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Birth Experiences Study: The Biggest of its Kind! What is it and how to get involved.
If you are someone that understands how important maternity care and the perinatal period are for mother, baby, family and community health and wellbeing, tune in today to learn about vital new research into mothers experiences of maternity healthcare and childbirth in Australia and find out how you can support the study reach more people and become an even more powerful force in improving experiences and healthcare.
Today on Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, Oni Blecher speaks with Dr Hazel Keedle researcher at Western Sydney University and Annalee Atia, National President of Maternity Choices Australia and co-founder of our very own PBB Media about a critically important new study looking into the birth and perinatal care experiences of mothers in Australia.
The Birth Experience Study (BESt) can be completed here, only complete this questionnaire if you are Australian and have given birth in Australia in the past five years: https://surveyswesternsydney.au1.qualtrics.com/CP/File.php?F=F_3FeQerXzd8yoeI6
To donate and support the study head to the Community Funding Campaign: https://gofund.me/c92a1829
Maternity Choices Australia: www.maternitychoices.org
Dr Hazel Keedle
Produced & Edited by Oni Blecher and Annalee Atia
Presented by Oni Blecher
The Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond show is part of a wider nonprofit community media and journalism project, PBB Media.
All rights reserved.
Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond comes to you from Bundjalung Country at Cavanbah or Byron Bay and we acknowledge with respect and reverence the Arakwal people of the Budjalung nation, neighbouring clans and people for caring for this country since time immemorial.
Reclaiming the Rebozo with Mayte Acolt and Montse Olmos
In March 2021 Totonaca Indigenous birth companions Montse Olmos and Mayte Acolt started a petition titled 'Removing Rebozo Teachings From Doula Trainings'. It was a call to the international birth community and large training organisations, to stop their participation in the cultural appropriation and misuse of the sacred textile, the Rebozo.
In this conversation Montse and Mayte generously share on the cultural use, meaning and place of the Rebozo in their Indigenous communities and in traditional midwifery practices in Mexico, and how this knowledge is traditionally passed down. They share why they started this petition, and why proper training with Indigenous birthworkers is necessary for the Rebozo to be used safely and with respect, acknowledging it as an intervention. They also speak to being in relationship with the communities we learn from, the importance of accountability, how birth work and anti racism work go hand in hand, and give us points for necessary pause and reflection.
Montse Olmos and Mayte Acolt are Totonaca Indigenous birth companions and migrants in the United States. Mayte is a traditional Sobadora since age seven, taught by her grandmother. Montse was raised by her family elders who practiced herbal medicine, Sobadas and energetic healing. They host "What You Didn't Know About the Rebozo" together and share about the history of the Rebozo from an Indigenous perspective, while connecting it to the work of anti-racism, Indigenous liberation and becoming an accomplice to historically oppressed communities. Mayte and Montse began a movement in March 2021 to remove Rebozo birth techniques from Doula Training Organization in the U.S., as a result of the excessive and inappropriate use of this sacred textile amongst Doulas and Midwives. They conduct this work with genuine concern for the commercialization and dilution of the Rebozo and propose that extensive mentorship and hands-on learning from expert Elders is necessary in order to practice Rebozo body-work in an ethical way.
Link to the petition titled "Removing Rebozo Teachings from Doula Trainings"
Montse and Mayte also host a bi-weekly workshop about cultural appropriation of the Rebozo titled "What You Didn't Know About the Rebozo". Any information regarding the workshop can be found on Montse's Linktree: https://linktr.ee/montsedoula
You can follow Montse and Mayte on Instagram here:
Montse Olmos @mujer_dela_tierra
Mayte Acolt @maytethewombdoula
Optimising Menstrual Health and Fertility; an Ayurvedic Perspective
In this conversation, Oni Blecher speaks with Dylan Smith.
Dylan Smith is a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and holistic health educator based in Sydney, Australia, where he runs and operates the Vital Veda clinic for patients and for those who love to nourish themselves with precious herbal elixirs.
Aimed at uncovering the root cause of ailments, Dylan shares wisdom through podcasts, teaching programs and travels the world to teach patients to effortlessly integrate foundational techniques into their daily life so they can thrive.
Regularly travelling to India to train with an internationally renowned family of Ayurvedic doctors, Dylan is devoted to learning, sharing and radiating this ancient knowledge for everyone to utilise and enjoy, to experience total wellness and bliss. Dylan has a passion for treating, a Passion for Education, and a for Herbs and Nature.
Staying and learning from his Guru (teacher) in India for 6 month periods started a beautiful and purposeful learning teaching relationship. revolutionised Dylan’s Ayurvedic practice and increased the effectiveness and success rates of his treatments and prescriptions profoundly.
Since then until today, Dylan continues to travel back and forth to the Raju Clinic in India to work and receive advanced teachings and initiations.
In this conversation, Oni chats to Dylan about health pertaining to the menstrual, pre conception, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum health. We also speak more broadly about Ayurvedic wisdom through the nature of the doshas and the masculine and feminine and how finding balance can positively effect partnership and parenthood. At the end, Dylan lists some of his generous free resources for these periods of life. Enjoy this conversation ! And please leave reviews and feedback to help us produce more of what you need !
PBB Bulletin - Improving Maternity Care in Australia with Alecia Staines
PBB Special Bulletin/Interview with Alecia Staines, Director of Maternity Consumer Network
If you are tuning in from Australia, this is an important message to women, people, families and community members accessing maternity healthcare services. A federal election is coming up and your voice is needed in improving maternity care!
Welcome to Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, I’m Annalee Atia with a special News Bulletin for Australians listeners today, Tuesday 30th March. I’m speaking with Alecia Staines, Director of one of our largest maternity consumer advocacy organisations - Maternity Consumer Network, she is also the host and creator of the podcast ‘Birth - the forgotten Feminist Issue’ (check it out, its excellent), a Hypnobirthing teacher and mother of five.
