs at birth. Suggesting to new parents that it is common for children to develop Type 1 Diabetes is irresponsible FEAR based medicine. It is distressing to hear that the media, especially the ABC are not giving such important subjects proper balance.
When we travel through pregnancy we rarely stop and appreciate where we are and how far we have come. Sally started her pregnancy very cynical and not believing that hypnosis could eliminate any of her fears. She understood that it was important to have an open mind and after attending our hypnobirthing and having an amazing Birth Right doula, she birthed today, confident, empowered and meeting her baby was one of the most beautiful birthing moments I have witnessed.
Many women end up in a hospital pre-natal class (also called ante-natal, childbirth education, parenting classes – all very confusing) by default. I recently saw a couple who were 10wks. pregnant. They had not only booked their private obstetrician, private hospital but said the Obstetrician had ‘automatically’ booked them into the hospital classes. Absolutely no mention of CHOICE! She did not know, as most women don’t, that she has a choice. I know it is very confusing for a newly pregnant person to do all this shopping around (Birth Right book is designed to help), but there is a huge difference between doing a hospital based class compared to a class with an independent childbirth educator. The majority of hospital classes are based on pain management, hospital policies (i.e. what you can and cannot do!) and scare tactics. When shopping around for an independent educator, it is important to ask about their qualification, experience and philosophy of the class. The content of any good, pre-natal education, should be unbiased, research based information discussing the beauty and joy of birthing. They should be empowering women to trust in their birthing body and connect with their baby. Without question our hypnobirthing class does just this, ande more, teaching a life skill for all to use. Dad’s love the techniques, often using them in their work. Women leave the course feeling very calm, confident and at peace with this new found knowledge. Classes book out quickly so check out our available dates or ring/email to enquire about private one-on-one sessions.
Interesting article in SMH Good Weekend about the CEO of Yahoo, who was employed early in her pregnancy, and having limited maternity leave. She also announced she would be working, whilst taking maternity leave – whatever that means! Now we know that a male CEO would not be subjected to the same level of scrutiny, so I admire her for not discussing her birth or maternity leave with the media. Birth does, however, change women. She is impressively educated, and obviously has an astute intelligence, and I hope she chose to get the ‘right’ education about birthing. It will be interesting to follow her career at Yahoo, especially now that she is a mother. Can women have it all? and do it all justice? I think it is very challenging. A baby/child does need it’s mother (overwhelming research to back this), and many women want to have a baby and an uninterrupted career. No matter how much money you have or support systems/networks in place, this is still a huge challenge, the biggest hurdle – dealing with the guilt! Let me know your thoughts.
Hypnosis is a valuable tool I use for de-briefing a traumatic birth experience. It usually takes only one session and allows a woman, and her partner, to move on. I saw a woman today, who really wants to have another baby, but for the last 6 yrs. since her son was born, she has been very traumatised. Time, for her, (that damn biological clock!) is running out, and this is the only reason she has forced herself to look at her last birthing experience and address those traumas and fears. I know so many women who bury these feelings and when they are faced with another pregnancy and impending birth, suddenly all their fears are re-enacted. In an ideal situation it is really important to book a hypnosis session BEFORE you conceive again. This is important not only for a woman, her partner, and especially her baby and their relationship. ‘Relieved’ is a word that women commonly use to express the feeling of being able to re-visit and deal with the issues that have been nagging at them since the birth. Releasing these feelings will enhance the environment in which to conceive a new being, a new pregnancy and a whole new birthing experience.
This is part of an article in the New Zealand herald, Sep’t. 26th – written by Kate Shuttleworth
“Improving the health of children and preventing child abuse begins even before pregnancy, the Prime Minister’s chief science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman has told Parliament’s Health Committee
He said the nutritional state of women before and during pregnancy also impacted on the brain development of their children.
“There is growing evidence that the health of offspring is influenced by the behaviours of women from before conception and through pregnancy and lactation.”
He said there was growing research being carried out on the benefits of women and their partners receiving preconception nutrition and lifestyle counselling.
Sir Peter said the family dynamics were partly to blame for poor nutrition because knowledge about raising children wasn’t being passed down from one generation to the next.
Sir Peter also told the select committee the “mood” of the mother during pregnancy also impacted on a baby’s health; particularly their brain development.
“A woman who is depressed during pregnancy will give birth to a baby with parts of their brains developed to different sizes and therefore a shorter attention span, difficulty learning and poor emotional development.”
Sir Peter spoke to the Health Committee on both improving the health of children, but was also asked to speak about child abuse.
He said child abuse had permanent effects on a child’s brain development and children subjected to abuse were more likely to abuse their own children.”
