From Birth Trauma to Empowered Birth

Bloom Birth Photography

Bloom Birth Photography

A mother from England

After two normal births which I had, nonetheless, suffered all the standard interventions of conventional obstetrics, I was determined that my third delivery would be different. If all went well, I was prepared to find a midwife and insist on a home birth. But an ultrasound scan confirmed that the baby was breech at thirty-four weeks, and no one was confident that it would turn. The doctor at the local hospital suggested that a date be decided upon for me to be induced and said that an epidural and forceps would be used. If that didn’t work, I understood that cesareans were quite common for breech babies.

The old depression returned. I had desperately wanted this baby’s birth to be natural, and there was no choice of hospital other than the same one that had all the associations of the last confinement, when I had felt that the baby had been taken from me. On that occasion, as I was stitched, asked the doctor, “Why are we less efficient in childbirth than animals?” I already felt that the birth had been ruined for me, and I was troubled by the amount of “routine” intervention in what I had considered to be a normal physiological event. His response was “It’s an entirely different matter for animals.” He implied that women are not efficient in childbirth. I had seen this doctor at prenatal visits and he seemed to have understood my wishes for the birth. Despite this, he had managed my labor for his own convenience, and my nervous system felt shattered for months afterward. I had postpartum depression that I knew was not simply hormonal in origin. I felt cheated almost to the point of grieving. Yet now my hopes for a better experience seemed doomed. This was to be, to my mind, another “factory” baby.

I had heard about Pithiviers; I knew that women traveled there from other countries. However, I could hardly envisage it as a real possibility for me –I was by now thirty-seven weeks pregnant. Still, I rang Dr. Odent a few days later, when I had decided that I would regret it forever if I did not gather my strength and make an effort to go to Pithiviers. I asked if I could come. He said, “Why not?’ When I said that the baby was breech, he replied, “It makes no difference.” I immediately felt confident and energetic about the proposed journey.

My husband and I knew very well that time would be short if an emergency arose. Set against this risk was the inevitable recurrence of my depression; before we made the decision to go to Pithiviers, it had already started again. I knew that I could not relive the depression that I experienced after my last confinement and expect to function as a wife and mother to three young children. At my last prenatal check in England, I was nearly in despair as the nurse explained, with the aid of a doll, how breech babies are delivered. I heard myself protesting as never before in my three pregnancies. I said to my doctor, “If you send me to that hospital again, that will finish me.” The nurse made me feel ashamed, exclaiming, “If that baby could hear you talking!” I suddenly realized that I really had rejected “the system” for the first time in my life. I no longer cared who thought I was making a fuss. I had previously been so polite and helpful to all the medical personnel, and it had got me nowhere –even my own children had been born for me, and this was probably my last chance to take what life has to offer. I just had to take responsibility for myself for a change, and Pithiviers offered an alternative that attracted me. Even its distance from home appealed to me. I felt a certain animal longing to get away from it all, to have privacy from the people I knew and to find a special place to give birth. I had to get to Pithiviers before labor began. This baby was going to be mine and safely mine. I said to my doctor, “Things are changing, though, aren’t they?” “Yes” he replied, “but that is in a foreign country.” My husband informed him later that that was exactly where we were going.

Ironically this story occurred over 30 years ago, but could easily be a story from today. Printed in Dr. Michel Odent's book 'Birth Reborn: What childbirth should be', it really demonstrates how far obstetrics has failed to evolve in the last few decades. It also reinforces the fact that an empowered birth doesn't depend on whether or not a birth occurred "naturally". In fact, we do never hear the ending of this story in the book. Maybe this family did end up having a natural breech birth at Pithiviers Hospital. Maybe the baby turned in the last week of pregnancy and was born LOA. Or maybe the mother ended up with a caesarean after all. But none of these factors would determine whether or not they had an empowered birth. 

An empowered birth matters not so much on the physical process that occurs, but on the way a woman is made to feel during her labour and birth. Pithiviers gave this family the confidence to take responsibility for their birth and their baby. They were able to stand up for what they wanted. They felt they had choices. They were treated with respect. 

That is the basis for empowered birth. 

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WIN A FREE ANTENATAL CLASS WITH THE BIRTHING ROOM!

