Feb 18

 

There is some great information on the internet and I have just come across a really content rich site.  Check out naturalparenting.com.au it is your online guide to parenting.

Natural Parenting has great articles, a business directory and a forum to see what other mums and mums-to-be are up to.  It is also really easy to search through as it is broken up into to catagories.  Take a look and enjoy your education.

 

Feb 17

 

I came across an article in the UK Telegraph, they are trying to cut costs and have put caesarean sections on the same rationing list as infertility treatment, cosmetic surgery and acupuncture.

Some women may debate that it is taking away options, however, is a caesarean section really an option, is this just saving women from making a huge mistake?  Have we just become too frightened of childbirth and seen too many celebrities opt for a caesarean?  I will put it to you in another way, would you choose to  have all your teeth removed and wear dentures just to skip the pain of dentist visits?  I think not, if we can just think of caesareans as a great option if we medically need them, then our view of having an elective caesarean will change.

Have a read of the article and let me know what you think.  I really believe this is a great especially when you look at the statistics.  For example, a study in 2007 found a mother opting for a caesarean was four times more likely to die than by choosing a natural birth.  Would you put yourself and your family at the mercy of these statistics……I think not.  So how about we continue to educate ourselves on childbirth and save the caesarean for if and when we need it.

Feb 9

Family and friends are supposed to be there to support you in your childbirth decision, but what happens when they don’t?  I have had many, many questions from women all over the world who are dealing with this everyday so I thought I would write about how you can cope with the opinions of other people.

To research and prepare for your natural childbirth is difficult, you have to really listen to what your body is saying and follow your instincts.  To become fully prepared and ready for your natural childbirth is such a great feeling, howver, this feeling can be easily lost by someone making a negative comment. 

The biggest point that I would like you to take away from this article is that you may never be able to convince your loved ones that you are doing the right thing.  But the good news is that this is not your job, you need only be sure of what you want and continue to have faith in your baby and your body. 

If your choice is to have a home birth or a water birth at home or even a natural birth in the hospital, your loved ones may think this is unsafe and put enormous pressure on you to change your plan.  This pressure can be unrelenting and continue on throughout your whole nine months of pregnancy.   So how do you deal with this?

Firstly, remember my point above, you may never change their opinions and know that it is not your job to do so.  I have compiled a list of ways in which you can discuss your natural birth issues with your loved ones:

 

  • Fully plan for your birth and have back up plans, for example, if your are birthing at home make sure you have a trusted, qualified attendant and book into the nearest hospital so as to call upon their services if needed
  • Sit your loved ones down and let them know your plan, explain to them that it is not a discussion, merely information
  • Acknowledge that you are aware of their concern, however, you have researched what you want and are happy with your decision. 
  • Reiterate that this is not a forum for negative thoughts and ask them to kindly keep their opinions to themselves.
  • Explain to them that it is scarey being pregnant and planning for the birth that you want and ask them for positive support.
  • Direct your loved ones to relevant websites where they can learn about what you are planning.  Let me know if you need help with this.
  • Find those loved ones that support your decision and spend more time with them.
  • Make sure your partner is included in your decision making, being a strong team will help combat any negative people.
  • Praise yourself everyday on the amazing job you are doing.  Not only are you growing a baby, but your are planning for the best outcome possible for your beautiful baby.

 

You get one chance to prepare for your birth, you have 9months and when it is all over you are the one that will benefit.  You will remember your birth forever, you will tell your child how they came into this world and your successful birth will give you confidence in all areas of your life.

When I was pregnant

with my second child, I really wanted to have a natural birth so I, like so many others, researched until I was just about ready to pop.  I decided on hypnobirthing as a way to cope with labour.  I learnt, I practised and I visualised my dream birth everyday but I was constantly fighting the negative thoughts.  I was working in a birthsuite when pregnant and discussing my birth plan with my midwife friends, most were supportive, however, there were a few that felt it was all just hype and that I will call on the drugs when it came time.  To these people, I asked them to be supportive, and if they couldn’t, then I removed myself from thier company and surrounded myself with the friends who supported me.

I think most people don’t even know that they are being unsupportive so you must point it out.  This may be enough for them to change their tune, if not, then leave.  A woman’s mind is so vulnerable during pregnancy, it takes real effort to keep positive and on the right track.  So surround yourself with positive people and go over your plan daily, visualising your outcome, visualise your baby in your arms and your dream birth realised.

