I am upside down! – breech at 38wks. pregnancy! No amount of acupuncture, visualisation etc. or an attempted ECV, was ever going to turn this little man. He was very happy with his bum firmly in the pelvis. Mum was booked into a Birth Centre. She wanted a normal vaginal breech birth, but unfortunately what the hospital calls ‘normal’ was a planned epidural with forceps to baby’s head. Hardly a definition of ‘normal birth’. I was able to get her an appointment with the wonderful Dr. Andrew Bissetts at the Royal Hosp. Women in Sydney and she transferred. Andrew has an impressive reputation and track record with supporting women in a very normal vaginal birth – whatever the woman wants. A few days later the Mum went into labour. She birthed magnificently on a mat, on the floor, in a delivery suite, with dim lightlng, using her hypnosis and a quiet and respectful team supporting her – that was her partner, myself, Andrew Bissetts and his ‘offsider’! Hands off approach, and no intervention, she was able to believe in her body, and trust absolutley. This is the way it should be, but is mostly NOT. It was a huge privilege to support this amazing beautiful birthing woman.
HANDS OFF! would be a welcome policy for hospitals to implement. Unfortunately I cannot see this happening any time soon, especially in private hospitals. The frequent ‘diagnosis’ of an ‘anterior lip’ in labour causes much alarm among the staff, which then transfers to the labouring woman. An anterior lip simply means there is some cervix still present or as is often diagnosed – ‘swelling of the cervix’, prior to full dilation.
At some point in labour most women will have an anterior lip because this is the last part of the cervix to be pulled up over the baby’s head. The cervix does not open in a nice neat circle. It depends on the position of the baby. If a baby is in the most favourable position, i.e. anterior (OA), then the cervix is more likely to open evenly, but if baby is in a posterior position (OP) or somewhere inbetween, then the opening of the cervix will be uneven.
A woman in a private hospital, who was planning a normal, non-interventionist birth, had been in labour for about 10hrs. and was 9cms dilated. Private hospital midwife (obstetric nurse!) was following instructions and did a ‘routine’ vaginal examination only to discover an anterior lip. Panic stations ensued and the obstetrician was called. On arrival he, of course, did another vaginal examination, announcing that she was only 8cms., swollen cervix, swelling on baby’s head, meconium in waters and she could stay like that for hours OR he had 1 free operating theatre available – right now – and she could be holding her baby within the hour! Overwhelmingly powerful suggestion!
She had the caesarean section and was separated from her baby, due to the hospital policy of baby needing to be monitored following a caesarean.
If she could do this birth again, in a different environment, with different caregivers, and no vaginal examinations, the outcome may well have been very different. As a doula we need to discuss with women about vaginal examinations. The information from a vaginal examination, is irrelevant, except in a few extreme circumstances. We need to give women time to follow their body’s lead, to be in tune and trust their birthing instincts, allowing time for labour and birth to ‘happen’, as it should, without time frames and judgements.
- Australian women earn 17.5% less than their male co-workers
- Only 3% of ASX200 companies have a female CEO
- Women are 20 times more likely to be a victim of domestic violence than men
- Australian women will retire on a third less superannuation than men
- Women aged over 60 are the fastest growing demographic in homelessness
These statistics are evidence of an imbalance in power. Women make up 51% of our population, they are disproportionately the victims of violent crime, and are far less represented in positions of power.
No wonder women find it challenging to be in control and have total power over their birthing. There is a pervading belief that a pregnant woman needs to ‘hand over’ her birth to a doctor and hospital, because birth is a medical problem that needs medical ‘fixing’!
Pregnancy and birthing is normal. It is a woman’s birthright to be the CEO of her birth and baby. The best way to be empowered and find out how you can do this is enrol in one of our hypnosis courses and hire one of our amazing doulas. It will open your eyes to your ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’ to your baby, and give you invaluable information to empower you to be that CEO!
