Calm Connexions suggested items to pack in your Labour Bag Checklist. Your labour bag will contain essentials and things that will help you feel more comfortable and prepared. Please find your information contained in check list below.
Calm Connexions suggested items to pack in your Labour Bag Checklist. Your labour bag will contain essentials and things that will help you feel more comfortable and prepared. Please find your information contained in check list below.
Disclaimer: I have complied the following information and suggestions, with the assumption that your baby is well. If you think there may be any medical or health concerns regarding your baby’s inability to sleep please seek advise from a qualified practitioner who can individualize your babies care. Penny Williams 22nd July 2015. -‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐-‐‐-‐-‐-‐Sleep Strategies for Babies under 6 months
Feed Play Sleep Cycle
Children really benefit from having a sense of rhythm in their day where sleep is part of that rhythm as this Circadian rhythm begins to evolve so does the babies ability to sleep at night. We can help babies to develop a rhythm through the day and they will learn to sleep better at night. Exposure to daylight in the morning help babies adjusts their body clock to extra uterine life as earl as 8 weeks after birth.
1. This Feed Play Sleep routine gives your baby regular opportunities to sleep. Babies need to sleep to grow.
2. Gives your baby to opportunity to anticipate what is happening in their lives so that they feel calmer and predict events (They actually have calmer brain wave patterns when they do)
Sleep States and Conscious States
A. Babies have distinct brain wave cycles that cycle around approximately every 45 to 55 minutes where they start at an alert state cycle down into drowsy then to deep sleep and then they cycle up into a light sleep state REM state and then ideally will cycle back down again.
1. The potential is there for babies to wake up every 45-minute or so if they have not learnt how to cycle back down again without waking themselves up.
2. If a baby does not know how to go back to sleep from that Rapid eye movement phase then they may require assistance.
A sleep association is what babies become accustomed to when they go to sleep. Such as a ride in the car or a cuddle that help them go to sleep when they reach the stat of their next sleep cycle they need the same set of sleep association to go to sleep.
1. Independent Sleep association is great because it easier to replicate and doe not take much effort or even better because you don’t have to be involved such as a ceiling fan or a bubbling fish tank, white noise, small snuggle or toy
2. Dependent sleep association that needs your intervention. E.g. a cuddle or a ride in the car being pushed in the car. A dummy can be a form of sleep association. Therefore dummies should only be used as a comforter or pacifier and when they are calm and ready to go off to sleep they don’t need the dummy any more.
Swaddling / Wrapping
Young babies can really benefit from a swaddle or a wrap because it provides a sense of containment for them. It is like a cuddle.
1.When they grow and start to roll and become more mobile a swaddle is no longer appropriate.
2. Use a thin natural fiber in a wrap that stops them from over heating and has enough give so that they can get comfortable and still have that sense of security.
When babies are tired we can see it if we are looking. When a baby shows you that they are tired it is the babies brain waves starting to change and prepare for sleep. Your Feed Play Sleep pattern is only a rough gage, because you have to be driven by your child. If they get out of bed in the morning and they are looking tired within half an hour they are tired! It is time to put them back to bed. Tired signs are such good indicator they will become like a STOP sign for you. Look see them and then act upon them.
Tired signs to look for:
Rubbing head or eyes
Become pale with glazed eyes
Mobile babies may become clumsy
Some babies will get even more active
Redness around eyes/ eyebrows
If you see any of these signs help your baby get to bed sooner rather than later because crying and distress is actually a late-tired sign. And an over tired baby is much harder to settle.
Crying and Communication
We now know that babies can really communicate they are more than the passive recipients of care that we thought they where. So if you can refine your listening and looking skills you are in a better position to actually see and hear what the baby is telling you and then you are in a much stronger position to be able to respond in a skillful appropriate way. When babies cry they are communicating that they have a need and it is the intensity of that cry that tells us weather we should help or that they are managing okay and to just leave them for a while.
