Join our team!

 

Our inaugural She Births® Show was a huge success and so much fun! What I loved the most was that we got to discuss birth in a more juicy and complex way and look at the business / motherhood juggle from a more heartfelt and spiritual perspective. There are lots of questions that I could have asked Peta, Zoe and Kate but I chose to focus on those that you wouldn’t read in your typical magazine Q&A.

So, what can we learn from one mum who had a ‘text book’ birth but felt traumatised years after, and another mum who had a three-day labour with every intervention under the sun… yet feels totally fine about it? And a third mum who ‘scripted’ her birth months beforehand and then it worked out almost exactly as written? SO MUCH! Birth is so interesting and that is one of the reasons why I love it.

It’s really sweet that my marketing team call me a ‘birthing expert’ but honestly, I learn something new every time I hear a birth story or attend a birth. It is this openness of heart and mind that I truly believe makes She Births® so extraordinary, and it is with that openness I hope you also venture into the birthing dialogue.

Stay tuned for the She Births® Show video and podcast that will be released this coming week. I will also be sharing my new ‘Cascade of Birth Perception’ chart too that I am a bit excited about. Our policy keepers and hospital systems definitely need to keep a watchful eye on our ‘normal’ birth rates. However, She Births® and I will just continue to focus on learning and improving continually, and creating beautiful births, no matter what unfolds.

Also save the date for our next She Births® Show on Friday 8 December on the Northern Beaches! This time we will explore: Can we Prevent Post-Natal Depression and is Post-Natal Depletion Inevitable.

 

We are hiring!

As we are expanding it is time to hire some extra help. If you are keen to work with me and the She Births® team and have excellent administration and people skills and 20+ hrs/week, click here to find out more and apply.

 

Workshop for regional midwives – Bathurst 

I’m holding a workshop for regional midwives on Thursday 25 November at Bathurst hospital. They asked for me to cover the awesome topic: The Culture and Spirituality of Birth. Find out more and register here.

 

I hope you and your family are well. Get in touch any time – we love seeing your bump, birth and baby photos, tag us @shebirths #shebirths and we’ll feature them on our Facebook and Instagram pages to inspire others.

 

Love and gratitude,
Nadine xxx

Chiropractic Care for birth and beyond with Dr Zoe James

This week we speak to Dr Zoe James, Chiropractor and Kinesiologist (and She Births® Mum!), who specialises in prenatal care and the first 12 months of a baby’s life.

Chiropractic Care is a safe, gentle and effective way of helping women through their journey from fertility, to prenatal care, labour and post natal care. Research suggests that regular care can make a real difference to the comfort of the mother and baby. 85% of Pregnant Women Get Back Pain Relief with Chiropractic![1]

I was quite scared of chiropractic adjustments as I had experienced a few that felt quite aggressive, but then I learnt that there is of course, like in all professions, a huge spectrum of approaches and styles. I fell in love with chiropractic care when I found the first one that worked for me. I felt my pelvis finally come back into alignment – literally a gigantic click happened in my pubic bone – 3 years AFTER Leroy was born! I wished I had been able to have that adjustment earlier!

I have found that chiro, physio and osteopathy can make all the difference for an easier delivery and I wouldn’t go into labour without at least two consults. Zoe is one of those unique chiros who can speak a few languages at once – the scientific, spiritual and physical. She can work on a number of different levels with the body and is also fantastic at helping with newborns. It still amazes me how subtle adjustments for babies can help revolutionise sleeping, feeding, reflux and more.

We hope you enjoy this week’s expert interview!

I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you who attended The She Births® Show on Friday – such a brilliant morning! You can watch the live stream via our Facebook page, and we’ll be releasing the Show as a podcast and video soon, so stay tuned! We’ve been receiving so much lovely feedback about the event; here is what one of our guests, Emmanuelle, had to say:

“I just attended The She Births® Show and I just wanted to say THANK YOU for organising such a great event. Everything was just perfect. I cried, I laughed, I felt inspired, empowered. Thank you to all three speakers for sharing their stories and thank you to everyone in the She Births® team for putting together the event. What a great way to start the weekend!”

We are already planning our next event and will share the details with you in the coming weeks!

 

Love and gratitude,
Nadine xxx

 

When would it be beneficial to see a Chiropractor during pregnancy?

