Newcastle Baby Magazine, Spots Open

About five weeks ago when I found out the previous Newcastle Baby Magazine editor, Daniella, was retiring from the project, I jumped eagerly at the opportunity to help keep this awesome project going!

Newcastle Baby magazine is filled by local high quality businesses and experts and currently, edited by myself, and my current co-editor, Natasha. The magazine is professionally designed by Sascha, printed (a huge 8000 magazines will be printed), uploaded digitally and shared widely via both platforms. Magazines are distributed in a highly, targeted way, to reach our chosen audience.

This fun, unique, project perfectly matches what I already do in the local area! I help connect fresh new mums, with fresh new info, small businesses, therapists, healers and support systems. This is super helpful as mums navigate fertility, pregnancy, birth, healing/recovery, fourth trimester, breastfeeding and parenting and more.

I have included the Media Kit link in this post. If you are an interested therapist/business/service and would like to showcase yourself, have a look at the choices of packages and if you want to apply, contact us asap! A chance at a spot finishes in only a few days time!

Enjoy the link buttons below to read pasts editions. A nice little read while you wait for the release of Newcastle Baby Magazine, 2023 (releasing to the public in November 2022).

Warm wishes,

Natalie Meade

Eat dates blindly?!

Arghghgh I am going to pull my hair out if I see another post about pregnant women and the ‘magical’ dates!

I thought it was the final straw when I heard a wonderful, pre-natal yoga teacher telling their mums to eat dates to ‘improve their birth’, but then I heard from one of my pregnant mum clients that even a MIDWIFE was advising her to eat them to ‘improve birth’ too!

I think this is a perfect example of how very limited and small research  indications can grow a trend that might not even be founded in much at all! 

QUOTE from Evidence based Birth on this topic: “In summary, it probably doesn’t hurt to dates … and it may actually help in these small studies that we saw.”

Not that eating a date will harm you. I’m not “anti-dates”. I’m just “anti blindly grabbing information as if it is pure fact”.

I mean eat some dates, yes, go ahead and let the placebo effect (or possible real effect? who knows) reduce your labour length – if you believe in the magic of the dates strongly enough, then dates WILL help your birth!

I just want people to stop and reflect that true, fully,  informed decision making, needs to be based on well rounded considerations and logical thinking, as well as evidence (hopefully strong) and well meaning advice. 

Don’t eat dates blindly, don’t take ANY kind of advice blindly. Even if it’s from a doctor or a midwife.

Why am I taking interest in the dates craze? A very esteemed midwife and researcher highlighted to our birth professionals group that the ‘date eating, birth improving paper’ was done on a study group where the study group had nutritional and dietary deficits – and therefore, she suggested that we consider that the dates may have had a significant effect simply because they were giving the women much needed sugar and nutrient benefits.

In other words, if they had used raisins in the study, then raisins could have been the latest pregnancy craze! (and imagine how chuffed the raisin industry would have been!)

Personally I have been guilty of sharing links without thorough reading, reflection or personal research myself…

We are all human!

In fact a long time ago, at the beginning of the craze, I saw the ‘date article’ being shared around and as a birth educator I shared it to my audience. Then, as a pregnant woman, I bought and ate some dates!! Hey it sounded like a great idea (plus I happen to love dried fruit and it made my breakfast suddenly far more yummy!).

And after one such delicious breakfast, heavily laden with delicious, sugary dates (which are said to be low GI), I did a random glucose finger prick test at the chemist (I was self monitoring to check for any risk of Gestational Diabetes) and I had a concerning reading, the first thing the nurse asked was “what did you have for breakfast?”.

Yes, folks, dates can compromise your sugar and insulin levels.

So be careful before upping your intake.. and by the way, those suckers are addictive – just like any sugar is.. and it all starts with just one or two and escalates from there.

🙂

I love looking at various sides of any topic,

All the best,

Natalie Meade.

dates

The studies that show small indications of possibly dates being beneficial:

Al-Kuran, O., et al. (2011). “The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery.” J Obstet Gynaecol 31(1): 29-31.

Khadem N, Sharaphy A, Latifnejad R, Hammod N, I R. 2007. Comparing the efficacy of dates and oxytocin in the management of postpartum hemorrhage. Shiraz E-Medical Journal 8:64–71.

Kordi M, Meybodi FA, Tara F, Shakeri MT. (2014). “The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on cervical ripening in nulliparous women.” Journal of Midwifery and Reproductive Health 2:150–156.

Razali, N., et al. (2017). “Date fruit consumption at term: Effect on length of gestation, labour and delivery.” J Obstet Gynaecol: 1-6.

Go with the flow?

Just “go with the flow”?

