Breech? To turn or not to turn?

Welcome to my bloggedy blog blog, and thank you for stopping by to have a snoop. 

If you have visited my website, or my social media pages before – you will know I am rather driven when it comes to all things Breech. (My first born was Breech)

Understanding the feeling you have when you find out your little belly baby is Breech – in a world where Breech is so “Risky” and “Not the right way” – and knowing how lonely it feels, inspired me to write more about breech, normalise breech and talk openly about breech and the options you have.

 

 

You are NOT alone. Breech is more common than you think. 

You have more options than you may think.

Breech is just a variation of normal.

It doesn’t have to be an automatic “Elective Cesarean Birth”

You can have a safe Vaginal Natural Breech Birth with a supportive team!

 

I will say it and say it again – Inform yourself about all your options. Do your research – make an informed choice for your birth. Don’t just make the decision based on Hospital recommendation, as they have to follow their policies and guidelines.

Because of my experience – and the amount of hours I spent Googling –  “How to turn a breech baby”. I wanted to make it easier for those mama’s out there who are faced with the potential challenges and stress/anxiety that breech babies could bring. 

This blog here – is a one stop shop for all things you can do, to try encourage babies into a cephalic (head down) position. 

 

DIY TIPS AND TRICKS!

 

There are quite a few things you can start implementing in your day to day living that will encourage “space” in your womb for babies to shift into a better position. This goes for any pregnancy, not just breech.

Sometimes it is just a matter of our posture, the way we sit, the way we move. Please know that there is no need to stress out about breech, especially if you are still early on in your third trimester.

Take a moment to sit. Take a moment to breathe. Take a moment to visualise how your body posture is RIGHT NOW.

 

Are there any twists in your body? (legs crossed?)

Are there any bends / folds in your body? (slouching?)

Visualise your womb and baby!

Have they got free space to move around? 

Or is your pelvis crowded, is the pelvic area twisted?

 

Easy to do tips at home or in office;

 

  • Keep both feet flat on the ground – squaring off the hips. Don’t cross your legs (This twists your pelvic area)
  • Ensure you are using the right size exercise / yoga / birth ball. When you are sitting on the ball, you want your knees to be either in line with your hips (90 degree angle) or better yet – knees slightly lower than hips.  

 

  

 

  • When sitting – ensure your knees are lower than your hip area. (Avoiding Recliners)
  • Practice visualisation – put photos / pictures around of babies in the “Optimal Position” – head down.
  • Doing forward leaning inversions 3 times a day – when in this position, taking at least 3-5 deep breaths. Hold this position as long as comfortable for you. 

 

 

  • You can walk around with pegs on your little toes. This puts pressure on the acupressure point Bladder 67 (UB67)………………OUCH, great time to practice breathing through intensity.
  • If your car seat is quite low, or a bucket seat – you can buy a foam wedge to sit on. (or utilise a pillow) This will allow your hips to be slightly higher than your knees whilst driving. Being aware how you get in and out of the car is helpful too. Try to keep your hips squared off (visualise the posh ladies riding horses back in the day)
  • Moxa Stick. Traditional Chinese Medicine (looks like a big Cigar) 20 minutes each side (near UB67) for 10 days. Do it outside, and before you have a shower as the smoke is quite pungent.
  • When having a bath put a frozen pack of peas on the top of your belly – it is said to encourage baby to move towards the warmths. Do this whilst listening to “Breech Turn”. It’s very relaxing.
  • Be on all 4’s – whether playing with older siblings / giving the shower grout a clean (My shower was spotless during my first pregnancy haha) – or just watching TV and leaning over birth ball.

 

BODY WORK / COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE!

 

There are quite a few alternative / complementary therapies you can try that have great success rates. 

Ensure the practitioners you go to are trained for the specific request. You want to ensure they have done this treatment for breech presentation before.

 

Chiropractic Care (Webster Technique)

 

Webster Technique focuses on your sacrum and pelvic area, loosening and improving the function of ligaments and surrounding muscles which can help baby get into optimal position.

Below is a list of chiropractors I would recommend with most having also completed the Optimal Maternal Positioning (OMP) Training.

I would recommend seeing a Chiropractor for alignment purposes during any pregnancy.

 

  • Beldon Chiropractors – Dr Ashleigh Bond – 9401 0777
  • Shenton Park Chiropractor – Dr Kyna Hamilton – 6280 1210
  • The Health Shack (Rockingham) – Dr Leanne Toldeski – 0435 443 123
  • Nervana Chiropractor (Palmyra) – Dr Olivia Gleeson & Dr Peta Chien – 9319 2552
  • ABC CHIRO (Malaga) – Dr Bernadette – 9209 1988
  • South Perth Chiropractor – Dr Kaitlyn Dayman – 9474 1955

 

Acupuncture / Traditional Chinese Medicine

 

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine, and treats ailments / conditions by stimulating pressure points with very thin needles. 

It can be slightly uncomfortable in some areas, but in general is quite pain free. Some pressure points are more sensitive. 

Having acupuncture is a great way to practice breathing techniques / relaxation techniques.

You can also listen to Hypnobirthing Tracks for an extra power punch. (visualisation techniques)

 

 

Acupuncture is also a great alternative method to use if you are closing in on your guessed due date / due month – and wanting to avoid fighting the system for induction. 

 

  • East Meets West (Tuart Hill) – Ian and Michelle Russel – 9349 6550
  • East Meets West (Tuart Hill) – Michelle Whittaker – 9349 6550
  • The Healing Point (Fremantle) – Melissa Wilson – 0400 113 212
  • Renew Acupuncture (West Perth) Sarah Brooks – 0409 080 933 (On Maternity Leave)
  • Scarborough Traditional Acupuncture – Dr Melanie Bastian – 9245 1887
  • Ping Ming Health Acupuncture – few different clinics around. www.pingminghealth.com

 

Pregnancy Massage

 

Pregnancy massage is not only about giving yourself a moment of relaxation and self care. It can be an imperative part of preparing your body for birth. 

It is important to loosen muscles and ligaments that don’t usually get much attention=.

Focussing in and around the Psoas Muscles, as well as those around the sitting bone (Ischial Tuberosity) can really help. 

Releasing the tension around the Ischial Tuberosity can play a big role in allowing your pelvis to move more freely. It is also said it can ease pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy. 

If the tension around your pelvis is released, it alleviates tension around your hips and legs, which potentially allows more movement and space in your uterus for baby to move.

 

Amazing right?

 

 

  • Earth Point Energy Centre (Kewdale) – Suzie Becker – 0408 202 788
  • ProCare Remedial Massage (Wangara) – Leandri Van Den Berg – 0433 894 600
  • Yuli Rai Pilates & Massage (Vic Park) – Yuli Rai – 0412 409 117
  • Specialised Massage (Mundaring) – Nicole Scrivener – 0414 295 256
  • I Care Remedial Massage (Morley) – Jenny Yeh – 0481 784 125
  • Manduragh Oedema (Mandurah) – Melinda Horton – 0478 278 888
  • Absolute Body Care (Halls Head) – Carole Woollard – 0455 436 233
  • Elemental Bodywork (Margaret River) – Marcela Voigt-Jackman – 0414 411 975

 

MEDICALISED OPTIONS! (Last resort)

 

37 weeks pregnant and baby still in Breech position? 

 

Right! This is it!

 

This is where you really have to weigh up your different options / choices. 

The first option you may be given is, “Let’s book you in for an Elective Cesarean”.

 

BUT – you still have different choices before having to really decide whether you want a Cesarean or if you want to a VBB (Vaginal Breech Birth) which is another entirely viable option you have. 

