Blog| SBS Birth Wars, the behind the scenes…

Did you tune into BIRTH WARS on The Feed last Tuesday night? Catch up here on SBS Viceland and be prepared to have some of those birth buttons pressed 😉 You will also you get to see how She Births® is considered to be at the ‘forefront’ of the positive birthing movement.

I will try make my comments super quick today because I want to give space to the wonderful She Births® families who participated in the documentary. Aoife and Tom with baby Fionn and Kayla and Richard with baby Hunter were both in touch after the show to say they were disappointed in the way their stories had been told. Our community as a whole has been surprised that SBS seemed to edit towards such a negative bias.

There were some pretty crazy edits I have to agree, and a lot of what I said was used in a different context. For example, when I say everyone has an opinion about birth – it was in regards to pregnant mums being harrassed by the public about ‘how birth is meant to be and what birth is really like’ etc. Which can be a dangerous thing when you are pregnant and susceptible to influence – lost in a sea of ignorance, negativity, projections and fear.

In regards to informed consent. It’s important to be clear that there are two very different types. One occurs during the birth itself, say prior to a caregiver suggesting an episiotomy and the other is a long list of potential risks that may occur and is given to mum during pregnancy, almost like a disclaimer, so that you can make a so called informed choice between attempting a vaginal or electing a c-s delivery. Both two very different contexts that were getting a bit jumbled in the doco.

I believe VERY strongly in the former – and will talk more about this on Kinderling radio in regards to birth trauma on Wednesday 2nd October. But, I am quite reluctant to promote the latter because of the inappropriate way it is so often done. I do not believe in keeping secrets or having taboos around birth. I do not believe we should silence our negative or our positive stories. However, to give a list of the many potential things that could go wrong is not helpful for a majority, unless, you can also provide preventative education and empowerment skills for the poor mum that has just been overwhelmed by absolute terror.

For a lot of us it can feel like there is already enough negativity being shared in the general media and thus for a lot of us we are aware of so many things that can go wrong. To give information without preventative resources and guidance I believe is unethical.

That is why this week on our Private She Births® Facebook Forum page I will be joined by Lyz Evans, director of Women in Focus Physiotherapy  , who has just completed a 3 year research program tracking and measuring over 200 women with perineal and pelvic floor damage. Both Lyz and I believe that preparation is critical to preventing damage. Along with a revision of all the She Births® preventative measures we teach: pelvic floor assessments, perineal massage, patience and avoiding induction, water immersion during labour or birth, optimal positioning for the mother and our specific breathing techniques for second stage we will dive even deeper into this topic.

Prof. Dietz’ interpretation of data is definitely important to consider but in my experience the argument and data put forward by Prof. Dahlen was more convincing. At the end of the day however it seems like the She Births® data both in the public trials and in our own data collections prove that it is possible to have both an increasing normal birth rate (above 80% as the Govt suggests) while we also also reduce the rate of perineal trauma.

Here are the two very triumphant birth stories from our couples plus a comment from the amazing mum, Kate, who included her VBA2C story in the SBS doco. It is interesting that one birth story included informed consent and the use of forceps and one experienced a factioning within the hospital system, perhaps representative of the birth wars. Let’s just stay away from wars in general I say…and start to have more open and explorative conversations!

This is what the mums and dads had to say….

Kate

“I just wanted to pop over and give my two cents also. I was also interviewed for the segment shown last night, and everything I said was turned around and manipulated. They made it sound as though my VBA2C was traumatic. They put a lot of emphasis on the unfortunate emergency caesarian and really drove home how serious and urgent the matter was. While this is true, they failed to mention that the birth was also the most empowering and healing experience of my life. The trauma I discussed was from my first two unnecessary and ill-informed caesareans. They also edited specific sentences to make me sound quite irrational “her heart rate dropped…there was no emergency” – they edited out the part in the middle that mentioned that we waited 2.5 hours for surgery so… “it wasn’t an emergency”.

I’m so sad they’ve used my story of triumph and a message that trauma often comes from the way you’re treated rather than things that happen to make women even more fearful of birth. Also, there was no mention of any the risks associated with cesareans including increased risk of hysterectomy, increased risk of blood clots, increased risk of deep adhesions. I’m so sorry to hear that other stories were misrepresented as well.”

Kayla and Richard’s Birth story

How did you prepare for birth?

Richard and I read all the books you could think of. We researched any and every website we could get our hands on. We then completed our weekend course with our inspiring instructor Radha. (thanks to HCF*) 

Before attending this class I can openly and honestly say that I was absolutely terrified of going into labour. It was something that my anxiety wouldn’t let me shake and it was becoming a very big issue not only for myself but also my husband as when we spoke about things I couldn’t keep my head straight and I would panic and shut down.

During the course the amount of information I received was above and beyond expectations. I have attended so many different courses and by far was this course the only one that I sat absolutely glued onto what was being said. Not once did my mind ever wonder off and wish I was somewhere else. Instead I was so focused and wanted to continue to listen.

Radha was such a beautiful, absolutely beautiful soul who made this class just that so much better. Her honesty and her enthusiasm really fit well into our learning. She made us feel so comfortable and never once did any question be judged or was anyone afraid to ask anything (and I do mean anything).

I felt more than ready to bring this beautiful baby into the world with the help and guidance from Richard and every single thing we have taken away from our course. I would recommend this course a thousand times over to anyone.

How did your birth go?

My contractions started Saturday 18th of August and had stopped and started continuously until I went into full labor on the Wednesday night ( 22nd my due date) and Hunter was born Friday 24th August at 12:07pm.

We had a vaginal birth after a 42 and a half hour labor. We arrived to the hospital when I was unable to continue at home on Thursday. We got there at 1pm. I was only 4cm but they told me they needed to continue to check my baby boy’s heart as they were concerned.

We then heard nothing. By 730pm  I was given a shot of morphine then eventually I was offered to have gas by 11pm. They checked me again and I was only 5cm I was completely and utterly exhausted and in so much pain. Richard and I were left alone and unknowing as to what was actually happening for the majority of the birth.

My contractions were just over a minute apart and would last for 40-60 seconds. By Friday morning, while I was in the bath, the doctors tried to force me to have an epidural. I had already refused this many times, even though it was in my notes that I have a contraindication. I am unable to have one due to the risks with my intracranial hypertension.

Thankfully Richard was able to stand up to them. I was asked to leave the bath as I needed to be checked. This is when we found out I was only 7cm. By this point I had begged them for some help something/anything to help as I knew my body was giving up. I was then eventually given the drip to increase my contractions.

I was told very bluntly not to push if I felt the urge and then we were left alone again. Richard stood by my side begging me not to push until I was physically unable to hold on anymore.  I had started to push my baby out while only 7cm, this obviously caused some tearing internally and externally but within just 12 contractions Hunter was born.

It was then we found out he had actually had a stress poop on Thursday afternoon. This was only found out as the midwives were having a conversation about it while I was being stitched up. I also overheard as the nurses did a handover that I had fragmented membranes so I needed to be monitored continuously afterwards.

It was an experience that could have been managed a lot better, although having Richard by my side, I would not have been able to do what I did without his support and he wouldn’t have been able to support me without the knowledge we had learnt from the course. Richard was able to keep me grounded and we knew what stages of labour I was in during the whole process, which helped us make our decisions and kept us in control when we could be. As horrible as it was, it was still my labor and it was as natural as it could be for me.

What was the most challenging part of the birth?

Besides the whole thing hahaha – I would have to say the limited support and contact we had from the hospital. As much as I adore my husband and he honestly never left my side, it would have been a little easier on him if we had more of a support system. We were left alone for the majority of my labour which was a very daunting experience for the both of us.

What most helped you through the birth experience?

My husband and his knowledge from what we learnt in the She Births® course.

He kept me grounded and calm when I could be. He was able to reassure me the entire labor and kept me up to date with what was actually happening – I was honestly in and out of it due to complete exhaustion.

What surprised you?

The fact that they had my file, knowing the risks I had for an epidural and still they just pushed and pushed me for one and wouldn’t listen to us and what we wanted. I’m so grateful Richard was able to stand up to them.

I’m also surprised that after that many hours I was still actually able to push him out. Must have been all that good oxytocin.

What has been the best post birth care for you?

Having the support from my husband. Again I couldn’t do life without him

Describe your birth experience in 3 words:  

Horrendously Traumatic

Painful yet Doable

Totally worth it

* HCF is conducting a trial of She Births® with their members and offering the weekend course for free – click here for more information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                 

 

 

 

Aoife’s Birth story

When was your birth?

I gave birth on the 18/8/18, a very auspicious date apparently. We plan on buying some lottery tickets and rubbing them on Fionn’s head

I was 9 days overdue, I had always felt that I would go quite a bit over as my mother had been almost two weeks late with me and my sister was 2 weeks late with both her children. I was very keen to avoid an induction and discussed this with my obstetrician so we agreed that if I had not spontaneously gone into labour by the 20th I would have an induction. I was happy with this arrangement as it is a fine balance between avoiding intervention and acknowledging the risks with going over 42 weeks gestation. It also gave me a deadline to work towards and I work best with a deadline in all aspects of life!

By the 17th I was really determined to get this show on the road, that morning I visited an acupuncturist in the hope of inducing labour. Afterwards I wanted to keep the energy going so I walked down to the beach and spent a long time listening to the pounding waves using a visualisation about the sea.

When I went home I decided to try some nipple stimulation. This is going to sound completely bonkers but I had read a small study where they had stimulated participants nipples using TENS machines to induce labour, although it was a very small study, only 21 participants, of the 21 participants 15 of them successfully induced labour. I liked those odds and using a TENS seemed preferable to tugging at my nipples for 3 hours!  

