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Quadruplets A mum’s amazing story!

Stand up for Birth Don’t take labour lying down!

The Fourth Trimester Responsibility doesn’t end when the cord is cut.




Contents Winter 2012 In this issue: 3 4 6 12 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 34 38









46 48 51






Cover photo courtesy of Martine Sansourcy

Welcome! Hi and welcome to the Winter 2012 issue of Mum & Me magazine. We hope you enjoyed the Autumn issue and if you haven’t yet had a chance to read it, visit the website and there is a link from the front page. This Winter 2012 issue has been severely delayed due to technical difficulties, but these have now been overcome, and measures taken to prevent this happening again. Hopefully you will agree it has been worth waiting for! I hope you will find the information in these pages informative, supportive and fun. The stories in this magazine have been written by mums for mums. None of the information contained in this magazine is meant to constitute medical advice. If you have any queries or concerns, and before taking any supplements or starting your baby on new foods, you should always contact a health professional. If everyone likes the magazine and shares the link with their friends and in their social network groups, I can show the stats to potential advertisers and this will enable us to work towards getting the magazine into print, paving the way to helping new mums and their support groups. This issue has two multiple birth stories in it as well as the home birth of a singleton. Get your tissues ready - and watch those hormones, or you could catch baby-fever! We know you will want to be a part of this venture , and look forward to receiving your birth stories, funny stories and cute pictures, as well as your comments and suggestions for future issues of the magazine. Thank you for your support. Stella Onions Editor Mum to Josie & Zac

The Fourth Trimester!


Many people believe that the period after a baby is born should be regarded as an extension of pregnancy and is really the fourth trimester. This means that an equal consideration should be given to the newborn, still developing baby as should be given to the baby while still inside the womb. This is especially true when you consider the premature infant.

When we are pregnant, we spend a lot time taking care of our bodies, giving up smoking, drinking, peanuts, liver, soft cheese etc., and making sure we have done everything that is right and best for baby. After the birth, many women think their work is now done, when in reality it should be just beginning. Some women feel that whilst pregnant, the unborn baby comes first, but once the baby has been born and the cord has been cut, they see themselves as ‘free’ from the perceived restrictions of pregnancy and seem desperate to get their body back and resume their old habits. Recently, Kathryn said that breastfeeding was ‘creepy’ and alluded to the fact that she (and other mums) would prefer to drink wine than breastfeed. We spoke to 4 different mums about how they perceive the time after their baby is born. This is what Melissa had to say about how she felt before and after her baby was born. “I always assumed I would breastfeed my daughter, though for how long was up in the air. I wanted breastfeeding my daughter to be an extension of my pregnancy, a time for me to continue to nurture her. I was worried that I would feel trapped by it if I saw it as the only option so I set goals. I set a non negotiable 6 weeks of breastfeeding. Then 6 months and finally until she weans herself, whenever that is. I felt breastfeeding her for the first 6 weeks was part of my pregnancy, my responsibility for bringing her into this world.

I didn’t feel trapped, and still don’t by breastfeeding her. It is something I rejoice in. But I’m glad that I set the first 6 weeks as a continued part of my pregnancy in my brain. It allowed me to not give up, and thus have a chance to experience all of the precious moments we have had since.”

Maria said, “We need to be united as women and support each other, so that we all know that we aren’t alone and we can feed our children as we were meant to, and all the “hard” things that can or do happen are just normal and are helpable”.......” Cynthia, now a great-grandmother, said, “In my day, we were always told, nine months in, nine months out. This was with regard to the mother recovering physically from the birth as well as with regard to nuturing the baby. We were expected to breastfeed for a minimum of nine months.” Sarah is a breastfeeding advocate and this is how she viewed her new role as a mother. “ I would like to see a paradigm shift. I would like to see everyone, all over the world to see breastfeeding as part of childbearing, an extension of pregnancy. Pregnancy, to me, should be as much about the morning sickness, frequent urination, tiny kicks from within, a growing belly, cravings, labour pains, etc as it is about what happens AFTER the baby is born.... The baby’s rooting reflex, learning how to position babe, that first sensation of baby sucking, full, leaky breasts, the wonderfully satisfied, dreamy look on baby’s face during and after a feed.....etc. These are all things to be thought of, anticipated about, prepared for, expected, embraced, as PART OF the reproductive cycle.

onsibility doesn’t end when the cord is cut.

Written by Joy Smith

It’s like there’s this giant EXIT sign hanging over the due date that says; ’now that the baby is born, I can have my body back.’ So many women embrace this idea and it’s so very wrong IMO. Your and your body’s responsibility to that baby doesn’t end when the cord is cut. Mamas produce milk for a reason.” As Sarah said, “Breastfeeding, it’s just part of the deal!”


In April 2005, after three years of trying to conceive our second child, we decided to try our first round of in vitro fertilization. Our cycle had progressed beautifully, but on the day of the egg retrieval, we were shocked to receive a call that the embryologist was very ill, and therefore, our cycle was cancelled. We felt that it must be meant for us to adopt, and we even contacted a couple of agencies before being very surprised to find out that I was pregnant two weeks later. An initial ultrasound showed three sacs, two of which had visible embryos. Our doctor felt that the third sac would dissolve, resulting in a twin pregnancy, but advised us to consider selective reduction (or aborting the third baby) if it indeed continued as a triplet pregnancy. She felt that my size (115 pounds) would keep me from carrying all of them to a viable gestation. The next week, at a follow-up ultrasound, four sacs with visible embryos immediately appeared on the screen. Needless to say, I was really nervous at the following week’s appointment! At that point, the doctors were fairly adamant that failure to reduce the pregnancy would result in a loss of some, if not all, of the babies, or severe handicaps for all of the surviving ones. Our daughter, Graysen, was four at the time, and we were told to consider how being burdened with handicapped children would impact her life. After trying to conceive these children for so long, the thought of aborting one or more of them was not one that I felt I could consider,

but it was also very hard going forward with such a high risk pregnancy when no medical professional was encouraging us. The average gestation of a quad pregnancy is 28 weeks, but women who have been pregnant before average 29 weeks. Luckily, I found the website of another mother of quads who had carried hers to 33 weeks, and she suggested I join the group MOST (Mothers of Supertwins). This wonderful group of women was a tremendous support throughout my pregnancy and encouraged me that carrying quadruplets to a healthy gestation could be done. As far as a quad pregnancy goes, mine was relatively trouble free, albeit the most difficult thing I have ever been through physically. I was never officially put on bedrest, but told that my body would let me know when I needed to slow down. The hardest part was not knowing what the outcome would be. In a normal singleton pregnancy, you assume that you will be delivering a healthy baby who can room in with you at the hospital and begin nursing as soon as it is born. That was my experience with my first child, and she was put to breast immediately following her delivery. With this pregnancy, I knew the babies would be premature and whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

By Rachel Farrell The question that lingered was exactly how premature and medically fragile they would be at birth. My first delivery was vaginal, but I knew that a c-section would be required this time. I was very fortunate to carry the babies to almost 33 weeks gestation and to have an uncomplicated c-section. They weighed: 4lbs. 8oz., 4lbs. 7oz., 3lbs. 15oz., and 3lbs. 4oz., healthy weights for quadruplets. I visited the babies in the NICU the night they were born and was allowed to hold one the next day. I was visited by lactation consultants prior to and following my delivery and given a pump to begin pumping the day of delivery. It was painful to have to sit up to pump for the first 48 hours, but manageable with the medicines (Ibuprofen and Percoset) I was allowed to take. One of the most difficult aspects of recovery was that my iron was very low, even though I had taken supplements throughout my pregnancy, and I was very weak. Although I was allowed by my insurance company to stay longer, I went home after three nights in the hospital. U.S. hospitals are very noisy, and with hospital staff in my room numerous times throughout the day and night, I got very little rest or privacy. My mother is an obstetrics nurse and took time off to help me so I could recuperate more quickly at home.

We were also very fortunate to have my mother-in-law and numerous other family members and friends volunteer to help us. Our church even provided us with meals every other night for several months. Physically, I recovered very quickly with all of the support we received. It is amazing what a motivation four tiny babies can be to get up and moving, too! Even though I knew it would be very difficult managing a schedule of feeding and caring for four babies, in addition to their sister, I always planned to nurse them. I figured that if they had been born at a disadvantage due to their prematurity, I would do anything that I could to help them catch up. I nursed Graysen for 13 months, when she self-weaned, and it was a very positive experience for us once she learned to latch on correctly and once my milk supply was regulated. I have been fortunate to make a lot of milk in all of my pregnancies and practically drowned her in it until my supply slowed down. I actually had to pump some of it off before nursing her in the beginning. Afterwards, I learned that there is a milk bank at a local hospital that accepts donated breastmilk. I wish I had known about that because, unfortunately, that pumped milk was wasted. She NEVER took a bottle! Continued...

Initially, I provided expressed breastmilk for the babies via their feeding tubes, and I hoped that once they mastered the “suck, swallow, breathe” reflex of oral feeding, that I could actually nurse them. In the meantime, I pumped every three hours and was discharged with a hospital grade pump to use for free until the babies came home from the hospital. Fortunately, the hospital that I delivered at is very pro-breastfeeding. They really encourage all of the moms of preemies to pump while their children are in the hospital, even if they have no intention of continuing once they go home. Five days after the quads were born, on Thanksgiving Day, I was allowed to nurse for the first time. It was indeed something to be thankful for!