Once you are “full term” you have the option of trying an ECV (External Cephalic Version).

An External Cephalic Version is a manual manoeuvre, attempting to move baby into a head down position.

It is usuall done in a hospital setting, preferably completed by a practitioner with previous ECV success rates. 

 

What to expect:

 

  • You will be in hospital.
  • They will do an ultrasound to check position of baby. Position of placenta. Position of the umbilical cord and whether there is a good amount of amniotic fluid to attempt an ECV.
  • You may be offered a uterine relaxer drug – which will be an injection. The drug is called Terbutaline. You can decline. Do your research and chose what is right for you.
  • Some hospitals may ask you to sign a waiver. The waiver is a form to “consent” to a cesarean if the ECV puts you into labour or potentially breaks your water etc. You don’t have to sign this, and if you do – you can still change your mind later.

 

“I DO NOT CONSENT” are the magic words!

 

  • Ultrasound jelly (hopefully warmed) will be lathered onto your beautiful pregnant belly. Some practitioners will use gravity to help – by lowering the head of the bed, whilst your feet are elevated.
  • When they put their hands on your belly they will usually start lower and try and manoeuvre their hands underneath the rump (bum/feet) of baby, and then attempt to slowly move and push baby around. If not successful they may attempt to push baby the opposite way.
  • It is not the most comfortable thing in the world to experience. But it’s also not awful.
  • You are able to attempt multiple ECV’s if you chose too.

 

Tips to improve chances of ECV:

 

  • Book the ECV in the afternoon. So you can have a self care day that whole morning. Book in for pregnancy massage, book in for chiro and acupuncture. This will allow your body to be in the most relaxed, limber and comfortable state prior to the ECV.
  • Be as relaxed as possible. Practice relaxation breathing.
  • Have some earphones and listen to some music / meditation / hypnobirthing tracks – anything that will help you relax.
  • Wear an eye mask – keep it dark.
  • Bring your birth partner, your Doula or someone you know who will be a supportive / some who created calm for you.
  • Ensure the practitioner has had previous success rates with ECV’s.
  • Tell them you want the bed moved to assist gravity. The head end lowered – and feet end elevated.

 

If the ECV is successful – YAY! Congratulations!

 

Keep practicing great body posture, alignment techniques and look forward to your birthing day. 

 

If the ECV is not successful – don’t despair!

 

You still have so many other options!

 

  • You can accept that what will be will be, and baby may still move head down.

 

  • You can ask to try another ECV.

 

  • You can birth your baby breech.

 

  • You can birth your baby via cesarean section.

 

These are your options – and no one can take these choices away from you.

They are yours to make.

Be informed.

Be prepared.

Fill yourself with knowledge about birth.

 

Use your B.R.A.I.N.

 

B – Benefits

R – Risks

A – Alternative

I – Instinct / Intuition

N– Nothing

 

I truely hope this helps some of you mama’s who are going through a beautiful pregnancy and have suddenly been struck with “what do I do, my baby is breech?”

 

I know how it feels!

 

I am now forever grateful I went through what you are going through. I feel it has given me a voice, a reason to share my knowledge / experience with breech birth. 

Had I not been where you are right now, I would never have had to search for what you are searching for right now.

 

I would never have made an informed choice to birth my baby breech. 

 

Quick disclaimer;

 

1st Birth. Booked with private OB. One Unsuccessful ECV at 37 weeks. Told to book elective cesarean. Changed provider at 39 weeks. After changing provider, I went into labour the following day and had a beautiful unmedicated Breech Birth. CLICK HERE to read my breech birth story.

2nd Birth. Was booked for home birth with CMP. Baby breech. TWO unsuccessful ECV’s. I was lazily doing moxi at home but at peace with another Breech Birth. Told there was not enough fluid, I was being pushed to induce. Chose to decline. 39 weeks had been and gone. 40 weeks had been and gone. 41 weeks…………COME ON!!!!!! Finally consented to a stretch and sweep at 41+6, low and behold – baby had turned head down all by himself post dates AND with low fluid. Went into labour at 42 weeks. Beautiful physiological natural HEAD down birth. YAY.

CLICK HERE to read birth story.

 

My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Doula and an Independent Birth Educator who is inspired to help and support women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. 

 

“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”

 

If you want to know more, feel free to contact me here

For more great information head back to my Blog page by clicking here

If you are interested in the services I offer – please click here

The Essentials Part 1 (Homebirth)


What do I need for my birth?

How many towels will I need?

How many nappies do I need to bring to Hospital?

What should I wear?


These are often questions I hear from mama’s planning their births. Whether they are planning a Home Birth, Hospital Birth or Family Birth Centre.

Click here for “The Essentials Part 2 (Hospital Bag)

So I thought I would answer all your questions in a super simple quick reference blog.

Just remember 90% of what you need is carried with just YOU, the rest is not really “Essential” but it can make it more of a pleasant/less messy experience.

Your skin. Your touch. Your voice. Your breasts are usually all a baby needs.

But for the purpose of bringing your “Home” to the hospital to set a calming environment, and for the purpose of not having too many “stains” on your favourite couch for a Home-birth.

Lets Talk!

 

HOMEBIRTH

 

Yes, just because you are at home – doesn’t mean you don’t have to plan and get things organised for your Homebirth. You absolutely do need to have things prepared and planned for.

I always recommend to families I work with, to have their chosen birth space in their homes set up by 38 weeks at least. Fairy Lights / Affirmations up / Candles / Speaker etc all where you are hoping to birth.

You never know when you will go into labour, and unless someone has been given specific instructions on how to setup your space, it probably won’t be done the way you hoped.

 


COMFORT ITEMS


 

So lets be honest – birth can be messy. It isn’t always, but it can be – so plan ahead.

If you are hoping for a water home-birth – Organise yourself a birth Pool. You can rent pools for 6 weeks. 2 weeks before EDD and 4 weeks after. Please contact me if you need advice on where to hire birth pools.

www.midwivesperth.com.au

These are the things you need to have ready;

  • Towels x 6 – 10 Large
  • Face Washers x 4
  • Drop sheets x 2 (Bunnings have good ones) place over couch
  • Some old flat sheets x 4 (Op Shops)
  • Warm blankets x 2
  • Fleecy night gown (especially in winter)
  • Foam for floor (to put under the birth pool) You can get the ABC foam from KMART / TARGET or go to Clarke Rubber for an actual sheet of foam. I would get the ABC one – as then you have 2 uses 🙂
  • LED Candle Lights
  • Affirmation Cards / Vision Boards / Prayer Flags
  • Twinkle lights
  • Bluetooth Speaker
  • MUSIC! Make yourself a play list. Or have a look for “Birthing at Bentley” on Spotify………UPGRADE YOUR SPOTIFY FOR BIRTH.
  • TENS Machine – you can hire them. If you want to purchase one, make sure they have the “Boost” option. This is a freebie for families I work with. 🙂
  • Heat pack
  • Camera
  • CUB (Comfortable Upright Birth) or Yoga Ball.
  • Rebozo
  • Doula 🙂

 

 

Extra’s if this is something you believe in / use yourself;

  • Essential Oils (if you are into oils) I will always bring oils as part of my package
  • Homeopathic’s – I will always bring homeopathic as part of my package
  • Crystals for labour. Again, this is something I bring in my Mary Poppins bag (Doula bag)

 


CONSUMPTION


 

I always bring food to births. Whether for myself or the families I work with. It is so important to ensure you are keeping your body hydrated, and nourished with energy to keep on keeping on.