By late afternoon contractions were starting to become stronger and more regular. That night, the 3 of us (including the dog) went for a walk along Manly beach. We sat and listened to the waves until we got too cold. It was a very special time as we knew this would be our last evening as a trio.

I went to bed to try to get some rest but by 2am it was getting too intense to stay in bed. I got up and laboured on my own for a while, my husband joined me a short while later to support me.

By 5am we had contacted the hospital who suggested we come in. In retrospect I wish I had stayed a bit longer but as we didn’t really have a frame of reference we thought I was a good bit further along than I actually was. I think my poor husband was worried that he would be delivering his child on the spit bridge. Oh if only we knew then that we could have driven to the Sunshine Coast by the time this baby would arrive!

How did you prepare for birth? 

From the outset my obstetrician advised that staying active and healthy was one of the best things I could do to help my chances of having a natural birth. Prior to getting pregnant I was pretty active so under her guidance I continued attending crossfit and surfing until my 7th month of pregnancy, by which time it was really awkward to lift a barbell over my bump and even with my modified surfing position paddling was proving too inefficient to actually catch any waves.

I completed She Births® early on in my pregnancy as I wanted to give myself & my husband, Tom, as much time as possible to implement all the skills we learned during the course.

My main motivation for doing She Births® was I was really terrified about the idea of giving birth. I knew that I wanted to avoid having caesarean as my sister had quite a difficult recovery from hers, but I had know idea what I could do to help avoid this. I came to She Births® looking to help me physically prepare for this but surprisingly it was the mental/psychological aspects of the course that probably helped me the most.

She Births® really opened my eyes to a whole host of other resources that I hadn’t been aware of. After the course I started doing prenatal yoga twice a week with another She Births® Educator, Radha. I was never into yoga before so I was really surprised how much I enjoyed it. Radha is an amazing teacher and her classes were much more than just yoga, she encouraged the second and third time Mums to share their birth stories with the class, she peppered the classes with nuggets of birthing and parenting wisdom, the classes really helped cement all the skills that I had learnt during the She Births® course.

One of the other mums at yoga introduced me to a hypnobirthing podcast called ‘Surge of the Sea’ that she had found helpful in her previous birth. I used the resources on the She Births® members website and listened to the visualisation pretty regularly from about 27 weeks on.

The She Births® suggested reading list contained a lot of great books but it wasn’t until I was on maternity leave that I really had the time to start reading. One of the books that I found most helpful was ‘Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth’, the book contained dozens of stories of women who had given birth at her birthing centre. It was very affirming to read all these positive stories about real women who had given birth, this really helped get me in the right frame of mind about my upcoming birth.

Once I was a over 32 weeks I started to drink raspberry leaf tea and taking evening primrose oil, from 36 weeks we started perineal massage, unfortunately for my poor husband it was not the sexy thing he had envisioned….

How did the birth happen?

I will start off by saying that if someone had told me a few months ago how the birth would unfold I would have been pretty scared about what was in store for me, but by the time I came to birthing my baby I really felt that I had developed so much mental resilience that I could really just let go, go with the flow and find the beauty in that moment.

As previously mentioned we had left for the hospital at 5am that morning. I had laboured beautifully with the assistance of my husband for most of that time however as the day turned into evening things were starting to stall, by about 8.30pm it became apparent that we needed some assistance. My baby’s heart rate was decelerating during contractions and my contractions were slowing down. My obstetrician advised that we should think about a forceps delivery. I asked her if she thought a caesarean would be safer for my baby and I, but she was very confident that she could deliver him safely without injury to me and she wanted to give me the best chance of a natural birth for any subsequent babies I might have.

I was taken down to surgery, given a spinal block and Fionn was delivered with the assistance of forceps at 21.21 on the 18/08/18

Possibly part of the reason I had needed forceps was that Fionn’s cord was very short, this meant that when he was born they couldn’t put him on my chest until his cord had been cut. When he was delivered the team realised that he had passed meconium in utero, probably a few days previous as he was quite stained, because of this the paediatrician recommended that he be taken to the special care nursery to be checked out.

This is probably all sounding very traumatic for anyone reading but I can assure you that it was anything but, I felt so confident in the skills of the care team I knew that everything was going to be ok.

Seeing Fionn for the first time was the most amazing feeling, he was the most beautiful thing I ever laid eyes on. I am still in awe about how strong and all-consuming the maternal instinct is, the second I laid eyes on Fionn I was head over heels in love.

My obstetrician is pretty nifty with the old bbq thongs, Fionn didn’t have any bruising and while I did have a tear it healed well. Within two days of the birth I was sitting cross legged on my bed nursing Fionn.

Who supported you?

My husband Tom was my Daddy Doula. He was absolutely fantastic. He kept me calm and helped soothe me with massage. He was my cheerleader when I needed encouragement. I have never felt closer or more in love with my husband than on that day.

What was the most challenging part?

Every few hours the midwives needed to trace the babies heart rate for 20 minutes uninterrupted. Unfortunately, the foetal monitor was a bit flaky and it didn’t pick up the babies heart rate if I moved so I had to lie on the bed and stay very still. I found this quite uncomfortable and frustrating as every time the monitor dropped out they would need a further 20-minute trace. Somebody seriously needs to make better foetal monitors!

What most helped you the most?

I used the whole gamut of She Births® tools during my labour. i used a tens machine throughout my labour, I started with it on quite a low setting and gradually ramped it up, this was particularly helpful when I had to stay still on the bed for the trace. In the birthing suite there was a lovely large bath and a double head shower, I love water and found labouring in these really helped me.

This may sound odd but when the contractions became more intense I started scratching my head quite vigorously. It was an instinctive response to the contractions, I’m sure it must have looked like I had nits! I found that it was a great distraction as it is an intense sensation and it creates a lot of noise in your head, so it really helped take my focus away from the contractions. My husband Tom took on the duty of chief head scratcher once I got towards the later stages of labour.

I also found myself vocalising, not in a screechy way but in a long low sound, I joke with my husband that I sounded like the ‘Whale Rider’ sound track.

What surprised you?

How little I cared about being completely naked and in some pretty awful position in front of complete strangers. I had been a bit nervous about feeling embarrassed to be naked but within about half an hour of being in the birthing suite I gave zero f**** about it!

What has been the best post birth care for you?

I was very glad that the hospital had a standard stay of 4 nights post-birth it meant that I had access to great advice and support during that very intense first few days. By the time I was being discharged I felt reasonably confident with breastfeeding and caring for my baby, I think I would have struggled had I been discharged earlier as neither Tom nor I have much experience with babies and neither of us have family close by to help out.

Describe your birth experience in 3 words: 

Empowering, loving, joyful

 

Expert Interview| Prepare for your birth on a deeper subconscious level with Prue Sturgeon

For so many years I have worked to help couples overcome their fears of birth. It’s not easy to let go of all those niggling little doubts. It’s not easy to uncover the subconscious fears we all have but are unique to each of us.

Of course education can be an amazing process of transformation but there’s only so much more we can do in prep for a better birth. Birth itself does a lot of work on those deeper more hidden parts of ourselves and forces us to change or let go…but I’ve been on the hunt for methods I can suggest for mums and dads that will really help them to come into a totally confident fearless state before the first contraction.

Kinesiology is definitely one of the most helpful modalities I’ve found. Have you ever tried working with a kinesiologist? Have you tried neuro emotional technique? Have you ever been stuck going in circles with therapy and not been able to shift?

Today we have an interview from a good friend Prue Sturgeon who works as a Holistic Kinesiologist, Mind Body Medicine Practitioner and Spiral Practitioner. She has a special offering for our She Births families too.

Prue has the honour of working with clients to identify limiting beliefs and patterns that may be consciously or subconsciously holding them back from experiencing what they truly desire in life. Through the art of kinesiology and Self-enquiry, they explore where there may be imbalances physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually in order to bring a sense of alignment with Self – a deep knowing of oneself so as to create authentic connections from this space be it in relationships, creative expression, movement, career and so on.

I hope this blog sheds some light on kinesiology and how it can help

Xx Nadine

Why is it important to do this emotional clearing work?

We all have conditioning based on the environments our ancestors lived in, and the types of events the generations before us lived through. All of this conditioning is passed down from one generation to the next, much like genes are. And, in addition to this, we accumulate new conditioning from the moment we’re born and throughout the events we experience growing up based on the environment around us.

Basic neurobiology states that, experience is the architecture of the brain. And so, given that the brain is not fully developed when we are born, we download our understanding of the world around us based on our environment and, often, how our parents viewed the world.

And so if we were raised in an environment where, for example, getting on a train was communicated as a terrifying experience, there is a high possibility that we may make a subconscious link between trains and terror that may not serve us later in life, even when logically it may not make sense as an adult.

This work is important because it offers an opportunity to clear what no longer serves who you are NOW. Opening up space to invite and allow what it is that is truly in alignment with You.

Why is it important that parents do this work?

This is twofold;

> from an individual perspective, this work offers an opportunity to identify and clear what that may be holding you back personally from enjoying the ride of being a parent, whether that be fear of not being a ‘ good’ parent, of not having enough knowledge/money/time/support, OR of the birth process itself.

And, whatever is going on for you at a personal level, will obviously be affecting your little ones (born or on the way)..

> from a parent perspective – given the enormous impact that parents and caregivers have on their children, we can look at how you desire to impact and guide your little ones. By looking at the important archetypal shifts of becoming a Mother/Father, how we can instil patterns and beliefs that create an environment that allows your children to thrive, and the whole family to flourish.

What do people need to release?