Fear Factor! Supported a beautiful birth yesterday but it is always interesting to observe the Fear Factor within the system and it’s workers! Kate was 41wks pregnant so very ready to meet baby. She presented at the Birth Centre in the morning, as she felt very unwell, with hot/cold shivers and back ache and stomach pains. Midwife informed her this was pre-labour and sent her home. After many conversations it seemed that she was unwell, ? food poisoning, and it certainly did not seem like labour. By the afternoon she was feeling really sick so presented again to hospital, and with a very high temperature and raised heart rate of baby, was admitted to Delivery Suite and given intravenous antibiotics. She improved quite quickly and around 1a.m. spontaneously began labour, with membranes releasing. Unfortunately there was some meconium present. Immediately the staff suggested emergency caesarean, even though her temperature had settled to normal and baby had calmed. We negotiated, based on safety of Mum and baby, who by this stage were both O.K. Then more suggestions of ‘speeding up the labour’ with syntocinon, because they feared the worst. The ‘fear based’ language that was used by the staff was astonishing. There was absolutely no regard for the couples wishes (all based on safety), and no regard for her strong belief that she and baby could birth without interference. We negotiated.
The amazing part of this story is that as the staff observed Kate very calmly moving through her labour, using hypnosis techniques to keep her baby’s heart rate safe and using the power of her mind to visualise progressing quickly (to avoid any more mention of intervention), they became a little more relaxed. There was constant ‘talk’ of intervention throughout this labour, especially toward the end, as they believed she could not ‘give birth’ without ‘medical help’. We negotiated. She was ‘in the zone’, safely protected by her support team, and it wasn’t until after baby was born, that there was some concession about how amazing she was. They were almost unbelieving of how this woman, who felt awfully sick, had managed to put that aside and still focus and connect with her baby.
This was not Kate’s plan. She wanted a waterbirth in the Birth Centre. No-one could predict her getting so sick. So with continuous monitoring, intravenous antibiotics, numerous suggestions of medical intervention, fear based language, disbelief in her abilities as a birthing woman, as well as feeling unwell, she rose above all of this to magnificently birth, receiving her baby, only her hands touched baby, bringing him up onto her for skin to skin. He was a very well, baby, calm and alert, thanks to the wonderful job his Mum had done. What a great start in life she has given her baby.
I have been in this business for nearly 40yrs. and am still in awe of birthing women who understand and tap into their innate birthing power.
There is a lot in the news about respect for women, or lack of. No matter what your political persuasion, the ‘office’ of Prime Minister should be respected. The media appears to be crucifying Julia Gillard – is it because she is a woman? one could debate this forever! Then we have the shocking revelations about the lack of respect for women in the armed services. Unfortunately, this lack of respect for women, certainly happens in the birthing world. I have observed over my many years in this business, the shocking, sexist, and disrespectful remarks, made about pregnant and birthing women, mainly by male obstetricians. These women, who have put their absolute trust in their caregiver, would be horrified to hear these ‘casual’ remarks and appalling references about women.
It is why many women gravitate to midwifery care, and choose a doula. They know that pregnancy and birthing is women’s business and feel comforted and reassured that a woman understands. Why is there so much disrespect from men to women, and yet, we don’t hear about the reverse, so much. It is a sad reflection on society when it permeates the birthing world. Doulas provide that respect and accountability in a birthing environment, making sure that everyone involved, respects, without question, the birthing woman and her wish to bring her baby into the world in a peaceful, loving and nurturing environment. Maybe Julia Gillard’s ‘minders’ should act as a doula advocate?
Amazing stuff but not really new as most women quickly learn about the power of connection between mother and child. It has got to be the most wonderful relationship ever!
Check this out.