“ In the beginning, I had enough milk left over after feeding the babies to pump. “ The first baby that I nursed, Jack, took to it like he’d been doing it his entire life. He was also the first to come home, three weeks after he was born. Will and Kate did not start out nursing as well, but were still able to come home two days after their brother. Unfortunately, our daughter, Ava, had problems which caused her to stay four more weeks (one day shy of her due date). The doctors noticed that her belly was distended, and x-rays indicated bubbles in her intestines. The doctors thought that she might have necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a serious intestinal infection common in premature babies. This was extremely upsetting to me because NEC can be fatal, and my husband had left that morning to go out of town for business. This was by far the most difficult time for me since the quads have been born. Balancing the care of four children at home and trying to be at the hospital for Ava was overwhelming. Additionally, when it became clear that Ava did not have NEC, someone from the medical staff indicated that she was probably having an allergic reaction to some formula that the hospital added to her bottle to supplement her. This was very disturbing since I had not given them permission to do this, and given Ava’s consistent weight gain, it had not seemed necessary.

The cure for NEC is very strong antibiotics and to discontinue feeds (other than IV nutrition). Her bowels did not seem to respond to the antibiotics, so they were discontinued, but she wasn’t allowed to have breastmilk for two weeks. It was slowly reintroduced at that time. Since Ava had not learned to take all of her feeds orally when she had her stomach issues, she had to relearn how to eat. This was a slow process made extremely frustrating by the fact that different doctors changed her orders when they made rounds, and there was little consistency. They were very slow in upping her volume, and Ava meanwhile appeared less and less healthy. I just wanted to get her home, where I felt she would respond well to constant attention and being with her siblings. She was rarely held while in the NICU, and we were sometimes told not to hold her because the nurses had just gotten her to sleep.

It was a 45 minute trip from our home to the NICU, so not being able to hold your child when you have driven that far is very distressing. I also hated that she was being poked and prodded so much for procedures that did not seem necessary and for a medical problem that had probably been preventable. In addition to the stress created by Ava’s medical condition and to the juggling act going on at home, we were also in the process of building our house ourselves, which created many more responsibilities. Graysen was also vying for attention, sometimes in a negative way. She had been an only child and grandchild on both sides for four years and went from receiving all of the attention to almost none. She was thrilled to finally be a big sister, but not to suddenly be in the babies’ shadows. She also was not allowed to visit the babies in the hospital due to them being in the NICU, which she was very upset about.

In order to spend more time with her, I tried to always take her with me to run errands. If I could stop for ice cream or to let her look through the toy aisles for a few minutes, she appreciated even that small amount of time together. She probably, out of necessity, watched a few too many videos during those early days, but as a bright first-grader, she does not seem harmed developmentally. She is truly the best big sister these babies could have! With everything we had going on, to say that I was overwhelmed is an understatement. I have always been the type of person who wanted things to be done a certain way, even if it meant that I had to take on more responsibility. It was very hard accepting the help of strangers, and I felt claustrophobic in our tiny rental house with mounds of baby supplies in every corner and with people who I did not know well there around the clock. Continued...

I had been on an antidepressant before I got pregnant to help me deal with the depression resulting from my unexplained infertility. I knew that I should probably be on it again once the babies were born. My obstetrician chose one that was compatible with breastfeeding, and it helped me immensely during this time. It truly helped me focus on just how blessed we were to have these healthy children and not to care so much if my house was dirty or if the babies were not in matching clothes! When Ava finally came home, I was told that when it was time to wean some of the babies, that she should be the last. From the time she came home, Ava was much fussier than the other babies and hated to be held. I feared that she may have an attachment disorder from her extended stay in the NICU. I rotated who actually nursed and who was fed bottles of expressed milk at each feed, but Ava was almost always nursed because it forced her to be physically close to me. After a couple of months, she became a very content baby. One thing that the NICU did that made our lives easier when the babies came home was putting them on an every four hour feeding schedule. I did not realize that such small babies could go that long between feeds, but ours always seemed satisfied to last the entire four hours. I had them all on the same feeding schedule, so that when one woke, we woke them all.

Fortunately, they went back and forth between bottle and breast very easily. If I was home alone with them, I would nurse a baby on one side while feeding another baby a bottle in a Boppy beside me. After they were done, I’d switch to the other breast and put another baby in the Boppy. The babies were very efficient nursers and had few reflux issues, so I was usually able to feed them all in an hour and have three hours left before the next feed. As for handling night feeds, if we did not have any help, my husband and I both got up to feed them at the 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. feeds. If we had help, one of us would take the 12 a.m. feed and the other would take the 4 a.m. feed, and I would skip pumping for whichever session I was allowed to sleep through. This lasted a couple of months until we could feed all of them by ourselves with the one on the breast, one on the Boppy arrangement, or two on the Boppys if my husband was the one up. I had two babies who were content to wait and two who were more demanding, so there was rarely a time when all four were screaming to eat at once. I never got the hang of nursing two at a time, but I know it works well for some mothers of multiples. In the beginning, I had enough milk left over after feeding the babies to pump. When they were in the NICU, I was able to pump such a large volume of milk, that my deep freezer was full.

Once I could no longer keep up with the babies’ demand, I still had plenty of reserves to draw upon. This allowed them to all get breastmilk exclusively until they were four months old. At that time, two would get formula, and two would get breastmilk with each feed, but Ava was always one of the ones to get breastmilk. At six months, I had to wean everyone but Ava to keep up with her demand, and I nursed her until she was 13 months old. At that time she started to self-wean, and I wondered why. Surprisingly, we found out that we were pregnant again, and I think she could taste a difference in my milk. (No, nursing does not make for good birth control, even when you are “infertile”!). Nursing multiples is not always easy, and I would never criticize someone who chose not to. I think that a mom’s sanity is very important, and as my obstetrician says, “Happy mama, happy baby.” However, I have heard of other quad moms who were told by their doctors to not even consider it, and I think that is an unfair presumption. With supportive family and friends, it is manageable and very rewarding.

I am proud that in a country where the rate of breastfeeding exclusively through six months is only 11.3% (6.9% in the state where we live), that I was able to do this for four months with all of the babies and 13 months with one. At the time I write this, I have a six-year-old, 22-month-old quadruplets, and our newest addition, two-month-old Ellie. Ellie took to nursing like a pro and is going strong. Yes, things are often crazy at our house, and I am always told that I must have my hands full. However, I would rather have them full than empty any day! People often say that they do not know how I do it, but I tell them that when the odds are stacked against you bringing home four healthy children (only around 40% of quad pregnancies result in four living babies with no life-long handicaps), you become very appreciative of what you have. When my toddlers are all screaming or jumping off the furniture, I stop to thank God that they CAN all scream and CAN all jump. I definitely have a different perspective on the gift we have been given than if I had not gone through infertility and a high risk pregnancy.

BABY LED WEANING Written by Jade London More and more

parents are ditching the purees and letting their baby take the lead when it comes to weaning onto solid foods. This not a new fad, although it has only recently been given a name, but a natural way of introducing solids and the most likely way babies were ‘weaned’ before the commercialisation of baby food, which led to recommendations to introduce solids earlier and earlier as pureed food was given to babies very young. There is not an abundance of collective information on weaning babies, and very little information on how it was done before the beginning of the 20th century. However, weaning in the 20th century was not evidence based and we are now realising how important milk is for the baby for the first 6 months and still plenty alongside solid food for the first year.

There is no rush for them to eat lots of food, as milk should still be the main part of your baby’s diet. Food gradually takes the place of milk at your baby’s own pace.

Baby led weaning, as it is known, involves giving your baby whole foods. No purees, mash or different stages. You give them real food to hold and taste from the beginning. For parents not familiar with this concept, it may seem like a big leap going from milk directly onto whole food, but by taking the lead they actually get to do the weaning process in their own time. Food is seen as a fun process and baby can play with food and get used to the feeling of different textures with their hands, and they will bring the foods to their mouths when they are ready. Some babies may begin eating straight away, whereas other babies may take longer.

Everyone has this reflex, even as adults, but with babies, it is far closer to the front of the mouth. This is a big ‘safety net’. When your baby gags, you can see this as a good thing, that it is protecting him from choking. Gagging is often confused with choking. Gagging is similar to the involuntary motion when you are sick. Your baby will gag if a piece of food goes a little too far back too soon. The gagging is protecting your baby from choking. It’s important not to help your baby if he gags. For safety reasons he needs to deal with it himself, trying to dislodge the food may be dangerous and cause actual choking.

Probably the most common worry about baby led weaning, is the worry of choking. This is an understandable concern when you consider that it is believed we need to use purees and mashed food to help the baby transition to solid food. The reality is that babies already have the ability to manipulate food with their mouth, just as we do. There is a reflex that babies have, where when food is put too far back into the mouth, it causes them to gag.


Some babies gag very little while some do lots and many parents are often surprised by how little it bothers their baby. Choking is very different from gagging. Spoon-feeding does not reduce the risk of choking in the long term because they will inevitably move onto whole foods, and a baby led weaned baby has the advantage of learning to chew and manipulate food around their mouth before they learn to swallow. For this reason, a baby led weaned baby may actually be LESS likely to choke that a spoon-fed baby. As always, you should never leave your baby alone while he is eating. So what are the signs that your baby is ready for solid foods? This is another bonus about baby led weaning.

