Many, or even most first-time mothers are anxious or afraid of childbirth. We can certainly put this down to the way we (as a society) portray birth, and the experiences that others share with women when they’re pregnant or even before that stage in their life. From a very young age, most women are conditioned to believe that birth is a painful event where they won’t have much of a say in what happens to them and their bodies. And it’s true, many people experience labour and birth like that.
Why are doulas becoming so popular in Australia? I believe that this could be because maternity care has changed and become more medicalised hospital maternity care.
This is not an attack on midwives, but on our broken maternity care system and the shift to become obstetric-led care. Since the movement from home birth to hospital birth, the role of the midwife is changing in many hospitals across our country from “being with woman” to one that has become more clinically focussed with charting, documenting and performing clinical observations and this is where doulas are being hired by women to give them that non-medical support and continuity of care.
Written by Odile Chaperon
Scenario: You have been in the birth suite for 6 hours during labour and your obstetrician has been coming in and out regularly during the last hour to check progress. He has indicated that things are not progressing as quickly as he would like and has suggested augmenting labour with syntocinon. Each time the obstetrician comes in you become anxious, stress and immediately begin to doubt your ability to birth. So, what support can a doula offer you?
Written by Tina Kokott
In the weeks leading up to my 28-week appointment with my midwife, I felt something was different with my baby. I found it hard to breathe and could only eat small portions as I felt so uncomfortable. The morning of my appointment it dawned on me, my baby’s head must be up, squishing my stomach and diaphragm. My midwife confirmed he was breech. She also assured me that there is no reason to worry at all, as there was still so much time for him to turn head down.
My initial thought was “How good is intuition?” and “It’s okay, I trust him. He knows what he is doing.” However, not long after that came the doubts. What if he doesn’t turn? Do I need a C-section? Can’t I birth breech vaginally? Isn’t that dangerous?
By Jacqueline O’Neill
Sarah Buckley is a Family Physician, who has 4 of her own children. Her birth choices and parenting choices inspired her to write this book. She has looked at pregnancy, birth and parenting through the supported evidence from science, anthropology, psychology and medicine.
Written by Marcela Voigt-Jackman
To the father who is happy to go with the flow and listen to what the doctor says.
To the father that believes that a doula is a bit on the “alternative” side … a little hippyish or woowoo.
Have you discussed with your partner why she might like a doula onboard?
Do you know what a doula has to offer both you and your partner?
Do you feel a little threatened in terms of your role during labor?
Book Review by Marcela Voigt-Jackman.
If you are contemplating pregnancy or are already pregnant, “Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering” by Sarah J. Buckley is a wonderful and refreshing read. In a world that has become so medicalised in terms of birthing choices and what is expected of birthing women, this is a research based guide to assist families to make informed choices and decisions. Her book is divided into two parts. The first addressing birth and procedures offered both during pregnancy and birth. The second has a look at parenting and mothering.
By Odile Chaperon
It can be easy to be inundated with the must-have books when you are pregnant or trying to conceive, however there is one book I would consider the ultimate all-rounder, best value for money and if you’re not a big reader or you are short on reading time, the one book that you can read to cover your birthing and parenting bases. The book I’m talking about? Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah Buckley, MD.
by Kristina Fuderer
As part of my Birth Doula training with the Doula Training Academy, I am reviewing Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering. This book is not new to me – I have read it several times in preparation for my second baby’s birth, as well as for professional purposes. It was written by Sarah Buckley, a family GP who is specialised in obstetrics and family planning.