Sunday, February 28, 2010

New birth support group

Peninsula Birth Support, a 'branch' of Maternity Coalition has been set up. Check out their blog for more information.
There's also a twitter account.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Attachment, the Brain & Human Happiness

Macedon Ranges BaBs along with the Empathy Foundation are proud to present a seminar with acclaimed psychologist and parenting educator Robin Grille.

In a world that accepts detachment as the norm, Robin Grille has a refreshing take on the way in which we can nuture true attachment to our children. Parenting “experts” advocate shaming, punishments, rewards and emotional manipulation to produce “good” children. In an inspirational, honest talk, Robin address the true cost of societies acceptance of disconnectedness and the science behind the way our childhood experiences influence the adults we become.

Robin's seminar Attachment, the Brain, Human Happiness will look at the explosion of scientific research around the world in child development, emotional intelligence, brain development and the human heart. Never before has so much been known about how childhood experiences shape the adults we become, and this new knowledge is revolutionising the way we understand our babies and children. Parenting and child care are undergoing great changes in the wake of these discoveries. This presentation will place you at the forefront of these changes.

In this presentation you will learn:

• How your affection literally grows your child’s brain!
• How to give your baby and child the most emotionally secure start in life
• The key early childhood experiences that promote your child’s emotional intelligence
• How healthy emotional development ensures your child’s physical health – for the long term

This presentation is for parents, grandparents, child health professionals, early childhood teachers and carers.

Where? 17 Goode Street Gisborne

When? Thursday 26th November 9.30am (doors open at 9am) till 12.30pm

Cost is $30 per single, $50 double

Numbers Limited : Prior registration is highly advisable to ensure your seat
To register contact:

Alice on 0400 068 551

Jess 0432 493 685

A limited number of copies of Robin Grille’s books, Parenting for a Peaceful World and Heart to Heart Parenting, will be available at both seminars at $35 each.
Prior payment when registering will hold your copy.

Macedon Ranges BaBs (birthing and babies support)
supported by Macedon Ranges Shire Council

Two young mothers go where Roxon fears to tread: A Report Card on local hospitals

Press release Sydney NSW, 16 November 2009:

Australian women are once more standing up for choice, and this time they’re using cyberspace to do it. Last week, the Deputy Prime Minister announced the My Schools website to provide parents with information about their children’s schools around Australia and the My Child website to provide information about the nation’s child care centres. Today, two Aussie mums are launching My Birth, a website providing information about the birth services available to Australian women.

“Today two young mothers have done what the health professionals and the government don’t seem able to do – they have given women easy access to statistics and information about their local maternity services. The government has promised to make school data transparent – now it is time to make hospital, doctor and midwife data transparent.” (Associate Professor Hannah Dahlen, Vice President, Australian College of Midwives)

My Birth,, provides crucial information for parents-to-be in deciding what birth service to use, including the birth service statistics of their local hospital, such as the percentage of births by caesarean or induction. Website founders Michelle Meares and Jennifer Brown state, “Women have a right to know what to expect when they choose a care provider and a place to birth their children. Sadly at present we are unable to provide the statistics for all States and Territories as they are not publicly released. We call on the Federal Government to release them for all Australian hospitals so women can make an informed choice.”

(Justine Caines, maternity consumer advocate and mother of seven) “Maternity health professionals (in particular doctors) receive huge sums of public money, for their work and insurance subsidies, they must be required to furnish their statistics, otherwise what is being hidden?”

The legislation currently before the Senate, the Medicare for Midwives Bill will significantly restrict women’s access to independent midwives. These are care providers with a proven record of improving outcomes for Australia’s mothers and babies. As has consistently happened in the past, when choice becomes restricted, there are serious implications. Australia stands at risk of becoming an archaic centre for maternity health compared to other countries like the Netherlands, Canada and the UK. Decisions made by the Federal Government today will affect the birth choices available to our children tomorrow. We as a society do not want a union (the Australian Medical Association – AMA) having the ability to decide where and with whom an Australian woman can give birth. Midwives are a highly skilled profession in their own right with a significantly different set of skills to doctors and they must be recognised as such here in Australia. The legislation before the Senate fails to do this and instead provides doctors with more control over women’s births. This, we believe, is a recipe for soaring statistics in the wrong direction. The My Birth website clearly shows why this is a very important women’s rights issue for all women of Australia today.

If Australian parents have the right to know the performance statistics of where their child will be educated, then they must also have the right to know the statistics of where that child is born, and what alternatives are available to them.