Often we hold on to old patterns and beliefs that, at an earlier stage in life served to keep us safe/calm/protected.

For example;

If you grew up in an environment that didn’t encourage you to connect with and express yourself, chances are you dimmed your light to feel safe or accepted in that environment. This is our incredible ability, as humans, to adapt. Often, and most importantly, we adapt as a survival mechanism, particularly as children, but the chink in the chain happens when we carry these survival adaptations into adulthood where they may no longer serve us.

Other patterns people hold on to are:

  • Inability to prioritise Self – always putting others/activities/work first
  • Inability to establish healthy boundaries
  • Beliefs around what a good or bad parent is/does
  • Shame / guilt around sex
  • Lack of confidence in Self and self-expression
  • Disconnection from body – resulting in unhealthy attachments to exercise, food, alcohol, drugs etc
  • Feeling unworthy

You use a method calling ‘The Spiral’, can you explain this for us?

The Spiral is an in-depth clearing process of the Kinesiology work that I offer. The concept of The Spiral was born from an amalgamation of three core human behaviour frameworks;

  • Spiral Dynamics – a psychological approach that offers insights into people’s worldviews, and how these shape values and drive behaviour,
  • the Chakra System – an ancient understanding of the energetic centres aligned with the spine effecting all aspects of the body, and;
  • David Hawkins’ ’Scale of Consciousness’ – a scale of 22 core human emotions measured in terms of their ‘level of consciousness’ or vibration.

The Spiral is a 7 stage process that delves deep into your relationship with yourself, your life and your patterns around the most common emotions that humans experience in order to clear what no longer serves you and begin to move more freely into who you truly are.

The Spiral is delivered online via zoom over 7 sessions plus 1 final integration sessions.

The process facilitates the identification and release of suppressed emotions/experiences, reveals your weaknesses and strengths, limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging stories. It brings awareness to and helps clear your conscious and unconscious conditioned patterns that have been holding you back in your life, and allows your natural strengths to shine through.

It’s helps to raise your level of consciousness so that you can start to see your life and the world through a more empowering pair of glasses.

This work is powerful and effective but it doesn’t do everything for you – after each session you will be given homework to help embody, integrate and solidify the changes taking place.

The Spiral Journey

There are a variety of ways that I work with Clearing (of which the Spiral journey is the most in-depth process) as well as the numerous tools and techniques acquired through studying Mind Body Medicine – which is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy.

I have worked with a number of clients on clearing both their relationship to themselves, and also their relationship to family, friends, loved ones (both alive and deceased), their business, their creativity – the possibilities are endless. And this can be done in one or multiple sessions depending on the situation.

Through the use of Kinesiology, we are able to tap straight into the body and subtle body to identify what may be blocking the flow of energy in that area.

The 7 levels of Spiral address:

Level 1 – Increasing DESERVING – releasing shame, guilt & dogma to increase a new sense of self worth.

Level 2 – Increasing CREATIVITY – releases fear, grief and paralysed will. Increases productivity, helps identify and overcome fears.

Level 3 – Increasing POWER! releases negative patterning around anger, pride & desire to bring in more self confidence and clear boundaries.

Level 4 – Increasing OPENNESS – releasing wounds of the heart and negative patterning around reason and acceptance to increase more love in your life.

Level 5 – Increasing EXPRESSION – releases low self esteem & anxiety. Increases confident and true expression and communication is all it’s forms.

Level 6 – Increasing VISION + CLARITY – releases issues related to truth, trust and old views. Increases clarity and your perception of your life.

Level 7 – Increasing PURPOSE. Releasing limiting/sabotaging patterns around your experience of peace, joy and purpose. Aligns you to that personal place of stillness and your sense of purpose.

Do you have Dads who benefit as a well?

Absolutely – this kind of work does not discriminate, and there is often such a great focus on motherhood, that it is important to recognise where there may be some stuff to address and clear to assist Dads on an equally empowering and connected journey through fatherhood.

Being responsible for new human life is a big shift for anyone, and so this work can assist in supporting and preparing how Dads can FEEL prepared for and ENJOY the experience.

This work is for any Dad’s that may be feeling any of the following:

  • Not being a good dad
  • Afraid of establishing the same relationship you had with your Dad, with your child
  • Unsure what being a ‘good dad’ actually means
  • Fearful of the amount of responsibility
  • Not feeling as involved or important as the Mother

When is a good time to do this work and why?

A good time to explore this kind of work is whenever you are:

  • feeling overwhelmed
  • stressed
  • Feeling stuck
  • Irritable
  • Noticing self-sabotaging behaviour
  • Noticing negative self-talk
  • Desiring to create a shift in your perception
  • Desiring to experience something new
  • Feeling as though you are not truly in alignment with Self

These are an indicator that you are being called to realign yourself, to step up and upgrade your level of thinking/being/doing to a more aligned place internally. We are constantly evolving and growing, as is the world around us, and it is a greatly humbling and rewarding experience to continue to develop and evolve our internal relationship with Self.

Healthspace Clinics

Health Space is an integrative clinic offering numerous health and wellbeing services including chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture, kinesiology, nutrition, naturopathy, bicom therapy, counselling, massage, infrared sauna and more. There are 18 clinics across Sydney. I see clients from the Kings Cross location, and online. 

Special for She Births® community

I would like to offer a complimentary 15 min consultation, to the first 10 people, to discuss any issues that may be arising for them, through which we can gauge if working further together will serve. Click here to register 

Blog| Nadine’s return to the motherland India

I just arrived home from a couple of weeks travelling around Tamil Nadu, the east coast state above Kerala in India. If you follow me on my instagram @nadine_shebirths you will have seen some photos of my trip. We thought it important to share more on what this trip means to me and why travelling is such an enriching part of my life. I hope you enjoy and would love to hear from you. What holidays have restored you? What do you do to reconnect with your soul?

Return to the motherland India

India is by far one of the most complex and extraordinary countries I have been to. She is quite challenging to travel around due to her size and language barriers…but not as hard as China perhaps. She is exotic and beautiful and it seems like everywhere I look there is a picture just waiting to be taken. India also has, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful women in the world. The whole country seems to flow in a state of absurd looking yet seamless chaos that makes one fear to step across a main road and requires a deep sense of trust to navigate pathways filled with dogs, cows and trash. She is steeped in the customs of numerous traditions and religions that provide no reason or logic to our western minds and currently my clothes smell like sandalwood and jasmine…which I wish could stay imbued within the fibres forever!

My trepidation in taking a holiday, having been there a few times already was knowing that India is never just a holiday. It is of course goodbye to vegetables and salads and hello to carbs and chilli. It is always wise to carry one’s own toilet paper roll and probiotics and remember that you will be melting in the heat of full body coverage outfits every moment of every day. However, if you are open to the inner journey, India always turns out to give you so much more and everything you need…although a little scary to step into from our clean, controlled and very organised reality here, She always delivers.

It is hard to write about a mystical journey though – one that happens not only via the body but also in the mind and heart and touches the soul, so I will try to convey a few pieces from my recent journey that might inspire you in your life and reflections or even take you on a journey back to the land of ancient wisdom and source of Vedic spiritual knowledge.

Of course, I highly recommend ALL travelling – I mean always – like whenever you get the chance, no matter how old your kids are or what budget you are working with. Looking back on my childhood and Leroy’s too so many of our favourite and funny adventures and memories come from travelling across Australia and around the globe – especially into the remote, naturally pristine and developing countries – Tonga and Africa come to mind and of course India too. Although travelling with children in the third world is tricky with food and germs etc it is also by far the BEST way to be given access to a different culture.

I have always believed that if we raise a child in a village and expose them to the globe then we give them the best education in life. I have always been happy to live in a simpler way here in Bondi, in order to experience new places and have also taken Leroy out of school many times to travel abroad.

My passion and my dharma has always been to live a spiritual life, in the everyday world. My fascination with the soul and the inner journey began at 16. And my drive to help others and make the world a better place even earlier, as early as I can remember. Somehow working with birth, parenting and yoga has been the perfect alignment of these two callings. And my trip to India this year brought an even deeper connection to that unified soul purpose – it has reaffirmed that I am not alone in my longings – that other spiritual teachers also see the purpose of life as serving others, making the world a better place and integrating the spiritual into our daily life and work.

The great highlight of my trip was visiting the ‘human unity’ city of Auroville  . I also spent a week in the ashram of Sakthi Amma. Both spaces are founded in spirituality yet differ greatly. They both focus on the Divine Mother as ‘God’ or the centre of their prayers yet their paths of connection are quite different.

Sunday pot luck with some of the founders of Auroville

Amma’s ashram  is Hindu in its practices so we spent our days in temples, participating in puja (fire ceremony) and abishakam (washing ceremony). This allowed for a space of reverence and brought a sense of humility too. It forced me to drop the mind and fall into my heart. I have participated in a number of puja’s over the years but I had no awareness of the power that a temple or mantra could evoke – the effects, without even understanding, was subtle yet profound.

There were about 20 western devotees at Amma’s ashram from the US, Canada and Australia. You may have heard of Amma through musician Ben Lee who got married there  . The golden temple at Sri Puram welcomed and fed hundreds, sometimes thousands of Indians each day. Amma has provided amazing resources to the extremely poor rural families of Tamil Nadu. They have built schools, research centres, initiated rubbish clean ups and tree planting programs called @green.sakthi  There are nursing colleges, and a hospital built by the Foundation.

