Birth and Death! they are so closely linked. In an ideal world both probably should be at home, surrounded by loved ones. A very dear friend of mine lost her son today. He died alone in his unit and she found him 24hrs. later. He was her first born precious son (as they all are) and even though he was in his 40’s, this certainly does not diminish the impact of losing a child. This is definitely not in the rules of life. Parents should die before their children. Being the mother of 2 son’s I can only imagine the absolute agony and pain of losing your child – whether that happens in utero or to a grown man. Every time I come home from a birth or a death, (a rare event in my business) I just want to go and give my children a huge hug and wrap them in cotton wool to keep them safe, but as mother’s we have to let our children go, eventually, and trust we have given them the best possible start in life.
The fortunate/unfortunate woman who ‘delivered’ her own baby at Blacktown Hospital, because no-one believed she was in labour, should actually be very thankful. She managed to avoid the unnecessary monitoring that hospitals impose on most women, and avoided medical intervention. Some would say it was a near perfect birth. Whilst it must have been awful for her to feel disrespected and not listened to or believed, by their very ineptitude, it was possible for her baby to have a birth that was uninterrupted. It is a fact that staff in a busy maternity unit are bogged down with so much paperwork (computer), and following hospital policies and procedures that their true skills of listening and just ‘being’ with woman, have, sadly been lost. This is another very good reason to get a doula!
Negotiating is a way of getting what you want without aggravating your opponent OR to try to reach an agreement by discussion! Pregnant women and their partners are not able to do this for themselves, during their pregnancy, labour or birthing. Why? because they do not understand the hospital system – our very broken system, where the majority of women choose to birth. A well trained doula has this expertise. I believe it is the key to a woman having a beautiful birthing experience. It is not possible to fully explain to a pregnant couple just how much manipulation the institution called a ‘hospital’, can push onto them, when it comes to making important decisions about them and their baby. It usually comes in the form of very powerful suggestions that leaves them with no choice. A doula provides the calm and the balance, offering honest information and support. This wonderful work is truly so rewarding it makes the sleep deprivation worth while! Check out our doula training and know you will be making a real difference to the beginning of life.
OMG the media again!! I really wish they would source some accurate information before they open their mouths. On the Today show this morning, one of the presenters and our new Australian of the year, commenting on the article over the weekend about the need for more Birth Centres, especially, free standing ones (only 2 in NSW). The conversation went back to when Lisa was pregnant, in a hospital pre-natal class where they were told that 1 in 4 of them would have a caesarean. She was shocked to find out that it happened to her, after 26hrs. of hell!! Really???? Whilst the medical reasons for a caesarean section are very few, there are many ‘other’ causes of this happening. If a woman has the ‘suggestion’, from so-called ‘experts’ (those presenting a pre-natal course) that she has a 1 in 4 chance of having a caesarean, then the likelihood of that occuring is very high. The negative suggestions that women get bombarded with from relatives, friends, work colleagues etc. are overwhelming suggestions for a pregnant woman but the media appears to have no sense of responsibility in presenting pregnancy and birthing in a positive way, preferring to base many of their assumptions on personal experience. No wonder many pregnant women have so much fear. Birth is a beautiful, and normal experience in a woman’s life. It is most certainly not a medical event.
Family Pressure can be overwhelming when you are trying to make decisions about where to birth, choosing a caregiver and even choosing a doula and pre-natal course. The family influences from day 1 of YOUR life, with regards to pregnancy and birthing, have been deeply imprinted in your sub-conscious. We know how challenging it is to explain to work colleagues, acquaintances and friends, the decisions you have made. Everyone has a point of view to share with a pregnant woman/couple! It becomes even more problematic when a woman asks family and friends for advice. It is a time in a pregnant woman’s life that she is highly suggestible, especially from those she cares about the most, and it is really challenging when that woman learns information and education that takes her way out of her comfort zone. I find, the women who I see early in their pregnancy, when they are still unsure and are open to and looking for information and education, always end up making the right decision for them and their baby. It is always hugely impressive when a woman/couple have made a decision, for them, which goes against the ‘norm’ that they have grown up with. Have confidence and trust in your birthing body to do, what it needs to do, to birth your baby easily and beautifully.