Your baby is ready when he is able to pick food up for himself and bring it to his mouth by himself, when he is sitting in an upright position. You can’t do baby led weaning too early because if he is not ready, he will not have the skills to feed himself. The general signs to look out for even with conventional weaning all point towards baby being able to feed himself, such as sitting upright (with or without support), the ability to pick up food and bring to his mouth, and loss of the tongue-thrust reflex. Most babies will be ready from around 6 months, but many may not show interest for another few months. This is OK as milk is still the staple of your baby’s diet, and you can let him replace it with food in his own time. Many parents realise their baby is ready when they unexpectedly grab food from their own plate. Continued ...

There is very little you need to start baby led weaning. No ice cube trays, blenders or spoons. You will need to decide where your baby will sit. If you use a highchair, you can put the food directly onto the tray. Any loose plates are likely to get tossed on the floor. You could also start with just having your baby on your lap sharing the food on your own plate. From 6 months, babies can have most foods. Fruit and vegetables are popular first foods and can easily be cut into shapes that your baby can hold. From 6 months you can introduce lots of other foods. There is lots of advice out there about what foods you should and should not give to your baby and if you follow any particular diet, such as vegetarian/vegan or paleo, this can be easily integrated with baby led weaning, but at the end of the day how you go about this is up to you. The main foods to avoid are:  High salt content – Don’t add any salt to baby’s cooking. Babies under 1 year should have no more that 1 gram of salt per day.  Avoid sugary and processed foods.  Babies under 1 should not have honey due to risk of botulism contamination. If you have a history of allergies in your family you may want to introduce high-risk foods slowly, otherwise starting off with a selection of foods is fine. Providing your food is suitable for baby, you can easily feed your baby the same as you are eating at meal times. In the early days you may need to adapt your baby’s meal slightly so it’s easy for him to pick up. To begin with your baby will find it easiest to pick up large finger shaped foods that he can grab easily. As time goes on he will master more difficult foods, such as rice, peas and larger foods like whole pieces of fruit. Be sure to give plenty of opportunities with food like this from early on so he has a chance to practice these skills. Every now and then you can give him a ‘difficult’ food to play with alongside his usual ‘easy’ foods. Below are a few food ideas to give your baby.

First foods  Stick of fruit and vegetables – raw or cooked  Giant pasta shapes  Spaghetti or noodles (don’t be shy with sauce, it’s yummy messy fun)  Toast fingers – you can put on a spread of your choice  Breadsticks  Fingers of cheese  Strips of meat  Fish fingers  Pizza fingers  French toast  Savoury cakes and muffins  Potato chips  Healthy crackers/rice cakes And as your baby gets more skilled..  Raisins  Peas and sweet corn  Whole fruits such as peaches and plums  Smaller pasta shapes  Baked beans (more messy fun)  Saucy dinners such as mild curry or creamy chicken  Rice  Quiche Of course this is very limited list, and the possibilities go as far as your own imagination does with food. Baby led weaning is meant to be a relaxed attitude to feeding your baby, and even more important than the food you give, is the approach you are taking in trusting your baby with when and how much to eat. Babies who lead the way with weaning in this way are shown to have advantages in their approach to food as they grow up. They are less likely to have aversions to food types and textures (although like you and me they will still have their own likes and dislikes), they are often open to trying new foods and perhaps the most important of all, when they are the ones in complete control of what and when they eat, they keep their natural ability to self regulate their food intake.

In the past studies have shown that children given complete control over their food eat what is considered a balanced diet over time. So for example, your baby may go through a phase of eating almost nothing but carbohydrates for a while. f you don’t interfere with this he will go onto something else in his own time, and over the long term will have taken what his body needs.

A balanced diet does not need to be the same day-to-day or even week-to-week. Eating this way is like a natural extension to breastfeeding on demand, and is shown to reduce the likelihood of obesity later in life. Jade London co-admins a group on Facebook dedicated to Baby-led weaning.

Always consult a health professional if you have any concerns. This article is not meant as medical advice.

“The 40 week due date is based upon Naegele’s Rule. This theory was originated by Harmanni Boerhaave, a botanist who in 1744 came up with a method of calculating the EDD based upon evidence in the Bible that human gestation lasts approximately 10 lunar months. The formula was publicized around 1812 by German obstetrician Franz Naegele and since has become the accepted norm for calculating the due date. There is one glaring flaw in Naegele’s rule. Strictly speaking, a lunar (or synodic - from new moon to new moon) month is actually 29.53 days, which makes 10 lunar months roughly 295 days, a full 15 days longer than the 280 days gestation we’ve been lead to believe is average. In fact, if left alone, 50-80% of mothers will gestate beyond 40 weeks.”

POETS’ CORNER BORN AT HOME As soft, beautiful music filled the room, I whispered to your mother, “It will be soon.” I told her she was strong and doing quite well, But getting tired I sure could tell. Contractions were closer as it was almost time, With the doppler we all knew you were fine, As your head began to crown, There was not a single frown. Here you come, you couldn’t wait, You were not early, you were not late. I supported your head as it slowly came, A couple of minutes we would know your name. You dad was supporting, staying cheerful, Holding your mom, never fearful. No cord around your neck was found, As your shoulders rotated, I guided them down. Out came one and then the other, With a gentle push and then another. As I lead her hands down to you, She knew just what to do. Your mother touched you with a joyful cry, Another contraction, a great big sigh. I looked in her eyes and saw a tear, For she was so glad you were here. Your body slipped out quick as a wink, With your first cry, you were all pink. I helped you to your mother’s chest, As your first meal would come from her breast. Your mother nursed you holding you dear While I listened to your lungs, making sure they were clear. Carefully listening to your heart beating strong, Born at home where you belong. The pulsing of your cord soon did stop, Cutting it was a job for your Pop. You were weighed and measured and swaddled just right, Then your dad rocked and held you tight. Your birthday was special that day of the year, And will be remembered by all who are here. One day as you’re traveling through life, You can stop by or call your friend and midwife. By Darlene Dorries-Scrivner, Licensed Midwife

My little child and I My little child and I Exploring all the great outdoors Beneath the sun and sky We watched a robin feed her young We climbed a sunlit hill Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky We plucked a daffodil. That my house was so neglected That I didn’t brush the stairs In twenty years no one on earth Will know or even care. But that I’ve helped my little child To noble adulthood grow In twenty years the whole wide world May look and see and know. — Author Unknown

Give me patience when little hands Tug at me, with ceaseless small demands Give me gentle words and smiling eyes To keep my lips from hasty, sharp replies Let not fatigue, confusion or noise obscure my vision of life’s fleeting joys So when in years to come my house is still Beautiful memories its rooms may fill. — Author Unknown


By Arabella Greatorex

A family with just one baby in nappies could: : spend £12 per WEEK on disposable nappies and wipes; : fill up half their bin with nappies; : put over 200 chemicals next to their baby’s skin every time they change a nappy. Why Use Cloth Nappies? For your baby’s sake: Health: disposable nappies contain up to 200 chemicals and it is still not known just how many of them will be absorbed through a baby’s delicate skin. Skin conditions: many parents find that their baby’s skin condition such as eczema or nappy rash is relieved by using organic cloth nappies as they allow more air to circulate than disposable nappies. Specially soft and untreated silk nappy liners are available to help delicate skin recover. Comfort: many parents claim that cloth nappies are more comfortable to wear than disposable nappies. Certainly, it must be nicer to have a layer of soft natural fabric next to your skin rather than the artificial materials used in disposable nappies. Potty-training: a toddler in a cloth nappy is likely to be more aware of when they have wee’d or poo’d, encouraging them to ask for the potty. For the environment’s sake Around 3 billion disposable nappies are used each year in the UK (for example, Leicestershire County Council estimate that they have to deal with over 50 million each year), so let’s have a look at how they are produced and disposed of. Production: each disposable nappy will need around a cup of crude oil for its plastic wrap and 7 million trees are cut down every year to make disposable nappies. This is a major depletion of our fast dwindling natural resources.

A Women’s Environmental Network commissioned a study in 1991 showed that disposable nappies use 3.5 times as much energy, 8 times as much non-renewable raw materials and 90 times as much renewable material as reusable nappies. They produce 2.3 times as much waste water and 60 times as much solid waste. This even allows for the washing of cloth nappies! They require between 4 and 30 times as much land for growing natural materials as reusable nappies. The physical production of the nappy involves the use of many chemicals and bleaches to product that lovely shiny white so beloved of the big companies. Disposal: 3 billion nappies is a lot and it is estimated that 90% of them will end up on landfill sites - that is a lot of space! The cost to local councils is enormous - Bristol CC estimate that it costs them £500,000 per year to deal with thrown away nappies. It is believed that it will take up to 500 years for these nappies to decompose (all the while producing dangerous methane gas), which could be a big headache for our grandchildren. For your pocket’s sake An average baby will be changed between 5,000 - 5,500 times (some people say as many as 7,000 times) between birth and potty-training, that could cost as much as £1,000. Cloth nappies do require a large initial outlay (especially if you use all-in-ones) but should cost no more than £400 in total (including home laundry). Obviously, you will save even more money if you reuse the nappies for another child.