The main teaching that I took away was to make all of life a puja, a prayer – a time filled with presence – movements filled with grace and gratitude to the divine. It was also very much about being in action and helping others – being of service, or seva. I spent time talking with one of the doctors there who are currently building an Ayurvedic wellness centre and inquired into the maternity unit within the hospital a d started to get a gauge on what experiences the families are having now in India. I hope to return next year and help out in some way with birth education – but more on how this works in another blog soon!

Amma’s Ashram

Auroville on the other hand has no particular practices or techniques. It’s core principle is for all people of all religions and backgrounds to come together as one group – to demonstrate human connection and harmony in a new community built from the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. This place blew my mind. Firstly to have two spiritual masters work together and support each others teachings and vision is extraordinary – both for the common goal of healing, inspiring and building a new type of humanity in love of the divine mother.

The Matrimandir – golden temple of the Divine Mother – sits beside a Banyan tree over 100 years old which is the very centre or heart of the Aurovillian town. There is an amazing story about this tree too that you may hear from ‘B’, formerly known as Bill, on the guided tour. They are both surrounded by gardens and petal rooms, smaller spaces for meditation. You are asked not to bow down or pray or even meditate using a technique…just invited to simply be in these areas.

Matramandir in Auroville

Being inside the main chamber of the Matrimandir is an amazing experience. The whole internal space is pure white, even the carpet. The staircase spirals as if floating into space, apparently unsuspended. I felt scared that I would fall or a star trek alien would come down and pick us up at one point. Once inside the upper chamber a ray of sunlight is drawn down into a large crystal ball that fills the room of 40+ people with light as we sit in complete silence.

Like at Amma’s I was blown away by the power of design and architecture and communities built with a specific purpose and intention. They held such a strong energy of their own, even when the founders are no longer there. The energy was more powerful than techniques and allowed me to simply fall into presence and I was moved me to tears often. I honestly wish I could bring a Matrimandir back here to Bondi or help organise an Auroville festival (akin to Woodford) and take us all over there.

The 12 petal rooms are each named gratitude, peace etc…all qualities of the heart and the gardens have the flowers chosen by The Mother evoke these qualities too. She gave over 400 flowers spiritual meanings. The essence of the Auroville teachings for me was that we must not only transcend via meditation but we have to integrate into our daily lives and achieve self perfection. The Integral Yoga Sri Aurobindo spoke of seemed to me to be the most wise on the planet – reminding us that yoga takes place not only in the body but must also occur in the mind, heart, psychic and spiritual being too.

The gardens of the Matramandir

Travel alone carries me into a joyous state of living – a state of flow and spontaneity. Taking guidance from within, one moment at a time, and letting go of effort is what India asks of us, in her own unique way. It is so utterly refreshing. Not knowing who I was going to meet each day, what or where I would eat is such an exciting and liberating way to live – but to know you are in a like minded conscious community is also so deeply nurturing. If you are looking to be swept up into the divine Mothers’ energy and live a little more in the mystery then I highly recommend visiting Auroville and Sri Narayani Peedam.

“Birth, parenting and yoga for me are my spiritual practices. They are about seeing and connecting to the divine in all things. Finding the extraordinary beauty within the ordinary and everyday lives that we lead.

If we just pause for a moment and take time to really look at the magical symmetry and beauty of a flower or ponder the amazing orchestration of functions taking place within our bodies, or between the planets and their subtle yet perfect angles, that keep us alive and in balance, one cannot deny the power of a mystical supreme intelligence and be filled by awe and wonder.

If we look at the journey of humanity and our history one can also not deny the great power of Nature and her evolutionary force to make things better and better all the time, and maybe hear the calling to join her forces for good on the planet.

To reignite my spiritual connection I have found it is essential for me to step away and fill up, to refresh and restore through travel in more remote and unique parts of the world, away from the control and habits that slowly build up in my every day. By returning to India I find that I can let all things fall back into their natural order and my life flows again just like the great river Ganga or the chaotic traffic breathing and weaving down dusty roads on a hot sweaty summer day.”

Xxx Nadine

 

 

Happy Daddy Doula Day 2018

We are so excited to share this wonderful story and thank you to all those She Births® mama’s who nominated their partners.

The 2018 winner of the Daddy Doula Aware goes to Oggi Yusuf. His partner Marje was so proud to share their story. This is a powerful one of complete support and belief in her ability to birth the way they wanted. We congratulate you Oggi!

Birth Story of Mavi and Daddy Doula 2018 Oggi Yusuf , by Marije Kleverlaan

When was your birth?
Mavi was born on 1st May 2018

Was it your first?

Yes it was my first birth, and Oggi’s second. He has a 10 year old daughter and being a second timer definitely
helped!. He was just so calm and knew what to do and how to support me being a first time mum.

How did you prepare for birth?

We did the She Births® course in March this year. Even though Oggi had experience, we loved the course and learned so many new things, to be able to support me having a birth as natural as possible.
Before She Births® I was not yet thinking about the birth and how the last part of my pregnancy would be. The weekend with Nadine, really shaped my wishes and dreams for my birth and also what to do before the baby would come. As I am 40, the hospital wants you to birth at maximum 40 weeks, so I wanted to try everything natural possible to bring on labour. We tried it all!

Oggi did not only cook every evening since I was 6 months pregnant, but made the eggplant parmigiana 2 times!! In massive portions, so spent hours in the kitchen looking after me and bubba. He cooked curries, made breakfast every day, and everything gluten and sugarfree of course! He gave pressure point massive, took me for walks and kept me sane generally :).

I also did the prenatal yoga classes with Nadine, that helped me connect with the little one and really communicate about birth and how we were going to do this together, the three of us.

How did you bring your baby into the world?

As I am 40, I was going to be induced at 40 weeks and 3 weeks before then, we tried to do everything we could to bring on labour naturally.
At 39+6 it was time to report to hospital and once again Oggi cooked food to ensure that I had fresh food to eat in the hospital instead of the terrible hospital food, he also carried the super heavy bag momma packed, into the hospital. Not knowing he would be doing this 2 more times! I had packed a rose quartz lamp, crystals, diffuser, healthy food, coconuts etc. And with a few “babe what did you pack it’s sooooo heavy” comments, he took the bag everywhere! Settled in hospital with cervidil.. both excited that we would meet baby soon…nothing. Tried to do the Foley’s catheter.. did not work. I was a little anxious of what was to happen next and when they said c-section, I got really emotional and Oggi was calm and collected and happy to do whatever I wanted to do and whatever felt right to me. So back home we went.

We were leaving home on Monday, enjoying our last Sunday night together, as we were definitely coming home with a baby, imagine the feeling of coming home… no baby!

On Thursday, we had to report back to hospital for another attempt at induction and once again, here Oggi prepared a spicy curry and carried our three heavy bags back into hospital to carry them back out 2 hours later as I did not want to get a c section. Once again, I felt so supported by him in my decision to do what I thought was best for me and for the baby. The hospital told us to come back on Monday so we enjoyed another last weekend alone together, and when we went to hospital on Monday afternoon, he did say “I am not coming home without a baby again”.
The catheter worked, and I had eggplant parmigiana once again for dinner, and again our room was set up with crystals, essential oils and music, as Oggi had carefully prepared 3 playlists. Momo (our baby’s nickname in the belly) up, Momo down and Momo Classical chants (on request from me). Midwives and doctors kept commenting on how nice the music was!

Tuesday morning, the catheter worked and I was taken to a delivery suite, waiting for Oggi to come back as today would be the day! We set up the delivery suite again, dimmed the lights, some nice essential oils and the music playing all day. They had to break my waters and give me syntocinon and Oggi stayed super calm and was just there. He is always the calmest person, which helps as I can be quite emotional, and he listens to what I asked. Which was the best, as I was clear on what I wanted (room is too hot, room is too cold, massage my back there, no don’t touch me, run the shower water on that part of my back, no not there, door open, door closed, water, no water) and without comment he just did what I needed whilst making jokes all the time. He let me squeeze his shoulder HARD, as the doctors kept putting me back on the bed and contractions were so much harder laying down, and was just being funny and saying that I promised him he could buy a new mountain bike, hoping that I would say yes as I was on gas! No tricking this momma! The doctors kept wanting to intervene and my doula as well as Oggi kept saying that I could do it, and I felt so confident knowing they had my back. And I truly believed that I could, because they told me I could.

The most magical moment and literal support was when my doula told me to stand up and when I was standing, I was leaning on Oggi a contraction came and in that one contraction I was able to push properly for the first time and there she was… our little girl Mavi. He wanted to catch her which unfortunately was impossible as I was still standing and leaning on him, but he did get to cut the cord!

Who supported you throughout the birth?
Oggi and my doula Lizzy Criner. Best team ever! Because of them we did end up bringing her into the world naturally!

What was the most challenging part of the birth?
From my first appointment in hospital they were telling me that I had to be induced, because of my age, which was not what I wanted to do. So with every appointment, and getting closer to the day, being “pushed” into induction. The emotional journey of getting to a point where I could accept this, was challenging. Then when we finally got there and the induction did not work, and they wanted to do a c-section straight away, we went home and spent Anzac day at home, and I wrote all of my feelings in my journal, I really
had to journal, and speak to Oggi as well as my doula, I cried all my tears and decided we would tell the hospital we wanted to have more time and wait. Of course when you decide to do that, they inform you that the risk of stillbirth is increasing etc., so it is being ok with the pressure building from the medical team vs knowing your body and believing it will do the right thing. With the support of Oggi and Lizzy, I knew that my decision of waiting a few more days was the right one. And it was… at least my cervix had opened by that time.

What most helped you through the birth experience?
My birthing team! They kept believing in me, talking to me, keeping me calm and just being there, knowing exactly what to do. I have never felt so supported!

