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


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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Christmas is not a valid reason for induction


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


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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Why do I talk birth when I'm a postpartum doula?

Why do I spend so much time banging on about birth info when I’m actually a postpartum doula? Because, quite simply, we can’t pretend birth doesn’t influence postpartum.
The impact, as any mother or person whose experienced a traumatic or amazing birth will tell you, is massive. As such, preparing for birth is, in a way, preparing for postpartum, but we can’t end our efforts at birth affirmations.
My tips are:
1️⃣Get independent birth AND lactation education. You can’t re…

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Where is this leading? What it looks like when systemic birth interventions go unchecked

Sometimes when I speak with women and parents about birth interventions and systemic trauma, they wonder aloud “where does this end?”
The answer is this: left unchecked, it doesn’t.
In Brazil 82% of private hospital births are Caesareans. The total rate across the country is 55.8%. The episiotomy rate for vaginal birth is 94.2%.
The article “Why Most Brazilian Women Get C-Sections” in The Atlantic explains in detail, but in short:
-It’s a way to “optimise”…

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The Default or The Doula? Why We Need To Talk About Birth Partners Now More Than Ever.


Imagine waddling up to the desk at the maternity ward, labour in full swing. The masked midwife offers you a choice of Room One or Two. They are identical rooms, staffed by the same care team, and you are allowed one support person regardless of which room you choose.

Choose Room Two, she tells you, and your labour will be on average 41 minutes shorter than in Room One. You’ll be 31% less likely to need drugs to speed up your labour and 28% less likely to deliver via caesarean. You’ll also be…

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Again? Birthing Parents Ignored Again While Hillsong Parties Down The Road

I went on my first school camp at Glenrock Scout Camp, aged around 9 or 10 years old. That place has been in the news lately, but it wasn’t a big deal then.
What I remember as a view from a bunk bed, a movie night and a cold lagoon has been used in the last few days for Hillsong’s “Wildlife” event and summer camp. Footage from the event (released by Hillsong Youth in their own social media, not leaked), shows hundreds of people singing and dancing to performers inside a massive tent, …

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Mothers And Birth Parents Are Not Doormats. It's Time We Stopped Trampling Them.

not your passenger
“I’ll schedule your induction for Wednesday”

“I’ll check your cervix now”

“This will make the placenta come faster”

“They’re latching fine, you’ll get used to it”

“It’s policy to place them back in the crib”

“Just let them cry, they’ll soothe themselves”

“Tongue ties aren’t real”

“Start topping up with formula after each feed”

“It’s normal to feel low/anxious/exhausted”

“You should be grateful you had any leave at all”


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Is It Time For A Royal Commission Into Birth?


Today Western Sydney University Professor of Midwifery Hannah Dahlen posed two questions of her social media audience in response to 2021 update of the “Australia’s Mothers and Babies” report, released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare last week.

The first question, “what the hell are we doing?”, comes on the back of the following 2019 statistics from the publication last week.

As of 2019, Australia’s caesarean birth rate is now 36% (and 37% for first time mothers and birth par…

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