When babies are trying to go to sleep the will often make noise as they make themselves comfortable so they should be allowed that space. A forceful loud cry is a baby telling us they cant manage. It is important to listen to the cry beyond just he first cry out. Does the cry taper off? leave them, as they are working it out for themselves. If the cry remains intense help them! They are clearly not managing.
A safe sleep space has emotional security and physical security.
If you are bed sharing:
Avoid to many pillows
Do not share parental bedding with a baby
Place the baby between a protective bed rail and the parent
Do not bed share when under a the influence of drugs or alcohol or if you or your partner is a smoker.
Sleep baby on their back
Place baby’s feet close to the end of the cot
Do not over heat
Keep cot clear of toys
Maintain adequate airflow.
Ref: Safe Sleep Space www.safesleepspace.com.au
Meet Helen Davison, facilitator of Early Learning for Families.
Following a career as a midwife, and my family of 3 children, I went to university and trained as an early childhood teacher when my youngest started school. This led to me becoming a parenting consultant running a very successful program, supporting families with young children in Newcastle for eight years. It was an immensely satisfying position, connecting with parents and discussing childhood development in real ways.
We created a hub where parents attended with their babies and toddlers for the first three years. During our sessions we used activities matched to developmental age to explore: language, cognitive, motor and social development.
For the last five years I have been teaching in the classroom and now return to supporting parents and caregivers in the amazing journey of parenting and nurturing little people.
My work at Early Learning for Families recognises the importance of the first three years as laying foundations for life. By creating a safe supported environment to play and learn, parents and caregivers, along with their babies and toddlers can come together and build further connections that help provide support in this challenging and rewarding role.
Our programs provide ideas and information that help put the why and what into parenting: focusing on the strengths of your child. Supporting families helps to create more confident parents. This helps to develop more confident children which leads to building stronger community.
We all hope our children will grow to reach their full potential and become active, respected, community conscious members of our society. Our role as parents and caregivers is crucial to helping this become a reality.
Understanding how your child is developing helps you to know how to be guiding them through these early years keeping a balanced perspective and being in tuned with their strengths and interests.
I am looking forward to sharing with you information about brain development in the early years and how understanding this clearly will help shape how you parent, or care for your grandchildren.
The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide some information about Group B Streptococcal Disease and its implications. I have taken reasonable care to provide accurate information. However, I do not know your personal circumstances or medical history. This information is intended guide only. You should consult with an appropriately qualified health professional before taking a particular course of action treatment or care regarding your personal care
Penny Williams i8th july 2015
Group B Streptococcus is a common commensal organism, which means that it often hangs out in our gut, bowel and vagina (if you have one). There tends to be a higher incidence of GBS in the more developed countries estimated to be around 10 to 30%( Buckley 2009).
In most instances this is not a problem, having GBS in the vagina can sometimes mean that the bowel flora is not as good as it could be. High levels of GBS are associated with low levels of lactobacillus and other healthy vaginal bugs.
Vaginal carriage only becomes an issue during childbirth if the GBS gets into the babies blood system in some way.
If GBS does invade the babies blood system the baby can become very ill and may even die. GBS infection of the baby is usually evident within the first 7 days after birth. (1 in 500 chance; Buckley 2009)
GBS can be cleared out with antibiotics but this is only a temporary measure as it will grow back again so GBS screenings are only done close to the mothers due date (no sooner than 5 weeks)
If the woman is GBS positive she will be offered 4 hourly penicillin in labour and to be really effective the penicillin should be given at least 4 hours before the baby is born.
B.R.A.I.N OF GBS
Testing and Treatment
Could be life saving for a very small percentage of the population. I
1.Treatment of GBS will seriously disrupt the establishment of an optimal microbiome in the infant. This may have an impact on the babies life long well being as gut flora dysfunction can set them up for inflammatory bowel disease, crones disease, cancer, allergies, auto immune disease, obesity and much more.
2.Treatment involves time expense and discomfort
3.Can increase anxiety surrounding the birth and limit the time spent at home in the early stages of labour.