Was there anything that surprised you on the day?
I know women are strong and amazing, but that my body could handle the “forced” contractions and that I was able to birth her naturally! Medical team could not believe it either, as usually women on syntocinon will end up with epidural and further intervention, the fact that we had gas only, was a surprise to them.

What has been the best post birth care for you?
Since then, he has been looking after us by cooking every night, keeping me calm in the first few weeks whilst I was learning to breastfeed. As he has done this before, he is just so calm and knows what to do and how to support me being a first time mum. I am sure there are times that I am too careful in his opinion, or cranky, or emotional, but he gives me all the space I need to figure out how to be a mum and how to look after myself and the baby, I could not ask for better support.

Describe your birth experience in 3 words:
empowering, love and trust

Marije – Thank you Oggi, we love you x

 

 

 

Working Dad’s we celebrate you!

As it is Fathers Day we wanted to say how encourage the conversations that are happening in Australia at the moment around supporting working Dads.

The transition to the role of Dad is one that is taken for granted. We forget that often after a few days off work they leave the family and head back to the office (or place of work). Their emotional needs as new Dads aren’t really considered and this continues the imbalance in society with regard to parental care of children. ‘One of the most effective ways we can make an impact that matters in achieving gender equity, is through the support we give to parents and individuals with caring responsibilities.’ Gilbert + Tobin.

Parents at Work held a discussion at the exhibition #Aussiedads this week which lead to some really interesting perspectives by actual working Dads. They looked at the support available and encouraged parental leave to be taken by dads.

Dr Vijay Roach, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, received a huge applause from the crowd after saying “Be a father and allow men to be fathers, because it’s an opportunity. It’s our right. To parent our children, to feel that love, to make that contribution. Parenting is not just about women, it’s about men too. Society will be better off if we as men are given that opportunity.”

Some key reasons to encourage Dads to take parental leave are:
– Dads do not have as much opportunity to bond with their children and experience the work-life balance squeeze, particularly in the home.
– Women are most likely to take a career break and/or return to work part-time, leading to less opportunity to upskill or get promoted, less pay and less superannuation.
– Organisations miss out on the value that a well-balanced, newly upskilled Dad brings to an organisation, as well as women in leadership positions.
– Children miss out on a true reflection of gender equality due to the long-held beliefs and ideals around women and men’s roles in the home and workplace.

Emma Walsh Founder and Chief Executive Officer Parents at Work wrapped up the discussion by saying “It isn’t just about policy change, it’s about an underground movement from all of us, having these conversations. So the next time you meet a dad who is expecting a baby- ask them WHEN are they taking parental leave. Not IF. When.”

We’d love to hear from you, our She Births® Dads!

  1. Did being prepared and then involved in the birth of your child help you feel more connected to your partner and your child?
  2. Did it he give you a better start to parenthood?
  3. Did it help you be a more connected Dad and enjoy your parental leave more?

Please send us an email as we would love to know x

*As you know at She Births® we support marriage equality and respect the rights of all people regardless of sex, religion, age, gender, ability and lifestyle choice. And we recognise that it’s not always a ‘dad’ that helps mum through birth. Although we have named these awards the ‘Daddy Doula Awards’ please don’t let this discourage you from nominating your birth support partner. Birth is women’s business let’s be honest, so for most blokes it is a big ask to get the courage and the skills up to be actively involved on the day. And for this we say a big THANK YOU!

Birth Story | Rachel Campbell welcomes Indigo after 5.5 years of fertility challenges and with the help of her sister

Although we are ‘birth focused’ here at The Birthing Institute we are also doing our best to help families across the whole perinatal period. I believe that bringing a sense of value to the whole motherhood journey is critical to the restoring balance on our planet. Of course, everyone’s journey begins with fertility.

I have taught numerous fertility yoga workshops over the years and have taught hundreds of couples She Births® who have been down the IVF path. It can be absolutely heartbreaking to see families struggle with this element and I always take my hat off to them when the choose to prepare with us. It can be such a big leap to go from an often highly medicalised process, that very often shakes our personal confidence, to preparing for a more natural birth experience.

One of our wonderful mums, Rachel Campbell joined me at my She Births® course in January 2017 with her husband Pete. They have a very unique story to tell that will touch your heart – not only through because of their amazing fertility journey that proved successful after 5.5 years with the help of her sister, but also the beautiful birth story of little Indigo.

I hope you enjoy reading and learn more about the wonderful work Rachel does, so you can share that with other friends who may need support.

Nadine xx

 

When was your birth?

Indigo was born on 11 March 2017, after 5.5 years of fertility challenges. There really are NO words to describe the journey we’ve been on – it’s been a rollercoaster of twists and turns and highs and lows – but I wouldn’t change a thing. Our little miracle came to us in the perfect time and perfect way.

Was it your first?

Yes Indigo is our number 1 miracle baby. After 10 unsuccessful rounds of IVF using my own eggs and years of seeing natural fertility specialists and healers, my sister Suz donated her eggs to us. We were blessed to conceive on our second transfer. Creating our family didn’t look like we thought it would – we naively assumed we’d conceive on our honeymoon 7 years ago and have 2 or 3 babies by now.

Through the ups and downs of our fertility challenges we never gave up on our dream to grow our family. But it did happen. In our baby’s very own time and way. It happened (as I always knew it would) and I wouldn’t change a single thing about how our baby girl came into the world. Our story is 5.5 years in the making and we created a video of our fertility journey and pregnancy announcement in the hope of helping others who are struggling to conceive.

This journey has taught me so much more about love and life – more than I ever dreamed possible.

How did you prepare for birth?
I can honestly say I had the healthiest pregnancy and birth because of the pre-conception care and self love that I made an absolute priority (it was the gift of my fertility challenges). We had almost 6 years of preparation. From that moment back in May 2011 that we decided to start preparing for a baby, I nurtured my body with the foods I ate, the way I moved and the thoughts that passed through me. My pregnancy was super smooth once I hit the second trimester and left all the IVF drugs behind. I credit my amazing pregnancy and birth with all the nurturing and care I’d poured into myself over the years of my fertility journey. I was blessed to have a wonderful natural fertility specialist, naturopath, kinesiologist, acupuncturist, masseur and energy healer. Also the organic food, the plethora of supplements I’d consumed, my meditation practice and a mindful life – it was like the pieces of the jigsaw had finally come together. I was so healthy and happy. I was finally growing a little life inside of me – words cannot describe how amazing this felt.

It was during the second trimester that I started researching the sort of birth I wanted to have. We knew we wanted to birth our babe naturally after all the IVF intervention we’d been through (I felt like this was my gift to my baby – but I was also open in my approach and realistic that birth doesn’t always go the way we want it to). She Births® was a given for me, there was never a doubt in my mind that this was the best way for me to prepare to birth our baby. I met Nadine over 10 years ago in an outdoor yoga class and her energy and what she offers the world is just so special. I’d also had many friends go through She Births® and love it – so I just knew it was a must. It really is a treasure box in birth preparation (and the men just love it too).

We hired Nadine the Doula who was an absolute godsend – a doula is a must in my eyes to help with preparing for birth and during the birthing process.

And I was extremely grateful to find Sarah Buckley and her gentle, safe, natural birth philosophy which advocates a plethora of benefits for bub and mum and this strongly resonated with me.

We actually changed from having a private OB to the public system (which was incredible and I’m so grateful I followed my gut on this one). We wanted a natural birth and my private doctor wanted to induce me at 38 weeks and talked about a number or birth interventions. At 34 weeks we made the decision to switch to the public hospital in Randwick. Seemed like a BIG decision at the time, but was definitely the right one for us.