Why is it, that so often, New Zealand seem to be much more ‘aware’ than our own Governments? The above excerpt shows very important reasons why we should be growing, now only physically healthy babies but also emotionally healthy babies. This cannot occur without good education, the right doula support and eliminating women’s fears about pregnancy and birthing. Check out our upcoming hypnosis courses for birthing. It will change your view about birthing and you will leave feeling empowered.
The age-old motherhood debate keeps raising its head with a recent study showing that pregnancy in older women is more common now than teenage pregnancy. We need to ‘get over this’! There are advantages and disadvantages for being young and pregnant and older and pregnant. We all know that after 35yrs. it can take longer to conceive and there is an increase risk in downs syndrome etc. The problem arises with older women, who may need a little help (IVF) to conceive, are then categorised as ‘high risk’ and are often bulldozed into the medical system, incurring an amazing amount of unnecessary medical intervention, throughout their pregnancy, labour, birth. This is indeed a cost on the health dollar. If a woman needs a little bit of assistance to conceive, and this is successful, then she should be regarded as a normal pregnancy, no matter what her age, and be given the same choices as a normal (younger) pregnant woman. There is enough fear surrounding pregnancy and birthing with young women – unfortunately it is increased considerably in the over 35 age group.
Birth de-briefing is so important for everyone. For those who have experienced their beautiful, hypnotic or even orgasmic birthing then they need to talk about it and be encouraged to get out and spread the good word – in fact – shout it from the highest mountain! So many of these women and men tell me they feel guilty and feel they need to ‘tone down’ their amazing experience. This is a really sad reflection on society, who only want to hear about the drama’s and elaborate explanations about all the medical intervention. For those of you who have not had the birth experience you wanted then PLEASE recognise that it is important to de-brief – for your own mental well-being, for your emotional connection with your baby, not only immediately following the birth, but long term. I meet so many women who are in their 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s, who, once they know what I do, can spend hours telling me about their births. They still have, all these years later, anger, frustration, guilt and most of all, big regrets about how much it affected their relationship with that child. They all wished their had been someone to talk to and have their feelings acknowledged. Well today there is, so don’t go into a 2nd or subsequent pregnancy without de-briefing from your first. I use hypnosis for flushing out the deep, sub-conscious feelings surrounding the birthing experience. A woman needs to deal with these before she can truly embrace and look forward to a new pregnancy/birth/baby.
The ‘system’, i.e. the hospital system, never ceases to astound me. Picture this – a young, healthy woman who has birthed beautifully – no medical intervention. The woman ‘mentions’ that she has some concerns re breastfeeding as her sister had very little breast tissue and was unable to produce milk, and her Mum only breastfed for a short period. These are understandable concerns. It’s a bit like birth – the experience of family members is so ingrained in a woman’s sub-conscious that she believes her birth will automatically follow suit. The midwife, who had been looking after this young woman on a post-natal ward, stated that the woman would not be able to breastfeed due to her family history and her small, tubular shaped breasts. Midwife then stated she was ‘allowing’ the baby to have skin to skin contact, just to keep the mother happy! The language surrounding this interaction was extraordinary from a midwife who, by her own admission, was close to retirement and was ‘over’ these complaining women. My suggestion – LEAVE the profession now before you do any more damage. Once a midwife has lost the passion, then it’s time to get out. Why do people stay in jobs they hate? After meeting with this new Mum I was able to reassure her that all appeared very normal. She had normal changes in her breasts, with positive signs of her milk coming in and baby seemed to know what to do. We discussed about the power of the mind, which she understood very well, and how negative comments, particularly when you have the vulnerability that all of us have on Day 3! She chose to go home and focus on the positive, connecting and talking with her baby about how breastfeeding was going to work for them. I have no doubt she will enjoy her breastfeeding. The type of information, and most importantly, how it is presented, is crucial in making sure that we reassure women that, like birth, breastfeeding will also happen normally.
Hypnosis probably has a questionable reputation for many. It is NOT stage hypnosis, you will NOT be unconscious, you will NOT be made to cluck like a chook! You WILL be in total control. You WILL be wide awake. You WILL be fully conscious. You WILL be very relaxed and peaceful as the wonderful benefits of hypnosis release all your fears and anxiety about birth and parenting. I am always in awe of a woman who uses these simple techniques to birth her baby, calmly, quietly and beautifully. To watch her enjoy her birthing and welcoming her baby into the world is a joy to behold. These babies come into the world, wide-eyed and alert, but very calm, just as eager to meet their Mum and Dad as they are. Do yourself and your baby a favour and book into one of our hypnosis programs. You will not regret this decision. Not only do these techniques work for birth, but you will be able to utilize these techniques in everyday life and also introduce them to your baby and children. Remember birth is a normal event in a woman’s life and it is important how we birth our babies.