We caught up last night after one of Alecia’s classes to discuss our upcoming Federal elections in Australia and how we can use the opportunities federal elections bring about to improve maternity health care services. Some of you might know that I am also the National President of Maternity Choices Australia, our longest standing maternity advocacy organisation and this is the first time I have had the pleasure of interviewing Alecia, after many years of crossing paths through our work.
Join us for a fast-paced and illuminating discussion on how you can participate in improving maternity healthcare services in your area, and why its so important that you do! Share this interview with friends and family, write to your local MP and keep us posted about your progress! All the details are in the show notes following.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO IMPROVE MATERNITY SERVICES:
Get in touch with your local federal MP and candidates and let them know that maternity care matters to you!
HOW TO DO IT:
Look up the Federal PM for your electorate (your town/where you live is located within a specific electorate). You will also want to look up the candidates for this seat for the three major parties. Email them with your personal note and attach the Brief (see below) if applicable. You can request a meeting with them to ensure they understand just how important these issues are. In your email and within the brief, add your name, contact number and postal address (this will ensure a reply). Follow up with a phone call to your MP.
->> Keep up posted about your progress! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com you can also let us know via socials! Use the hashtag #BetterMaternity2021 and we will find you on FB, IG, Twitter etc!
WHO CAN DO IT?
Anyone who cares about our Australian maternity healthcare services, especially health consumers (people who access healthcare services) and support people.
THE BRIEF / AKA what to ask your elected federal MP's and candidates to commit to this coming election (you can also find this online at www.maternotyconsumernetwork.org.au under campaigns):
Current maternity spending by government is about $7 billion per year. The current birth rate is around 300,000 births per year.
Despite having such high financial input, outcomes are relatively poor:
* 1/3 women have birth trauma. 2/3 of this is due to disrespectful treatment
* Only 8% of women can access continuity of midwifery carer- the best type of maternity care
* Caesarean rate 36% - more than double the recommended rate by WHO
* 43% of low risk women having their labour induced. Many are reporting not having informed consent.
* 11-fold variance in 3rd/4th degree tears
* Preterm birth rate of aboriginal babies is between 2 and 7 times that of non-indigenous babies.
Solutions (what to ask your MP...
Beyond the Birth Plan: Getting Real About Pain and Power
In this podcast episode, Oni Blecher speaks to Rhea Dempsey about her recent book launch of 'Beyond the Birth Plan, Getting Real About Pain and Power'. Rhea Demspsey is a childbirth educator, counsellor, doula trainer, and birth attendant, having attended more than one thousand births in hospitals and home settings over the past 30 years.
Rhea runs birth preparation workshops, pre-natal classes, personal birth counselling sessions and speaks in presentations and seminars around Australia and internationally
Rhea’s passion is to educate women about the impact of our birth culture on the outcome of our births. Instead of fear, she wants birthing women and birthing people to go into their labour with confidence in their body and their support people, and the knowledge that will give them the best possibility of natural physiological birth.
Rhea has written two books ! Her first, the popular ‘Birth With Confidence: Savvy choices for normal birth’ and now her recently released second book ‘Beyond the Birth Plan: getting real about pain and power’. I consider both of these books must reads for any person interested in birth, whether that be birth attendants, midwives, pregnant women or people, birthing partners, fathers, parents, or anyone curious to understand the impact on the intersection between our social attitudes and birth.
This is a longer form interview but anyone that knows Rhea’s legacy in the national and international birth world knows that any time hearing Rhea’s insights and wisdom is valuable and necessary. Feel free to listen in segments. At the end of the podcast, Rhea takes us through the chapter structure of her new book and outlines some of the content and what to expect. Enjoy this conversation and please leave your reviews and feedback.
The Subtle Realms of Birth and Babies with Craniosacral teacher Etienne Perisman
In this episode, Oni Blecher speaks with Etienne Peirsman. Etienne is a biology and physical education teacher who has been involved with emotional training, encounter work, primal healing and meditation since 1974. He began teaching craniosacral in 1991, and founded several craniosacral institutes in Belgium and the Netherlands. He is the founder and director of PCSA (Peirsman CranioSacral Academy) in both the Netherlands and New Mexico. He is also the originator of the CranioSacral Professional Organization in Holland which began as a result of his students becoming professionals. As a result, he has a grandfather status in that organisation and is an honorary member of The Dutch CranioSacral Practitioner Association. Additionally, Etienne has taught craniosacral at the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts for nearly a decade.
As a meditator of over 40 years, Etienne Peirsman has developed a unique teaching style that adds an extraordinarily compassionate and meditative depth to the methods used by the Upledger Institute and combines a practical, no-nonsense approach with the biodynamic style. Etienne has been teaching for nearly thirty years, bringing his life experience to the classroom. He has schools in Belgium, the Netherlands, New Mexico, Washington, and Hong Kong. Additionally, he guest teaches wherever there is interest. He, along with his late wife Neeto, is author of the book Craniosacral Therapy for Babies and Small Children, which has been translated into 7 languages.
Etienne's specialty is the expression of the Heart, the long tide, and their connection to meditation and enlightenment. Etienne says, “Drop the word therapy. It is not part of who and what we are. Face it, you are perfect and your heart is perfect”. Enjoy this conversation !
Highly recommend this
Very insightful content!
So informative !!
I really enjoyed listening to this and was so empowered learning new things.
Thank you for providing me with this podcast.
Excellent! Love the diversity
Love how diverse this podcast is and how easy it is to listen to. I particularly enjoyed the recent podcast on postpartum suport for dads. Great stuff coming out of Byron Bay, Australia!