How did you bring your baby into the world?
After switching to the public hospital at 34 weeks, at 39.5 weeks my doctor asked me to go for a scan as he was concerned about my amniotic fluid levels. The scan revealed my amniotic fluid was slightly lower than what they would medically like to see, and as a result my doctor suggested I go home and drink lots of water, get some rest and and come back 2 days later to be re-checked. My levels were much the same 2 days later and my doctor recommended induction at 40 weeks. After much research we opted against an induction and decided to continue with close daily monitoring of our baby.
Feeling a little stressed by all of this (the stats, the pressure, the hospital recommending one way when my body was telling me another), I booked myself in for a healing massage (I always find bodywork the best when I start to disconnect from myself). I also bumped into Nadine at the shops and she gave me a few words of wisdom. One of my girlfriends suggested I go home and have a glass of red wine and a curry. Initially I wasn’t sure how I felt about drinking wine at this stage of my pregnancy, but I figured 1 glass of organic red wouldn’t do bub any harm. So after 9 months of not a drop (the longest I’d gone without a wine in 24 years) hubby and I found the nicest bottle and cracked it – I had 1 glass and Pete drank the rest of the bottle. I think it might have been the nicest glass of wine I’ve ever had…
Would you believe that I went into spontaneous labour the next afternoon (I swear it was that glass of red) on Friday 10 March about 4.30pm.
Hubby was out at an appointment and I started having a few twinges – the best way I can describe it is like mild waves inside my belly that lasted for about 10-15 seconds with a 15-minute break in-between. I’d heard all the stories about labour starting and stopping and was very comfortable at this stage. I spoke with my doula and she said to just ride it out and see what happened over the next little while.
We laboured at home initially. Pete cooked a BBQ, I made a salad and we cracked another bottle of organic red wine. I had 1 more glass – if yesterdays glass had been the catalyst for my labour, I really wanted to make sure this was it!
I text my doula, sister and mum giving them an update about 7pm. My contractions were lasting about 30-45 seconds every 9-15 minutes. My doula said to get some rest so Pete and I laid down, but there was absolutely no way I could sleep – I think this was when I really knew WE WERE IN LABOUR… Pete and I setup our lounge room with the fitball and other bits and bobs that we’d learnt about from our She Births® course. We worked through some deep contractions and I think it was then and there that I realised this was going to be the most challenging, amazing and rewarding night of my life.
I called my sister to come round as we’d asked her to be at the birth with us. Pete mixed me up a herbal tea with honey to help with labour and I vomited it straight up. From this moment the only thing I could stomach for the entirety of my labour was water.
My sister arrived to our house at about 11pm and we sent Pete to bed to get some much needed rest. Suz and I hung out on the fitball and she helped me through some pretty full on contractions. Little did I know that bubs was posterior and I was not prepared for the way each contraction placed such pressure on my back. I thought I was going to feel each contraction in my belly, but for me it was just a really intense sensation in my lower back.  
Nadine, our doula arrived to our house at 1am and she was a total godsend. As soon as she arrived to the house she started breathing with me through each contraction and this helped me unbelievably – just to have someone model how to breathe and then breathe with me changed the entire scope of my labour – I really don’t know how I would have got through it drug free without Nadine. I jumped into the shower. I wasn’t sure if I could make it to the shower, but once in the shower, I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it out. But I didn’t need to worry as my sister was there towel in hand ready to dry and hold me up. Out of the shower we woke Pete and went back downstairs to settle into a few more contractions. We then decided it was time to head to the hospital. Pete heated the bone broth I’d made for post labour and we packed the car. I remember feeling really comfortable as my sis drove us to the hospital. Pete and I were in the back and looking up at the sky I could see a full moon – I was so excited that our baby was going to be born on the full moon. We arrived at the hospital at about 3.15am and bumped into our midwife in the car park. As I had a contraction in the carpark I remember thinking ‘just get me to the birthing suite’.
Walking up to the birthing suite was surreal – it was so quiet with not a peep in sight (of course it was 3.30am in the morn). We settled into our birthing suite and the contractions came in waves thick and fast. I remember thinking how am I ever going to get through this?? I understand why people have drugs, no No NO… I can get through this, I know I can. I remember my doula saying… Today you get to meet your baby.
I was blessed to have the most amazing team with Pete, my sis, my doula and midwife – they knew my wishes for a drug free birth and supported me every step of the way. I chose to have intermittent monitoring so I could freely move around the room. This caused a bit of noise with my low amniotic fluid as the hospitals preference was to have me hooked up to continuous monitoring, but I knew once I went down this route any movement would be limited and I wouldn’t be able to shower or use the birthing bath – this stuff was all really important to me and I felt comfortable with my baby being monitored every 15 mins. A doctor came into the room and asked me to sign a waiver to say I was choosing not to be continuously monitored. At this stage a huge contraction came and I had no idea what I was signing, but trusted that my people around me knew what I wanted and what was going on.

Rachel supported by husband, Pete

bath at Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick

Labour was THE MOST amazing and also THE MOST physically and mentally challenging thing I’ve ever done. I’ve run half marathons, competed in Olympic distance triathlons and swam 2kms in the ocean and nothing comes close to the immense physical or mental strength that I required for labour. I’d created my birthing mantra’s which were like a guiding star…
Our baby’s birth transforms the soul of our new family.
I feel safe and calm. I feel strong. Birth is joyous.
They believed they could, so they did.
To be a star you must shine your own light.
It is said that women in labour leave their bodies… they travel to the stars to collect the souls of their babies, and return to this world together.
We birth our baby with waves, each one bringing us closer to the shore.
The knowledge of how to birth is deep within me.
Our baby created in love will be birthed in love.

Bub was posterior and pressing on my spine so every contraction was full on, but I was determined to push through and give my baby the natural birth we wanted (this was so important to us after 6 years of IVF and a plethora of IVF drugs). Plus I’d read all of Sarah Buckley and Ina May Gaskin’s books on the benefits of a natural labour for both bub and me. We almost got there, but at the end I needed a little medical intervention. I was trying to push bub out for what seemed like hours…
At 8am I was 9cm dilated
At 9am the top of bubs head was visible
Head on view at 10.30am, but bubs descent was slow and fetal heart rate was hard to find

I think my pushing was compromised from bubs sitting on my spine and the pain in my back and my exhaustion at this point. I remember my doula saying ‘You’re about to meet your baby love’. This helped me so much to keep on going as did gazing into Pete’s eyes and the way he squeezed my hips and hands. And my sister being there every step of the way – these were the things that got me through.

I pushed and pushed until I couldn’t push anymore – her head would peak out and then slide back in. My doctor came in and was a little concerned as they couldn’t get a fetal heart rate (I think this was because bub was so low in my pelvis – I wasn’t concerned – I just had an inner knowing all was ok). But because of this and bubs sitting on my peri and not advancing my doctor wanted to do an episiotomy (epi) and get our bub out. My midwife did the tiniest epi and out she came 2 pushes later (note to self, next time I’ll use the epi-no I bought).

SHE’S HERE! Floods of emotions, tears, overwhelm, so much love as my little girl came swimming out, caught by my sis and placed straight onto my tummy.
Watching Suz catch our baby (the gift she helped us create) took my breath away.
Pete’s not great with anything medical (he did so well for the entire labour), so he wasn’t quiet sure if he’d be able to cut he cord, but he did it! Pete cut the cord once it had stopped pulsating and started going white. This was a special moment to witness.
I was completely starstruck by this little person who had just rocked into our world.

Finally after 6 years almost to the day that we started on our path to parenthood, she was here and she was perfect in her own special time and way.
Pete, Suz, my doula, midwife and me were all in tears – never before had I witnessed such a miracle. 6 years of dreaming, hoping, longing, believing and knowing we would get out baby all came down to this very moment!

This was what I had wished for my entire life and in that moment when my baby girl was placed in my arms everything was perfect. She was perfect.
Our little treasure was here and we were smitten. I looked at Pete and said ‘Indigo Vera’ and he nodded with a big grin from ear to ear. Indigo was the girls name we’d had in safe keeping for 6 years and Vera, meaning ‘faith’ is my mum and great grans middle name. There were hugs and kisses all round. Kisses with my Pete – we’d done it – finally we had our Sprout. Hugs and kisses with my sister Suz – so much love and gratitude for the gift that she had given us. From the bottom of my heart I’m in awe of what Suz did for us. She is my angel, who made our dream come true! There are no words for this LOVE!

Unfortunately, reality kicked back in and I had a managed 3rd stage labour (I wanted to birth my placenta naturally, but it wasn’t to be). I was losing blood and there was a concern about me hemorrhaging. Even though having syntocin injected to birth my placenta wasn’t in my plan, I saw the look of concern on my hubby and sisters face and made the call to surrender to the advice we’d been given. I was happy Indigo was out drug free and I knew my body could cope with detoxing from the syntocinon.
Once the placenta was birthed we looked and touched it. I was in awe of this amazing organ that had been my baby’s lifeline for the last 9 months. It’s pretty phenomenal. We’d decided to take it home and plant it under a strawberry bush – return it to Mother Nature as a symbol of our immense gratitude for our baby girl. By planting our placenta with the strawberry bush, we felt that our Indigo would always feel grounded and connected to the sweetness of the earth – and this in turn would help her find her way in the world.
Next I had to be stitched up. Just 1 teeny-tiny stitch as I watched Pete and Indi have special skin-to-skin time… heart-explosion. My man and our baby! I had dreamed of this moment for a very long time. Pete’s cheeky grin says it all (I hope Indi inherits this).

that smile from Dad says it all

And then my sister and Indi had a cuddle – wow the special connection they had would bond them forever… I just loved watching them meet for the first time.
I sipped on my bone broth and chewed on my magnesiums tablets (the contractions in my uterus were going crazy). As soon as my stitching was finished my little girl was put on my tummy… I looked into her eyes, spellbound by her beauty. Time stood still and then slowly she started to squirm and squiggle her way up my tummy to my left breast, latching on and sucking away. She’d done the breast crawl.
This is nature at its best.
No forcing her onto the breast. Given the chance my little girl instinctively knew exactly what to do and how to do it. This was just one of the many benefits of doing She Births and having a doula. I’d watched a video and been educated on this but wow no one can prepare you for the miracle that is the breast crawl. What clever little intuitive bubs are birthed into this world.
Pete and and I then spent time watching our little Indigo feed as Suz went and made a few calls to share our news. The next hour was spent feeding and skin-to-skin as our doula and midwife got everything in order – the room was so calm, I was in a peaceful-bliss, exhausted yet ecstatic state.
After some snuggles with Indi and Pete, she was checked over and then I needed a shower to freshen up. Pete stayed with Indi and my doula and sis helped me to shower – and by gosh was it one of the best showers I’ve ever had.
The next 2 days in hospital were phenomenal. We had lots of visits from family on both sides. The grandparents, aunties and uncles and cousins were so excited to meet our little Indigo girl.
Who supported you throughout the birth?
My hubby Pete, my sister Suz, my Doula Nadine and my midwife at the Royal Hospital for women. I also had doctors pop in and out of the birth.

Out of the birthing suite I had my Village cheering me on and pouring all their love and support and healthy birthing vibes our way.

