In this section you will find articles on lots of issues surrounding labour and birth. Read about using water during labour, homebirth, lotus birth, vaginal birth after caesarean, breech babies, pain relief in labour and lots, lots more.
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Labour and Birth articles
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
Placenta Pleasantries and Possibilities – What To Do With Your Placenta
So what are you doing with your placenta? This article aims to give you a few ideas if you wish to immortalise, commemorate, celebrate, honour or harness the power of your placenta.
Preterm birth is defined as birth occurring before 37 weeks of pregnancy or more than three weeks early. It is divided up into mildly preterm (32-37 weeks), moderately preterm (28-31 weeks) and extremely preterm (before 28 weeks).
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.
Lotus Birth by Lavendilly
Lotus Birth is the name given to a process of placenta-care after the completion of a baby’s birth. The umbilical cord is not cut, and the placenta is allowed to remain attached to the baby until it detaches of its own accord.
Perineal Warm Packs ‘Old Wives’ Tales’ No Longer
For seven and a half years I have been studying ways to reduce perineal trauma and increase comfort during birth as part of my PhD. It is something as a midwife and a mother that I know is vitally important to helping women begin motherhood in the best way possible.
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.
Perfecting the Perineum
The perineum is a very important part of a woman’s body and it plays a special role during childbirth. It is the area of skin and muscle found between the vagina and anus. During childbirth it stretches to allow the baby’s head through.
Vaginal Birth After Caesarean
There are many reasons why a woman may want to have a vaginal birth after a caesarean. Some of these reasons are to avoid the physical impact of caesarean section and others are the emotional desire to give birth vaginally to a baby.
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.
Moxibustion for breech presentation
Moxibustion is a techniques for turning babies in the breech position. The technique uses a Chinese herb called Moxa, commonly known as ‘Mugwort’. Moxa sticks are lit and held over acupuncture points.
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.
Active birth with your birthing partner
Zoe, a mother of four and a teacher of both prenatal and baby yoga says: “Understanding and learning these poses will empower pregnant women with knowledge and understanding of active birth positions.”
Labouring and Birthing in Water
The use of water in labour and birth is ideal for facilitating normal birth and helping women to follow their instincts. The birth pool or bath often acts as a sanctuary, protecting women from unnecessary obstetric routines and procedures. A woman surrounded by water is less able to be disturbed and more able to outline her territory and protect her body.
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.
Acupressure for pain relief during labour
The intense nature of labour means most women will look for and use some form of pain relief during their childbirth. For those women who prefer to avoid or minimise the use of medical analgesia, acupressure is a safe, effective, drug-free alternative.
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.
Midwifery in Action
Midwifery in Action is a short video that provides a glimpse into what midwives do and the special relationship that can develop between midwives, women and their family. Anna, Marc and Baby Ben share their journey through pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period with midwifery care
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.
When we talk of birth trauma, we mean Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that occurs after childbirth. PTSD is the term for a set of normal reactions to a traumatic, scary or bad experience.
Eating and Drinking During Labour: Let Women Decide
Women should be allowed to eat and drink what they want during labour, say Cochrane Researchers. The researchers carried out a systematic review of studies examining the traditional practice of restricting food and fluid intake during labour and found no evidence for any risk or benefit for women at low risk of complications
"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?