Author Archive

Labour – The Giving of Birth (A Naughty Fairy’s Perspective)

Written by FairyDoula. Posted in Birthing Stories

Yup! It’s not a walk in the park! It’s not Armageddon either! The most natural thing for your body to do! What you were made for! So how do you do it? How do you fall off a cliff? Relax, let it happen, hope for the best! Sometimes there is a mucousy discharge 1-3 days before (a show!) sometimes not!

The bag around the baby (waters) sometimes breaks (oops! I’ve wee’d meeself!) first, before contractions (like big period pains) start, sometimes they break later!! Or you break them yourself (bag can be broken with clean fingers if the cervix is opened 8cm or more!)

The contractions, rushes, pains, start off like period pains, pretty irregular not too strong pretty long periods in between. You notice them around the base of your belly & your back. If you’ve got a high pain threshold you’ll be able to sit about, drink helpful herb teas (Agnus Castus, Sage etc.) make sure everything is ready, comfy warm! Practice working with the rushes & your breath so it starts to widen your cervix (visualise opening flowers, golden pulsating donuts! etc. use your imagination!)

When the cervix gets to half way (5cm), the contractions, rushes become closer together, about every 3 -5 minutes, & longer! You can feel your muscles around your baby hardening as the rushes arrive, peak & dissolve! Massage, warm baths, walking around, deep breathing, Blue Cohash teas or tinctures, dancing, fire swinging, chocs wiv a drop of lavender in them, lovely music, all help you work with the rhythm of your body to widen your cervix & move the baby into position between your bum bone & pelvis. Lovely!

O.K. this is the home straight! feel like you need a big poo? Brain convincing you that you can’t do this? Feel the need to have all the drugs right now? Guess what? The babe is nearly here you’ve done all the pre- moves! Now all you have to do is push your baby out!! YES YOU CAN!! The pains come in waves, act like a surfer when the rushes come, see it feel it ride with it! Push as hard as you can, then relax into the hot fluffy respite! It may only be 10 seconds but appreciate it!

Get into your most comfy position, squatting , kneeling, hanging round your partners neck, hanging from a rope ( connection to fathers genitals optional!) leaning on a tree, there are many ways , but make sure you let gravity help you these last few steps!

You’ll feel like your baby’s coming out of your bum but really its only passing by, stroking downwards on your back could be helpful to remind you where the babe is going! Push again & then as you push feel Chinese burns on your bits like nothing on earth, beautiful and terrible instantaneously ( the baby’s head has reached the exit hole) now a time for breathing & resting, possibly warm flannels on your fanny, clitoris to bum will ease the whole story!

Possibly a few pushes where you feel that he’s going back in! Believe that each rush your baby is 1cm closer to being born & it will be so!! Then a big push, like all of you is focussed on one huge push to poo out your own bottom hole (I know! Gross eh?!) Then relax! The baby’s out, (all babies look a bit purple or blue when they first get out cos it takes a while for the red blood to start circulating round!! Lots of rubbing & cuddles will soon have her looking pink & gorgeous! ) put it on your skin, feel warm & together with your baby, maybe baby’ll feed maybe not! Smell that smell! Meet those eyes! Feel like a super hero ‘cos you are! Then about 10 mins later, another contraction, push! Concentrating, then out comes the placenta, joined to the baby by the umbilical cord. When the cord stops pulsing with blood, clamp it twice & cut in between the two clamps! That’s it! Baby & mother all fit & healthy! Nice one!

That’s it! All above time limits vary to fit women, as all are different! Naturally birthing your baby is good strong & clever! It is the action that enables you to trust you mother instinct over your logical brain recreating you as a mother!

Be brave & strong, confidant & hard working & all will be well! Lots of love & luck!


Iron tea

Written by FairyDoula. Posted in Mineral Supplements, Second Trimester

Up your Iron intake naturally

This is an alternative to iron supplements. Drink daily for iron maintenance. Eat extra lemons & spinach (for vitamin c & folic acid) for persistent anaemia.


  • ¼ tsp yellow dock root
  • ¼ tsp Nettles
  • ¼ tsp Raspberry leaves
  • ¼ tsp Comfrey leaf


Add one cup of boiling water and steep for 45 minutes


Drink one cup daily

Herbal tea for an easy birth

Written by FairyDoula. Posted in During Labour

Raspberry leaf, Rosehip, Elderberry, Hawthorn, Feverfew, Dill tea

This remedy will help tone your body for childbirth, toning your uterus & balancing your hormones. Tastes good! ( NB. Test raspberry leaves by 1 tsp to one cup boiling water, cover stand for 45 min drink, then feel the reaction in your belly , does it contract, like a period pain? Then u don’t need it! You only need it for the last 4 weeks!

