Monday 22 June 2015

This is how its supposed to be....

The most recent home birth I attended was the most humbling birth I've seen yet. It’s my wish that the norm for all mums is to birth in this way, especially first time mums like the mamma here in this post. All too often it takes a horrible, traumatic birthing experience for mums to wise to the system, learn of other options, learn how different it can be... how it’s supposed to be.

Mums like this new mother never cease to amaze me, and make me proud to have met them and, better, get to know them. This mamma trusted her body from the moment her pregnancy was realised; she grew a healthy girl inside and our midwife/client relationship flourished with honesty, trust and encouragement. Mamma was all-embracing of all that was to come with labour and birth and baby.

wollongong midwife
Jack the puppy watches on..

Baby Audrey decided to come earth side on her due date. Mamma was ready after her water broke two days earlier and finally it all came together on a lovely lazy Sunday. When mamma is in the right mindset, prepared without fear, the midwife’s job is an easy one. It’s a role of observer and I like to pick up the camera and become birth photographer. Other roles often ensue too; dish washer, clothes folder, bed maker... because when it’s like this, how it’s supposed to be... birth is quite boring. Beautiful, amazing and life changing, but, blissfully boring. 

Mamma progressed gently and steadily and soon baby Audrey arrived. This birth was textbook; when people ask how it went I reply that nothing could have gone better. Mamma was left well alone, she had this all along and it was let be... this is how it’s supposed to be.

Welcome to the world Audrey Storm, Thank you mum and dad for letting me be part your most wondrous day, early weeks with baby... life. 

Until next time...

Louise x

Louise David is a Private Midwife in Wollongong and The Illawarra areas. Louise provides all types of pregnancy, birth and postnatal care, including home birth and hospital birth support.
Louise is a International Board Certified Lactation consultant and offers private lactation consultation from her home in the Wollongong area.

Saturday 28 February 2015

Sunshine, cups of tea and yellow cards.

The forgotten world of private midwifery care.

Having a baby is the most special and anticipatory time of most people's lives. The care you receive in your pregnancy is of utmost importance. Knowing that you and your baby are in the safest of hands for your prenatal care is essential to rest easy at night.

I want to talk about today, something that is not well known and understood, and even not necessarily readily available, in our culture - private midwifery care. Having your own midwife who looks after you and your baby and guides you safely on your pregnancy journey and beyond.

Here are a few misconceptions about private midwifery care:

  • It's alternative, or for hippies
  • It's only for if you're having a home birth
  • It's very expensive
  • There's no health fund or medicare rebates
  • If something goes wrong you don't have a doctor or hospital available
Let me clarify...
Private midwifery care is available as an option for every woman. It's a flexible model of care that can be adapted to suit every woman no matter what their health status and intended mode and place of birth.
With recent progress with medicare, private midwifery is now more available to more women. If your midwife is a medicare eligible midwife then your care is likely to attract a medicare rebate, with some midwives completely bulk billing all ante and post natal care, add to this some health fund rebates and private midwife care is now more affordable than ever.  
Finally, a midwife, even working in a private capacity, is part of a multidisciplinary team. If difficulties arise at any stage there is a smooth process of collaboration and referral with other care providers, be it your GP or local maternity unit. Your midwife and you work together to adapt your care to your changing needs. 

Private ob v Private midwife

similarities - 

one on one individualised care

differences - 

  • wait time - your midwife comes to you and you're never waiting in busy, overbooked clinics

  • you really get to know and trust each other 

  • you form a team together - planning, discussing and choosing every step of the way. Not just the 'pilot guiding his ship' to quote an obstetrician I know.

  • ob antenatal appointment 5-10 min, midwife 45-60+ min

  • There is little need for prenatal classes with private midwife care as every midwife appointment is filled with little bits of information and education, it's a pregnancy worth of prenatal education sessions. We talk about the baby to be and the role it's being born into.
homebirth midwife
Your midwife comes to you.
You get to know and trust each other over many
 relaxed friendly antenatal appointments.

Trusting, relaxed, confidant - you're in safe hands.
this is going on in the background -
No need for babysitting or dragging bubs to boring,
long wait-it-out doctors appointments.

He's learning about becoming a big brother.

Care options...

Depending on your situation your care plan is tailored to suit.
In a normal, healthy, low risk pregnancy your care is taken on by the midwife and if any need arises she works together with the multidisciplinary team to support you in your care. This care is best suited to a home birth plan, but can also be adapted for hospital birth.

