informed decisions

unconscious bias

In all communication there is bias. Theirs. Yours. Others. Our bias reflects our values, experiences, fears, education, religion, age, upbringing, politics… These biases will influence how we treat…or mistreat…another. This can make collaboration difficult, especially when a power imbalance creates a bias that suggests one party has authority over another. Unchecked, it can cloud our …

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From Bolam to Montgomery: a tale of consent

There was a time, not so long ago, when doctors were supported in law to withhold details that might influence your decision making, or that they thought might scare you. This was Bolam’s Principle. Basically this principle states that as long as the collective of doctors reckon you ain’t negligent, then you ain’t negligent. Afterall …

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Forget the Birth Plan – Your Need a Birth Map

Most people hear ‘birth plan’ and think of something set in stone, something that has to be followed to the letter and has no room for error. Something that is inflexible, rigid and ultimately impossible to achieve. Birth is unpredictable, so surely it is pointless to plan. 
This leaves you with two options:

1. Hand over your power and be a ‘good girl’.  Don’t ask complicated questions, just do as you are told, no need to worry your pretty little head with the details.
2. Create a Birth MAP. 

Autonomy in Childbirth – Why it Matters

Many women don’t seem to realise they CAN question the doctor, let alone seek another opinion or change care providers. As a society we have been groom to unquestionably trust the doctor. This patriarchal model of medical care works very efficiently, and assumes everyone has the same values, needs and abilities. This patriarchal model places …

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The Game of Birth

There is an unspoken reality lurking in the undertones of maternity care.It is sinister and unconscious, a toxic unawareness that seeps into all communications and puts the weight of expectation onto The Woman.I will call this The Game of Birth. The Elephant in the Womb. The unspoken rules of the maternity system. It is a game about power, about control. A game of Dark and Light.  The aim of the game is to keep it light.   The rules are simple, but never implicit.&nbs […]

Danger, Risk and Opportunity

Birth is Dangerous! or is it? ‘Danger’ and ‘Risk’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but they actually mean very different things.  To use ‘danger’ when you mean ‘risk’, could be very damaging.  The Nocebo Effect is a very real phenomenon, and the words we use are very powerful. Using ‘danger’ when you mean ‘risk’, and ‘risk’ when you …

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Context-based Maternity Care

We hear a lot about evidence-based care, but just as with ‘shared-decision making’, it is often misunderstood. Evidence-based care is comprised of 4 components: The best available research evidence (ie population level understanding, which requires multiple sources) The level of skills, training and experience of the care provider The values and circumstances of the decision …

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Maternal IV Fluids and Weight Loss in Newborns

If your baby is born in a hospital, there may be a sense of urgency to weigh the baby. This is not an evidence based practise, but rather a clinical habit that may cause harm.The evidence supports an uninterrupted period of skin to skin contact between mother and child of at least an hour. This …

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The Flows of Modern Birthing

​​You have probably heard of ‘The Cascade of Intervention’.  It is the idea that once an intervention occurs, the rest shall follow.  This is considered a ‘Slippery Slope’.  It is, however, more nuanced than a cascade and there is more than one slope.  If we think of physiological birth as a flowing river, there are …

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