Just had a wonderful weekend training some amazing post-natal doulas. Every pregnant woman deserves a doula for pregnancy, labour, birth and most importantly once she has become a mother. A post-natal doula is not going to come in and tell you ‘how to’ or ‘when to’, because they know that a new Mum has all the skills she needs to be a fantastic mother. She will support you and empower you to tune in and connect to your new little person’s strange new environment. Understanding what your baby is seeing, hearing and feeling makes for a smooth transition from womb to outside. I encourage all family and friends to consider the precious gift of a post-natal doula. A truly caring gift.
New ‘laws’ from the Church of England now require a woman to ‘submit’ to her husband in the marriage vows! A definition of the word – ” to yield oneself to the authority or control of another”. I’m just trying to understand how this might work in pregnancy, labour and birth? She wants a homebirth, he wants her to have an elective caesarean section – does she submit? He wants her to have an ultrasound every month, she only wants one! – does she submit? He wants her to be induced, to fit in around the footy final – she wants to let nature take its course – does she submit? Imagine, they are at home in labour, where she wants to stay for as long as possible but he wants to take her to hospital now – does she submit? He wants a doctor to attend, she wants a midwife – does she submit? He wants her to have an epidural, she does not – should she submit? He wants her to be quiet but she cannot help make those deep gutteral groans – does she submit? He wants her to do as the staff instruct, but she wants to listen to her body and her baby – does she submit? He wants the lights on, she wants them off – does she submit? He wants his choice of music, she doesn’t want any music – doesod she submit? He wants her to push quickly and hurry it up, as the footy final is about to start and she wants to ease baby out quietly and calmly – does she submit? Baby born – he wants baby to have formula, she wants to breastfeed – does she submit? He wants her body back to normal a.s.a.p. and wants sex 4 days after baby is born – does she submit? He wants the baby circumcised, she does not – does she submit? He wants the baby to be fully vaccinated, she does not – does she submit? I could go on, and on. It is challenging enough to encourage couples to carefully consider and discuss all their options from the beginning of pregnancy, through labour, birth and parenting. Where does this ‘submit’ begin and end in a relationship. Has feminisim died? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Why is it that so many women rely on information from their family, friends and work colleagues about their choices for birth? I know of a 26yr old who is pregnant, who joined a private health fund 4 yrs. ago so she could have maximum benefits when she became pregnant. I do a lot of early consultations, walking couples through the medical maze that surrounds pregnancy and birth, so they are very clear about their options for caregiver, place to birth, pre-natal course, and doula. They find the information invaluable, and so this girl’s Mum, offered a consult as a gift. She declined, based on the fact that they have already paid a lot of money to the health fund, and now to an obstetrician (only met 1!) and have been told they are buying the best! This is such a common story. This uneducated decision making, which we know, inevitably leads to a cascade of medical interventions, just because they have been ill-informed and not understood their options. To understand that birth is a normal event, and does not need to be an expensive medical event, is to know that you are making these choices on behalf of your baby. Do not underestimate the importance of shopping around for all of the above. The Birth Right and Doulas book offers some amazing inside information about ‘how to shop around’, or book a consult.
I have found myself conducting a small study into the birth statistics of car salesmen! I spend a lot of my normal life, de-briefing, temporarily, women who have had traumatic birth experiences. I’m talking about the social situation, and following on from that opening line of “what do you do”? When women, in particular, find out what I do, I tend to get the long version of the birth story – which is O.K. So, currently looking at buying a new car – yuk! what a process! and of course there is a lot of ‘hanging around’ and negotiating. Once again, I have had each car salesman recount, in graphic detail, the birth story of their children. Now whilst I do appreciate that this is a small sample, but, currently there is a 100% caesarean rate among car salesman. It made me think that maybe the power of the sales pitch from one salesman (obstetrician) to another salesman (car) has a greater impact, as there is a mutual understanding? Each story has run along similar lines – pelvis too small, woman very tired in labour, and discovering that baby is too big, after 4 hrs. of labour and only got to 8cms.! The really sad thing is that they all believe this was the only way! OMG and all I want to do is buy a bloody car! I’m exhausted, and not looking forward to my next interview.
Do you really know who you are? What is your relationship with your baby in utero? Have you thought about your birth and how you will parent? Do you understand the needs of your unborn and newborn baby? If you want to explore these and many other questions then enrol in the Hypnobirthing program, and enjoy a new connection with yourself and your baby. The program will teach you life skills about how the mind works and invaluable techniques for enjoying pregnancy, labour, birth and parenting. To be present and support a birth where Mum is connected with her baby, working with her baby, to birth in a calm, quiet way, is a joy to behold. These babies are born looking, relaxed and so alert. What a great start in life. Don’t miss out, book today.
No wonder women are fearful of birth. There are so many negative references to birthing, in the media. Latest one I noticed was an add for hair loss in women. Apparently hair loss can be caused by stressful and traumatic events such as childbirth! Who writes this stuff? Isn’t there anyone around who can point out that childbirth is not, has never been and should not be referred to as a stressful and traumatic event. The traumatic event, lies in the battle for women to surround themselves with positive and joyous references to birth and to trust their beautiful birthing bodies.
