Dealing with family and friends when you’re pregnant can be a challenge. Everyone has an opinion. You have the familty who insist on you booking into a private obstetrician and private hospital, because, they feel strangely relieved that everything will be O.K. because you now have the best care! Really? Then you have the family member who pushes you to go to their doctor because they were ‘lovely’ or worse still ‘divine’! It seems to be that many families pass on fairly horrific details about various births and how excruciating painful it is. This results in a huge increase of the fear and anxiety that a pregnant woman already has, from the media, magazines, TV etc. and other well meaning friends and work colleagues. So how do you deal with this? Ideally start at the beginning, after you have done your research and shopped around and chosen an appropriate model of care, caregiver, place to birth, pre-natal course and doula. Then at the same time you are announcing the joyful news to loved ones, simply and proudly tell them what you have chosen, that this is an informed choice that you have made on behalf of you and your baby and you look forward to all their support. Remember, pregnant women, NEVER hand over your power, not to anyone. So, don’t ever, invite anyone’s opinion. Given the right information a pregnant woman will always choose what is right for her and her baby.
DOULAS – WHY EVERY PREGNANT WOMAN DESERVES ONE. My new book has received some great publicity. I hope you have all seen the latest TV interview on Channel 10, The Circle on Tues. 3rd April. It was a good interview with the panel showing genuine interest in the benefits of having a doula. I am determined to change the general views about birthing being painful and something which has to be endured. My message is not just about doulas but about birth as a normal, life changing event in a woman’s life. One that, given she makes the right choices for her and her baby, is a beautiful, rewarding and deeply empowering experience. It is important how we birth our babies. To all you beautiful pregnant women – NEVER HAND OVER YOUR POWER – get yourself a doula. Happy Easter to all.
What has happened to ‘offering’ testing during pregnancy? A client of mine, 28wks. pregnant, went for her routine hospital visit. We had discussed, just last night, about the GTT (glucose tolerance test). She had no risk factors and decided she would decline the test. It appears she was bullied into it. The midwife told her she “had to have it” and today was the only time they could do it. Liz (not her real name) told me it became all too hard to have an argument and so to keep the peace she swallowed the awful sugar drink, and immediately was sick. All pregnant women please take note! It is not compulsory to have any testing! It is your choice. You are making this decision on behalf of you and your baby. In an ideal world the conversation should go: midwife “it is normal for us to offer you this testing at week 28. Do you know and understand the reasons for this? Would you like any further information? Have you made an informed decision on behalf of you and your baby? Please let me know”! We all know that unfortunately the conversation does not flow in this way. I suggest to you that if you have made a decision NOT to have a particular test, ultrasound, blood test, Strep. B etc. then make sure you have a good one liner to deliver ! “I know about the test and have made an informed decision to decline, thank you”! Keep it short and sweet and remember – NEVER hand over your power.
Am I Allowed? This is the constant cry from pregnant women, especially when we are discussing options – you know all those choices a pregnant woman SHOULD have during pregnancy and birthing. I had a group in at the weekend for a pre-natal course in hypnosis for birth. The questions of “Will they let me do……?” and “Am I allowed to do…..?”. Getting the message firmly imprinted is my goal! This is your birth, your labour and birth and your baby. It is a normal event and you are the Director of that event. Whilst we must all respect the institutions (hospital) rules and regulations, policies and procedures, and the staff, it is very important that a woman goes into labour, confident in her ability to birth in her own way, directing her own birthing and feeling absolutely in control of all decisions she makes on behalf of her baby. To all you beautiful pregnant women – NEVER hand over your power!
Working with a midwife the other evening, at a small regional hospital, where there was a 19yr old in labour. This young girl lived with her grandmother, her boyfriend was present (he lived with his Dad). She had no education, had not read any books about pregnancy or birthing but had managed quite a few 3D and 4D ultrasounds, just for pictures. It seems there is either the 35 + yr old, or the teenager! I don’t have many inbetween. I questioned the midwife about informing this young woman about essential options and choices. Her comment was that if this girl was so uneducated and therefore uninformed, let’s not bother. It was in the ‘too hard’ basket. Now the young woman no doubt came into hospital way too early, she had no idea what was happening, no connection with her baby, and no understanding of what was normal. She most certainly was not aware she had choices. I couldn’t help comparing this with a 35 + yr. old, who has no doubt ‘over’ read, ‘over’ researched, ‘over’ educated (that is possible when a woman has attended so many different pre-natal courses and is confused!) It is quite shocking to think that health professionals can treat these two demographics so differently. As a result, this young woman had way too many vaginal examinations, way too many CTG’s, way too little information given. We must be very careful about targeting our information and education to reach all women. After staying in hospital for about 14hrs, she had her membranes ruptured by a doctor, and birthed 25 minutes later. She is, apparently, happy. Whilst she had a very supportive grandmother who stayed with her the whole time, this could have been quite a different experience, if she had been supported throughout her pregnancy by a doula who could have educated, informed and influenced the course of the labour and birth.
One day this week as I was watching a well known morning breakfast TV program, I was horrified once again at the comments regarding pregnant women. I do wish that the media would keep their mouth shut when it comes to pregnancy and birthing issues. The discussion was around weight and how women are obsessed with their weight post baby. This all came about after Beyonce’s outings!! looking nothing like a new Mum! The well know presenter stated how uncomfortable and anxious she felt when the obstetrician weighed her at every check-up!! I’m sure she is an otherwise intelligent woman, but what archaic practice this is, and who would normally allow someone else to check their weight. Is a woman not intelligent enough to monitor her own weight, if she desires? Can she not read the scales, all by herself and then inform the obstetrician of the number, if she desires? and what has this got to do with the growth of the baby? – absolutely nothing! Of course we all need to be discussing with pregnant women the importance of good nutrition and exercise. No-one should be humiliating a pregnant woman by insisting she stand on the scales, being watched and recorded. Well that’s my soap box done for the week. Look forwad to your comments. Susan
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 email@example.com 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.