Dear mums and dads,
I hope you are well. I have had a busy month since returning from India. Apart from teaching and mentoring I was honoured to be doula at one of my close friend’s births – which was such a wonderful experience. It was a scheduled c-section due to Grade 4 placenta praevia but I was reminded so much, as we looked across the waiting room at another mum crying before her birth, just how critical a doula can be on ANY birth-day. Doula’s are there in a very different way to a midwife, dad or friend. We can help with every little breastfeed and ease recovery as well as support both parents psychologically as they prepare to meet their little one – letting them process any fears easily along the way. Doula’s definitely make the whole birth-day a more beautiful and positive one guaranteed.
This email however, is a big thank you for your support with the She Births® – Post Birth Survey. Over 200 mums have completed our in depth questionnaire. It has been a real pleasure to read all of the responses as well as collect the results. I’m also glad that many of you are enjoying my new Chakra Balancing Visualisation too. Here are a few of the biggest headlines (but I will also share more juicy stuff soon).
Our quantatitative and qualitative statistics are quite amazing compared to NSW and national averages. We have a Natural Vaginal Birth rate of 70%. While the complete opposite is true for the majority of women across Australia – 71% of mums have some form of pain relief during labour.
Our Epidural Vaginal Birth rate is 13% which is between one third and one sixth the NSW figures. Interestingly, today a very large study of over 6,000 mums from almost 60 countries has been released. It tells us how much women are impacted emotionally by their childbirth experience – contrary to all previous studies. They found that epidurals were associated with lower exclusive breastfeeding rates and higher rates of postpartum depression even after controlling for other factors that increase mothers’ risk of depression, such as history of depression and sexual assault; income and education level; and the other birth interventions. (http://www.kindredmedia.org/2015/08/new-study-finds-epidurals-and-other-birth-interventions-increase-risk-of-postpartum-depression-and-decrease-exclusive-breastfeeding-rates/)
Our 13% epidural usage compares to major NSW public hospitals rates between 34 and 43% and between 58 and 66% in private hospitals. (http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/1999-02/child_birth/report/c06)
Our emergency c-section rate is a mere 12% and scheduled c-section is 5% while the national rate of c-section continues to rise and sits at 32%.
She Births® mums birth their babies within different environments (home, birth centre, delivery suite – both public and private) and this survey clearly demonstrates that our tools and philosophy are easily applied with a variety of caregivers and even when there are different complications or risk factors being managed. Our survey also demonstrates beautifully that our complementary therapies tool kit and the confidence we give our couples intercepts the much dreaded ‘cascade of intervention’ too well known within hospital systems.
The NSW Normal Birth Policy states that almost 40% of first time mums are undergoing medical inductions currently. While only 14% of She Births® mums required a medical syntocinon drip to induce labour. Even with an induction it was NOT inevitable that our mums ended up with a c-section or an epidural – simply because of the great tools we give to help ripen the cervix from 37 weeks, our dietary guidelines and all the steps we give to help both psychologically and physically prepare.
I loved reading what She Births® tools and techniques mums found most helpful during pregnancy, birth and post birth. So many of these Eastern teachings are awesome life skills. I was surprised to see that some of the tools I have brought in only in the last couple of years are most important to some women e.g. the Mexican Rebozo shawl. Have a look at our Perinatal Cool Tools graph here:
The three most popular phrases mums used to describe their labour that measured up to 40% above all others were: Intense but manageable – 60% Bonding and Empowering – 60% and The most fulfilling experience of my life – 45%.
Over 95% said that prenatal yoga was important if not critical in preparation for birth and helped to integrate the She Births® tools.
But this is the one I am most proud of and the big reason I do what I do! It is the one point I endeavour to emphasise at every course and I know from all my years of experience it is also the big distinction between She Births® and other courses. I am guessing it is where my yoga background but also the doula philosophy has really come into play. (So I am super happy that I didn’t go into Medicine and obstetrics because I probably never would have discovered this unique program to creating such awesome results for families.)
97.6% women said that She Births® gave them the knowledge to create a beautiful birth, no matter what unfolded. Alongside my statistics I really couldn’t be a happier She Births® mama today. (For the few mums that didn’t feel like I gave you that knowledge could you please contact me directly so we can talk as the survey was anonymous;)
I don’t like to write this here after such a happy note…but it is really important to understand that too many other courses out there are selling a complete lie about childbirth. Teaching couples that birth is either a medically traumatic event to be endured OR that birth is a completely quiet pain free experience we must lay down and breathe through.
There are so many techniques women can utilise and so many ways partners can help manage pain and be involved in birth. Every week I meet mums who don’t believe it’s possible to create a beautiful birth or include their partner, or understand how fundamental birth is to both them, their baby and their relationship.
The most painful thing however is to meet the mums who have given birth already and feel embarrassed or even ashamed of their experiences. These women blame themselves! They have been fed such an idealised version of birth and given so few tools that it is near impossible for them to birth naturally. They go into shock while in early labour and their partners stand bemused and overwhelmed in the corner. They end up believing they did something wrong to create their labour rather than realising that the course they took was simply deficient and disempowering.
So a very big congratulations goes to YOU for making that important choice outside of the norm – for picking the newer and revolutionary She Births® course. I want to thank you all for trusting me with your education and also remind you to keep sharing our ‘beautiful births’ message with the whole world – because it desperately needs it!
And lastly a big CONGRATULATIONS to Alena Turley who has won a private yoga session valued at over $300 for her and her favourite friends just by completing our survey.
With lots of love and gratitude to you all. I am off to celebrate with organic red and the final episode of The Bachelorette. Ha ha
The randomised controlled trial results that were conducted at Nepean and Hornsby hospitals are still on their way and will give you an even more amazing insight into the effectiveness of She Births®;)