Scientists Discover Children’s Cells Living in Mothers’ Brains: Scientific Americanwww.scientificamerican.com
Pre-Natal Hypnosis weekend. Dappled afternoon autumn sun filters into the Birth Right space, adding to the quiet and peaceful atmosphere. No these pregnant couples are not asleep! BUT they are deep in hypnosis, enjoying the wonderful place ‘within’ where they learn to take themselves, to relax and focus on their beautiful upcoming birth. These strong and amazing women, will re-visit this ‘space’ when they are in labour and look exactly as they do here. If you too want to enjoy your birth and connect with your baby then book into one of these weekends. You will leave feeling empowered and a new sense of confidence in your ability to birth your baby with grace and ease.
Pregnancy can be a very busy time. There ‘appears’ to be so much to learn and ‘get right’, and really challenging for those pregnant women who work full time BUT it is so important for you to take time to just ‘stop and “be”!
STOP – and take time to connect with your baby
STOP – and take time to work out your priorities
STOP – and take time to work out what is really important to you
STOP – to notice your beautiful pregnant reflection in the shop window
STOP – to think about who you really are
STOP – to take time to recognise and eliminate any anxieties and fears about birthing and becoming a parent
STOP – and BELIEVE you will have a wonderful and enjoyable birthing experience
Author: Susan Ross
Breastfeeding another person’s baby!! Apparently, according to some media reports, this is not uncommon. I posted a comment on facebook the other day and was accused of making women feel guilty. Not at all, my comment was that once you have a baby it is YOUR responsibility, especially with regards to breastfeeding. It is not just about nutrition. A newborn baby wants to be in his mother’s arms, continuing the connection that they developed in utero, and enjoying her breastmilk. It is such an exquisite and intimate relationship, and one, I believe should not be shared around – if you are looking at it from the baby’s point of view. A final point – DO NOT ever assume to know the health status of a friend! You might be very surprised!
How do you see yourself when pregnant? Do you start out feeling strong, confident and powerful AND as the pregnancy progresses find that a lot of that strength has been ‘knocked out’ of you? I find it staggering the number of pregnant women who are continuously disempowered. Often these are comments from staff who work in maternity hospitals. Many of them are women, who don’t stop to think about what they are saying.
Most pregnant women are vulnerable and sensitive and easily persuaded into believing that they need to be tested and tested and tested – just because they are pregnant. They often start out not wanting much, if any, testing, and then find that one test result, leads to another test and the cascade of intervention begins – well before labour has begun.
If you truly want to restore your trust in your own instincts and your connection with your unborn baby then come up to the beautiful Blue Mountains and relax in our wonderful, private and peaceful Birth Right space, and enjoy a weekend of hypnosis, connection and empowerment.
TRUST is a really big word! especially when it is used in the context of pregnancy and birthing options. A newly pregnant woman went to look at a major public teaching hospital in Sydney. She asked lots of questions about caregivers, what was available during labour and birth, and even asked about their ‘philosophy’ about birthing. She was abruptly told to stop asking questions, she would be treated the same as everyone, and they (the hospital) were the experts and ‘newly pregnant woman’ should just trust the hospital and it’s staff. WOW! these are the words of an institutionalised midwife! Of course trust is important in any relationship, but this pregnant woman felt totally disempowered, had no knowledge about what might be ‘best’ for her, let alone her baby. She says the clear message from the midwife was to ‘shut up and follow what the ‘experts’, i.e. the hospital, told her to do.
This is a common problem, which I hear about all too regularly. Never, ever forget that pregnancy is not an illness or disease and YOU are in charge of your pregnancy, your unborn baby, your labour and birth. You have many choices, all of which you are making on behalf of your unborn baby. They are important. If this is happening during your pregnancy, then please book into one of our hypnosis weekends, and leave feeling confident and empowered, in your innate ability to birth beautifully and your decision making.
The trees are changing colours. It is very beautiful here, in the Blue Mountains, with crisp air, clear blue skies and never ending colour changes. Here at the Birth Right space is the perfect environment to learn what your belief’s are surrounding birthing and bringing a baby into this world. In this very peaceful place you have a wonderful opportunity to discover why you have the belief’s you do and how these beliefs will affect your labour, birth and parenting. It is exciting to discover how these belief’s formed, to get in touch with who you really are and learn about the power of change.