4.Can lead to antibiotic resistance resulting in resistant organisms to increase
5.10% of women will then go on to develop Candida (Thrush) within one month (Dinsmore 05) This is of some concern for breastfeeding mothers as Thrush can be very painful and take a long time to get rid of. Some women find that breastfeeding with Thrush is so painful they give up breast-feeding.
A = Alternatives
Fermented foods like yogurt with live bacteria
GAPS –type diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome)
I = Intuition
What is your intuition telling you to do?
N = Nothing
What will happen if I do nothing? Probably not much it has been estimated that of the 7000 GBS mothers who birth vaginally. One baby will develop Early Onset Group B Streptoccis Disease.( Buckley 2009
DR S Buckley: Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering; 2009
Calm Connexions Calm Birth classes in a group for mid week & weekends = $495 per couple.
For the 2013 fee cost – $450 – submit your enrollment forms – book a 2014 class date – pay $100 deposit before 1st January 2014 to access the 2013 fee.
Calm Connexions Calm Birth classes in a private (one on one) class = $700 per couple.
Calm Connected Parenting = $75 per person.
Pregnancy Yoga with Shae @ Calm Connexions Studio – Charlestown
Calm Connexions proudly welcomes Shae Fairleight in becoming our Yoga instructor at the Studio.
Shae has been highly recommended to us for her wonderful & positive insight of her extensive knowledge to assist our birthing mums .
Hi my name is Shae, I am a mother of three boys the youngest is only 9 weeks old. I am a fully qualified yoga teacher, specialising in Pre and Post Natal Yoga.
I am a Primary School Teacher and my interest in the area of pre and postnatal yoga started when I was working as a teacher for a private centre helping children with learning difficulties on a sensory integration and brain balance program. Working at this centre we learnt that there are a lot of things that mothers to be can do right from conception and when the baby is born to give their babies the best start.
My facebook page address is:
and my blog address is:
When to start Pregnancy yoga classes:
When coming along to a prenatal class please wait until you have had your first pregnancy scan to confirm pregnancy. This way you will know if there are any pregnancy complications that you should be aware of in the best interest of yourself and your baby. After this first scan pregnancy yoga can be done right up until delivery of your baby.
When to start Postnatal yoga classes:
For postnatal yoga classes (ie mums and bubs classes) the recommended time frame before commencing any type of exercise regime is 40 days postnatally, however if you are interested in coming along before the end of the 40 days to join in to the more restorative and relaxing yoga postures and to make connections with other mums and bubs, then feel free to start whenever you want to.
For enquiries please contact me via email on: firstname.lastname@example.org or on my facebook page.
Course Dates: Postnatal mums and bubs classes: Tuesday mornings 10am until 11am. Commencing on the 14th of January.
Prenatal classes: Pending interest and numbers 9am til 10am Tuesday mornings. Commencing 14th January.
What to Bring: A towel.
Location: Calm Connexions with Penny Studio at First Floor 59 Ridley St Charlestown.
Cost: Cost for pre and postnatal classes is $12 casual or $50 for a block of 5 classes.
I am looking forward to meeting you soon at our new venue.
Through the desire to learn from the most current minds in the field of Midwifery – Education, Penny is in attendance at the “Passage to Motherhood Conference” – Gold Coast. The four day conference incorporates both local & international speakers. Upon Penny’s return, the knowledge will be shared in her classes.
Some thoughts from the Midwifery Today Conference Eugene, Oregon April 2013 on:
“Preventing and Treating Perineal Trauma”.
Well I have been home from the Conference in Eugene Oregon for over two weeks now. My mind is buzzing with all of the things that I learnt. I highly recommend the Midwifery Today Conferences and encourage you all to attend one if you ever have an opportunity to go. The conference was very well organized and had just the right blend of topics to appeal to everyone’s needs.
One of the topics that I was particularly interested in was, How to Prevent and Treat Perennial Trauma during Birth. Ripping or tearing during birth is a common fear among many of the mothers in my care. So, I was keen to find out if there was anything that could prevent this sort of trauma happening in the first place, and if there was any alternative to having stitches.
