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If you are looking for birth support, or Perth area placenta encapsulation in the Perth, Peel and Hills regions I can help. Kelly Evans - The Modern Doula 

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News + Notes

News & Notes from Kelly Evans (The Modern Doula) on pregnancy and giving birth in Perth, Western Australia.

Filtering by Category: Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Not Welcome At The Hospital

Kelly Evans

A friend of mine posted the following on Facebook and I saw red. When you read it you will understand why.

I took our baby to our local Health Campus as she has been projectile vomiting since 4am this morning, she's has had about 6 hours sleep in the past day and a half. She is screaming in pain and not to mention hasn't had a proper feed since lunch time yesterday and a temp of 38.5.

They seemed quite concerned that she was dehydrated so they wanted her to stay in over night, fine by me as I only want what's best for her, except! They refused me to stay with her, I kinda figured that her being only 4 months old and still breastfeeding it wouldn't of been an option for her to stay over night without me but it was.

I asked if I was able to please stay because I was worried about her and that she's never spent a night without me as I'm still breastfeeding. The Dr replied with: formula is just as good, she either stays here with us or you can both go. 

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Breastfeeding Not Welcome At This Drs Surgery

Kelly Evans

It is such a crazy thought that in this day and age that a woman could be told to cease breastfeeding by a doctor! That's what I thought. However this happened to a friend of mine (photo credits Belle Verdiglione Photography). Here is her story: BreastfeedingNotWelcomeGPS1

My baby and I needed to go to the doctors this morning and after a pretty lengthy, wait my other child was starting to get unsettled so rather than subjecting a full waiting room to her crying, I decided to feed her.

Not long after I was called in to see the doctor who took one look at me and told me I needed to take a seat back in the waiting room whilst I finished feeding her or feed her after he had seen me.

I was there about my eye, yet he didn't even give me the chance to tell him what the problem was.

There was no way the fact I was feeding her would have been in the way of my consult (in fact me feeding her would have made my consult quieter and easier).

I am fuming and can't believe this discrimination still happens. This is not only wrong on so many levels but I am pretty sure its illegal too!

BreastfeedingNotWelcomeGPS2

I wanted to share my friends story because I am saddened and angry that this is happening.. Let's all work together to normalise breastfeeding. Shame on this Doctors surgery. I know that they have been sent a letter of complaint already.

We need to get the word out there that it's the law that women can feed their babies anywhere. Yes even in a Doctors Surgery!

The irony is that even the ABA suggests you seek support through your GP if abused for breastfeeding:

What can mother do if she is verbally abused for breastfeeding her baby?

Thankfully this type of incident is uncommon, but if it does happen, it can really rock a mother's confidence. It may be essential to normalise breastfeeding again after the incident. To normalise breastfeeding, a mother may like to consider:

finding emotional support through your family, your GP and/or counselling

calling the Breastfeeding Helpline- 1800 686 268

attending her local ABA group meeting.

The ABA quite clearly explains the law:

What is the law?

In Australian Federal Law breastfeeding is a right, not a privilege.

Under the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984 it is illegal in Australia to discriminate against a person either directly or indirectly on the grounds of breastfeeding. Direct discrimination happens when a person treats someone less favourably than another person. For example, it is discriminatory for a waiter to decline to serve a patron who is breastfeeding.

I plan to add updates to this story as I hear them and I really look forward to a positive outcome from the surgery involved. I applaud my friend for speaking up and for writing a letter of complaint.

xx Kelly

Is Breastfeeding Really Welcome Here Pt 2? (Reply From The Melbourne Town Hall)

Kelly Evans

In my last post I explained about the horrible situation that left me in tears on the steps of the Melbourne Town Hall. Below is the reply from the City Of Melbourne who employ contractors to run the Town Hall. I'd love to know your thoughts. Have they gone far enough? Should the Melbourne Town Hall be made a Breastfeeding Welcome Here Venue? Is there anyone in Melbourne who would like to go feed their baby on the front steps and let me know if things really have changed or if this is just lip service!

Dear Ms Evans,

Further to my email to you on 10 June 2015 I can advise that the matter you raised with regards to your interaction with a staff member at The Melbourne Town Hall has been investigated.

The City of Melbourne fully supports the right (as set out by the Australian Human Rights Commission) of every child to be breastfed ‘anywhere, anytime’ and we are aware that it a child’s legal right to do so. I understand that this position was not made clear during your conversation with the doorman on the steps of the Town Hall and that you felt discouraged from feeding in this location. This matter has been discussed with the person you spoke with and while it is understood that no offence was intended, City of Melbourne’s position on breastfeeding has been emphasised with our Town Hall contractors, who employ the staff member in question.

I trust that this will result in a more sensitive and informed approach in any future interactions our contractors may have with breastfeeding mothers in this location. I apologise for the offence you suffered as a result of this interaction and thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed the Homebirth Australia conference at the Melbourne Town Hall and hope that you will visit again soon.

Kind regards,

Ian.

Ian Sumpter | Acting Manager | Customer Relations

Tips For Travelling In Bali With A Toddler

Kelly Evans

2015-04-28 17.25.20 I recently went on holiday to Bali and we took our son with us (15 months). I thought I would share some tips that I found made our trip a little bit - no actually ALOT easier.

