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Golden hour

When photographers talk about the golden hour, they’re usually referring to that gorgeous sun glow that occurs around sunrise and sunset.⁠

In Birth though, the golden hour refers to those glorious 60 minutes post birth. How were your and your baby’s golden hour needs met?⁠

The Golden Hour encompasses a set of evidence-based practices that contribute to the physiologic stabilization of the mother–newborns dyad after birth. Important elements of the Golden Hour include delayed cord clamping, skin-to-skin contact for at least an hour, the performance of newborn assessments on the maternal abdomen, delaying non-urgent tasks (e.g., bathing the newborn) for 60 minutes, and the early initiation of breastfeeding. The Golden Hour contributes to neonatal thermoregulation, decreased stress levels in a woman and her newborn, and improved mother–newborns bonding. Implementation of these actions is further associated with increased rates and duration of breastfeeding.


To doula or not to doula?

Too many mamas-to-be and their partners, ask this is a big question. We are here to tell you, unequivocally, if hiring a doula is an option for you, GO FOR IT, MAMA. (Don't get us started on how insurance should cover them already) Regardless of your birthing preferences or venue, having a doula is one of the best ways to set yourself up for a better birth experience and outcome. One of the major reasons? Continuous labor support from a professional who's been there before and is devoted to your birth and your birth alone. Call her your BFF, coach, personal trainer, or she-sherpa, a doula is there to support ONLY YOU for the duration of your labor, vs. medical staff that also have other patients and tasks. This means pressure point massages, educated questions/answers, help with breastfeeding, and snack breaks for your partner (+ so much more)




It's Women's Health Week and I would like to raise such an important thing as a self-care.

Taking good care of yourself isn't selfish, it's sensible. The concept of self-care has been highjacked by spa days and pedicures so let's simplify it. Taking care of yourself looks like:

1. Staying hydrated: if you find it hard to drink water, you're not alone. My best tip is to buy a big drink bottle with a straw, fill it at the start of the day (add a squeeze of fresh lemon for a hit of VitC) and aim to drink it all by the afternoon. Aim for 2L a day in pregnancy and 3L a day if you're breastfeeding.

2. Getting enough rest: rest doesn't mean sleep. Rest is doing things to nurture your body and mind, so you don't tip into frazzle and overwhelm. This looks like going to bed early, side-lie breastfeeding, getting sun on your face early in the morning (this helps to regulate your circadian rhythm), stretching to release physical tension and breathing deeply into your belly.

3. Eating well: not always easy but important for your overall wellbeing. It doesn't need to be complicated either; a big tray of roasted vegies, a slow-cooked soup, a casserole that can be reheated. Cook foods that you can eat over a few days so there's always something ready in the fridge.

4. Moving your body: you don't need to go to a scheduled class to exercise (often these can create significant stress in new motherhood). Instead, walk around your neighborhood, stretch your upper body while you're breastfeeding, roll out the yoga mat and do an online yoga class to bring awareness to your breath and your core.

5.Asking for help: you don't have to do it alone. Reaching out for help is one of the best things you can do as a mother. No one has it all together and we all go through times when we need the support of friends and family or mental health professionals.


Navigating early postpartum

During pregnancy, there’s so much emphasis on birth preparation that many women don’t even consider what life will be like in the hours, days and weeks after birth. Indeed, it’s a time we’re not often privy to; sleep deprivation, leaking breasts and heaving sobs occur behind closed doors…many women don’t even know this stage exists until they land there, a new baby in their arms, their gushing joy coupled with an enormous sense of overwhelm.

Postpartum is a vulnerable time for the simple fact that everything is new and unknown. Birth - no matter where you birthed or how you birthed - is an almighty physical and emotional transition. And now, as you get to know your new baby, you’re also learning about your new self. Our advice? Go slow, be gentle with yourself, know that it’s normal for it to take months till you find your ground in new motherhood.

As you adjust to life after birth, there’s one thing that you can prioritise that will make every aspect of new parenthood that bit easier - rest.

As a society, we’re not very good at resting. Productivity is a symbol of success and this doesn’t change when we become parents. Unravelling the social expectations on new motherhood and reconsidering how you want to navigate this stage is a really practical way to prepare for postpartum.

I encourage you to start a conversation with your partner about the days and weeks after birth; what will they look like? How can you carve out time and space for intentional rest? What obligations can you let go of in the fourth trimester so family life is a little simpler?


Protecting the Perineum

Perineal Massage has been shown to help reduce the risk of tearing and can be done easily in the comfort of your own home. According to The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, from 34 or 35 weeks of pregnancy, a woman (or her partner) can start massaging the perineum 1–2 times per week, with each session lasting for a maximum of 5 minutes.

  • Prepares the tissues.  Massage increases blood flow and may help the tissues and skin stretch with more ease but with less pain during childbirth.

  • Lowers risk of tearingAround 1 in 15 women who regularly do perineal massage don’t need an episiotomy or otherwise experience a tear that requires stitches.

  • Lowers need for stitchesEven if massage doesn’t prevent tearing, one study says it may reduce the need for stitches by as much as 10 percent. This basically means that massaging the perineum may make tearing less severe.

  • Helps those with scar tissueWomen who have had a previous injury or otherwise have a rigid perineum (dancers, horse riders) may find that massage is especially useful.

  • Prepares you for birth. Paying attention to the area that stretches the most during delivery allows you to focus on relaxing and learning the sensations you may encounter. This may help you get in the zone both physically and mentally.

Here is an illustrated guide to walk you through the process.

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