How you would utilise Chiropractic Care depends on your approach to pregnancy. Are you proactive in finely tuning your body to offer the best conditions to your growing baby or are you more a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of woman?

Chiropractic Care addresses structural, biochemical and emotional aspects of wellbeing. It utilities manual therapy along with home exercises and lifestyle advice.

The main reasons women seek the assistance of a Chiropractor for pregnancy are:

  • Problems falling pregnant (Dad’s are included here too!)
  • Pain (lower back, symphysis pubis, pelvis, legs, ribs, shoulders, hands)
  • Allowing optimal room for your baby to move and grow both physically and neurologically
  • Contributing to a wonderful labour
  • Recovery from the pregnancy and labour for both mother and baby
  • Advice on how to get the most out of each developmental stage for the baby

Well Adjusted Babies by Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani is a fantastic resource for a safe and natural approach to starting a family. She goes into a lot more detail on how Chiropractic Care can play an invaluable role in your journey.


How can Chiropractic Care help prepare your body for labour?

Preliminary studies show women who received regular chiropractic care during pregnancy:

  • Had a 50% decrease in the need for pharmaceutical pain killers during labour[2]
  • First time mum’s reduced their labour time by 24%
  • Subsequent labours had a labour time reduction of 39%[3]

There may be a few reasons for these results:

  • An optimally aligned spine and pelvis free of restriction enables the baby to move through the birth canal with ease
  • A balanced nervous system conducts the hormonal process of labour
  • A toned nervous system directs effective contraction of the uterus and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles
  • Decreased emotional stress which alters both the perception of the labour experience and facilitates the body to be relaxed throughout the process[4][5]


Do you still need to get your pelvis checked during pregnancy even if you’re not experiencing any pain or discomfort?

Being free from discomfort during pregnancy is not an indicator that your alignment is optimal and the labour will be smooth. It is best be checked out by a trained physician such as a Chiropractor who specialises in prenatal care. Definitely if you have previous injury to the spine, pelvis or known issues with the feminine organs seek an assessment before week 14 of your pregnancy when your ligaments start to loosen up.


How can Chiropractic Care help once you’ve had your baby?

  • Lower back pain
  • Pubic symphysis diastasis
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder tension
  • Tinging or numbness in the hands
  • Abdominal separation
  • Postnatal depression
  • Milk supply issues, mastitis, problems with latch
  • Treatment of scar tissue
  • Fatigue


What is Kinesiology and how can it help?

In my practice I utilise a variety of techniques. One of the techniques is called Applied Kinesiology.  It is most known for the use of a muscle test to help work out the underlying cause behind muscle dysfunction. This may be

  • Structural (a joint, muscle, scar tissue, faulty movement pattern)
  • Biochemical (deficiencies, toxicities, imbalances)
  • Mental/emotional (worry about the future, overwhelm of your current situation or holding onto past hurts)

Applied Kinesiology is always used in conjunction with a comprehensive history and thorough physical examination. It helps the practitioner be very specific on which treatment and home advice is best to facilitate a quick and lasting recovery. Treatment may be in whichever form is most safe, effective and comfortable for the woman at her stage of pregnancy.

Read more information on Applied Kinesiology here or watch a video here.


Can babies benefit from Chiropractic Care?

Intrauterine constraint, exposure to toxins, and even labour itself can be incredibly stressful on a newborn’s body and nervous system. This often manifests into a variety of symptoms

  • The way they move
  • Scull shape
  • Temperament
  • Latch quality
  • Colic
  • Reflux
  • Digestive health
  • Immune system
  • Skin health and more

Often, problems don’t appear until years down the track but to a trained eye there are obvious corrections needed in the newborn. Even when your baby is at their best, getting advice on how to maximise each stage of development is extremely helpful.

Your health and that of your baby is the foundation for a happy life. It’s worth helping your baby get the best start by being proactive. So if you’re contemplating starting a family or just welcomed your first baby into the world, now is the perfect time for you both to get checked out!

Dr Zoe James, is based in Woollahra, Sydney. For information and bookings click here.

 

[1] Peterson CK, Mühlemann D, Humphreys BK. Outcomes of pregnant patients with low back pain undergoing chiropractic treatment: a prospective cohort study with short term, medium term and 1 year follow-up. Chiropractic and Manual Therapies 2014;22(1):15.