Food that is quick and easy – during labour you don’t necessarily want to “Chew”

Birth

  • Blueberries
  • Chopped up strawberries
  • Bone Broth (is really amazing for nourishing and hydrating at the same time)
  • Coconut Water
  • Bliss Balls
  • Trail Mix
  • Chocolate – have some chopped up ready to go – Dark Chocolate also helps release endorphins
  • Smoothies
  • Honey for quick energy

 

 

Post Birth

  • Bone Broth
  • Something you know mama has been craving but has been avoiding during pregnancy.
  • Always nice having a “Grazing board” ready for post birth.

 

 


POST BIRTH


 

  • Bowl for placenta
  • Tie for umbilical cord
  • Medi-Honey
  • Witch Hazel
  • Padsicles (Pads soaked in water/witch hazel / lavender) can help healing and feels fresh A.F
  • Ural – will help alkaline your urine to minimize any stinging if you have any grazes / tears post birth.
  • Post birth Pads
  • Comfortable big knickers
  • Water, have lots of water available, even go as far as having you partner set up water stations throughout your home.

 


BREASTFEEDING


 

Seems simple right? We have Breasts! The end? Whole different blog – you can check out my top 10 tips here if you want to know more.

 

 


BABIES (clothes for the first week)


 

Depending on weather. Winter or Summer Baby

If you are a FTM (First time mum) you won’t know this, but AVOID BUTTONS like the plague – they are awful. Imagine trying to change a baby octopus on ecstasy………………………..that is what it is like trying to change a newborn (especially in winter)

  • Short Sleeve/ Long Sleeve baby onesie (ZIPPERS) size 0000 x 4
  • Short Sleeve / Long Sleeve baby onesie (ZIPPERS) size 000 x 2
  • Baby singlets size 0000 x 4 (you can squeeze them into this size for AGES)
  • Beanie (Smaller than you think size) x 1
  • Mittens x 2 (their little nails are like eagle talons)
  • Socks (if the onesies don’t have socks in built)
  • Nappies (Newborn sizes)
  • Wipes (Can make your own) or Waterwipes have the least nasties in them
  • Something Warm

 

 

Babies don’t need 100 changes of clothing as newborns – they don’t get dirty (unless particularly spewy or pooey babies). So keep it simple. Even if you only have size 000, you can always roll things up if they are smaller.

 


EXTRA’s


 

These are things you could have ready / organised but not all necessary

  • Sign for front door (SHHHH Homebirth in progress – or SHHHHHH newborn baby sleeping)
  • Overnight bag for kids
  • Dulled down version of Hospital Bag (incase of transfer)
  • Strainer! Because sometimes shit happens
  • Baby carrier (Baby stretchy wraps are great for newborns) otherwise other carriers I recommend are Tula / Integra (usedto be Connecta) / Mei Tai / Ergo 360.

I used to have my daughter on my back in the Connecta, and my son on my front either in a wrap or Ergo 360 (with insert for newborn)

 

I hope this has given you a little more understanding of what you will need.

Now the fun begins – the fourth trimester.

Learning to ask for help is a huge step to a healthier postpartum period.

ACCEPTING HELP IS EVEN BIGGER!

 

 

My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Doula & Independent Childbirth Educator. I am inspired to help and support Women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I strive to keep myself informed with the most up to date evidence based information and resources.

“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”

If you want to know more, feel free to contact me here

For more great information head back to my Blog page by clicking here

If you are interested in the services I offer – please click here

The Essentials Part 2 (Hospital)


What do I need for my birth?

How many towels will I need?

How many nappies do I need to bring to Hospital?

What should I wear?


These are often questions I hear from mama’s planning their births. Whether they are planning a Hospital Birth or Home Birth.

Click here for The Essentials Part 1 (Homebirth)

So I thought I would answer all your questions in a super simple quick reference blog.

Whether you are planning a Hospital Birth or a Home Birth. Just remember 90%of what you need is carried with just YOU, the rest is not really “Essential” but it can make it more of a pleasant/less messy experience.

Your skin. Your touch. Your voice. Your breasts are usually all a baby needs.

But for the purpose of bringing your “Home” to the hospital to set a calming environment, and for the purpose of not having too many “stains” on your favourite couch for a Home-birth.

Lets Talk!

 

HOSPITAL BAG

 

BRING EVERYTHING THAT CALMS YOU (so NOT the kitchen sink)

I mean, we all know how amazing our sense of smell is, and how it takes us back to fond memories, moments in time. You could be walking down the street in the middle of hustle and bustle, next minute a certain smell wafts past you and BOOM – you are taken back to a Holiday, or you are taken back to your childhood – your favourite family meal.

So bring things that bring you peace and comfort!

 


COMFORT ITEMS


 

  • BIRTH PREFERENCE / PLAN – on ridiculous bright paper so no one misses it. Even stick it on the door of your labour suit.
  • Your favourite pillow from home
  • A cosy blanket
  • LED Candle Lights
  • Affirmation Cards / Vision Boards / Prayer Flags
  • Twinkle lights
  • Bluetooth Speaker
  • MUSIC! Make a playlist or check out Spotify “Born at Bentley” have really nice playlists. Music can change an environment so quickly. You could walk into a high strung room, place some relaxation music on and watch the environment change. It will also be a good reminder for staff that this space is to be quiet / calm / no loud talking.
  • TENS Machine – you can hire them. If you want to purchase one, be sure they have the “Boost” option. This is a freebie for families I work with. 🙂
  • Heat pack
  • CUB (Comfortable Upright Birth) or make sure your hospital have Yoga Balls / Birth Balls / Peanut Balls available
  • Camera
  • Bring a DOULA

 

 

 

Extra’s if this is something you believe in / use yourself

  • Essential Oils (if you are into oils) I will always bring oils as part of my package
  • Homeopathics (if you are into Homeopathics) I will always bring homeopathic as part of my package
  • Crystals for labour (if you are into crystals) Again, I will always bring my crystals as part of my package

 


CONSUMPTION


I always bring food to births. Whether for myself or the families I work with. It is so important to ensure you are keeping your body hydrated, and nourished with energy to keep on keeping on.

Food that is quick and easy – during labour you don’t necessarily want to “Chew”

DO NOT LET ANYBODY TELL YOU, YOU CAN NOT EAT OR DRINK DURING LABOUR – HUMAN RIGHTS!!!!!

Birth

  • Blueberries
  • Chopped up strawberries
  • Bone Broth (is really amazing for nourishing and hydrating at the same time)
  • Coconut Water
  • Bliss Balls
  • Mixed Nut -Trail Mix
  • Chocolate. Have some chocolate chopped up. Dark Chocolate can help release those endorphins.
  • Smoothies

 

 

Post Birth

  • Pack some crackers and cheese
  • Or favourite sushi
  • Bone Broth
  • Something you know mama has been craving but has been avoiding during pregnancy.

 


CLOTHING


 

You want to be comfortable during birth and after. I mean lets be honest – you will probably end up naked.

“What gets baby in, gets baby out”

Less is more for after birth too – if you do end up needing to stay in for longer, ask family or friends to grab you extra.

