Ever been ‘on hold’ at a hospital switchboard? They seem to be paranoid about telling the ‘holder’ about how important hand washing is – to avoid all those nasty hospital infections! Yes, well I couldn’t believe my eyes the other day when I was supporting a woman at a well know, and well regarded public maternity hospital in Sydney. The small pan, which had been placed in the toilet, was full of faeces (poo!), quite normal during a birth. An ‘experienced’ (that’s how she described herself) midwife, came into the room and after much encouragement, eventually changed to a clean pan. However, the pan, full of (poo) was placed, by the midwife, on the tray table – you know, where the food tray is placed, where the water glass and other food items are placed, where a woman may eat from! She then proceeded to put gloves on and get a paper towel to cover the offending item. We used to have pan covers. This is very basic nursing knowledge – poo and food don’t mix. If I had done this when I was a general nurse, let alone a midwife, I would have been dismissed on the spot – and rightly so. I was appalled and made sure the tray table was not used by the woman for anything. No wonder there is a variety of vicious bugs in our hospitals today – there was no hand washing and no level of basic hygiene. Thankfully this Mum was not in hospital for long enough to get a hospital sickness! Let me know your thoughts.
There are so many women who are suffering (not a word I use lightly) from birth trauma. I saw another couple today. She is now pregnant with her second baby and is so fearful of birth that she just wants to book an elective caesarean section under General Anaesthetic. This is understandable when you listen to her story – about an unnecessary induction, syntocinon for 48hrs., many vaginal examinations, from which she feels totally violated, and ending in a caesarean under general anaesthetic due to maternal exhaustion. She did not have an epidural. Yes, a very brave, strong woman! How different this birth could have been had she had a doula who presented her rights and options throughout this pregnancy. Her partner, whilst very supportive, says he felt helpless and didn’t know what to ask or how to ask. He, also is carrying a lot of trauma and is also fearful of being at this birth. I am encouraging her to consider all her options, in particular HypnoBirthing and a doula. There is a lot of work ahead but with the right support for both of them, I have no doubt this birth can be a wonderful healing experience. So to all those women who have birth trauma, please do yourself a favour and book in for a birth de-brief, which includes looking at your rights and options for your next pregnancy. Don’t carry this around with you for the rest of your life. Birth is a normal event. Birth is simple. Having the right doula support is essential.
Oh, so the media are now commenting on the numbers of medical inductions? This is hardly new stuff. For many years women have been bullied into unnecessary medical inductions. They are presented with so many fear based scenarios that no wonder many give in. Where is the fear coming from? It is obstetrician based fear – fear of being sued, fear of what might happen if baby stays inside for longer than 40 wks. and of course, fear that they might be called out in the middle of the night for a ‘normal’ birth, rather than a nicely scheduled induction. Women need to trust their birthing bodies, and connect with their baby. If a woman’s blood pressure is within normal limits, there is normal amount of fluid around baby, and normal movements then let’s leave well alone. The problem occurs when women get caught up in all the fear surrounding ‘waiting for nature’ which can slow down or even prevent labour from starting naturally. Our doulas deal with this issue all the time and are very skilled at supporting women through this hospital/doctor bombardment. So take charge of your birth and your baby. Don’t be bullied, if all the above is within normal limits. Offer to go in daily for CTG’s, ultrasounds and whatever other testing they want. If it is all O.K., then it is your right to say, “we are happy to wait, thank you”.
I have had 4 pregnant women, between 20 and 30 weeks contact me today, all very fearful, all attending a private obstetrician and going to a private hospital. Their choice of this model of care was based on advice from well meaning friends and family. None of them knew they could choose a midwifery model of care and what that would mean for them and their baby. They have all had fear based scenarios presented to them from the obstetrician – hinting at the need for medical intervention! Not all is lost as we will connect them with a wonderful Birth Right doula, and introduce them to Hypnobirthing. It is so important to make the RIGHT choices early on in your pregnancy. Get the RIGHT caregiver, place to birth, pre-natal course, and doula, then you will have the best opportunity to enjoy your pregnancy and have a relaxed, calm, beautiful birth experience. Purchase the Birth Right book to find out how or contact Birth Right.