  • 2 tbsp Raspberry Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Rosehips
  • 1 tbsp Elderberries/ leaves
  • 1 tbsp Hawthorn Hips / flowers/ leaves
  • ½ tbsp Feverfew
  • 1 tsp Dill seed
  • ¼ tsp Cloves


Grind up all ingredients to a powder
Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 2 tbsp of mixture
Cover tightly & allow to steep for 4 hours
Take 1tsp in food or drink 2x a day throughout pregnancy
Can be used as helpful labor brew

Ginger Tea for Morning Sickness

Written by FairyDoula. Posted in First Trimester

Ginger tea made from fresh ginger root is a wonderful remedy for pregnancy especially during your first three months as it can help stave off morning sickness.

To make one cup of ginger tea, put about three teaspoons of grated ginger root for each cup of boiling water to a teapot, and steep for ten minutes. You can add lemon or honey to taste. Ginger tea can be cooled and kept in the refridgerator, it’s delicious cold too!

Maternity massage – Elaine Stillerman

Written by FairyDoula. Posted in Midwifery notes


Safe, nurturing, non-judgemental, well-informed, loving, stress-reducing… THIS is the environment we want to create for massage and childbirth.

Quadratus Lumborum

The Quadratus Lumborum is the primary muscle involved in back pain during pregnancy. For the relief of lower back pain use ‘strain, counter strain’ technique
  •  Assist mother to lie on her side, keep knees together as much as possible when getting into position to support and protect the symphysis pubis (the cartilage join in the middle of the pelvis, above the pubic bone)
  •  Support the belly, raise the knees with pillows
  •  Find the place where there is the most strain in the muscle, by feeling and asking the client
  • When you have found the exact spot, press spot with your thumb, whilst holding other hand on the hip and pushing with a medium force forward ( this gently rotates the pelvis while you are relaxing and recalibrating the muscle with your other hand)
  • Repeat on the other side so the body is balanced!
  • HOLD THESE POSITIONS FOR 90SECS WITH EQUAL FORCE THROUGHOUT. This resets the neurons and the receptors in the body, brain and muscles and relieves the pain.


This is the muscle that reaches from the back of the hip down to the side of the knee. Pains here can be treated with muscle relaxation and strain counter strain.
  • With the woman lying on her side supported by cushions, get her to bend her leg up towards her stomach and lift it towards the sky.
  • Practitioner stands facing the woman’s belly, assisting the lift of the leg with their right hand and giving something to push against with the left.
  • Have woman push her leg forward like she is bending her knee upwards for 5secs, then release.
  • This assists the hip to release and the leg will extend further when she straightens it out, along and back from her body.
  • Repeat this 3 to 5 times until the desired extension and pain relief has occurred.
  • Repeat on the other side so the body is balanced.
  • Have the client lie on her back with one leg straight one leg bent at right angles outwards.
  • Feel the top of her pelvis in towards the pubis until you find a sore spot.
  • Press the point with your top hand thumb, support the knee and lift gently to rotate the hip with the other hand.
  • Hold this position for 90 secs the muscle will release and reset its neurons and receptors
  • Repeat on both sides so the body is balanced!


This is a muscle that reaches from the hip bone to bottom cheek! Pain can be relieved with the ‘strain, counter strain’ method.
  • Have the woman lay on her side supported by pillows
  • Face her belly and lift her top thigh a little upwards with your forearm
  • With your other hand feel for a sore point from top hip bone to bottom of the bottom cheek
  • When you have the place, apply thumb pressure and rotate hip for 90secs
  • The muscle will release and reset its neurons and receptors
  • Repeat on both sides so the body is balanced!
Elaine Stillerman is a brilliant massage therapist, designer of the amazing massage balls (smelly balls) and a great karaoke singer! With these techniques, she creates a calm, pain-relieving massage that uses the least amount of effort whilst creating the most amount of relief.

Haemorrhage and Third Stage difficulties – notes – Gail Hart

Written by FairyDoula. Posted in Midwifery notes

  • ‘1/3 of women die in childbirth’ IS A LIE!
Women at full term can die of
  • septic miscarriage
  • blood loss

Symptoms of haemorrhage

  • Fainting
  • Sickness
  • Mothers face pale
  • Lips blue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid pulse (100, 110)
  • Convulsions

Notes on haemorrhage

  • Average blood loss is 435 cc ( 4 cups ) to 800cc (6 cups) – 1 full pad = 1/2 a cup
  • Women can lose up to a litre of blood ( 8 cups) and still survive ! – however we should be vigelant about blood loss and keep it to a minimum
  • 500cc of blood loss = 1g haemoglobin loss
  • In waterbirth, if you can see the bottom of the tub then the blood loss is normal.
  • If a woman is bleeding too much her uterus needs to be closed – if the placenta is still in it has to be removed.
  • To keep the cord intact helps the placenta trigger the separation – the whole system remains oxygenate
  • Routine use of Pitocin ( synthetic oxytocin) or oxytocic herbs to over stimulate labour can be cause of bleeding