Birth

  • Comfortable maxi dress or Maxi skirt with Tank
  • Comfortable undies
  • Warm socks
  • Cardigan

Post Birth / Hospital Stay (Power of 2 – except for undies)

  • Comfy Jammies x 2
  • Crop tops or Bra’s x 2
  • Tank tops x 2
  • Warm Socks x 2
  • Maternity Leggings (YES)
  • Cardigan
  • Oversized T/shirt
  • Comfortable undies x 6 (Full briefs)

 


BABY (Depending on weather. Winter or Summer Baby)


 

If you are a FTM (First time mum) you won’t know this, but AVOID BUTTONS like the plague – they are awful. Imagine trying to change a baby octopus on ecstasy………………………..that is what it is like trying to change a newborn (especially in winter)

 

  • Short Sleeve/ Long Sleeve baby onesie (ZIPPERS) size 0000 x 4
  • Short Sleeve / Long Sleeve baby onesie (ZIPPERS) size 000 x 2
  • Baby singlets size 0000 x 4 (you can squeeze them into this size for AGES)
  • Beanie (Smaller than you think size) x 1
  • Mittens x 2 (their little nails are like eagle talons)
  • Socks (if the onesies don’t have socks in built)
  • Something Warm

 

 

Babies don’t need 100 changes of clothing as newborns – they don’t get dirty (unless particularly spewy or pooey babies) .So keep it simple. Even if you only bring size 000, you can always roll things up if they are smaller

 


TOILETRIES


 

Depends on how long you stay in Hospital, but again – lets aim for less is more. And if it does so happen that you need to stay longer, call upon your Family and Friends!

Mama

  • You can get little travel pack toiletry bags / they are great
  • Medi Honey (helps heal any scratches/tears on your perineum or labia)
  • Ural (helps alkaline your urine which will lesson any sting if you have any grazes or tears etc from birth)
  • Moisturiser
  • Mascara
  • BIG FUCK OFF PADS (With wings)
  • TUBI GRIP (ask the staff for some) – it feels like a warm hug around your newborn postpartum belly.

Baby

VERNIX! Leave it on – don’t rub it off. First of all, babies don’t need any perfumed toiletries. Heck, please just let them linger in their own vernix for a few days / a week before considering a bath.

Their skin is only getting used to the outside world, and any vernix they have on them will help that transition.

  • Nappies (newborn) grab a small bag of nappies – most hospitals will have some in stock to give if you’re running low so DON’T stress
  • Swaddles…….maybe.

That is all. Literally.

 

Boobie milk can help a lot of skin ailments /coconut oil.

 


BREASTFEEDING


 

Seems simple right? We have Breasts! The end? Whole different blog – you can check out my top 10 tips here if you want to know more.

 


NECESSITIES 


 

  • You will 100% need a car seat to get your baby home from hospital…………… (If you drive a car)
  • Otherwise a good Baby Carrier (Baby stretchy wraps are great for newborns) otherwise other carriers I recommend are Tula / Connecta / Mei Tai / Ergo 360.

 

I hope this has given you a little sense of security, answers to know what to pack. I really truly believe bringing less to the hospital is healthier for you. Healthier in a sense it’s the start of a process of learning to “ask” others to support you, for help.

So if someone calls and wants to visit – don’t hesitate in saying “Yes, but could you please stop into shops and get some more nappies/ breast pads / Lanisoh”.

Learning to ask for help is a huge step to a healthier postpartum period.

 

ACCEPTING HELP IS EVEN BIGGER!

 

 

My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Doula & Independent Childbirth Educator. I am inspired to help and support Women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I strive to keep myself informed with the most up to date evidence based information and resources.

“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”

If you want to know more, feel free to contact me here

For more great information head back to my Blog page by clicking here

If you are interested in the services I offer – please click here

Galacta Who……..Raw Boobie Barz

 

Breastfeeding…………..it is one of the most natural things on earth, but it’s definitely not one of the easiest for some………a little bit like Birth. You have to work for it, and for some, you have to work for it HARD.

Some things that can help are introducing Galactagogues into your diet while you a breastfeeding.

 

Galactagogues

 

These amazing foods/ herbs or spices are said to help increase your milk supply.

 

 

Photo by Eibner Saliba on Unsplash

 

 

There are a lot of different herbs or foods you can ingest to try and increase supply, but most of all, and MOST important is FEED FEED FEED if you want to have a successful breastfeeding journey.

 

By no means will anything work on your supply half as much as an “efficient feeder” the more your baby is on breast, the more milk you will make.

 

“Supply and Demand”

 

It’s not always that easy, and I GET IT!

 

Both my babies were crazy cluster feeders, to the point I would be breastfeeding for SIX HOURS STRAIGHT.

 

It was exhausting, emotionally and physically.

 

Having 2 under 2 was tiresome at the best of times, let alone being stuck under a boob monster who wanted “quiet” for his cluster feeding marathons. NO DISTRACTIONS. Yeah right.

 

I am sure 1 Boob was out consistently for a couple of years while I was breastfeeding.

 

 

 

 

Feel free to click here to have a read of my “My Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips” – from a mama (me) who didn’t have the easiest journeys.

 

So for me, having a snack which was high in Galactagogues, with a warm tea and a TONNE of water did help my supply in the latter of the day. Especially when I was feeling some what depleted. (Boobie milk depleted………..and sleep haha)

 

So without keeping you waiting any longer – my random, delicious, raw boobie barz recipe;

 

 

RAW BOOBIE BARZ

 

Ingredients

 

Base (the base is the Galacta central – pack that G in)

 

½ cup Oats (G)

½ cup Almonds (G)

½ cup walnuts or pecans

1 cup pitted dates

1-2 TBSP raw Cacao

1-2tsp Ginger Powder or raw (G)

½ cup brewers yeast – (very good G)

 

*1-2 TBP coconut oil – blitz up the rest before adding this, make sure it’s needed*

 

Middle (the caramely gooey layer)

 

½ cup nut butter / peanut butter / nutty butter of choice (almons is good as it’s a G)

½ cup raw honey

½ cup cocnut oil

Handful of chopped nuts of choice too for some added crunch

 

 

 

Top (the choc top)

 

1 block of 70-90% dark choc (how dark can you go?)

2 TBSP coconut oil

Additional only per taste

*1 TBSP raw honey

*Few drops of wild orange essential oil or

* Few drops peppermint oil (not for the low supply mama’s – can decrease supply)

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS – the how to!

 

Base (the base is the Galacta central – pack that G in)

 

  • I used my Thermomix, so literally just whizzed it up to a crumbly consistency
  • You could use any food processor, or if you are really committed use a mortar and pestle
  • Once crumbly but able to stick if you push it together in your hands, it’s ready to go
  • Line a baking tray
  • Press the base crumbs firmly down to make “crust”
  • Pop in freezer while you make the middle

 

Middle (the caramely gooey layer)

 

  • Put all ingredients into a saucepan
  • Melt down on low heat and mix
  • Add extra crunch if so desired
  • Pour over the base
  • Pop in freezer for an hour before starting the top chocolate layer

 

Top (the choc top)

 

  • I bring a small pot of water to boil, add a big glass or metal bowl on top
  • Melt the block of choc and oil
  • Add any “Additons”
  • Pour over the top and Voila

 

 

 

 

Pop it back in the fridge or freezer to set and then cut it up in chunks/slices/triangles whatever you want – EAT AND ENJOY.

 

Word of advice – leave it in the freezer and enjoy.

 

The ingredients are whole foods and healthy fats, so they are nourishing to your body and your babies, but don’t be fooled – if you eat the whole lot in a few days………your boobies and HIPS will be happy.

 

 

My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Birth Doula and an Independent Childbirth Educator who is inspired to help and support Women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I strive to keep myself informed with the most up to date evidence based information and resources.

“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”

If you want to know more, feel free to contact me here

For more great information head back to my Blog page by clicking here

If you are interested in the services I offer – please click here

 

On Call Poem

Behind the scenes of the “On Call” life
Behind the scenes of the “Birth Team” life
Behind the scenes of the “support crew” life
What can you see when you look “Behind”

Plans are hard to make with friends
Plans are hard to keep with friends
I’ll be there “IF” becomes the norm
I’ll be there “IF” becomes the known

Phone watching
Time keeping
Hour gazing
Clock ticking
These things are a constant from 38 weeks, not just for you, but also for me.