Babymoon weekend on 10th & 11th Dec. at beautiful Silvermere Resort at Wentworth Falls. You won’t need to go anywhere! Come and relax and enjoy all Silvermere’s facilities, wonderful accommodation, fantastic food PLUS your HypnoBirthing class over 2 days. What better way to combine your holiday and pre-natal class. You will leave feeling very ‘chilled’, at peace and empowered and excited about meeting your baby. To book your babymoon weekend at Silvermere ph: 4757 3311 or firstname.lastname@example.org 0419 606 171.
Love to know your thoughts about the American doula training about to infiltrate our country? DONA (doulas of north america) are well recognised in the USA. I went to a conference in St. Louis about 4 yrs. ago, which was run by them. Great conference but it is not only a very different health system in the States, doulas are trained differently. At Birth Right I am very proud of our doula training. We specialise in training our doulas about the hospital system and how to negotiate with staff. Is this just healthy competition or do we need to be Americanised?? Let me know.
There was an article in the SMH today about pre-eclampsia. Really wish the media would stop writing about uncommon complaints in pregnancy, inducing even more fear in pregnant women. There are some women who have a predisposition to high blood pressure in pregnancy, but not many. Consider all the positive things you can do during pregnancy to maintain a healthy and normal blood pressure. Give yourself time to enjoy and relax during pregnancy. Don’t work right up until the last minute. Find the ‘right’ education so you are well informed. Hypnosis is a great way to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level, so book into a HypnoBirthing class. You will find this course empowering, and you will walk away feeling positive and looking forward to your birth and meeting your baby. All great for your blood pressure.
Birth Right will be launching in the Blue Mountains on 31st July, 3p.m. at Hands On Chiropractic, Railway Pde., Leura. This will be a showing of the wonderful HypnoBirthing doco. with an opportunity to win a HypnoBirthing course! Bookings are essential – contact Birth Right 0419 606 171 as spaces are limited. We are very excited to be spreading the word in the Blue Mountains.
What is all the fuss about breastfeeding in public? Many of the complainers may well have been breastfed themselves, when they were a baby! Get over yourselves! We should be acknowledging and supporting a woman who is breastfeeding in public and praising her for doing a magnificent job of providing the best source of nutrition for this new little person in our communtiy, who will grow up to be less of a drain on the public health dollar BECAUSE they started life with excellent and perfect nutrition. Congratulations to ALL breastfeeding Mum’s – you are champions.
Birth Right is moving to the beautiful Blue Mountains where peace and energy will enrich your pregnant soul. Why not combine your ‘babymoon’ with some of our classes? Enjoy a weekend of relaxation and learning in Leura, whilst staying at any number of wonderful accommodation on offer. You will leave feeling relaxed, nurtured, informed and empowered. Your partner will feel reassured and you will both enjoy a new sense of trust about birthing. Please see our website for details and book in early! as these classes are kept to a small size for your comfort. Look forward to seeing you there.
There are outrageous decisions made for pregnant women and their unborn babies. Francis, at 39wks. pregnancy, and who had been scanned weekly throughout her pregnancy, was told by her Obstetrician at her weekly checkup that her baby was very large, but not to worry because he had a gap in his surgery list that very morning and could book her in for a Caesarean NOW! She was not allowed to go home but she was ‘allowed’ to ring her husband so he could come in. She was booked into a private hospital in Sydney and it was 2 days before Easter. The epidural went horribly wrong and she found she had no feeling from the neck down. Her baby weighed 3.6kgs.! It seems there is absolutely no accountability for these Obstetricians and the decisions they make. There was no valid medical reason for this Caesarean. Francis wanted a normal birth but felt totally disempowered. Hiring a doula would have provided some accountability. A doula would have empowered her to question and challenge this decision. She would have been her advocate and her support. Yet another unnecessary Caesarean – when will this stop?
The announcement of a brand new 5 star private maternity hospital in Melbourne is a very sad reflection of where maternity services are headed. Fear based pregnancy and birthing is what they will offer – for a fee! There is a serious lack of knowledge about normal pregnancy and birth among the medical profession. Free standing birth centres, where Midwives can practise independently, provide continuity of care together with other alternative services that pregnant women may benefit from, e.g. chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathic, to name but a few, is where precious funding should be directed. At Birth Right we aim to empower all women to take charge of their pregnancy, labour, birthing and baby. Don’t hand over your power to anyone! Be informed and you will look forward to your day of birthing and meeting your baby.