What To Buy Before You Leave Australia

I was eternally grateful for the following items that we brought from home:

  • Naty Nappies - they don't even seem to sell these in Bali so we were so glad we bought heaps with us.
  • Wotnot Wipes - no sign of these for sale either.. BYO!
  • Probiotics - we bought Bioceuticals BabyBiotics with us (wrapped in an ice pack) and this seriously saved us all from the dreaded Bali Belly (yes we all had some Babybiotics at one stage).
  • Toddler Food - we took organic fruit purees and a few other packaged toddler food items with us. These were handy for snacks and what we didn't use we declared at Customs at the Airport on the way back through and were allowed to bring home.
  • Sanitary Protection - this is something that I didn't expect to need and boy I wish I had bought some from home. No sign of organic pads anywhere that I could see and good luck in buying a Juju Cup! Seriously BYO just in case.
  • US Dollars - you will need these at the airport to buy an Entry Visa (this is not included with your airfare so don't get confused)
  • Babywearing Equipment - We took a Bali Breeze and for that I am so happy we did. I still sweated in that carrying around a 12kg toddler in the heat but I still think that it beat trying to navigate a pram up and down the many stairs and narrow paths. I also found it quite reassuring having my son close all the time I didn't need to worry about his whereabouts.

What To Buy In Bali

  • Bottled water - buy a heap when you first get there. You are going to need it for rehydrating all the time as well as brushing teeth and many other uses you haven't even thought of yet. Don't trust tap water - ever. Just take bottles of water everywhere.
  • Clothes - the clothes over there are super affordable and designed for the local climate, so be sure to bring an empty suitcase and buy some locally made clothes. Even the coolest clothes I had brought with me from home did not compare to the cool local clothing.
  • A Massage - I had a totally amazing massage for about $15. Highly recommended.
  • Shoes - you can get some cheap shoes in Bali but beware the ultra-cheap runners - I have heard stories of them lasting one wear before starting to fall apart.

Have you travelled to Bali? Do you have any tips to share? I absolutely loved my time with the Balinese. It's a different lifestyle and such a different culture. Well worth a visit if you haven't been there.

 

Is Breastfeeding Really Welcome Here? (My Open Letter To The Melbourne Town Hall)

Kelly Evans

Dear Sir/Madam, To whom it may concern:

Firstly, I'd like to say thank you for the wonderful experience that was the Homebirth Australia Conference 2015! It was a beautiful venue and the catering was one of the best I have experienced.

I'd like to bring to your attention however an unfortunate incident that occurred on the steps of the Melbourne Town Hall on Sunday 31st May.

My son had just come to meet me for his lunch on that Sunday and his lunch happened to be breastmilk. Having breastfed two children (the first for 2 and a half years) and the second for 14 months so far, and having travelled around Australia and overseas and breastfed all the time, I have never had occasion to have to think about feeding my son. It just happens. He is hungry. I am usually pretty discreet about it anyway, he feeds and we are done.

Anyway on this occasion the gentleman on the door rushed up to me and said 'you can't do that here'. It actually took me a moment to understand what he was referring to.. So I said 'Yes I can'. He shook his head at me and ushered me to move and said 'No you can't do that here'.

I said 'But it's the law, I can feed anywhere'. He said 'There's a family room inside you'll have to go in there'. I shook my head I said 'but it's the Homebirth Conference' and turned my back on him, before sitting down on the steps.

He muttered more things under his breath about me needing to go inside, about me returning to the 3rd floor to feed and about it being 'culturally inappropriate', by which time I have managed to beckon one of the conference organisers over for support. Luckily she backed me up saying that of course I could feed my son there! He then acknowledged that he was from a different generation (?)

I felt very disconcerted by your doormans verbal tirade, I was left shaking and in tears by the end, all the while standing my ground, to feed my starving baby the breastmilk he needed. I couldn't concentrate at the conference after that and ended up leaving the building after that walking around in shock.

In Australian Federal Law breastfeeding is a right, not a privilege. Under the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984 it is illegal in Australia to discriminate against a person either directly or indirectly on the grounds of breastfeeding. Babies can be breastfed anywhere and anytime. Your doorman should not have asked me to leave or move on the basis that I was breastfeeding. I should not have been sent to the toilet (aka family room). More information can be found here: https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-info/breastfeeding-and-law/legalright

I wasn't doing anything wrong and I was treated most unfairly by your staff member. I would like to know that your staff since this incident will receive proper training in the law, and how they should treat breastfeeding women. Perhaps you might even consider going one step further and becoming a Breastfeeding Welcome Here Venue with the Australian Breastfeeding Association: https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/services/welcome

I look forward to hearing from you promptly regarding this matter, and I thank you once again for providing such a lovely conference venue. Kind regards,

Kelly Evans The Modern Doula

Post-weaning energy slump!

Kelly Evans

The Modern Doula Post-weaning energy slump (not postpartum depression)

The post-weaning energy slump is how I describe feeling at the moment… I’m not the same me I have been for the past 2 and half years. My daughter recently weaned from me, due to reasons beyond my control and it's affecting me. I don’t have as much energy as usual, I am getting the odd headache, and huge muscle aches, and I just feel plain weird (I won't even go into how confused my breasts are)!

Yet when I Google 'weaning' all I seem to come across is articles linking weaning and post-partum depression. Thankfully I am not sad or depressed. But I am definitely feeling a dip in hormones making me not as sparkly as usual.

Google provided little relief so I decided to create my own prescription to feeling me again. I figure that part of the issue is the drop in Prolactin and oxytocin (breastfeeding hormones) post-weaning. Not much I can do about the Prolactin (short of having another child), so I have decided to work on upping my own oxytocin levels!

Having read numerous texts on oxytocin as well as attending Ancient postpartum tools and techniques for birth workers, I have decided on the following to help me ease myself out of weaning:

a) getting a massage (this is guaranteed to up the oxytocin levels)

b) getting together with some other Mums for some fun (getting a group together is another key)

c) taking some magnesium supplements (and taking it easy on myself while my muscles are still stiff and sore)

d) eating some chocolate! (just in case I need some extra magnesium - or so I tell myself lol).

I would love to hear from you - what have you done to ease the post-weaning energy slump>? Feel free to leave a comment on here or on Facebook!