[2] Frietag P. Expert testimony of P Frietag MD Phd., Comparing the results of two neighbouring hospitals, US District Court Northern Illinois Eastern Division, No.76C 3777. May 1987

[3] Fallon J DC. The Effect of Chiropractic Treatment on Pregnancy and Labour: A Comprehensive Study. Proceedings of the World Federation of Chiropractic, 1991:24-31

[4] Chestnut J DC. The 14 Foundational Premises for the Scientific and Philosophical Validation of the Chiropractic Wellness Paradigm. Canada: Chestnut Wellness and Chiropractic Corporation; 2003

[5] Blanks RHI. Schuster TL. Dobson M.A Restrospective Assessment of Network Care using a survey of self reported Health, Wellness and Quality of life. JVSR. 1997;1:1532

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Cat and Bart Bunting

Top 10 Daddy Doulas – Must-read birth stories!

Welcome to our very special Father’s Day – Daddy Doula Awards. If this is your first Father’s Day then an extra big hug from us!

Thank you all so much for your Daddy Doula Award entries. We shed many happy tears reading your incredible birth stories, and I am deeply honoured to have been part of your special journeys into parenthood. Your partners of course, but also ALL the ‘wombs of the world’ thank you for being the amazing Daddy Doula that you are!

Without you Dad and your involvement in birth (otherwise known as women’s business) we would not have a rock to lean on, a shoulder to cry on, a couple of big biceps to squeeze into our buttocks during every contraction or even some hands to catch our baby when the midwife doesn’t make it in time. Yes, the Daddy Doula TROPHY goes to our second time She Births® Dad BART who happens to be blind (less than 1% vision), but can now add to the list of all his amazing hobbies, such as ridiculously fast skiing down steep slopes – catching babies!

We hope you enjoy reading our Top 10 Daddy Doula stories (how could we possibly choose just one winner, right?!). We have a small gift on its way to you Dad.

Thanks to our friends at BoozeBud who are offering all She Births® families 15% off BoozeBud purchases (use promo code SHEBIRTHS). This is the coolest way to try craft beers from all over the world and get it delivered to your door. Enjoy!

A huge shout out to all of our amazing She Births® Dads near and far – Happy Father’s Day to you! Have a brilliant day celebrating with your family.

If you’d like to hear more beautiful birth stories – join us at The She Births® Show this Friday in Bondi – there’s just a handful of tickets left.

Love and gratitude,

Nadine xxx

The Birth of Saya – Story by Cat Bunting | Daddy Doula: Bart

I had Braxton Hicks every night from around 4pm-10pm, 12 days prior to our arrival. Every night they would start up and I’d think ‘game on.’ Could it be tonight? And then they’d stop again! It was quite a roller coaster and I wasn’t sure when labour was going to start. It was a very emotional time, with lots of excitement and disappointment! The birth tools I’d learnt at She Births® were vital during this stage, especially yoga and meditation, to keep me sane!

The night before labour kicked in, the same pattern occurred but they actually continued through the night until around 4am, when things slowed down once again. This time, the Braxton hicks felt more like contractions. They continued throughout the day too, albeit every 20-30 minutes. I felt we were moving towards labour but we weren’t quite there.

And then, out of nowhere… at around 5.30pm, after a game of chess, boom – labour began and lasted just 45 minutes!

Click here for more and to read our Top 10 Daddy Doula birth stories.

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Cat and Bart Bunting

The Birth of Saya – Story by Cat Bunting

DADDY DOULA: BART

I had Braxton Hicks every night from around 4pm-10pm, 12 days prior to our arrival. Every night they would start up and I’d think ‘game on.’ Could it be tonight? And then they’d stop again! It was quite a roller coaster and I wasn’t sure when labour was going to start. It was a very emotional time, with lots of excitement and disappointment! The birth tools I’d learnt at She Births® were vital during this stage, especially yoga and meditation, to keep me sane!

The night before labour kicked in, the same pattern occurred but they actually continued through the night until around 4am, when things slowed down once again. This time, the Braxton hicks felt more like contractions. They continued throughout the day too, albeit every 20-30 minutes. I felt we were moving towards labour but we weren’t quite there.