 

family of three, at last

Indigo with Aunty Suz

recommended reading

What was the most challenging part of the birth?
Bub was posterior and pressing on my spine so every contraction was a really intense sensation on my spine (whereas I’d always assumed I’d feel the intensity at the front of my belly). I was determined to push through and give my baby the natural birth we wanted (this was so important to us after 6 years of IVF and a plethora of IVF drugs). Plus I’d read all of Sarah Buckley and Ina May Gaskin’s books on the benefits of a natural labour for both bub and me. We almost got there, but at the end I needed a little medical intervention. I was trying to push bub out for what seemed like hours… My doctor was concerned as he couldn’t get a heartbeat so wanted to do a small episiotomy to help bub out. I also found giving in to having the syntocin to birth the placenta challenging. I’d read a lot about this and wanted a physiological third stage labour, but the doctor and midwife were concerned about the amount of blood that I’d lost and strongly recommended syntocin so that I could birth the placenta as soon as possible. I looked to Pete, my sis and doula and they were in agreeance. Pete had a particularly worried look on his face so I reluctantly agreed – this was challenging for me.
What most helped you through the birth experience?
My gorgeous husband, Pete with me every step of the way. Just having him there with me was the most important and incredible experience for us to share.
My sister’s calm and nurturing presence. She had donated her eggs to help us create our little miracle, so it was important to us that she was with us during the birth.
The She Births® treasure box of tools and techniques.
My doula… when she arrived at the house and I started to breathe in sync with her – this changed everything!
My caring and attentive midwife… she knew my birth plan and was not going to offer me drugs or anything that she knew I didn’t want unless it was totally necessary…. Hello syntocin and managed 3rd stage labour.
The love and support of my Village (parents, family and friends – who I knew were all cheering me on and desperate to meet our little one).

Was there anything that surprised you on the day?
The absolute AMAZINGNESS of the female body and birth. Nothing can prepare you for the marathon and heart explosion that is birth. That feeling of gazing into my baby girls eyes and seeing her for the first time – pure love and magic! I feel like I can accomplish anything in life after giving birth. It is truly incredible and I feel so much gratitude for being blessed to experience it.

Rachel’s mum, her sister Suz, her nieces and husband Pete

family portrait

What has been the best post birth care for you?
They say ‘It takes a Village to raise a child’ and I was certainly blessed with my Village post birth. I loved my post birth experience – it was such a magical time.
My hubby was and is there for Indigo and me every step of the way. This nourished and supported our little family so beautifully.
My mum was just the best – shopping, cooking, washing, ironing and cuddles with Indigo so Pete and I could shower or take a walk together. I’ve had some of my friends ask if my mum would adopt them – she really is that amazing!
My sister, brothers, nieces, nephew, Pete’s family and my friends all played an integral role in offering post birth support. I felt wrapped in love and support – it was pure bliss.
My doula, Nadine was so incredibly supportive. She was only a phone call away and checked in on me regularly to see how I was doing. I had a few small challenges with breastfeeding, but seeing a lactation consultant and a little time to heal my damaged nipples ironed out the issues I had here.
I read an amazing book ‘The First 40 Days’ by Heng Ou. Its based on the idea that the first 40 days after the birth of a child offer an essential and fleeting period of rest and recovery for the new mother. I followed these principles and was lucky enough to have the love and support of my Village during this precious time as a new mum.
I also joined the She Births® Soul Mama’s circle where I met some amazing mama’s who are now some of my closest friends.

Soul Mamas

Describe your birth experience in 3 words:
Strength, Love, Transformative.

 

 

Rachel Campbell dances in life to the tune that Anything Can Be.
She is passionate about supporting women to shine with confidence and grace, as they ride the ups and downs of the fertility roller coaster. As a certified coach and fertility mentor Rachel inspires her clients to reach for the stars and really live life on their fertile journey. She offers 1:1 mentoring sessions as well as online programs for groups. Rachel has a dream to help women feel more understood, nurtured, connected and inspired on their journey to motherhood.
Meet Rachel over at sproutandco.com.au

Imagine if your workplace paid for your She Births® course…

As you may already know, we have created a new, video based Online Course (and our app is close to complete). Our dream is to have She Births® available to every parent in the world – and this is the next step.

Are you ready?

Here at The Birthing Institute, we know that parenting is the most important job in the world. We believe in diversity, extending parenting leave and the inclusion of the #forgottenwomen.

Recently some families in the corporate world have been in touch. They want to pay it forward by making the online course available to their fellow employees. We absolutely love this idea!  And it made us think – you should totally get your boss to pay for your She Births® course.

Interested? Read on. Not your cup of tea? See you next week!

How does your work benefit if you do She Births®?

In Australia currently,  30% of women describe their birth as traumatic, 90% of families experience increased conflict in the year after birth and 2,000 men and women are diagnosed with pre or postnatal depression every week.

At She Births® we know that empowerment comes from knowledge. You make big decisions everyday of your working career and you do this on the back of research. Once you have the right information you can make the best decisions for you and your team. Guess what? Birth isn’t actually that different.

Birth is not a walk in the park. It can be tough for many and it can have a long lasting effect mentally and physically either in a negative or a positive way. You actually have far more agency around this than you realise.

A positive birth experience means that you recover well and get to enjoy your start on the parenting journey. It means you enjoy your parental leave, that your relationship with your baby and partner thrives and you can return to work ready to progress your career while being a great (#goodenough) parent.

Did you know that mums who have higher expectations of birth, along with education, are more likely to feel satisfied with their birth experience?

What is it your work pays for?

– 12 month subscription to our newly released Online Course

– Access to our private members only forum with fortnightly Q&A session with Nadine and a panel of experts

– Prenatal yoga

– Practical Birth Skills workshops at your work location

How do you explain She Births® to your boss?

While we know you know us, we thought we would help you by providing some conversation starters.

– we have been successfully preparing parents to have better births since 2008 and educate thousands every year around the globe.

– we are the only scientifically verified childbirth education course in the world, proven to improve birth outcomes for mother and baby.

– mums experience a 65% reduction in epidural because our natural pain relief methods are so effective.

– we equip you and your whole team with a comprehensive toolkit of knowledge and skills so that you all feel confident with a realistic, even excited anticipation to meet your baby.

– She Births® prepares parents for all types of births so that if things change during labour, you will be empowered to make the right decisions and have a positive birth no matter what happens. We have positive cesarean section packs, induction packs and more via our LMS.

Our own survey results show that getting prepared with She Births®

  • Lowers anxiety about birth and parenting
  • Creates a positive yet realistic expectations
  • Increases mum’s inner confidence and shifts her locus of control
  • Increases dad’s involvement during birth with a multi-faceted toolkit​
  • Builds communication and rapport with caregivers
  • Gives a couple conscious involvement in decision making​

So if you have already given birth with us, how about #payingitforward and helping others in your team feel awesome about their birth and parenting journey?

Thank you for being a part of our mission to make birth better for everyone!

Introduce us by clicking here

Love and Gratitude,

Nadine xxx

When did Birth Become Daddy’s Business?

The days are getting longer and the water is warming up which can only mean that Daddy

Doula Day is fast approaching. This is our second year to hero the special support in our lives.

Birth is women’s business. When did birth become daddy’s business?

That’s what we have all grew up knowing. The dad stays outside the room, pacing up and down the corridor, waiting to hear the cries of their child and then off to update the friends and family and celebrate by ‘wetting the head’.

We are living in the first generation where men are in the birthing room and we at She Births® are helping define their role and empower them with tools to rock it!

When Nadine Richardson created She Births® 10 years ago, one of her motivations was to be able to skill up dads to be the support that the mums needed. It is now a huge decision factor as to why couples choose She Births®. The term Daddy Doula came out of these amazing dads actively taking part in this the most important event in their lives, the birth of their child. Babies are co-created, co-birthed and co-parented.

And we love seeing and hearing how excited Dads are about their new found purpose in the birth. Benji and Zoe Marshall recently welcomed their first child into the world and Benji talks openly about how his perception of birth and his involvement was very different after the course. He said “I felt really empowered. I understood how important the support partner’s role is and how I can make it better for her. I understood the tools and the parts that I could help and contribute to her giving birth. I felt I could contribute and had a way for me to feel that I was part of it”. 

We helps dads understand the importance of their role as support and give them the practical tools to help and contribute in the birth. It is a way for them to feel part of it.

 

We loved reading all of the stories last year and were delighted to award Daddy Doula BartShe Births® Daddy Doula Stories | Cat and Bart Bunting

He not only supported his wife Cat through an accidental home birth but did so while minding their eldest and to top it off he is blind! The bar is high for this year.

We want to hear about how your loved one supported you and why he should be Daddy Doula 2018. To enter  please email [email protected] with your written story and photos. All entries must be received by August 24th.

We will proudly announce this years winner on September 2.

*As you know at She Births® we support marriage equality and respect the rights of all people regardless of sex, religion, age, gender, ability and lifestyle choice. And we recognise that it’s not always a ‘dad’ that helps mum through birth. Although we have named these awards the ‘Daddy Doula Awards’ please don’t let this discourage you from nominating your birth support partner. Birth is women’s business let’s be honest, so for most blokes it is a big ask to get the courage and the skills up to be actively involved on the day. And for this we say a big THANK YOU!

Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

We have had a wonderful week here at She Births® working from our hub in Bondi and welcoming lots of happy babies into the world around the globe via our new video based Online Course. Many families blown away by what they could achieve during birth with the right knowledge, tools and support.

I have also been working with SBS on a documentary about the review of the NSW Govt Towards Normal Birth policy. As one of the only non-OB / midwives included it was an honour and also a responsibility to try and convey what we as mothers feel and experience. What contributes to birth trauma and what normal birth means for us.

At She Births® we are committed to the positive birth movement. We aim to prepare parents for positive parenting experiences too and for many of us that includes breastfeeding.

World Breastfeeding week 2018 takes place from August 1st – 7th. The theme this year is breastfeeding week is, foundations for life. We thank World Breastfeeding Week  for the awareness they create. 