Normal birth= normal placenta delivery

  • Let the uterus expel the baby- assist the baby and mother to skin-to-skin contact
  • To watch the physiological stages of separation means to assist the true way of expulsion
  • Placental expulsion can take from 30 mins to 6 hrs!
  • To pull on the cord when the womb is not contracting will only cause problems
  • Hold the cord, feel the womb, feel the slack – DO NOT TUG!
  • Watch, Wait, Allow physiology to progress – be like the animal and let nature take its course
  • Shepherds purse herb can stop bleeding and contract the uterus
  • You can also use your hands to contract the uterus- rub the mama’s belly flat-handed, support under the uterus and push from above – you are trapping those blood cells and stopping the bleeding.
  • Also, nipple stimulation and breastfeeding can help
  • A thumbnail piece of placenta in the mother’s mouth activates uterus contractions in 20 seconds!
  • Getting upright and blowing in a bottle can help the placenta to separate
  • Get the mama to cough or sneeze this can also help
  • The best way is to not disturb the natural bonding space of mother and baby- leave the room for 20 mins*  make yourself invisible – leave the woman to birth her placenta herself with no fuss!
*hi lara, you take great notes, but I need to post a correction there. I probably mispoke something in the class. “I” was not the midwife who said to leave the room for 20 minutes to give the mother privacy to birth her own placenta. I said I know of this teaching and assisted a midwife once who followed this. I don’t personally do this or advocate it; I just know of some who do, but I’m personally not comfortable with leaving her. I always stay with the woman, nearby but as much out of her way as possible, so I can observe her and her baby and help if needed. But I try to stay quiet and pretty invisible and unintrusive. I could be on a chair nearby, or perhaps just by the door, but I don’t leave. About using your hands to stop bleeding: The hands are the best and most effective tool. Faster than medications. About placenta — it is a very effective emergency treatment, and the knowledge should be reclaimed. It used to be known throughout the world but has been forgotten in many on haemorrhage and third stage difficulties – Gail Hart

A Midwives’ Healthy relationship with Fear – Elizabeth Davis

Written by FairyDoula. Posted in Midwifery notes

  • To work with fear is a way to be active and alert in a situation where most are frozen and inactive .
  • Women’s healthcare providers – ‘Midwives’ have always been here
  • It is an honourable position , respected and powerful.
  • However our fear is grounded in a history of persecution since ‘ The Burning Times’
  •  To repress and attack midwives is to deny the power of women
  • In any patriarchal society, midwives will always be seen as troublemakers because they care for the health and rights of women
  • “At this time, no one is more dangerous to the state and church than the midwives.”  The Spanish inquisition for the Catholic church  – six million women died!
  • These ‘Burning times’ created a pain body for all the women who came after – the line of the story was broken- now we are beginning to re-weave  the storylines
  • FEEL YOUR FEAR – It keeps you alert and assists you to be aware and watch your back, it helps to keep you safe!
  •  To cleanse yourself of the fear that is felt is a very important tool, then you do not bring every fearful event to each moment of fear.
  • To cleanse and heal gives us the opportunity to work with our fears and grow past them.
  • Fear, anger, jealousy – are all from the primal part of the brain
  • DANGER! – creates adrenaline – enables us to respond – as conscious beings, we can choose how we respond.
  • ADRENALINE – frozen, closedness, hate, fear, or
  • OXYTOCIN – Love, Compassion, caring, openness
  • A woman giving birth runs a 100 times more Oxytocin than at any other time
  • When we run oxytocin at a birth we entrain to the birthing woman and we learn how to be in LOVE   – our brain waves drop through ALPHA- BETA – THETA – Theta waves – being the place where time becomes elastic and brainwaves open so that experiences can be rewritten

Second Stage Difficulties – The Pushing part – Ina May Gaskin

Written by FairyDoula. Posted in Midwifery notes

  • Once the inner mouth opens – the cervix is dilated
  • Tired – take a nap – TO REST IS NOT DANGEROUS!
  • Hot – drink cool water – rest
  • Cold – use a blanket, do some exercise
  • Nipple stimulation can always be benieficial to birth progression
  • A woman’s instincts are the primary answer to what is needed during the 2nd stage
  • Food can be instantly benificial to the womans laboring capabilities
  • When the birthing womans experience is longer than the midwives endurance , HAVE A PARTNER!
  • Toilet seats, birth stools, showers- all these assist in the progress of labor
  • Facial expressions are important during labour – scrunched up face = clenched uterus – relaxed face = relaxed uterus
  • Make the sphincter happy! – quiet , relaxing, dim light, gentle music, sexual attention, sweet smells , warm water
  • Release all tension in the body and brain
  • Sometimes the dimensions of the pelvis need to change to assist the downward movement of the OP ( Occiput- back of babies head- Posterior – facing mothers bottom), high position baby
  • Get the mother to stand upright , a person on each side of he mother places hand s on the top of the hip bones and together they push inwards thus creating a scissor movement in the pelvis making the bottom bones open wider.- or in the words of my 9 year olds son Jake ” If the baby is stuck push on the top sides of the mummies bottom and the baby will come out of the bottom of the mummies bottom! “

