Monday, August 30, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
In "Collaboration? Oh now I get it. They mean 'collaboration'" radical feminist birth activist Janet Fraser explores the true meaning behind the rhetoric Australian homebirthers have been fed regarding the new legislation:
"“Collaboration” as redefined by the weasel words brigade who write legislation and speeches actually means, “doctors telling midwives and women who’s allowed to birth at home and who’s allowed to be such a good girl she’s allowed to attend those women“.
Yup, that’s “collaboration”. Or as the dictionary says:
World English Dictionary
collaboration (kəˌlæbəˈreɪʃən) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
—n (often foll by on, with, etc)
1. the act of working with another or others on a joint project
2. something created by working jointly with another or others
3. the act of cooperating as a traitor, esp with an enemy occupying one’s own country
Independent midwife Lisa Barrett also explores the problem with so-called collaboration in "Medical Veto - We Own Your Birth". Lisa goes on to identify a key problem for contemporary homebirthing women in Australia and that is the case of the "spineless" midwife:
"I think almost all midwives are like this. All afraid to stand up and say it is not workable and we won’t stop supporting women. To each midwife who has paid $7,500 for useless insurance, I have no sympathy. If you sell out the women in your care your pocket deserves to be hit. I only wish a few more Obs would get into bother....
I think midwives and women should stand together and say “NO – this is not workable and we cannot comply, we will stand together to the end to protect normal birth.” However this won’t happen as too many people have a vested interest in the future of this legislation.
I am being chased so heavily in South Australia that it is sickening to think about the future. I doubt whether I will have a long term one in this climate. However I will not lie down and accept the medical veto and I will not go without a fight."
Midwives Victoria has written about independent candidates running in the federal election, motivated by their opposition to the current power-holders treatment of midwives in private practice and homebirthing families:
On this, The Daily Telegraph published an article today about one homebirth advocate confronting Prime Minister Gillard publicly at breakfast:
"Her partner Tim Mathieson joined her at Melissa's coffee and cake shop, where midwife Robyn Thompson told the caretaker Prime Minister she would have won thousands more votes if she had listened to midwives over home births.
"Three to four thousand votes more would have gone to Julia if she'd listened to us," she told News Limited.
Ms Thompson, 66, from Altona, sat down with Ms Gillard and asked her to reconsider the move that allows midwives overseeing home births to be vetoed by doctors.
"I like her, and she said she'll work on it," she said."
It will be interesting to see if the outcome of the election will lead to some positive change for homebirthers and their midwives. While I hope this is the case, the past couple of years of Australian birth politics have taught me not to hold my breath.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Our course materials defined hypnosis as:
"[A] means of inducing a level of consciousness that is characterised by relaxation and suggestibility. The purpose of hypnosis is to provide a means of bypassing the critical mind and accessing the non reasoning, suggestible subconscious. The purpose of hypnotherapy is to assist the client, through guided imagery and visualisation, to bring about a desired change in behaviour or thought."In the case of birth, the desired behaviour or thought is a peaceful and natural labour, fostered by a deep trust for the birthing process. Trust in birth may not be something the mother possesses on account of the fear-driven maternity system. For Western women who are very used to using their conscious minds, the idea of letting go of that consciousness and surrendering to the primal nature of birth can be daunting. Birth hypnosis offers women a method of engaging with the unfamiliar experience of by-passing the thinking brain. Ultimately birth hypnosis is the practice of deep relaxation, and regardless of the intent, any deep relaxation a pregnant or birthing mother can get is beneficial (the positive suggestions about trusting birth included in the CD and scripts is a bonus!).
Initially I had reservations about hypnobirth and calmbirth approaches to labour because of the messages I had absorbed from society about hypnosis (and this was something discussed throughout the course with Anna and classmates). I was concerned that the aim of using hypnosis during birth was to escape or avoid labour, that it might set women up with an unrealistic expectation of what childbirth will feel like and may put pressure on women to achieve a pain free labour.
While I believe that pain free labour is possible the aim of birth hypnosis is to birth without fear of the natural process. A woman may be able to interpret the intense sensations of childbirth as pleasure rather than pain (or "sensations" rather than "pain"), but this does not mean the labour experience will be sensation-free, un-intense, or numb. And the aim of birth hypnosis is not to enable a mother to numb herself to birth, but to practice deep relaxation in order to welcome the intensity of labour without fear.
I have observed an attitude among some advocates of hypnobirth and calmbirth that if a woman who uses these techniques still experiences pain in labour she has somehow failed and should have practiced the skill more diligently during pregnancy. What I really loved about Anna's approach was that she sees hypnosis as a tool (to use or discard) to aid the natural birthing process, and in particular the peaceful, trance state, caused by endorphins during first stage.
Anna highlighted that hypnosis for birth is not something a practitioner does to the woman she's serving. Rather, it comes from within the woman and the practitioner acts as a facilitator (just as she is present to the mother during birth, she is present to the mother during the hypnosis practice and birth preparation, but it is the mother who does the work). Anna liked to use the analogy of a personal trainer for fitness. While a personal trainer may be supporting and encouraging an individual in improving her fitness, it is the individual who does the training.
