Melbourne Doula

Welcome to 'Melbourne Doula', the place where I share what birth work is teaching is me, and what I am learning from the wonderful families who have invited me to share this most special season of their lives. Here you will find information about me and the doula services I provide, birth stories from remarkable women and their loved ones, as well as all kinds of resources to enrich your own journey of discovery. And welcome also to BLISSFUL HERBS, the home of beautiful herbal teas and bath herbs to support wellness through every season of life.

Inspiring Quotes

Birth is as safe as life gets.
Harriet Hartigan

Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers ~ strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.
Barbara Katz Rothman

We have a secret in our culture. It's not that birth is painful - it's that women are strong.
Laura Stavoe Harm

If it hurts, get off it, move it around, rub it better.
Barbara Kott (president of the National Childbirth Trust)

The same movements that get the baby in, get the baby out.
Pam England, 'Birthing From Within'

Big pain needs big moves.
Juju Sundin, 'Birth Skills'

Sit! Walk! Stand! Squat! Get active - give birth.
- from a t-shirt

It's only a muscle working and it's user-friendly pain.
Juju Sundin, 'Birth Skills'

The power and intensity of your contractions cannot be stronger than you, because it is you.

Offer hugs, not drugs.
Adina Lebowitz

The first intervention in birth, that a healthy woman takes, is when she walks out the front door of her home, in labour. From that first intervention, all others will follow".
Dr. Michael Rosenthal - Obstetrician

We've put birth in the same category as illness and disease and it's never belonged there.
Carla Hartley, founder of Trust Birth and the Ancient Art Midwifery Institute

You are constructing your own reality with the choices you make ... or don't make. If you really want a healthy pregnancy and joyful birth, and you truly understand that you are the one in control, then you must examine what you have or haven't done so far to create the outcome you want.
Kim Wildner - Mother's Intention: How Belief Shapes Birth

If I don't know my options, I don't have any.
Diana Korte

The truth for women living in a modern world is that they must take increasing responsibility for the skills they bring into birth if they want their birth to be normal. Making choices of where and with whom to birth is not the same as bringing knowledge and skills into your birth regardless of where and with whom you birth.
Common Knowledge Trust

Courage allows the successful woman to fail - and to learn powerful lessons from the failure - so that in the end, she didn't fail at all.
Maya Angelou

Women today not only possess genetic memory of birth from a thousand generations of women, but they are also assailed from every direction by information and misinformation about birth
Valerie El Halta

I have been taught where women are free, we will learn how they give birth best. They will show us. They will trust us. Look at them and listen closely.
Dr. Michael Odent - Obstetrician

The more births I attend, the more I realise how much we disturb the birthing woman.
Gloria Lemay - Birth Attendant

Ze most important thing is do not disturb the birthing woman!
Dr. Michel Odent - Obstetrician

The parallels between making love and giving birth are clear, not only in terms of passion and love, but also because we need essentially the same conditions for both experiences: privacy and safety.
Dr. Sarah Buckley

Birthing is the most profound inititaion to spirituality a woman can have.
Robin Lim

If we are to heal the earth, we must begin by healing birth.
Agnes Sallet Von Tannenberg

Fear can be overcome by faith.
Dr. Grantly Dick-Read - Childbirth Without Fear

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.
1 John 4:18

In New Zealand, the last stats (2007) from the NZCOM said 80% of women had a midwife as their LMC- lead maternity carer. We are so behind the times.
an Australian Midwife

76.7% of NZ women are cared for by midwives … 3.18% of Australian women are cared for by midwives. Are Australian women sick? Only 12% of Australian women fit the medical\obstetric complication criteria.
Rafferty, Ball & Aiken, Quality Health Care Journal, 2005

Research is showing us great things; we can use understanding from biology, physiology, endocrinology, neuroscience and quantum physics to demonstrate why midwifery care is vital for women's well being. Within the next ten years it will be a moral and ethical issue that ALL women and their babies need care that is loving, supportive and kind; and takes into account women's differences in processing the
childbearing experience.
an Australian Midwife

"If one went to the extreme of giving the patient the full details of mortality and morbidity related to cesarean section, most of them would get up and go out and have their baby under a tree."
- Dr. Dermot W. McDonald, Neel J. Medicolegal pressure, MDs’ lack of patience cited in cesarean‘epidemic.’ Ob.Gyn. News Vol 22 No 10

Continuous Foetal Monitoring

"The CTG monitor can be over-used and findings are often insignificant. Although the CTG monitor has high sensitivity in predicting the normal foetus, the foetal monitor is not able to accurately and consistently predict a sick newborn."
- Cabaniss, M.L. 1992. Fetal Monitoring Interpretation. Lippincott, Philadelphia.