I’m not flakey
I CAN commit

I’m not flakey
I HAVE committed

Behind the scenes of the “On Call” life
Behind the scenes of the “Birth Team” life
Behind the scenes of the “support crew” life
What can you see when you look “Behind”

Bags packed
Babysitters checked
Kids fed
Time checked
Time to sleep – but can’t relax – overly aware of the call I will not axe

Excitement brews
Electricity rises
Every phone call might be it
Every phone call could be it
These things are a constant from 38 weeks, not just for you, but also for me.

I’m not flakey
I CAN commit

I’m not flakey
I HAVE committed.

Mama is patient, mama is eager
Mama is calling her Doula to meet her

XOXOXO

Save Your Peri – My Top Tips!

I can guarantee “tearing” is one of the aspects most women fear about childbirth.

Most women have heard so many horror stories of tearing from here to there during birth, or being cut and then tearing anyway. Sounds horrific right?

Well, would you believe me if I told you, most of these women were probably forced to lie on their backs, had an epidural and were told when to PUSH? Or they were told they had to have an Episiotomy so had no chance to “not tear” anyway.

Would that surprise you?

Would that make YOU question what YOU could do in YOUR birth to minimise risks of tearing?

Well damn, I hope so – and that is why I am here. For you to question, research and not just say “Yes Sir/No Sir/Three bags full Sir/M’am!”

Before I get started, I know women who have had Episiotomies, tears, grazes and nothing at all. At the end of the day – we will heal!

But we need to go into birth with knowledge so we can be empowered at the end of our experience.

I didn’t tear with either of my babies.

One baby came out arse (I mean buttocks) first, and the other came out at 41+something weeks. I practiced all of the below tips and tricks.

 

1 – Perineum Massage (NO to EPI-NO)

 

You may have heard of Perineum Massage. You may have heard it will STOP any tearing.

Well this isn’t accurate.

If you do peri massage – it should give you an idea of the stretching feeling you will get when you start stretching around your crowning baby – this is by far the most important thing about Peri Massage. 

Familiarity – feeling the familiar sensation when the time comes, will be less of a shock – this will allow you to relax rather than tense up.

You shouldn’t STRETCH yourself to the point of hurting yourself, because frankly your body hasn’t got the hormones to allow you to stretch like it would when in labour.

AND for the love of god – don’t use the EPI-NO.

There has been research that has shown woman who have used this device, have had small microscopic tears. This is before labour has even begun! Can only imagine what happens to an already compromised area with tension?

Again – your body isn’t ready to stretch to 10cm when you are not in labour, so don’t force it.

 

Photo Credit – Unplash

 

QUOTE from Dr Rachel Reed

“There is a rather scary device called an Epi-No designed to use during pregnancy to stretch the perineum. The limited research regarding the effectiveness and safety of this device is inconclusive (Kovacs, Heath & Campbell 2004; Shek et al. 2011). Personally I worry about potential long term effects of repeatedly stretching the perineum to the size of a babies head. Although a woman may give birth a number of times during her life, she will usually have more than a day between each baby’s head stretching her vagina. It is also a reflection of our technocratic culture that a ‘device’ is considered to be necessary in order to prepare for childbirth.” 

https://www.bellybelly.com.au/pregnancy/perineal-massage/

 

2 – Relax and Breath

 

Practice relaxation techniques throughout your pregnancy and birth.

Relaxation breathing is hugely beneficial for yourself and your body. Let your body take over and relax into it. Trust your body wholey and soley.

In a lot of birthing classes / independent childbirth education classes and Yoga you will hear, “open Jaw, open Cervix” remembering to keep your jaw as relaxed as possible through your labour and surges will have an immediate effect on you cervix and opening. 

The best way to remember to relax your jaw is by putting your tongue to the roof of your mouth.

Keeping your hands and shoulders relaxed.

This is best achieve by encouraging your birth partner/s to stroke the inside of your hands, rather than you crazily SQUEEZING their hands like you see in movies.

Shoulder massage or even just placing firm hands down on your shoulders is a good way to keep your shoulders relaxed.

Breathing.

Filling your body with oxygen is a HUGE benefit to you and your baby through labour and birth. By oxygenating your body and your babies body – your uterus, blood, cervix and more will all be working at its optimal capacity. 

Breathing in through your NOSE to the count of 4!

1…………….2………….3…………4………..

And out through your NOSE to the count of 6 or 8!

1……….…..2……….…..3………..…….4………..……5……………6……….….….7……..……..….8……………….

 

Photo credit – Unplash

 

Nose breathing is proven to be more beneficial for brain activity, your body and your lungs. It also shows more controlled breathing when breathing through your nose for both breaths.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/255298-mouth-breathing-vs-nasal-breathing/

http://www.bigheartedbirth.com.au/the-1-big-birthing-tip-for-first-time-birthing-mamas-and-maybe-second-third-and-beyond/

 

3 – Alternative Methods to Medical Pain Relief 

 

There are many alternative methods of pain relief than what is offered in hospital. Below I have listed a few of those alternatives. 

  • TENS 
  • Acupressure and Massage
  • Relaxation breathing
  • Water Immserion

The main reason I encourage mothers to attempt birth without an Epidural is because of the effects the Epidural not only has on the hormones your body produces throughout labour, but also due to the fact you are not able to birth the way your body needs/wants to. 

In most cases when you get an Epidural you are not able to move around freely. You could be stuck on your back, unable to move much, you won’t feel your body’s contraction or when your body naturally starts to push. 

In the case of an Epidural, your provider will be watching the monitors and telling you to push when “they” deem your body is ready (according to the computers), not when “YOU & YOUR BODY” are ready to push. 

 

4 – MotherDirected Pushing

 

This is by far one of the most important aspects of minimising tearing on your perineum while birthing your baby,

You would have seen in movies or sitcoms, mothers laying on their back with their legs up in stirrups and an entourage of people shouting “PUSH……PUSH…….PUSH!” 

NO NO NO!!!

The best way for a mother to “push” or as I like to call it “bare down” is when her body literally takes over and does it without the mother having to even try. 

If you have had a physiological start to your labour (no induction, no epidural, no intervention) your body will quite literally just DO IT.

It’s quite a weird sensation, from one minute to the next, you are having a normal intense contraction/surge, and then the next minute your body just takes over and pushes……………you can’t stop it, you can only embrace it and let go. 

I clearly remember with my first born, the “urge” to push – and thinking “What in the holy hell is this, I can’t stop it” and pushing as if I was having the most amazing AGB (haha) – if anyone doesn’t know what an AGB is………..hit me up offline to this –  [email protected]

You can train yourself to “Breath your baby down”, or “Breath through” the pushing, but if you need to push? I can nearly guarantee you and your baby are ready to meet each other very very soon.

People telling you to push, screaming at you to push harder – ARE NOT in your body, they DO NOT know what is happening and finally THEY ARE NOT your perineum – so how in the world would they know when to push, or when not to push?

END RANT (for this one anyway)

 

 

5 – NO EPISIOTOMY 

 

Episiotomies – those nasty things that are nearly a “routine” cut for birthing women in hospitals.

Do yourself a a favour and just say “NO” to an episiotomy.

Firstly, if you’re cut, you’re cut. You may have never torn, but now you have been cut.

Secondly, they cut through;

  • Skin 
  • Muscle
  • Ligaments
  • Nerve Ending (Clitoris nerve endings as well)

 

Medio lateral episiotomy. Jeremy Kemp, CC BY

 

Thirdly – did you know, you are more likely to tear when you have an Episiotomy?

