This birth articles section of our website aims to offer you food for thought on a broad range of issues related to birth. You may be deciding who will be present at your baby’s birth. Perhaps you are exploring the concept of natural birth. Or maybe you are wondering just how you will know when it is time to go to the hospital. Whatever questions you have; this section is for you.
We also offer the thoughts of experts on the value and place of natural birth. We look at the ways in which invention interferes with the delicate balance between mother and baby. As well as this you can find out 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 meet your interest. Enjoy!
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 (Australian Mothers and Babies 2009). Common methods used are sweeping of the membranes, rupturing of the membranes (breaking the waters), or using labour-inducing drugs administrated as a gel on the cervix, or
Birth Journeys: Positive birth stories to encourage and inspire Much of our pre-existing knowledge about birth comes from the stories we have been exposed to from the time we were children. Sadly, these stories are rarely positive stories. Women are often told horror stories about birth as soon as they become pregnant, if not before. The new Australian book, Birth Journeys: positive birth stories to encourage and inspire, shares honest, uplifting and reassuring birth stories, giving women a realistic and healthy
Designing a birth plan By Hannah Dahlen 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. But like a lot of things in life, birth doesn’t always go to
Birth: The system is broken if it doesn't leave people whole By Kenzie Woodbridge 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. I tried to be a doula, though I’m not sure I was ever a particularly good one. I went to conferences and
Oxytocin: The hormone of love and birth By Hannah Dahlen Love has long been the domain of poets, artists and philosophers, but it's only in the past 50 years that it has really begun to hold the attention of scientists. What they are discovering is startling. Oxytocin, now dubbed the "hormone of love", holds immense sway over the way we feel when we make love, how we give birth, how successful we are at breastfeeding and how we connect
ACM Media Release: Midwifery Care July 26th 2012 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. An Australian first, and the world’s largest randomised controlled trial of ‘one to one’, or ‘caseload midwifery’, was published today in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The study was led by Associate Professor Helen McLachlan from the La Trobe University and undertaken
Help! How will I know when it’s time to go to hospital? By Hannah Dahlen It’s a stormy night and a sleek Jaguar creeps along the road, avoiding the carnage with breathtaking precision. A beautiful young actress clad in a shimmering evening gown, turns to her angular jawed partner and gasps ‘It’s coming!’ Moments later, following two or three tumultuous contractions, several commercial breaks and plot deviations, she gives birth to a suspiciously calm and mature baby in an
Active birth - Slow dancing Active birth is a way to work with birth physiology. Indeed, in labour a woman is encouraged to move and change her position freely. Using upright positions harnesses gravity to help with the progress of labour. Movement also helps with baby's position and a woman's comfort in labour. This video clip by Penny Simkin demonstrates slow dancing as an active birth technique. Couples can use "slow dancing" during labour to help labour progress, decrease discomfort
Shark Bite or Shark Caesarean: What’s the Difference? By Hannah Dahlen Everyday I get emailed news alerts from around the world on a variety of subjects, such as: birth; midwives; obstetricians; caesarean and VBAC. As the Australian College of Midwives National Media Spokesperson I want to be ready for any potential political ripple in the waters of childbirth. I want to jump on the latest piece of research and be prepared when the bad news stories hit. To be
Children at birth By Hannah Dahlen Seeing birth through children’s eyes has provided me with some of my fondest moments as a midwife. The wide eyes, the open mouths, the way their little tummies tense in time with their mothers contractions and best of all snuggling into bed together with mum and the new baby. Priceless comments like ‘put it back,’ ‘don’t touch it its mine,’ ‘do it again mum,’ ‘look Daddy, I found it’ and of course, ‘how
The ideal birth support person: everything you always wanted to know By Hannah Dahlen 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, a mother-in-law or even a friendly sperm donor! Whoever it is that you choose for your support person, know this; they can make a huge difference to what happens during your labour and birth. Jodie’s
Birth Photography: Capturing and Preserving Your Unique Birth Story By Jillian Harris Spiky Hedgehog Photography For months you’ve felt her inside you. Hiccups that made you smile, kicks that made you wince, somersaults that took your breath away … but every movement bringing her closer to your heart. Soon she will be in your arms and your heart will be hers forever. The day you welcome your baby into the world is the most important day of her life
Bashi Hazard Champions the Rights of Women in an Open Letter to RANZCOG While hospitals make claim to state-of-the-art facilities and the highest standards of patient care, many women leave these same facilities feeling broken and violated, the victims of birth trauma. While a relatively new term, rejected by many in the medical community, birth trauma has been linked to postnatal depression, anxiety, and feeding and bonding issues. Bashi Hazard, like many Australian women, has experienced firsthand the effects
Doulas — are they for you? By Hannah Dahlen 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. What is a doula? Doulas are women trained in giving other women professional birth support — they essentially mother the mother.
Top 12 Fears in Labour By Robyn Dempsey If 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. This is despite the very high standards of care we have access to and the wealth and health of our country, being amongst the highest in the world. Perhaps it’s a reflection of
By Robyn Dempsey Midwives are the specialists in normal childbirth. Ninety per cent of women are able to birth without intervention, therefore I find very little if any intervention is required at home. Do I still need to book into a hospital? I generally advise that you book into a hospital of your choice. Private midwives usually have a discussion (lots of discussions as you can see), about what each hospital in your area has to offer, and where