Feeling at home

Yoga teacher and mum-of-two Claire Maguire describes the reasons why she opted for a homebirth, outlines its benefits and looks at its take-up rate both in Ireland and globally

I’ve never met anyone having a homebirth,” exclaimed a surprised mother as we sat talking in a Co Meath playground last winter. “Are you mad?” cried my friend Deirdre
when I broke the news to her about planning my water birth at home in Ashbourne. In truth I wasn’t shocked by the reactions of people, who, after an initial intake of breath, were all extremely encouraging and supportive. According to the local public health nurse,
planned homebirths recorded in this busy commuter town stand at one – me. Continue reading


Part 2: Our Birthing Journey Life & Death…finally Joy – Fighting for respect; My right to choose how and where I birth my baby.

On Monday, 42 weeks shared a birth story of a VBAC mum who was able to negotiate DOMINO care with a midwife in an Irish maternity unit. Her story is a must-read and is very popular. This second story, from the same woman, explains their birth journey and how they were able to negotiate the DOMINO care option.

Our Birthing Journey
Life & Death
…finally Joy

Fighting for respect;
My right to choose how and where I birth my baby. Continue reading

Women’s Views: Healing the Hurt

When I discovered I was pregnant for the third time, I was over the moon. I have two fantastic children and always knew I wanted more. I love being a mother and it’s one of the few things in life that I feel really good at. My pregnancies had been very straight forward and there was no reason why this one should be any different. No reason at all, but it was. In my 13th week I started to bleed and a scan revealed that my little bean’s heart had stopped beating. There aren’t words to describe the devastation I felt. All our hopes and dreams for the future of my little bump were stilled by the quietness of the screen and the sympathy in the eyes of the hospital staff. Continue reading

A midwife tells her birthstory as a first time mother, a vaginal birth with complications

I had been training to be a midwife since 2006. Halfway through my final year on my internship I found out I was pregnant. I was on a 13 hour shift on the gynae ward and took a test into the bathroom and lo and behold it was positive! I finished my shift with great difficulty. Continue reading

Women’s Views: My Journey Towards a VBA2C in Ireland!

Back to the start…2008 I had my first child born by emergency Caesarean, something that I struggled with as it was happening and unfortunately I was one of the many women who didn’t think it would happen to them! I had had a healthy pregnancy, attended a hypno-birthing course and was pretty confident I’d have the birth I had imagined. As a first time mum and at the end of my pregnancy I just wanted to ensure delivery of a happy baby so I never questioned the doctor’s reasons for Caesarean. Knowing what I know now I feel that this birth has a high chance of ending in Caesarean anyway but my baby’s apgar scores show he wasn’t in as much distress as thought. Continue reading

With Woman


I missed the conception – the sweet pain, the writhing, the sweat and moans and the ecstasy.

During your bearing I have not been there either.

But I am here now. I am with you.

Woman do not fear, come with me. Together we will come to a place of joy.

I will guide you through churning waters and bring you to harbour.

To shore.

And when the moon calls me again I will go back out to the wild to seek another soul to bring to safety.

To Bliss. Fulfilment.

In the blue scrubs and bright lights I am with you, Woman, I am here with you

In the flurry of injections, cord traction and machines that go beep, and pip and squeak.

I am with you – stars in darkness, rolling black waters.

Sweet pain, writhing, sweat, moaning and glorious profound actualisation.

Take my hand, my heart. I am yours for as long as you need me.

So sweet woman, come to shore. To the culmination of love and hope.

Rivulets of blood and perspiration. Ruddy cheeks and eyes bright.

Days swim into night.

We are of the world and out of it.

Foreheads pressed. Whispering. Strength and gentleness meld, melt and merge.

Pushing, panting, gasping, smiling, crying, laughing, and perfect, perfect joy.

And as your needs release me I am not sure which one of us floats from the other.

Yet I will always be with you.

Naomi M. O’Donovan, Student Midwife

Women’s Views: Don’t call me Mum

What’s in a word? Quite a lot as it turns out actually. Words have the power to empower and strengthen, or disempower and weaken. But why would anyone want to disempower a woman at the most vulnerable time of her life? It is quite simple really, disempowered people, will usually agree to anything. In short, they are manageable. In a hospital, where resources are stretched and time is of the essence, a manageable patient helps to keep the show on the road. Continue reading