I give you this challenge. Take a piece of paper, use some scissors and cut a line down. Now pull the sides of the paper to mimic more tension on the paper (perinium)………….Tell me your findings?

Your body will heal a natural tear a lot quicker than it would an Episiotomy.

https://theconversation.com/episiotomy-during-childbirth-not-just-a-little-snip-36062

 

6. Upright / Active birth

 

And for my lucky last, and probably most passionate tip – it’s a whole different blog.

Being upright and active throughout your birth is so important – let me redirect you to a previous blog I have written.

 

Click Here – “Why lying down isn’t the stand up position for birth”

 

Photo credit – Unplash

I hope some of these tips have resonated with you and have warranted you to ask the question, or at least prompt you to do your own research.

 

Remember knowledge is power – and power is damn beautiful!

 

My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Doula who is inspired to help and support Women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I strive to keep myself informed with the most up to date evidence based information and resources.

“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”

If you want to know more, feel free to contact me here

For more great information head back to my Blog page by clicking here

If you are interested in the services I offer – please click here

 

When home-births are safer than most think!

I’m going to do this a little bit different. I want to talk to you about Home Births! 

Why not have your baby at home? 

But rather than just get into it, I thought I would write this from 3 different perspectives.

 

  • Before Babies
  • While Pregnant
  • As a Doula

 

 

VIEW ON HOME-BIRTH BEFORE BABIES

Before I had considered having my babies, my sister was having her babies.

She was hoping to have a home birth for her second birth. My immediate thought was “OH MY GOD – that’s so dangerous, just go to hospital like normal people” “Don’t put your baby at risk,” “What if something goes wrong”??

All the immediate fear based questions that come to mind when you don’t actually KNOW anything about birth, home-births, midwives, hospitals etc etc etc

Warranted all these questions came from a place of love and concern, but not once did I think, maybe I should trust my sister or maybe I should ask more questions about home births so I can understand more about why she wants to birth at home.

It was all very new to me, and I wanted what was best for my sister and her baby. 

 

 

VIEW ON HOME-BIRTH WHILE PREGNANT

With my first, I knew I would have a hospital birth. That was what I thought was the safest thing to do. Turns out even if I had wanted a home-birth, it would have been a hospital birth as my baby girl was Breech.

But throughout my pregnancy I started attending “Positive Birth Movement” meetings, and a lot of the beautiful mama’s, mama’s to be had home-birthed, or were planning on home birthing.

I soon found out a lot of women were scared of going to hospitals for birth, for fear of unnecessary interventions, being bullied by Dr’s into things they didn’t want to do, being put on a time restraint to birth their babies – all things I didn’t understand pre-babies.

There were some mothers who had previous traumatic experiences at hospital for first births and were planning to have their next birth in the comfort of their own home because that’s where they felt safest. Some mothers who had previous c/sections who were planning HBAC’s (Home birth after caesarean).

I learnt a lot from these meetings as well as from attending Hypnobirthing Classes.

  • I learnt that midwives were attending the births at home (sounds obvious but I didn’t know)
  • I learnt that they had resuscitation equipment if worst came to worst
  • I learnt they had all sorts of medical equipment that they brought to the homes
  • I realised that midwives were highly trained to attend to birthing women, and they knew what to look out for – they knew when they may need to call for an ambulance
  • I learnt that ambulance transfers can happen, but don’t happen often
  • I learnt that mothers who birthed at home felt safer than in hospital
  • Less interventions were happening at home

For my second pregnancy, I was leaning towards a home-birth, but was trying to decide whether to go to Family Birth Centre or straight out Home-birth.

So I sent off my application form to CMP (Community Midwife Practice) for both options and would decide later. 

Once I decided home-birth was the option for me, I had to convince my hubby (a whole new blog – how to convince your partner to be onboard for a home-birth.)

 

 

My main factors on choosing a home birth were:

  • Safety and comfort of my own home
  • My daughter was still a baby herself (19 months) so having her around was a big win
  • I knew the stats, and understood how safe home-births are
  • I wanted a completely natural birth – no interventions being pushed on me
  • Having to drive to hospital while in labour is not fun
  • I wanted a water birth 
  • Being able to snuggle into your own bed with your brand new baby and family by your side 

I have added a few links below – some support groups for pregnant woman wishing to be surrounded by positivity about pregnancy and birth. 

MADE BY ME BIRTH SUPPORT GROUP – www.facebook.com/madebymebirthgroup

POSITIVE BIRTH MOVEMENT 

 

VIEW ON HOME-BIRTH AS A DOULA

From a Doula’s perspective, I definitely view Home-Births as safer for those mummy’s who are wanting a physiological birth with no / bare minimum interventions.

Speaking with woman who have had home-births, their view is that the woman who have birthed in hospitals are the brave ones, not vice versa – which seems to be the usual consensus.

Unnecessary intervention rates are high in hospital settings. 

According to evidence based research low-risk pregnancies have a better chance of intervention free/ less perineal trauma either at home or a birth centre – compared to the stats for birth at hospitals.

 

 

”Findings – Twenty-eight articles met inclusion criteria, yielding comparative data on perinatal mortality, mode of birth, maternal morbidity and/or NICU admissions. Meta-analysis indicated that women planning hospital births had statistically significantly lower odds of normal vaginal birth than in other planned settings. Women experienced severe perineal trauma or haemorrhage at a lower rate in planned home births than in obstetric units. There were no statistically significant differences in infant mortality by planned place of birth, although most studies had limited statistical power to detect differences for rare outcomes. Differences in location, context, quality and design of identified studies render results subject to variation.

Conclusions and implications for practice

High-quality evidence about low-risk pregnancies indicates that place of birth had no statistically significant impact on infant mortality. The lower odds of maternal morbidity and obstetric intervention support the expansion of birth centre and home birth options for women with low-risk pregnancies.”

Stats of Home-birth 

  • 36% increase in normal, vaginal births
  • 8.6% reduction in instrumental births
  • 7.5% reduction in caesarean rates
  • 1.15% decrease in severe perineal trauma
  • NO difference in neonatal death rates when compared to birth in hospitals
  • Benefits of continuity of care
  • 13% increased satisfaction with labour and birth care
  • 12% increased satisfaction with labour prep
  • 4.1% decrease in use of regional analgesia (Epidural)
  • 3.3% increase in spontaneous vaginal births
  • 1.5% decrease in fatal loss

 

 

Midwifery 62: 240-255

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4)

Not only do the numbers speak for themselves but some other things to consider when choosing whether you want to birth your baby at home are:

  • Comfort and safety of your own home will keep you relaxed and more likely progress quicker
  • You can be surrounded by dim lighting or no lighting, which helps your birthing hormones (including melatonin, which plays a big role in birth)
  • You don’t have to drive in the car, with lots of lights, noise and potentially stress 
  • You can organise your birthing space/nest 
  • Your own smells
  • Your own comforts
  • Your loved ones you chose
  • You’re not limited to who/what and where can be at your home

 

 

If the thought of having your baby at home causes you stress or discomfort, then obviously it is not the place for you to birth. 

If being in a hospital environment makes you feel safer, then by all means that’s where you should birth your baby. 

I simply wanted to put this together to show those who may be fearful of birth at home, that it is in fact safer for a lot of mothers and their babies.

 

My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Doula who is inspired to help and support Women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I strive to keep myself informed with the most up to date evidence based information and resources.

“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”

If you want to know more, feel free to contact me here

For more great information head back to my Blog page by clicking here

If you are interested in the services I offer – please click here

The Birth of Malakai

22nd June 2017

Off to KEMH today again, for another check up, ECG/ultrasound to make sure baby is still cephalic and monitor heart rate etc because fluid is a bit low and I’m over 40 weeks now so you know, panic panic.

