by Hailey Fudu a mother of two, a childbirth educator and labour/birth doula practicing in Johannesburg, originally from California, who loves moms and babies!:) For more information on active and natural birthing in Johannesburg, please visit the Genesis Clinic website.

In today’s busy world many mom’s rush through their lives and it all becomes a blur. This blur often begins when the pregnant mother decides she can’t wait for her baby to arrive and books in for an induction or elective C Section.  I would like to share some information that women deserve to know before making a final decision regarding their birth choice.

I have had the privilege of working with mothers through their pregnancies, births and after they are settling in at home.  Adjusting to a new baby is a challenge, but this challenge can be approached with tranquillity, or chaos. When a mom lets her labour happen naturally her baby is best prepared to enter this world. Few women know that 35 out of every 1000 babies born by caesarean suffer from breathing difficulties, while only 5 out of every 1000 babies born naturally.( National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health. Caesarean Section: Clinical Guideline. London: RCOG Press; 2004). Babies with breathing difficulties end up in high care and lose out on the essential first hours of breastfeeding and skin to skin contact (which ironically helps the baby absorb any access fluid in their lungs). My hope is not to spend a lot of time going through the statistical benefits of letting babies come into this world without the rush.  I only want to encourage mom’s to do their homework and if they do, they will find that the World Health Organization, National Childbirth Trust and other highly reputable sources of research, overwhelmingly show the benefits to mother and child of birthing naturally unless clear medical intervention is necessary.

I have assisted in many births at the Genesis Clinic in Johannesburg. This clinic is a very unique environment for birthing. More clinics like this are beginning to open in South Africa. At Genesis each woman has her own private room, bathroom and garden for her labour and birth. There is no feeling of being rushed, and the woman can listen to her body and is allowed the space to move and do whatever feels most effective.  When this type of atmosphere is created, the child’s entrance is gentle and well supported. The result: a happy and calm mother, and a non-stressed baby that is ready to begin breastfeeding. Rooming in with one’s newborn should not be a privilege for the rich. When a qualified midwife delivers a baby, the cost goes down rapidly. Women don’t always know that gynecologists /obstetricians are trained in dealing with surgery and complications; they do not specialize in natural birth! The first 24 hour period after birth is critical for the establishment of the breastfeeding relationship and after nine months in the womb, shouldn’t that closeness and ability to feel mother’s loving touch and heartbeat continue?

When mothers and their babies get off to the right start and begin to work together in the calm, slow pace of the early days of motherhood, the stage can be set for a healthy and balanced lifestyle.  I would like to wish all the mommies to be many blessings!

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