The birth articles section of our website aims to offer you food for thought on a broad range of issues related to birth. Whether deciding who will be present at your baby’s birth, exploring the concept of natural birth, or wondering just how you will know when it is time to go to the hospital, this section is for you. We also offer the thoughts of experts on the value and place of natural birth, the ways in which invention interferes with the delicate balance between mother and baby, and what you can do to help ensure your rights and opinions are respected. No matter whether this is your first or fifth pregnancy (or more) you are sure to find articles here that peak your interest. Enjoy!
True Knot of the Umbilical Cord
"Recently I was at a lovely homebirth. Baby was born into his parents arms after a short but intense labour. No problems during the labour where identified. Once the woman and her baby were snuggled together and comfortable, I set to the task of checking the placenta under the women’s watchful glaze. Quickly we both saw that there was a true knot in the umbilical cord." This article by Jane Palmer talks about all the information regarding a true knot in the umbilical cord.
Acupuncture and Stalled Labour
"I'm a homebirth midwife, I am doing my PhD on birth outside the system and this was my first pregnancy. At 2.30am I started contracting. I was planning a homebirth and felt fine about birthing a slightly preterm baby at home because deep down I knew he was ready. I contracted regularly through the night and as the sun came up it continued and I felt sure that labour was progressing well and normally." This article originally published in 'Midwifery Matters' tells a story of acupuncture and stalled pregnancy.
Creating a Sacred Birth Space
"One of the reasons I chose to have a homebirth was because I wanted a sacred birth space and I didn’t feel it was possible to create that experience in a hospital. I believe that creating a sacred birth space is one of the fundamental elements of manifesting your intention for a wonderful birth. It is important for a woman to feel safe and held in a loving environment in order to birth in love." This article talks about the signifcance of having a sacred birth space to have a sacred, comfortable birth.
"Ryan McAllister is a parent, biophysicist and a research professor at Georgetown University. Ryan has for over 10 years studied maternity care. Ryan presents this YouTube video called “Unbreaking Birth” . This video is well worth watching." Check out the full video now!
Does Sex Induce Labour?
"As any woman who has ever been overdue and anxious to get to the finish line will tell you – there are lots of ideas out there about how to bring on labour. There is the eating hot curries idea... But the question most likely to bring on either fits of giggles or extensive eye rolling is… does sex induce labour?" All the facts and details are in this article.
Gentle Caesarean Birth Plan for Triplets
Amy Buteau has shared her gentle caesarean birth plan for her triplets. I would like to thank Amy for sharing her birth plan. This example of a birth plan may help you with writing your own birth plan. - Jane Palmer
So Called High Risk Birthing
"The important thing to remember about the so-called high risk situations (and there’s many more situations usually included in the list than the three here) is the role of fear. Fear clouds the mind, fear has us revert to basic survival instincts – fight or flight. Fear stops labour." This extensive article provides facts and details on VBAC, Breech Birth and Twins.
Siblings at Birth
"Before I became a mother I worked in early childhood development and much of my time was spent observing and recording children's developmental capabilities and needs and using those recordings to write programs for individual children in early childhood settings." Read as Jo Hunter explores the mind of children during the arrival of a new sibling.
"Rituals and ceremonies flourish in every culture, and have done so throughout history. Perhaps the two most ritual-inspiring events are birth and death, events that are seeped in culture, mysticism, religion and local custom." Emily Burns writes about the ancient and modern rituals surrounding birth, involving the placenta and lotus birth.
The Yoga of Birth
"As a long term yoga teacher and practitioner, when I became pregnant with my first son I was very interested to learn about what the teachings of yoga had to offer, beyond the benefits of preparing my physical body for birth." This article by Kat Manitsas talks about the benefits of doing yoga during pregnancy and gives her own personal experience.
Preventing Postpartum Haemorrhage with Prenatal Care
"When I set out on the journey of planning our fourth baby, I knew I would be labelled 'high risk' by the medical profession due to previous postpartum haemorrhages (PPHs) during my second and third births." Michelle McRitchie tells the amazing story of her journey through her fourth pregnancy and her experiences with postpartum haemorrhage.
Private hospitals are safer than public hospitals for mothers and newborn babies, according to a study that made headlines last month. But there was less coverage when clinicians and other researchers began to express concerns about the research methodology, write Hannah Dahlen and Sally Tracy.
What are your Chances of Having a Natural Birth?
This article tells us about the real chances of having a natural birth, and shows the proof and statistics of the chances. This highly researched article provides high detail and facts about natural birth in Australia.
Playing the Dead Baby Card
In 2011 a group of researchers conducting research into how Canadian pregnant women and care providers manage birth in a highly medicalised and risk-adverse culture of childbirth, discovered a chilling practice. It’s called ‘playing the dead baby card’ – the act by medical professionals of claiming to a labouring woman that her baby is at risk of death, purely to convince her to submit to unwarranted intervention.
Common Questions Women Ask About Employing a Midwife
As women consider their birth choices, they often have many questions about the care offered by midwives in private practice. This article explores common questions women ask about employing a midwife.
What is Natural Childbirth?
Natural, or normal physiological birth occurs when no drugs or interventions are employed while a woman labours to birth her baby vaginally. For some women, considering the use of some interventions is necessary and essential to their health and that of their baby. However the rate of interventions has serious implications for babies and women.
Top 12 Fears in LabourIf you were to ask a woman who is scared about giving birth why she feels that way, she’d probably tell you that she is simply worried things will go wrong and birth will be an unpleasant event. There are common fears which can weigh heavily on the minds of pregnant women. Find out more...
Doulas — are they for you?
Giving birth is about a lot more than having a baby — it's about making mothers and growing families. The right support people can help enormously in making sure that the ingredients are there for a wonderful start to life. Some women are turning to doulas for this support.
Birth Photography: Capturing and Preserving Your Unique Birth Story
The day you welcome your baby into the world is the most important day of her life … and one that will change you forever. This is what birth photography is all about.
Inducing Labour Naturally
Finding ways of inducing labour naturally has never been more imperative. Medical induction of labour has been increasing since the 1980s. Now days over 25% of women have their labours induced and a further 19.2% will have their labours sped up by artificial means.
Designing a birth plan
A birth plan is a way of communicating your wishes to those who will care for you during labour. It helps you to think about the kind of labour and birth you would like to have, and what you particularly want to avoid. A birth plan most importantly, enables you to communicate your wishes clearly to your care providers.
ACM Media Release: Midwifery Care
This Australian study shows continuity of midwifery care reduces caesarean section rates during childbirth, increases satisfaction with birth for women and leads to better health outcomes for babies.
The ideal birth support person: everything you always wanted to know
A birth support person can make a huge difference to what happens during your labour and birth. Most people have one, sometimes it’s the father of the baby, sometimes it’s the mother of the mother, other times the relationship is unexpected, such as an ex-partner, a brother or a mother-in-law
Turning a posterior baby in pregnancy is not so easy
Midwives have traditionally encouraged women whose babies are lying in a posterior position (baby facing the mother’s back) to use a hands and knees position and pelvic rocking exercises during pregnancy to try and help rotate the baby into an anterior position
Out of the Laboratory: Back to the Darkened Room
Out of the laboratory: back to the darkened room is one of the best articles on homebirth I've read. Tricia Anderson, who passed away in 2007, had a special gift as a midwife and a writer. I wanted to honour her by keeping some of her work alive.