Nature's Mothers Blog

Childbirth, Parenting and Other Passions

The big F… December 2, 2012

Filed under: babies,Natural Remedies,Parenting,Vaccinations — naturesmother @ 10:54 pm
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An inspirational article written by one of my favourite Doctors.:

‘FEAR’
DR JAYNE LM DONEGAN MBBS DRCOG DCH DFFP MRCGP MFHom
GP & Homeopath

In my opinion, the biggest barrier to intelligent management of childhood
illnesses is fear which comes in many forms:

  • Fear of trusting our own judgement and intuition because we have been lead to believe that only the ‘professionals’ are qualified to make decisions about our children,
  • Fear that diseases that were once regarded as part of growing up are now ‘killers’,
  • Fear that without high tech interventions our children will suffer disability or death ,
  • Fear of symptoms such as fever, cough or rash,
  • Fear that without paracetamol or ibuprofen, our children will all have febrile convulsions,
  • Fear of every rash, that it might be meningitis
  • Fear of allowing cough and mucus to run its natural course (out of the body)
  • Fear that the world outside is full of random bacteria and viruses that are just waiting to strike our children down,
  • Fear that without antibiotics, no child will come through an illness,
  • Fear that without 99% bactericidal soap our children will be infected by dangerous germs in their environment
  • Fear that without vaccination, no child will reach adulthood.

We even seem to be afraid nowadays that our children cannot cope with fresh air, so we keep them cooped up in over heated houses instead of putting them out to play in all weathers as our grandparents and great grandparents were

It is not surprising that there is so much fear in the realm of healthcare, or more accurately, disease care. If you feel this way, it is because that is how your doctor, health visitor and practice nurse feel too. Unless they have studied an alternative health philosophy, all they know about infectious disease is ‘The Germ Theory of Disease’ – all those bugs are out there waiting to get you, and if you don’t have the latest antibiotic/vaccine/ antiseptic/ bleach your child’s toys three times a week, you will contract a hideous disease that may be mild in some cases, but could, without doubt, attack and harm your child, leaving them disabled or dead.

No wonder so many of us reach for the bottle of paracetamol, sterilise our houses, don’t allow our children to pick up food they have dropped on the floor, and vaccinate with 25 different vaccines by the time they are 13 months, according to the latest schedule (29, if your child gets the BCG and Hepatitis B vaccine)

We are also encouraged to fear by the sensationalist handling of disease in the media. We hear horror stories about an increase in
cases of measles as if it were the black death. If a child can be found who has died, the story is paraded four times an hour on news bulletins and splashed across all the newspapers with the savage delight of a pack of hounds pulling apart a fox at a hunt. Any attempts at finding out the circumstances of the case, the prior state of health of the child, details about their treatment before or after reaching hospital are met with absolute silence – the idea seems to be to promote fear, not understanding. Even a visit to a farm is clouded with dire warnings of ‘Deadly E.coli risk’!

Does this fear matter?
Yes it certainly does, because a frightened parent is a stressed parent. The immune system is a delicate, sensitive and wonderfully intelligent apparatus. A child, and even more so, an infant, sees the outside world through the lense of their parents feelings and understanding. It is only later that they take their first independent steps along the path of self knowledge.Common sense tells us that stressed mothers cause stress in their babies, and this has been confirmed in studies. Stress causes outpourings of steroid hormones which, after an initial boost, cause a lowering of the effectiveness of the immune system.

So you enter a vicious cycle,:you fear that the worst will happen to your child, this lowers you child’s ability to cope with their day to day life, and when they get ill, lowers their ability to cope with the illness, then they go on to get complications and there you have it: a self fulfilling prophecy.

So what can we do?
We can put our feet back firmly on the ground, take a nice calm deep breath in, and an even longer one out and look at the facts. If it were really that difficult to reach adulthood, none of the human race would have reached the twenty first century. And if you look back at recorded history, the real killers throughout the ages have always been: war leading to famine causing pestilence and then death – the three horsemen of the apocalypse.