Remember, there is a thriving market in second hand nappies, which can retain up to 80% of their value. Don’t worry if you can’t use real nappies every change, even if you only use 2 cloth nappies a day, that is still 730 less cups of oil and around £100 saved every year. If you are confused by real nappies, this 5 minute guide should help you out: A modern washable nappy system consists of an absorbent part (the nappy) and a waterproof part (the nappy wrap or cover). They don’t need soaking, boiling or special powders, there is no folding or pining and many are just as easy to put on as a disposable nappy. Types of Nappy Real nappies may be sized, to cope with growing babies or one sized/birth to potty, meaning the same set of nappies should fit from around 8lbs to 35lbs. Flat Nappies Terry squares or pre-folds - rectangles of fabric folded to ensure the perfect fit for your baby. Pocket Nappy A shaped nappy that works much like an allin-one nappy except that the absorbent part is stuffed into a pocket in the nappy, between the lining and the waterproof cover.

All-in-One Nappy Contains both the absorbent and waterproof parts in one, so it’s used just like a disposable. 2-Part Nappy The absorbent and waterproof parts are separate, meaning they can be washed independently as the nappy wrap does not need to be washed each time it is used. Nappy Wrap The water-proof cover that goes over the top of a 2 part nappy or a flat nappy. What you will need: : Approximately 15-20 nappies, with 3-5 wraps of each size (if used) : A nappy bucket and nappy mesh to store your nappies in : Paper or fleece liners to help deal with the poo : Mucky/wet bag to use when you are out and about What About Washing? Most families wash their nappies every 2-3 days, having stored the dirty nappies in a bucket, so you will be looking at around 2-3 extra washes a week. What About the Cost? A full set of cloth nappies, including home laundry, will cost from £200 to £500, against a total bill of around £1200-2000 for disposable nappies and wipes.

HERBAL REMEDIES IN Simple herbal remedies can alleviate many of the more unpleasant effects of pregnancy; from the common morning sickness, back ache and lethargy to potential complications such as raised blood pressure and history of miscarriage. For example, chamomile tea can really help queasiness. Back ache is often related to calcium deficiencies (the calcium in dairy products is not a good source for humans; greens, seaweed and nuts are all provide more bioavailable calcium).

Herbal medicine is one of the oldest forms of medicine and the majority of the world’s population still rely on herbs as their primary source of health care. A large majority of orthodox medicine is based upon original plant material, the ‘active ingredient’ having been extracted and patented as you cannot patent a herb that grows naturally. This series of articles will explore herbal remedies specifically for the childbearing period, which includes pregnancy, birth, postpartum healing and breastfeeding. Pregnancy is commonly a time when women will turn to gentler remedies for everyday complaints as so many orthodox drugs are off limits, and they want to be sure of safety for the baby. I’ve found for myself and with clients that most pregnant women feel much more in tune with their bodies and will try to find natural alternatives where possible, as they want to give their baby only gentle experiences. However information on this is often lacking and midwives are often under frustratingly strict regulations about how much, if anything, they can say about the benefits of herbs.

There are many energy boosting herbs suitable for pregnancy – ginger in very small amounts. Ginkgo or a blend of mints is beneficial, but don’t take it every day or rely on it. (Be aware that mint can diminish your milk supply, so caution is advised if you are breastfeeding) I also look to see how a woman’s iron levels and adrenal glands are doing if she is unduly exhausted. I have personal experience of both adrenal fatigue and anaemia and am on a quest to make it known how easy both can be to treat! Spa-tone is my favourite iron supplement, and the only one I’ve been able to take without increasing pregnancy sickness. It’s sachets of spring water with a high amount of iron, just add it to juice or water, two sachets a day is great for pregnant women, especially those who are breastfeeding through pregnancy, one is good as a maintainer regardless of your diet or pregnancy/breastfeeding status. Be sure to get plenty of B Vitamins from food; brown rice, yeast extracts, beans and pulses, bread, cereals, fortified milks, etc.

By C


Charlotte Elizabeth Gingell-Webb Regular B12 supplementation is essential for almost every vegan no matter how good the diet. One of the herbs I’m asked about most frequently is Red Raspberry Leaf. I think it’s a brilliant herb and I’ve taken it all the way through both pregnancies as it’s a powerhouse of minerals, calcium and iron and has properties which tone the uterus. It’s generally thought that a woman should only take raspberry in the last few weeks of pregnancy, but really that’s not enough time to properly tone a uterus! The benefits of herbs are cumulative and if the pregnancy is uncomplicated and there are no contraindications in a woman’s history, raspberry is usually beneficial to take throughout the last trimester. If you’re in any doubt as to its safety for you individually, consult a medical herbalist. Your doctor or midwife is very unlikely to be able to give you accurate, up to date and specific information regarding herbs. With raspberry leaf, the trick is to get dried loose leaf herbal tea or to pick a few leaves a day fresh from a raspberry pot plant you’re growing – the herb tea bags are not strong enough and the tablets are too concentrated and stress the liver. The dried loose tea should be fluffy and light; I use a tablespoon in a small pot or large mug, cover with boiling water, steep 15mins, strain and drink warm. I have a cup or two most days for all of my pregnancy and make sure to take 2 or 3 cups a day during the last few months. It’s good to drink all the way through labour (more on this next time!). The raspberry fruits and that of its cousin the blackberry are beneficial, tasty and great for you and baby, jam packed with uterus-loving properties and that essential vitamin C. If you are interested in further reading I highly recommend Susun Weed’s book, ‘Herbs for the Childbearing Year’, available from Amazon at about ÂŁ5. Always consult a professional. This advice is not meant as medical advice.

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THE BIRTH OF ELOISE When I hit 40 weeks in my pregnancy I was convinced that I wouldn’t go into labor until I was at least 42 weeks, there was just no way, I felt too good. No terrible aches, no swelling, no contractions of any kind, barely even a waddle. So 5 days past my due date when I went into labor, I was positive that that WASN’T the case. At 2:45am I woke up having contractions, they were short and bearable, lasting about 30 seconds and all coming no more than 5 mins apart, but they were irregular. In my head I was telling myself “great, I probably have a UTI. I should have drank more water”. So I just laid in bed and tried to go back to sleep. I tossed and turned awake for two hours, the contractions still not letting up, but still not too painful either (I still didn’t believe I was in labor though). Finally, around 4:45am, I went downstairs to use the bathroom. There was blood on the toilet paper. This confirmed my UTI theory. I got up and paced around the living room and got a drink since I couldn’t sleep. I decided to empty my pregnant bladder again before going back upstairs and whadyaknow?

By Rebecca Hawkins More blood, but not just a tinge on the toilet paper this time, I was losing my plug! Wait a minute, maybe I really WAS in labor! 5:00am I woke up Ray and told him what was going on. He asked if he should call off work and I told him “I don’t know”. I was still in disbelief. He called anyway. 5:30am I called Goldie, our midwife, just to give her a heads up. She asked “do you want me to come now, or wait a bit?” Once again I replied with “I don’t know”. She told me to call her back in a half hour and let her know if things were getting more intense. Ray and I went downstairs to get things ready. He called his mom to let her know since she lives almost an hour away and we wanted her here for the birth. Almost immediately after that things got much more intense. I told Ray to call Goldie and have her come NOW. She lives about 45 minutes away. I called my mom. She answered with “Is it time???” and I moaned out a yes. She said she was coming and I hung up.

6:10am my mom got there. I used the bathroom and laid down on the couch. The next contraction was strong with a lot of pressure, I couldn’t help but push a bit. And KERPLASH! My water broke! I rolled onto the floor. The baby was so low and there was so much pressure. My body wanted to push already. Each contraction my body started pushing a little bit on its own and I tried my hardest not to add to it. I laid on my hands and knees for 45 minutes to stall labor as much as I could until Goldie got there. Eva (Ray’s mom) got there sometime while I was in that position. They all kept busy filling the birth pool while I stayed in my own little bubble. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t move. 7:00am Goldie arrived. The pool was just ready and she helped me in. Oh my God, the RELIEF! The warm water took the pain away almost instantly. My body relaxed and the contractions gave me a break for a little bit. I could talk and smile and joke again! The contractions felt so much lighter. Around 7:20 the urge to push came back. I started pushing to bring her down more. Pushing felt good, it felt easy. When I started feeling the burn (or the ‘ring of fire’) of her crowning I slowed the pushes down.

I didn’t want to tear. Pushing through short, light, little grunts did the trick. I could feel her hair, then her head, then the top of her ear! I was still smiling and talking between pushes. Finally I pushed a really good push and her head was out. I could feel and see her turning it from side to side while waiting for the next contraction, it felt so weird! Two minutes later the next contraction came, I pushed, and at 8:06am my sweet Eloise Mable was born! Goldie and Ray caught her and handed her up to my chest. I held her while Goldie checked her all out and we just laid together in our little pool. It was at least 5 minutes before I even looked to see what sex she was. When I said “It’s a girl!” Ray started crying. After about 15 minutes I delivered the placenta and when the cord stopped pulsing Ray cut it. Goldie weighed and measured Ellie. 8lbs, 12oz. 22in long. 14 1/4 in head. Then she went and got an herbal bath ready for Ellie and I. Once we were in the bath Ellie started nursing right away, and then we just sat there and snuggled in the tub for a bit. And that was it. That was our homebirth and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

White Chocolate, Cranberry & Almond Cookies. By Emma Locker White Chocolate, Cranberry & Almond Cookies. Ingredients: DRY: 2 cups of wholmeal flour 1 cup of plain flour 1.5tsp baking soda 1.5tsp sea salt. WET: 8oz cold unsalted butter 2 cups soft light brown sugar 2 eggs 2tsp vanilla extract 100g White chocolate. 1/2 cup of dried cranberry’s 1/2cup of flaked Almonds Method. Heat the oven to 180 C and line 3 trays with baking paper. place trays in oven to heat. Sift together the dry ingredients into a bowl. In the bowl of a food mixer (or in another bowl if doing by hand) add the butter and sugar and put on a slow speed to combine or use a hand mixer to combine until creamy.

Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and keep mixing until fully incorporated.Now slowly add in the dry mix and once fully combined stop the mixer and add the chocolate, Cranberry’s and Almonds. Use the fold function or fold in by hand using a spatula.

Now make 15 2” balls with the dough and flatten five onto each baking sheet using the palm of your hand. These cookies should come out as big as your hand so give them plenty of room and don’t be tempted to squish more onto each sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 Minutes. And eat whilst warm.

CHENOA’S CHENOA’S TRIPLETS!!! TRIPLETS!!! On the 21st of September 2012 I found out I was carrying spontaneously conceived triplets. Yes, we were shocked. But we just ran with it! I was determined to give birth to them vaginally. My last two babies were born home, a planned water birth with a private midwife. I was extremely lucky to have a supportive OB at my local hospital. I had to get to 33 weeks, Baby A had to be head down and we had to have no other major health problems. I went into labour the night before me scheduled induction at 34+5 weeks as I was determined to bring my labour on naturally. I did this by using my breast pump, and it worked! By the fourth round of 5 minutes of pumping/10 minutes off my waters broke at 8:04pm. I called my support people and the hospital to let them know I’d be heading up soon. We arrived at 9:30pm after running a red light as I knew things were really heating up. Daniel grabbed a wheelchair as there was no way I could walk with the contractions and wheeled me up to birth suite. As soon as I got into the room I asked where they wanted me and was told to hop onto the bed so they could do an internal and find out how far along I am. I joked that they’d find a head. How true that statement was about to become!

By Chenoa Trama As I stood up on from the wheelchair a whopper of a contraction came over me. I looked up at the Registrar and Midwife who were the only ones in the room so far and said: “I need to push. NOW.” With a huge emphasis on the ‘NOW’. Honestly, the looks on their faces said it all. ‘Oh S*!t.’ I started pushing and could feel Isaac descending through the birth canal. At this point Daniel walked back in from depositing the wheelchair took one look at my face and new what was happening. Then there were people everywhere. ‘She’s pushing!’ ‘Where’s the Paeds team?’ ‘Are the OBs here yet?’ ‘Get her on the bed’ You can imagine their panic! It affected me for a few minutes until my birth team walked in, My private midwife, my photographer and my best friend who was filming. My midwife had been at my last 2 births, we knew each other well. She could tell I was a tad shocked and scared that it was all happening too fast, she said nothing, she couldn’t reach out to me, but the look on her face calmed me instantly. The staff were brilliant, but I could tell they were quite concerned as the OB had not arrived, they had all the equipment but not the ‘man power’ so to speak!! They got me on the bed, and within 3 or 4 more pushing contractions and Isaac was out. There was no pain, only pressure. I felt him crown, then his little body came and he was handed to me. He was just perfect! I got to spend a few moments with him and then the next few waves of contractions started to they took him and checked him over before passing him to Daniel.

Ailah was soon passed back to me and I fed them both while waiting for the placentas to be delivered. Before it was the Paediatricians took them both up to SCN for monitoring. The placentas arrived a few minutes later with the help of some synto and they were one huge mass, it was quite amazing to see and know that it had been in there too! It had all happened mind blowingly fast, a little too fast, as I spent the next hour or so with my legs shaking uncontrollably! But I had done it, I got the vaginal birth I wanted! ·

I was always sure it would be Ailah who came out second, but it ended up being Dylan, 11 minutes after Isaac. They scanned me and he was right there, but they couldn’t quite tell if they were looking at a bum or a head! An internal soon proved that it was a bum! It was quite candid, there was the Registrar and a midwife telling me to ‘push, push push’, and being quite intense about it, and then next to them was another midwife saying ‘just wait for the contraction and push when it’s right’. Needless to say I focused on her. I even vaguely remember someone counting to 10 near me head. It was a bit weird, I felt like I was on an episode for One Born Every Minute! I heard them say ‘here comes a bum’ and although I kept pushing it didn’t feel like anything was happening - but it was - and he slid out easily. He was passed to me and I got my hands around him but they soon realised that he needed a little help so they took him back. He needed CPAP for a few minutes and was a little stressed so they took him straight to Special Care Nursery (SCN) and I sent Daniel with him. While Dylan was on CPAP, Ailah made her entrance. Very, very fast! Exactly 3 minutes after Dylan came out to be precise! Again, they gave me an internal and there she was. She probably came out within 2 contractions and that was it! She was placed on my chest for a cuddle before being taken away to be checked and I was handed Isaac back, nicely wrapped up.

· · · · · ·

Here are the stats: labour started just before 8pm on Wednesday 5th September waters broke around 8:04pm rang the hospital at 8:36pm arrived at the hospital at 9:30pm Isaac arrived at 9:46pm Dylan arrived at 9:57pm, 11 minutes after his brother Ailah arrived at 10:00pm, 3 minutes after her brother Isaac Daniel Trama Weight: 2.420kg/ 5lbs3oz Length: 44cm Head Circumference: 32cm Dylan David Trama Weight: 2.845kg/6lbs2oz Length: 47cm Head Circumference: 33cm Ailah Elizabeth Trama Weight: 2.310kg/5lbs1oz Length: 43cm Head Circumference: 31.5cm

If I met my pregnant self, I would say... Simela: I would always suggest to come to LLL before giving birth. If the lady says she can’t attend them because of work then I suggest to make the appointments with her Gynecologist,or midwife the same day as the monthly meeting. This way she can go for her check up and the meeting. The other very important thing to suggest is to go to independent antenatal classes (not just the ones offered by the hospital).

Odette: Get educated. It is only scary if you don’t know what is going on with your body and your baby.

Kathy: Go to the Chinese Medicine Doctor, so you can stop vomiting and feeling nauseous! And, thank you for going to the Chiro. And, yes, it would’ve been just fine to do this at home.

Erin: The one question my sister asked me when I was pregnant changed the entire way I viewed my experience... She said “Bradley or Lamaze?” I had no clue what she meant and she told me if I wanted a humanized, blissful birth, I needed to educate myself. It is that question that got me thinking and researching and I changed my course and found the most fantastic birth crew and had a truly transformative and blissful birth with my son. I am so grateful to her for asking the right question!

Roma: I think it would just be that the only person I need to be able to rely on is me! So do whatever work it takes to know you can rely on yourself.

Lauryan: You don’t have to please everyone else! You don’t have to please anyone except your baby and yourself.

Taiya: Go to a homeopath / Chinese doctor etc for morning sickness! Or...... at the very least..... investigate alternative treatments for morning sickness. Your options aren’t simply take conventional medication or suffer with it :)

Christmas Cake with a difference

By Emma Locker

This tasty Christmas cake is designed for those of us who are not massive fans of dried Grapes in all their variants. Instead it relies predominantly on Dates and Apricots with much nuttier consistency than we are used to with a traditional fruit cake. The decoration is simple but effective and is aimed at the moderately experienced cake decorator, but should be achievable for those new to cake icing too.

Recipe: based on an 8� round tin. Try to use a nice deep tin as a deep cake does tend to look more stylish and professional once iced. Grease and line the tin with baking parchment and set aside.

Ingredients: 225G unsalted butter 225G Soft brown sugar 225G Plain flour 50G Ground Almonds 1tsp Mixed Spice 225G Mixed fruit 225G Chopped Dates 225G Chopped Apricots 50G Mixed Peel 2Tbsp Spiced Rum 4 Large Eggs 175G Roughly chopped mixed nuts 115G Glace Cherries-Halved 2tsp Vanilla Extract. 1Tbsp Molasses

Method: Place the dried fruits and the mixed peel in a bowl and soak in the Rum overnight, or at least for a few hours. Cream together the butter and sugar, now sift together the flour, ground almonds and Mixed spice, and set aside. Stir the Eggs, Molasses and Vanilla extract in a separate jug, slowly begin to add this to the butter and sugar alternating with some of the flour mixture, once you have added all of these ingredients to the bowl and it is thoroughly mixed you can begin folding in the dried fruits and rum, together with the mixed chopped nuts and the Glace Cherries. Now transfer to the baking tin, double wrap the outside of the tin with brown paper and place a tray full of water at the bottom of the oven, this prevents your cake from over cooking on the outside and keeps it lovely and moist. Bake at 150c for 1.5hrs and turn down to 120c for a further 2.5 hrs.

now for the icing on the cake ... Once the cake has fully cooled you can coat it in heated apricot jam and then cover in marzipan.


Once you have rolled the paste out gently transfer it to the cake and then begin to smooth it on using cake smoothers these are available from shops or online and are inexpensive, yet are crucial to achieving a professional finish. Smooth the sugar paste on with a cupped hand then follow with the smoother and work your way around the cake in an upwards motion.