And then, out of nowhere… at around 5.30pm, after a game of chess, boom – labour began and lasted just 45 minutes!

I was taken by surprise at the sudden onset of the serious contractions. And I didn’t quite believe it was happening for most of labour! I had my first big contraction and called my midwife, asking her to come over (we had planned a home birth). I felt I was being silly as it had only just begun but my intuition knew best…

As I put the phone down I had 5 back to back contractions. The contractions kept coming thick and fast. I ended up birthing my baby on the bedroom floor, unassisted, the midwife still en route!

My husband, Bart, was great. He made a great doula, squeezing my hips as we had learnt at She Births® – a fantastic tool! He also helped catch our baby:)

My Mum was also great at wrangling my 2 year old. He was in and out of the birth and it was really helpful to have him there, surprisingly. It kept me calm!

The speed and that meaning the midwife didn’t make the birth, hence we had no medical support. To birth our own baby was scary yet incredible.

One of my strongest memories was knowing bubs head was nearly out and feeling scared. We weren’t medically trained. What if there was an issue? What would we do? I remember thinking ‘let go’ and I handed it over to the universe. I was powerless. I couldn’t stop it and I couldn’t control it. I had to trust God had my back!

For Cat’s full birth story, click here.

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Heidi

The Birth of Sierra – Story by Heidi Gerberich

DADDY DOULA: HUNTER

Hunter was my Daddy Doula from the moment we started preparing for labour. He was thoughtful and articulate when it came to discussing what kind of birth we wanted and what his role would be. He coached me through the last few weeks, reminding me of times when we had summited mountains that seemed impossible to me at the time. He built this visualisation in my mind, anchoring me in times when we had physically challenged ourselves. He had thought deeply about who I am and how I would respond to this challenge. The She Births® course prepared us with so many tricks and tools that meant Hunter knew exactly how to support me during labour in practical ways.

The strongest image from our labour that hangs in my mind is of me laying in the spa in the early hours of the morning; back against the jets, surrounded by tea light candles and music I loved. My head was resting in Hunter’s hand, while he stroked my hair with his other hand. He knew how much I loved my hair being played with. He spoke to me softly and calmly, encouraging me and making me laugh. This must have gone on for hours. He was so consistent, caring and attentive. I felt so safe and loved.

When we first arrived at the hospital, I had been in labour at home for the past 18 hours. We had spent the day enjoying each other; doing yoga, cooking, chatting, relaxing. He even took me out to lunch and laughed with me as I breathed through surges in the middle of a busy cafe. I was astounded by his confidence in supporting me physically, mentally and emotionally. Once in the hospital, they performed an internal examination and determined I was 3cm along. I was hoping I’d be at least 5cm. I could have been so disheartened by this! But, not with Hunter around. He got so excited, hollering, “woooooo! 3cm! That’s the best!” He knew that I could go either be disappointed or spurred on and wanted to ensure I continued to stay positive and calm. In this moment, his positive reaction made all the difference in keeping me relaxed and focused.

Early on, Hunter set up his camera and took some beautiful photos, truly capturing the mood of the experience. When I first got into the spa, he spent the whole time holding cold towel after cold towel on my neck, shoulders and belly whilst talking to me calmly. I soon got out of the spa and retreated back to the fit ball. It was the moments I spent outside of water that Hunter truly became my lifeline. During each surge, he would use the hip pressure move we learnt in She Births® to ride it out with me. Every surge, he was right there, squeezing my hips with all he had and encouraging me to breathe. Lifesaver! During second stage, one of the things I remember so clearly was just screaming, “HUNTER! HIPS!” and he was there immediately putting all of his weight into ensuring I coped with the surges. In between surges, I remember him using the acupressure points to ground me and calm me.

One of my favourite moments was when I was in the spa and the sun had unexpectedly risen. I had just asked for the gas and was getting used to it. I started to feel incredibly high. Instead of telling me to stay calm or making me feel silly for wanting pain relief, Hunter found a way to make me laugh hysterically in between surges. He even took a ridiculous photo of me getting high, just to make me laugh. I knew having Hunter by my side would mean I would laugh in labour. I was so thankful for that.

