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5 Tips for Coping with your Newborn Baby

Posted by Sarah Meder on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, In : Newborns 
This is my personal perspective. I really struggled to cope with the experience and since working as a doula over the last 10 years I have tried to figure out what the difference is between those who find it a breeze and those who, like me, felt like it was hell on earth. So this is what I have discovered...

(these tips are specifically related to the first two weeks post-birth)

1. Give up control

You have a new boss with a closed door policy. In fact, this is more of a Dictator than a boss. The...
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Cord Care without Surgical Spirits

Posted by Sarah Meder on Thursday, August 29, 2013, In : Post-Birth 
Surgical Spirits, or rubbing alcohol, is still routinely used in South Africa as the standard method of caring for the umbilical cord despite many other countries (such as the United Kingdom) discontinuing the practice due to certain problems it creates. In South Africa, mothers are advised to apply surgical spirits to the base of the cord with every nappy change but alternative practices exist.

The problems with alcohol use

Studies have shown that using Surgical Spirits to clean the umbilical ...
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Alternatives to Plastic Umbilical Cord Clamps

Posted by Sarah Meder on Thursday, August 29, 2013, In : Post-Birth 
Below is what the usual umbilical cord clamp used by most South African Hospitals. This kind of umbilical cord clamp is quite big, clunky and sometimes can cause discomfort for the baby if it gets caught on the edge of a nappy.



It's no wonder that parents are interested in alternatives to the standard cord clamp - and yes, there are options!

First some information about the Umbilical Cord itself...

Humans are the only mammals on earth which have the umbilical cord immediately clamped and cut fol...

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Doula Care for a C-section

Posted by Sarah Meder on Monday, May 6, 2013, In : Caesarean Section 
There is no other major surgery of it's kind where you will be handed a newborn baby immediately afterwards and expected to care for it, and there are very few other major surgeries where you will be wide-awake and fully conscious of what is taking place.

A c-section is a very remarkable and sometimes overwhelming experience for both the mother and the father, so having a familiar, caring presence with you during surgery can offer immense relief to both parents. While many medical professional...
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Natural C-section

Posted by Sarah Meder on Monday, November 12, 2012, In : Caesarean Section 
You may have longed and hoped for a natural birth, but fate had something else in store and an elective c-section has become the fabulous life-saving technology it was always intended to be! While you can be glad of this option to delivery your baby safely, you may mourn the loss of a powerful natural birth and some of the benefits it offers, such as immediate skin to skin and delayed cord clamping. How can you bring these special elements into an elective c-section?

Enter the Natural C-Sectio...
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Natural Induction of Labour

Posted by Sarah on Saturday, October 13, 2012, In : Interventions 

In this guide to the natural induction of labour, I will go through methods that are often recommended from innocuous suggestion of eat certain foods to more extreme methods in the form of castor oil.

The first thing which can help you determine if any kind of induction will be successful is to know your Bishop Score. You would need a doctor or midwife to assess what your score is, but you should have a score of above 8 for an induction to have a good chance of suc...


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Dianatal Obstetric Gel

Posted by Sarah Meder on Sunday, October 30, 2011, In : Interventions 
This Obstetric Gel is now available in South Africa. It is essentially a lubricant for the birth canal and has been found to assist in easing childbirth and protecting against damage to the perineum.

  

More information can be found on their website. In order to use this during your birth in a South African hospital you just need to speak to your Gynecologist or Midwife who will be able to obtain it for you.

 

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How to choose a hospital for childbirth

Posted by Sarah Meder on Sunday, October 17, 2010, In : Pollitics 

When autumn comes to New Mexico, the aroma of green chile being roasted fills the air. Locals buy big burlap sacks of chile which are poured into a big drum that turns over a fire until the chile is charred (which then allows the skin to be peeled off).

Chile is mild, medium, hot, or very hot! Locals know enough to ask, “How hot is your chile?”

One day a newcomer to New Mexico stopped at the Grocery Emporium on Girard Boulevard and bought a bag of roasted Chile. The aroma made her ...


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Home Birth Gathering

Posted by Sarah Meder on Sunday, July 25, 2010, In : Homebirth 

For those:

  • who have had a home birth
  • who have wanted a home birth
  • who are planning a home birth
  • whose home birth didn't go according to plan
  • who are thinking about having a home birth
  • who have ‘caught’ babies born at home
  • who have supported mothers giving birth at home
  • who are interested in home birth...