Allow the marzipan to harden for 24hrs. Then cover with dark green sugar paste. Here I have used a mixture of spruce green and mint green to create a deep christmassy green, I personally prefer to colour my own paste as it is far better value for money but you can purchase ready coloured from most cake art shops. The trick to a smooth covering is to roll it out at around 4.5mm thick this ensures it is thick enough to mask any imperfections in the cake and allows you to polish it to a smooth finish.


2 6

3 Once you are happy with the icing set the cake aside for at least 6 hours in order for the sugar paste to set.

Finally to create the Poinsettia you need a quantity of sugar paste in Christmas red. 3 oval shaped cutters in decreasing sizes, a ball tool, a veiner tool and a small sponge. Roll your sugar paste out quite thinly. and cut six of each sized ovals. Now using the ball tool and roll around each oval on the sponge, this creates the organic petal like look, finally using the veining tool mark the petals with a leaf like pattern, a line down the centre and then several down each side.

Arrange the petals on top of the cake with the six largest at the base alternating as you stack them next size and then the next, this should give you a rosette of petals. top the poinsettia with 7 green edible pearls- again available at most cake craft shops.




8 The finishing touch is a large bow in tartan ribbon.


You shared some of your pregnancy cravings! Stephanie: Cold cooked pasta with grated aged cheddar...and ginger tea.

Teresa: I loved pickled onions and was all about the vinegar.

Suzanne: Pickled cockles, at least a jar a day. my husband gets a slightly nervous look on his face when I eat them now.

Yardana: Frozen berries, particularly raspberries. I ate about a bag of frozen raspberries every day.

Elanor: Apples with baby 1. Salad with baby 2.

Ellie: With #1, it was cheese, spring onion and mayo sandwiches (only the nasty packaged ones from the supermarket). With #2, it was plain rice cakes (about 30 a day).

Julie: I was pregnant in the very hot summer of 1995 and got through tons of ice cubes. I would fill a large glass with them, pour in some diet coke just to give them some flavour, then happily crunch my way through them. I also craved veggie curries from our local Chinese takeaway, and salt and vinegar crisps. Unbelievably for me in the first 3-4 months I went completely off chocolate and I just wanted sharp savoury tastes. Made up for it later though!

Kathy: I carried a bottle of french mustard with me and squirted it on everything I ate. I also ate a whole tub of taramasalata for breakfast once. Can’t face it at all now

Lisa: Soap. I got by sniffing it for a while (always had some in my handbag), then I had to grate it to get the full effect, and by 42 weeks I was biting into bars of it.

Joeanne: With #1, I couldn’t get enough ice. With this bubba now (26weeks preg with a girl) I don’t really have any cravings as such just a really huge appetite x

Susan: Victory V’s yum. I was a little addicted...

Stella: One pregnancy I craved avocados. Another, I craved tomato sandwiches but only fresh homegrown tom’s - I had to be able to smell them!

Misty: I see lots of others also craved ice. Me too. I later did some research and it’s an iron deficiency (pica) Not good for your teeth!

Sara: I am in the third trimester and currently craving mint (anything minty and sweet!) to taste... and freshly cut wood to smell. I don’t actually want to eat the wood, but I want to breathe in the odour deeply. I craved the smell of fresh wood in my first pregnancy too. And drank hot chocolate every day, even in the heat of the Italian summer. I will now go sniff at our new boxes from Ikea and then perhaps brush my teeth with spearmint toothpaste. LOL

Mairi: I was crazy about ice in all three of my pregnancies if the were no cubes in the freezer I would take a knife and chip it off. I would also send my husband to the cinema to buy slush puppies he would have to walk in, buy one and walk back out and bring it home.

T Serenity: With DS #1, I couldn’t eat enough banana peppers and lemons. In fact, thanks to eating so many lemons, I lost 11 lbs. in my second trimester and was told to STOP! Nothing particular with DS#2, but with DS#3, I craved buffalo chicken strips and all things onion, particularly French Onion Soup.

Lauren: With dd2 I only wanted Indian food, especially bhel puri. This time I am all about the Ethiopian food, especially tikil gomen and mesir wat. AMAZING!

Selina: With my son I craved pickled onion monster munch and beetroot butties. I remember sitting in bed with a multi-pack of monster munch, loaf of bread and jar of beetroot I used to break the ‘toes’ off the monster munch and fill the ‘holes’ then a layer of beetroot then dip them in the jar! With my 2nd it was beef super noodles (had never touched super noodles until then and haven’t touched them since) and KFC gravy.

Sarah: Baby1, fresh lemon juice and salt and vinegar crisps. #2, strawberry sunny delight (there was such a think EEK!). #3 I think it was a lot of chocolate, also with 2 and 3 I had a spicy chicken kebab from the local takeaway to occupy me in early labour. #4 I craved raspberries, preferably tinned, went off food in first trimester and when appetite came back it was only for junk or ready made food. Finally baby #5 I also craved raspberries and macdonalds, when normally I eat mostly home made food and organic fruit and veg. This last one i also craved foam banana sweets and coconut ice.

Joy: I craved Pink Lady apples - no other kind would do...

Jocasta: I suffered PICA with #1 so it was coal, dirt, grit and buckets full of ice. With #2 it was gherkins and crunchy peanut butter!

Teresa: When I was pregnant with my 1st I once ate a huge mega block of cheese...all of it, stuffed the lot. And had a weird craving for anything with vinegar. I used to love picking raspberries from the garden and filling the hollow with mint sauce - no cravings for the other 3...

Stand up for Birth! Human Rights in Childbirth Women should be able to make decisions

By Stella Onions

affecting their own bodies and their babies. Removing that interferes with their basic human rights. Birth is something a woman carries with her for life, it is not an isolated event that doesn’t matter as long as she has a healthy baby. For the baby, the manner of birth will affect the baby for life and if we want gentle humans, we need to start with gentle births. To quote Debra Pascali Bonaro, “Together we must protect all options fro women in childbirth, to birth at home, a birth centre or a hospital, to have all the companionship she wants and deserves, to respect her values, culture, religion, comfort, and informed decision making. No woman deserves any less on this sacred day of bringing new life into the world.” Far too often when a mother recounts the birth story of her child, you hear the phrase, ‘The Doctor let me do this… They let me have that…’ Quite frankly, that takes the ownership of the birth away from the mother and places it firmly in the hands of the medical professionals. It is not informed consent, and does not acknowledge the mother’s role in the birth. Sure, sometimes we have to take the advice of a health care professional, but if it goes against your express wishes or your every instinct, ask them if the intervention they wish to perform is protocol, whether it is best practice, and whether it is evidence based.

The International Confederation of Midwives said, “Home birth is a human rights issue. It is a fundamental human right for women to choose the circumstances in which they give birth, with whom and where, including a choice between home and hospital birth. This great value should be cherished.” When precipitous birth is portrayed in the media, they often use the phrase ‘taxi driver / hairdresser / husband delivered the baby’, well, pardon me, surely the mother delivered the baby? Did the other person not just catch the baby? You get pizza delivered, babies are birthed. The common language generally used in the media both detracts from and diminishes the role of the mother in birth. Generally speaking, birth is not a medical emergency and it doesn’t always have to take place in a hospital. Home birth is a viable alternative, and the mother is usually more relaxed in familiar surroundings. Mothers birthing in hospital settings are at higher risk of intervention, which often cascades down the line into a caesarean section, which places both the mother and the baby at a higher risk.

As a mum of triplets said, “I’m just a bit chuffed. And proud. But the most important thing for me is getting the message out there. Multiples can be birthed naturally. It was tough at times, and that was with a supportive OB. There is 100% place for Cesarean Sections in multiple births. I just don’t think women should be told they have to have one at their first appointment. Birthing naturally is an option, in some cases. I am so glad I fitted the bill!” And to quote from Sheri Brinkmeyer: “ In March of 1996 the Kansas Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Michelle Ruebke and the practice of midwifery stating that “midwifery is separate and distinct from the practice of medicine.” The court generously referred to “the historically separate practice of midwifery” and it’s use of “traditional and time honoured techniques” as “not the practice of medicine or surgery even if some of these techniques fit within the technical definition of the practice of medicine or surgery.” Additionally, the court wisely pointed out, “In their ordinary usage, the terms in KSA 652802(a) used to define the healing arts clearly and unequivocally focus on pathologies and abnormal human conditions. Pregnancy and childbirth are neither pathologies nor abnormalities.” Recently, the Human Rights in Childbirth Conference (HriC) was held in The Hague, Netherlands, and it brought together so many eminent birth professionals and legal professionals in a wonderful gathering, which was very birth mother centric. Even the ‘seasoned’ birth rights campaigners were moved to tears, however, at some of the individual experiences recountered, not least of which, is the plight of Agnes Gereb of Hungary, who has been imprisoned and is currently under house arrest following her championing of home birth and setting up a birth centre. Despite the heartbreaking individual stories, woven throughout the two day conference was a thread of unbreakable determination, strength, and hope for the future of birth and the midwifery profession. There was an almost tangible air of co-operation to move the midwifery profession forward, whilst simultaneously bringing birth back to basics with the mother being the dominant force in the process.

