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The Birthing Room seeks to empower parents through evidence-based education about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.

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3 Essential Things Every Birth Support Person Should Know

Photo credit: Bloom Birth Photography

Photo credit: Bloom Birth Photography

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Let’s be brutally honest. There are two types of birth support people. Ones that help, and ones that hinder. Unfortunately it’s not always easy to know whether the person Mama’s chosen to be with her during labour and birth is a help or a hinderer until labour starts! Just in case Mama’s got a closest hinderer on her team, here are 3 things she can share with her birth team ahead of time that will greatly enhance her labour and birth experience.

One: A support person’s belief in the Mama is CRUCIAL

No matter whether Mama is planning on having her hubby, Mum, bestie or someone else with her during baby’s arrival, what they think in their head and their heart deeply matters. This is because labour has little to do with the physical process and everything to do with the emotional and spiritual. If a birth team secretly doubts Mama’s ability to birth her baby, it’s more than likely that she just won’t. Can you imagine running a long distance race thinking how well you are doing, only to find well meaning friends and family at every km saying “You look tired, why don’t you just walk for a while?” “You won’t get a medal for finishing” etc. Discouraging huh?!
Support people, make sure you communicate your belief in Mama in every word, every touch, every look. When labour intensifies it can be as simple as saying “I truly believe in your ability to birth this baby”, or looking into her eyes with a calm, trusting smile.

Two: Silence

One of the roles of the birth team is to hold the space. So support people, make sure your phone is turned off and you are not constantly sending updates to people. If you feel something needs to be said, consider if it’s necessary, and with how few words you can say it. E.g. Instead of saying “Would you like a drink of water?” just hold up the cup and straw and say “Water?” Avoid the temptation to make small talk with the midwife, or chat amongst yourselves. There will be plenty of time to catch up after baby arrives. Quietness during labour helps to close off the analytical part of Mama’s brain, meaning her primal brain (the part of her that instinctively knows how to birth her baby) can be running at its full ability.

Three: Self Care

During labour a Mama’s sense of smell is heightened, much like during the first trimester nausea phase. A spray of smelly deodourant can feel overwhelming to a labouring Mama. She’ll be able to pick up anyone’s secret smoking habit. She’ll know if you had coffee 2hrs ago. So be thoughtful ahead of time. Whilst Mama will have a bag or a box packed full of her birth supplies, support people will need this too. At a bare minimum pack a toothbrush and toothpaste, water, and a change of top in case labour takes some time. I’d also encourage you to pack lots of healthy, energy giving snacks (to give you endurance), something to do e.g. a magazine (if Mama needs some alone time this will stop you looking like you are observing her), and to take a wee break every couple of hours during labour so you can keep giving Mama your best.

Being a kind and thoughtful birth support person helps Mama have a more positive birth experience!

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What Masterchef’s ‘Cooking Something 3 Ways’ Actually Looks Like in the Real World

Photo credit: The Star

Photo credit: The Star

Cooking something 3 ways. 3 choice cuts of expensive meat cooked in 3 elaborately delicious ways. On Masterchef. And only on Masterchef, because here in the real world most of us could rarely afford to buy enough expensive meat to cook 1 way, if we eat meat at all. Our family had a blast watching the Australian Masterchef series recently, although I must admit it left me deeply contemplating… Who gets feed all the wasted off cuts of food? Who has to do all the dishes? If money was no object, what would I cook for dinner?

As I’m sure most of you reading this can identify with the horror that grocery shopping brings (and no, not because you are shopping with small people). But the horror that comes with wandering around the supermarket isles having no idea how you are actually going to feed all of your family on so little money. So I thought I would share with you how to rock Masterchef’s cooking it 3 ways in the real world.

Step 1:

Cook as much food as you can ‘3 ways’. Over the last fortnight I have turned one frozen chicken into a roast, a chicken broth, and chicken sandwiches for lunches. One 250g packet of bacon has been stuffed baked potatoes, a broccoli salad, and bacon and egg pita breads for lunches. One 5kg bag of spuds has been turned into numerous things. And the whole cabbage I bought has been made into at least 5 dinners, ranging from a side of coleslaw to steamed cabbage with the roast.