Something that really appealed to me about Anna's course was the emphasis she places on supporting the mother and her partner to become empowered participants in the birth hypnosis process. The practitioner really acts as a guide, introducing the family to the new tool, teaching them how they can use it to suit their needs. By the time of the birth it is just another coping strategy the couple have practiced and developed throughout pregnancy to make the birth their own.
The materials provided to practitioners enable us to support the birthing mother's loved ones in becoming her birth hypnosis facilitator over the course of four sessions. In the final session the couple create their own script, taking ownership of the process and tailoring it to their personal desires.
- Information about the anatomy and function of the uterus
- Information on different breathing techniques to optimise relaxation
- Teachings of Grantly Dick-Read, author of "Childbirth Without Fear", in particular his work on "The Fear, Tension, Pain Syndrome"
- Sarah J Buckley MD's article on how nature's hormonal cocktail works during labour
- Outline of topics and activities to cover at each of the four (1 hour) sessions
- 2 mini non-birth meditation scripts
- 1 "soft breathing" technique script
- 1 "surrender breathing" technique script
- 1 birth hypnosis "for partners" script (for the mother to read to her partner to help prepare him or her to be her ideal support person during labour)
- 1 birth hypnosis "releasing fears and old beliefs about birth" script
- 1 "touch relaxation" script
- 1 template for couples to use to create a personalised "special place" script
- "Trusting Birth" CD of Anna reading another birth hypnosis script
- A copy of "Childbirth Without Fear" by Grantly Dick-Read
Thursday, August 5, 2010
The centre is a wonderful haven for mums, where there are toys to keep children entertained, a qualified counsellor present at all times to assist with any breastfeeding support needs, a wealth of breastfeeding information on hand and plenty of comfortable seats. I cannot recommend dropping in at the Breastfeeding Centre enough!
For World Breastfeeding Week 2010 Yvette invited one and all to come in and meet other mothers while enjoying free tea and cake. She also had free t-shirts for young and old, breastfeeding broaches, cloth breast pads and more.
Babes in Arms was there to show guests some of the new products Ergo Baby has and to donate an Ergo to the breastfeeding centre.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
"I think breastfeeding really helped (me keep me figure). Some people here (in the US) think they don't have to breastfeed, and I think 'Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?' I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months."
- Young children NEED breastmilk for their long term health and well-being
- The vast majority of women CAN breastfeed!!!!
- Very few women have a medical problem which prevents them from being able to breastfeed
- If all the women who could breastfeed, were breastfeeding, there would be no shortage of milk for milk banks to supply the very few women who need it
- Artificial milk poses significant health risks to children
A law like this would help lead to generations of little girls growing up with the understanding that their breasts were made to feed babies, rather than them growing up believing their breasts are a source of sexual arousal for men. It would also help lead to generations of little girls growing up with the understanding that they will be able to breastfeed, rather than approaching motherhood with the myth that they probably won't.
It's important to point out that Gisele does not say that ABM should be banned, simply that there should be a law protecting and ensuring breastfeeding for the first six months of a child's life. ABM could still be made available to the very few babies could not survive on EBM through consultation with health professionals such as a lactation consultant and a general practitioner in order to gain a prescription for ABM.
Quite frankly, after all the misinformation on infant feeding, and breastfeeding bashing that goes on in the media, in local communities, and in families, Gisele's voice is a breath of fresh air.
101 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Child
Artificial Feeding – Nothing To Do With Breastfeeding
Consumer Research on Infant Formual and Infant Feeding
Formula for Disaster
Genetic Engineering and Infant Foods
Hot Milk - The Unbottled Truth About Formula
International Breastfeeding Journal
Just One Bottle
Misinformation: Redefining Baby Feeding
Suck on This
Toxic Phthalates in Infant Formulas
The Case of The Virgin Gut
The Language of Breastfeeding
The Risks of Infant Formula Feeding
What Should I Know About Infant Formula
Yes! Just One Bottle Will Hurt!
Artificial Infant Milk: The Voldermort Of Baby Feeding
Documentary Asks: "If Infant Feeding Is A Choice, Why Are We Not Making An Informed One?"
Those Not Breastfeeding Yet, Need Breastfeeding Support
Uncovering What Lies Behind Lactophobia
Why Is The Health Of Babies Less Important?
ETA: The following is a statement from Gisele posted on her blog on this issue:
My intention in making a comment about the importance of breastfeeding has nothing to do with the law. It comes from my passion and beliefs about children. Becoming a new mom has brought a lot of questions, I feel like I am in a constant search for answers on what might be the best for my child. It’s unfortunate that in an interview sometimes things can seem so black and white. I am sure if I would just be sitting talking about my experiences with other mothers, we would just be sharing opinions. I understand that everyone has their own experience and opinions and I am not here to judge. I believe that bringing a life into this world is the single most important thing a person can undertake and it can also be the most challenging. I think as mothers we are all just trying our best.
© 2007 - 2013 Ilithyia Inspired | No reproduction without docmentation of permission from blog author and/or providing full bibliographic details including a link to the exact page quoted.