"The benefits of foetal monitoring are modest and resulted in prolonged labours. Gains are achieved at the cost of a higher rate of caesarean section and operative vaginal delivery."
- Stroup, T.S. and Peterson, H.B.(1996 p.317)Routine intraparturn electronic fetal monitoring decreases neonatal seizures but increases operative deliveries. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest. 6(3).

"The only significant effect of continuous electronic foetal monitoring was an increase in the caesarean rate."
- Odent, M. 1996. Kitting needles, cameras and electronic fetal monitor. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest. 6(3).

Midwives, Doulas & Godsibs

If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.
Dr. John H. Kennell

You are a birth servant. Do good without show or fuss. If you must take the lead, lead so that the mother is helped, yet still free and in charge. When the baby is born, they will rightly say: "We did it ourselves!"
from the Tao Te Ching

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shifrah and Puah, "When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth, and observe them upon the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him." The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them.
Exodus 1:15 - 21

We support women to make informed choices about their experience and have a policy that supports us to support women when they make informed choices, even when their choices are outside 'policy'.

We believe in women's innate intelligence, self knowledge and ability. Our focus is on information, reciprocal learning and education, support and undisturbed birth and that means every step, phase and stage of the childbearing process. Undisturbed doesn't mean we leave them alone, it means our work is to support the women's innate ability to grow and birth her baby and her placenta, to achieve haemostasis and breastfeeding. That means we provide a 'normalising' environment within which women can do their work; we provide education, simulation, information, feedback and opportunities for women and their partners to explore ideas and come to understand the process of childbearing and how to surrender to the process and stay on track. We provide a 'life coach' style of encouragement, affirmation and goal setting based on what the woman and her partner wants/desires to be her/their experience. We learn from the women, each woman teaches us something new and they learn from us.

We love our work, our workmates and our service. We have great relationships with the women and their partners/families. As the years go by and our service becomes more and more mainstream; the numbers increase and more services like ours emerge and grow, the sheer weight of numbers will prove what we have known all along; that women and babies do better when there is a strong and autonomous midwifery profession.
An Independent (Homebirth) Midwife in Australia

For birth companions to simply be, to do nothing when nothing is all there is to be done, to offer support without judgement, guidance without attachment, love without conditions - that is perhaps the greatest challenge and the greatest gift.
Vicki Chan, Midwife

Last time I was a private patient, this time I will have privacy and patience.
Australian mother planning a homebirth

Go back to your hospitals and take a good hard look at your VBAC policies. If they're not evidence-based, change them, if they are, then see them for what they are: a guide for staff, not law for the woman. Next time you care for a VBAC woman, ask her what she needs to feel comfortable and safe and give her what she needs.
Cas McCullouch, VBAC mum and CANA National Spokesperson


Anonymous said...

Wow...some deep stuff here! Thanks for including my little blip! I hope you are coming to Trust Birth 2010!!!!!!!!!! Carla

Unknown said...

Great stuff on here! I love your site.

I however want to mention to you that I live in the USA, and home birth is NOT illegal here. In fact it is not illegal in ANY of the US States.


treebytheriver said...

Hi Stephanie, thanks for your comment. Did you read somewhere on this blog that homebirth is illegal in USA? I did mention there is a push to criminalise it, as there is in Australia. (Thank God - it's not working!) I did cite the following article:

Home-birth advocates push for change in laws
Supporters want a larger role for midwives but face opposition from AMA
The states are now evenly split on legal recognition of certified professional midwives (CPMs) — those who lack nursing degrees and who account for most midwife-assisted home births.

Half the states have procedures allowing CPMs to practice legally —including five which have taken such steps since 2005. The other 25states lack such procedures and CPMs are subject to prosecution for practicing medicine without a license.
It is good to know that homebirth is alive and well in the USA and we'll do our best to do likewise here.