This talk was presented by Gail Hart from USA who has been a practicing midwife since 1977. Presently, Gail is now now semi- retired whilst still managing her small midwifery practice. Her Book; Research Updates for Midwives (2012) is full of wonderful text of tit-bits to improve a mother’s experience of pregnancy, labour and birth as well as some great ideas about how to holistically incorporate evidence- based medical knowledge with traditional midwifery understandings.
Traditionally it has been thought that first time mothers are at the highest risk of tearing. This was why it was considered routine for many years to offer the mother an episiotomy (birth cut) just in case she tore. However,
“In the 1980‘s Gail did a study with 800 women to find out who is more likely to tear. Surprisingly it turns out that: The first time mum is the one that is least likely to tear!” ( Hart 2013)
It was the mothers who had already had a previous episiotomy who was at the highest risk of tearing.
Now thank goodness, this is no longer considered best practice. Gail cited other studies that reinforced her own findings in the Israeli Medical Journals and the Cochran Review.
Factors to be considered in tear prevention:
As far as the causes of tears and the contributing factors to sustaining a tear, Gail suggests that some mothers are just more “stretchable” than others. She explains that there’s a natural variation between individuals. Some mothers will just have a better skin integrity and maybe more collagen than others. So genetics definitely has a part to play here. It is a well known fact that eating well is important for a heathy baby.
But what is less well known that to reduce the chances of tearing or needing an episiotomy (birth cut),
“A well nourished mother with a diet that has a lot of vitamin C in it will fair better than the mother who only eats junk food.” (Hart 2013)
Pre-natal preparation such as perineal massage has also been mentioned in many studies. The Cochran Data base has done a review of a study done with 23,034 women and found that digital perineal massage in pregnancy has been linked to a reduction of perineal trauma requiring suturing.
However this result was significant only for women who have never given birth vaginally before. The women where instructed to do about 10 minutes of perineal massage a day from 34 weeks of pregnancy onwards. (It can be an advantage to involve partner participation, could be fun.)
Perineal massage seems to help some women as a pre-natal preparation only. As far as the second stage goes (during crowning and the birth of the baby) there does not seem to be any advantage in it.
Management of second stage.
Interestingly, the concept of “coached pushing”, where the mother is instructed to hold her breath and bear down for a count of ten. Has been shown to increase perineal trauma and vulva edema and acidosis in the mother and baby. Gail said that there is a misconception that “coached pushing” can speed up second stage and she didn’t agree with coached pushing because of these effects.
The question is then posed, “What can be helpful to reduce this type of trauma?” Gail suggests, warm compresses (i.e a warm cloth applied against the perineum) Gail outlined methodology of how she prepared the warming of the water and it’s application. She suggested the water was brought to the boil in a crock pot or large ceramic container with a whole ginger root. Allowing for the ginger root to infuse into the water that will then be used for the compresses.
Included in this ginger root mix, Gail includes Comfrey for it’s healing properties. Given that warm water is very comforting for the mother, I feel that this would be a benefit in the use of compresses. The ginger has an added benefit of keeping the blood circulating in the perineal area and preventing it from stagnating and building up in the perineal tissues. This then enhances the stretchability of the vagina and perineum.
Oils and Lubricants.
Oils and lubricants can also be very helpful in the prevention of tears, as they help the baby to slip out more easily. Gail uses olive oil but sweet almond oil and grape- seed oil are also okay to be applied in liberal amounts.
Gail stated that, “the mother’s position during birth will also have an impact on the integrity of the perineum. The absolutely worst position for the mother to be in as far as perineal trauma goes, is on her back with her legs up wide”. (Hart 2013)
Upright positions surprisingly put less tension on the pelvic floor and perineum.
Additionally, side lying while birthing has many benefits. This position should be the position of choice for women who have had an epidural. Immediate benefits of the side lying position include a decreased incidence of tearing in this position and also this is better for the baby as can be evidenced with improved cord blood studies.