Class giveaway

Are you expecting another baby in 2016? In New Zealand the sad reality is that many people have experienced a birth that left them feeling disappointed, disrespected, with lack of confidence in their body, and with physical or emotional hurt. Both Mum and Dad can be left feeling traumatised. The Birthing Room believes that everyone is entitled to a birth that makes them feel empowered, respected, loved, confident, and listened to. And this does not depend on whether or not everything went smoothly. So we'd like to give more people an opportunity to have an empowered birth!

To receive a chance to win your place in The Birthing Room's November 2016 antenatal courses in Christchurch or North Canterbury all you need to do is comment on our post, telling us which November course you'd like to attend, and then share the post on your timeline. It's that easy! The Birthing Room Facebook Page Sharing our Facebook competition with your friends and family who are expecting also gives them the opportunity to have a positive birth experience. Happy entering!

To check out our up coming antenatal courses CLICK HERE

Terms and conditions of entry

The Birthing Room will be giving away one place in each of The Birthing Room's BirthWorks antenatal courses in 2016. This includes both Canterbury and North Canterbury courses.

The prize applies to BirthWorks classes only. It does not include BabyCalm, The Birthing Room Online Classes, or The Birthing Room workshops or conferences.

Entries are limited to those who are expecting another baby. This includes families who have had a baby over 20wks of pregnancy who has passed away and do not have any other children.

To enter you must be a resident in Canterbury, or willing to make your own way to the course. The prize does not include flights, accommodation, or travel costs.

The prize is not redeemable for cash, and cannot be transferred to another person. The prize is not transferable to another antenatal course with The Birthing Room, it will apply to the course won only.

The prize winner's name and photograph, and that of their partner can be used on The Birthing Room website and in their newsletters for promotional and advertising purposes, only in relation to the competition won.

The prize must be claimed by the winner within 10 days of announcement, or the prize winner will be redrawn. The winner will be announced on both Facebook and The Birthing Room's website.

Good luck!

CANTERBURY ANTENATAL CLASS WINNERS

Class giveaway

Many parents find they come away from their first birth experience with their hopes and dreams shattered, with feelings of failure, despair and disappointment. Here at The Birthing Room, we believe this should be a rare event as birth is meant to be challenging, yes, but also empowering, incredible, intuitive, bonding, and... HEALING!

We believe this SO much that we have given away a spot in each of our February Canterbury antenatal classes to three families having another baby, so they can experience the healing and empowerment themselves! The lucky winners are:

  1. Elizabeth Bowen -North Canterbury Antenatal Classes Feb 11th-March 17th
  2. Isabel Foster -Christchurch Antenatal Classes Feb 3rd-March 9th
  3. Casey & Adam Curtis -Christchurch Antenatal Classes Feb 20th-March 12th

If you are one of our lucky winners, please email The Birthing Room within 10 days to claim your prize. contact us here

If you have missed out this time around, don't despair... Our March antenatal class give away is just around the corner!

HAVING ANOTHER BABY? WIN A FREE ANTENATAL COURSE!

Class giveaway

For every antenatal course in 2016, The Birthing Room is giving away one place to those having another baby!

Are you expecting another baby in 2016? In New Zealand the sad reality is that many people have experienced a birth that left them feeling disappointed, disrespected, with lack of confidence in their body, and with physical or emotional hurt. Both Mum and Dad can be left feeling traumatised. The Birthing Room believes that everyone is entitled to a birth that makes them feel empowered, respected, loved, confident, and listened to. And this does not depend on whether or not everything went smoothly. So we'd like to give more people an opportunity to have an empowered birth!

To receive a chance to win your place in one of The Birthing Room's antenatal courses in 2016, all you need to do is comment on our Facebook competition, by writing which upcoming antenatal class you'd like to be a part of. It's that easy! The Birthing Room Facebook Page Please share our Facebook competition with your friends and family who are expecting, and help them also have a positive birth experience.

To check out our up coming antenatal courses CLICK HERE

Terms and conditions of entry

The Birthing Room will be giving away one place in each of The Birthing Room's BirthWorks antenatal courses in 2016. This includes both Canterbury and North Canterbury courses.

The prize applies to BirthWorks only. It does not include BabyCalm, or The Birthing Room workshops or conferences.

Entries are limited to those who are expecting another baby. This includes families who have had a baby over 20wks of pregnancy who has passed away and do not have any other children.

To enter you must be a resident in Canterbury, or willing to make your own way to the course. The prize does not include flights, accommodation, or travel costs.

