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 Tag: birth choices
Even when you think its too late to get doula support it really isn't.
If you live in the local area you will know that if you're baby is on it's way - Rockingham Hospital is the closest hospital to go to. What Are Your Odds Of Having A WaterBirth In Rockingham Hospital?
If you are a local you will have heard the rumours (yep they are true) that there is only one birth pool there (to be shared amongst the 5 labour and delivery rooms).
So to begin with you have a 20% chance of getting a waterbirth (unless they are too busy and women are labouring in other rooms - in which case your odds just dropped further). One pool... 10 women in labour (10% chance of accessing the birth pool).
Who Is Supporting You When It's Time To Push?
If you are labouring in the birth pool (because you were lucky enough to get in there), you will have a beautiful midwife with you the whole time.
However, when the time comes to push if you are in that pool in Rockingham Hospital you must:
- Hold that baby in (hah like we really have a choice)
- Climb out (have you ever tried to move with your legs spread and a watermelon inserted in your vagina)
- and push that baby out safely on land.
Those of us who are in the industry know that this is the point where women who are strong and knowledgeable and supported refuse to leave the birth pool (unless they choose to).
Who Is Supporting The Midwife?
It's far to easy to blame the midwife but we know that the hospital policy does not support her.
I have heard of midwives turning a blind eye to these women who refuse to leave the birth pool when pushing.
I have also been witness to a birth where the midwife told the woman that she would lose her job if the pushing woman didn't get out to have her baby (which may be true who knows?)..
Sadly the Hospital Policy does not support midwives to allow waterbirth.
Is This A Battle You Really Want To Fight In Labour?
My point is this is not the battlefield... when you are ready to push your baby out is no time to be having a debate about the pro's and con's of waterbirth (as opposed to immersion during labour).
Research shows that having this kind of discussion at that point in labour is counterproductive and can result in a drop in hormone levels needed to birth (due to an increase in fear hormones) and increased length of pushing stage (it's simple fight or flight stuff).
What Is The Solution?
The solution is a change in policy to allow women to BIRTH their babies in the water at Rockingham Hospital (and any other state hospital where there is a birthing pool). You can help!!!!
Please take the time to sign our petition to the Minister to get change underway now and increase the odds of having a waterbirth at Rockingham Hospital!
So, if you don't want to sit there wondering if you could have done things differently, if you want to learn what ALL your options are, and how to take charge of your birth, let's talk.
Contact me to set up a complimentary Better Birth Chat for those women who are ready to get the birth they really want.
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?
Perth is Australia's Caesarean Birth capital
According to The West today.
Not that there's anything wrong with that - if it's your informed choice - or it's medically necessarily.
The fact that the Western Australian Health Department has released WA Hospital Caesarean rates is to be commended. It's the first step into transparency around what you can expect at particular hospitals. However,
'The World Health Organization recommends that the caesarean section rate should not be higher than 10% to 15%'
(source World Health Organization. Appropriate technology for birth. Lancet 1985; 2: 436-7)
So the question remains, why are all these women giving birth this way. Are they all making informed choices?
Research has found that there are risks of caesarean birth. According to the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services,
Risks of caesarean birth include:
- Accidental surgical cuts to internal organs
- Major infection
- Emergency hysterectomy (because of uncontrollable bleeding)
- Complications from anesthesia
- Deep venous clots that can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism) and brain (stroke)Admission to intensive care
Potential Harms to Maternal Attachment and Breastfeeding
- Women who have unplanned caesareans are more likely to have difficulties forming an attachment to their babies
- Women who have caesareans are less likely to have their infants with them skin-to-skin (cradled naked against their bare chest) after the delivery. Babies who have skin-to-skin contact interact more with their mothers, stay warmer, and cry less. When skin-to-skin, babies are more likely to be breastfed early and well, and to be breastfed for longer. They may also be more likely to have a good early relationship with their mothers, but the evidence for this is not as strong.
- Women are less likely to breastfeed.
So if you are planning a pregnancy, or you are pregnant - educate yourself as best as you can about your care providers (including hospitals).
A good doula should be able to provide you with evidence-based information on your local options so that you can make truly informed decisions. They should also be able to prepare you and your partner for what happens when a Caesarean Birth is necessary - so that you feel fully prepared.
Working with a doula, you can tailor your birth plan, so that if a caesarean birth is necessary - you can still achieve some of your preferences such as choice of pain-relief drugs, immediate skin-to-skin with your baby, and so on. Having a doula can also help you create a home environment to promote bonding and breastfeeding post-partum.
If you have already had a caesarean birth, then you might want to consider contacting an organisation such as Birthrites, where you can meet other ladies who have had caesarean births, attend month get-togethers and give and receive support.
If you would like to discuss your pregnancy and birth choices, and whether or not a doula can help you achieve the birth of your dreams, please Contact me.