If you’re expecting a baby, there’s a good chance you’ve wondered if you’ll have a vaginal birth or a caesarean section (C-section). Maybe you talked about your chance of having a C-section with your doctor or midwife. You might even wonder if a C-section is easier or safer than vaginal birth. It’s important to get the facts and understand your options, so you can be prepared to make the best decisions for you and your baby.
An interview with Fiona and Craig Castleton about their birthing experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fiona and Craig welcomed their first baby in April 2020 — when everything was locked down. We talk about their experience taking the online Evidence Based Birth® Childbirth Class and how their doula - Shalin helped mentor them in comfort measures and advocacy. We also talk about birthing during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they advocated for themselves during pregnancy and during the birth. Fiona has shorter stature and had a history of spinal fusion surgery as a teen, and she had to navigate conflicting medical opinions about her ability to have an epidural or, even whether or not she could have a vaginal birth. In the end, Fiona and Craig used their advocacy skills and had an empowering unmedicated hospital birthing experience as first-time parents.
This is helpful for all expectant parents to know! New research finds that with C-section, if immediate skin-to-skin with the mother isn’t possible, a newborn baby can really benefit from having immediate skin-to-skin contact with the father (or partner). The study by Ayala A. et al., (2021) found that when a mother isn't available after surgery, babies born by C-section have a more stable heart rate if they lie on their father's bare chest than if they are placed in a crib/cot, or held in the father's arms.
Attachment parenting techniques have always attracted a lot of attention. At some point in the process of becoming a mother, a woman goes through a massive priority shift. A combination of love, hormones and instinct mean that something happens for most people when they realise they are responsible for a completely dependent and vulnerable human being. Parents of infants and young children face many challenges when dealing with negative emotions such as crying, distress, fear and anger. Many parents feel strong and confident in their parenting choices and a great number of them probably operate on instinct and do not get distracted by other peoples’ opinions. But what if early parenting blindsides you, challenges everything you think you know? With so much advice on different styles of parenting, how do you know what works? Is trial and error best or should every parent test different approaches to see what ultimately works for them?
Colostrum is one of the most amazing substances known to medicine – and one of the most misunderstood. If you’re thinking “What on earth is colostrum?”, then read on – you’re about to encounter the original liquid gold. Colostrum is the first milk that your breasts produce for your baby. Your breasts will already start to produce colostrum from somewhere around the middle of your pregnancy – so it is already there and waiting when your baby is born.
Most men have either read, or have at least heard of Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of highly effective people”. It was originally published in 1989 and has since been an international bestseller – 15 million copies have been sold and the book has been translated into 38 languages. As the subtitle suggests (“powerful lessons in personal change”), Covey presents a “self-help” approach to being effective in attaining personal goals. But what if your personal goal is to be a good father to your children? Is this an attainable goal? To use Covey’s subtitle (slightly tongue-in-cheek!) Are there “powerful lessons in parental change”?
What follows are not “THE 7”, but 7 habits that I believe are hallmarks of dads who are “effective” in fathering their children:
With the birth of my first daughter – Mionette, I had a terrible experience. I was in labour from the morning of 13 June until she was born at 17:00 on 16 June 2013. We had no medical aid, and I had to use a government hospital. The service we got was not all that bad, it was the fact that no one really attends to you while in labour. I had no medication or pain killers during labour and my husband was not allowed to be with me until our daughter was almost born. So when I fell pregnant with our second daughter Amy, I decided that I wanted to do things differently this time.
Many vaccines are being developed, but pregnant and lactating individuals have been excluded from every trial so far. This means we do not have any data yet on the maternal, foetal, or newborn effects of these vaccines.