This month I had a Very Important Meeting. This meeting was step one in achieving my mission: to never hear another woman say "I had wish I'd known to ask that".
There are going to be many steps. And it is a journey I can not take alone.
What I learned at my Very Important Meeting, which was with an ACT Health representative and a Professor of Midwifery, was that I need to navigate an awful lot of red tape.
I can take the academic path, which is a logical step for me. This would involve a PhD looking at the outcomes of The Birth Map. I would be beginning with the hypothesis (based on anecdotal evidence and related studies) that The Birth Map process would improve outcomes (quantifiers such as costs and interventions used, and the qualifiers looking at expectations, feelings and personal reflections). The study could get quite complex, and even with a stipend would be very difficult (logistically) to do. Sales of The Book would help fund a study. Would this fall into the Sherlock files? or will I find the whole thing is futile?
An election looms, and the current Government must work very hard if it is to hold its position. The opposition must work equally hard if it is take over. I will be meeting soon with an advisor of the Health Minister, Greg Hunt, with a proposition: provide my book to all women and see what happens. Things are either going to get better (and public money saved) or the government will simply have provided a gift of goodwill to pregnant women, and their partners. Eitherway they can't lose.
I could use your help in this endeavour. Whether for taking to the Minister as a chorus of voices, or for use in strengthening grant applications for the study, please help me compile a list of reviews, testimonials and pleas by Talking About The Book. Sharing this, and commenting, could just make the difference between advancing this cause or getting tangled in red tape. THIS IS TIME CRITICAL, so please take advantage by adding your voice and sharing the page.
Another way you can help the book reach more people, is asking your local library to add it to their shelves.
If anyone happens to know someone, or knows someone who knows someone, that can help me market my book and get it into the hands of women - please let me know! Your help would be greatly appreciated.
I have a limited number of Second Edition copies left, in the two cover options, for event pick up or postage within Australia. If you are buying the book via blurb (which can be done worldwide) you will be getting an updated version, only available in the 'word map' cover. The updated version has been condensed (no content lost, just some of the white space) to reduce production and postage costs.
It has been very interesting watching the sales of both covers, and I have settled on the word map cover, after a wonderful observation from the very wise, and very awesome, 11 year old Eliza. If you want to snap up a Pregnant Woman cover, there are only 11 left (maybe less by the time you read this).
For story time this month, I have chosen (again) to use a story read by someone else. I was not able to get my hands on a copy of this book in time to read it myself. For this month, I wanted a story that reflected the importance of questions, and the variety of answers that a question can draw. This is the perfect book!
My answers to the three questions for you: now, pregnant women, give the means to make informed decisions.
There are simultaneous answers, for our lives are complex.
I am also with my community, and my role is to advocate for a community playground.
I am also with my family, and strive to support and care for them as best I can.
How would you answer the questions?
Check out the Member Area/storytime for more stories. If you'd like to record one to share, or suggest one, let me know.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Dr Allison Barrett discusses the extremes of decision making.
This 'rise in induction' article has a few points that need to be highlighted. "NOT ALLOWED", is the problem. This means that over 40s are being denied options based on one number, not an evidence-based (individualised) approach. It is not fat, old women who are the problem, it is rigid rules which deny common sense decisions. Many women do not realise they can negotiate these rules, and that 'refusal' is an option. Fear and pressure will influence consent, even when induction may not be the best approach. There are several induction decision making resources in the member area.
Does feminism care enough about childbirth? By the very awesome Rebecca Schiller
I listened to James McKenna on the Gold Seminar Keynote talking about Breastsleeping. If this is a new concept to you, I've added the PDF notes from the talk to the resources. These notes include several research articles on the topic.
This article looks at research linking birth interventions to risks of depression. For women preparing for birth knowing this may help in their decision making. If interventions are required, the article also mentions ways to reduce the risk. It all comes down to synthetic vs natural oxytocin. Skin to skin and breastfeeding are wonderful ways to encourage the release of natural oxytocin.
