Labour and Birth
Midwifery researcher Rachel Reed calls birth a 'rite of passage'. She reveals how to get the birth you want and makes decisions based on evidence. Read our newly published article to learn about the best birth experience in any situation – including choosing the right care providers and using evidence to make decisions.
Ashley Collins pushed for three hours when she gave birth to her first baby in 2013, but the pushing wasn’t the hardest part. The hardest part was trying to block out the nurse — who had her hands inside Collins’ vagina — who kept scolding her. Like Collins, nearly one in six women in the United States believe they have been mistreated in childbirth, according to a new survey recently published in the journal Reproductive Health.
Once a baby is born the midwife or doctor will carefully check the placenta to ensure that no part of the placenta or membranes have remained inside the uterus. If any part of the placenta or membranes has been retained in the uterus, it can cause a postpartum haemorrhage and/or infection. The process of checking the placenta should take place as soon as possible after birth
A birth stool helps you into a physiological upright posture during labour and birth. A birth stool can help provide balance and support to labouring women. Different positions and various movements can help with progress and comfort during labour. Following are some suggestions on how to use a birth stool.
"When I posted 3 images of a baby born with her caul over her face on my Facebook page a few days ago I had no idea the fascination it would stir on an international level. Natalia, my incredibly powerful and inspirational client (and beautiful friend) was just as amazed as you were. I just LOVE the look on her face! It certainly blows the common fear that birth is painful and something to be feared out the window!"
"Exercising while pregnant has been shown to have a broad range of benefits, including avoiding pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and diabetes. Exercise will also help you stay fit, keep your weight gain under control and can shorten labour." This article by Yvette Barton gives all the necessary information on the use of birthing balls in both pregnancy and birth.
"Recently I was at a lovely homebirth. Baby was born into his parents arms after a short but intense labour. No problems during the labour where identified. Once the woman and her baby were snuggled together and comfortable, I set to the task of checking the placenta under the women’s watchful glaze. Quickly we both saw that there was a true knot in the umbilical cord." This article by Jane Palmer talks about all the information regarding a true knot in the umbilical cord.
"I'm a homebirth midwife, I am doing my PhD on birth outside the system and this was my first pregnancy. At 2.30am I started contracting. I was planning a homebirth and felt fine about birthing a slightly preterm baby at home because deep down I knew he was ready. I contracted regularly through the night and as the sun came up it continued and I felt sure that labour was progressing well and normally."
"Firstly I will start by saying that I was not a maternal woman through my earlier life. I was not the person that ran to a newborn baby begging for a cuddle. I was the person that waited until the baby could hold its head up before I volunteered to hold it." This article by Hayley Sheen tells the incredible birth story of her second child.
"As any woman who has ever been overdue and anxious to get to the finish line will tell you – there are lots of ideas out there about how to bring on labour. There is the eating hot curries idea... But the question most likely to bring on either fits of giggles or extensive eye rolling is… does sex induce labour?" All the facts and details are in this article.
"Most women you encounter who have given birth vaginally will tell you… it hurts! However the way in which women describe labour pain varies. Some experience it as something akin to severe muscle pain like you might get if you over-exercised, for others it’s like really bad period pain." This article by Yvette Barton gives details on hypnosis during labour and birth as a way to reduce pain.
"The most common surgical procedure in the world today – one that every human alive today has undergone – is the clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord at birth. The need for clamping and cutting the cord is not in dispute but how soon after birth this should occur is now being questioned." Hannah Dalen gives the facts and details on immediate vs delayed cutting/clamping of the umbilical cord at birth.
"The important thing to remember about the so-called high risk situations (and there’s many more situations usually included in the list than the three here) is the role of fear. Fear clouds the mind, fear has us revert to basic survival instincts – fight or flight. Fear stops labour." This extensive article provides facts and details on VBAC, Breech Birth and Twins.
What are your chances of having a natural birth - Many pregnant women wonder what their chances are of achieving a natural birth. It is a common question asked on online forums, at hospital check-in visits and of midwives, doctors and other medical staff. But while discussion ensues about strategies to maximise your chances of a natural birth and ways to combat unnecessary interventions, the New South Wales Mothers and Babies Report 2010 puts a figure on it – 57.7%.
Call to end just in case cannulation | 6minutes Half of IV lines inserted in the emergency department never get used, putting patients at unnecessary risk of complications and wasting healthcare dollars, Australian research finds. The study, one of the first to quantify the scale of the problem in Australia, showed 50% of peripheral IV cannulas inserted in a major Melbourne ED were unused by the time of patient discharge.
In 2011 a group of researchers conducting research into how Canadian pregnant women and care providers manage birth in a highly medicalised and risk-adverse culture of childbirth, discovered a chilling practice. It’s called ‘playing the dead baby card’ – the act by medical professionals of claiming to a labouring woman that her baby is at risk of death, purely to convince her to submit to unwarranted intervention.
According to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia in 2009, private hospitals are safer than public hospitals for mothers and newborn babies. However in reviewing the research methodology utilised to reach this conclusion, clinicians and other researchers identified a number of flaws. In this revealing article, Hannah Dahlen and Sally Tracy unpack the research and conclusions, and hold them up to the light.
Music Decreases Pain in Labour - For centuries, humans have explored and espoused the therapeutic benefits of music. From dental work, to acupuncture sessions, to IVF egg collections, the use of music is now routinely encouraged to promote relaxation and assist patients in managing stress during medical procedures. Similarly women are often encouraged to play their favourite music during labour and birth.