Friday, 1 January 2010

Here I am expecting baby number 5. I am concentrating on my other blog cathysredtent. So, dear sister and only follower, follow my pregnancy thoughts on there. love x x x x x

Friday, 2 January 2009

Bedtime reading

I have just finished reading The Birth House by Ami McKay. It is a wonderful story of a girl who becomes apprenticed to a traditional rural midwife in Newfoundland. They face the arrival of a new maternity unit with modern facilities that allow birth to be controlled by doctors, made shorter by pitocin and drug free by twilight sleep, of course this means other interventions - all women have episiotomies, babies all have forceps applied to their heads, the women miss their babies being born, and don't get that wonder, that special moment, or that 'I could climb the world' feeling.

Fortunately, in this story, the women's experience of wonderful one to one woman centred care carries the day. Unfortunately it didn't in the rest of the west and we have controlled, doctor led births without other women's support. Time for a change - get your best friend, mum, sister, doula, or that woman who lives down the road that is passionate about birth (me) to be there, to whisper encouragements, hold you up, distract you, and pass on that forgotten message -
birth is what women do.

I love the scene where the labouring woman makes a 'groaning cake' assisted by her friends and the midwife. The making is a distration, the smell of baking relaxing, the companionship strengthening and the result - a cake to sustain through breastfeeding in the hours to come.

The next book I am reading? Call the midwife by - oh I forget - I'll write about it next time.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Quiet times but looking ahead to the new year

I have been very quiet on the blog front. This is partly because I have been so busy with work and partly because I have not been supporting anybody in their pregnancy and preparation for birth. This is quite unusual for me. There are two teachers at my local school, one due in Jan and one in Feb and I have lent them books but they haven't come back to me with any further requests for help.

Today I have written a press release for the AIMS Journal. It is my first one so I have yet to find out if it is good enough. I have also filled in a form for a home birth conference in Chichester in March organised by Chichester Home Birth group. I have only missed one of their excellent conferences in the last 10 years. I will be going with my dear friend Jenny who is a community midwife in Hampshire.

The wonderful thing about home birth conferences is that safety of home birth does not need to be discussed as it does with those not in the know. Instead the discussion is always about achieving straightforward births and the various skills of the midwives to deal with the twists and turns of birth. I always come away with an renewed reverence for the power of the female body and a woman's instinctive knowledge. There is another home birth conference in March, in Sheffield, but two weekends away may be too much for family!

I am also considering training to deliver Birth Art courses. I am still looking at doula training though family circumstances are that I could not work as a doula. I would like something to back up my knowledge and to give the support and information I give some authority. Besides it is always interesting to add to that knowledge. There are two doula courses I have looked into: one local but well thought of and one in London by the famous obstetrician Michel Odent. (Both are recognised by Doula UK.)

I am still planning to do the NCT antenatal teacher training but this is quite intensive over three years and so I am not ready to do this. This will be extremely useful and interesting as it is amazingly thorough. I would enjoy antenatal teaching.

Through my work I have done some breastfeeding training and am looking forward to doing some more. I also have the opportunity to train to teach baby massage classes.

So all in all, although it is quiet at the moment there is much to look forward to. I have a real passion for birth and the transition to motherhood. I see the difference a good birth, where the woman feels in control whatever happens and is listened to and respected, makes to the whole family. So send me your pregnant women, your worried partners, I am waiting!

Friday, 12 September 2008

How to avoid a having a caesarean

I have been working on a post on my serious blog about avoiding caesareans and in trying to be rational, wise and balanced I couldn't say what I wanted to say - but I can here!!

How to avoid a caesarean
  1. Don't get pregnant
  2. If you do, don't go near a hospital
  3. Don't go near an obstetrician (OBY/GN in US)
  4. Definitely don't go anywhere near a trainee obs. or house doctor
  5. If you must see an obstetrician in labour, see a consultant
  6. Give birth during day time hours when a consultant is more likely to be in the building
  7. Ask your midwife which consultant to see
  8. Remember you are quite entitled to walk out of their consulting room or even their hospital
  9. Love your midwife
  10. Don't let her leave
  11. Don't go near a bed
  12. Or an electronic fetal monitor
  13. Or an epidural
  14. Or pethidine
  15. Or anyone who is afraid
  16. Or doesn't believe you can do it
  17. Find a midwife who has seen a home birth
  18. Spend your last few months doing hand stands to make sure the baby is not breech
  19. If it is breech don't tell anyone, find an experienced midwife and wait to see what happens in labour
  20. Refuse internal examinations
  21. Find water
  22. Get in a bath, a shower, or if you're lucky (or at home) a birth pool
  23. Walk
  24. Dance
  25. Kiss
  26. Laugh
  27. Breathe
  28. Stay away from the US
  29. and Mexico
  30. Move to the Netherlands
  31. Don't go to a private hospital
  32. Do go to a private midwife
  33. Be a man