This twitter thread caught my eye, after an accidental twin homebirth. Grace Sweeney is a voice of reason. It is devastating that Kaz Cooke and PM Jennifer Hennessy seem to feel autonomy is not important. You don't need to be on twitter to read it (only to interact).
This is my town! Braidwood has an awesomely creative community. This article touches on just a tiny portion of the awesome. Over the last month I have been working with the braidwood community association to make our playground an intergenerational play space. No segregation, all ages and abilities coming together in a celebration of community.
Self-crafted Wellness Radio is 7 episodes in, you can listen/watch them via the facebook page, or online via the Braidwood Community Radio webpage. If you watch on facebook, you miss the awesome music, but get a 'movement break'. Hollie B and her awesome hubby Bolj are covering a different wellness point each week - a wealth of info and ideas for improving your wellbeing.
I've shared this very awesome design making tool before - talking to a dear friend I am reminded just how powerful this is. The Heavy-Light approach to decision making. This needs to be shared widely. It is very powerful.
Evolutionary Parenting is one of my favourite resources, this month Tracy has added two new articles. One on Loving your child unconditionally. And the other, a think piece, exploring an evolutionary mismatch.
Surviving NICU by Krishna highlights the need for support, information and conviction, especially when making choices that are different to the dominating culture. We can not control the world, or what happens, but we can make it positive and loving. This article also looks at the importance of asking the right questions...listen to the powerful podcast The diamonds in the darkness: when birth doesn't go to plan.
MY BLOGGING (new and relevant posts):
Why consent when you can decide?
The Slippery Slope of Modern Birthing and Standard Pregnancy Care highlight the medical approach to pregnancy care and birthing, which is the default - but not everyone wants or needs to be on a medical default. Default does not mean compulsory - you have choices.
8 Factors influencing your birth choices
Navigating the Research
Never Assume Anything This post was published 4 years ago. I am sharing it today because I was asked, by a GP, why I felt that people could not trust the care provider to guide them (their words, not mine). It is not so much a matter of trust, but one of assumption and responsibility.
On my wordpress:
My Health Record: Are you in or are you out?
The deadline for opting out before a record is created has been extended to January 31st 2019. Are you going to stay in…informed and willing? Or are you going to opt out, reserving your right to be informed before consenting?
The 27th Portrait
What a confusing world!
You are The Voice!
What is the Capital of France? (a further response to the comment above, and why assuming is problematic)
This November marks the 3rd year since Nanny died. Grief is a short poem that emerged as I experienced an all consuming upwelling. Perhaps it is something you'd like to explore. Maybe this is something you need to avoid.
ARE YOU A BIRTH WORKER?
I am gauging interest in Birth Cartography Workshops for birth workers for 2019 around Australia, and possibly even New Zealand.
You can borrow The Birth Map from the Queanbeyan Palerang library system (it lives in Braidwood). Perhaps you can request your local library or independent bookstore to add it to the shelves?
You (or your library, bookstore) can purchase it via
my blurb bookshop
Wall of Informed Birth Supporters (including Braidwood Holistic Therapies, who blogged about it)
IN THE MEMBER AREA
Register for the member area on bellabirth.org. If you are having trouble accessing the member area pages, contact me (reply) and I will resend your unique login invite. I can not see your passwords. All I see is your email address, and your name if you enter it. I do not share your email (or name) with anyone.
NEW IN THE SUPPORT GROUP:
On Wednesday I attended a THINKUKNOW session. The session helped me to improve my own cyper security, but as also given me the tools to talk with my kids about being online. I have added this into the parenting thread of the support group.
ThinkUKnow is a partnership between the Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Bank, Microsoft and Datacom and delivered in partnership with all State and Territory police and Neighbourhood Watch Australasia. The cyber safety presentations sensitively cover a range of topics including sexting, cyber bullying, online child exploitation, online privacy, and importantly what to do when something goes wrong. Presentations are aimed at parents, carers and teachers and young people from Kindergarten to Grade 12
NEW IN THE MEMBER AREA RESOURCES:
PDF about breastsleeping
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