For media enquiries: Michelle Meares 0439 645 372 Jennifer Brown 0408 621 448

Friday, November 13, 2009


The notes here are a summary from discussions about baby slings at a babs group. There is a plan to prepare an information sheet, so in putting the notes on the blog, we would welcome any comments or ideas about baby wearing, and links to websites, that you are happy to share with others. [Your photos are also welcome]

There are three main types: simple, soft structured carriers, and wraps.

Simple slings:

Meh Tai is a plain rectangle of fabric, with tie pieces attached. It can be bought from ABA Mothers Direct.
Maya Tie, which is based on the Meh Tai.

Pouch/Tube slings
[Add links]

Soft Structured carriers
(with straps and clips): include
Ergo - see ABA Mothers Direct
ABA Simplicity Sling
Also, highly recommended,
Yamo Baby Carrier

Note that there are some soft structured carriers that are available in retail stores that mothers in our discussion did not like. These carriers suspend the baby with a lot of pressure on his/her crotch, while the better carriers achieve support across the baby's thighs and crotch.

: These are made of long pieces of fabric, either with or without rings. The plain fabric wraps are approximately 6 metres long.

Examples of Ring Slings: Maya Wrap
hugabub ring slings

Other wraps that are used and recommended by members of our groups:
Vatani Wrap
Stork Wrap

cheryl connolly wrote:
there is a great DVD to cover everything - you can get it from Kimba, who sells various cloth baby carriers, at
a general website to look is

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Monday 9 November 2009 from 10.30am (local time)

Rally points:

Prime Minister
Kevin Rudd’s office
630 Wynnum Road
Morningside Qld 4170

Deputy Prime Minister
Julia Gillard’s office
Shop 2, 36 Synnot Street
Werribee Vic 3030

Minister for the Status of Women
Tanya Plibersek’s office
111-117 Devonshire Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010

Perth: at 11.10am Perth Only
Office of Stephen Smith (most senior Gov member in WA)
953A Beaufort Street
Inglewood WA 6932

If you are unable to attend, please prepare your 'calling card' - a letter to Kevin, Julia, Tanya, or Stephen (or another member of the government), telling them who you are and why you can not accept maternity reform which prevents midwives from practising midwifery in their own right, and prevents women from giving birth in their homes with their chosen midwife attending them. Please email your letter to your midwife or someone else who is going to the rally, and ask them to give it to the MP concerned.

Anyone who would like their calling card to appear on this blog, please email it to


I want to encourage midwives to go to the rally, and to make sure your banners and calling cards state clearly that you are not happy with what this reform is doing to you – as a midwife.

The midwife’s livelihood is at stake, and we need to be heard. The whole profession of midwifery stands to lose our right to practising on our own authority in any setting.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Homebirth Awareness Week: Celebrate or Commiserate?


Monday October 26 2009

Contact: Justine Caines 0408210273

Homebirth Awareness Week: Celebrate or Commiserate?
Minister’s Weakness and Bureaucrats ignorance continues

This week marks Homebirth Awareness week. Homebirth Australia fears that this time next year Australian women will not have the option of homebirth.

“It is hard to understand the hysteria around homebirth in Australia. Our maternity hospitals are full to the brim, many of them churning women out conveyor belt style and yet this is considered safe, hardly! said Justine Caines Secretary of Homebirth Australia and mother of seven home born children.”

Mainstream Australian maternity care is not about women, women are rarely consulted in the development of services, they are the main player and yet they have been silenced by practitioners who insist they ‘know better’ said Ms Caines.

Homebirth on the other hand is different. Women make decisions about their care, they invite a midwife into their home, rather than be forced to meet the needs of practitioners and organisational convenience which happens when giving birth in a hospital” said Ms Caines

“The outcomes from homebirth are also considerably better*. Women experience more personalised care and fewer interventions, they also enter motherhood happier and more content.” said Ms Caines

Something that is considered a normal reasonable choice in the U.K, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Canada is under threat of extinction in Australia. Bureaucrats advising the Minister do not even understand homebirth and they refuse to seek information from key stakeholders

“Asking an Obstetrician about homebirth is like seeking advice from a midwife on caesarean surgery.” said Ms Caines

“Health Minister Nicola Roxon plans to fund midwifery care under Medicare, something sorely needed. She has however excluded homebirth. She did this against all evidence and the express wishes of the women of Australia across two enquiries, one that broke a Senate record on the number of submissions received.” said Ms Caines

The question remains; Will politicians continue to be more responsive to those with deep vested interest in maternity services? It is time to step up and listen to women, the very people for whom these so called reforms are proposed.” asked Ms Caines

Also see previous posts:
More irrefutable evidence

Safe Maternity Care

Homebirths in Victoria 2007