The prize is not redeemable for cash, and cannot be transferred to another person. The prize is not transferable to another antenatal course with The Birthing Room, it will apply to the course won only.

The prize winner's name and photograph, and that of their partner can be used on The Birthing Room website and in their newsletters for promotional and advertising purposes, only in relation to the competition won.

The prize must be claimed by the winner within 10 days of announcement, or the prize winner will be redrawn. The winner will be announced on both Facebook and The Birthing Room's website.

Good luck!

New Zealand Childbirth Educators Needed!

New Zealand Antenatal Classes

New Zealand Antenatal Classes

Empowered birth: Does this light a fire of passion in you? The Birthing Room is looking for new Childbirth Educators to join their team. Could this be you?? Whether you are already a CBE or midwife, or just someone who loves to see families have positive birth experiences, there is a pathway for you to come and join our awesome team!

The first step is to gain a BirthWorks International certification in Childbirth Education, or join their Accelerated Doula and Childbirth Educator programme. BirthWorks International will be holding their annual workshops in New Zealand in June 2016, both in the South and North Islands. This is a fantastic opportunity to up skill to a BirthWorks qualification or to begin a new career as a Childbirth Educator. These 3-4 day workshops are life transforming, both professionally and personally, and are a prerequisite to facilitating The Birthing Room Antenatal Classes. Both BirthWorks programmes are able to be started at any time, and are mostly a long distance packages, seeing you well on the way through your qualification before the workshops in June.

To find out more about becoming a BirthWorks Childbirth Educator check out BirthWorks International or Contact Us

The Birthing Room’s Pathway for an Empowered Birth begins in 2016!

Bloom Birth Photography

Bloom Birth Photography

Check out The Birthing Room's brand new Pathway for an Empowered Birth which begins in 2016!! We now offer an empowered experience for every trimester, meaning expectant families have a village of love and support with them throughout their whole pregnancy journey. From Early Pregnancy Workbooks with The Birth Connection for those who have just found out they are pregnant, to Bringing Tikanga Maori Practice Back to Birth for those who are close to giving birth, there is something for every family! Pathway for an Empowered Birth

If you are currently in your first trimester, now is the time to book your antenatal classes for the beginning of next year. We have classes available in both Christchurch and North Canterbury in February 2016, as well as another Online Antenatal Course so you don't need to miss out if you are living out of Canterbury!
Click here for more information about Antenatal Classes
Click here for more information about Online Antenatal Classes

Also super excited to share with you the great new photography from Bloom Birth Photography showcasing on our website. Thanks Bloom Birth & their amazing families who have so generously shared these precious images!

Empowered Birth

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"Birth is much more than a physical experience. Deep-seated feelings and emotions often surface during the highly emotional process of childbirth. Unresolved issues from previous birth experiences or difficult past life events can interfere with labour progress both physically and psychologically... Every woman deserves a positive and empowering birth experience and should make choices best for her to achieve this." -BirthWorks International

(Photo credit: The superbly awesome Bloom Birth Photography)

EMPOWERED BIRTHING CONTINUES!

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I'm in tears reading the newest birth stories of The Birthing Room families! The Birthing Room is in the middle of a life transforming movement, which I doubt has been seen in NZ since Jean Sutton turned around her primary birthing unit to a natural birth phenomenon!

Women are coming away from our antenatal classes, and birthing their babies in the most empowering, hard core, Mama warrior way! No matter what the circumstances, they are making awesome informed decisions, trusting their bodies, and feeling on top of the world afterwards. Fathers are finding their voice, being the advocate their partner hoped they would be, and are being fully involved in the birth process of their child. These families are amazing.

NO CAESAREANS NOW FOR 10 MONTHS! Just blown away.

The Birthing Room Antenatal Classes

(Special thanks to Bloom Birth Photography and the gorgeous Mama for the beautiful picture)

A coincidence? I think not!

The Birthing Room has had 2 "unplanned unassisted" home births over the last few months, and now almost a third! What are the common factors? All women were unafraid, had used optimal foetal positioning to get their babies into a great birth position, and thought they were only just beginning labour... but in fact were almost at the end! So nobody thought the midwife was needed yet. The Birthing Room is once again empowering parents to make informed decisions with our Doco & Discussion Night next Wednesday in Christchurch. The Face of Birth looks at the rights of parents to choose their birth place and team, and the evening will be a great opportunity to meet other empowered like-minded people! Be in quick to get your ticket.