R30 per person,

...
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Good Reasons to hire a Private Midwife

Posted by Sarah Meder on Friday, June 25, 2010, In : Pregnancy 
1. Continuity of Care

Obstetricians/Gynecologists often work in teams. While you might still get to see your doctor for each of your prenatal visits, when you go into labour you will see whoever is on call at the time (which might be anywhere between 1 other, to 3 or 4 other doctors). In some cases, where a woman would like to guarantee that her doctor is the one delivering the baby an elective c-section will often be encouraged.

It's completely understandable that you would want the same perso...
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Due Dates

Posted by Sarah Meder on Tuesday, December 1, 2009, In : Pregnancy 
The Due Date - That special date when you get to meet your precious new born child!

This will often be one of the very first things you will found out following a positive pregnancy test and it's the first thing people want to know when they discover you are pregnant.

It's a date that women think of with great excitement in the beginning, and towards the end of the pregnancy it torments them because it either feels like they'll never reach it or they have to deal with disappointment when they ...
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Vrksasana - The Tree Pose

Posted by Sarah Meder on Wednesday, October 21, 2009, In : Inspiration 
This is a pose used in Yoga and it is called “The Tree Pose” or in Sanskrit “Vrksasana”.

When using this pose, a person should be like a tree, with roots holding them firmly to the earth but still able to bend and sway in harmony with the breeze or mighty gale.

A similar mindset is needed to face childbirth, where you are firmly grounded and can have a sense of inner peace and calm while being able to adjust and accept any obstacles that may arise.

By empowering yourself with knowledg...
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A C-Section, but naturally!

Posted by Sarah Meder on Friday, October 16, 2009, In : Caesarean Section 

This is a new term that is gaining popularity as it provides a very different approach to Ceasarean Surgery.  It offers parents, and their baby, some aspects of a vaginal birth that are not normally associated with ceasarean birth.

During the traditional method of ceasarean surgery, the doctor tries to perform this as quickly as possible. The baby is pulled from the mother uterus as soon as possible after the incision is made and then whisked away to be evaluated, then swaddled and brought...


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Lotus Birth

Posted by Sarah Meder on Wednesday, July 15, 2009, In : Lotus Birth 

This is where a mother choses not to cut the umbilical cord following the birth, and instead, allows the cord to dry out and fall off naturally (as it would in the case of the small stump that is left when the cord has been severed). This means that both the cord and placenta will remain attached to the child until it falls away naturally.

For people who are not familiar with this idea, the initial reaction will be one of slight shock and perhaps some disgust as they immeadiately assume...


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Water Birth

Posted by Sarah Meder on Wednesday, July 15, 2009, In : Waterbirth 

A waterbirth can take place, in the home, in a hospital, birthcentre or even outdoors in a ocean tidal pool or other natural pool.

The first question that people always ask is "But doesn't the baby drown when it's born under water". The answer is an emphatic "NO!".

The baby has been surrounded by water, or more specifically amniotic fluid, for nine months. The baby "breathes" through the placenta and umbilical cord and continues to do so until the cord is severed. Another fascinat...


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Hypnobirth

Posted by Sarah Meder on Monday, July 13, 2009, In : Hypnobirth 

Hypnobirth is method developed by an american woman which helps labouring women enter a state of deep relaxation in order to diminish the pain of childbirth. This technique can be used whether you choose vaginal birth or c-section. Women who have had emergency c-sections have reported finding the technique very useful in such a stressful situation.

International website - www.hypnobirthing.com/

Local Resources

Kim Young (Northern & Southern Suburbs, Cape Town) www.beautifullyborn.co.za

HYPN...


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Homebirth

Posted by Sarah Meder on Friday, July 10, 2009, In : Homebirth 

This is a birth which happens in at a place which is not a medical facility ie. the mothers home or the house of a friend/family member.

Prior to the mid-1900's childbirth always happened in the home and was attended by a midwife or the local GP.

People often question the safety of childbirth, and it is the responsibility of each and every woman considering this option to do her own research.

The conclusion that I, personally, came to was the following:

Prior to the m...


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Unassisted Birth

Posted by Sarah Meder on Friday, July 10, 2009, In : Unassisted Birth 

This is when a woman decides to have a baby, at home, without the help of a medical professional (ie. Doctor or Midwife). Sometimes there may be assistance from a partner/friend/sister/doula and other times to woman may choose to have here baby in complete privacy.

The reasons a woman may choose this option are many and varied. It may simply be the case that the woman does not have access to a medical professional who is able to attend a homebirth, or perhpas there are no Birth Centres ...


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Informed Choice


by Sarah This section of the website contains information on different ways of giving birth, including information from magazines and videos.