This empowering hypnosis for birthing course has the power to change your directions into a truly positive and enlightening way. If you have current negative images about birthing, or are listening to negative stories about birth, reading the many horror stories that pervade our media, then I encourage you NOT to be stuck with these negative belief’s but to do yourself and your baby a favour and book in. We are adding more classes as the word spreads as women go on to have beautiful, peaceful and enjoyable birthing experiences.
Hypnosis and thinking ‘outside the box’ – learn how to use your imagination to take you anywhere you want to go! Sound amazing? Well, it is. Learn through our hypnobirth pre-natal program just how simple it is to have your imagined dream birthing experience. Don’t miss out on this education – it will change yours and your baby’s birth journey.
Interesting piece on one of the TV breakfast shows this morning about Birth Photography – it’s not new! One of our wonderful doulas’ is also a birth photographer, and most of the photos in my Doulas book (2012), were done by her. Check out: www.newbeginningsphotography.com.au
When choosing the right person to capture these intimate moments, it’s important to make sure she has a very good understanding of birth. Having a doula, who is also a birth photographer is ideal. Sometimes a doula is asked to take photographs (certainly no guarantees with me!), and sometimes it is not possible, due to various circumstances, often where the woman needs you to provide support. They are a wonderful memory for parents but more importantly it provides a wonderful picture story when talking to your baby/child about his birth. Newborn’s and children love to hear the story of their birth and this is a wonderful, positive imprint for him to carry throughout his life. I suggest getting a doula and a birth photographer. You will not get these moments back – and the memory does fade! Working with a photographer who understands birth and their role, a woman should not even be aware of their presence.
Politics and Birth – the recent political events in Canberra are a shocking reminder about the politics in birthing. Yes, there is politics everywhere, in every organisation and workplace but when a pregnant woman, inevitably gets caught up with the politics in birthing, it is also shocking. The hidden agenda’s of a hospital bureaucracy, an obstetrician and even some midwives, has very little to do with a normal event of pregnancy, labour and birthing BUT many women don’t even realise, until after the event, just how much the policies and procedures afftected their outcome. The work of a doula is to protect against this happening, to understand the politics and to be able to negotiate effectively and respectfully, on behalf of Mum, Dad and baby. No couple should have to be exposed to the politics and a doula is skilled at reassuring, normalising and giving a woman the confidence to trust her innate birthing ability. Every pregnant woman deserves a doula, especially with our current very broken hospital system.
The sensational outburst from the medical profession about chiro’s treating newborns and children “Is this child abuse”?? (Today Tonight last night) is more about their ignorance! If one is going to make such an outrageous statement then you would hope they do their due diligence first. I suspect if they did, then this would never have gone to air as chiropractic is evidence/science based and is focused on good health and wellness care. I have been referring pregnant women, their newborns and children to a chiropractor for many years, with great results. Of course, one has to shop around for a chiro. that will suit you and your families needs. There is well over 100 different chiropractic techniques and, like all things to do with one’s health, do your shopping around!
More Women on Boards, more women Directors and CEO’s of companies is what Australia needs. According to the last census we only have 7 women as CEO’s of major companies. Is this what women should be aiming for?
I sat through an interesting event listening to 3 women CEO/Board Directors and 1 ex-politician discuss the tragedy, as they see it, of male dominated companies. One got the distinct impression that those women who chose to stay at home, mothering their children, was a tragedy in the making for their careers. It is the age old debate for all women – what is right – to go back to work and foster their career, or stay home with their children? Of course, there is no right answer and each woman must make the right decision for her. Perhaps it is a worry that we don’t have more women in these top positions but maybe it also tells us that women are much better suited to nurturing roles. What is most disturbing is that, still, in the year 2013 in a country like Australia, there seems to be so little respect for the mothering/parenting role and the newly learned, amazing skills that accompany such a role. It is the most important job any person ever undertakes, the most challenging and definitely the most rewarding.
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.