Step 2:

Buy dried lentils. These little things are seriously awesome. High in iron, a great source of protein, and cheap as. You can hide them in everything from a slow cooked stew to spag bol. Just be sure to read the cooking time on the packet as some cook very quickly, and others take a while.

Step 3:

Teach your kids to scavenge. I know it sounds bad, but it really is good! Recently my son proudly brought me a whole bag of newspaper he had scavenged from a recycle bin to save me buying a newspaper to light our fire with. Proud mother moment. We also go door knocking if we see pear’s falling off someone’s tree, pick friend’s lemon bushes, collect walnuts when we are walking etc. 

Step 4:

Be extraordinarily generous. If you expect people to share with you, you should be sharing with others. It’s very hard to give to someone if they are tight fisted, so make sure you always have an open hand.

Step 5: 

Grow your own. Veges that is. I laugh at the $5 bunch of spring onions in the supermarket knowing I can readily pick these out of my garden when I want them.

Happy shopping!

The Day My Life Changed

school

Today is a very important day. Today signals a huge shift in my life. It is a day of change. Today… my baby has gone off to school. It is the end of the preschool years for me. And with this change in my life has come the most unexpected reactions from those around me. I never knew we were still living in such a chauvinistic era! Let me explain…

For many months now it has been a hot topic of conversation. “So, your baby goes off to school soon!” But even more recently this has turned into “So your baby goes off to school shortly… What will you do?!” As though when the day would come, I may curl up and die. Or maybe go into a state of mourning for a few months and not get out of bed. Or as my children suggested, I now need to train as a teacher so I can work at school! Yes, I do agree that I will miss my one on one time with my baby dearly, but here comes the most surprising part. When I reply that when he goes to school I will continue working, people are so taken aback! “Oh, what kind of work?” “Well, you know” I say “running The Birthing Room”. These are not random strangers I am talking about… but my nearest and dearest. My close friends and family. My husband. My children. My village that has supported me over the last 4 years whilst I have run The Birthing Room.

It has never occurred to me before this new season in my life that in this day and age a woman’s work would be seen as less valuable. I considered the Jacinda Ardern question merely a reflection of a poor reporter, not an accurate reflection of our society’s views. But maybe I was wrong. Maybe people do see a woman’s work as more like a hobby that she does each day instead of actually ‘working’. Strangely enough no one has asked my husband what he will do when his baby goes off to school, and yet we have shared being the main caregiver for the last 4 years.

So to all you beautiful women reading this today, whether you are working full time, part time, or are a full time parent, I applaud you. Your work within the home, and outside of the home is valuable. You make a difference. You contribute to society. Don’t let our culture tell you any differently.

WORLD CLASS ANTENATAL SESSIONS IN NEW ZEALAND

BloomBirthPhotography(36)

Attending a group antenatal class over many weeks is difficult for a lot of New Zealand parents to be. These classes are often not tailored to suit working parents to be with busy schedules, those who are expecting another baby, single mums, high profile New Zealanders, immigrants, or those with transport issues. That's why The Birthing Room Private Antenatal Sessions are tailored to offer more than your regular antenatal course.

We offer:

  • Individualised sessions that can be done in the comfort of your own home, at our North Canterbury base, or via Skype/Google Hangouts.
  • The opportunity to do Private Antenatal Sessions on your own, as a couple, or with your whānau (family). This means that whoever you are choosing to support you during your birth and afterwards can attend with you so you share the same knowledge.
  • The choice of topics ranging from conception to care of baby. Specific topics for your situation can also be chosen, such as multiple birth or pregnancy diabetes. This ensures you are only covering the topics which are relevant to you.

To find out more click here

To book your Private Antenatal Sessions with The Birthing Room contact us here

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