”Non supine positions are associated with a decrease in perineal trauma, a decrease in vulval edema and less blood loss.’’ (Hart 2013)
Alternatives to Sutures.
When it comes to making the choice to have stitches or not, it is important to remember that stitches do not actually heal anything. All they do is bring the edges of the wound closer together so that healing can take place more easily.
Sometimes people heal faster without stitches. The inflation and irritation that can come with the sutures themselves not only delay healing but also increase the discomfort of the mother. So it is worth while to knowing about alternatives used throughout the world. Here are a few;
Stop any Bleeding.
If the wound is still bleeding the first thing you need to do is to control the bleeding. This can often be most simply done by just applying pressure to the part that is bleeding.
Some of the Amish midwives at the conference said that they soak a cloth in vinegar to stop the bleeding. They also mentioned other simple remedies such as sugar or salt. Sugar coagulates blood and will also help to stop the bleeding. Apparently salt works in the same way to clean the wound and stop the bleeding but it stings a bit so most Amish mothers prefer sugar.
The more modern midwives at the conference suggest the application of some lignocaine with adrenaline they put some of that on a swab and apply it to stop the bleeding. Easy, simple but very effective!
Honey has also been shown to enhance wound healing. However, the woman needs to limit her movement with this one so that the edges of the wound can stay close to each other. The traditional midwives spoke about binding the woman’s legs together for a day or so in these sorts of situations.
Other midwives also said that Super glue was just as effective!
In conclusion, I very much enjoyed Gail’s presentation. Gail’s way of presenting research in a matter of fact useable way was very helpful to me in my understanding of this topic. I hope you, the reader have also found something interesting or helpful that you can take away.
In the mean time, Happy Birthing!
The World of Water Birth:
This year has been a big one for me for me as far as consolidating my learning goes. I feel so blessed to be in the lucky position of being able to actively hunt out information that has the potential to be of great benefit to the birthing couples in my care. I love to do this, as it allows me to combine my two passions: traveling and a love of learning.
On the 19th October 2012 I attended a conference that was conducted by the Hawkesbury District Health Service. There were a number of great presentations. One, that I took particular interest in was “ Warm Water Immersion in Labour and Water birth: Promoting Normality” presented by a Midwife Jane Palmer.
Jane presented some new research on the effects of Water Birth on mothers and their babies. Put quite simply in a nutshell it is all good!
According to Jane, first time mothers in labour who use water immersion generally experience lower rates of intervention especially the use of epidurals.
Interestingly, there is no difference in infection rates or the ph levels of cord blood between babies that were birthed on land and babies that are birthed in water.
Jane also said, (the) “Cochrane Review has recognized that there is a significant reduction of the use of medical forms of pain relief used in labour and an overall reduction of time spent in the first stage of labour when a laboring woman has access to water immersion.”
Many mothers will be pleased to know that there is also a reduction in perineal trauma and a lower incidence of post partum hemorrhage associated with water births. Although it is not known why there is less perineal trauma associated with Water Births, it is hypothesized that the water may help in some way by providing some sort of counter pressure and support to the tissues of the perineum.
All and all I thought that Jane gave a great presentation. However, I thought that Jane’s presentation may have been enhanced by some of the studies by Dr Michelle Odent.
Michelle Odent was the first Obstetrician to introduce Birthing Pools into Birthing Rooms back in the 1970’s. Dr Odent says that the only contra indication to water birth is a labour that is progressing well on dry land.
In some situations however, birth pools can be very useful. Typically a labour can be quite challenging for the mother. Many mothers find the active phase of labour to be one of those challenges. In the active phase, the mother’s cervix has reached about 4 to 5 cm dilatation, the cadence of a labour is establishing, and the woman must move out of her normal outer thinking mind and into her hindbrain where all of the hormonal flows happen.
For some mothers, this is very difficult.When this challenge has reached a pathological level and the labour can progress no more.The mother’s natural production of oxytocin begins to decline and the labour will stall.
