My clients often want to start labour at home, and in most cases they will have been told by their midwives to stay at home until their contractions are five minutes apart, lasting at least a minute and have been consistent for an hour.
Unfortunately, birthing people aren’t given much guidance on HOW to labour at home.
This has become even more of a discussion point during the COVID19 pandemic, now that partners are being restricted from hospital until you are in ‘active labour’. I want people to feel more confident about those early stages in labour. It is absolutely possible to start labour at home, with the comfort of your familiar surroundings and the presence of your birth partner. It’s even possible to enjoy it.
Yes, I said that. It’s possible to enjoy labouring at home.
One of the best things a doula gifts you with is resources to help you on your journey, and the confidence to use them.
What an idea! But in reality, we are not solitary beings who are designed to go through pregnancy, birth or parenting alone. We are, in fact, designed to have a whole host of people around us to help with things like how to prepare for birth, how to breastfeed, how to clean those baby bits when the poo has gone absolutely everywhere. We’re supposed to have people in our tribe who have experience in these things, and they’re supposed to pass that onto us and give us the confidence that not only are we able to do this, but when we stumble they’ll be there to help us back up.
A few years ago this topic wasn’t discussed much, now it’s hitting headlines almost daily around the world as we face restrictions to labour support, limited access to newborns in NICU, and many other unique situations that are new to the world with COVID19. You might have seen the #ButNotMaternity movement making great waves on social media, or our own #IrishMaternityLockout here in Ireland.
But what are Birth Rights? And why is it so important for us to be thinking about them?
I was incredibly lucky to be able to participate in a fantastic workshop held by the Doula Association of Ireland at the end of 2020. It was run by maternity care expert Dr. Krysia Lynch, an amazing woman who I already knew of from her work with the Association for Improved Maternity Services Ireland (AIMS). If you haven’t had the opportunity to explore the work they do, it is definitely worth the time to take a look at their website and social media to learn more. With so much uncertainty right now amongst the general public regarding what a person’s rights are during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum, I really wanted to take part and find out what an expert had to say. And what a doula can do about it all.
As a doula and childbirth educator, my interests can vary between anything that ranges from conception right up to growing with your children.