Worldwide, clean water has saved more lives than any other single intervention.

I believe that every parent inherits the ability to care for their child, in much the same way as we inherit the colour of our eyes, hair or skin. All the tools we need are inside us already, all we need is practice in their practical application.
The great American naturopath Herbert Shelton was fond of saying: “happiness, contentment and cheer should be cultivated with as much care and persistency as the gardener exercises in the cultivation of his plants.”

So cultivate self confidence, optimism and faith. Faith in yourself that you have been endowed with everything necessary for your
present task, and faith that you and you children have been born into a supportive world where there are many more good people than bad, and abundance of what we need rather than lack.
© 2008 Dr Jayne LM Donegan

Dr Jayne LM Donegan
MBBS DRCOG DCH DFFP MRCGP MFHom
http://www.jayne-donegan.co.uk/

Read The Doctors Dilemma here and Are Childhood Infections a Good thing? here

Fears-are-stories

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Letting go of expectations, fear and anger… June 17, 2010

Filed under: Birth,pregnancy — naturesmother @ 3:00 pm
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So, I’m now 4 days overdue.  I know this is no great big deal, but it feels like it is to me as I was on time with number 1, so expected to be the same if not earlier with number 2! Expectations, huh?! The last few days have been an emotional rollercoaster for me, which is peculiar because I’d been so calm and positive up until then.  I accept that this is part of my journey, that because Erin’s birth was like clockwork doesn’t necessarily mean that this one will be although it has no reason not to be.

I went to see the midwife yesterday (saw a different one to usual) and came away feeling so angry and upset.  She did a Stretch & Sweep (where she just uses her fingers and does exactly as it says to my cervix).  It was slightly uncomfortable, but not painful, and caused a show (the mucous plug from the cervix to come away – often a sign of pre-labour, but not always!).  She then proceeded to tell me that my cervix was still high and thick and spoke about seeing me next wednesday again and about induction.  None of the positive stuff I normally get from my regular midwife, who is very motherly and gives me the confidence that my body is going to do it when I’m ready. In her defence she was probably just doing her job and doesn’t want to give me false hope, but I felt like she could have given me more encouragement.  If I felt more hopeful, I’m sure I may relax and things might happen quicker. After all the babies head is engaged, it is really low and I get plenty of twinges and Braxton Hicks contractions. Anyway, I shall try not to diss the midwife, as I have realised that I have my own issues that I need to deal with….the biggest one being my fear of ending up in hospital.

I see hospital as a place for sick people and know that pregnancy and childbirth is NOT a sickness.  However , after talking to my lovely friends, Andrew & Jerusha, who run birthing workshops and pregnancy yoga classes in Falmouth, I have been comforted by what I already know, that some do give birth naturally in hospital and that if it comes to that it is not the end of the world.  I do not WANT to be induced, but I am beginning to accept that this is a possibility, although much less likely if I work through my issues… I want the perfect home water birth, but if I don’t get it I will actually deal with it, even though I feel a bit like I can’t! At their suggestion I am going to contact a Doula, who will be able to give me a much better idea of what my options REALLY are. The medical profession do not always make all your options clear, and unfortunately sometimes we need to fight for our rights to birth the way we want to. Since I’m not really in a head space where I want to be fighting and I want Steven by my side I think it will be a good idea to get someone like a Doula, who knows all the ins and outs thoroughly to do the fighting for us if necessary.  And if fighting is not necessary (I don’t think it will be) then it will still be nice to have an extra pair of hands at the birth, wherever and however it may be.

