Why Optimal Birth?

image "Galactic Baby" copyright Cat Fancote - all rights reserved https://birthphotographyperth.com.au/Over the past few years, there have been times when the debate about childbirth and especially choices about how and where to give birth, have become deeply polarised. As always, the media have been quick to reduce the debate to extremes, pitting dire warnings of “certain death if a baby is born at home” against "natural birth at any price".

While these extreme views do exist among birth practitioners they are rare, but any birth practitioner not blindly wedded to the guidelines will acknowledge there is much about the status quo in many obstetric units that work actively against "a good birth". It’s also recognised that challenging institutional drivers of practices can be very difficult, even those with little or no evidence to support them.

As a midwife my role is to help women have the best birth possible. I understand the medical model plays an important role but I also believe many interventions are used inappropriately. All too frequently attempts to question mainstream practice tends to degenerate into a “natural birth versus managed birth” argument. That’s the wrong debate. It should be “how birth practitioners can embrace best practice to make sure all women can have an optimal birth”.

This site was initially created to publicise my planned post retirement business, teaching women the approaches to labour and birth I’d evolved to help them have the best birth possible. Events have pushed me from antenatal teaching into a roving trainer for professional colleagues who are motivated by the same urge to help women have an “Optimal Birth”. It's taken over my life over the past 18 months - one of the positives of the enforced break is having time to develop online resources for both pregnant women and colleagues - no more excuses for delays!

Covid 19 Update

 The virus has forced me to defer all courses until the beginning of June - It's quite possible I may not be able to start teaching again until September - or even later. I'm hoping to rearrange as many dates as possible from September onwards but am holding off from making firm plans until there's a better idea of how the situation evolves. Like many other course and workshop providers, I'm working on getting my course online. 

I will/have contacted course organisers and participants - keep an eye out here and on the Biomechanics for Birth facebook group for news.electron microscope image of corona virus Meanwhile... ... in these difficult times my biggest concern is the effect the bug is having on women's choices in childbirth. There's a lot of frustration and sadness among midwives and service user groups that some Hospital Trusts have  withdrawn all midwife led care options like Birth centres and home births forcing birthing women and folk to come to hospital for reasons that don't stand up well to any honest analysis. Far from making things safer for women it's a plan that will put even more pressure on already overstretched hospital resources, is exposing women and birthing people to infection from the virus and has led to many considering freebirthing. I've been involved in the debate on this issue - subsequently after significant pressure and amazing team work and creative problem solving, a number of busy Hospital Trusts have led the way showing how safe community services can be provided if we all work together.  It remains to be seen whether or not more Hospital Trusts will change their thinking but all recommendations and plans by midwifery, medical, human rights and public health organisations urge Trusts to carefully review all other options before withdrawing birthing choices for low risk people. Transparency is key. Some Trusts really will have no options but to withdraw services temporarily from time to time but must show that they've looked at all alternatives. 

For my part, other than shout loudly on behalf of all birthing women and folk, I'm developing some online courses for service users and producing short videos with tips and information starting with a "Pregnancy and Covid 19 page" giving advice, exercises, info and key news. This will be live shortly.
Meanwhile, stay positive, look after yourselves and be excited to have the best birth you can for you and your very special Pandemic baby. 

Biomechanics for Birth Professionals

pelvis drawing 500px pelvis

Biomechanics for Birth Professionals teaches techniques and strategies helpful for any labouring women but especially for women with malpositioned babies and those experiencing long labours. The seven hour course covers the biomechanics of the pelvis and its functions through birth,  tools to help better identify malposition, the effects of trauma on baby's path through the pelvis and how women can be guided to use positions and movement to help labour progress.

sign in

to access course materials please sign in or register

Contact us

Please prove you are human!

man at computer

Warning about this site

We are making changes to the front page of the site to reach out more directly to women during this period when Molly is unable to travel and train birth professionals directly. Was something we wanted to develop anyway so we won't be bored during lockdown!