At She Births® we believe, like science does, that ‘breast is best’ but of course ‘fed is always best’ when glitches or trials occur! Breastfeeding brings so many benefits (both nutritional and emotional) and it’s a topic we cover in our course to help mums and their babies have the best possible start.

It’s so important to start to consider your perceptions of yourself and perfectionism before your baby arrives. Feeding will always have a few bumps in the road. Whether that’s an occasional bout of mastitis, oversupply, undersupply, attachment, tongue tie, lip tie, the work / pump juggle, weaning, conflicting advice etc. The journey is fraught with learning and is unique to us all. Just like birth – you will find your way that works for you and perfection is never 100% everything we want it to be in our minds.

We thought this was the perfect opportunity to chat with Georgina Dowden from Mother Musings about her role in supporting and advocating for breastfeeding.

Georgina is a well qualified woman to speak to on the topic of breastfeeding. She is a registered nurse, midwife, an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC), and a mum. She lives in the beautiful Ballina Shire in Northern NSW with my husband and 2 kids, who are aged 3.5 and 1 year. She is currently working in private practice, which involves supporting women on their breastfeeding journey, as well as educating families about normal infant behaviour. If you follow her on social media you will agree that her passion lies in empowering parents to follow their instincts and to nurture their babies responsively. She certainly lives by example. We have to acknowledge that she has grown up surrounded by paediatrics as her Dad is the renowned and much loved Baby Doc Dr Howard Chilton.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us Georgina.

What is a lactation consultant

In Australia, a lactation consultant is usually someone who has completed the IBCLC exam through the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. This is an international certification and is recognised worldwide. Lactation consultants all have a background in health sciences and have completed numerous theoretical and practical hours in breastfeeding education and support. Breastfeeding is a learnt art and while it is the most natural thing to do, it can take a bit of practice. Many woman find getting the advice and tuition from a IBCLC really helps them on their way.

Why do you encourage women to breastfeed?

I think most women understand the message that breastfeeding has vast health benefits for both themselves and their baby. But especially in the postnatal period, while they are trying to recover, there is another reason that I’m going to offer up that I think is fantastic motivation for women to breastfeed – believe it or not, mothers who exclusively breastfeed actually get more sleep! This has been shown in the research (Kendall-Tackett, K. A., Cong, Z., & Hale, T. W. (2011). The effect of feeding method on sleep duration, maternal well-being, and postpartum depression. Clinical Lactation, 2(2), 22-26) and contradicts the popular myth that if you feed your baby formula, they will sleep better and thus, mum will also get better sleep. Also, with a bit of practice, women can learn to breastfeed lying down, allowing them to use those moments when baby feeds to rest and recover after birth.

How can a woman prepare to breastfeed?

I think that it is so important for pregnant women to take steps to prepare for breastfeeding. In my opinion, one of the best ways to do this is by seeing breastfeeding in action. We don’t live in tribes anymore, where we are exposed to breastfeeding every day. So for many women, the first baby they have ever witnessed feeding, is their own. Like She Births® recommends watching birth videos to prepare for your birth, I recommend you watch breastfeeding videos to see how others do it. If you have friends with breastfeeding babies, ask if they can show you how they position baby and if you can watch baby feed. I’m betting most women would be more than happy to share these moments. The other thing women should do is make it clear to the people who will be with them during and after the birth that baby needs to spend as much time skin to skin as possible. Those early hours (and even the early days and weeks) after birth are important to establishing a successful breastfeeding relationship. So, assuming baby is well, he or she needs to spend a lot of that time on mum’s chest, skin to skin. This is where they learn to breastfeed – not swaddled up in a bassinet!

How can we support a breastfeeding mum?

New mothers really need to be snuggled up in bed with their baby, learning about each other and learning how to breastfeed. With that in mind, the best support we can give mothers is doing things that allow them to do this – help with the housework and meals, or taking older siblings out and about. If mum is exhausted and needs a break, taking the baby for a while so she can have a proper sleep and recharge her batteries can also be really helpful. Most importantly, if mum is struggling, reach out and get her the appropriate help. Especially when it comes to feeding difficulties, the sooner you seek help, the better.

What is the role of the dad in breastfeeding?

Dad’s have a very important role when it comes to breastfeeding. It’s not always going to be easy. Regardless of the type of birth, Mum is going to be exhausted and sometimes, breastfeeding doesn’t come naturally. Sometimes there are hiccups and bumps. It’s dad’s job to be her rock, to support her and to cheer her on. To have unwavering faith in her ability to nurture and nourish their baby. New mothers constantly doubt themselves and sadly, many doubt their bodies too – this is especially true if the birth hasn’t gone to plan. Dad needs to remind mum of her strength and lift her up if she’s struggling. Most importantly, if she desperately wants to breastfeed, but she’s struggling and it just doesn’t seem to be working – get her help from a professional. Support will enable a successful breastfeeding journey.

 

In celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, we wanted to acknowledge two groups doing amazing work to promote positive breastfeeding experiences.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association  is a volunteer run service across Australia since 1964. They offer a range of support services including an introduction to breastfeeding class for expectant mums and also an invaluable 24 hour support line. 1800 686 268 is certainly a number to have in your favourites as telephone counselling is available free to all callers. More than 400 breastfeeding counsellors volunteer on the Breastfeeding Helpline each month, answering up to 6,000 calls. They are a membership based organisation, click here to find out more.

The Australian Breastfeeding Project is an initiative by Photographer Sarah Murnane. She travels the country taking powerful images to erase the negative stigmas that surround breastfeeding. Her movement is called “Feeding the Change” and aims to create awareness through education and public participation on the Australia wide photo sessions as well as on social media and via news media exposure. Every participant is involved in helping normalise breastfeeding together they fill social media with breastfeeding images and support each other in changing negative stigmas associated with breastfeeding. Check out the special shots on her facebook and instagram

 

We want to hear about your breastfeeding stories and see your photos. Please do share with us on facebook and instagram #shebirths. Let’s continue the conversation there.

Keep an eye out on our facebook and instagram  for a special giveaway this week

Love and gratitude,

Nadine xx

 

Header image: Monet Nichole

Who inspires you? We want to know!

You’ll be glad to know that we have kicked off our planning for this years’ She Births® Show. Last year was such a powerful event that so many people loved (and many people missed out on getting tickets to) that we have set the bar high for 2018.

Powerful Women create peaceful births and life they love was a broad topic that inspired us all in different ways. Maybe allowing you to envision a beautiful birth, or work in a more authentic passionate way or perhaps just simply enjoy being with other women in a space of sharing stories, laughing and crying together.

This week I was deeply inspired by another woman, Hannah Gadsby. You may have heard her share her story and insights before as to why she is leaving comedy. But hearing her talk about the nature of humanity, narratives and the experience of being part of a minority filled with shame was heart opening and breaking. Her intelligence, clarity, humanity and humour moved me to tears. I wish she would stand for Prime Minister! Check out her Netflix doco Nanette here.

As psychologist Thrash and Elloitt note “The heights of human motivation spring from the beauty and goodness that precede us and awaken us to better possibilities.” Being inspired allows us to see the world and our lives differently. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the humdrum patterns of daily life that we forget how important it is to nourish our hearts and minds with knowledge from others beyond our norm. If you want to know a bit more about why inspiration is important to us read here.

As part of our community we would also love to hear from you…and know WHO inspires you?

Inspiration can come in so many different ways. Tag a friend here on FB or INSTA who inspires you and would love our next She Births® Show.

Tell us an inspirational Aussie woman that you would like to see on the next Show here on FB or INSTA so you can go into the draw to get two FREE tickets.

She Births® is 10 years old very soon and we have a few more celebratory things in the wings. We look forward to sharing the love with you.

To watch last years show go here, make a cuppa and enjoy.
Love and gratitude,

Nadine xx

Addicted to inspiration

INSPIRATION
1: the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions
2: the act of breathing, specifically inhalation

I have an addiction to podcasts… but really I think I am addicted to inspiration! It is a great thing – because I just love learning and it never has to stop right, no matter how old we get.

Our She Births® Courses and the She Births® Show is exactly about providing you with inspiration. How can we learn and discover new things or ideas if we are not feeling inspired?

To be moved internally or to shift an old idea or belief is one of the greatest gifts we have as conscious human beings and one of the greatest gifts we can give to one another. These three women, Peta Kelly, Zoe Naylor and Kate Wood who joined me on stage at the inaugural She Births® Show last year did exactly that for me and so many others.

I have spent so much time developing and refining curriculum and training modules that I had forgotten how critical the care and love felt during our birthing experience really is. It makes me incredibly sad to hear that some women do not feel truly held and understood throughout their pregnancy and birthing journey. These women managed to turn around two traumatic births and have 3 fantastic experiences but it was because they demanded high quality love and care and respect for their birth and themselves. And for that I take my hat off to them.

WATCH THE FULL LENGTH SHOW.

Our last She Births® Show was such a powerful event, and we’re getting ready to do more. Do you have a mum you’d like to hear speak at our next one? Let us know!

Edited by Dominika Ferenz at IKON Films/music by the Kahn Brothers – Stronger Together

PODCAST POWER

In case you missed it on Facebook / Instagram check out these super cool mums over in LA. I had the pleasure of meeting Amber and Jenna, and recording a podcast with them and it was so much fun… and inspiring! Not only are they running around after their cute little rugrats but they decided they were not going to become stay at home ‘forgotten women’. Just because I am a mum now why do I have to stop doing creative and world changing things? They are #raisingrevolutionaries which is their priority, as it is always mine too, but we are still a part of worldly conversations and can help make the world a better place. Yippee for the Mother Loving Future!

Love and gratitude,
Nadine xxx