Nov 22


Hi All,

I wanted to comment on an article in The New York Times Magazine entitled ‘A Near-Death Birthing Story’.  Lisa Belkin has started a dialogue between mothers and will publish women’s stories as Parenting Adventures called Motherload.   What I am concerned with is the fact that women may come in droves to tell their horror stories, such as the one told in this article.  It was by a healthy women, Catherine Saint Louis, who was planning to have a natural birth in the hospital, but initially thought of having it at home.  She ended up with HELLP syndrome which is basically high blood pressure and blood clotting problems, it is quite severe, and does not happen often.

Ms St Louis continues on about how she is lucky to be alive, which she is, but puts it all down to the fact that she was in the hospital!  All the comments after this article are about other womens horror stories, which proves my point that when women share negative then all the negative comes up.  How does this woman know that if she had a homebirth then she would have died??

As a midwife, it is imperitive that we know where to draw the line and call for help.  We know what is normal and we definately know when there is even the slightest warning that all is not well.  A few comments posted after this article were right on the mark, a comment by Frances Smith, states that any competent homebirth midwife or doula would have taken Ms Saint Louis’ blood pressure very early on in the proceedings, and would have immediately transported her to the hospital. Choosing to go to the hospital before she knew about her pre-eclampsia was not what saved her life – the hospital saved her life, and would have done so whether she got there on her own instincts or on her midwife’s insistance.

My main message is that this story should not scare women into having a hospital birth and to have faith in your midwife as they are trained for this event.  In every pregnancy education class, the midwfie is very clear on the early warning signs of impending problems.  Ms St Louis’ swollen ankles were the very first sign of blood pressure problems and her midwife would have known this very common fact. 

Women of the world, trust in your instincts and follow your dream, don’t let other people’s stories scare you into a place that you are not comfortable in.  Birth your baby where and however you want.  If you want to read more about staying positive during your pregnancy then I have written an article, Natural Birth – How Do You Stay Positive?   Have a read and let me know what you think.

Take care,



Nov 13


Wow, what an awesome effort!  I commend this Grandma for carrying 3 babies to 31 weeks.  Now I know that a natural birth was a far fetched idea, but at least it was mentioned.  It is amazing what family will do.  Good luck to the whole family.  One thing I do wonder about is if the babies will be receiving breastmilk, as it is so important for premature babies.  What do you think?


Nov 12
Ask Loretta
icon1 admin | icon2 Natural Birth Plan | icon4 11 12th, 2008| icon32 Comments »

Hello to all you beautiful

pregnant women,

As you know I am a midwife, lactation consultant and mother of two beautiful boys and I am very passionate about women finding the answers they need.  It is all too common that women are given misleading information which then leads to choices that are not based on facts, common sense or practical knowledge.  So if you have a question about anything I would be happy to answer it with honesty and experience. 

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Take Care,


Nov 7

I have met so many wonderful pregnant women that sell themselves short.  When I ask them of their plans for birth, they jump and say, ‘epidural, epidural, epidural!!’  They have shut themselves off before even exploring any other plans.  What I want to say to these women is to open your eyes to the possibility that you CAN handle it.

It doesn’t take much effort to say, ‘ok I will try’.  This then opens your mind to other options, options that may lead you down a very happy, rewarding path.  I am not judging you and I am not trying to change your mind, I am asking you to also look into natural birth and have the epidural as a back stop.  This then allows you to go down the path of natural birth without the pressure it inevitably brings.

I wonder if women actually know what an epidural entails, well it is a needle that is inserted into the epidural space in the lumbar region of your back.  Through this needle, a catheter or a very small tube is inserted.  The needle is then removed and the tube stays in your back as a port to administer drugs.  This tube is connected to a machine which delivers a measured dose of narcotics and local anaesthetic.  You may also have a button that you can press to deliver more drugs if the pain worsens.  The dosage is adjusted according to the pain you are feeling.  It is a very fine line between total numbness and slight discomfort.  The goal of an epidural is to have you feeling sensations but not pain, this allows you to feel the urge to push so you can help your baby out into the world.

Now you have the facts on epidurals you can learn the facts on natural birth and ways to achieve a natural birth.  You may find an avenue that totally works for you and then an epidural is left by the wayside.  Or if you are totally adamant about having an epidural you may want to learn how to modify its use.  For example, there are many relaxation techniques, breathing techniques and pushing techniques used in the study of natural birth.  If you were to have an epidural during the first stage of labor and then have the epidural weaned down for the second stage of labor, fully dilated to birth, then you may implement some of the natural birth techniques that you have learned. 

So you can see that even if you choose to have an epidural as your birth plan, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use various techniques to relax during birth.  These relaxation measures can also help you prepare for a c-section.  It is a scary procedure, you are alert, you don’t know what you are going to feel and you are in a very strange environment.  Don’t you think that learning breathing and relaxation techniques would help you cope with this stress? 

I have interviewed experts in the field of natural birth and yes, we do discuss the various aspects of natural birth but we also discuss how the magnificent female body is designed to go through birth.  Women need to trust their body and their baby and work as a team during birth.  No matter what technique you choose, whether it is natural birth, drugs or c-section, your baby and your body still need to go through this together.  To learn to trust this natural process is the key to having a birth that you are comfortable with. 

If you want to learn more about my interviews then go to www.child-birth-options and have a read or you can click on the natural birth plan link in my blog.  Just remember that you can choose to have the birth you want just look at all your options and you may be surprised with what works for you and your growing baby. 

Take care and enjoy your natural birth planning,