Thursday, February 15, 2007

Warning Rant Ahead!

If only articles like this could appear on the FRONT page of the news paper.... *sigh*.... then perhaps women would at least think twice about running off to get a caesarean to "escape the pain of labour". At least it would encourage people to go and search out some REAL information on cesareans... from places like this and this and this.

I feel like shaking women when I hear them say they're getting a caesaean to avoid the pain of labour. Sarcastic Laura pops out ready to say saying something to the effect of.... Oh you think major abdominal surgery is a piece of cake to recover from?! Really, well you won't be able to drive for six weeks, it will hurt to cough, laugh, move, sneeze, turn over in bed, and hold and breast feed your baby, and you'll most likely be separated from your baby in the most crucial bonding moments after birth.... oh but that's all okay because you'll still have your lovely tight vagina!

...Oh and did you know that once you've had a caesarean it's most likely that many obstetricians/doctors/hospitals in Australia will suggest you have another caesarean when you decided to have subsequent children, and that most Birth Centres will immediately not be able to book you in because having a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After a Caesarean) is too 'high risk'.... even though evidence based research is supportive of VBAC!?

Far out! How much research has to be done before things will change! I could find paper upon paper supporting VBAC for medical, physiological, social, emotional and all the other "al" reasons in the blink of an eye! But no... it's Open Season for caesareans! Pregnant women be very careful! Don't go anywhere near a scalpel happy hospital! Please.... check their caesarean section rate, think about who your care provider is... or better yet think about being cared for by an independent midwife or Birth Centre. Oh and please don't think "private" means it's the best, it's the best when it comes to curtains and a TV but not when it comes to your birth and baby!

The current national average rate of caesarean sections in Australia has reached 30%. Some hospitals have a rate closer to 50%! The World Health Organization suggests that a rate higher than 10-15% is detrimental to women and their babies. What do these hospitals think they are doing? Can't someone make them accountable for their failure to care for women in a way that decreases their chance of having a caesar? Oh but then I must remember hospitals are institutions.... and institutions and pregnant women really don't make the best combination, do they....


Caesareans can be fantastic when women need them. Heck, I needed to be born with one one... being a twin who was lying transverse with my sister breech....I am so thankful that a caesarean was available to my Mum!

BUT.... caesareans are dangerous things when used in the wrong context.

I can't find the research now I need it but as soon as I find it I'll post the reference... but I read somewhere that a large percentage of women who have caesareans have unexplained vaginal pain.... I find that very interesting.

Enough from me!

To finish check out Cesarean Art and click on the opening picture to enter the site.....

Monday, February 12, 2007

A painting I love

Boreas ~ John William Waterhouse
Oil on canvas
Go here to see it larger

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Greek pillars, wombs and lavender

It's amazing how smells can take you places!

This afternoon feeling under the weather with cramps I snuggled up in bed with some pillows and burned some clary sage and lavender essential oils.

With the warm oil diffusing I shut my eyes and within moments expected to open them and see a labouring woman standing in the room.

Lavender and clary sage were used extensively in my last placement and my brain must have formed a connection to the smell.

With eyes closed my ears waited, expecting to hear the sound of a contraction rise and die away like ocean swell, but there was simply silence. No labouring moaning, no noise. Quiet waiting filled the space and in the stillness a wave emerged, a deep ache running over my lower back and across the front of my pelvis. Then calm. The aching pain welled up again to a peak only to sink back into stillness. I wonder if this feeling is similar to early labour?

Being a student midwife the fact I have never carried or birthed a child always rests with me. At times it rests peacefully, at times it doesn't. I know my own experience will never match any other birth I attend but I long to know what it is like. Initiate myself in a sense.

There's a triangle shaped space, over my womb that simply waits. I feel this space very vividly. The feelings I have related to childbirth and children and motherhood come from this place. Other feelings and emotions come from my gut or higher in my chest, but not feelings related to birth.... they all come from a deep place.

At times I try and picture how it will unfold, what the sensations will feel like, my response, and each time it is different. Each time I am in a different space, with a different focus. Some times I reach down to touch the baby as it's head crowns, other times I'm holding too tightly to a pair of hands to do so. Sometimes I walk, sometimes I rest. At times I push people away, other times I cling closely to someone's neck. Sometimes I cry loudly, other times I am still, grounded and focused.... but I always reach down, pick up my child and hold them against my skin, it's the only thing that stays the same.

It will unfold in it's own way.

I've only ever once dreamed about being in labour.... and then I was was holding a huge Grecian pillar to support myself with every tightening. I recall wearing a white flowing robe that didn't get blood on it more than I remember anything else. Strange!

The space remains happy waiting as long as I acknowledge its presence.