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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: human rights

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

What Are Your Odds Of Having A Waterbirth At Rockingham Hospital?

Kelly Evans

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:

  • STOP..
  • 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!

https://www.change.org/p/hon-dr-kim-hames-waterbirth-allowed-in-wa-public-hospitals-now/

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.

 

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

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