Have you been told to 'do kegals'? Have you heard kegals are old hat and squats are in? We are getting to the bottom of this issue this month! And whilst we are in the area, we are exploring our perineums: should we be hands on? or hands offs? How do we avoid a tear? And it is not just our 'downstairs' we are obsessing about, we are also looking into the toilet habits and options of babies and children.Language Matters!This month I am also exploring the importance of language. Being understood, and understanding others, is not always straightforward. We may be speaking the same Language, but not in the same way. Semantics are important, when you are seeking to understand something in order to make an informed decision, you need to be sure of the details. For example: are we 'designed' to give birth?
Sometimes you'll hear a midwife say a 'whiff of synto' can move things along, perhaps in an attempt to avoid a caesarean. But this language is misleading. If this kind of language is being used, it can make you feel belittled, your concerns are brushed over, and this is not respectful. The speaker may feel they are being reassuring, or indeed they may be disregarding you completely in favour of managing the entire ward. Being able to determine this difference is critical. If you are giving birth in a hospital, it is important to take time during pregnancy to understand the various interventions and when they are actually necessary. These will be placed on your Map, and you will have decided in ADVANCE (for example) the conditions that necessitate 'a whiff of synto'. If this scenario presents itself during birth, you will see it coming. Your Map gives you 'land marks' and you'll know when you have a potential 'detour' coming up. If an intervention is being offered before you see those landmarks, you will confidently be able to refuse. If you see the landmarks, you can gratefully accept.
I am very excited at the continued support for The Birth Map. It is wonderful hearing the responses from midwives: "The Best Birth Plan" and "brilliant". I feel it is a semantic matter, as much as the fact that Informed Birth Preparation is powerful - a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. The word MAP, paints a picture of flexibility, and of preparedness.
The second edition of The Birth Map: Boldly going where no birth plan has gone before will be released in September. I will be launching it when I present at the Doula Network Conference (September 8th). Pre-order now, at the special price of $25.95. Please spread the word.
STORYTIME: Have you Seen my Potty!
I love the rhythm in this story. If you are introducing your little one to self-toileting, this story is great fun (I do the voices!).
I also like this story because it highlights the importance of communication. Are you asking the right question? It also shows us, that when we need information urgently, it is very hard to ask the right questions or recognise when we are not being understood. Something might be plainly obvious to others, but when we are stressed and anxious we can't see it for ourselves.
Once a Story has been sent via the newsletter it is placed into the Member Area/storytime.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Caroline Hastie (of ThinkBirth) posted this: highlighting the question of physiological vs medical birth practises.
Sara Wickham wrote 'Ten Things to know about Induction', which I have also added as a pdf download to the Member Resources.
Tara Darlington of Empowering Motherhood, has an insightful free download to help you thrive in motherhood.
What are the risks of antibiotics in premature babies?
Balancing the risks (long and short term) of caesarean
Kegals: good or bad? or something else entirely. Katy Bowman allies with The Kegal Queen to get to the bottom of the issue.
Crisis in Confidence: why do more pediatricians believe breastfeeding will fail? Does the nocebo effect impact breastfeeding?
When breastfeeding is for everyone (except the baby) is the latest post from an insightful blog I discovered in late June. This is food for thought.
The Milk Meg - ideas for night weaning your toddler
This post gives three ways to mother yourself particularly in the newborn phase when establishing breastfeeding is your priority.
The last article is a proper self care post. In June I (diplomatically) commented on this 'self care' post that I thought was condescending and quite frankly mansplaining. The article was focused on self care as pampering and retail therapy type behaviours, it was unhelpful and ignorant of reality. If you are interested in self care, in a real and deep way, Hollie B from the Institute of Self Crafting can take you there. Self care is such a buzz word right now, it has been corrupted and confused, disempowered and appropriated by people who seem afraid to look deep into themselves. We are being sold the idea that a piece of chocolate, a new shiny thing and a bath are self care. But self care, is about self acknowledgement. It is about identity and expression, being heard and respected. Self care is about being confident enough to demand it. To value yourself, because you are awesome, and to stop apologising for taking up space.
In Light of this, I want to share with you an online group program being offered by Lead Mama Lead called Overcoming Overwhelm. I have worked with Summer Edwards, who has helped me to find my direction with bellabirth. I first met and connected with Summer through the Australian Bbreastfeeding Association and we have a very similar way of thinking I have signed up as an affiliate for this program, because I felt this was an important opportunity. Summer has quite a lot on offer, including a November retreat in Byron Bay. You can listen to her talking about Lead Mama Lead and the course on this podcast.
I found this blog post about intuition very beautiful and thoughtful.
The latest Circle of Birth Podcast goes deep. This one is serious, and important, looking at the state of modern birth.
MY BLOGGING (new and relevant posts):
Please share (and have you seen the new look bellablog?)
Getting to the Bottom of things on the Bellablog:
Protecting the Perineum was added to the bellablog in June.
Elimination Communication - please don't let me shit in my pants
And then heading to the top:
The Doula and The Sherpa was added in June
A reminder about the nocebo effect:
The Nocebo Effect
Forget the birth plan - you need a birth map!
Self Care: Mountains out of Washing Piles
On my wordpress:
The Language of Birth Plans
What is the Capital of France?
Do you need support or assistance?
Curse of the Third
Designed to Birth?
plus a bunch of poems, including self care according to dave.
You can find our more about Sarah and her Journey into Motherhood HERE
SIGN UP HERE to have the newsletter sent on the 17th of each month to your inbox. Here you will find the archived versions of all The Newsletters, covering the topics below.