This is a repost form March 2017..........
I have just got home from the most amazing weekend! The Doula UK conference 2017 was held in Manchester (which is a long long way from Cornwall!). The line up was impressive, Ina May Gaskin, Hollie Mcnish, Kerstin uvnäs Moberg and more! So now I am home, I am starting to debrief the mountain of information that I received during the weekend. There will be more in depth blogs to come in the coming weeks but here is a basic overview of the main points I learnt……….
1, Ina May Gaskin- “My intention was to treat women how I wish I had been treated” This was her motivation that started her journey as a midwife. Reflecting back on her experience as a birthing woman and rather than concentrating on her feelings of hurt or anger she used it to put other women first and ensure that they did not have to feel the way she did during birth. To support them to achieve greatness and feel like the most amazing woman in the world.
2, Ina May Gaskin- What helps women give birth;
Education without fear
Antidote to fear is courage
Helpers who don’t ruin birth
Is there a better summary of what a doula can offer a woman?!
3, 33-45% of women feel traumatised by birth!!!
This is so incredibly shocking! I knew the figure would be high but not that high, I feel passionate about maternal mental health so I choose to do the workshop offered which concentrated on supporting families and spotting the early signs of perinatal mental health problems. Some of the statistics were deeply upsetting. Including the long term effects on mother and baby of untreated mental health problems in pregnancy. This has to change. Mental health must become something that is seen as just as important as physical health especially because Mental health is now “One of the leading DIRECT causes of maternal death” Just let that sink in for a moment. PND, OCD, PNA, PTSD these are just some the illnesses that can develop in pregnancy and it can happen to anyone. This is something I am planning on blogging about again and in much more detail. If you are affected by Perinatal mental health problems as a mother, father, partner, family member, friend there are some links at the bottom of this post to places you can find support and help.
4, Kerstin uvnäs Moberg- Oxytocin is freaking incredible and unnecessary medical interventions have lots of consequences!
So much information on Oxytocin so again I will blog in much more detail at a later date but as a quick overview; benefits of high Oxytocin levels include lower BP, increased wound healing, stimulates dopamine (pain relief), decreases stress. Medical interventions have an impact on Oxytocin levels not just during birth but also at two days post birth. This has an impact on both mother and baby. Artificial Oxytocin is EXACTLY THE SAME as natural Oxytocin (which I absolutely did not know!) however, because Oxytocin is a Peptide it does not cross the blood brain barrier so the difference is natural Oxytocin is found in the brain and the blood an artificial Oxytocin infusion only enters the bloodstream and does not have the same effect on the brain. One consequence of this is when an Oxytocin infusion is used to induce labour, it creates longer and more painful contractions but does not create the same benefits as natural Oxytocin as mentioned above such as decreased stress, dopamine stimulation plus 2 days post birth mothers who were given an Oxytocin infusion are shown to have higher stress levels and lower Oxytocin levels than mothers that did not receive artificial Oxytocin during labour.
I have come away with a bag of amazing goodies. A gorgeous beaded birth line from my awesome mentor Kaz Woodbury. I am so excited to use this with families to help go through the stages of birth and create a positive, physical reminder.
I also received a truly stunning set of mindfulness cards from go with the flow birth school. I am very grateful for the opportunity to use these beautiful cards. I can see almost endless opportunities to use them.
Keep an eye out for future blogs which will go into more detail of each point above, please do get in touch if you have any questions about anything or leave a comment on this blog. If you’d like to talk about my doula services please either send me a message on Facebook or contact me on 07811318242.
Below are links to support organisations for Perinatal mental health and links to sites you can buy the beautiful things I got at the conference.
Mind- Mental health charity
NHS Maternal mental health support
Beyond birthing- Beaded birth lines
Go with the flow birth school- Mindfulness cards
Ina May Gaskin
Kerstin Uvnas Moberg