Live courses at last - participants in Sunday's Biomechanics Foundation course at Effraspace poses for end of day pictures!
It was energising to teach live to a crowd of enthused energised passionate birth workers. The Advanced course the day before went as well as the picture of the previous days foundation course suggests. I was nervous teaching the it for the first time, but I shouldn't have worried, working together with such an experienced and committed group of birth professionals was as much a matter of sharing knowledge and insights as me teaching. Rounded off the week with a trip to Bristol to teach a group of passionate doulas working with Tortie Rye at the Bristol Birth Support group.
Reactions on the Biomechanics for Birth Facebook group ranged from: "Thank you Molly for your time and your amazing passion. The birthing world is definitely better off for having women like you in it" to "Can not explain how amazing today was... …I feel so energised with knowledge and positivity to pass on to my women". I feel very flattered and humbled by the reactions - but also excited to be riding this wave of enthusiasm.
Sadly these are the last live course this year. Quarantine and the frequency of rule changes mean there's too much uncertainty - we will have to see what surprises Mr Johnson springs on us to know when they can start again but we aren't betting on much changing before spring of next year.
Meanwhile, online courses go from strength to strength with all bar one of the courses announced in September fully booked and a waiting list of over 40. It wasn't planned this way but we realised the timing of the courses split over 2 days are accessible all the way to Sydney. We've already had participants from S Africa, Macau, Hong Kong and Australia taking part.
To pick up the waiting list we have set three new dates in 2020 - 26/7th October, 25th November (one day) and 2/3rd December to add to the existing courses - and one for early 2021 18/19th January. These course are not open for booking quite yet - we are waiting for a paypal link - but hopefully they will be open by the end of the week. The modest ambition is to see midwives around the world be part of the debate on physiological birth - it's heartening to know birth workers from Manchester to Macau can work together.
It doesn't feel like very long ago at all since we reached a thousand members on the biomechanics facebook group . We passed 2000 a couple of weeks ago and are heading for 3000 now, and it's genuinely international. If you are birth worker and aren't already part of the "biomechanics for birth group" it's a fantastic forum where stories, questions, tips and techniques are widely shared in a private "birth and related professions only" environment. You have to apply via the "Optimal Birth" facebook page.
"Galactic Baby" -award winning image from 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!