Midwife or Doctor? It is always interesting to see how a pregnant woman goes about choosing a caregiver. Many don’t even ‘shop around’ or know that all women have choices. Some important points to consider:
- Doctors treat illness and disease.
- They are attracted to study medicine because they are interested in diagnosing and fixing problems – a worthwhile profession
- Looking after a woman with a normal pregnancy holds no interest because there is nothing to diagnose or fix (understandable from their point of view)
- It becomes interesting, only if there is a ‘rare’ foetal or maternal problem
- Most are male
- Midwives specialise in looking after normal pregnancies, normal labour, birthing and post-natally
- Midwives are specifically trained in the ‘normal’ and recognising the abnormal
- Midwives look after a pregnant woman’s physical, social and emotional needs
- Midwives specialise in supporting normal birth and respecting a woman’s right to do it in her own way, without interference
- Most are women
An obstetrician that I used to work with told me he couldn’t just ‘sit around’ in a labour as he felt he was being paid to ‘do something’! I think this is a very common thought, if not consciously then certainly sub-consciously.
I do get to see many women, who, for whatever reason have chosen an obstetrician, believing that the private hospital and him will ‘allow’ her to do exactly as she chooses. It is a fact that very few women get to have the normal and beautiful birthing experience they want in this system. It is not the philosophy of the private system to promote normal birth. Why would they? They run a business and there is no money to be made in a woman birthing normally, without using medical intervention.
So choose wisely. You are making this decision on behalf of your baby. Purchasing the ‘Birth Right’ book will give you a great insight in how to shop around, what questions to ask and what answers you should be getting. You only have to look at the difference in medical intervention rates between public and private hospitals to help you make this decision. What problems do you have in choosing?
Adventures in Breastfeeding! – gotta love James Valentine from ABC radio, Sydney for turning this serious debate into a positive story – or stories! I have my own story, although it wasn’t exactly in public. When I was breastfeeding my second son we lived on a property in the back blocks of South Australia. Next door were 90 head of milking goats. The property was unfenced and at exactly 4p.m. each day many of the goats would come and eat my washing off the clothesline – they seemed to be particularly fond of cloth nappies! I often forgot to make sure the washing was safely inside, prior to 4p.m. The goats would bleat – very loudly – as they were feasting on my washing which would cause me to have a huge let-down (reflex). My baby never seemed to be awake at that time for a feed (unfortunately)! This went on for many months and my attempts to shoo them away, were all in vain. They are massive animals and quite intimidating, especially if it interfered with eating. Many breastfeeding women find if they are out in public, without their baby and they hear another baby cry, this also sets off a let-down, also certain pitches in music can have the same effect, and of course, having sex, especially with an orgasm. Ah! the wonderful, and sometimes funny side of breastfeeding.
Training as a doula is one of the most rewarding and satisfying career choices. I have had so many enquiries in the last few weeks, about our Doula Training, making me realise there are many people who are unhappy in their current jobs, who are looking for something where they can truly make a difference. It is not just about providing support, education, guidance for a woman during her pregnancy, labour, birthing and post-natally. A doula needs to be ‘totally present’ for a woman, which means she has to put her own ‘stuff’ away and be truly interested in her, her partner, her unborn baby and her choices. She needs to be respectful and understanding. Most importantly she needs to have the capacity to ‘look and listen’, with all her senses, and not make judgements. These are skills that will come naturally to the person who feels drawn to the world of doularing. It is about empowering a woman to trust in her own abilities to birth and following her instincts. This is not easy in this highly medicalised system of birthing that we have developed in this country. Doulas come up against many challenges from women, via the medical system, and a skilled doula has to be able to manage those challenges with grace and respect. I really love this journey with woman, watching her grow, develop, learn and most of all the wonderful changes that take place in her as a woman, mother and partner.
