Even when you think its too late to get doula support it really isn't.
Just like you - I have been there. I remember vividly being told that my baby needed to be born early. Which absolutely did not fit with the notion in my head that I was still 3 weeks away from 40 weeks (as you can guess mentally I wasn't ready).
I also remember feeling so confused and scared when they said it was an emergency induction and my baby needed to be born now... but then the hospital got busy and I was told I would have to wait until tomorrow. Like what the actual? I needed someone to explain why, but the staff were all quite busy. In fact I waited an hour for someone to enter my room to tell me what was going on, to reassure to me, to tell me where I could get a drink of water.. but noone.
News + Notes
News & Notes from Kelly Evans (The Modern Doula) on pregnancy and giving birth in Perth, Western Australia.
Filtering by Category: Prenatal Preparation
Even when you think its too late to get doula support it really isn't.
When it comes to birth, it seems pretty straight-forward. You go in to hospital, you have a baby, happy days begin. So how is that expecting couples, who are going in to have their baby and asking for one thing, are getting another. It's a bit like going to vegan restaurant and being served bacon - ya what?
This is so common, the reason is that there are HIDDEN PACKAGE DEALS - unwritten rules associated with certain decisions. Rhea Dempsey calls it 'This goes with that births' (like the Sussan Ad for those of us old enough to remember).Read More
Many people I meet often ask me 'So what is a doula and what does a doula do!' I try to keep it to a few sentences and I often say that a doula supports pregnant couples during labour and postpartum. However there is so much more to what doulas do.
DOULAS IN HISTORY
Throughout history, women have always been depicted as supporting birthing women. It is interesting to note the birthing process moving to a hospital setting and being watched over by (commonly male) doctors, is a fairly recent trend in history (in the last century).
WHY USE A DOULA
If you have read my story, you would know that one of the organisations I have trained with is DONA International. According to DONA: 'Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:
- tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
- reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
- reduces the need for pitocin (a labour-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction
- reduces the requests for pain medication and epidurals, as well as the incidence of cesareans'
So you can see why there is a growing trend towards using a doula for labour support.
DOULA: THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT
DONA International have made this short video about Doulas called 'Doula: The Essential Ingredient' which talks about the origin and rationale of doula support:
Who's choice is it anyway? This was the question that came to my mind, after reading this article: James Van Der Beek’s Wife’s Scary Home Birth Wasn’t Worth the Risk (yes I was a Dawsons Creek fan and that's what caught my eye initially).
In today's world everyone seems to have an opinion of everything a pregnant Mum is supposed to do:
Don't eat that!
Sport is dangerous!
What annoyed me about this article is that here is a woman who instead of congratulating Kimberley (for the amazing feat that she performed especially in modern society) is busy questioning whether she should have the right to choose to birth where she wants.
I think it's time women starting working together, to support each others birth choices. According to Freedom for Birth:
"In many countries around the world, women are being denied the most basic human right of autonomy over their own bodies. They cannot choose how and where to give birth. Those that persist in their desire to have a normal, physiological birth are sometimes forced by judges to surrender to surgery or threatened with having their babies taken away by child welfare services.
In many countries, if a woman wants to have a home birth supported by a midwife, those midwives face criminal prosecution. Some midwives, like Ágnes Geréb in Hungary, are even imprisoned. Freedom for Birth calls for radical reform to the world’s maternity systems so that these Human Rights violations stop and women are afforded real choice as to how and where they give birth."
If you missed out on seeing Freedom for Birth, the free web version will be available in a week or so here: http://www.oneworldbirth.net/
As for Kimberley I loved what she had to say after her breech birth helped by a supportive Doctor (and I couldn't have said it better):
"I truly believe a woman should be able to plan to birth where and how she is most comfortable. In order to make such a decision, it’s crucial to have options."
As your doula I believe that this is your birth and it's your choice, and there should always be options...
PS: Do you agree?
B is for Baby Wearing in our A-Z of Birth and Early Parenting. Baby wearing is one of the principles of attachment parenting.
What is baby wearing?
Baby wearing is using a wrap, carrier or sling to carry your baby around.
Why wear your baby?
Benefits of baby wearing include:
- Babys who are carried cry less - babies who are carried cry on average 43% less than those that are not 1 Happier babies equates to happier parents :)
- Baby wearing means more sleep for the baby, which means more sleep for the parents (here's the hint = sleep while your baby sleeps if you can Mums and Dads)
- Babies who are carried are more portable (it is easier to go to many places without the size restriction of a pram)! It also means you can take baby whatever the terrain.
- Mums who wear their babies are able to do more - baby wearing gives them a free hand to cook, hang out washing - the only thing you can't do is have a shower! (you can get slings that are suitable for swimming though that tends to wake the baby).
Which wrap, sling or carrier should I get?
Often parents will buy or be given a wrap, carrier or sling before the baby is born. My personal suggestion is that you wait until after baby is born. All babies and parents are different - and it's funny how much the personality and likes and dislikes of the baby can affect the right choice for you both.
As a guide as soft, stretchy wrap like a Hug A Bub is great for a newborn (when often they are too small to safely fit into a structured carrier. After that a structured carrier like an Ergo, Manducca or Tula are all popular brands.
Where can I buy a wrap, sling or carrier?
There are a number of retailers wherever you are that sell endless varieties, styles and brands. The important thing at the moment is to ensure that it is not going cause hip displaysia or hip dislocation (the baby's hip coming out of its socket). Don't be fooled into thinking that just because it is for sale - it is safe.
The following diagram is from the International Hip Displaysia Institute and it explains quite well what to avoid.
Local to Perth, Karri Tree Lane sells a variety of wraps, carriers and slings (including rings to make your own slings).
Of course baby wearing is a part of The Modern Doula's pre-natal education (and is included with all birth and postpartum doula packages).
To enquire about having a doula at your birth or postpartum, please contact me.
(1) Hunziker UA, Barr RG.1986. “Increased carrying reduces infant crying: A randomised controlled trial.” Pediatrics 77:641-648 and Dr. Eckhard Bonnet (specialist in paediatrics, youth medicine, environmental medicine and sports medicine). 1998. Krankengymnastik 50 Jg No.8.
In our A-Z of Birth and early parenting - A is for Attachment Parenting. As a birth doula I consider it of vital importance to consider your parenting style early (preferably before your first is born). Many parents are surprised by this as often the topics of importance are taking leave, from work, baby showers, and parental leave/baby bonus. Some parents have been having conversations around the subject of parenting already. How you were parented affects your views on parenting.
Do you want to parent as your parents did?
Are you determined to be nothing like your parents?
If so do you have a vision for how this will look?
Do you have a plan or a framework for achieving this (particularly if you are planning to be different to your own parents)?
October is attachment parenting month
Personally and having studied with DONA International - I am a huge fan of the attachment parenting style as a parenting tool (note as a tool not a discipline).
The seven principles of attachment parenting are (thanks to Dr Sears):
- Birth bonding
- Bedding close to baby
- Belief in the language value of your baby's cry
- Beware of baby trainers
If your current pregnancy planning ends at birth, then maybe it's time to have a chat with me - and start your post-partum planning.
The reality is that birth lasts for a few days, but parenting lasts for a lifetime! The time to set up a good foundation, in agreement with your partner is now!