Monday, January 7, 2013

Petition for Ultrasound Scan in Third Trimester

I'd like to highlight the work being done by Rachel Buckley (@rachelbuckley88), who (along with others, including Robbie Devine at POAC) is trying to raise awareness about the benefits of a late term scan in terms of assessing potential problems for your baby or for you.
I've just signed her petition below, and if you'd like to do the same, please click here.
"In the NHS, pregnant women will be scanned at 12 and 20 weeks gestation. ( First and second trimester). A simple ultrasound scan in a woman's third trimester could save their babies life. This scan should be done as a precaution to check the baby's amniotic fluid is not falling low. The scan can check the baby's growth and can check what position the baby is in! My baby's life could have been saved if I had had an ultrasound scan late on into my third trimester. Women need to be monitored more closely near the end of their pregnancies as this is where things can go wrong and stillbirth could be the devastating result."

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Does the NCT tell women the truth about birth?

This is the question posed by New Scientist journalist Linda Geddes, author of the new book, Bumpology, in her new blog, and below is my response:

The impression I have of the NCT recently is that it has had to respond to the huge amount of criticism it's received (whether at the end of news articles, on sites such as Mumsnet or elsewhere), and ensure that its public message is one of support and choice for ALL women -- and not concentrated on the importance of natural or 'normal' birth (or breastfeeding for that matter) for as many women as possible. But while I welcome this change in attitude, my concern lies in how genuine the organisation's assurances really are.  Here's why:

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Debate on TOKOPHOBIA broadcast Jan 2

On December 7, 2012 I was fortunate to be a guest at the Voice of Russia broadcast studios to pre-record a five-strong panel debate on the issue of tokophobia. An edited 28 minutes of this discussion aired on January 2, 2013 and can be listened to here, and here is a summary of who was on the panel and what we were asked about:

Too posh to push or too scared to give birth? Latest figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre reveal that last year 25 per cent of mothers in England had a caesarean. Why so many? Are these mums-to-be squeamish, scared, or sensible? Listen in as VoR discusses the question with midwives and other birth experts. So, does pushing for normal birth always give the best psychological outcome for mothers and babies?
VoR's Juliet Spare is joined by Pauline Hull, co-author of ‘Choosing Caesarean: A Natural Birth Plan; Toni Harman, co-creator of the One World Birth film; Virginia Howes, an independent midwife; Zara Chamberlain, who is an NHS midwife counsellor in Kent; and Maureen Treadwell, co-founder of the Birth Trauma Association.

NEWS: Northern Ireland endorses NICE guidance

On December 31, I received this reply from the DHSSPS, in answer to my question about whether its new Maternity Strategy would include the evidence-based NICE recommendations on maternal request cesareans, as published in November 2011:

"Following a Departmental process, the guidance was endorsed for the HSC in November 2012. As set out in Circular HSC (SQSD) 04/11, the Health and Social Care Board are currently considering how best to commission services in line with this NICE guideline.

Is this the cutest cesarean pic ever?

(...our own babies' aside of course!). As reported by, this "Photo of Baby Reaching Out From Womb During C-Section Goes Viral".
I just love this photo of a baby gripping a doctor’s finger during a cesarean, and it's reported that the parents of baby Nevaeh are delighted with it to.