This Friday 13th (September 2013) saw TVNZ One News coverage of the Women’s Health Research Centres’ report on the rising Caesarean Section (C/S) rates in NZ, ignore and, or misrepresent the following facts;
1) There was no suggestion let alone reference, or hint by TVNZ of growing international evidence and experiences which show that a surgical delivery has more risks for both mother and baby compared to a vaginal birth, in all the examples to which they referred. However the viewpoints offered by TVNZ about those situations suggest that Caesarean delivery is an equal, acceptable or even better birth option for these mothers and their babies. Continue reading
In 1975, in her book “Spiritual Midwifery” Ina May Gaskin first wrote about a labour which went backwards. That birth story was possibly only one example in her women-centred practice which led to her proposing ”Sphincter Law” as a means to explain why some labours do not fit the accepted ’3 progressive stages’ definition of labour. In that instance the woman’s labour, as measured by vaginal examinations, reversed after she heard comments, and became fearful that her labour was progressing unusually fast. As I suggested in a previous blog, trying to determine how much the cervical muscle or sphincter has dilated is one common way labour is disturbed. This is because the understanding that labour can go backwards or stall depending on what is happening to, around or for the woman is rarely appreciated by most maternity carers and institutions. Continue reading
As per the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee’s website , the 10 National Science Challenges has care of older citizens ahead of a better beginning for future generations, so as an older midwife I have written to Sir Peter Gluckman suggesting one way of “improving the potential of young New Zealanders to have a healthy and successful life” is by national adoption of delayed cord clamping and, or cutting after birth, as standard maternity care. Continue reading
What is accepted as ‘Normal Labour’?
Most mainstream sources of information about birth, including magazines and antenatal classes portray labour as happening in 3 distinct stages, the first of which progresses over many hours or even days according to whether the woman is pregnant with her fourth or first baby respectively. These informants will also advise that when the accepted ‘safe’ time limits for each of these stages of normal labour are exceeded it is a sign that the woman’s body needs to be medically helped. This help can be in the form of treatments to speed the labour up (augmentation) or pull the baby out of the woman by using vacuum or forceps or major abdominal surgery.
Equally, a labour which occurs more quickly than with-in these prescribed boundaries is called “Precipitate Labour” and considered potentially dangerous for mother, baby or both. Though sometimes stunned by this unexpected and overwhelming experience of labour and birth, women and their babies are usually unharmed by ‘precipitate’ labours, particularly when compared to the levels of trauma experienced by many women who have medical ‘help’ with slow labours. Continue reading
Uniquely New Zealand.
In New Zealand women can choose to have the same midwife, or doctor care for them from early pregnancy through birth and up to six weeks afterwards as part of the country’s maternity services. These practitioners are the woman’s ‘LMC’ or Lead Maternity Carer with whom she contracts to access all funded supports such as pharmacy, pathology, radiology and, or hospital services as needed, in accordance with national guidelines. Maternity care has been free for all New Zealand women since 1938. The legislative support for women’s choice of a midwife was included in 1990, following a long campaign by women and midwives led by Joan Donley. Continue reading
On Christmas day much of the world celebrates a natural birth following no formalised antenatal care, in fact no professional services or interventions at all!
“Joy to the world women can birth,
Let all the nations know
That we can trust women,
To care for themsleves,
And their babies too
And their babies too”
When we support with love!
A program about poor health outcomes of New Zealand children due to poverty, which advocates drinking cow’s milk as healthy nutrition but does not mention breastfeeding, though it claims to make a comparison with child health care in Sweden is hardly a ‘special report, rather it is a selective or ill-informed report.
The Herstory of Birth.
Birth Images from Ancient Times is the first of 4 YouTube videos titled the Timeless Way created by Mother’s Advocate, which show images and explain birth practices from as far back as 20,000 years ago. This ‘herstory’ is one of communities knowing that women can give birth, because until the last 100 years or less (especially in rural communities), birth was part of everyday life and birth was women’s domain. Continue reading