Another thing I keep asking is whether I’m actually ready for another baby??? Physically, yes! Emotionally…are we ever ready? Can we be when we don’t know exactly what is to come? I’m sure I didn’t know if I was ready with Erin, yet I managed and enjoyed the magic of falling in love with her and watching her grow. It’s a constant learning curve and such a blessing to be a mother.  How will I cope with looking after a toddler and a newborn?? The answer:…my wonderful hubby. He is SUCH an amazing daddy and is very capable and, lucky for me, at home a lot. Since we live in a little community on the farm, we’re pretty much like extended family and I will have plenty of eager hands to help me should I need it when he is at work.  What a life we have here too…growing our own veg and doing odd jobs around the farm in such a beautiful place. It is wonderful to see Erin so free and happy!

I have tried plenty of walks, plenty of sex, plenty of just about every trick in the book (except curry or castor oil – the runs in the birthing pool would not be great!). Clary sage gives me some good contractions.  Reflexology (done at home by Steven from looking at a reflexology map) feels great and makes baby wriggle.  Homeopathy has not done much yet. And I still haven’t got my hands on the herbs. Yoga and bumpy roads I’m sure have helped get baby right down there. Another big walk this evening and then possibly a repeat of all of the above. I believe Acupuncture works very well..has anyone had experience with it?  I do not believe I will be seeing the midwife next Wednesday!

So this is my journey, my lesson. I need to relax and accept what is to come, but also know what my rights are when it comes to medical intervention (hence the Doula), and hopefully now that I’m not feeling so angry, fearful and emotional, my body will begin to do what it was designed to do…to give birth naturally!

 

6 more sleeps until Beanies due date! June 7, 2010


Well, it could be any day now! With new babies due date looming and nesting having kicked in fully, I am well prepared (and hoping) to go into labour soon!  There’s no real signs of it yet, except babies head  feels low and I have the odd Braxton Hicks contractions.  I see the midwife on Wednesday so shall see what she says.

I’m faithfully drinking my 4 cups of raspberry leaf tea every day, the occasional cup of chamomile for heartburn and to help me to chill out (although I’m feeling pretty chilled), nettle tea for the extra calcium, potassium and iron.  I’ve also started taking Arnica to help with bruising, aches, pains, exhaustion. I plan to carry on taking it until my “bits” are back to normal after the birth.  I’ve also started using my wonderful perineum massage oil, to hopefully avoid tears! It’s sweet almond oil mixed with rose petal oil, gentle and wonderful for the skin!  Still no stretch marks…I do believe I owe my thanks to both genes and my mum-to-be stretch mark oil.

Here’s a bump photo just taken…it’s a pretty big bump now. I’m going to miss it, but I’m longing to meet my new little lady now. I wonder if she’ll also be the splitting image of her daddy?!

I am feeling ever so slightly panicky that I may go overdue.  I didn’t with Erin, and I know I still would have 14 days before I may be encouraged to be induced, but still….it’s a slight concern. Apparently, your second child comes around the same time or before your first, so I’m believing that and hoping/expecting it to happen this week still!  Birth pool is in it’s box, having being trialled. It will only take about 10 minutes to blow up (if the pump doesn’t pack up!). Wood is stocked up for the rayburn to heat the water. Steven is off work. It’s raining (not sure if that’s a good thing or bad, but good weather for a cosy fire and good weather to lie in bed and marvel at a newborn!)  COME ON BABY BEANIE!

Steven and I have still not agreed on a name…we like several, but no decision has been made. I guess we shall see which one suits her most. Perhaps trial a few…one name a day for a few days…hahaha! If ‘she’ turns out to be a boy, we’re sorted…we have a boys name!

I’ve been doing yoga again for the last week or so (after not doing it for a month or more!), and am feeling really good. All signs of the sciatica I had a few weeks ago has disappeared…I do believe this is due to stretching my hamstrings a little. Just slowing down and thinking about my breathing has helped me to feel more confident too.

Steven and I have been going through the Active Birth book by Janet Balaskas again. It’s such a great book and has, once again, left us feeling so positive. I’m looking forward to letting movement and gravity help me, and I really do trust that my body knows how to birth naturally, and I’m so looking forward to doing it again!

 

 
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