Breastfeeding in public – it is unbelievable that in the year of 2013 and in the major city of Sydney, we are having this debate! I want to get to the stage, as a community, that we embrace and support our women who are breastfeeding mothers. For those who are challenged by the ‘breastfeeding concept’, then try this!!
- Smile warmly and encouragingly at any woman you see breastfeeding.
- Congratulate her on what a magnificent job she is doing in raising a healthy new person
- This new person is OUR next generation and they deserve the best start in life!
- We need the next generation to be very healthy!
This is very simple. If you still think that breasts are for sexual pleasure – ONLY! and cannot think beyond that – then avert your gaze or walk away but don’t ever criticise a mother for doing the absolute best job she can – breastfeeding!
‘Doulas-why every pregnant woman deserves one’ – this book is about birthing with a doula and how employing a doula can transform your birthing experience. Every pregnant woman needs a doula, no matter where you are birthing – home or hospital. Many caregivers (obstetrician or midwife) will very often tell you the opposite. A private obstetrician informed a client I am seeing that she did not need a doula as he would ‘manage’ the birth! Even midwives who are offering a continuity model of care, will tell women they don’t need a doula. this is very disappointing and highlights the lack of understanding about the role of a doula. The relationship a doula develops with a pregnant woman is very different from that of a caregiver. A doula offers true continuity of care physically, emotionally, spiritually and the trust that grows is unique. Women who do employ a doula, understand the importance of having someone they tgrust absolutely and who is going to support and advocate for them and their baby, should the need arise. A caregiver, who is representing our very flawed and broken hospital system, cannot tgruly provide this service. Many midwives find this extremely frustrating. This book can be purchased through our Birth Right website and will give you great insight into labour, birthing with a doula and how this can lead to a peaceful, hypnotic and enjoyable birth for Mum, Dad, and most importantly, baby.
Changing the ideas and thoughts you have about birth, will change the way you birth!
All those negative thoughts and emotions that are deeply embedded, often from the time we are born, into your subconscious, can be eliminated. The process is simple, relaxing and hugely empowering. If you are pregnant and overwhelmed with negative stories from friends, family and the media, then enrol in our hypnobirth pre-natal program and learn the skills that can lead to a wonderful, enlightening and enjoyable birthing experience. Eliminating fears, in the magic of the Blue Mountains is the ideal retreat for any pregnant woman/couple. Make it a babymoon weekend and truly get away from all your daily stresses, devoting this time to really connect with your unborn baby. All details and to book are on the Birth Right website – www.birthright.com.au
My wish for all the 2013 pregnancies is that each and every woman/couple do their research and shop around for the best caregiver, place to birth and pre-natal education. You are making these decisions on behalf of your baby. They are some of the most important choices you will ever make. Both my books – ‘Birth Right’ and ‘Doulas-why every pregnant woman deserves one’, will help you shop around or you can contact me directly for an early consult, which will give you invaluable insight into ‘the system’ and how to best navigate your way around. It is intimidating and confusing, so get some professional help. I was out on NYE with a group of women, all who have adult children, and some who are now grandparents. I am still amazed at how many women, justify the reasons for medical intervention, for themselves or how their grandchildren were born. They truly believe that they have been ‘saved’ by an obstetrician. In the majority of these stories, one fact is clear – they did not have the right information and education to shop around and understand the system. There is a lot of medical bullying happening with pregnant women, and my hope and plan is for 2013 to be a year of more awareness for pregnant women.
Personal Power can so easily be eroded by the medical profession, especially during pregnancy. Do you feel like you don’t know anything? Are you being bombarded with questions about your medical history, drug and alcohol history, obstetric history? Are you being ‘told’ what to do? Are you being ‘directed’ to have so many tests? Do you feel you don’t have any control over your pregnancy? Do you feel you need to hand over your power to the medical professionals – because they are ‘the experts’?