I have written another article on how to stay positive during your natural birth planning, it is called ‘Natural Birth – How To Stay Positive’.  Have a read and implement the strategies into you own routine.

If you have a specific questions about dealing with negative people then let me know, I am happy to answer any questions so as to keep you on track for your amazing birth.  Good luck and make your birthing dreams come true.

 

Feb 1

Episiotomy…….Why?   For those of you who don’t really know the correct definition, an episiotomy is the cut performed on a woman’s perineum (the tissue between the vagina and the anus) to allow the baby’s head to emerge more quickly during pushing. If you know your anatomy, you also know that a baby whose head is already pushing on the mother’s soft tissues on the perineum, has cleared the bony pelvic passage, and is thus minutes away from being born. 

So why are women cut?  To put it simply, it is at the attendants discretion, this can be an OBGYN, doctor, trainee doctor or even midwives.  Some attendants prefer to cut and believe it is for the best, others refuse to cut unless it is absolutely necessary (I agree with the latter). There are times when an episiotomy is necessary, for example, when a baby’s shoulders are stuck and more room is needed to maneuver the baby out.  Also if the perineum is just too tight and the head won’t emerge and the baby is compromised then an episiotomy may be needed.  More often than not, this situation will fix itself with a position change.  For example from back to front or to kneeling or standing.  Usually a woman will tear to allow the baby to emerge, this is the much more gentle option and will heal much quicker than a surgical cut.  Usually a small tear will heal on its own as it will fit together neatly, no stitches needed.

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), there is no need to routinely administer this cut, which severs skin, nerves and muscles in this sensitive area, and is the equivalent to a third-degree tear. The prevalence of third-degree tears in home births or birth centers with minimalized medical intervention is 0.3%. That’s 3 women in 1000. By contrast, in Hungary, 70% of first-time mothers receive this cut. The rationale: to prevent fourth-degree tears despite the fact that scientific studies have shown that routine administration of an episiotomy actually increases, rather than decreases, the incidence of fourth-degree tears.  If you can picture this, a women is pushing her baby out and the doctor puts a little cut in her perineum to aid in the quick arrival of her baby.  Now, once a cut is performed, the skin has a weak point and as the baby rushes passed this cut, a bigger tear can follow on down the line of the small cut leading to a larger tear.  Therefore, the woman has been surgically cut and then tore resulting in a much larger tear.  This area will then need extensive stitching and time to heal, not to mention the risk of infection.

So why does a woman receive an episiotomy?  Well I will list the reasons so it is easy for you memorise and avoid:

  • The baby’s heartbeat is uneven, or too low at this stage, which is totally normal. 
  • If a woman is lying on her back whilst pushing this will reduce the diameter of her pelvis by approximately 28%, creating a smaller outlet for her baby and adding to the uneven heartbeat.
  • If the woman is trying to push against gravity, ie, on her back, pushing uphill.  The shape of a woman’s pelvis is curved up at the opening of the vagina, thus, lying on her back will create a steep exit for the baby and longer time for the head to be sitting on the perineum.  Most doctors have a time limit in their head and will cut if this time has expired!! Ridiculous!

To recap, lying on your back, pushing up hill and reducing the size of your pelvis will all contribute to your chance of an episiotomy.  So what can you do?  Here is a list of do’s:

  • Labour in an upright position to widen your pelvic outlet, this also allows your baby to descend at its own speed.  Your tissues will have had an opportunity to adjust to the pressure of the baby’s head if you are in control.
  • Feel when your tissues stretch and pause to give them a chance to adjust and accommodate the size of your baby’s head.

So ladies, get to know your perineum, use a hand mirror and have a look at this area, touch and feel it.  It is meant to stretch and it is a fantastic, elastic part of childbirth.  Don’t fear the perineum, imagine it stretching and imagine the warmth flowing through your body as it allows your baby to emerge out of you and into your arms.  WOW, got to love your peri (midwife talk for perineum)!

If you have a look at my book link you will see that I have interviewed some great, world acclaimed natural birth experts.  They have very strong views on episiotomies and voice them with great passion.  You just have to hear what they say, it is amazing.  Just imagine being armed with all this information before you go into labour…….you will be strides ahead of the rest.

Good luck with your natural birth and please contact me if you have any questions.