What Can We Do About Unchanging Breastfeeding Longevity Rates?

For as long as I have been a midwife I’ve seen many women start to breast feed and stop after 2 weeks. Looking at the statistics this pattern seems to have been going on for a long time. 
A woman has a right to change her mind about her feeding choices, and guilt should never be the feeling she is left with, but what I object to is the amount of substandard advice and information given to breast feeding women by birth professionals (midwives).
Often the support offered is in direct conflict with what we know about how breast feeding works, what’s going on? Do some midwives not fully understand the physiology of breast feeding? 
‘Top your baby up with a bottle, you need the rest’.
‘Wake your baby in the day to feed, you need to get this baby into a routine’.
‘Nipple shields are a good way to get you through this painful feeding period’
‘Your new born is sleeping too much, wake the baby up and offer the Breast’. 
This is said to women who have had a ‘straight forward’ birth and whose baby is a good weight, physically well in every other way, just sleeping.
I’m sure you could add your own example to this list. 
Even a basic understanding of the physiology of lactation would cure this, ‘well meaning’ sabotage of breast feeding which often leads to the demoralisation of desperately tired and worried new mothers. 
Breast feeding stops because the advise given has been taken and thus impacted on this ancient process that has kept man kind (mammals after all) alive on the planet for millions of years. 
Like the process of birth, breast feeding works perfectly and birth professionals would do well to humbly step back, deferring to a woman’s inner intuitive knowing.
I am working on a resource aimed at men and same sex partners who are supporting their breast feeding lovers.
It will include video clips , a full explanation of how breast feeding works, liking that physiology to our evolutionary development over many years. 
Examples of baby feeding signals, good ‘latching on’ and position for feeding will be shown to him. He will understand the function of the brown fat across his baby’s scapular in those early hours as the placental hormones flushes out of his lovers body allowing prolactin to do its work. 
After a man has seen the video and worked through some written material including exercises designed to reinforce this knowledge, he will intuitively know what is poor/good advice (this can be done on his own or in a facilitated group).
He will then be able to support his partner in her feeding choices. The truth will set him free from the constraints of having to ignorantly follow the advice of professionals visiting his home. 
Watch this space for further developments. If you have examples of the kind of poor advice given to breast feeding women please post in the comments section below. 


Why Don’t All Women Have ‘Intact Perineum’s After Birth?

Some midwives still take credit for ‘intact perineum’s’, I think it would be good to stop it. 

Any credit a midwife or any other birth professional takes for a woman’s birth is miss placed. Our job is simple, point to the source of birthing power, inside the woman. 

Not tearing while birthing is not a mark of any kind of success, it will happen or it won’t happen, there may be things a woman can do reduce it’s likelihood. 

Being upright while birthing, no doing any kind of ‘controlled pushing’, pre massage with oil etc 

It raises the idea that some midwives and most doctors have, that putting pressure on the head of the baby as it crowns, and in some why ‘controlling’ a woman’s pushing can reduce the amount of perineal trauma a woman experiences.

The variables in any study are compounded, and the design of any such study has at it’s core medical presuppositions. 

A ‘worshipful’ response to each powerful, birthing woman would create the kind of humble attitude which in turn would shape our kind, gentle, care of her as she does her amazing work of keeping humanity present on the earth. 


People Die On Ordinary Days 

I remember talking to a group of people under 20, who had been kicked out of school,  about ‘the myth of time’.

‘There is no future place’, I told them, ‘it’s just an illusion produced by thinking’, ‘there is no past either, it’s just a story you made up about what happened’! 

‘All there really is’, I went on, ‘is the moment you are in, this moment’. 
‘You wonder how your life will turn out’? 
‘Well , here’s the Truth, it turned out, this is it’!!

A small chap on the front row, shouted out, ‘are you saying we should live today like it’s our last’?

‘Hell no’, I said, ‘if I knew today was my last day I wouldn’t be here with you’!

‘I would be home looking my loved ones in the eye, telling them I loved them and that they can do anything in live they choose’.

‘What I’m saying to you is that we should treat everyday like it’s our last ‘ordinary day’!

People wake up on ordinary days, and go to ordinary jobs, sleep walking through their lives, lost in thinking, not realising that this ordinary day will be their last. 

People die on ordinary days. 



There is an intensity to the drama of life that is deeply personal, yet at the same time not ‘personal’ at all, but shared with ‘every’ human being through the ‘Naked Awareness’, Eternally Present in this ‘Moment’.  

Living The Dream

I was convinced that I was about to be attacked, in the darkness I couldn’t work out who or what was coming, but the feelings of fear were ‘real’ for sure.
Then I woke up, sweaty, breathing hard, still panicked. I was convinced inside the dream that I was a person about to be hurt. 
Now I am awake, convinced that all these events in life that seem to be unfolding are ‘real’,they ‘feel’ real, and I notice that a ‘dream’ like feeling still lingers.


Midwives: 17 Words & Phrases To ‘Consider’ Stopping Using…..Please? 😔

17 Words and Phrases I’ve Heard Midwives Say That Need, In My Opinion, SCRAPPING..if you are a midwife and use any of them…please consider other options 😃

Number 1: ‘MY ‘ladies’.

Number 2: ‘you might ‘be ALLOWED’ to have a home birth’…insert anything in for home birth. The language of permission is missing the point.

Number 3: ‘I just catch babies’! Aghhh at most midwives offer support based on reflected upon experience. Midwives and birth professionals ‘point’ to the ‘source of birthing power’. Any phrases that even hint at a ‘power shift’ towards the professional  help little. 

Number 4: ‘if you don’t push better than this I’m going to get the doctors’. 

Number 5: Any references to ‘stages’ of ‘labour’ that suggests that they actually exist! Remember, we MADE them UP! Useful guide? Maybe? Maybe not. 

Number 6: ‘They’. Women are not all the SAME, your experience is useful BUT not absolute, always ‘bow the knee’ to a woman’s sublime uniqueness. 

Number 7: Any use of the words ‘they’ or ‘them’ when speaking about pregnant women.  

Number 8: ‘pethidine will work well for you. 

Number 9: ‘you must get on the bed for me to examine you’. 

Number 10: ‘it’s too late for an epidural’. 

Number 11: ‘we are going to let your epidural wear of so you can feel when to push’. 

Number 12: ‘if we put your legs into lithotomy you will be able to push better’. 

Number 13: ‘If you think this is painful (a comment on so called latent phase of labour), just wait until ‘labour’ starts. 

Number 14: ‘it’s too early for gas an air’. 

Number 15: with fingers in the woman’s Vagina: ‘RELAX’.

Number 16: ‘just pop on the bed, I’m going to examine you ‘down there’.  

Number 17: ‘chin on your chest, hold your breath and with the next contraction…PUUUUUUSH’! 

(For advanced information about @birthing4blokes video programme go to Birthing4Blokes