Just got back from a beautiful hypnobirth. This was a very peaceful birth as Tracey worked with her body and her baby, breathing her baby gently down the birth path. I am still in awe of how calm and alert these babies are – wide eyed and looking for his mum, who scooped him up out of the water into her arms. The only hands on this baby were his mum’s and later his dad – just as it should be. Tracey says thank heavens for HypnoBirthing! Every pregnant woman should have this experience. What a great start in life she has given her baby.
Surprise! surprise! the caesarean rates are continuing to climb. With the continuing portrayal in the media of fear based birthing, no wonder! For all those pregnant women out there who have any anxieties around birthing then please book in to our HypnoBirthing class. This will change your mind, attitude and you will leave feeling empowered and looking forward to your birthing experience and welcoming your baby. Birth is simple and beautiful, it’s about getting the right education.
Wow! this is an amazing story from one of our Birth Right doulas who supported a woman who birthed her breech baby, vaginally! without any medical intervention. Unheard of today! Amy feels proud and empowered, being supported by her wonderful doula Beck, and an obstetrician with a refreshing approach to breech birth. For the last couple of decades all breech babies have been born via caesarean section, as obstetricians practise more and more fear based medicine. There is hope yet that we may be able to reduce the incredibly high caesarean rates. Any other vaginal breech birth stories??
Many caregivers tell women they don’t need a doula. It is important to remember that this is the woman’s choice and no-one should be interfering with that decision. I supported Joanne for her first birth in a hospital. She was now pregnant with her second and wanted that same support. I was delighted when she told me half way through her pregnancy that she had decided to have a homebirth. I checked with her to see if she still wanted doula support. “Of course, I see it as such a different relationship. You know me really well and I need that emotional support and advocacy. I feel safe knowing you are there, you are my rock. I see the midwife as looking out for me medically.” Thank heavens for women like Joanne, she got it! She went on to have a beautiful waterbirth at home with her partner, midwife and doula working in harmony. She felt totally safe. Check out our website for more info. on doulas.
Jane was 42 weeks gestation when she went into labour with her first baby and her membranes released with thick meconium. This followed a week of pre-labour. Jane’s dream of a waterbirth in the birth centre went out the window. Jane was strong, focused and determined to have a normal birth, and with doula and partner support she birthed beautifully in the delivery suite. For this 2nd birth she chose to birth at home, after much discussion with her ‘doctor’ husband, who was very supportive and committed.
None of us were expecting this labour at just under 38 weeks. She phoned at 10p.m. one Fri. night. She had been experiencing gentle surges most of the afternoon. The trainee doula and I met the homebirth midwife over at Jane’s. Their 3yr. old daughter was asleep. Jane was on a mat on the floor, leaning into a bean bag and using her slow breathing techniques that she had learned in HypnoBirthing®. The only lighting was lots of candles. It was quiet, apart from the sound of raindrops on the iron roof. Jane was pleased to see us. I asked Pete where the blow-up pool was? They had not had time to blow it up for a practice run and nor had he got the electric pump organised. “It’s just not going to work” said Pete.
I knew how much Jane wanted a waterbirth for this baby, so the midwife, trainee doula and myself dragged the pool out, and Pete’s bicycle pump! and away we went. Pumping and pumping, taking it in turns as it was very tiring while Jane quietly managed her surges in the corner of the room on the bean bag. At this stage she was not the focus – pumping was definitely the main agenda. Once we had started, we were determined to finish. I don’t think Pete had much faith in the bicycle pump, and it was a very slow process, but I knew that waterbirth was what Jane wanted. It took about 2hrs. of pumping and then about another hour to fill the bath. There was also no connection for the tap, so Pete had secured the hose to the tap with lots of electrical tape, which of course squirted everywhere!
Finally Jane was able to hop into the bath at about 4.30a.m. The 3 of us fell on the lounge, exhausted from pumping, and dozed intermittently. About an hour later, with the only sound of raindrops, Jane whispered that the baby’s head was born and as we moved gently towards the bath, the remainder of baby wriggled into the warm water. Pete was in the bath with her and received the baby, bringing him up into Jane’s arms. He was beautiful, alert and very calm. Even though I was very tired, this birth, like many others I have attended, re-energise me and show, once again, how magnificent women are, in the right environment and with the right support. Everyone present totally trusted birth. I was so pleased that a trainee doula had the opportunity to be a part of and witness the simplicity of birth. It is always such a privilege to be invited to share this amazing experience.