Sunday, November 29, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009 and two related BillsOn 23 November 2009, the Senate again referred the Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009 and two related Bills, together with the Government's proposed collaborative arrangements amendments, to the Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 1 February 2010. The Committee has been asked to consider the impact of the proposed amendments in a number of areas.The Committee invites you to provide a written submission addressing the terms of reference, in particular the proposed Government amendments on collaborative arrangements. Submissions should be lodged by 11 December 2009. The Committee prefers to receive submissions electronically as an attached document – email: community.affairs.sen@aph.
gov.au – otherwise by fax (02 6277 5829).
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I recently joined Maternity Coalition. MC describe themselves as:
"Maternity Coalition is a national umbrella organisation committed to the advancement of best-practice maternity care for all Australian women and their families.
Maternity Coalition is a national non-profit, non-political and non-sectarian consumer advocacy organisation. Maternity Coalition acts as an umbrella organisation to bring together support groups and individuals for effective lobbying, information sharing, networking and support in maternity services."
encourages a woman-centred approach to the birth process; regard pregnancy and childbirth as normal physiological processes, not illnesses; stresses the social, cultural and psychological factors influencing childbirth; supports midwives as the primary caregivers for women in normal birth; emphasises women's rights to make informed choices about their caregiver and place of birth; promotes continuous assessment and critical evaluation of technologies used in maternity care; supports the development of services sensitive to women's varied cultural and physical needs.
Our vision is to create a support group for mothers and mothers-to-be interested in learning more about birth and preparing for birth. We want to provide information about childbirth to the community and are planning to do this through monthly mothers group meetings at a community centre. These meetings will have a particular discussion topic (eg: breech, vaginal birth after caesarean, prenatal testing, routin interventions at birth, birth stories, dads and birth etc) and sometimes include guest speakers.
We're also hoping to do movie nights where we screen educational dvds about birth and related topics. And given the current situation in Australia, with the government attempting to outlaw homebirth midwifery I'm sure homebirth advocacy will be part of our work too.
Currently we are finding a venue and planning our discussion meetings which will begin in February 2010. If you would like to get involved or find out more you can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or join the facebook group we've started:
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This friend was a life-line to my family and I when we were learning how to breastfeed. Despite nursing her own newborn at the time she made herself available to metat all hours. I never felt like I thanked her enough, I decided to take this opportunity to thank her publicly and give her a gift to show my appreciation. I sewed her some bamboo fleece breast pads and her baby some crinkle toys.
One of our friends brought a bead for everyone there to slide on to their yarn so that when we do cut it after the birth we will keep the bead as a memento of this time.
(me in my flapper finery at the mother blessing)
Saturday, November 21, 2009
One of Australia's leading authors on breastfeeding, Sue Cox, is launching a new book today entitled Baby Magic. You can read about Cox's credentials here in her biography. On her website Cox has fascinating article "Who Messed Up Breastfeeding?" which looks at the bad advice which came from "experts" with the best of intentions in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries:
"Sir Truby King was absolutely convinced that breastfeeding was the only way babies should be fed. In his booklet Natural Feeding for Infants (1918) his opening lines were, 'It may be laid down as an axiom that every mother can nourish her offspring in the natural way. The exceptions are so rare and so striking as merely to prove the rule, that practically speaking, the breastfeeding of babies should be, and could be, universal.'
In his zeal to promote breastfeeding, Sir Truby King presumed to know better than the mothers who had managed very well to breastfeed their babies without imposed rules, since time began. The rules he and his European (male) contemporaries made led to the catastrophic decline in breastfeeding rates in the twentieth century."
She goes on to share that King felt overfeeding was the biggest mistake mothers made when breastfeeding. He recommended that babies should not be fed overnight, and only every 3 hours during the day in the first month of life, and every 4 hours throughout the day after the first month. These concerns were shared by a French professor whose focus was "Underfed babies don't suffer from indigestion - the overfed do." Cox notes that despite King's intention to promote breastfeeding his use of a strict routine led to:
- over-engorged breasts at the early morning feed with resultant nipple trauma
- nipple trauma led to the suggestions of toughening up of nipples with rough towels, nail brushes and applications of methylated spirits which resulted in more nipple trauma in the early postnatal period
- nipple trauma also led to the shortening of feeds in the early postnatal period
- with shortened feeds babies received less colostrum, had low gut motility and higher levels of bilirubin
- higher levels of bilirubin led to the separation of mother and baby and the mistaken need to supplement babies whose jaundice was being treated with ultraviolet light.