As labour goes, it’s very much a blur. I remember him getting me onto the fitball in the shower and supporting me with one arm, while trying to push warm towels on me to keep me warm and circulate the water over my body; all while encouraging me. I remember looking up at him so many times and every time seeing a big grin and his loving eyes. He kissed me a few times and told me he loved me. He kept me going in these moments when it felt overwhelming.

Towards the end, I was so exhausted. I was finished. After 30 hours of labour, I was sure the baby wasn’t coming and that I couldn’t do it. Hunter didn’t once lose faith in me. He was by my side the entire time championing me. He was in constant communication with the midwives, ensuring our birth plan was respected and that I felt safe.

Towards the end, as I was pushing Sierra out, the main thing I remember is Hunter holding my leg and telling me how amazing I was doing and that I could do it. He was watching his little girl come into the world while also looking me in the eye, kissing me and telling me I was rocking it. I’ll never forget his face when he saw his baby girl. He was flooded with teary eyes and unexpected emotions. Yet, amongst this, he still found time to take some of the most precious photos of my first moments with Sierra. He knew how much I would love having photos of that time and instead of being lost in himself, he made it happen.

I went into labour with a husband who was dedicated and realistic. He kept me grounded. He birthed her just as much as I did. I couldn’t have got her into the world without his love, support, humour and hip pushing hands!

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Heidi

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Gretta Free

Birth of Sharma – Story by Gretta Free

DADDY DOULA: NICK

Nick was amazing in the preparation for our baby boy’s birth.

He was so inspired by doing our She Births® course… During our pregnancy he would frequently offer to practice massage and acupressure, we often had birth rehearsals initiated by his encouragement and many beautiful times together singing and chanting to our baby to come. These moments were so bonding and such a special intimacy, we all were connected in a deep and magical way.

Leading up to the birth we had a few days of pre labour that were on and off the two weeks before. He gently supported me through the unknown of those moments… Wondering if this ‘was it’ the big day! We went for some leisurely walks together and prepared our birthing space expecting to meet our Bub.

When the big day finally did arrive it was a funny morning of lots of life changing decisions and distractions for us. We accepted a job to move to the other side of the country and there was lots of organising and phone calls going on. Despite the low aching throb of my cervix and the gentle constant firmness of my belly I was largely ignoring it and getting on with my day believing it to be another false alarm! It was until about 11.30 that Nick suggested I call our midwife and describe the new sensations. She decided this was it and prepared to pack her car and drive 2 hours to us. I still was not convinced, so she advised me to have a relaxing bath and try resting. Nick decided to quickly zip out and restock the house with fresh vegetable & supplies. So I did as she advised and I listened to music whilst breathing through each surge in the bath.

When Nick arrived home I was having more frequent surges and there was no prospect of having a rest! So I put on the Tens machine whilst Nick prepared the birthing pool and our playlist, he quickly put away groceries and prepared a floor space for yoga. I decided that it was a good idea to sweep the floor of the house! Meanwhile he received a phone call about our new job. Just as he accepted the job and the moment he hung up the phone my waters broke in a spectacular shower and straight down my ugg boots in the hallway!! It was 2pm and finally at this point that I decided it was official the baby was coming! We notified our birth team and my circle of blessing-way women. The surges started coming very strongly. Nick reminded me to breath with each surge whilst he applied acupressure and massage to support me.

My support team arrived – my sister Hannah for photographing and my friend Alex to help with my son Atticus and to assist the midwife Gail who was still on the way. I got into the warm birth pool which was so comforting. Nick joined me in the pool at about 3pm. The surges were becoming very strong. He supported me between surges pouring hot water on my back and reminding me to relax as I spiralled with each surge. I could feel bubbies head coming down and felt the pressure of each surge pushing him closer to meeting us. I knew it wasn’t long now. At this point I got concerned the midwife might not make it! Nick gently assured me it would be ok.

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Gretta Free

Thankfully our midwife arrived at 3.30pm just as I was feeling a very strong urge to push. I leant into the cosy armchair of Nicks body whilst he supported me to rest and breath. This was my favourite position to be in. Each wave became so powerful, I felt that I needed to softly breath the baby down. To slow his progress as the head was crowning I used soft panting breaths and cleansing calming breaths between the surges. Nick gently encouraged me with his loving support. At 4.08pm with one J breath to slide his shoulders out Sharma glided peacefully into the warm water of the bath. He stretched out his body like superman! Arms above his head and back arched. He was born content and peaceful. Nick and I stared in amazement with intense love for him for 20 minutes of eternity as he rested relaxed on my chest.