Well guess what? no-one knows your body better than you! no-one knows your growing unborn baby better than you do! Pregnancy and birth are normal life events and yet women all over the world are being bullied into believing they know nothing and they need to hand over all their care and be ‘directed’ by policies and protocols of hospital institutions.
It is time for you to reclaim your Personal Power and TRUST in your body and tune in to your instincts. The hypnobirthing pre-natal program will enlighten you in just how beautiful and simple pregnancy and birthing is. Join us in the beautiful Blue Mountains and learn about your growing baby, connecting on the inside, trusting your instincts and how to get the best out of the ‘system’. Next course 5th & 6th Jan. 2013
New research shows that hospital emergency waiting times are increasing and NSW has the longest, apparently more than 4 hrs. – really?
Problem is that hospital emergency rooms are no longer used for ’emergencies’, i.e. a life-threatening accident, injury or severe illness. All those who present to emergency rooms with ‘common ailments’ should immediately be redirected -OUT of the hospital. Now, I don’t know about you, but I would only go to a hospital if I was sick, ill and dying – and even then I would think twice! They are horrible places and here are some of the reasons you do not want to go to a hospital:
- Especially dirty these days
- Swarming with bugs, some of which cannot even be identified
- Lots of very overworked, stressed staff, who cannot always manage a warm empathic smile
- No guarantee of being properly assessed (due to young, inexperienced, overworked, stressed staff)
- No time to ‘listen’ to each presenting story, so many things get missed
- Close encounter with other peoples’ bugs
So I wonder what people actually want from a hospital?
Each of us need to take responsibility for our own health. Listen to your body, know and understand about your mind/body and how it reacts to different situations.
Trust your own instincts. Imagine if the hospital was closed and you had no access to medical care. What would you do? A large majority of people would work out their own solution, in time, and feel so empowered as a result. Let’s reserve the hospital visit for true emergencies so the expertise of staff can be better utilised.
Older mothers – the never ending debate! New data out shows that the oldest mother to give birth in Australia was 60yrs. old.!! Obviously not her eggs, but did grow and birth (unsure but probably caesarean section). How old is too old? there are so many questions to ask – the most important is thinking about the baby. What is fair for the baby? One needs sooo much energy for small people. I have an 8yr old grandson (and I am a relatively young grandmother) and that can be exhausting. I had him for a week last school holidays, and we had lots of fun, but at the end of the week I was very happy to hand him back to his Mum and enjoy a quiet coffee with uninterrupted reading of the newspaper. I have been there and done that with my own children and now do appreciate ‘my time’. Is that the same for a 60yr old who has never had children? It is impossible to explain the constancy of parenting and the physical, mental, emotional exhaustion that goes along with that. We do need to have some responsibility in thinking about the needs of a child and what is best for them. At 60yrs. of age there is certainly a wealth of life experience. Those parents who are in there 20’s don’t have that but do have boundless energy and enthusiasm to share and a willingness to learn. What do you think?
Imagine having your pregnancy nausea and vomiting discussed on an international level? Hyperemesis is rare but you’ve got to feel very sorry for Kate Middleton. As any pregnant woman who has experienced this, knows the last thing you want is to see or talk to anyone. To have the world’s eyes on you as you leave hospital must have been excruciating, but she handled it with such grace. Whilst we don’t know exactly what causes hyperemesis, like a lot of ‘pregnancy problems’, it can be related to fear! The Duchess must surely be feeling ‘pressure’ and I hope she gets to access some ‘good’ and empowering information, where she can make her own choices about birthing, apart from the medical event that I am sure is planned for her. What can help with nausea and vomiting in pregnancy?
I have looked after many pregnant women over the years who have benefited from these. More recently I have used hypnosis, very successfully. Think I’ll send Kate a copy of both my books? What do you think?
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.