Dear Mr Anaesthetist

On Wednesday night I made a new friend on twitter. Whilst broadcasting both of our, rather different, thoughts on the Channel 4 documentary One Born Every Minute, an anaesthetist and I collided across our respective wi-fi’s. You can read our discussion here (look out for @welsh_gas_doc). I’ve had similar conversations before in the real world. They generally start off a bit less confrontational when you are face-to-face, but I’ve... Read More

Whipps Cross Homebirth service resumed!

I’m leaving this post up for historical purposes, but the most up-to-date information about the Whipps homebirth team can be found here.   I’m getting lots of google traffic from people searching for information on the Whipps Cross homebirth service so wanted to post all I know about the current situation here. 1. Whipps have committed to offering a continuous homebirth service and have done so publicly in the Waltham Forest Guardian.... Read More

Induction stations!

Something that loads of people I work with have to at least fleetingly consider is the possibility of induction. It’s a horrible word and always makes me thing of a lurching pregnant robot shouting, Dalek-style “induction, induction, induction” while mowing you down with a pessary. The good news is that most of the people who have to think about induction end up leaving those thoughts far behind them when their small person makes... Read More

Homebirth debate: The Hackney Doula on the gogglebox

So, I ummed and ahhed about whether to post this. It seems a bit vain to post a video of yourself and lightly embarrassing when you consider my first-timer classic errors of looking at the wrong camera and waving my arms like a loon. However, I decided there were some good points in there and you might all forgive me my moments of idiocy in light of trying to correct some mis-interpretations of the Birthplace study and myths about birth in general. Be... Read More

Birthplace study: the bigger picture

It was inevitable that yesterday’s Birthplace study would cause the kind of chest-beating, hair-tearing, teeth-gnashing media frenzy that is reserved especially for anything related to birth choices. Ah well! Important to let them all have their fun, eh? Well actually no it isn’t. Being as it impacts on the lives of so many of us I think there should have been a few more valiant attempts to report this vital new research in its propert... Read More

Minimal Baby: The Hackney Doula in the Guardian

I learn most useful things from couples I work with and decided to share one big lesson in this week’s Guardian G2. Want to know more about attachment parenting? How to get by without a buggy or a cot? Intrigued by co-sleeping or just plain skint? Find out more about how to have a minimal baby here. Tweet Read More

NICE or not?

In case you’ve been living in a home with no electricity, phone, internet and TV for a hilarious Channel 4 reality experiment, NICE (that’s the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) just issued a new set of guidelines on caesarean birth. It covers all aspects of caesareans from a medical perspective and has lots of good stuff in it, like this recommendation about early skin-to-skin contact: “Early skin-to-skin... Read More

Help I’m trapped! (Well, actually you aren’t)

If you’re anything like me it’s not uncommon to be dead set on one course of action and then have a complete about face and decide to move off in the opposite way. One minute I’m out for brunch and all set to order fruit salad and green tea but somehow out of my mouth comes a demand for a double chocolate muffin and large latte. When it comes to maternity services though there seems to be a myth that once you’ve ticked the... Read More

How to be a positive birth partner. Part 3: after

Wow, well that was… just wow. One minute she was pregnant and the next there was another little person in the room. Everything in the universe shifted up a bit and settled itself down a bit to the left to make room for this tiny VIP. And then, after a moment of calm, this brave new world began in earnest. Those first few minutes, hours, days and weeks are amazing and stretching. It can be hard to know what to do to help and tricky not to feel... Read More

The Hackney Doula on Comment is Free: fear, fear everywhere

Not satisfied with jabbering on here at Hackney Doula HQ, I was asked to respond to the last week’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ proposal that, amongst other things, suggested more births should take place outside of a hospital setting and be led by midwives. You can read my Guardian ‘Comment is Free’ piece here. Taking a very deep doula breath I waded in to the comments and found, unsurprisingly, that... Read More

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The Hackney Doula

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