I want to share with you a story of a challenging birth I have just supported. She very much wanted a normal birth, preferably a waterbirth, but had chosen a private obstetrician and private hospital. She had practised hypnosis for birth, attended acupuncturist, naturopath, pre-natal yoga, homeopathy, to enhance her chance of a normal birth. At 42wks. she went into labour, following the dreaded membrane sweep by the obstetrician. From the beginning it did not look like normal labour, with strong and very short, frequent surges (contractions). She demanded an epidural immediately. Her partner became very angry at her decision. He left. Disappeared for about 4 hrs. and uncontactable. She depended on her doula, even more. After many hours, with much intervention, she had a successful caesarean section, with a baby who was presenting in a very awkward position. Her partner was still angry, but present, as best he could be. I supported her choice to have an epidural, followed by the ensuing medical intervention, including the caesarean. It was the best and only choice for her and her baby. She said, many times, that her partner was always much more committed to a normal birth than was she. It raises many questions when men have a very different view and how these women can feel totally disempowered and intimidated by their partners wishes for their baby to experience a normal birth, with no drugs or other intervention. As her doula, I was able to advocate for her choices, bring them together as a couple, encourage Dad to support and nurture their very unwell baby at birth, negotiate with the obstetrician, anaesthetist, midwives and operating theatre staff. Every birth is different, and I can only hope that ‘Doula Power’ made a difference in the mother-father-baby connection.
Whilst we all have to respect the Victorian Coroner – recent case investigating deaths of babies, I am concerned when someone as high profile as he is, puts out a blanket statement that co-sleeping is dangerous and should never be done – that is certainly the media interpretation! Co-sleeping with a newborn baby/child is safe, if parent’s follow the SIDS guidelines, and have a SIDS friendly sleeping environment, which is basic common sense. There is just so much confusing information for new parents today. For those Mum’s who have been in tune with their baby during pregnancy, labour and birth, she should be encouraged to trust her instincts as to the best place for her to continue bonding. There are so many advantages in sleeping safely with your baby, including better quality sleep for Mum and baby, breastfeeding made easier, but most importantly, it provides a gentle and wonderful transition from womb to the ‘real world’. So don’t give up, just follow the SIDS guidelines and trust your instincts.
Amazing research which the media have embraced today – ‘there are advantages to singing a lullaby to your baby’ – who would have thought!! Revolutionary – NO, New – NO! Interesting listening to the media discussion about how few women have time to sing to their baby and find it much easier to play the CD, click on itunes etc. I saw a new Mum recently with her 48hr old baby, in the basinette with her smartphone perched next to baby’s brain, playing a ‘tune’. She assured me it made baby sleep beautifully. This is not rocket science and whilst we all know and embrace the benefits of smart phones etc., there is a time and place to introduce technology to a child. All new Mum’s just get back to basics and follow your instincts. What your baby loves most is to hear your voice, singing and soothing, along with the touch, rocking, smiling that automatically goes with the soothing sounds of your voice. This is guaranteed to settle your baby much more successfully than using technology. You are making a very important imprint of deep love in a safe and reassuring way, so ditch the gadgets and follow your instincts.
Pre-Natal Education is vital. It does depend on where, when and with whom! Shopping around for the best education is important. So many women are pushed through into the hospital classes, without any discussion about other options. Choosing private pre-natal education will give unbiased information and free discussion about all topics. Having been a Childbirth Educator in the hospital system for many years, I know how restricted the information is. The hospital hierarchy, especially Obstetricians have a huge influence on what and how information should be presented. Working in a private hospital I was instructed to teach couples the benefits of epidurals and caesarean sections because “That’s What Women Want” (according to a group of MALE Obstetricians and Anaesthetists!). I won’t go into how that conversation progressed?? BUT choosing wisely by shopping around for a good childbirth educator (I have a list of questions you should ask in both my books), will ensure you have good knowledge, which is the only way to be empowered. I met a couple last night who believed they did not need any education as it was all so natural. They changed from a homebirth midwife at the last minute and booked into a hospital. She had a very long labour, failed ventouse, failed forceps (medical language!) and a forcep/caesarean birth. The baby looks so bruised and battered. He has the most swollen, bruised lips I have ever seen on a newborn. He is irritable and not feeding. The Mum is very angry, confused and does not understand why it ended this way. It will take her a long time to heal, physically and emotionally. Remember you don’t need to be taught HOW to birth, you just need to learn ABOUT birth. This important difference in education is what causes confusion, so when shopping around, find out the educator’s philosophy, which should follow the previous line. As women, we certainly do know how to birth, but it is so essential to learn about birth and the system.