It’s common advice given to pregnant women as they face the unknowns of childbirth. “Just go with the flow.” It is certainly a welcome and relieving strategy. But is it really helpful?

(I am sure it would work well, if you were in a cave with a fire, and one or two wise women).

BUT, women instead, often birth in a broken maternity system!

Personally… I was definitely in denial when I was pregnant about how hard childbirth can be. I’d heard the horror stories. and they terrified me. Denial was my only friend.

Consequently, I had no proper birth knowledge or plan worked out by the time I reached forty weeks gestation.

Rather than think too much about the possibilities – which led to fearful thoughts and images – I was just going to “go with the flow”!

I often hear that advice on mummy pages and the well-meaning women that give the advice probably had good births. “Trust your body” they say. “It knows what to do.” “Go with the flow.” It’s well-intentioned but it can easily be interpreted as “go along with whatever happens at the hospital”. Or “don’t bother planning , it’ll all go well”.

But, I’m not sure how well that advice could really work for women who birth like me – full of tension, panic and extreme pain!

Luckily I happened to enjoy a long gestation and by the time I had waited ten day past forty weeks, a good friend had emailed me a few birth stories and an Indie-Birth Plan and I began educating myself and even began planning my birth. I literally did it out of boredom and looking back, I am so lucky I did. I thank that friend’s input in those last two days, for my natural, vaginal birth.

By handing up a birth plan stating that I was “hoping not to have an epi or use drugs”, I ended up with midwives who stood by my plan, and even when I BEGGED for drugs, they carefully supported me and my ability to cope.

And I did it!!!

I coped and I birthed naturally! I didn’t need drugs.

(I just thought I did – for a while there)!

Now, when I hear a woman saying she is going to just “go with the flow” I feel terrified for her. I know how broken the maternity system is. It’s not shaped to be able to provide pregnant women with the time, patience and support they need.

I’ve seen women forced into uncomfortable positions on a bed, with CTG straps on her belly and the baby heart monitor alarming everyone. Mother and baby are in obvious distress, I can see something is very wrong with the position the mother is forced into. The mother is nauseous and in agony, she needs to move! But she is told to stay still for monitoring. And finally (with panic all around her) the mum insists on shifting to a new position – and the heart trace becomes perfect!

I know how quickly a low heart beat can be turned into a cascade of interventions and often the first, worst interference was the uncomfortable and unnatural position the mother was put in to get a heart trace in the first place.

How then does a woman “go with the flow”, but also, regain her ability to have a say?

How different would the advice be, if we just jiggled just one single word and advised her to follow “her” flow and not “the” flow?

As a birth educator, I want to encourage women to follow their instinct and not be passive in the face of procedures.

I want all women to know how valuable their instinct is.

A woman in an uncomfortable position with the monitor on, has the right to get up and move if she feels the instinctual urge to do so!

Following instinct is a safer birth!

During birth I encourage women to move in a way that feels good. Groan, moan, breathe, grunt and sigh – however they need to, however they want to.

That instinctual flow, that natural rhythm, that is birth!

Only the woman truly knows what it is needed.

The mothers’ body feels the baby with every cell of her brain and uterus.
(she knows what her baby needs, she knows it deep down).

Can a women in labour hear her flow?

Are supporters being quiet, allowing her to listen to herself?

That’s what I strive for as a doula, I ask her what she wants, and birthing women are so wise – they follow their flow and find the answers they seek.

Sincerely,
Natalie Meade
GradDipC, GradDipPsyc, GradDipEd, Bsc (Hons), CCE, CH

0406 934 645

NOTE: I am not suggesting that babies health should not be monitored. But there are less obstructive ways of doing it and the purpose of this blog is to raise the question of how often it could be done following the womans natural positioning and needs instead of limiting her natural flow?

go with the flow

go with the flow

Natalie Meade: Formally trained and highly experienced as a Childbirth Educator through the HypnoBirthing Institute, I now bring together all my wide and various birth wisdoms and birth education activities and techniques, demos and deliver my own private, independent Birth Education courses.

Dear Obstetrician,

Dear Obsetrician, I am a birth educator. I see the full range of women in my work, some women feel safest with midwives in a birth centre. Medical equipment can make them nervous. Some women birth at home, they feel safest there.

But many, many women choose obstetricians – this is how many women feel safest.

This is a big compliment to doctors and I wonder if you have ever thought about this great honour and trust bestowed upon you?

Do you realise the huge influence you have over the path of this precious, life-giving ceremony?

How it starts, unfolds and ends…

Image depicts a ‘birth simulator’

As the days are unfolding close to birth, do you trust her – as strongly as she trusts you?

Do you give her a safe space, with patience and warmth and then keep your hands in your pockets unless in a true emergency?