I’m bummed because even though Bub has turned from breech to cephalic I still can’t have a homebirth, due to low fluid, I’m actually devastated, not just bummed. I am going to have to move on from this feeling otherwise Bub is not going to come EVER and I am NOT being induced. Sex it is haha. 

I am home, and I feel deflated, Bub is fine, moving beautifully, heart rate is great yet I’m not only being pushed by the hospital for an induction, but now also my “stand in” community midwife …………my usual CMP is off duty at the moment. I’ve spoken to CMP and have been swayed to have a stretch and sweep, I’m ok with this. If it gets things going then WINNING. 

Stretch and sweep done. 

LETTING GO

Been crying to Aidan because I feel like it’s been a repeat of my first birth, I’ve had to fight the system AGAIN. He suggested to look into private midwife who would be willing to let us have the home birth. (Did I hear right?) This from the guy who was a big fat NO to a homebirth at the beginning of the pregnancy? I got in contact with my doula friend, who got in contact with her private midwife and we got things going. 

Sigh of relief. The private midwife told me she would be happy to take me onboard but if I went into labour tonight she wouldn’t be able to, we organised to have a one on one in the morning. 

Having chatted to Aidan and the midwife I feel relaxed again, I feel like I can breath again, and have gained the attitude of what will be will be again. 

7pm – Low and behold……………….I’ve lost my mucous plug, and not just a small amount – all of it. I know it’s not necessary going to be “IT” but I kind of know it is. Mary has been tucked into bed already so let’s see what happens. 

I’ve had some cramping, but I’ve had “some” cramping for the last week. Wait, wait, there is some more cramping………….and more……….I’m bouncing away on my birthing ball while watching a movie in the theatre room with Aidan……..I decide to time things just to get an idea………..11 minutes, 8 minutes, 8 minutes, 7 minutes. 

Yep I’m pretty sure this is it. I call my midwife and tell her what’s up, she advises to get to hospital……….I call Carla and Mum and let them know not to rush but things are happening. (Carla is my sister and my birthing partner, Mum is my amazing Mum who will chill at home and watch Mary) 

ENJOYING THE CALM BUILD UP

I have decided to migrate to our living area where I was meant to birth, and put my hypnobirthing and relaxation tracks on with all the candles lit. My surges were coming in every 5 minutes and lasting about a minute. 

After a while of getting myself in my zone, and accepting this was it – I call Aidan in to the living area and asked him to switch off the TV and be present. I wasn’t ready to go to hospital yet, I just wanted to feel safe and comfortable in my own home for a while longer.

 

 

Carla and Mum arrived – it’s 9:00pm, I’ve had 1 or 2 surges while they were here, 1 was a pretty intense one which makes me think we need to get going. It’s now that I tell Aidan he needs to call Cat the “birth photographer”, Aidan didn’t know I had organised her………….he couldn’t argue with me now, I was in labour (plan worked) hahahaha. 

Cat did my maternity/family photo shoot and they are amazing, she is amazing. So we let Cat know and got in the car for the daunting 40 minute drive to Subiaco.

MAKING OUR WAY TO HOSPITAL

Half way to KEMH and Aidan is speeding like a crazy man hahaha I think he is petrified I am going to have this baby in his beloved Nissan Patrol. He has been timing my contractions and tells me I’m having them every 2 minutes. I had actually zoned out listening to my hypnobirthing tracks. 

It’s nearly 10PM and we have arrived at KEMH. Malita (CMP- another new face and I didn’t have the pushy one) and Cat are in the labour suite waiting for us. We get in and Carla sets up my diffuser, and puts my relaxation music on. The surges are all in my belly, intense squeezes. I can’t help but reminisce about the intense back and hip labour feels when I was having Mary a short 20 months earlier. 

Malita comes over and advises due to low fluid they wanted to do monitoring, I declined and said I’m ok with intermittent Doppler checks if necessary. I also declined any internal examinations, or the canular. We promptly handed over my birth plan.

I asked whether I can labour in the birth pool. Before they gave me the go ahead they wanted to check to be sure Bub is still cephalic and hasn’t turned back to breech , if Bub is still head down all is good for me to labour in the pool. 

Bub is head down so off to the pool. I’m advised I can’t actually birth in the pool so once things step up they will get me out and we will go back to the labour ward.

THE LABOUR DANCE

The walk to the pool room wasn’t too bad, I can’t remember whether I had a surge/contraction or not. But god I remember the sheer relief that washed over my body when I lay in the water and my body was weightless – such a relief. The warm water hugging every inch of my body, and my belly floating, it was bliss. My first surge in the bath felt incredible, I could move freely yet every movement I made, the warm water moved with me and gently washed over my belly and back and nearly massaged me. 

It felt like things were slowing down in the bath and I was able to catch my breath and relax………I could breath. I had fleeting moments where I was wondering when the next surge would come and why was it taking so long. But then it would come in all its mighty glory. I couldn’t help but move with it, it’s nearly like a dance……….I sway with the intensity, the only way I am able to get relief is move with it and breath through it. And just as quickly as it rises, it falls again, moments to enjoy the calm and just breath.

 

upright birth

 

I distinctly remember one very intense contraction my sister rubbed her hands and then pushed her palms close to my face so I could take a breath in, and it was such a good breath of wild orange essential oil, the smell made me smile and it gave me my energy back, it was amazing how potent that smell in that moment was, it was just what I needed. 

Things were getting more intense, I could hear myself groaning, swearing every now and then, loosing myself to the moment. I was a lot more vocal with this labour, a lot more primal. 

Malita asked how I was feeling as she had noticed things were ramping up and we may need to move back to the room. I agreed. 

Took me a while to get the strength to stand up. And once I did I had probably the most intense surge yet………..this baby was well and truely coming, shit was getting real……….we were going to meet you soon little buddy. Once I was able to walk again we started the journey back to the labour ward, got 3/4 there and I was hit with another intense surge and I was swaying and moaning, I could hear myself as if I was having an outer body experience and in my mind I was like “whoa lady, reign it in a little, you sound like you are having an orgasm”!

 

THE FINAL STRETCH

We got into the room and I needed the toilet, god I hope I don’t have this baby on the toilet was the first thing that came to mind. BAM another intense surge while being all warrior woman on the toilet – I managed to get off the toilet and was trying to navigate my way into a comfortable position.

They were putting a mattress on the floor for me. In that moment I remembered I laboured a lot on my side with Mary so thought I’d get on the bed and try that………..worst idea ever. BAM another massive surge, baby was making his way down quickly and this position was NOT working for me. I wanted to get out of this position so much but wasn’t  able to as I was mid surge and had to somehow labour through it. I’m sure I looked quite possessed in this moment, probably the only time I felt like I wasn’t able to breath through the surge and I was just trying to get through it so I could move into the next position.

 

homebirth

 

As soon as I could I moved, we brought the bed head up so I could lean on it and I was kneeling. This was it, this baby was coming. Next surge I just felt bub drop down, my body took over and I grunted and pushed, stopped………and again, my body took the lead and it pushed.

I could feel myself stretching……….crowing……….it was a welcoming sting……….I knew that meant babies head was there, so I put my hand down to feel, it was………I could feel babies head……….and everything was still……….nothing was happening, just stretching, why wasn’t I pushing?

Why had it stopped…………and then there it was – the last almighty surge, and I swear I would’ve dropped HIM had Malita not guided him out. He came out so quickly and so wrinkly. It was a BOY. A beautiful healthy boy – Malakai Oneill. I knew in my heart all along you were a boy. So nice to meet you my little man. 