Nick was my solid steady support and kept me grounded and focussed for our birth of Sharma. He knew what to do and say at each moment. For me the birth happened so fast and it was a whirlwind of intensity. Nick was there as my anchor and firm rock to hold me steadfast and in my zone. We felt like a team and he held space for me through each wave of contractions. Although the birth was absolutely amazing it was also the weeks after which showed me how strong and dedicated he is as a father. Nick singlehandedly packed up our whole house in preparation for moving to WA. He held the space between visitors and farewells and all the organisation, to allow for me to have a restful post birth month.

We are so blessed to have created the birth that we dreamt of and to have had the tools to accomplish that through the education we received from She Births®. I know Nick felt so empowered in his role in our birth.

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Jessica Doneley

The Birth of Sophie – Story by Jessica Doneley

DADDY DOULA: JAMES

I feel compelled to share my Daddy Doula story as my husband was just incredible.

Like many partners/husbands/birth supporters my husband was concerned that he would be unable to help me when thrust into labour. I could not believe how dedicated my husband James was to the courses, meditations, intensity practices, massage practice that I insisted would help us on the day. We discussed at length how we might both be feeling and talked through strategies that might help. Well the preparation must have been worthwhile!

Whilst obviously my role was immense, I could not have birthed our baby girl in such a natural, calm, secure way without James. He was so in tune with my needs – even when that was a passive role. And when I needed to be brought back to the moment, he knew exactly what to say, “It’s getting really tough now, you’re going to meet your baby soon!”

What a powerful reminder (cue Oxytocin)! I even remember in that moment thinking, wow that worked, he’s been paying so much attention.

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Jessica Doneley

I have never felt such vulnerability yet at the same time felt so understood and supported – free to surrender to the whole experience.

When our midwife told me to reach down and take my baby, I couldn’t work out how, I remember saying, “I can’t, I can’t”. She’s then said, “Daddy, you’re up, grab your little girl”. This is the moment he helped deliver our dear Sophie:

We’re about to do it all again and I have so much confidence knowing James will be by my side.

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Katie

The Birth of Maggie – Story by Katie Grattan-Smith

DADDY DOULA: JOHN

My partner John was wonderful during the birth, but that was the easy part! He was great at using and remembering all the techniques we learned in the She Births® course. When I wasn’t able to think straight, let alone work out what I needed, he was there squeezing my hips together for great pain relief and talking me through all the breathing. He was such a rock, and helped me to feel strong and capable.

After Maggie was born and everyone wanted to hear the story of her birth, he had the most beautiful things to say about her birth, and about me.

His amazing support got me through the first week where we had a lot of trouble with feeding. She had a big weight loss after birth and we had to supplement with expressed milk and formula. For every feed I did, he did one too. He did all the settling of the baby and made sure I was ok. I was a complete wreck and constantly crying. He helped me to see the funny side of things, and constantly told me what a good job I was doing. I’ve loved having him home the last few weeks while our little family bonds. I am so in awe of how he knew what I needed, and I feel so lucky that he is the father of our beautiful girl. Watching them together melts my heart!

I’m sure everyone says this about their partner, but I could not have done it without him, and I know the She Births® course helped him to feel confident and helpful, and he raves about the course to anyone who is pregnant. So thank you!

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Marine Roujon

The Birth of Martin – Story by Marine Roujon

DADDY DOULA: JULIEN

Julien was the most amazing support during birth.

At home I was on the fit ball most of the time. My favourite relief was the hip squeeze. I was sitting on the fit ball with the back of a chair in front on me. I was standing up leaning on the back of the chair for each contraction and Julien was squeezing my hips at each contraction.

While the contractions were not too strong at the beginning, we tried all the other tools we learnt at She Births®, but no: I only wanted the hip squeeze.

As the contractions were getting more intense, I was concentrating and closed my eyes. I didn’t realise that, in between contractions, Julien was getting everything ready to go to the hospital, packing all the last minutes items (and some extras!) during the 2 minutes rest but he was always back behind me on time to squeeze my hips for each contraction. I didn’t feel any stress coming from him running around to get everything ready and back and forth to me to squeeze my hips every, give me water and encouragement,  etc.