Do you practise faith and observe with unbiased eyes?

She has come into your space to have her child ‘delivered’ safely.

She fully believes that you have the skills and knowledge to guide and assist her to labour in such a way to lead to the best birth outcome possible.

She does not know that when she steps into a hospital she steps into a world of ‘medical anxiety’, where many staff may unknowingly be harbouring exaggerated fears of the body malfunctioning and her, or the baby, dying. She does not know that this will affect her birth experience.

She does not know that your tension and your doubts, can lead to nervousness in her body and lead her to tighten her body. And that tight, tense bodies lead to slower, restricted descent of babies (have you spent much time reflecting on these somatic and subconscious issues affecting birth?).

(Do you warn your pregnant women that this material is not covered in the hospital-run, antenatal courses?)

She does not know she has a 33.3 % chance of being steered towards major surgery, often times under strong emotional pressure (where the urgent recommendations from medical staff are coming from a concerned and caring place – but are often also mingled with quite a bit of underlying medical fear).

She does not know that most often it is the lead-up care that causes the distress to baby and mother.

When healthy, low risk, women walk into their first appointment, do you or your midwife team members warn her of the high risk of chemical and surgical interventions awaiting her?

Are you a birth enthusiast, a birth passionate?

Have you read widely and passionately in this field? Are you familiar with the extensive work of the worlds’ leading Obstetricians and midwives like Micheal Odent? Ina May Gaskin? Hannah Dahlen? Andrew Bisits? Dr Grantly Dick Read (deceased)?

When you work with a woman, please know that she came to you to be safe and that this can best be achieved by a baby being born naturally and smoothly (unless in the case of a true medical emergency). The body is wise and functions completely differently from what you commonly see – but to see true, pure birth – labour must be allowed to begin, progress and complete – unhindered.

The women I work with, if you allow them, are eager and willing to demonstrate pure birth to you.

And you can become the next world famous OB leading the way in positive birth for women and be eagerly recommended by birth educators like myself 🙂

obstetrician

Sincerely,

Natalie Meade

GradDipC, GradDipPsyc, GradDipEd, Bsc (Hons), CCE, CH

What does labour feel like?

Labour is like many things in life, very difficult to explain to those who have not felt it.

To further complicate the issue, it can strongly be influenced by expectations, your reaction to it, your surroundings and your carers reactions to you!

One thing is for sure, if you are tense and holding your breath, it will HURT!

And another thing for sure… there are a lot of things you CAN do to prepare (these things are generally not covered at all in standard hospital antenatal courses, you will need to seek birth education specialists).

Here is a quote from a first time dad:

“This pain is a whole new beast”

James sought out a four hour, intensive birth preparation session with The Hunter Birth Education Centre for their second birth and had such a fast and smooth labour they had a vaginal birth after caesarean in their own doorstep.

A little birth preparation goes a long way!

Best wishes to the mum, dad and new baby.

Thank you James for sharing your quote to help share what you learnt from the birth of your first child.

ANSWER:

And to attempt to answer the question of “what does labour feel like?”

* Labour can feel like a strong period pain (although one client who had experienced severe endometriosis all her life felt that her labour could not be serious yet as it hurt less than her period pain)
* Labour can feel like an aching, pressure in the back (a good friend of mine did not know she was in labour as she just though her bad back was playing up again, it was only when she finally noticed the ache was coming in a repeating pattern that she realised)
* labour can feel like shooting cramps and/or muscle spasms down the thigh
* Labour can feel like pulling and/or aching deep inside the lower pelvis and/or all over the uterus, front back and sides
* Labour can feel like a severe, strong pressure and tightening anywhere in the front, back, sides, high and/or low Uterus, groin and stomach regions
* Labour can feel like you just want to crawl up into a little ball and cry
* Labour can feel like you will do anything to rest
* Labour can feel nauseating
* Labour can feel exhausting and never ending
* Labour can feel exciting, funny, immense, life changing and even orgasmic!
* When I was in labour for a miscarriage (which can feel exactly like actual labour) I could literally feel some longitudinal uterus muscles pulling upwards inside my mid region and the cervix muscle expanding open.
* If you focus on the uterus as a big muscle that contracts and expands, labour can feel powerful and expansive.
* I could go on forever.. But my toddler will benefit from some attention soon 🙂

Ina May Gaskin suggests that during labour you give a contraction your entire focused (and curious) attention.. if you can do that for a few contractions, then please send me an email with your own explanation of what labour feels like!

All the best for your birth adventures,

Please call if you have any questions,

I’m always happy to give 15 minutes phone consults with no obligation and free of charge!

For passion, not profit!

Natalie Meade

Creator and Manager of HBEC

0406 934 645