Immersion of the labouring woman in warm water at this time can be a very helpful means of increasing the oxytocin levels of the mother and interrupting the fear-tension-pain cycle. This immersion of the labouring woman’s body in water (that is at the temperature of the body) has an immediate analgesic effect for the mother. It decreases stress hormones for both the woman and baby and increases oxytocin levels. In fact in an aquatic birthing room even the anticipation of immersion in water for the mother can be enough to help the dilation of the cervix and the labour to progress!
According to Dr Odent water immersion helps a mother to release her inhibitions. When this happens the birthing woman and her caregivers, have to accept that a birth under water is a possibility.
A number of helpful things happen when a mother who is in good strong labour immerses herself in warm water. This can increase the effectiveness of the mother’s contractions for a limited time of about two hours only. The immersion of the labouring mother in warm water, results in a redistribution of her total blood volume as more of the blood returns to her core and less blood is needed in her extremities.
When this happens, special cells in the atrium of the heart that are sensitive to changes in blood volume respond by the release of a special peptide. This peptide modulates the posterior pituitary gland and this influences the production of oxytocin and vasopressin enhancing the mothers contractions and helping the labour to progress. In fact Dr Odent says “Even a fist time mother can get to full dilation with water immersion within two hours if she has the privacy she needs during the time she is in the bath”
So Dr Odent’s top 4 recommendations for the use of water in labour are:
1. Not to enter the bath too soon. Keep it as your trump card. Wait until the labour is starting to stall or the mother is around 5 cm of dilatation. At around this time, given dim lights and privacy even a first time mother can be ready to birth in about two hours.
2. The mother is to avoid “becoming a prisoner of her project” that is after the two hour time limit the labour will not progress any faster and may even be prolonged and at this time it may actually be more beneficial for the laboring woman to get out of the bath. After about two hours in the water the mother’s body will start to decrease her production of oxytocin as this system works via a negative feedback mechanism and prolonged immersion in water may then become detrimental to the laboring process.
3. Careful monitoring of the temperature of the water is required. The temperature must not go above 37 degrees Celsius as the babies temperature is always higher than the mothers and if the bath water is too hot in increases the oxygen demands of the baby and has the potential of distressing both the mother and her unborn baby.
4. Immersion in warm water in labour is a mechanism to treat difficult labour and not every one needs it or would benefit from it.
After many years of helping women use water Dr Odent says that one of the biggest changes is that the mother stops asking “When will you give me a pain killer?” and instead they ask for “How long will it take to fill up the bath?”
Odent, 1990 ‘Water in Sexuality’.
As you may all imagine Penny is very excited about the coming conference that is situated in Honolulu at the Hawaiian Conference Centre. Penny has chosen accommodation at the Ilikai Hotel & is a short walk to the Conference Centre including it being less than a stones throw from Waikiki Beach.
Penny’s Conference commences –
Friday 26th October: Transcendent Emotional States in Childbirth (book “Birthing in the Spirit”) by C. Daub Author & E. Davis Midwife, Advances in Medical Genetics & Fetal Medicine by Prof. S. Odent (France) & Writing about Mothering by J. Tritten (USA) & S. Buckley (AUS)
Saturday 27th October: The Misgav Ladach – Cesarean Section by Prof. M. Stark (Germany), Oxytocin – The Inner Guide to Motherhood by Prof. Uvanas-Moberg (Stockholm), Primal Health Research – Age of Epigentics by M. Odent MD (France-UK), Connection with Others through Mirror Neuron System by P.F. Ferrari PhD (USA-Italy) & Development of Human Gut Flora by E. Bik (USA)
Sunday 28th October: Global Action by M. Meriadldi MD (WHO Geneva-Italy), Value of Human Colostrum by P. Odent PhD (UK), & Cervical Wisdom by S. Wickham PhD (UK-New Zealand).
As you can see, Penny will return home bubbling with knowledge & enthused to engage in your discussions. Until then keep well & calm.
Calm Connexions suggested items to pack in your Labour Bag Checklist. Your labour bag will contain essentials and things that will help you feel more comfortable and prepared. Please find your information contained in check list below. WHAT TO PACK