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Marine Roujon

He called the hospital to let them know where we were at. This does not sound like a big deal, but English is not his first language and he HATES the phone in English, he is always afraid to make people repeat etc… but this time he sounded like a pro: “She is having 3 contractions every 10 min, lasting more than a minute, for 2 hours now.” The midwife didn’t ask many questions and told us to come.

This is when I realised everything was ready to go by the door! I started asking: “Did you get this? Did you get that?” He answered: “I have everything we need, don’t worry.” That was great because I couldn’t be bothered to switch on my brain to think about what we could have forgotten. He had also prepared the TENS machine for me.

The car ride is the only time he didn’t do the hip squeeze… he was driving! When we arrived at the hospital he did the hip squeeze in the parking lot, in the lobby… until the delivery room.

At the hospital our Doula was here as well. Julien was setting up the room with her with mats, fit ball, music etc… but julien was back squeezing my hips every 3 minutes in time for each contraction.

Our Doula was communicating with the hospital staff as we had to make few decisions during labour and she was getting back to us (Julien and I as a team) to explain to us the options and the consequences.

Julien took two toilets breaks during the 13h labour. So he might have missed 4 or 5 contractions for the hip squeeze. Our Doula was amazing but only Julien was hitting the right spot with the right intensity for the hip squeeze so he kept going, following me everywhere even in the shower kneeling behind me for 2 hours.

At transition stage I was asking him to squeeze so hard that his biceps were shaking. I didn’t know that, until the midwife told me after I had the baby. But he never missed a single contraction.

All through labour he was telling me I was amazing, I was capable and that I was going to be just fine. He was putting the straw in my mouth for me to drink, helping me to change position, move around etc.

I couldn’t have given birth without any pain relief to a 4.060kg baby if he hadn’t been by my side doing all the above.

I am so glad we did She Births®, I am sure he had this inside him but She Births® empowered him, gave him confidence and all the tools to support me.

When baby came, he caught the baby and placed him on my chest. The pride and love I saw in his eyes is indescribable… made my heart melt, for my baby and of course for my man.

The day our baby boy was born is the day I fell in love all over again with my man… to a degree I didn’t know existed before. Don’t get me wrong I loved him deeply before!

Our baby Martin is 5 weeks now and Julien is the most amazing dad. I am so lucky to be on this parenting journey with him.

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Lesley Butler

The Birth of Erin – Story by Lesley Butler

DADDY DOULA: ALAN

I would like to nominate my husband Alan, my darling daughter’s daddy for the daddy doula awards.

My husband and I have moved to Australia 5 years ago from Ireland and we do not have any family here with us. We both come from large families and the thought of having a baby here away from family really scared me. But I could not be more grateful for my husband and the support he has provided me throughout the pregnancy, the She Births® course, labour and now taking care of our little girl. Especially as some unexpected news changed everything one week after Erin was born.

One week after Erin was born I was tired and anxious which was typical of any new mum. I was missing my family greatly and would call them every night to discuss Erin’s latest developments, ask questions and unload. Then, my husband got a call from my mother to inform him that my brother had been found dead in his home in Ireland. It was my husband who broke the news to me.

I was a mess, I could not stop crying and basically was a wreck. My husband jumped into action organising Erin’s birth certificate so we could organise her passport, helping me with Erin and talking to me a lot which really helped me to work through the sorrow that I was feeling. He never complained when I didn’t have the emotional energy to get out of bed, instead he was a pillar of strength and I don’t know what I would have done without him.

She Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Lesley Butler

I hope you consider him for your award as I cannot think of a better way to tell him how much I appreciated his support.

After our She Births® course Alan practised the visualisations/meditations with me every evening and closer to the birth he practised some acupressure and yoga with me also.

My labour started on a Thursday night and little Erin was born the Saturday night. During the birth, he made me feel very much as ease. The night my contractions started he put the visualisations on for me and listened to them with me for the whole night. He also helped me to concentrate on the breathing we had learnt during the course which really helped especially during the contractions. He was always so calm and helpful in keeping me calm.

I have to admit I really enjoyed my labour and I feel that thanks to it being such a good experience Erin is feeding, sleeping and generally doing so well.