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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 Tag: birth

I'm just not the Mum I wanted to be..

Kelly Evans

I was chatting with a friend when she said this to me. Now I know where she was coming from, but it got me thinking.

Are there any Mum's out there who are truly being the Mum they expected to be (before kids)?

While I was pregnant I had time to Google. I checked Pinterest boards and I had in my mind the things that a 'good Mother' should do.

How wrong was I. Expectations versus reality. I expected to be my old self straight after birth.

I expected that my baby wouldn't arrive until 40 weeks (9.5 months right!).

Read More

My Biggest Postpartum Secret (It's So Unsexy ;)

Kelly Evans

AssetsYou see it everywhere in the media. Celebrities barely 12 weeks postpartum with no signs of a post-baby belly. I knew the saying '9 and a half months to gain it, 9 and a half months to lose it' so I was not worried about becoming fit immediately after birth. I was also breastfeeding, and although everyone says this helps you lose baby weight that wasn't particularly true for me.

How would you like your postpartum M'am?

After the birth of my first baby I was a little bruised, had a few stitches and was exhausted in many ways, but I was physically OK. I went into my second birth with expectations of much the same postpartum. Boy was I wrong! Every birth and every baby are different.

Second time round I had a longer pregnancy, coupled with a precipitate delivery and a slightly larger baby. Who knows what it was exactly, but I noticed very quickly that when I got up to walk after giving birth, I felt like my ovaries were falling out!! It was painful (not just uncomfortable), and at first I thought I was overdoing it, until I spent all day doing nothing and was still sore when I walked.

Belly bound!

I used a Newborn Mothers Belly Band to gain initial relief and wore it 24/7. I had this idea that with patience and time and doing my Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels) that my body would somehow feel better. I put it out of my mind in the short term. This was a really comfortable way to do day to day activities, especially having to pick up and care for my baby. I dismissed how supportive my Belly Band was until I thought I'd go without it one day and within a few hours I put it back on.

Enter The Shapewear

The Belly Band was ideal until the time came when I wanted to do some serious exercise, and then I was back to square one as even a gentle jog was more than uncomfortable. It was about this time I discovered Spanx and I decided to try them when running.

It was just what I needed. I was able to exercise and run again. They were dead unsexy but after waiting so long to get back into exercise I didn't care. They allowed me to exercise enough to be a little fitter.

Where Can I Find Support?

Check out the Assets range in Target (designed by Sara Blakely who created Spanx) this one for example is only $15: http://www.target.com.au/p/assets-by-sara-blakely-remarkable-results-high-waisted-panty-nude/52383960

Where Can I Learn More About Pelvic Floor Alignment?

Lisa Gillespie has a free course: 5 Days Of Pelvic Alignment which you can find here: http://www.lisallc.com/blog/are-you-a-pelvic-floor-statistic/?mc_cid=e3a7bd7700&mc_eid=c1c6eee3e1

Questions, comments, want to share your unsexy postpartum secret? Get in touch!

The post-baby conversation - the book you should read pre-baby

Kelly Evans

As part of my doula prenatal visits, I try to introduce discussions about the planned methods of parenting and who will do what. Most first time couples seem to dismiss the topic. I am sure that they believe they 'have it sorted'. What I find most interesting was recent conversations I had with friends, most of whom echoed the sentiments in the book 'The Post-Baby Conversation'.

This had me questioning why had none of us highly intelligent, strong, women had known enough (or been strong enough) to hold the 'post-baby conversation'. We clearly didn't 'have it sorted' yet!

Reading 'The post-baby conversation - What new parents need to say to each other' was a real memory jogger for me. It bought back painful memories of the period post-partum when I (like many other first time mothers) struggled with my new identity and my role in life.

Here are some excerpts from the book (for those of you with children already you may empathise):

'Motherhood strips us of our self-worth if we are not very careful and very strong... When we are not earning money and not engaging in the big wide world, when we spend our days feeling weary from the monotony of endless domesticity, it is hard to ask our 'hardworking' partner to give us a break, or to share the out of work tasks.

We become subservient beings, we make up excuses for our partner's lack of involvement, and we live with an unresolved fuzz about the privelege in our lives, on the one hand, and our demoted status on the other. If we don't value ourselves, we won't ask for equality.' (p14)

'What confronts many women post-baby is radically different from the dreamy picture of marital bliss and harmony we envisaged. First, the actual job is overwhelming. It is impossible to imagine, before you have a baby, how much work it will add to your life.

Second, our identity transforms - this can be more uncomfortable than giving birth. Becoming a mother means becoming a culturally infused icon..

Third, we lose our economic value and independence. That has a huge impact on most women. When we remember that the women's liberation movement has fought long and hard for women to be educated and to have the right to financial equality, it should come as no surprise that we feel demoted when we forego paid work.

Fourth, we lose our freedom - and discover the power of a basic human urge. We can now understand why wars have been fought for liberation.' (p19)

According to Osborne, 'most couples don't talk about who will do what post-baby, and as a result, most assume traditional roles. Kerrie James maintains that this model will ultimately lead to feelings of unfairness, and will cause the sense of inequality to rise dramatically.

The problem with the model that says he is financial provider and she looks after the house and kids is that his job is 40, 50, maybe 60 hours a week.

However, if it is the woman's responsibility to look after house and kids, she is on call 24 hours  a day. She can rarely have a sick day or a long lunch.' (p44) (that equates to 168 hours a week).

She goes on to suggest that to create equity 'couples actually write down all the tasks involved in looking after a baby... and all the household tasks, and then work out who will do what. Couples need to have a conversation about responsibility (being shared) and then a conversation about planning for how that will occur (who will do what, and when). (p 45)

She goes as far as to suggest that both parents work 9-5 and that childcare (including responsibility for everything child-related) be shared equally between both parents out of work hours.

Osborne states that 'The idea of having to re-fight the women's liberation war in your own living room is extremely confronting. Renegotiating your own status can be difficult, particularly if your partner does not take your concerns seriously...

The way out of this murky period is to find the strength to value ourselves and calmly ask for the things we need. While it is easy to blame men for doing very little, it's women themselves who need to change before a change will occur in men.' (pg 115)

I highly recommend this book - if you haven't seen it already (and particularly if you are planning for the birth of your first or even second child). Even if you have already had your baby, you may want to consider sharing this book with your partner. It's never too late to have the post-baby conversation.

You can buy this book online from here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1877082783/ref=as_li_tf_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1877082783&linkCode=as2&tag=themoddou00-20  (affiliate link)

To receive your free Family Tasks Checklist (to supplement this book) click here

Having a Soundbirth

Kelly Evans

I spent yesterday doing Soundbirth training with the lovely Nicole LLoyd. It was a fascinating day with a beautiful bunch of women. It was also a great reminder of the work that we do as doulas, and that in our society we have been conditioned to feel that we need permission to speak (much less sing, or tone). Some of us have been told, (some since we were children) that good kids are seen but not heard. In school you need to raise your hand and obtain permission before you speak, and so on.

So how is it that birthing Mum's are supposed to somehow have the knowledge and the confidence to make possibly the loudest noises of their life (well for some anyway) without someone there showing them the way!

This is where doulas come in! Having a Soundbirth trained doula - apart from the obvious support, information, advocacy and mediation - is having someone there in the birthing room with you - giving you full permission to get loud (and joining in so you don't feel alone or embarrassed). We can also encourage your partner to join in and get loud (if they want to).

How much easier is it to get loud in a group of loud people! Opening the throat is the key to opening your cervix (in fact they are made of the same tissue).

Contact me today if you would like to find out more about using sound at your birth.