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!
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.
Children at birth
The decision to have a child or children present at birth is an entirely personal one. This article by Dr Hannah Dahlen (midwife) explores the issues surrounding having children present at birth.
Shark Bite or Shark Caesarean: What’s the Difference?
Two days ago a news alert came into my Inbox that disturbed me deeply – it was the story of a shark. What was a news alert about a shark doing mixed up with all my childbirth media, you may well ask? The answer is that this shark had supposedly had a caesarean.
Active birth - Slow dancing
This video clip by Penny Simkin demonstrates slow dancing as an active birth technique. Couples can use "slow dancing" during labor to help labor progress, decrease discomfort and assist with rotation of the baby.
Risk is in the Eye of the Beholder
The medical system and home birthing women perceive risk differently and are willing to take different risks based on different motives, but while each ones perception is different, it is not less or wrong, just different. What is ‘right’ and ‘best’ can only be determined by each individual.
Help! How will I know when it’s time to go to hospital?
Here are some helpful hints on how to recognise when it’s time to go to hospital.Deciding on the right time to go to hospital in labour can be difficult.
Oxytocin: The hormone of love and birth
Of all the hormones in the body, oxytocin probably gives us the greatest happiness in life. The prototype for the effect of this "hormone of love" has to be the amazing love a mother has for her baby. Oxytocin may in fact be an important influence on who we become later in life.
Birth: The system is broken if it doesn't leave people whole
The medical model of childbirth is broken right to the core. When I was just getting started with this birthing thing I was pretty enthusiastic. I did a lot of reading. I wrote optimistic essays about birthing choices for my shockingly bad website.
"High Risk Birth" - Defined by Whom?
After 4 very normal pregnancies with stunning, intervention-free homebirths I was greeted with the news that I was having twins. In a split second I plummeted into the category of 'high-risk' - but did I really, and who defined it anyway?