Sadly, despite the fact that research shows feeding routines compromise the breastfeeding relationship and make mother's lives needlessly stressful, so-called experts of the Twenty First Century continue to elicit this bad advice! Yesterday I was reading one supposed baby sleep expert's blog (whose advice would get any knowledgeable person in a Tiz ;) ) where she stated that of her friends who breastfed (because observing one person's group of friends always makes for high quality research, right?!) the only ones who had successfully fed "for a year" were those who had adhered to a routine. That says it all really: an "expert" who doesn't actually know anyone who has breastfed to the World Health Organisation's minimum of two years!
More of Sue Cox's Work
Breastfeeding with Confidence
Breastfeeding: I Can Do That!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Formula Fed America is a documentary about the health crisis a lack of breastfeeding has caused in the US. On the documentary's website it states:
"Leslie Ott completed the Lactation Educator Course from the University of California San Diego Extension and contracted local production company, HWP Studios in her home of Phoenix, AZ to film a documentary investigating America's un supportive breastfeeding culture and will address:Why are we ignoring our natural biological function of breastfeeding? Why are doctors, who more often than not agree that breast milk is far superior to infant formula, so quick to prescribe it when a mother experiences difficulty breastfeeding? Why do we continue to sexualize the breast and stigmatize its actual intended use? Why are there not more widely available human milk banks where a mother can go and receive that precious liquid gold for her baby rather than free cans of formula in our mailboxes? If infant feeding is a choice, why are we not making an informed one? This documentary will provide an insightful look in to our culture's attitude towards the breastfeeding mother and its acceptance of infant formula."
Monday, November 9, 2009
During the speeches Ann Catchlove (President of Maternity Coalition Victoria) shared during her time as Shado Minister for Health in 2005, Julia Gillard publicly stated:
"I believe that midwives are key health care professionals whose role in the care of women and their babies has yet to be fully realised in the Australian health care system. We need to realise that potential so that mothers have real choice in their birthing experience, and their babies have the best start in life."Yet Gillard's Party coming to power has not given mothers choice, rather it has stripped them of this right. Catchlove went on to say:
"When my daughter Isabelle grows up I would like to be able to tell her with pride that 2007 was the year that Australia’s first female deputy Prime Minister was elected and that this marked a new era for Australian women having real political power. Instead it looks like I will have to tell her that 2007 marked the beginning of the end of midwife-attended home birth in Australia and that under Ms Gillard’s deputy leadership women’s rights took a huge step backwards."Midwife Nicola Dutton read the following statement from Hannah Dahlen (Vice President of Maternity Coalition and Associate Professor of Midwifery):
"The Australian College of Midwives considers the proposal to force midwives to have collaborative arrangements with medical practitioners in order access Medicare is totally unacceptable. Midwives can be trusted to collaborate with all health professionals as required and as requested by women as they do currently. Tying midwives to collaborative arrangements with individual doctors will be unworkable and make care less flexible and less safe, as well as restrict choice for women. Tying midwives up in red tape in order to placate the medical profession is not the way to meet the needs of women in Australia."Julie Bell (doula and human rights activist) read a statement from Joyous Birth (which can be read in full here on Janet Fraser's blog). Julie was joined by her husband and three home born daughters at the rally:
Maternity Coalition explains the legislative changes (click to enlarge):
Not Happy Julia!
Greens Rally in Support of Midwives
Australian Private Midwives Association Press Release
Midwives in Private Practice Calling Card to Julia Gillard
Doctors to be in charge of midwives, homebirthing and of course women
Protesters demand Rudd dump birth amendment
Mums protest against maternity law changes at Kevin Rudd's office
Rally at Werribee
Amendments hands control over women's choice to doctors
Hundreds protest homebirth reforms
Women oppose maternity system reforms
Curbed Midwives Push to Break Free
Friday, November 6, 2009
Monday 9 November 2009
Kevin Rudd's electoral office, 630 Wynnum rod, Morningside, Brisbane
Monday 9 November 2009
Julia Gillard's Werribee Office, Shop 2, 36 Synnot st, Werribee, Victoria
Monday 9 November 2009
Outside Stephen Smith's Office, 953A Beaufort Street Inglewood WA 6932
See facebook event page here
Monday 9 November 2009
111-117 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills NSW
See facebook event page here
For more see:
Midwives/Nurse Practitioner Amendmant
The Final Cut
Thing are looking grim for midwives
Mum's the word on home births
Doctors gain veto powers over midwives and birth choices
Thursday, November 5, 2009
It's sickening to think that so-called care providers can be so blatantly anti-birth and anti-woman. But at the same time, at least this guy (or gal) is up-front about their hatred. I daresay there are thousands of Obs who feel the same but they humour their patients: "suuure, you can try for a VBAC..." (the ellipses contains the unspoken "but you 'aint gonna get it if I have anything to do with it!").
To see what others have had to say about the sign you can check out the following links:
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