Episiotomy: Is it necessary?

 What is an episiotomy?

An episiotomy is the surgical procedure that enlarges the opening of the vagina through the cutting of the perineum, the skin and the muscles between the vulva and the anus. Continue reading

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Part 1: A VBAC mum negotiates one-to-one continuity of care with a DOMINO midwife for her hospital birth

A succession of events in my previous pregnancies and births, led me to realise the importance of continuity of care. I entered into my 6th pregnancy (4th birth) with much hindsight and was extremely determined to give this birth the best I could offer. My belief is birth is a special event. Our bodies and babies have a profound instinctual ability to orchestrate a cycle of events that gives rise to new life in the world. To enhance and protect this wonderful cycle of events, it was essential I create a support team (ie husband, midwife, doctor) and establish a positive natural birthing environment.  I had total trust in my body and baby (much credit to Ina May Gaskin’s books), it was my support network and environment that required planning. Continue reading

Induction of Labour – Is It Right For You?

When making decisions on maternity care options, a woman is faced with a plethora of possibilities. From the time a woman discovers she is pregnant, the choices can sometimes feel like more of a burden than an opportunity, as it can take serious time and effort to study all the risks and benefits to every option in maternity care. Research shows that women who are informed and confident about their birth choices tend to have fewer interventions and fewer complications compared to women who have done little to no preparation for their birth. At 42 weeks, we are trying to take the effort out of the task of researching and to present concise and thorough guides to some of the more frequently asked questions about common maternity care options in pregnancy, labour and childbirth. Today, 42 weeks looks at: Induction. Continue reading

Did you know? – Epidural pain relief and breastfeeding: New research

“The only thing as consistent as birth pain has been the search to eradicate it, pharmaceutically”Tina Cassidy, Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born

Pain medications in childbirth have been sought for millennia. Egyptians used opium, the Greeks chewed willow bark and, on a mythical level, Artemis asked Zeus if she could remain an eternal virgin just so that there would be no chance of experiencing the pain of childbirth! Later in history (around the 1850‘s) ether and chloroform became popular medications in childbirth, until it was proven that these anesthetics were transferred to the newborn during labour and delivery. From 1914 to the late 1960‘s, the new fad in pain relief in childbirth was ‘twilight sleep’, or scopolamine & morphine, whereby a woman was rendered completely immobile and/or semi-conscious in labour and childbirth. This method became unfavourable in the 1960’s and 70’s when women began to question their lack of agency in  labour and childbirth. There were also dangerous side-effects to scopolamine (mainly hemorrhaging and transference of medication to the newborn), hence it became an unpopular method of pain relief and its phasing out made way for the most common and effective pain relief in labour and childbirth that is still used today – the epidural. (Cassidy, 2006) Continue reading

Participate in the MAMMI Study

The MAMMI Study is a study looking at the health and health problems of women during pregnancy and during the first year after the birth of their first baby.

Many women experience motherhood in excellent physical health and enjoy the emotional fulfillment that it brings. Other mothers experience health problems, sometimes caused by pregnancy or an event that happens during or after the baby’s birth. Continue reading

A home birth for a first time mum with Holles Street community midwives

When I went to see my GP to confirm my pregnancy at 5 weeks, she went through all my maternity options with me and fair play to her even mentioned I could have a homebirth if I wanted.  She wouldn’t recommend it, but it was available if I fancied it.  Oh God no, I said, not for me. I was actually already booked into the Domino Scheme in the National Maternity Hospital.  Once I got the thumbs up from the pregnancy test, I was on the phone.  You have to move quick in this town for community midwife-led care! Continue reading