How many sides does a breastfeeding baby need?


Mammal mothers don't worry about minutes, milk transfer, or changing sides. They nurse as long as they feel comfortable in that position, and they change position when they want to, or when the baby stops being happy with what's happening.

Think of a breast as a 'serving'. Some babies want two servings right in a row; some fall asleep after the first one and save the second breast for later. Some, who are trying to build up your milk supply, take three or four or more breasts (yes, all of them yours) before dozing off. Since you'll be nursing your baby again whenever he tells you he needs it, it doesn't really matter how many breasts or servings he takes in a row, as long as he's satisfied when he's finished.

(Wiessinger, D., West, D. & Pitman, T (2010) The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, 8th ed.)


To Push or Not To Push… That is the question!

Rosemary (9 of 22)

What do you think of this article? No more pelvic floor muscles exercises during pregnancy
I love love love Pregnancy Exercise, think Lorriane does an AWESOME job of facilitating great fitness in both pregnancy and postnatally. And totally agree with the idea of relaxing the pelvic floor. But here's the key point of my story... Do you think women need strong Abs for birthing their babies? "The exercises I prescribe and teach during personal training, pregnancy group exercise sessions and on-line pregnancy programs include the exercises that strengthen the abdominal and PFM, strong abdominal muscles are vital for pushing your baby out." "We all want strong PFM but as exercising females we need to be educated in how to push our babies out by relaxing our PFM and using our Upper Abdominal muscles. Think you are a tube of toothpaste pushing and squeezing down from your upper abdominals relaxing at your pelvic floor muscles."

If you were giving birth in the situation and posture that Lorriane was in her story, then yes, I agree that you would need strong Abs. But I believe birth is actually an autonomic function, not unlike breathing! When women are able to give birth in an environment where they feel safe and secure, are upright/forward leaning, and have babies who are in an anterior position, most women will be able to breath their babies out and not need to engage their abdominal muscles in "pushing". This also protects the pelvic floor musculature by lifting it out of the way. That is why our precious great grandmothers and grandmothers were still able to give birth during the horrid 'twilight sleep' era, despite being completely out of their minds.

Jean Sutton (creator of Optimal Foetal Positioning) describes it perfectly with this picture:

If a mother is in a reclining position giving birth, such as semi reclining in bed with her legs up, then when baby is being birthed he/she not only as to go uphill against gravity, and navigate his/her way past a curled up coccyx, he/she meets a half closed door -the pelvic floor! If a women is upright and forward leaning, her coccyx is lifted back by her sacrum, baby is able to utilise gravity to be born, and hello -the door called the pelvic floor is wide open, as it has been lifted out of the way. Welcome baby!

Beautiful picture thanks to Bloom Birth Photography


Rosemary (5 of 22)

Are you passionate about seeing New Zealand families have positive birth experiences? Does talking about empowered birth make your heart beat faster and light a fire within you? Now is your opportunity to be part of a powerful movement, that is seeing more amazing births and decreased caesareans and birth interventions around the country, whilst bringing like minded people together. IT'S BIRTHWORKS!

BirthWorks International is having their first Accelerated Childbirth Educator and Doula (ACED) Workshop in Christchurch very soon, followed by a Childbirth Educator Workshop in Auckland. You have the option of attending the workshop to begin your career as a BirthWorks Childbirth Educator or BirthWorks Doula, or can simply attend the workshop for continuing education purposes. The workshop is open to:

  • Those interested in a career
  • CBEs or Doulas
  • Midwives
  • Midwifery students
  • Breastfeeding supporters and peer counsellors interested in birth support and education
  • Chiropractors working with pregnant women
  • Registered and enrolled nurses
  • Well Child nurses

Registrations need to be in asap, so don't delay! To find out more information, CONTACT US

(Photo thanks to Bloom Birth Photography)


bump-bannerAre you pregnant, or know someone who is pregnant in Canterbury under the age of 24? The Youth Alive Trust’s antenatal classes for young parents called BUMP is starting in two weeks & still has some places left! BUMP is a BirthWorks course designed for young parents, facilitated by The Birthing Room. The course helps participants develop more trust & faith in their instinctual ability to give birth and parent their newborn. BUMP covers a range of holistic topics, as well as offering a Mum2Mum mentor, and amazing food. AND IT’S ALL FREE! Please help spread the word & see this amazing new opportunity for young parents to be snapped up! BUMP Antenatal Classes



Expecting a baby this year? Now is your chance to be part of a life changing journey that builds confidence in a woman's ability to give birth, gives families the tools to make informed decisions, provides opportunity for grieving & healing previous birth trauma, & equips you for life with a newborn! The Birthing Room Antenatal Classes are a unique combination of BirthWorks and BabyCalm, bringing you top quality, boutique education.*

No matter where in NZ or around the world you are, there is an option for you. Register your place in The Birthing Room's Antenatal Classes today! Antenatal Classes

*Online classes & private sessions offer BirthWorks only


First BabyCalm session in North Canterbury today as part of The Birthing Room's Antenatal Classes! Participants have had a special afternoon with Corinne Rooney learning everything from how to calm a newborn to an introduction to babywearing, whilst enjoying a lovely afternoon tea. Thanks to The Sling Lady for a wonderful afternoon equipping The Birthing Room parents to be for their journey ahead! The Sling Lady



Wondering why you haven't heard much out of The Birthing Room over the last week? Well now all can be revealed!


Our boutique North Canterbury Antenatal Classes will now be brought to you from a gorgeous new house in Pegasus. The high end kitchen will be making you delectable healthy treats, and the new carpet is perfect for relaxation sessions and pelvic bodywork exercises. The education room is warm, sunny and has a beautiful intimate feel ideal for antenatal classes that go way beyond superficial matters.
The new base will be christened on Valentines Day with our current antenatal course's BabyCalm session with Corinne Rooney.

Meanwhile The Birthing Room's Christchurch courses are continuing on, awesome as always, from our venues in the central city and New Brighton.

Watch this space for up and coming events in North Canterbury, such as Doco & Discussion evenings, the BirthWorks Childbirth Educator & Doula Workshop, Optimal Foetal Positioning sessions, more antenatal classes, and hopefully even The Nappy Lady Workshops!

To find out more about The Birthing Room services in North Canterbury CONTACT US




What do you make of this article? Probably the most perplexing comment is this: "one health campaigner said ultrasounds were safe and could pick up life-threatening conditions. "No baby has died because of a scan. There's harm when you don't have enough scans," maternity campaigner Jenn Hooper said"

Research may beg to differ, and the impact of scans is hard to prove. How do you measure stress from being told there is something wrong with your baby when there actually isn't? That alone may cause miscarriage. Or what about the baby that is induced for being "big", but wasn't ready to be born and has breathing difficulties? Do you think parents are being given good information so they can make informed choices about ultrasound scans? Your thoughts please. Pregnancy Scans Enquiry:


Let's spend today saying a BIG thank you to midwives. Imagine how many meals and sleeps in the course of a month they miss! Family events and public holidays -will work through many of them. And being on call 24hrs a day. Their commitment means that NZ families have a world class maternity system with continuous care. So remember to say a big thank you to your midwife for the long hours they put in. They work hard! #thankyoumidwives


Neither life nor childbirth is without risk. And sometimes we loose the baby or child we have so dearly loved and wanted. Sands is a voluntary organisation that helps support families through the difficult time of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death. I think it is awesome that it is run by parents who have experienced loss themselves, rather than another service set up to fill 'a need'. For who can know what you are going through better than someone who has been there themselves?