 

 

Malakai was born at 00:44am on the 23rd June 2017, 3.05kg’s and soooooo wrinkly he was like a little sharpey puppy! 

We settled in for some beautiful uninterrupted skin on skin and I breathed through some more surges while we had our first breastfeed – I wanted to have a natural third stage (birthing the placenta) which seemed to take forever. I was half an hour in when I was ready to give up. I had my baby now, and I didn’t want to keep having these surges. I asked for the injection to get the placenta out, when Carla looked at me funny and said, “Jack you’ve been riding it out for half an hour already, just get up and move and it will probably come out”.

Someone else suggested to sit on the toilet. So I got up and squatted on the bed while Aidan had his first cuddle – and for those few moments, all 3 of us were connected.

 

 

This still wasn’t getting the placenta out, so off to the toilet we trotted and 1 surge later I birthed the placenta. Such a satisfying feeling.

Now it was time to rest and enjoy newborn cuddles with my boy Malakai.

We got home before Mary woke up and suddenly became a family of 4! My heart is soooooo full!

 

My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Doula who is inspired to help and support Women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I strive to keep myself informed with the most up to date evidence based information and resources.

“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”

If you want to know more, feel free to contact me here

For more great information head back to my Blog page by clicking here

If you are interested in the services I offer – please click here

Why a Doula?

In celebration of Doula week, I thought it was about time I got another blog out to you lovely followers.

My chosen topic is very close to my heart. 

Why did I chose this career path? Why a Doula?

Let me take you back a few years. My first pregnancy! My little breechling Mary. Her pregnancy, her birth, the journey we took together is in short the reason I do what I do now.

I chose to go through a private OB, because I believed it would be the best care, and we had been paying maternity on our Health insurance so you know, I knew no different. I had a birth plan in mind, all natural, no interventions – practiced hypnobirthing and I KNEW exactly what I wanted! AND then my darling daughter was confirmed Breech, and that is how she stayed. 

I was given no options for my birth, no choice! Breech = C-section as far as my OB was concerned and that was that. 

With no other information given to me, except for scare tactics and “Dead Baby” statements, I started doing my research, speaking to birth workers, surrounded myself with supportive people – and made a huge decision which paved my path. 

I changed providers at 39 weeks and birthed my little Breech baby completely naturally through my VAGINA the following day!!!!!!!

 

It was through this experience I realised that women don’t get enough support through these new and sometimes scary life changing momentous moments. Choices aren’t laid out for us. The information isn’t given to us unless we know exactly what we need to ask for, and “You don’t know what you don’t know”!

I want to make a difference, I want to empower woman to make THEIR choices – not the ones they are told make.

Once I started my study to become a Doula (2 babies later) it was EVERYTHING I thought it would be, I was so full of emotion every day that we learnt, connected and empowered each other. I knew this was my path and I felt so grateful my 2 babies had lead me to something so powerful and true to me.

 

 

One of the studies that really cemented the deal for me – that really showed me how much of an impact a Doula can have was the study published by John Kennel – statuses per below

The presence of a Doula reduces a women’s need for intervention;

  • Artificial Oxytocin used 17% with a Doula, and 43.6% without a Doula
  • Epidural rate is7.8% with a Doula, and 55.3% without
  • Forceps used 8.2% with a Doula present, and 26.3% without a Doula
  • C-Section rate 8% with a Doula, 18% without.

Doula’s are there to emotionally, physically and mentally support you. We are your companion, we are your rock, your shoulder to cry on and we are in your corner – cheering you on, reminding you that you CAN do this.

We provide you with all the information needed to make an INFORMED choice, not just the information we want you to know. If you have any questions, we are there to find the right EVIDENCE based information for you – and then you can make an informed and empowered decision from there.

HAPPY DOULA WEEK!!!

 

Photo Credit – Cat Fancote

 

 

My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Doula who is inspired to help and support Women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I strive to keep myself informed with the most up to date evidence based information and resources.

“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”

If you want to know more, feel free to contact me here

For more great information head back to my Blog page by clicking here

If you are interested in the services I offer – please click here

Birth Story – Regaining My Power

Shontae and Luke were expecting their second precious baby girl. After a fairly traumatic first birth experience, Shontae knew she wanted a different journey this time around. She knew she could, and she knew how to REGAIN HER BIRTH!

This is their story.

I knew from the day I found out I was pregnant that I wanted this birth to be different, I didn’t want it to go the same way as my first birth.

I needed a better birth this time for myself and for this baby. Which is why we decided to hire Jackie – a Doula and we also decided to participate in Hypnobirthing classes.

The whole pregnancy went pretty smoothly with no complications apart from a low lying placenta, which did move by the 32 week check.

Wednesday the 19/12/2018.

40w1d, I’ve been having period like cramps for about a week, and had lost my mucus plug about 2 days ago. I had a hospital appointment today and knew they were going to push induction as I was past my due date. I felt confident going into the appointment as Jackie had given me lots of information and I had made up my mind that I wanted to wait until I was 41w5d before I consented to an induction.

At the appointment I was talked through all the different induction procedures. I consented to a stretch and sweep and found out I was already 4cm dilated!

Those period cramps weren’t for nothing!

I got back to my mums house where I had dropped my daughter off earlier that morning. It was around 11am when I started getting surges, I texted my partner Luke, and he left work. He went home to shower and grab a few things and then headed over to my mums house.

At 3pm we went to the shops to get a few things for my mum. As soon as we got there my surges began coming on more regularly.

We got back to the house around 4pm and my surges were getting stronger and more intense. I put the Tens machine on which took the edge off them but by 4.30pm I knew it was time to head to the hospital.

Arriving at Hospital

We arrived at around 5pm, as we walked into the hospital I had to keep stopping and really concentrating on breathing through the surges, I wrapped my arms around Luke and just closed my eyes until it passed and then continued to walk into the hospital.

I think we got into the birthing suite around 5.15pm and shortly after Jackie and our student midwife arrived.

Luke made sure the lights were dimmed, and everyone knew we were Hypnobirthing so I could stay in my zone.

I was offered gas on arrival which I accepted – although I don’t think it helped much with pain it did help me to remember to keep breathing through each surge. I had to do the routine checks upon arriving, which meant an internal exam and CTG monitoring- it felt like I was hooked up to it for ages.

While it was on Jackie was doing acupressure points on my shoulders to help with pain and she also had set up some fairy lights and put on my affirmations.

Once the CTG was taken off I found it hard to get up from the bed as I wasn’t getting much of a break between surges. Eventually I got off the bed and got down onto the CUB where Luke was helping by doing hip squeezes.

I don’t think I was there very long before I felt my body take over and start bearing down which felt like I needed the toilet so we moved into the bathroom. I don’t think I was on the toilet long before I reached down and could feel baby crowning.

Within minutes I stood up and with the next surge my baby was born and I caught her myself!

I felt incredible, strong and couldn’t believe what I had just done!

I feel like I had regained my power with this birth!

Miss Kai Ashleigh was born 6.30pm on the 19/12/2018 weighing in at 4.07kgs, only an hour after arriving to the hospital.

 

I can’t recommend Jackie enough, she gave us so much support throughout my whole pregnancy and birth. I finally got the birth I wanted and I don’t think it would have been possible without her
She went above and beyond and I’ll be forever grateful ☺️
SHONTAE AND LUKE XOXO

My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Doula who is inspired to help and support Women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I strive to keep myself informed with the most up to date evidence based information and resources.

“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”

If you want to know more, feel free to contact me here

For more great information head back to my Blog page by clicking here

If you are interested in the services I offer – please click here