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"What about the Children?!" - The ethics and outcomes of surrogacy

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A recent post by prominent birth-related Instagram account @trusting_birth suggested, as many others have done previously, that surrogacy is unethical. This was the case, in their opinion, regardless of whether the surrogate carried the pregnancy through commercial or altruistic avenues.  As commercial surrogacy is illegal in Australia, this article will address altruistic surrogacy, whereby the surrogate[1] does not receive payment for their role in carrying or birthing the baby. 

The original…

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Bigger Bodies and Birth: Cutting through the BS to help make the best decisions for you

Anti-fat sentiment is pervasive in all aspects of our society, and is particularly dangerous and harmful in the realm of pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. In the words (1) of size-friendly birth educator Pamela Vireday,

“Fat women are tired of being marginalized by the medical community. They tell stories of egregious bias, of being treated as less than human. They also tell stories of subtle bias, of providers who seem to be size-friendly but ultimately are not.”

In this week’s newslet…

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"Regretting Motherhood": 6 Key Learning Points for Doulas and Parents

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You know when you think you’re not that hungry, only to start eating and find out you’re ravenous?

This is exactly how it was for me reading Regretting Motherhood by Orna Donath. After many not-that-exciting motherhood related reads in 2023, once I got my teeth into this one I devoured it. I didn’t want it to end, and found myself doing the reading version of “licking the bowl”, i.e. studying the reference list in detail!

If you are a feminist, someone who works with mothers, or a feminist who…

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3 tips to do 70% of your best in 2024

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New Year is often the time people decide they’re going to do more of something, less of another, transform this or ditch that. While I’m not one for resolutions, I can appreciate there are certain times of year when it’s easier to find motivation for healthful behaviours than others. (The rhyme isn’t the only reason Dry July is much more palatable concept for many than Dry December!)

If there are any Default Parents reading this and thinking about setting personal “goals” or “intentions” for 20…

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Christmas is not a valid reason for induction

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Hello and welcome to mid-December, the time I remind those in their third trimester that the upcoming festive season and public holidays are not a good reason for induction.

Before I go on, I want to be clear that there are good reasons for induction in certain circumstances. When truly indicated, induction can be an important way to keep babies and their mothers or carrying parents safest. This article is not about those inductions but the ones that are pushed on pregnant women and people who …

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An angry mother is an underresourced mother

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Thursday night was one of the most relaxed nights I can remember with my kids. I played and bathed with them without having to feign interest. There was no arguing or gritting my teeth despite my unfairly low-sleep-needs firstborn not being interested in sleep until well after 9pm. I was solo parenting but had it covered. I am smashing this mum-of-two thing, I thought as I dozed off alongside both of my sleeping cherubs, I’ve got this in the bag.

The following night, less than 24 hours after pa…

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The Epidural - How the gift of the few became the curse of the many

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In episodes 278 and 279 of the Nourishing The Mother podcast, childbirth educator, birth doula and author Rhea Dempsey explains how epidurals were initially welcomed by the birth community.

To begin with, they were given to women who had very long labours so they could finally get some rest before pushing their babies out.

I know women who have used epidurals as per their original intended usage to great effect. I know women who have understood the risks and benefits and planned for an epidura…

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“Breastfeeding is free!” and other nonsense - Why there is no “free” way to feed a baby

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In May 2022, US-based Assistant Professor Jessica Owens-Young tweeted:

“The ‘breastfeeding is free’ narrative in the midst of an infant formula shortage is a great example of public ignorance of what it actually takes to successfully breastfeed.”

There is the time, physical labour, mental load, short and long-term financial consequences of lost income, superannuation and career non-progression associated with lactation, yet there is also the direct expenses of making breastfeeding happen that …

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"Such a good age": Why eight months postpartum can feel like anything but

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EIGHT MONTHS POSTPARTUM.

A time also known as: Oooft, Dear Lordy, WTF, Why? What is sleep? and alternatively, Send help.

By far, no question, without a doubt, 8 months postpartum was the hardest time for me. This is the primary reason why my single session/SOS doula day service extends beyond the newborn period to when baby turns two years old!

I’m not the only one, and I can see why so many hit rock bottom at that age. Here’s what’s going on for many mothers and birth parents in Australia at…

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The Cover Up: When motherhood is not as it seems

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There’s something wrong with this picture.


In the blink of an eye between being a student and a mother, those fleeting moments “disposable income” was a thing, I subscribed to this magazine.


I would receive and read each month, then take to share with colleagues in my workplace lunch room.


Sometimes we’d look at the images and dream of living as the women pictured did - the ones who ran their hands through the tips of grasses and smiling while inspecting fleece - then glance at the cloc…

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