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What is a Doula? A Doula provides emotional and physical support to mothers and families during their pregnancy and birth journey. A Dou...

Tuesday, 11 October 2016



O.K. Today was a special day! The first day of a three day international conference (held in Sydney this year woooooh) exploring normal birth.

Here is the highlight reel for those of you playing along at home.

This guy... Professor Eugine Declercq


It doesn't look like it here.. but this guy had a room full of sleep-deprived birth workers giggling.

Somehow Professor Eugine Declercq managed to make statistics fun and informative... what kind of magic is this?

One highlight from Professor Declercq was:

1. Women are being told that their babies are too big... but babies aren't getting bigger. Interesting. 

Check out some fun data at the Birth by the Numbers website he recommended.

The next exciting development of the day.... got me all sweaty and nervous! 


As fate would have it I got to sit next to my doula crush Sarah Buckley! She wrote the first book that I ever read which got me questioning how we do birth in this country. *birthy swooooon*

Me and Sarah Buckley. I'm definitely not pooping my pants...
 my face just looks like that.


As if that wasn't enough... I then got to listen to a room full of amazing midwives talking about the third stage of labour!  


All the funs.

After a fun history lesson where I learned that apparently the drug Ergometrine originally came from a fungus that grows on rye (Delish!) then all the midwives were on the placenta train. Listening to their experiences was so incredible. I. can't. even. 

So three fun facts from this session:

1. Many midwives primarily practise managed third stage... some have never seen a physiological third stage- even at the normal labour and birth conference. 

2. Language is important. It's "placental birth"opposed to third stage. Instead of Delayed Cord Clamping they are labeling it Physiological and Early Cord Clamping should be used for anything other than Physiological.

3. Increased management of the third stage has not decreased post-partum hemorrhage rates. In fact they are increasing. 

And a bonus one for funsies

With delayed cord clamping placental blood transfusion to the baby can be anywhere from 50mls to 150mls. My good mate (who I said an entire two sentences to) Sarah Buckley brought this up, the hypothesis is that the baby can regulate the amount of blood he/she receives when optimal cord clamping is used. Clever things. 

If this area interests you check out my post 10 Things To Do With Your Placenta

Then I went to Bernadette Leiser's Session about acupressure for the perinatal period. 


I'm not sure what drew me to this one in the first place, but I do feel more confident in using the tools they showed us for women during labour. 

Things I learned:

1. There is a bucketful and a half of studies showing that acupressure is effective- including randomised control trials. 

2. There is a woman called Deborah Betts who is super passionate about this all and has lots of info for parents on her website. Check it out here.

3. There is an acupressure point that stimulates your bowel. Interesting right? 

*Then I had a lovely doula catch-up lunch where talking about placentas over pasta was acceptable* 


Next keynote speaker was Caroline Homer, the President of the Australian College of Midwives. 


Holy mackerel.

This woman is clever. And I mean clever. She pretty much blew everyone away with her address. It was centered around the inequalities that women face in low income countries.

Taking into account all of the places she has visited, papers she has worked on and things she has done, I have deduced that she is at least 130 years old.
Things I took away from her talk: 

1. Developing countries have incredibly low cesarean rates (sometimes as low as 0.25% in poor rural areas) and women and children are dying because of it. This is due to many factors; primarily access, funding and education.

2. Where women in low income countries do have access to a cesarean birth, they may have many complications as a result- including approximately 20% of all women developing birth fistulas as a result of the operation. Further concern surrounds future birth for these women who may not be able to access healthcare again from small villages.

3. If local women in developing countries could be trained adequately as midwives, many of the inequalities surrounding birth could be addressed- the money doesn't need to go into fancy machines.

The take away message was that globally our healthcare system is in desperate need of balance.




Please feel free to comment below! xx


  1. Thanks for the informative and amusing recap! Wish I could be at the conference... Looking forward to your next observations.

  2. Thank you Ellen! This is such a great summary. Will be following <3

  3. Reading your blog had me reliving the captivating experience we just departed from, I think I'll read it again... <3 Keep up this amazing work!!!


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