Midwife shared care is a great option to get the 'best of both worlds'. This is the same as the common GP shared care model with added perks: being in your own home, no wait time, private care continued postnatally.
This model works best for women who are planning to have their baby at hospital and also for women planning a home birth if there are minor complications in their pregnancy i.e. diet controlled GDM or history of complications in previous pregnancies.
The reason it works best for these cases is the women becomes familiar with the hospital, she books in, she sees the staff obstricitan and then carries on her care with her midwife with intermittent visits back to the hospital (at 30 weeks and then from 37wks). When time to birth arrives or transfer (in case of a home birth), the hospital and woman have a relationship and the transition of care is smooth and problem free.

Postnatal care...

Probably the best thing about private midwifery care is the relationship that has been fostered and grown in the pregnancy continues through the postpartum period. Your midwife you've come to know and trust visits you as needed in the postnatal period. Postnatal care continues into the 6th week postnatally. this care is usually included in the care package and is also eligible for medicare and private health rebates. 

Hannah and Andy enjoy the perks of private midwifery care.

If you are interested in private midwifery care in the Wollongong area and its surrounds don't hesitate to contact me by Email. Remember midwife care is a valid option for every woman and care can be tailored to suit your individual needs. Lastly, it's never too late to employ the services of a midwife, if you are unhappy with the care you are receiving this pregnancy (remember it's not just pregnancy, but birth and beyond) don't wait "until next time", take action, choose the care you deserve.

until next time, Louise x

Monday 2 February 2015

Brown paper packages tied up with string.....

These are a few of my favourite things.....

About being a midwife at a home birth.

Not being welcomed at the door... 
tippy toeing in, following the sounds...finding this.

Estimating the progress of labour, 
just by being with and watching.

just waiting...
getting close now...
secretly wishing she births in this spot where the light is amazing!

back to the safety, warmth, comfort of the darkened birth pool.

that cord...

The relief, when all is done, from all involved....
The idea that bed is near....

Sneaking just one with the flash ;-)

Counting 10 and 10.

Saying goodnight, you were amazing x

What a joy and privilege to be present for this families birth of their new daughter. It was on the spur of the moment when their midwife fell ill and asked me to cover her as back up until she could be back with her clients.
Lucky for everyone their midwife came good, the family had two happy midwives present (one wielding the camera). 

Birthing at 3am poses some difficulty for the birth photographer, trying to maintain the calm and darkened birth environment without compromising the quality of the pics too much.
The birth photos here are quite fuzzy and grainy from the lack of light, but they still tell the picture here so beautifully.

Thank you to this family for welcoming me in to their home for their birth and to my friend and colleague Rachele Meridith for being a support and teacher.

Until next time,

Louise x

Tuesday 13 January 2015

The silent arrival of baby Lucas and the Joyous Cheers from the side line....

Louise David RM RN IBCLC

No matter how many births i see i am forever reminded of these three things...
1- Every birth is different
2- We never stop learning
3- The amazing power and strength of the birthing woman

Im going to share with you some of the precious moments of baby Lucas' birth i attended and photographed recently. This birth was so special to me as it was my first birth back as a home birth midwife. Ive recently received my medicare eligibility stauts and with this i welcome the next phase in my working life inviting more and more home birth clients, as a medicare eligible midwife. If Lucas' birth is anything to go by we've a lot of joy ahead.

The atmosphere if this birth was like no other I've attended, the children were nestled in bed and the grandmas were chatting and sipping coffee as midnight approached, revelled in calm anticipation. Pregnant mum was ready; the only bit of angst in the house was present in dad... just, if you looked hard enough, that was ok, it gave just the right amount of "buzz" to the air. 


Im reminded that every woman labours differently, ill never forget this one. I remember reading some time ago that Katie Holmes was required by her Scientology faith to birth completely silently. I believed this just wasn't possible. How could there be not a grunt, a groan or a secret swear word slip out? 

Well here i stand corrected. 
As this mama laboured away the only sounds to be heard were from the sidelines...

The pitter patter of exited big brother feet down the hall...

brother waits

the whirr of the camera...

Midwife waits
more footsteps down the hall...

laughter and shushing....


the shower....

the shower....

"will it make your job difficult if she stays in the shower like this" - grandma #1

"i don't have to do anything, my job is to watch" - me

And the crowd goes wild... 

This was the happiest family affair. 
What a joy and blessing for me to bear witness to such a special moment.

Welcome baby Lucas you are one lucky little man to be born in to such great love.

Louise x