And with attendees from all over the world, I already know that some of this powerful ‘soup’ has started to make a difference in several corners of the globe. Hermine Hayes-Klein, who was the driving force behind the HRiC conference has generously allowed this excerpt from her writings to be used here. “The long struggle for the female vote holds many lessons for the movement, now uniting around the world, to demand respect for women’s fundamental rights in childbirth. Radical paradigm shifts take time, and require patience and persistence on the part of those who pursue them. The right to vote took several generations to secure. The work begun by Ina May Gaskin’s generation is being picked up and carried forward by my own. Ina May’s generation reinvented American midwifery and rediscovered the basic physiology of childbirth. And still, 35 years after the publication of Spiritual Midwifery, the cesarean rate skyrockets, maternal mortality rises, and the right to give birth outside of the medical institution is not secure. And so we see the rise of a movement, women picketing across the U.S., marching in the streets of South America, the movement that organized 1000 screenings of Freedom for Birth on September 20th. And so we see the rise of a movement, women picketing across the U.S., marching in the streets of South America, going to court in Europe, and opening birth centers in India, the movement that organized 1000 screenings of Freedom for Birth on September 20th.

When women demand recognition for their rights of authority and autonomy in childbirth, they meet two common reactions: they are accused of caring more for themselves than their babies, and they are accused of insanity. I think of Karen in the Netherlands, who found the courage to deliver her twin daughters at home, when her local hospital refused to support her in a physiological birth. “I knew, somehow, that my body could birth the twins if it had a chance,” she told me. “They wouldn’t give it a chance at the hospital. They wanted a dozen people in the room, and machines stuck to my belly and my vagina, and they itched to cut the babies out. I live three minutes from the hospital, so I decided to give myself a chance to birth them at home, with a midwife.” Her babies were born in less than two hours, with no pain, into her own hands and her husbands’. When authorities discovered what had happened later that day, Karen and the twins were bullied into coming into the hospital for examination. Although Karen and her babies were healthy, she was indeed examined: for 5 days, she was visited at her hospital bed by psychiatrists and child protective services. She spent months fending off the threat that her twins could be taken away.

I think of Daniela in Italy, who sought far and wide during pregnancy for a provider who wouldn’t cut an episiotomy. She was promised that the hospital where she would deliver would respect her insistence that an episiotomy not be cut. She told every single provider that she spoke with, during pregnancy and then during her labor at the hospital, that under no circumstances did she want an episiotomy. She told this more than once to the doctor who ended up between her legs while her baby came out. When the baby was crowning, that doctor reached for scissors and started cutting an episiotomy. Daniela screamed “No!” from the depths of her soul. The doctor looked up, hesitated, and then cut a long, deep episiotomy. When medical staff visited her bed after the birth, Daniela was deeply upset. She felt profoundly violated and traumatized. She spoke up, loudly, about what had happened and stated that her legal and human rights had been violated.

We ask only that those who wish to ensure a safe and healthy birth for every baby recognize that the person with the authority and responsibility to choose what is needed for each birth is the birthing woman herself. How true for motherhood are the words that Wilson used for war: “show our women that you trust them as much as you in fact and of necessity depend upon them.” ” Hermine Hayes-Klein. It is a sad fact that the majority of women spend more time planning their wedding than planning their birth. I think, for many women, we do need to take advice from health professionals, but not blindly and not without informed consent. We could do a lot worse than to trust women. The obstetricians called the psychiatrists, who came to suggest that, in her state, she might pose a danger to her newborn child. After she left the hospital, Daniela was visited twice at her home by psychiatrists, without an invitation. On top of the trauma of the episiotomy was added this violation of her safe space, her home, and the need to then convince these psychiatrists that they need not involve child protective services and take away her new baby. It took courage for Karen to trust her own relationship with her body over the medical system’s concept of it, and to choose circumstances for the birth of her twins that would allow her body to do its work. It took courage for Daniela to stand up against the butcher who slashed her perineum, to say “No! You may not cut a woman against her will!” Just as we remember the courage of those whose actions so radically transformed the legal status of women over the last two centuries, we should recognize the courage that we see around us in the women who stand up for their bodies and their babies in a broken birth care system. And we must defend these women, and their babies, from the psychiatrists and social workers unleashed upon them for finding that courage.

For further reading, see the website: There is also a petition, should you wish to show support by signing it:

BIRTH OF A PUBLISHER Some days I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. Work, these days, is mostly done from a laptop on my dining-room table around the demands of my children (three under six). I produce books that I am passionate about, and in the course of the editorial, marketing and sales work come into contact with others who are equally enthusiastic about our main areas of interest: birth and breastfeeding. The business side of things is run by my colleague Tom, a father (five under eight, including twins!), who often works into the evening for Lonely Scribe after a full day at his main job.

By Susan Last

Editorial Director of Lonely Scribe

Lonely Scribe as it is today is the product of years of discussion over dinners, bottles of wine and cups of tea. Tom and I first met over 10 years ago as graduate trainees at a history publisher in Gloucestershire - we were paid a pittance, but learned a lot. Lonely Scribe really began in 2006 when Tom’s wife Aby, then a student midwife, put together our book Home Births: stories to inspire and inform. Tom had been looking at print-on-demand technology and realised its promise for a small concern: no printing costs to be found upfront, no stock to store. That book showed us what could be done. Over the next few years we often talked about our dream publishing company - a small organisation, no premises, no expensive overheads, printing books on demand. And what books - the most worthwhile subjects, the meaningful and difficult, the books that would not necessarily find a mainstream publisher but that would sell enough copies to keep our little company afloat. We would work on it in our spare time and build it into something more than a hobby, but less than an empire. It would fit around the children, and family life, and our other interests. We would do no work (or less, at any rate) during school holidays. A fine dream indeed! We worked on Lonely Scribe in dribs and drabs, and got a few more books into print. Then in 2010 we had an offer of some start-up capital, which would enable us to take things to a new level.

We bought laptops, software and phones. We published two or three books in quick succession. Then I had my third child, and Aby had her fifth, and for the best part of a year Lonely Scribe took a back seat (although we did manage to publish a new edition of Alison Blenkinsop’s fantastic book on breastfeeding, Fit to Bust). I think I did the proofreading of that with my youngest actually latched on! We’re now at the most exciting part of the journey so far. Since May this year I’ve been working - paid - for Lonely Scribe for one whole day each week (well, a five-hour period while the older two are at school and the baby is at nursery). I still work on it in my spare time too, however, because I love it and there’s just so much to do! We’ve just published a long-awaited companion volume to Home Births, called Breastfeeding: stories to inspire and inform, which is a book I’ve been working on putting together since my first child was six months old. It’s a collection of real women’s experiences of breastfeeding, with the aim of encouraging and supporting others. I organised a launch event and a publicity campaign for the book, we’re online more than ever before and we’ve got a string of fantastic new books in the pipeline, including books on water birth and twin and multiple births.

However, it’s not all plain sailing. Like any small business we have to balance the books and that means working hard to let the world know about our books, and adapting to the way that publishing is changing as e-books become more and more popular (we’ll have all our books available as e-books just as soon as we can). We think the hard work is all worthwhile to see these books, that we’re so proud of, in print. And we hope our readers agree. You can find out more about us on our website:, or find us on Facebook, where each of our books has its own page for sharing experiences, links and discussion. And do contact us if you’ve read our books and enjoyed them, or if you’ve got an idea for a book you’d like to see us publish. Readers of Mum & Me can order our parenting books direct, saving £2 on the RRP and with free UK postage. Just let us know which book you’d like (Home Births: stories to inspire and inform - £11.99, Breastfeeding: stories to inspire and inform - £11.99, or Fit to Bust - £10.99) and send a cheque, made payable to Lonely Scribe, to Lonely Scribe, Welwyn, Bermuda Avenue, Little Eaton, Derby, DE21 5DG, along with details of where you’d like the book sent.

Gardening with children By Naomi Lever

As the growing season slows down the days

shorten and we prepare for Autumn and Winter there are still a wealth of things you and your children can be doing in the garden. Now is a great time to prepare for Spring by putting up nestboxes for a variety of our native birds. Blue tits, Wrens and Robins all like different kind of nesting boxes, so depending on which birds you wish to encourage to your garden make sure that you do some research into the type of nest boxes that you’ll need. Wrens and Robins tend to like open fronted boxes, whilst the Tit family like nest boxes with small entrance holes. Sparrows nest happily in community nestboxes, like wooden apartments with lots of entrance holes all in a row. Try to place the boxes in a sheltered spot, South East facing if possible and away from fences or tables that cats might climb in order to gain access to the baby birds inside.

Nest boxes can be easily made at home from scrap wood or can be bought from a pet store or garden centre for just a few pounds. Natural predators, like birds and beneficial insects, will also help keep garden pest levels under control and will remove the need for nasty chemical pesticides which do so much damage to our much needed pollinators, such as bees and hoverflies and ultimately to your family’s health too. Avoid chemicals if at all possible. I do not use any chemicals at all here and my plot has now become a haven for wildlife.

If you have a healthy balance of insect and animal life in you garden then pests tend not to get out of control. Frogs, toads and bats are all natural predators too, so encourage those as well, with maybe some bat boxes set high up near the eaves of your house or in trees. A small wildlife pond will help greatly ( fenced securely, if you have small children) or perhaps make a damp boggy area to encourage amphibians to take up residence if a pond is not feasible. A simple log pile in a corner is a great way to give shelter to toads and hedgehogs. It doesn’t have to cost anything but it makes all the difference to the animals you are helping. If you get hooked on the nest box and wildlife thing (as I have) you can even buy or make nest boxes with cameras inside, so you can watch ‘your’ birds make their nests, lay eggs, hatch and feed them and watch the young baby birds fledge and fly away. My daughter and I have one here, it was a Christmas gift for her and it has provided us both with many hours of pleasure watching ‘our’ Blue Tit family grow.

