Reflections on desirable attributes of a midwife.

Aristotle believed a midwife ought to have “a lady’s hand, a hawke’s eye and a lions heart” among other things. I have spent a lot of time working with midwives, doulas, doctors, birth keepers and those who support women and families as they transition through birth and into early parenthood and notice recurring similarities inContinue reading “Reflections on desirable attributes of a midwife.”

Secrets of the Golden Hour of Birth

The “golden hour” or “Enchantment hour*”, refers to the first hour (or hours) following birth where both mother and baby adjust to their early postpartum state and forge bonds/ imprint on one another and discover their new selves. This journey from the last moments of labour and birth until the new mother and child areContinue reading “Secrets of the Golden Hour of Birth”

To expecting mothers everywhere. 5 reasons to consider ignoring every baby sleep book on the market.

1. There is no magic solution to babies waking. Definitely not one that you can only access for $30 in your local book store. Trust me. if there was a magic solution parents everywhere would be shouting it from the roof tops. 2. Many parenting books make you feel like a failure. It is classicContinue reading “To expecting mothers everywhere. 5 reasons to consider ignoring every baby sleep book on the market.”

Breastfeeding during the first week – an overview

So, Breastfeeding is rarely like it seems in the hallmark cards.

Understanding what is “normal” can give you some great insight into the behaviour to expect from your your baby, and how that changes (so quickly!!) over the first week.

Each day is a new adventure when you are learning how to breastfeed and infant.

You might think you need an electric breast pump, breastfeeding pillow and heard about supplements for breast milk production among all the other baby stuff. But the best thing you can invest in is good breastfeeding education in your pregnancy for you and your partner and good postnatal support so you have the time to learn and fall in love with your baby.

Following is a very basic overview of what you might expect from a well baby born at term.

Of course, if you are looking for more information, I am always here.

Shifra’s first bath (a family experience)

Shifra was approximately 2 weeks when she had her first bath. A few notes on the video below: 1. The bath is in the kitchen sink. clean, easy to fill and empty, and with a good height bench to work with 2. bath water is lovely and warm. warm enough for anyone to comfortably batheContinue reading “Shifra’s first bath (a family experience)”

What are the first three months with a newborn like?

Let’s talk about preparing for life in the postpartum period. In particular, I want to run through a really rough timeline about what you might expect in the first few months of your baby’s life. The baby that you have. Before we start saying what’s normal, it is really important that we have a goodContinue reading “What are the first three months with a newborn like?”

10 ways to give birth like an anarchist.

Ask questions. About everything. Literally everything. “what are you doing? why are you doing that? What other options do I have? Are there any risks with doing that? What else can you do instead?” Ask questions about where you birth, when and with whom. Ask what the evidence is and if there is any contradicting it. Learn about levels of evidence and recommendations in pregnancy. Know your hospital’s policies on induction, monitoring, appointments, home visits, breastfeeding and bottle-feeding, support people, bed sharing, everything. Read every one. And learn the difference between policy and evidence.

The imperfect mum and the art of wabi-sabi.

From what I understand (and I can’t make this clear enough – I am absolutely not an expert in Japanese culture or language) this process is aligned with the concept of Wabi Sabi- or perfect imperfections. Essentially treating breakage and repair as an important element of the object’s history and journey instead of something that should be disguised or worse- cause it to be discarded.

Making difficult decisions

In other areas of health, we might have the opportunity or feel secure in asking for second opinions, researching other options or just saying no. When we are having a baby however, quite often our default position is to give our decision making and reasoning over to the “experts”. After all we don’t want to make the wrong choice… and what do we know?

Boobs and elderberry

So my three youngest children (5, 5, and 18 months) were home today. Each with unique and uncomfortable illnesses. In no particular order, I had the privilege of managing gastro, chicken pox and a UTI. Actually, the order was from most likely to make me cry to the least and vomiting always wins that fun-time trifecta.