Bradley Method® Certification Process

I am thrilled to announce that after a two-year certification period, I am now fully affiliated as a Bradley Method® Natural Childbirth Educator!

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My journey towards becoming an active birth educator began as a Bradley student while expecting my first child. My husband and I were eager students and very enthusiastic about having a natural and unmedicated childbirth. We were so eager that we even decided to forgo the hospital and have our baby at home by a  Certified Professional Midwife. The twelve weeks of classes were so informative and empowering, the labour was very short (five hours!) and the birth was amazing. I remember when the midwife helped lift my daughter up out of the water and onto my chest that my baby’s arms were up, outstretched for me, and I held her against my upper abdomen, for the umbilical cord was quite short, and was an awe that I had birthed this beautiful baby, in my own home, with my own strength, without drugs! Continue reading

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Why Every Pregnant Mum Needs to Join a VBAC Facebook Group

Untitled designCongratulations! You’re expecting! Maybe it’s your first, maybe it’s your last, but there’s so much you can learn from joining a VBAC Support Group on Facebook.

Firstly, What does VBAC stand for? VBAC stands for “Vaginal Birth After C-Section,” and it is a term used for women with previous cesarean deliveries but want to birth vaginally with subsequent children. For some VBAC women, they’ve only had one previous c-section delivery and two or three other vaginal births. Other VBAC women may have had multiple cesarean deliveries and are looking to have their first, or another vaginal birth. These women sometimes identify as a variation of VBA2C (for 2 previous cesareans) or HBA3C (Home Birth After 3 C-Sections), and there are many more variations.

Secondly, Why Am I Supporting Joining a VBAC Group Especially if You’re a First Time Mum? I have never had a c-section, and I am not expecting another baby yet; however, I am in several VBAC groups on Facebook. Thankfully, VBAC support groups are open to birth workers and anyone who supports vaginal birth. The significance of VBAC mums are that they have EXPERIENCED c-sections, they have EXPERIENCED vaginal births, and they have EXPERIENCED the kind of treatment received by doctors and midwives, often pushing them to do a lot of research, take proper antenatal birthing classes such as Bradley classes, and stick to their guns.

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Why the Bradley Method®? This is my story.

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I’m a natural childbirth educator. I never thought that I would become an advocate for women in their most vulnerable and their strongest moments–pregnancy and childbirth! So as I meet and talk to more and more mothers, I feel so lucky that I had my natural childbirth experience with my first child. I didn’t have to go through a traumatising forceps delivery, or an emergency c-section, to look more into birth and end up discovering what and how to achieve a natural and drug-free childbirth. I didn’t have to jump through hoops like VBAC candidates do to attempt a natural childbirth. My shot at a natural birth was more straight-forward and easier than those who had their first child via a traumatising experience. Continue reading

Do You Have to be a Duchess to Get the Birth You Want?

Royal-BabyOn 2nd May 2015, the nation celebrated the birth of the Princess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana! What was on everyone’s minds at the presentation of the baby just 10 hours after birth? How did Kate look so good?

Daily Mail’s “Call the Midwife” article stated,

Kate had a meticulous birth plan. She had opted to be seen first by the midwives, and as a source said: ‘What the duchess wants, the duchess gets.’

I’d venture to say, WHAT THE MOTHER WANTS, THE MOTHER GETS! What’s the actual difference between Kate and mothers all around the world? Nothing! Does she have superhuman powers? Of course not! There was no special way she got that baby out of her body that other mothers don’t have. What she did have, though, is the midwives’, doctors’, and Wills’ RESPECT to do what she wished regarding her birth. Every mother deserves this kind of respect, to be treated like a duchess at the time of labour and birth.

If a Duchess can have the birth she wants, can you? Yes! Here’s how: Continue reading

C-sections: Are They Necessary for Every 1 in 4 Women in the UK?

An overwhelming majority of people I meet who have had c-sections are so grateful that they were able to get their baby out safely. They say that if it weren’t for them, they might be dead or their baby might be dead. However, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), caesarean sections should only be performed when medically necessary – no more than about 10%-15% of all births. So what about the 10% of women who are still getting c-sections in the UK, but they aren’t medically necessary? Why does it seem like the c-section rate is growing still? Women are still getting unnecessary c-sections and I think it’s due to lack of knowledge and preparation. Doctors tell every c-section patient that it was medically necessary, but that’s not what the statistics show.

Unfortunately, the doctors tell c-section patients a reason to justify the need for the c-section. I’m going to list a couple of common reasons given for c-sections and why they are not valid reasons for this major abdominal surgery.  Continue reading

How to Avoid Fetal Distress (and a C-Section)

Live-Tweeted-C-SectionIs this even possible? Yes. Today, “fetal distress” is a leading cause for a c-section. So how can it be avoided?

How to Avoid Fetal Distress

1. Refuse EFM, Electronic Fetal Monitoring. This is your birth. This should be your choice. Many hospitals may ‘require’ you to be monitored using EFM; however, you have the choice to refuse! If you don’t have to guts to refuse a health professional, then I advise hiring a doula to speak for you. Why is this important? There is significant data that shows the increased risk of c-section with an increase of EFM use. Here’s a quote from the 2005 Practice Bulletin #70 of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

“Despite its widespread use, there is controversy about the efficacy of EFM. Moreover, there is evidence that the use of EFM increases the rate of cesarean and operative vaginal deliveries. Given that the available data do not clearly support the use of EFM over intermittent ausculation, either option is acceptable in a patient without complications.” (Obstetrics and Gynecology, Intrapartum Fetal Heart-Rate Monitoring 106 (6), 1463-1561.)

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The Problem with Due Dates

maxresdefaultDitch that 40-week estimated due date that you were given, even if they measured using an ultrasound! A study that came out in June of 2013 showed that the gestation period for normal, unassisted pregnancy through birth can vary up to five weeks. If this is the case, why aren’t more midwives and consultants giving ‘overdue’ mothers more information?

The study found that though the average length of pregnancy for these 125 mothers was 38 weeks and 2 days, the range of the data has a variance of 5 weeks (to be exact, 37 days). This study included 6 preterm births and 1 scheduled cesarean section, so the data is still not as untouched as I would like to find; but even with these few outliers, the conclusion showed that normal pregnancies are not limited to the 40-week gestation that we’re all used to.

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