You can also make or buy bug boxes/ bug hotels to provide habitats for all the beneficial creepy crawlies we have in our gardens. Things like ladybirds and lacewings will over-winter in these boxes ( filled with pine cones and hollow bamboo canes etc) and they’ll emerge again in Spring, when they will do a huge amount of good in your garden, eating up all the aphids that can do so much damage to your plants. Providing habitats for wildlife in your garden will help create a healthy biodiversity and it will bring your garden to life. It really is a wonderful way to see nature close up and it is also a great way to get your children interested in wildlife and the world around them. Encouraging these little creatures to set up home in your garden gives you the perfect opportunity to introduce them to your children. Buy a cheap magnifying glass and your children will be enthralled at their tiny legs or feathery antennae. You can discuss what they eat and what species they are ( with the help of books or websites if necessary, see links below ) and learn more about them together. Wonderful!

Other jobs that you can tackle in the garden now are preparing any raised beds or dug over areas for vegetables next year. Now is a good time to dig in some organic matter in readiness for Springtime planting and it is always a good time for making compost bins and compost. You can never have too much compost:-) A compost bin not only provides you with free compost for your garden but is also a great way to recycle all your fruit and veg scraps and vegetable peelings from the kitchen. Bins can be made from wood ( recycled pallets), chicken wire and posts or you can buy purpose built ones that look like plastic Daleks.

The choice is yours. Often your local council will sell the plastic type at a greatly reduced cost. Local councils sometimes sell rain water barrels very cheaply too. So enquire with your council to see what they have on offer. It is great to be able to show your children how their fruit and veg scraps can be turned into rich dark compost, with the help or worms, beetles and woodlice and how that same dark crumbly compost can be used to fill an area ready for planting out some yummy vegetables in Spring. Things like Winter lettuce, Winter spinach can still be sown and come Oct/ November and you can plant out garlic and Winter Onion sets too. Check for planting times depending on how far north you live. It varies. I seem to have better success with Autumn sown garlic and onions that Spring planted ones, so give it a try. Now is also a good time to look through vegetable seed catalogues with your children and let them help you decide what they’d like to grow and eventually eat! They can cut out the photos in the seed catalogue and you can laminate the photos (or cover with clear sticky back plastic) to make them weather-proof and then they can stick them to wooden lollipop sticks ready to be used as plant labels when it is time to sow their seeds. Getting children involved with the actual planning and growing will encourage them to think about the food they eat and it can even encourage fussy eaters to try out new vegetables. Growing some vegetables yourself makes it a much more tactile process and also teaches children patience, which in today’s ‘instant gratification’ pace of life can only be a good thing. If you lack space for a proper veg bed then grow some herbs or veg plants in pots or window boxes...Or failing that just sprout some seeds indoors in jars or trays to add to salads. No matter what scale you do it on I guarantee your children will love being involved in growing something to eat and the wildlife in your garden will thank you for helping them by keeping pests in check. Happy gardening . A couple of my favourite websites for wildlife related information:

Another Regular page

A toddler was having a tea party with her daddy. She brought him a little cup of ‘tea’, which was just water, of course. After several cups of tea, her mom came home. Dad made her wait in the living room to watch his little Princess bring him a cup of tea, because it was “Just the cutest thing!” Mom waited, and in a couple of minutes, the little Princess came down the hall with a cup of tea for daddy. She watched him drink it up and then she said, “You know the only place she can reach water is the toilet?”

Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.

Having a 2 year old is like having a blender without a lid. ... Jerry Seinfeld

Do you have a funny story or picture to share? Contact us via the website and send them in!

But I want to toboggan UPHILL ...

The ‘Middle Wife’ by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher .

I’ve been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back. When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they’re welcome. Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid,takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater. She holds up a snapshot of an infant. ‘This is Luke, my baby brother, and I’m going to tell you about his birthday.’ ‘First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom’s stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.’ She’s standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I’m trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me.

‘Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts going, ‘Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!’ Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. ‘She walked around the house for, like an hour, ‘Oh, oh, oh!’ (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.) ‘My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn’t have a sign on the car like the Domino’s man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.’ (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.) ‘And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!’ (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!) ‘Then the middle wife starts saying ‘push, push,’ and ‘breathe, breathe. They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom’s play-center, so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there in the first place.’ Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat.

I’m sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it’s Show-and-tell day, I The kids are watching her in amazement. bring my camcorder, just in case another ‘Middle Wife’ comes along.

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In the Spring 2013 issue of



Breastfeeding An Older Child! An Older Child!

OPEN TO BIRTH Labour Positions Labour Positions

BEFORE YOU BECAME A MUM Women’s Attitudes! Women’s Attitudes!

Don’t forget that you can get involved and be part of Mum & Me magazine by submitting your positive birth stories and pictures! See for details.

Mum and Me magazine is an independent, not-for profit, quarterly magazine based in Shropshire, England. Proprietors and publishers: Mum and Me magazine Website:

Editor: Stella Onions Features: Joy Smith Article Contributors: Arabella Greatorex, Naomi Lever, Rachell Farrell, Jade London, Susan Last, Charlotte Webb, Rebecca Hawkins, Emma Locker, Photography: With thanks to Martine Sansourcy of , and and many individual families.

Interested in advertising in this magazine?

Email for details

info (at) mumandmemagazine (dot) com The Rate Card is also on the website 8

An example of one of the advertising pages from a previous issue of Mum & Me magazine. I think I discovered the fear-tension-pain cycle for myself at the dentist after a root canal job. I realised afterwards

that I had made the whole thing so much worse for myself by being so stressed. The next time I went – actually to have the tooth out – I recited in my mind the Litany against Fear from Frank Herbert’s book DUNE:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

by Lisa Cole

Why fear of Labour can make it painful

It’s difficult to find active birth teachers where I live, they get booked up quickly, so I thought I’d give the local clinic’s antenatal class a try. It left me furious for a week and I decided never to return! Why the anger? The class set up such a fear of labour that one woman winced every time the word was mentioned. The emphasis was on controlling pain with drugs.I knew I wanted a drug-free home birth, and I knew the best way to get what I wanted was to trust in myself.

I am not saying that childbirth for me was just a twinge, I had a quick labour but there wasn’t much time for me to collect myself between contractions. It did hurt, and at times it was nasty but it wasn’t a terrifying pain. It felt hugely productive, and as soon as the baby was out all sensations other than overwhelming love and bewilderment were forgotten. And I’m not good with pain; I cry if I bump my elbow, get stung or trip up. I am a selfconfessed wuss! But I trusted in myself and in the amazing resources and stamina a woman giving birth can have. It was a beautiful birth, an amazing thing to do and it turns out I’m not scared of the baby either!


M&M Dummy new


11:15 AM

Page 16


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Interested in advertising in this magazine?

It’s difficult to find active birth teachers where I live, they get booked up quickly, so I thought I’d give the local clinic’s antenatal class a try. It left me furious for a week and I decided never to return! Why the anger? The class set up such a fear of labour that one woman winced every time the word was mentioned. The emphasis was on controlling pain with drugs.I knew I wanted a drug-free home birth, and I knew the best way to get what I wanted was to trust in myself. ficult to find active birth teachers where I live, they oked up quickly,Labour so I thought I’d the localwork and it can hurt a is nothing to give fear. It is hard s antenatal class lot, a try. left scared me furious a week but It being of it willfor only make it hurt the more. decided never to Dr return! Why the anger? class ‘fear-tensionGrantley Dick-Read coinedThe the phrase such a fear of labour that one woman winced everywhat happens. pain cycle’ in the 1930s and that’s exactly he word was mentioned. The hurt, emphasis was You fear being you tense upon and blood and oxygen is olling pain with drugs.I knew I wanted a drug-free drawn away from organs that are not needed for ‘flight or birth, and I knewfight’. the Dick-Read best way said to get I wanted thatwhat a scared woman in labour has o trust in myself. a white uterus, and a blood-free womb just doesn’t have

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Page 18

I realised afterwards that I had made the whole thing so much worse for myself by being so stressed.



11:16 AM

Labour is nothing to fear. It is hard work and it can hurt a lot, but being scared of it will only make it hurt the more. Dr Grantley Dick-Read coined the phrase ‘fear-tensionpain cycle’ in the 1930s and that’s exactly what happens. You fear being hurt, you tense up and blood and oxygen is drawn away from organs that are not needed for ‘flight or fight’. Dick-Read said that a scared woman in labour has a white uterus, and a blood-free womb just doesn’t have the energy of a nice rich red one, so it hurts.

07813 958075



for details or use the Contact Us form on the website:

I don’t know why I wasn’t scared, it might have been just sheer contrariness. It may have been that I was immune to birthing horror stories, because it seemed as if every mother on my street wanted to tell me about their 48-day labour, or how the midwife had to chainsaw them open to get the baby! I was probably not scared because I truly believed that normal childbirth is a natural process instead of a medical one. I was also busy being truly terrified of how to deal with the baby itself when it arrived.

M&M Dummy new

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