* To birth easily*

  •  Watch the partners! if they need to wee and are holding on they will be influencing their woman’s ability to let go.
  •  Tell stories -‘ How I learned to enjoy pooping in labour’, ‘ The princess and the Poo’, ‘ The mole who knew it was none of his business’
  • Make the room smell nice
  • Most fears are just social inhibitions we need to be practical to overcome them
  • We need to laugh more in labour- it gives us neuro endorphins and oxytocin ( the birthing love hormone) it also softens the pelvis and allows the baby to come down
  • Meconium is not poo! It is intestine packing ! It is not nasty!
  • If there is meconium and the heart tones are good there is no need to worry
  • Heart decelerations are common panic moments but if the baby recovers immediately then it has enough oxygen and there is no need to fear.
  •  Dad is good as furniture and bad as a cameraman
LAUGH MORE LOVE MORE! Ina May Gaskin is an amazing woman – a midwife, author and international birth activist, her books ‘Spiritual Midwifery , Ina May’s guide to childbirth ‘ and ‘A Midwives’ manifesto’ are compelling, enlightening reading. if you haven’t already read them, I advise you to do so! In this session, she also advised that ‘ The Court Midwife’ by Justine Siegermunden was an interesting read.

Carol Gautschi’s Birth Infusion

Written by FairyDoula. Posted in During Labour, Practical herbal

Carol Gautschi’s Birth Infusion

Take a handful of organic herbs:
  • 2parts raspberry leaves
  • 2 parts nettle leaves
  • 1 part alfalfa
  • 1 part oatstraw
Get a litre jug and put the herbs into the bottom of the jug. Pour boiling water over the herbs. Cover tightly and let stand overnight. Strain the mixture and press the juice from the herbs. Drink freely throughout the day; repeat at night!

First Stage Difficulties (the opening phase) – notes – Gail Hart

Written by FairyDoula. Posted in Midwifery notes


  • Infection, maternal exhaustion, postpartum haemorrhage, fetal distress, fetal injury or asphyxia, low APGAR scores, separation of mother/baby, difficult recovery, postpartum depression, caregiver exhaustion leading to poor decisions.

* To reduce the risk of infection*

  • Preserve membranes
  • Limit internal exams
  • Avoid internal devices
  • Keep mother hydrated and rested
  • Maintain a clean enviroment

* Risk of distress created by*

  •  Stimulated labour
  •  Artificial rupture of membranes( water bag)
  • Maternal low blood sugar
  • Maternal supine ( laying down) position
  • Coached pushing acidosis
  • Manual extraction ( forceps, suction cup)

* Reduce the risks by*

  • Monitor carefully and unobtrusively
  • Listen to baby> You can hear with your ear from the back as well as the front.
  • Augment labour conservatively
  • Assist all involved to be patient
  • Encourage intact membranes
  • Avoid maternal supine position ( lying down)
  •  Encourage active upright positions and side-lying ( Simms or left lateral)
  •  detect and correct malpositions early
  • Maintain maternal blood sugar with food , liquid or sugar

* Assess mother and baby*


  • Monitor closely for signs or symptoms of infection
  • Elevated maternal temperature
  • Rising pulse
  • Increased uterine or abdominal tenderness
  • Exhaustion
  • Signs of true maternal exhaustion
  • Rising pulse and temperature
  • Is there progress?
  • There must be progress even if there is slow progress
  • Mother and baby must remain in a good position
  • Detect heart decelerations
  • Know when to quit*
  • Signs of disproportion between head and pelvis
  • High head – head not engaged and cant be made to engage
  • Asynclitism ( head off to the side not aligned to the bone of the pelvis) – especially increasing degrees
  • Strong contractions ( rushes, surges) without progress or dilatation( cervix opening)
  • Failure of head to flex and descend with strong contractions and good pushing
  • Large and growing caput ( swelling formed on the baby’s head by pressure from the dilating cervix) but with no descent when measured above the pubic bone

*Signs of potential Uterine ( womb) rupture*

  •  A thinning lower uterine segment( may feel like a balloon
  •  Full bladder
  • Rising contraction ring
  • Formation of Bandl’s Ring ( extreme thickening of the ring of normal labour when labour is obstructed. It is able to be felt with the hands as a hard ridge across the tummy)

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